1943 May

2nd Phillies pitcher Schoolboy Rowe pinch hits with the bases loaded in the 6th inning and cracks a grand slam off Braves righty Al Javery to break a tie. The Phils win, 6–5, but it takes them 12 innings. For Rowe, it is his 2nd grand slam—he hit one in 1939 while with Detroit—and he is the only pitcher to hit a grand slam in each league. He’ll finish the 1943 season with a .306 average as a pinch hitter.

Behind the strong pitching of Wally Hebert and Bob Klinger, the Pirates twice shut out the Cubs, winning 3–0 and 1–0. In the second game, Cubs hurlers Dick “Kewpie” Barrett and Lon Warneke combine on a hardluck one-hit loss: Vince DiMaggio’s hit in the 4th is the only safety. Barrett, 35 and making his NL debut, can’t blame it on the new cement ball; 1942 baseballs are used.

4th Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick demonstrates the revised “balata ball” to reporters by bouncing it on his office carpet. This ball will prove to be 50 percent livelier than the 1942 one. When introduced in games on May 9th, 6 HRs will be hit in 4 doubleheaders compared with 9 HRs hit with the previous ball in the first 72 games.

5th In the nitecap, a 5–2 win against the Indians, Chicago’s Wally Moses steals home. It is Wally’s second steal of home in extra innings, tying Tony Lazzeri’s mark. Cleveland wins the opener, 2–1.

7th At Comiskey Park, a paid crowd of 513 plus 260 ladies see their White Sox edge the Tigers, 1-0, in 10 innings. Johnny Humphries, the winning pitcher, scores the winning run on Luke Appling’s double.

At Philadelphia, new Philly Jimmy Wasdell has 6 RBIs on a homer, triple and single to pace the Phils to a 13-3 win over the Giants.

8th The major leagues introduce a new baseball that is supposed to be 10% livelier than the 1942 “cement” ball, and livelier than the balata ball introduced in 1943. It was not tested against 1939 baseballs as none are available.

9th The Yankees take game 1 from the A’s with a 13-1 mashing behind Spud Chandler (3-0). Chandler contributes a three-run inside-the-park homer in the first inning. Roy Weatherly is 5-for-5 with a triple and homer. His homer is followed by another from Charlie Keller. The A’s rebound to win game 2, 4–3, holding Weatherly hitless.

First place Brooklyn splits a pair with the Braves in Boston. The Dodgers take the opener, 5–4 in 10 innings behind the relief pitching of Bobo Newsom. The Braves come back to win game 2, 2–1 behind knuckleballer Jim Tobin. The NL will not play again until May 13.

The AP reports that the new lively balata ball, introduced on May 8 in the NL and used today in the AL, is a success resulting in six homers hit in the four AL doubleheaders.

14th The Detroit Tigers play their 4th straight extra-inning game, and their 5th in six games, losing to the A’s, 7–6, in 12 innings. The score snaps the Tigers’ ML record of 17 straight games to start a season without scoring more than 5 runs or having more than 5 scored on them. The record will hold until 2012.

The only Class E league in minor league history—the Twin Ports League—qualifies for play. It is a semi-pro industrial league located in the northern Minnesota mining area.

16th The Braves sweep a pair from the Reds, winning 3-1 and 6-1. Red Barrett scatters 4 hits in game 1 for the victory, while Jim Tobin is the victor in game 2. Phil Masi has a grand slam for the Braves.

20th With Charley Fuchs and Al Gerheauser pitching, the Phillies whitewash the Cubs, 3–0 and 2–0.

21st At Griffith Stadium, the Chicago White Sox top the Washington Senators, 1–0, in 1 hour, 29 minutes, the quickest night game in AL history.

24th After his release from the Braves, Lefty Gomez signs with the Senators. He will pitch in only one game, which he loses, then retire.

27th In a 3–2 loss to the Tigers, the Yankees Johnny Allen, incensed over a balk call, attacks umpire George Barr and is suspended for 30 days and fined $200. On May 21st, Frank Crosetti made his first start after serving a 30-day suspension for umpire pushing. This occurred in the 3rd game of the World Series when Crosetti pushed Bill Summers.

30th The Cubs play 32 games before hitting a home run, but today Bill Nicholson hits the two Cubs blasts of the year. both two-run homers, against the Braves’ Al Javery. His first homer, in the 4thinning, comes in the club’s 1,120th at bat of the season. The Cubs win, 5–1, with Paul Derringer the victor. The 2nd game is postponed.

The Red Sox are also having trouble hitting the major league’s balata ball, as Jim Tabor hits the first Sox homer at Fenway Park in a DH sweep of the Tigers. The Bosox win 3–0 behind Dick Newsome, and 5–1 behind Lou Lucier. In 33 games, the only other Boston homers are Leon Culberson’s dinger in Detroit on the May 23, and Bobby Doerr’s inside-the-park liner at Washington on May 15th.

The White Sox sweep a holiday doubleheader in Washington, winning 5-2 and 5-1. The starter and loser in game 2 is Lefty Gomez, in his only appearance not in a Yankee uniform.

31st Mort Cooper gives up a 7th inning hit to Billy Herman in stopping the Dodgers on a one-hitter 7–0. Herman’s fly ball loops down the foul line. The Dodgers, however, stop Lou Klein’s consecutive-game batting streak at 21. In game 2, Freddie Fitzsimmons outduels Harry Brecheen to give the Dodgers a 1-0 victory.

At Yankee Stadium, the White Sox take the first of two with the Yankees by scoring 5 runs in the top of the 9th for a 10-5 victory. New York responds with a 10-4 decision in game 2 as Joe Gordon smacks an 8th inning grand slam.

In a PCL game, Oakland’s Cotton Pippen stops Oakland, 10–0 with a 7-inning perfect game, the first in league history.