1916 May

1st Lefty Babe Ruth loses his first game after 5 wins, as the Nationals beat Boston, 5–3. Ruth allows just 5 singles in 7 2/3 innings, but walks 9. The Babe walks the bases loaded in the 8th, and reliever Dutch Leonard serves up a 3-run double to Washington catcher John Henry.

In Madison, Gladys Palmer, a junior at the University of Wisconsin, sets a women’s collegiate record with a baseball toss of 227 feet 6 inches. Palmer will become a physical education professor at Ohio State, write a book entitled Baseball for Girls and Women, and start the first college women’s golf championship, in 1941 (as noted by J.G. Preston).

2nd  The Giants pick up their first win in 9 games as Jeff Tesreau allows just 3 hits in beating Brooklyn, 3–1.

3rd The Phils Pete Alexander beats Boston, 3–0, for his 2ndshutout of the year. The Phils split the 4-game series with Boston.

4th Christy Mathewson, beset with back problems, makes his first start of the year, losing to the Braves, 7–6, in 10 innings. Matty goes the distance allowing 15 hits, including a homer to rival pitcher Lefty Tyler. The Giants were held in check by Tyler until the 9th when , trailing 4–0, they tie it up. Fred Merkle’s homer is the big blow in the inning.

Red Sox pitcher Dutch Leonard shuts out the Yankees, 3–0. The Yanks will take the next three games to drop Boston below .500.

5th Red Sox pitcher Carl Mays relieves Ruth with the score 4–2 in the 9th against New York. New York ties the game on a 2-out error by 3B Larry Gardner, and wins in 13 innings, 8–4. Mays makes his first appearance of the year following a tonsil operation in the spring.

6th In what historian David Vincent calls in his book Home Run a “trick homerun”, Brooklyn’s George Cutshaw hits a roll-off homer in the 11th inning to give the Robins a 3-2 win over the Phils at Ebbets Field. Cutshaw’s drive in the right field corner looks good for a double but it bounds onto the wall and rolls slowly up and over it for a bounce homer. As the New York Times reports, “Instead of receiving the plaudits from 20,000 spectators, which ordinarily would follow a winning home run in the eleventh inning of a hard-fought battle, the Dodger second baseman crossed the plate amid a storm of laughter, which eventually turned into meek applause.”

7th Pittsburgh’s Max Carey hits a homer off Cubs rookie Jimmy Lavender to give the Pirates a 1–0 win. The Cubs will lose ten 1–0 decisions this year, tying the ML record.

9th  Thirty walks, a ML record, are allowed at Philadelphia as Detroit overwhelms the A’s, 16–2. Tiger rookie George Cunningham is lifted with one out in the 3rd inning after walking 6 batters. He is given the win, but leaves with a no hitter and leading 9–0. A 20th-C record 18 of the walks are issued by the A’s—12 by reliever Carl Ray—on their way to a season total of 715. Not until 1938 will a team (the St. Louis Browns with 737) top that. Detroit will add another 11 walks against the A’s tomorrow for a 2-game ML record of 29.

The Giants, 2–13 and in last place, open their western swing with a 13–5 win at Pittsburgh. New York uses three pitchers, and pound three Buc hurlers for 16 hits. New York will win their next 16 games.

The Red Sox and Dutch Leonard stop the Indians, 5–1, ending the first-place Tribe’s 8-game win streak. The game marks Tris Speaker’s return to Boston, and 15,000 cheer his every move. After one inning Speaker inadvertently heads into the Sox dugout, much to the crowd’s delight.

10th A relatively sedate 18 walks are handed out by both teams as the Tigers whip the Athletics, 9-3. When added to yesterday’s total of 30, the 48 bases on balls is a ML record for two clubs for two consecutive games. Also, the Tigers set a record for one club walking in consecutive games with 29.

Led by Tris Speaker’s 2 hits and three runs, Cleveland tops the Red Sox and Babe Ruth, 6–2.

12th The Giants top Pittsburgh, 3–2, to sweep the 4-game series. Mathewson shuts out Pirates for 5 innings, but Doc Johnson’s triple in the 6th helps tie it at 2–2. Rube Benton relieves Matty and picks up the win when the Giants score.

The A’s and Tigers conclude a weird series with the Tigers winning today, 7-6, in 11 innings. The Athletics set an ML record by leaving 17 runners on base in the first 9 innings, while Detroit strands 13 for a 9-inning record of 30. This will not be topped this century though it will be tied in games concluded in 9 innings (this game is not listed in the record books, though it was acknowledged at the time). For the game, the A’s leave 20 on base, while Detroit leaves 16. For the four-game series, the two teams combine for 85 walks and two HBP, and they combine to leave 92 runners on base.

13th Behind the pitching of Grover Cleveland Alexander, the Phillies shut out the Reds, 5-0, in Cincinnati to open a four-game series. The Phils will sweep all four, the last time this century that Philadelphia will sweep a four-game series in Cincinnati.

14th  The Cardinals rookie Rogers Hornsby hits his first HR, off Brooklyn’s Jeff Pfeffer. It is a bounce HR (legal till 1931) that lands behind 3B and skips into the stands at Robison Field in St. Louis. Brooklyn prevails today, 3–2.

