1st For the first time Cleveland will play all its games at Municipal Stadium, abandoning League Park, where most weekday games have been played. New owner Bill Veeck installs an inner fence to cut power alleys from 435 to 365 feet. A more celebrated attempt to fuel HRs is at Pittsburgh where the 30-foot reduction of the LF wall is dubbed Greenberg Gardens, for the Pirates’ famous acquisition. Hank will hit only 25 HRs for the season, however, but sophomore Ralph Kiner will find the shortened distance more advantageous.
2nd Bob Feller fires his 2nd one-hitter in 10 days, stopping the Red Sox, 2–0, while striking out 10. Johnny Pesky has the only safety. Joe Gordon’s homer off Ferriss is the only run Feller needs.
Ken Myers of the Las Vegas Wranglers (Class C Sunset League) connects for two grand slams in the 3rd inning against Ontario. Pitcher Ned Klingensmith adds a 3rd slam in the inning as the Wranglers score 16 runs. Las Vegas hits 10 homers in the game to win, 30–5.
3rd At Cleveland, the Indians triple the Red Sox, winning 9-3. Joe Gordon has a grand slam for the Tribe.
The Cards trade Harry Walker to the Phillies for OF Ron Northey. Although batting only .200 with the Cards, Walker will hit .371 for the Phils in 130 games to finish the season with a league-leading .363 batting average. He will join his brother Dixie, who won the NL batting title in 1944, as the only set of brothers to win hitting titles.
The Dodgers ship pitchers Hank Behrman, Cal McLish and Kirby Higbe, and minor leaguers Gene Mauch and C Dixie Howell to the Pirates for OF Al Gionfriddo and $100,000. Behrman, with no appearances for Brooklyn this year will go 0-2 before the Bucs send him back to Brooklyn on June 14.
4th At Comiskey Park, the White Sox twice edge the A’s, winning 8-7 and 1-0. Chicago scores 6 runs in the 8th of the opener, 4 coming from an unexpected source, a grand slam by light-hitting Jack Wallaesa. The unexpected comes in game 2 as well, a shutout by Orval Grove, his only whitewash of the year. The losing pitcher is Jesse Flores.
6th Suspended manager Leo Durocher and his wife Lorraine Day are in the stands as the Dodgers win 7–6 over the Cards on a Pee Wee Reese HR. Robinson has two singles. The Dodgers have now won 10 of 11 while the Cards have lost 10 of 11.
7th Portland (PCL) pitcher Jack Salveson pitches 20 innings in beating Sacramento, 1-0. Salveson throws 171 pitches, less than 9 an inning.
8th A movement among Cardinal players to protest its first meeting with Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers is aborted by a clubhouse talk from owner Sam Breadon. According to a story by writer Stanley Woodward, League president Ford Frick had warned the team that if a strike occurred, any player involved would be suspended. Cardinal manager Eddie Dyer denies there was any strike talk. The Cards win, 5–1, for their 2nd win in a row.
9th Heralded Giant rookie Clint Hartung makes his first pitching appearance and throws 6 shutout innings of relief against the Braves. He will start 20 games and compile his best season at 9-7. He will also play 7 games in the OF and bat .309 for the year. But the Braves win today, 6–2, behind Warren Spahn.
In his first game outside of New York City, Jackie Robinson has two hits and scores twice in the Dodgers 6–5 loss to the Phillies. After the game, the Dodgers give their young first baseman a vote of confidence by selling Howie Schultz, Robby’s back up, to the Phils for $50,000. Tomorrow, Branch Rickey announces he’s giving up his attempts to pry Johnny Mize away from the Giants.
The Pirates sell pitcher Ken Heintzelman, 33, to the Phillies.
10th At Cincinnati, Ewell Blackwell whips the Cubs, 5–1, to start a 16-game winning streak. He won’t lose until July 25.
