1920 May

1st  In Boston, Brooklyn’s Leon Cadore and the Braves’ Joe Oeschger duel 26 innings to a 1–1 tie in the longest game ever played in the ML. Oeschger shuts out the Dodgers for the last 21 innings, topping Art Nehf’s 20 scoreless frames in a row on August 1, 1918. He gives up 9 hits, and Cadore allows 12, in the 3-hour, 50-minute battle, the longest marathon (26 inn.) any 2 pitchers have hurled this century. An unusual double play occurs in the 17th inning when the bases are loaded with one out. A grounder to P Oeschger results in a throw home, forcing the runner. C Hank Gowdy’s throw to 1B Walter Holke is fumbled, and when the runner tries to score from 2B, the throw back to Gowdy nips the sliding Ed Konetchy. Holke must have been tired as he made a first baseman’s record of 42 putouts in the game, while Cadore, who sets a NL record (ties ML) for assists by a pitcher (12) as well as batters faced (96) in a game, will spend the next 36 hours in bed. Oeschger faces 90 batters. The Dodgers lose to the Phils at home in 13 innings the next day, then return to Boston for a Monday game where they lose again in 19. For 58 innings work in 3 days, they will be 0–2.

Babe Ruth hits his first HR, and the 50th of his career as a Yankee in a 6–0 win over the Red Sox. The HR clears the RF roof of the Polo Grounds, duplicating the feat of Joe Jackson. Duffy Lewis adds a homer, both coming off Herb Pennock. During the game, Yankee bench hecklers Carl Mays, Ernie Shore and Frank O’Doul manage to get themselves ejected.

Joe Leonard, a reserve infielder for Washington, dies of appendicitis, complicated with pneumonia following an operation. Leonard was taken ill a week ago when Washington was playing New York.

2nd Cleveland drops the Tigers, 5–2, leaving the Bengals with a 0–13 record, equaling Washington’s lowly start of 1904. Jim Bagby is the winner, allowing 8 hits. Lefty Red Oldham takes the loss.

In Brooklyn, the Phillies win in 13 innings, 4–3. Zack Wheat’s homer in the 9th ties the match, and Dave Bancroft scores the go ahead run in the 13th. Casey Stengel’s sensational catch of Mitchell’s long fly prevents another tie.

3rd  Two days after Boston and Brooklyn battled to a 20-inning 1–1 tie game, they go at it again for 19 innings in Boston this time. Boston prevails in the bottom of the 19th, 2–1 by bunching three singles. Dana Fillingim scatter 12 hits for a complete game 19-inning win, while starter Sherrod Smith allows 13 in a losing effort. Brooklyn has played 58 innings in their past 3 games.

The Cubs sweep a pair from the Reds, 2–1 and 5–0. Hippo Vaughn is the winner in the opener and drives in both runs. In the 2nd game, Grover Alexander continues his win streak by shutting out the Reds, 5–0, and beating Ray Fisher. Fisher will finish the year at 14–5. Alex pitches a six hitter and Dave Robertson homers.

The Tigers (1-13) finally win their first game, tripping the Indians, 5–1, behind Dutch Leonard’s 5-hitter.

5th The Yankees beat Walter Johnson and the Senators, 7–1, racking up 11 hits. Only one of the runs off Johnson is earned as Carl Mays is the easy winner. The Babe is 2-for-2, both doubles, draws two walks, and drives home two.

Chicago’s Red Faber outpitches Stan Coveleski, but loses to the Indians ace, 3–2. Faber’s error allows the 2nd run and Happy Felsch’s 9th inning error allows the winner. Ray Chapman and Larry Gardner swipe bases for the Tribe. Gardner will nab his season total of 3 in the first half of the season, but continue to run. He’ll be caught stealing 20 times, including 12 straight.

6th Washington does all its scoring in the first 2 innings to beat the Yankees, 6–5. Joe Judge is 5-for-5 for the Nats.

8th Cubs pitcher Hippo Vaughn wins his second straight game with his bat, hitting a bases-loaded triple in the 9th off Earl Hamilton to beat the Pirates, 4–1.

At Chicago, the Indians top the White Sox, 10-6, in 16 innings. The two teams combine to score 8 runs in the last frame, a ML record for the inning.

9th  Indians ace P Stan Coveleski wins his 6th straight, beating the White Sox, 4-3, to put Cleveland in 1st place. Except for 2 days in May, when the Red Sox take over, and 4 days in July, when the Yankees occupy first, the Indians will remain atop the AL into August.