15th  The Nationals top the A’s, 6-5, in 11 innings. Reliever Walter Johnson fans 6 of the 14 batters he faces.

17th  Despite four steals by the A’s Charlie Pick, Eddie Cicotte and the White Sox win, 7-0.

20th The Giants win their 10th on the road, when Christy Mathewson allows 6 hits in clipping the Cardinals, 4–1. Henry Jasper is the losing pitcher. Fred Merkle steals 3rd and home in the 2nd inning, the latter on the front end of a double steal.

At Fenway, starter Babe Ruth walks the first two Browns hitters. With the 2nd walk, Ruth’s batterymate Chet “Pinch” Thomas complains so much about the call that he is tossed, and Sam Agnew takes his place behind the plate. After two outs, and runners at 1B and 3B, the Browns pull a double steal to score. The Sox take a 2–1 lead after 4, and when Ruth walks the bases loaded in the 6th, Carl Mays relieves. Mays allows 2 hits in 3 1/3 innings to preserve the 3–1 win. Ruth allows no hits in his 5 2/3 innings.

The Senators paste the Indians, 13–3. Shorty Desjardien mops up for Cleveland in the 8th inning, allowing three runs on 3 walks and 2 hits in his only major league appearance.

22nd In a 9-5 loss to the Browns, Yankee pitcher Ray Fisher steals home in the 6th inning.

23rd In Cincinnati, Rube Benton pitches the Giants to a 4–3 win over the Reds, New York’s 12th win in a row on the road. Benton needs relief help from Tesreau and Mathewson in the 9th to win.

24th Boston shuts out Detroit, 4–0, as Babe Ruth allows just 4 singles. Ruth adds two hits but Harry Hooper’s fielding heroics—4 great catches—make him the day’s star.

26th  Despite outfielder Benny Kauff’s base running blunders, the New York Giants cruise to their 14th straight road win, 12–1 over Boston. Kauff, the Federal League’s “Ty Cobb”, sets a NL record when he is picked off first base three times, the only 20thcentury player to do this. Lefty Tyler does all three pickings. Sailor Stroud is the winner, picking up his last ML victory.

Philley outfielder Gavvy Cravath’s strike to the plate cuts down Brooklyn’s Casey Stengel for the last out in the 6th and saves Grover Cleveland Alexander’s 1–0 shutout win over Sherry Smith. The Phils move into first place on the strength of Alex’s 4th shutout of the month.

The Yankees stop the visiting Red Sox twice, winning 2–1 and 6–5, in 10 innings.

27th Yankee P Ray Keating gives up 3 hits to beat Babe Ruth and the Red Sox, 4–2. Ruth has two hits for Boston.

28th  It’s shutout day in the AL: Carl Mays submarines the Yankees, 3–0, for the visiting Red Sox, and the White Sox take two from the Indians, both by 2–0 scores. The winning pitchers are Jim Scott and Red Faber.

Jimmy Claxton, signed as an American Indian, pitches in both games for Oakland (PCL) in a doubleheader against Los Angeles. He takes the loss in game 1. When it is found out that he is African American, Oakland will release him on June 3rd. Claxton will be the first black to appear on a baseball card.

29th  Christy Mathewson beats the Braves 3–0 for the Giants’ 17th consecutive win on the road. Matty gives up just 4 singles in beating Dick Rudolph. It is Rudolph’s 5th straight loss. New York is only 1 ½ games behind the leading Dodgers.

30th  The Phillies Al Demaree, an ex-Giant, finally stops the Giants, 5–1, on 6 hits, handing New York its first loss in 18 matches. Giant 3B Bill McKecknie, obtained from Newark (Federal League) in April, is caught stealing 3 times. In a raucous game 2, the Giants knock out Pete Alexander in the 7th to win, 10–2. Three Giants—catchers Bill Killifer and Ed Burns, and Dode Paskert get tossed by umpire Harrison, which provokes the fans to toss cushions and bottles at him until he is surrounded by Giants players. He gets a police escort after the game and stays in the clubhouse for an hour to avoid the mob. After Burns is ejected, infielder Bobby Byrne goes behind the plate and throws out to would-be base stealers.

Browns pitcher Earl Hamilton, with 50 wins in the last 4 years but just one appearance this year, is sold to Detroit. He’ll go 1–2, then be waived back to St. Louis on June 22.

31st The Yankees host the A’s for two and sweep, winning 8-7 and 9-5. After five years in the majors, Frank Gilhooley hits his first homer, and it is a grand slam off A’s reliever Bullet Joe Bush in the Yankees 5-run 8th in game 1. With Cleveland and Washington tied for 1st place, the Yanks are just a game back.

At Pittsburgh, the Reds beat the Pirates in the 16th inning, scoring 3 runs on a hit, base on balls and 3 errors. Toney and Miller go the distance on the mound in the 5-2 match.

At Detroit, Harry Heilmann’s 5th inning triple with the bases loaded breaks a 1-1 tie and the Tigers go on to top the White Sox, 7-4. Hooks Dauss is the winner and adds a home run. Joe Jackson has a single, 2 doubles and a triple in 4 at bats for Chicago.