1941 May

1st Reds P Bucky Walters stops the Dodgers, 2–1 in 11 innings. The Dodgers load the bases in the 11th, but Durocher and Babe Phelps strike out to end the game. Curt Davis takes the loss.

At Sportsman’s Park, the Yankees unload 17 hits to down the Browns, 14-5. Charlie Keller drives in 7 runs with a triple and homerun. Tiny Bonham coasts to his third win.

Cecil Travis raises his average to .571 with a homer and 2 doubles to pace the Senators to a 7-0 win over the White Sox. Dutch Leonard twirls the shutout.

In Cleveland, Indian Bob Johnson hits a 9th inning grand slam for the A’s, but it only makes the score more respectable, as the Cleveland Indians prevail, 13-8.

3rd Hank Gornicki of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches a one-hitter in his big-league debut, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 6–0. Stan Benjamin’s single is the lone hit. It is the Cards’ 8th straight win.

4th The Indians win their 10th in a row, 12–4, over Washington. Al Smith is the winner.

In St. Louis, Lefty Grove wins his 294th victory, 11–4, over the Browns. The Red Sox back Lefty with 15 hits.

In Detroit, the Tigers jump on Yankee rookie George Washburn, in his lone ML appearance, to win, 10-1. Billy Sullivan and Rudy York homer and Bobo Newsom has a hit and 2 RBI to help his cause. Bobo’s lone mistake is a pitch to Charlie Keller that Kong drives 450 feet off the CF screen for an inside-the-park homer.

5th Bobo Newsom and the Tigers trounce the Yankees 10–1 in Detroit. Joe DiMaggio is held hitless and has gone 7-for-43 in his last 12 games.

In what will prove to be a controversial transaction, the Tigers purchase the fine-hitting Rip Radcliff from the Browns for $25,000. The sale violates a rule pushed through at the AL meetings in December 1939 when seven of the eight teams voted in a rule that a defending champion could not make a transaction within the league in the following year (as noted by Lyle Spatz). The Yankees were the lone holdout. With the Tigers being the defending champions in 1941, the sale initiates strong criticism from the other AL franchises. The rule is looked upon as unworkable and, led by Clark Griffith’s efforts, is soon abolished.

6th The Dodgers snag veteran 2B Billy Herman from the Cubs for OF Charlie Gilbert, IF Johnny Hudson, and $65,000. Herman, the premier 2B in the league, is hitting just .194, but will replace the journeyman Pete Coscarart. In his first game as a Dodger, Herman is 4-for-4 to lead Brooklyn to a 7–3 win over visiting Pittsburgh. Dixie Walker contributes a grand slam in the 6th, off Rip Sewell.

The newly renamed Braves beat the Cards, 5–4, to snap the Redbirds 10-game win streak (12 on the road). All the runs come in the 5th and are unearned. It’s the Cards first loss away from St. Louis since losing in spring training March 29th. Since then they’d won 25 straight—exhibition and regular—away from home.

Playing in his last game before induction into the Army tomorrow, Hank Greenberg hits 2 HRs to lead Detroit to a 7–4 win over the Yankees. Each time he teams with Bruce Campbell to go back-to-back, the 2nd time in his career he’s done it. Rudy York and he teamed up. A few days later OF Joe Gallagher of the Dodgers is drafted. No other regular ML player will be drafted during the season, but several others on training rosters will, as contemporary writers phrase it, “join the colors.”

7th At Philadelphia, Cubs pitcher Bill Lee cracks a pair of homers while pitching Chicago to an 11–2 win over the Phils. Bill Crouch takes the loss.

At the Polo Grounds, Reds SS Eddie Joost accepts a record 19 chances as Cincinnati edges New York, 1–0. In addition to his 10 assists and 9 putouts, Joost has a throwing error and the game’s only stolen base. Ernie Lombardi’s homer accounts for the only run as Bucky Walters is the winner over Prince Hal Schumacher in a battle of veterans. Both pitchers keep the ball down and each outfield accounts for a single fly out, tying the ML mark for fewest chances by 2 teams: the two infields make a NL record 46 putouts as both combine for a record 78 assists.