Rookie Larry Jansen, who won 30 games in the PCL last year, makes his debut as a starter and scatters 6 hits to give the Giants a 2–1 win over the visiting Braves. Willard Marshall’s 2-run HR off Red Barrett is the New York scoring. Jansen will go 21–5 this year and lead the NL in winning percentage.
11th In front of 41,660 at Shibe Park—the largest crowd to date to watch a baseball game in Philadelphia—the Phils take two from Brooklyn to take three out of 4 in the series. The Jays win 7–3 and 5–4. In the first game, the Phils score all their runs in the 3rd and 4th to give knuckler Dutch Leonard his 5th win against a defeat, and his 2nd win in three days against the Bums. Del Ennis’s first homer of the year scores 3. Schoolboy Rowe, with relief help from Ken Heintzelman wins the nitecap. He also bangs a homer, and wins his 9th straight over two seasons. Harry Walker raises his average in a Phils uniform to .406 and “closes out the nitecap with one of the most spectacular catches of the season, a catch that would have made the immortal Dode Paskert of 30 years ago doff his hat.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The Cubs take over undisputed possession of first place sweeping a pair from the Reds, 6–3 and 4–3 in 10 innings. Bob Scheffing drives in 4 runs in the opener and Len Merullo’s double in the 10th wins the nitecap.
The Tigers Dizzy Trout and Virgil Trucks each toss a three-hit victory over the White Sox, winning 10–0 and 6–1. The losses drop the Sox out if a virtual tie for first down to 5th. George Kell has 3 hits, including a HR, and 4 runs in the opener, while Hoot Evers and Pat Mullin bang homers in game 2.
12th At Ebbets Field, Brooklyn snaps its losing streak, beating Boston, 8–3. Robinson has a hit and two stolen bases and is leading the NL in scoring with 20 runs.
13th Ted Williams hits 2 HRs to LF, the first to that pasture in his career at Fenway Park, as the Red Sox wallop the White Sox 19–6. Earlier in the day, Williams had promised a boy in the Malden hospital that he would hit a homer for him. Bobby Doerr cycles for the 2nd time in his career, the first Sox to do that, and has a double and single in the 9-run 8th to complete his cycle. Bill Zuber is the winner over Earl Harrist.
The Yankees pound the Browns 9–1 with Charlie Keller, DiMaggio, and Johnny Lindell combining for consecutive homers off starter Fred Sanford in the 6th inning.
At Crosley Field, 27,164 fans watch the Reds beat the Dodgers, 7–5. It is estimated that nearly 9,000 of the fans are black, attracted to the game because of Robinson. As fans head for the exits after the game, the organist plays Bye, Bye, Blackbird.
14th The Reds Ewell Blackwell whips the Dodgers, 2–0, handing Brooklyn its first shutout of the year. Jackie Robinson collects 2 of the Dodgers’ six hits to run his hitting streak to 11 games.
15th Behind Ralph Kiner’s two home runs, the Pirates beat the Dodgers, 7–3, handing Brooklyn its 8th loss in 9 games. Billy Cox also homers for the Pirates.
16th New York’s Johnny Mize scores a run in his 16th straight game, helping his team beat the Cubs 5–3. Mize, who will lead the NL in runs, eclipses the NL mark of Max Carey and Fred Lindstrom. Ted Kluszewski will better the league mark 7 years later.
At Fenway, Ted Williams smacks a 5th-inning grand slam to give the Red Sox an 11-0 lead over the Browns. Boston coasts to a 12-7 final.
The Dodgers beat the Pirates, 3–1, with Pee Wee Reese’s 2-run homer the big blow. Robinson is 2-for-4 with a stolen base.
17th A seagull flies over Fenway Park and pelts St. Louis Browns P Ellis Kinder with a 3-pound smelt, missing him by a gill. The unflappable Kinder holds on to top the Red Sox, 4–2, giving up 6 hits, including Eddie Pellagrini’s 3rd homer of the year. Mel Parnell gives up 3 runs in 4 innings for the loss.