The Cubs edge the Pirates, 8–7, behind the offense of Max Flack. Flack has 4 hits, including two doubles, and steals home in the 8th for the winning run. George Cutshaw has 4 hits for the Pirates.

The Negro National League officially opens its season with games in various parks. In Indianapolis, the host ABC’s top the Cuban Stars, winning 4-2 in 9 innings and 4-2 in 6 innings, the game stopping because of a 6 p.m. curfew (as noted by Christopher Hauser).

11th  For the first time in 9 years, a NL player hits 3 triples in a game. Ross Youngs does the trick, and his teammates add two more in Cincinnati, but the Giants lose, 9–4.

12th At the Polo Grounds, the Yankees collect 20 hits to outslug the White Sox, 14-8. Truck Hannah is 4-for-4 and Babe Ruth hits his 5th homer of the year. Bob Shawkey, 1-5 coming in to this game, pitches 6 innings of workmanlike relief to get the win. This is the first of an 11-game winning streak for the ace. Lefty Williams loses his first game of the year after 6 wins.

14th  Pitching 3 2/3 inning of relief and going 2-for-2 at bat, Walter Johnson wins, 9–8, over visiting Detroit for his 300th victory. Johnson will beat Detroit 66 times in his career, the most wins over one team by an AL pitcher.

The Giants inform the Yankees that after the 1920 season, the lease allowing the American Leaguers to play in the Polo Grounds will not be renewed. No reason is given but the recent signing of Babe Ruth appears to be the main cause. Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert responds that the Giants, “have gone back on their word.” The Giants cave in a week later, but by then Ruppert has initiated plans to obtain a site for his own park.

15th  At the Polo Grounds, the Yankees beat Cleveland, handing Stan Coveleski (7-1) his first loss of the year. Pitcher Jack Quinn hits a homer off Coveleski with a man on in the 8th to win, 2–0. Quinn allows just 4 hits with only one runner getting past 1B. Ruth is 0-for-1, though the official score card has him at 0-for-2, a discrepancy that will not be corrected till 2005.

16th  Before an overflow house of 38,000—their biggest crowd since 1911 at the Polo Grounds, the Indians jump on Carl Mays for 5 runs in the 1stinning and coast to an 8–2 win over the Yankees. Jim Bagby is the winner, allowing a single run until the 9th when Ruth doubles home the second score.

At Chicago, Pete Alexander wins his 7th straight, defeating the Braves 5–1. Boston’s one run is unearned.

At Cincinnati, the Phils break their 9-game loss streak by beating the Reds, 3–2, in 15 innings. Eppa Rixey pitches a complete game for Philley, finally winning his own game with a sacrifice fly. Jimmy Ring pitches 15 innings to take the loss.

At Ebbets Field, the Bacharach Giants become the first African-American team to play there, twice defeating a white semi-pro team, the Treat ‘Em Roughs (as noted by Christopher Hauser). Giants SS Dick Lundy receives a standing ovation from the mostly white crowd.

17th The Tigers get two homers from Ira Flagstead and another from Cobb to edge the A’s, 9–7. Cobb scores three times to help Hooks Dauss take the win over Kinney.

Pittsburgh scores 3 runs in the bottom of the 15th to overtake the Giants, 8–7. The game takes 2:43 minutes.

18th   Cleveland’s Stan Coveleski avenges his Friday defeat to the Yankees by shutting them out 5–0. The Indians split their 4 games in New York and leave still in first place.

The Phils cut the Cards, 1-0, behind Stengel. Casey triples, one of two hits off Jess Haines, and scores the only run on a wild throw by catcher Dilhoefer. George Smith is the winning pitcher.

Last-place Detroit topples the A’s, 8–2, behind Howard Ehmke. Harry Heilmann homers and Cobb triples, then swipes home in the 8th inning.

In Tokyo, the University of Chicago team beats Keio University, 1–0, in 10 innings.

19th In Chicago, the Giants beat the Cubs 8–6 in 12 innings but lose John McGraw for 5 days. McGraw’s game long hectoring of umpires Bill Klem and Charley Moran earns him a 5-day suspension. Christy Mathewson will “act as executor of the Giants’ personal estate” (NY Times) in McGraw’s absence.

The host Cardinals bunch their hits and defeat the Phillies, 8–2. The Birds score five in the 5th with the big blow a sacks-full triple by Rogers Hornsby. Bill Doak is the winner over Causey.