The Pirates send veteran Lloyd Waner to the Braves, where he will be reunited with his brother, in exchange for P Nick Strincevich. Waner will play just a month in Boston before being swapped to the Reds for John Hutchings. Waner will play 77 games for 3 teams this year (April 24—Sept. 16) and not strike out, a NL record.

11th At the Polo Grounds, the Giants down the Braves, 8-3, as Bill Jurges and Burgess Whitehead each drive in 3 runs. For the light-hitting Whitehead, it is his last homer: all 17 of his homers have been hit at the Polo Grounds.

12th Love that home cooking. At Boston, its Lefty against Lefty as Grove stops the Yankees Gomez, 6–4 for the southpaw’s 20th straight win at Fenway Park. It is his 295th career victory. Jimmie Foxx helps with a 2-run homer.

14th Browns hurlers walk 19 Athletics. Starter Bob Harris issues 8 of the passes, but the Browns win anyway 10–5.

At Fenway, the Red Sox score 7 runs in the 7th, 4 on a grand slam by Joe Cronin, to whip the White Sox, 10-7. Jimmie Foxx has a pair of homers for Boston.

The Cubs finally give up on Dizzy Dean. Diz gets his release the same day that brother Paul is sent to the minors by the Giants. Diz will sign on as a coach.

The Giants sell Ernie Koy to the Reds and send P Harry Gumbert to the Cardinals for P “Fiddler Bill” McGee. Gumbert will go 11–5 for the Cards in 1941 and pitch another 10 years.

15th Joe DiMaggio gets a single in 4 at bats against Ed Smith of the Chicago White Sox to start his 56-game hitting streak. Joe D’s hit goes unnoticed as the Yankees lose, 13–1. Taffy Wright homers and drives in 4 White Sox runs, the 8th straight game he’s driven in a run. After this game, the experiment with Joe Gordon at first base will end and Johnny Sturm takes over at 1B.

A single by Jimmie Bloodworth in the 7th is the only hit for the Senators as they lose to the Browns Denny Galehouse, 7–0.

Rip Radcliff, one of the top AL batters in 1940 for the Browns, is waived to the Tigers as a result of a sudden batting decline. The Browns also trade P Vern Kennedy to the Senators for vet Rick Ferrell. The Senators release vet P Danny MacFayden.

16th The Yankees bench Phil Rizzuto and Jerry Priddy, putting back Gordon at second and Crosetti at short. New York then rallies in the 9th to beat the White Sox, 5–4.

17th The city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania declare a legal holiday to honor the A’s manager on Connie Mack Day at Shibe Park on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his managerial tenure. Connie declines to agree to a name change for Shibe Park to Connie Mack Stadium, though a small black sign “Connie Mack Stadium” is put in place (as noted by Bruce Kuklich). George M. Cohan sings a new baseball song and then the Tigers put a damper on the day’s festivities with a 6–5 come-from-behind win. Frank Croucher has three hits, including a triple, for Detroit.

The Phils Johnny Podgajny outduels the Reds Bucky Walters to win, 2–1.

Myril Hoag’s clutch hitting paces the White Sox to a 3–2 win over the Yankees, as Chicago wins the rubber game in the 3-game series.

18th The Cards rally to beat the Phils, 6–5, but they lose rookie C Walker Cooper who fractures a scapula bone and dislocates a collarbone. Cooper is bowled over by Harry Marnie, who scores in the 5th.

19th Cubs pitcher Claude Passeau hits a grand slam off Hugh Casey as the Cubs score 9 runs in the 2nd inning. Chicago coasts to a 14–1 win at home. Brooklyn manager Durocher protests the game claiming the Cubs are over the 25-man limit, but the protest is tossed out. The Cubs will be fined $500 for the infraction. Brooklyn also protests that the mound is several inches over the 15 inch height allowed: at the suggestion of the umps, Casey pitches from several inches in front of the rubber, but it doesn’t help.