In Philadelphia, Hoot Evers breaks up a scoreless duel between Hal Newhouser and rookie Joe Coleman by hitting a two-out two-run homer in the 9th inning. The A’s load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 9th, but score just one run.
The Dodgers outhit the Pirates 12 to 4, but the Bucs win, 4–0, behind Fritz Ostermueller. Hank Greenberg’s homer off Rube Melton in the first frame provides all the scoring until the 8th. Cookie Lavagetto has three hits, while Robinson, Furillo and Bruce Edwards collect a pair. The Dodgers have left 45 runners in five games, one reason they are 1–4 in that span.
The Yanks win a pair from the White Sox by 4–3 scores. Spec Shea wins the opener, collecting three hits a two runs scored. Joe DiMaggio’s homer in the bottom of the 9th, off Maltzberger, is the winner. Bill Dickey’s brother George has a pair of hits and a stolen base for the White Sox. In the nitecap, George McQuinn has three hits and scores the winning run in the 8th to break up the pitching duel between Spud Chandler and Chicago’s Ed Lopat.
18th At Chicago, the Dodgers and Jackie Robinson attract a crowd of 46,572—still a single game paid attendance record at Wrigley [the largest crowd—51,556-was on June 27, 1930, but only 19,748 paid. A May 31st doubleheader next year will attract 46,965 which Phil Lowry in Green Cathedrals lists as the biggest paid crowd. The New York Times confirms.] Brooklyn scores after 18 shutout innings and beats the Cubs, 4–2, extending the Cubs’ losses to 5 straight. Robinson goes 0-for-4 to stop his hitting streak at 14 games: he’ll start a 21-game streak on June 14. Joe Hatten is the winner while Cubs starter and loser Johnny Schmitz walks 8 and strikes out 9 before relief comes in.
Ewell Blackwell outpitches Mort Cooper to give the Reds a 2–1 win over the Braves. Red Barrett then outpitches Johnny Vander Meer, 3–1, to give the Braves a split for the day. Only a game and a half separate the first-place Braves from the 5th-place Pirates.
In St. Louis, the Cards drop a pair to Philadelphia, losing 6–3 and 1–0. Ken Raffensberger wins the nitecap for the Blue Jays with a brilliant complete-game shutout. Ken Heintzelman wins the opener for the Phils. Harry Walker is 5-for-10 in the two games, while Emil Verban (.337) knocks in the winning run in the 12th.
19th After 22 hitless at bats, Stan Musial sees his average drop to .140. Treated for appendicitis but avoiding surgery, Musial will not reach the .200 level until mid-June, just after the champion Cardinals get out of last place.
The Cubs drop the Dodgers, 8–7, and collar Robinson with another 0-for-4. Jackie grounds out in the 8th inning with 2 on.
20th Athletics C Buddy Rosar drops a pop-up off Walt Judnich’s bat for his first error in 147 games and 756 chances. Yogi Berra will extend the record to 148 and 950 in 1957-59, but Rosar’s 1946 single-season record of 115 games and 605 errorless chances will not be surpassed until 1997, by the Marlins’ (NL) Charles Johnson. The Browns win, 11–1, behind Red Muncrief.
22nd The Pirates beat the Braves, 4–3, as both teams combine for 22 hits—all singles. The Pirates have 12.
23rd The Yankees beat Boston, 9–0, as Allie Reynolds fires his 2ndtwo-hit shutout over the Red Sox in a month. Harry Dorish is the loser.
At Boston, John Mize hits his 7th career grand slam in New York’s 6-run 3rd inning to lead the Giants to an 8–1 win. The victory moves the Giants into 1st place ahead of the idle Cubs.
24th Matching the Chief’s game yesterday, Spud Chandler gives the Yankees a 5–0 win over Boston, allowing 2 hits.