20th  The Phils hit the cellar, having fallen from first in 17 days. They lose 6–4 to the Cards with the Bert Gallia, in his first NL start after coming from the Browns, taking the loss. Willie Sherdel, the 3rd St. Louis pitcher, allows no base runners. With the season all but over, Phils manager Gavvy Cravath will start fast-working pitcher Lee Meadows every Saturday at home, so Cravath can get an early start to his weekend cottage.

Requested by Cubs officials, policemen disguised as soldiers, farmers, and bootblacks raid the Cubs bleachers and arrest 24 fans for gambling. Meanwhile, Grover Alexander tops the Giants, 4–2, for his 8th straight win.

With the White Sox and Washington tied 3–3 at the end of 14, both teams score twice in the 15th. Chicago then piles on with 8 runs in the 16th on a double, 2 triples, 2 singles and 4 errors to beat Walter Johnson. The 8 runs is a ML record for the 16th.

Infielder Chick Fewster reports to the Yankees. Fewster was beaned in spring training and spent a month in a Baltimore hospital.

The Reds beat the Robins, 7–0, behind Ruether’s six hitter. Brooklyn first sacker Ed Konetchy has half the hit total with a single, double, and triple, while Reds Jake Daubert makes 4 hits. It’s not a complete loss for Brooklyn as manager Wilbert Robinson announces that he has persuaded Tommy Griffith to rejoin the team immediately. The right fielder retired after the 1919 season and has been working as bond salesman in Cincinnati.

22nd At Philadelphia, the Cubs outslug the Phils, 15–8. Renie Martin pitches the entire game for the Cubs, with both teams collecting 16 hits. Phils manager Gavvy Cravath lifts shortstop Dave Bancroft because of poor playing and the ensuing argument between the two almost comes to blows. Cy Williams has three hits, including a double a triple, and 4 runs scored.

The Cards edge the visiting Giants, 3-2, scoring twice in the 9th, once in the 10th and stopping New York with a spectacular triple play in the top of the 10th. With runners on 1B and 3B and no outs, RF Joe Schultz snags a low line drive and turns it into an 8-2-3 triple killing. It is the first extra inning triple play in the NL this century: the Cards will pull off another in three years.

23rd The Braves beat the Reds, 7–0, behind Jack Scott’s three-hitter. Boston chases Jimmy Ring in the 3rd inning and go on to tally 12 hits.

After a week in bed with illness, Babe Ruth returns to belt a two run homer in the 6th, off Carl Weilman, to give the Yankees a 3–2 win over the visiting Browns. Baby Doll Jacobson’s two run homer in the 4th is the only Browns scoring off Bob Shawkey.

25th  At the Polo Grounds, the Yanks top the Tigers 4–3 with Babe Ruth’s 2 run HR providing the margin. It’s the Babe’s 8th HR of the year, breaking a tie for the AL lead with Chicago’s Happy Felsch.

Athletics rookie Roy Moore stops the White Sox, 5–1, and drives in 3 runs. Two of the runs come in on a homer, while Frank Walker adds his 6thhomer of the year. This is Moore’s only victory of the year as he loses his next 13 to end at 1–13.

The Reds Rube Bressler makes his first start of season, pitching 2 innings. He singles in the Reds 5-run 2nd, then snaps his ankle sliding into 2B. Dolf Luque takes the mound and coasts to an 11–2 win over the visiting Braves.

26th The Senators knock the Indians out of first place, winning 13–9. Tom Zachary is the winner with Walter Johnson pitching four innings of relief. Joe Judge has 5 singles in five at bats for the Nats, his 2nd 5-for-5 day this month.

27th  Maybe he shoulda spit. At Fenway Park, New York’s Bob Shawkey walks in a run in the 4th inning and yells at the umpire George Hildebrand (credited by some historians with inventing the spitball). When play resumes, Shawkey takes 5 minutes to tie his shoe on the mound. Then after a called 3rd strike on Harry Hooper, he doffs his cap and bows low to the ump. As Shawkey walks past Hildebrand, the ump informs him he’s out of the game: Shawkey’s response is to swing at the ump and Hildebrand then bangs him with his mask. Mays replaces Shawkey and gives up no runs to insure the Yankees’ 6–1 win. Shawkey draws a one week suspension and a $200 fine for his theatrics. Additional theatrics are provided by Babe Ruth who clubs homers off Harry Harper and Benn Karr. Ruth has now belted four homers in three days, the first 20th century slugger to do so (Ed Williamson is the other slugger, in 1884): He’ll hit his 11th, in tomorrow’s double win over the Hubmen.