20th OF Taft Wright of the Chicago White Sox doubles to drive in a run and sets an AL record by driving in at least one run in 13 consecutive games. Wright has 22 RBI in the streak, although in 6 of the games he knocked in a run without a hit.

With the Phils down 4–0, the Phils George Jumonville hits a pinch homer, his only HR in the majors, and the Phils come back to top the Cards in 11 innings, 6–4. It is Jumonville’s last ML at bat.

At Crosley Field, the Reds score 6 runs in the 9th to defeat the Braves, 9–6. Frank McCormick finishes the scoring with a 3-run homer.

21st At Wrigley, Bill Nicholson snaps a 2-2 tie with a 5th inning grand slam, off Frank Hoerst, and the Cubs roll to a 7-2 win over the Phillies.

In Washington, Bob Feller allows 4 hits in 11 innings and the Indians score 4 in the top of the 11th to win, 4-0. Feller strikes out 4 times at the plate.

22nd A smart play by the Reds Lonny Frey helps Cincy to a 6–4 win over the Giants. With one out and the sacks full in the 1st, Chuck Aleno hits a DP grounder to short. Frey, running from 2B, allows the ball to hit him for an out, stopping play and putting Aleno on 1B. Ernie Lombardi then hits a grand slam. Frank McCormick adds a 2-run HR in the 3rd.

24th Selma Cloverleaf (Southeastern L) pitcher Hal Toenes relieves in the top of the ninth inning against the Jackson Mississipians with a runner on 1B and 2 out (as noted by historian Bill Hickman). Without throwing a pitch, he picks the runner off 1B. Selma, 4 runs down, scores 6 runs to give Toenes the pitchless win. Toenes will later have a cup of coffee with the Washington Senators.

The Boston Braves sign veteran Paul Waner, released by the Dodgers two weeks ago.

25th Going 4-for-5, Ted Williams raises his batting average over .400 for the first time during the season as the Red Sox trounce the Yankees, 10-3, at the Stadium. Lou Finney and Dom DiMaggio score 3 times for the Sox. Williams’ run to be the first since Bill Terry in 1930 to exceed the magic number will be marked in newspapers throughout the season, although it will often give way to the batting streak by Joe DiMaggio. DiMag singles today, off Boston’s Lefty Grove. Grove thus joins two of baseball’s most famous streaks—Joe’s current hitting streak and Ruth’s 60 homers in 1927. Lefty served up a gopher on September 27, 1927. Lefty also strikes out 4 times today.

Pete Reiser hits his only career grand slam to pace the Dodgers to an 8–4 win over the Phils. Reiser’s HR comes off Ike Pearson, who had beaned him just a month earlier.

At Braves Field, Johnny Rucker has 4 hits, including a triple, and Babe Young clouts a 2-run homer as the Giants whip the Braves, 6-2. The Steadman murder trial jury is in the stands for the game.

The first-place Indians beat the Browns, 6-0, behind Bob Feller (9-2). Jeff Heath is a double shy of the cycle for the Tribe.

27th At the Polo Grounds the score 1–1 between the Giants and Braves when umpire Jocko Conlan calls time at the end of the 7th. The crowd and the two teams then listens for 45 minutes while President Roosevelt’s radio message about the war in Europe is heard on the loudspeakers. When play resumes, the Braves lift Jim Tobin for Manny Salvo, while the Giants take out starter Hal Schumacher, replacing him with Carl Hubbell. Hubbell’s single wins it for New York, 2–1, in the 9th.

At Crosley Field, Max Butcher allows 12 hits but chops up the Reds to give Pittsburgh a 7-4 win. Vince DiMaggio clouts a 3-run homer in the 3rd and wins himself a suit of clothes by hitting a beer sign atop a laundry outside left field.

Detroit’s Bruce Campbell, who won the game yesterday with an RBI-double, hits two homers over his ex-mates as the Tigers trim the Indians, 9-6. Campbell’s second homer is a 3-run homer in the 7th.

Joe Grace is a double shy of the cycle as he drives in 3 runs in the Browns 5-2 win over the White Sox. For the Pale Hose, Luke Appling hits his first homer, off Bob Muncrief, since 1937.