At Brooklyn, Carl Furillo pinch-hits for LF Gene Hermanski—in the 1st inning—and clouts a 3-run homer to give the Brooks the lead over the Phillies. Skeeter Newsome’s 3rd career homer in 5 years ties the game in the 8th and the Phils win it in 10 innings, 4–3. Freddy Schmidt wins over Hugh Casey. Furillo’s pinch homer sets a ML record—it is the only pinch home run to come in the first inning. As noted by Lyle Spatz, Phils manager Ben Chapman starts righty Al Jurisch just to pitch to Brooklyn’s first two hitters: Reese and Robinson. Lefty Oscar Judd, warming up from the start, then comes in to pitch to the next three lefty hitters: Reiser, Walker, and Hermanski. Reiser and Walker bat and then Furillo hits for Hermanski, though he is not listed in the box score as a PH.
25th The Yankees edge into 3rd place ahead of the Red Sox, whipping Boston, 17–2. Ted Williams 2-run homer in the 9th off Floyd Bevans deprives the Yankees of 4 straight shutouts, George Stirnweiss scores 5 runs and King Kong Keller 4 runs in the 17 hit attack. Joe DiMaggio has 4 hits and 3 runs.
At Detroit, the Tigers and White Sox split two games with Detroit turning a close game 1 into a rout with 5 runs in the 7th and 3 in the 8th. George Kell has a grand slam in the 7th as Detroit prevails, 10-1. The Sox win game 2, 5-2.
Joe Medwick returns to the Cardinals after a 7-year absence. Signed just before the doubleheader, Medwick pinch-hits a double in the game to account for the only run in a 2–1 loss to the Reds. Ducky has lost his power from his St. Louis heyday, but he will hit .307 as PH and OF against lefthanders.
In the Giants 9–3 win over the Braves, Giant Buddy Kerr bungles a hard grounder from Bob Elliott for his first error in 384 chances and 69 games, the NL record to date for SS.
26th The largest single-game crowd to this date, 74,747, sees the Yankees win their 5th straight, defeating the Red Sox 9–3 at Yankee Stadium.
Eddie Lake’s homer is the only score as the Tigers edge the Indians, 1–0. Stubby Overmire prevails over Black.
27th Before 51,780 fans at the Polo Grounds, the Dodgers defeat the Giants, 7–3. Da Bums score in the first inning when a Dixie Walker single drives home Jackie Robinson.
30th In the first of two, Earl Torgeson of the Braves does not record a single putout at 1B, a record of idleness shared in the NL by Rip Collins (twice) and Dolph Camilli of the Phillies in 1937. Later Gary Thomasson and Len Matuszek will have zero putouts in a full game at 1B. Torgy does have one chance, but muffs a popup. Torgeson scores a pair as Warren Spahn wins his 8th in a row, 6–3. Red Barrett then shuts out the Dodgers in game 2, 3–0, dropping Brooklyn to 4thplace. The Braves pull off a double steal in each game, and each time it is Stanky’s high throw to the plate that allows it. Boston is now in 3rd place, a game behind the Giants.
The Giants cop a pair from the Phils, 7–1 and 5–3. Monty Kennedy allows just 4 hits in the first game, while Dave Koslo is the winner in game 2. Koslo, backed by two-run homers from Bobby Thomson and Joe Lafata, hands Schoolboy Rowe his first loss after 6 wins.
A’s pitchers Dick Fowler and Joe Coleman stop the Yankees, recording 2 shutouts over New York, 1–0 and 4–0. Spud Chandler loses the opener, despite allowing three hits. Bill Bevens drops the nitecap, walking Coleman to force in a run and giving up a roundtripper to Eddie Joost. Joost scores a pair in the nitecap, and the lone run in the opener.
Before a crowd of 56,367, the first-place Tigers split a pair with the Browns to move to 3 games ahead of Cleveland. Detroit wins the lidlifter, 2–1 as Hal Newhouser scatters 5 hits, but Nelson Potter tops Virgil Trucks, 8–3, to take the nitecap. Tiger rookie Johnny McHale accounts for all 3 runs in game 2 with a pair of homers.