At the Polo Grounds, the Braves defeat the Giants twice, 5–2 and 5–0. Rudolph and Scott are the winning pitchers, while Winters, with 3 2/3 innings in game 1, and Barnes are the losers. Winters hits Les Mann twice with pitches and when Barnes plunks him on the elbow in game 2, Mann is forced to leave. The two teams combine for 45 (Braves 26) runners left on base, considered a record at the time.

The train car carrying the Phillies uniforms and equipment is left in Albany, and the Quakers borrow the road uniforms, bats, and shoes of the host Dodgers and win, 5–4, in 11 innings. George Smith goes all the way to pick up the victory.

Composer Louis Hirsch sues the Yankees for $100,000 because of an incident at the Yankee game at the Polo Grounds on the 24th. To avoid sitting next to a cigar smoker, Hirsch switched seats with his brother. An usher informed him it was against the rules to shift seats, and ordered the two brothers to switch back. Hirsch refused and was forcibly ejected from the stands.

28th The Senators edge the host A’s, 6–4, behind Clyde Milan’s 5 singles in 5 at bats. Eric Erickson is the CG winner.

The Boston Braves sell P Mule Watson (5-4) to Pittsburgh. Mule will make 5 appearances for the Pirates, who ship him back to Boston on June 30, and he’ll not appear the rest of the year.

At Brooklyn, left fielder Eddie Eayrs cracks his lone ML homer, a 3-run shot in the 9th off Jeff Pfeffer, as the Braves down the Dodgers, 6-3. Dana Fillingim is the winning pitcher and drives in 2 runs.

29th The Senators take two from the A’s, winning 11–5 and 5–0. In game 1, Washington has 19 hits and 3 stolen bases, but 6 runners are caught on attempted steals. This ties the AL-record of 6 caught stealing set by St. Louis on May 12, 1915 and the White Sox on June 18, 1915, both, yes, against the A’s. In game 2, Walter Johnson plunks the first two batters, then easily beats the gun-shy Philadelphia lineup to win 5–0. Val Picinich has a homer, off Roy Moore, in the Nats’ 4-run 4th.

The first-place Cubs make it 6 straight wins, beating the Cards 8–5, in a game in which base stealing determines the outcome. For Chicago, a double steal by Hollocher and Paskert helps, while the Cards drive Claude Hendrix from the mound in the 8th inning, then end the rally when Doc Lavan swipes third base, already occupied by teammate Jack Fournier.

In the first of two at Dunn Field, the White Sox score 5 runs in the top of the 9th to edge the Indians, 8-7. Cleveland connects for 12 hits, including 10 doubles (as noted by Retrosheet). The first-place Indians take game 2, 8-1, using a 5-run 2nd inning to take the lead. Ray Chapman has a single, double and homer to drive in 3 runs.

The A’s sell RF George Burns to Cleveland for $10,000.

30th George Kelly knocks in six runs and Casey Stengel homers as the Giants down the Phillies, 10-6.

31st  With 2 runners on, pitcher Pete Alexander hits a dramatic game-ending homer in the bottom of the 10th to win his own game 3–2 against the Reds in Chicago. It is his 11th straight victory. The Reds take the afternoon match, 4–2, behind Jimmy Ring. Charlie Deal has a solo HR for the Cubs.

At the Polo Grounds, the Yankees outslug Washington, winning 7–6 in the morning game and 10–7 in the afternoon match. New York wins the opener with three runs in the 9th to pin the loss on reliever Al Schacht. George Mogridge is the winner. New York scores 5 in the 6th when Duff Lewis and Truck Hannah hit back-to-back homers, and the Yanks get a single and two triples to knock out Shaw. In the afternoon game before 38,000 fans, Walter Johnson pitches 4 2/3 innings of ineffective relief for the Nats and gives up a tremendous HR by Ruth in the 8th that hits the facade on the upper deck in right field. It is his 12th homer in May, a new record for the month. A bright spot for Washington is Braggo Roth, who swipes four bases, including 2B and 3B in the 4th inning, then swiping home on the front end of a double steal. Peckinpaugh has four hits in game 2, including a pair of doubles and a triple.

The Dodgers capture both ends of the holiday twinbill against the Giants, and climb into a first-place tie with the Cubs. Burleigh Grimes wins the opener, 5–2, and is 3-for-3 at bat. Al Mamaux takes the nitecap, 5–1, leading the way with a pair of hits.