Joe DiMaggio is 4-for-5 with three runs and three ribbies to pace the Yankees to a 10–8 win over the Senators.

At Fenway, the Red Sox and A’s split a pair, with the Sox taking game 1, 5-2. The A’s take the second match, 11-1, as the two outfields tie an AL record by making 18 putouts.

28th The New York Yankees edge the Washington Senators, 6–5, before 25,000 in the first night game at Griffith Stadium. Walter Johnson tosses out the first pitch, throwing a fast ball through a beam of light to trigger the stadium lights. The daytime temperature is a record 97 degrees and it is still muggy at game time. The Yanks, down 3-1 to start the 8th, rally as DiMaggio triples in his last at bat against Sid Hudson. The next three batters reach base and George Selkirk twinkles with a grand slam off Hudson. New York wins, 5-4, sending Washington to its 10th straight loss.

After blowing a 6-1 lead, the A’s rally to beat the Red Sox, 8-6. The crowd at Fenway is 1,400, the smallest of the season.

29th The Cards nip the Reds 10–9 for their 10th straight win. The last five are one-run victories. The Reds almost pull the game out, scoring 3 in the 9th, but Marty Marion snags an Ernie Lombardi line drive and doubles up Ernie Koy at 2B.

Ted Williams is 3-for-5 and scores a pair in the Red Sox 6-4 win over the A’s. Ted will score 2 or more runs for the next 7 games giving him 8 in a row.

Despite scoring 5 runs in the top of the 6th, the Yanks and Senators tie 2-2 in a game called after 5 innings. DiMaggio has a hit and a strikeout, just his 3rd this year.

Bill Dietrich of the White Sox twirls a one-hitter in beating the Browns, 4-0. Chet Laabs 4th-inning single is the only St. Louis safety. Dietrich threw a no-hitter against the Browns in 1937.

Break out the rocking chairs. At the Polo Grounds, 41-year-old Gabby Hartnett is 4-for-4 with a homer to pace the Giants to a 9-2 win over the Braves. Young Bob Carpenter is the winner. The Braves end the game with Johnny Cooney in CF, Lloyd Waner in LF and Paul Waner in RF; their combined age is 113 years.

30th With Brooklyn 3 games in back of the Cards, 59,487 jam the Polo Grounds to watch the Dodgers and Giants. Whitlow Wyatt shuts out the Giants to win the opener, and Brooklyn overcomes a 2–1 deficit in the nitecap to score 5 runs in the 9th and win 6–2.

The Red Sox and Yanks split, New York winning the opener by scoring three unearned runs in the 9th, and Boston trouncing New York in the nitecap, 13–0. Mickey Harris allows just two hits and the Sox cap it off with a triple steal in the 5th inning. The Sox add another steal in the frame. With Dom DiMaggio at the plate, Skeeter Newsome, who earlier had stolen 2B, scores on the front end of the trifecta, with Frankie Pylack taking 3B and Harris stealing 2B. Williams laces 6 hits in the doubleheader, while Joe DiMaggio hits in both games to run his streak to 16. It is not a good day for the DiMag, suffering from a cold, as he commits an error in the opener and 3 more in the nitecap, two on overthrows of home.

You win some, you lose some. Rip Sewell loses game 1 of the Cubs-Pirates twinbill, allowing 6 runs in 5 innings as Chicago wins, 7-6. Sewell comes back in game 2 with 3 scoreless innings in relief to win, 5-4.

The Cards run their win streak to 11 in a row by defeating the Reds, 4–1, in the opener. The Reds win game 2 by a 3–2 score.

31st Behind Johnny Vander Meer, the Reds stop the Cardinals, 5-2, as rookie Chuck Aleno, who debuted on May 15, runs his consecutive game-hitting streak to 17, the ML record to start a career. The old record was 13, established by Dale Alexander in 1929. Juan Pierre will reach 16 in 2000. Aleno will end his war-years career with a .209 average.

Brooklyn tops the Giants, 5-2, as Hugh Casey wins his 4th of the year over New York.