1938 May

1st In a West Texas-New Mexico League game at Lubbock, the home team edges Clovis 23-22 in 11 innings. The Hubbers score two runs in the 11thto win. The game lasts 3 hours: 30 minutes.

2nd  Pinky Higgins equals the 2-day-old ML mark for errors by a 3B, making 4 for Boston against Philadelphia. But Pinky knocks in 2 as the Sox route the A’s, 13–1, behind Johnny Marcum.

University of California All-American football star Sam Chapman signs with the Athletics for a $8,500 bonus.

The Giants announce that 2B Burgess Whitehead is out for the season following a nervous breakdown.

With Gehrig batting 6th and DiMaggio at the cleanup spot for the 2ndgame in a row, the Yankees edge the host Senators, 3–2. DiMag homers while Gehrig has a single.

The Indians score 10 runs in 4th inning and beat the Tigers, 11–3. Averill has the lone HR in the game.

3rd  Lefty Grove defeats the Tigers 4–3 in 10 innings for the first of a record 20 consecutive victories at his home field, Fenway Park in Boston. He will not lose there until May 12, 1941.

4th At Washington, the Indians and Senators match zeroes for 12 innings before the Zeke Bonura scores in the bottom of the 13th to win, 1–0. Dutch Leonard goes all the way for Washington and walks none while allowing 6 hits. Feller pitches the first 10 innings for the Tribe.

5th  Hal Kelleher of the Phillies faces 16 batters in the 8th inning, as the Cubs score 12 runs. Both marks are NL records off one hurler in a single inning. The Cubs win 21–2 with Joe Marty tallying 4 runs, 4 RBI, and 4 hits and Augie Galan adding a homer and triple and another 4 ribbies. The loss goes to Wayne LeMaster who throws just 3 pitches to leadoff batter Stan Hack before leaving the game with a pain in his throwing arm. Tommy Reis relieved and allows 4 runs to score, but the first is charged to LeMaster. Al Epperly wins the laugher.

In what is called the first fight at Fenway in 18 years (since May 27, 1920) takes place in the 5th inning when Boston’s Ben Chapman takes exception to a 3rd strike call on him by umpire Joe Rue. Detroit catcher Birdie Tebbetts starts taunting the hot-headed Chapman and quickly the two of them start fighting. Both are ejected, fined $25 and receive 3-game suspensions. The Sox score 4 in the fiery 5th but the Tigers win, 7-5.

The Senators use a six-run 5th to down the visiting Indians, 8-6. Veteran John Stone has a grand slam off Mel Harder in the big inning.

6th  OF Bob Seeds of the Newark Bears (IL) hits 4 HRs in 4 successive innings and drives in 12 runs against Buffalo. Tomorrow he will slam 3 more. His 7 HRs in the 2–day barrage account for 17 RBIs and 30 total bases. In his first 59 games, Seeds will clout 28 HRs and drive in 95 runs. His reward? The Yanks decide he won’t break into their lineup and will sell him to the Giants for $40,000 on June 24th.

7th  The Cubs swat the visiting Bees, 5-4, in 10 innings, pinning the loss on starter Jim Turner. Vince DiMaggio is handed the golden sombrero, striking out 4 times for the second time in his career. He’ll wear it again in two weeks.

9th At Boston, Jimmie Foxx drives in 5 runs on a pair of homers to pace the Red Sox to a 15–3 drubbing of Cleveland. Jim Bagby is the winner.

10th In a West Texas-New Mexico League game at Wink, W. M. Roberts of Wink gives the Spudders a 7-0 win over Big Spring, TX. Roberts strikes out 19 Baron batters and walks none, allowing 2 hits. The Wink franchise will disband following the season.

12th Cleveland manages jut 4 hits off New York’s Lefty Gomez but they win, 3–2, behind Bob Feller’s 5 hitter. Gehrig drives in both runs on a 2-run HR.

13th At the opener of the Negro American League season, the Atlanta Black Crackers host the Birmingham Black Barons, beating the Barons, 2-0, behind the pitching of Bullet Dixon (as noted by Christopher Hauser). The rest of the NAL teams will open May 15, with the Negro National League opening tomorrow.

14th After a 7–6 ten-inning loss to the Cardinals, the Reds file a protest regarding a disputed hit by the Reds Dusty Cooke. Cooke hit a ball that bounced off the part of the RF pavilion at Sportsman’s Park that juts out over the playing field. The ball bounced back in play and Cooke reached 3B. Reds manager Bill McKechnie contends it should be a HR, stating that if it had been hit lower it would miss the pavilion and been a homer. On June 3, Ford Frick rules the game should be replayed as part of a August 20 twinbill. The Reds will win the first game, 4–2, then lose the nitecap, 5–4.

In a battle for first place in the AL, the Red Sox down the Senators, 10-9, in 11 innings at Fenway. Al Simmons has a 5th inning grand slam for Washington.

At Brooklyn, rookie knuckler Tot Pressnell tosses a four-hitter and beats the Braves, 10-2. Debs Garms has three of the Boston hits.

The Baltimore Elite Giants open the Negro National League season with a resounding 17-9 thrashing of the Philadelphia Stars. Two new NNL teams, the Washington Black Senators and Buffalo have at each other in a cold and rainy Griffith Stadium. Washington emerges with the majority vote, 11-9. (historian Christopher Hauser notes that Buffalo was an associate member in the league. Dick Clark & Larry Lester’s Negro Leagues Book does not list them).

16th  Detroit beat the visiting Senators, 13-7, as Rudy York hits a grand slam for the Bengals, connecting in the 6th off Joe Kohlman.

17th  Pittsburgh’s Russ Bauers pitches a one-hitter against Boston, only to lose, 1–0, on an errant throw. Elbie Fletcher walks in the first and goes to 3B when Deb Garms singles, the only hit off Bauers. The throw from CF Lloyd Waner hits Fletcher in the back and caroms into the players’ runway, allowing Fletcher to score. Milt Shofner allows just three hits in the win.

In the day’s second one-hitter in the NL, the Cards’ Bill McGee allows a 6th-inning single by Brooklyn’s Goody Rosen, who scores on a three-base error by Joe Medwick. McGee tops Luke Hamlin, 2-1.

18th  After Bobo Newsom equals the AL record with 6 consecutive strikeouts, Joe DiMaggio hits his 2nd HR of the game, both off Bobo, and Newsom and the Browns lose to New York 11–7. DiMag drives in 5 runs and WP Lefty Gomez knocks in 3. Gehrig has 3 hits, including a pair of doubles

At Detroit, Wes Ferrell pitches and bats the Senators to a 5–1 win. Ferrell hits a solo homer, while his batterymate, brother Rick, goes hitless.

19th Cubs pitcher Bill Lee shuts out the Giants on 5 hits to win, 1–0, in 10 innings. Lee scores the winning run to beat starter Harry Gumbert.

Jeff Heath hits a 7th-inning grand slam to lead the Indians to a 15-3 win over the visiting Senators.

20th With everyone contributing, the Red Sox unload 22 hits to whip the host Browns, 16-2. Lefty Grove (7-0) wins the laugher and chips in with three singles and 4 RBIs. The Sox stay a game in back of Cleveland.

21st  The power-laden Yankees give little support to P Spud Chandler, but he hits a HR in the 8th to gain a 1–0 victory over Thornton Lee and the White Sox. Spud will hit 8 more homers as a Yankee.

22nd  The Dodgers announce contracts to install lights at Ebbets Field. The first night game will be played there on June 15th.

At the Polo Grounds, the Giants score 3 in the 1st, 4 in the 3rd, 5 in the 5thand 6 in the 7th to swamp the Pirates, 18-2. Harry Danning has a grand slam in the barrage.

In Detroit, Rudy York’s first inning grand slam, off Jack Wilson, provides all the Tiger scoring as Boots Poffenberger beats the Red Sox, 4-3. It is York’s second grand slam in a week.

Chicago P Ted Lyons tops the host Senators, 9–2, for his 200th win.

23rd The Cubs Bill Lee tops the Braves, 4–1, as the Braves score their only tally in the 4th when pitcher Lou Fette drives in the run. This is the only run that Lee will allow in 47 straight innings going back to the 19th, when he tossed a shutout. He will shut out Pirates, 5–0, on May 27, the Reds, 3–0 on May 30, and the Braves, 4–0, on June 3.

24th At Ebbets Field, Augie Galan hits a grand slam in the five-run 4th, off Van Lingle Mungo, as the 2nd-place Cubs top the Dodgers, 10-4.

25th The Tigers use the long ball to defeat the Yankees, 7–3, at Detroit. Rudy York and Hank Greenberg hit back-to-back homers twice in the game.

26th At St. Louis, the Senators score two runs in both the 8th and 9thinnings to edge the Browns, 12-10. Taffy Wright hits a grand slam in the Nats 6-run 6th.

27th Detroit’s Hank Greenberg hammers a Frank Gabler pitch into the centerfield seats at Comiskey Park, the first slugger to reach the bleachers there. The Tigers win, 5–2, behind Kennedy’s 6-hitter.

28th Carl Hubbell allows just a walk and a single to Tuck Stainback and the Giants pile on the Phillies, 11–0.

30th  The largest crowd in Yankee Stadium history, 83,533, sees Red Ruffing end Lefty Grove’s 8-game winning streak in a 10–0 victory over the Red Sox. Six thousand fans are turned away, and 511 are given refunds because there is no place to sit. The Yankees also took the 2ndgame of the doubleheader, 5–4, in a game made famous for a fight between Yankee OF Jake Powell and Boston player-manager Joe Cronin. The brawl starts when Boston P Archie McKain hits Powell with a pitch in the stomach. Powell’s charge to the mound is intercepted by Cronin and the two pummel each other for 2-3 minutes. Cronin and Powell are ejected but continue the fight in the area beneath the stands, until they are separated by Yankee players. Both players are fined and suspended for 10 days.

In Philadelphia, the Senators and A’s split a pair with the Nats taking the opener, 9-4, and the Elephants winning the nightcap, 9-1. A’s workhorse George Caster is the winner in game 2. Rookie Sam Chapman, an all-American football player at Cal who jumped directly to the majors, clubs his first homer in game 1, off Monte Weaver.

In Boston, the Bees sweep a pair from the Giants, winning 1-0 and 6-0. Danny MacFayden wins the opener on a 3-hitter, outpointing Hal Schumacher. Jim Turner is the victor in game 2.

Rudy York hits his 3rd grand slam of the month, as the Tigers beat the Browns 10–9 in the first game of a holiday pair. York will slam 5 this year.

31st  At New York, Jimmie Foxx hits a grand slam, off Yankee P Joe Beggs, the first of three he’ll hit off Beggs this season, but the Yanks prevail, 12–5. Lou Gehrig plays his 2,000th consecutive game and has an RBI single.