1949 May

1st Elmer Valo is the first AL player to hit 2 bases-loaded triples in a game when he leads the A’s to a 15–9 win in the first of two against the Senators. Valo will have a 3rd bases-loaded triple during the season, to set the AL mark (Shano Collins had two in 1918: the NL mark is 2). The two bases-loaded triples in a game ties the team mark last reached by Boston on August 16, 1926. The A’s take game 2, 7–3, called after 7 innings.

At Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox and Yankees manage to get in just 8 innings but that’s all Boston needs as they win, 11-2. Ted Williams caps the Sox scoring with a grand slam in the 6th.

At Sportsman’s Park, the White Sox sweep a pair from the Browns, that St. Louis does not make it easy as they rally in each game. Chicago takes the opener, 7-6, as the Browns score 5 runs in the last two innings. In game 2 the Browns turn a laugher into a close game by plating 8 runs in the bottom of the 9th to lose, 14-11. Gus Zernial drives in 4 runs in game 2 as does Cass Michaels, 3 coming in on a 3-run homer in the 8th. Despite the two wins, Manager Jack Onslow is furious with the pitch calling of Joe Tipton and the two almost come to blows.

At Brooklyn, the Phillies top Carl Erskine and the Dodgers, 4–2. As a pinch hitter for Carl Furillo in the bottom of the 9th, Chuck Connors hits into a game-ending DP in his first ML at bat and his only at bat for the Dodgers. He’ll leave for Montreal shortly.

3rd Taking advantage of the shortened fence installed by White Sox GM Frank Lane, the Senators belt 7 homers—and need them all—in beating Chicago, 14–12 in 10 innings. This is only time a team has collected 7 homers in an extra-inning contest. Clyde Vollmer leads the hit parade with 2 among his 4 hits and 4 runs, followed by Christman, Coan, Evans, Eddie Robinson, and Stewart. The Sox get homers from Joe Tipton and Gus Zernial to total 9 for the two teams.

4th White Sox infielder Floyd Baker, who will play 874 games in his 13-year ML career, hits his only HR, off Sid Hudson, into “Home Run Lane,” named for GM Frank Lane, in an 8–7 loss to Washington. The homer is short of the stands but over the wire fence 20 feet in from the stands. The homer gives the Sox a 7-0 lead, which they blow as the Senators do all their scoring in the last 3 innings. Sherry Robertson hits a 3 run homer in the 4-run 7th, and a pair of homers off reliever Ernest Groth account for 3 runs in the 9th. It is Groth’s last game in the majors: the Sox sell him to the Kansas City Blues.

The Tigers beat the Red Sox, 5–1, behind Virgil Trucks 3-hitter. The Tigers shell Bubba Harris for 14 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

5th Charlie Gehringer, star 2B of the Tigers between 1925-41, is picked for the Hall of Fame. Two days later, the Old-Timers committee will select Kid Nichols and Three-Finger Brown.

At the Polo Grounds, Johnny Mize pounds a 10th-inning homer and the Giants beat the Pirates 3–2 to sweep their three-game series. The homer, off Murry Dickson, is Big John’s 300th. Reliever Hank Behrman, in for Sheldon Jones, pitches out of tight jams in the 9thand 10th to win. Wally Westlake is stranded in the 10th after reaching Behrman for a leadoff triple.

Before the start of a series with the Yanks, the White Sox abandon their trick LF fence. The 5-foot chicken wire fence, erected to cut the distance by 20 feet, resulted in 11 HRs in 8 games, but opponents hit 7 of them. The AL will subsequently rule that fences cannot be moved more than once a season. The Yanks still win today, 7–5, to go 13–3. Tommy Henrich has the only homer, while Johnny Lindell, Yankee left fielder, twice makes catches that would’ve cleared the wire fence. Allie Reynolds, with help from Joe Page, is the winner.

At Cleveland, Bob Feller, making his first start since pitching two innings in the season opener and coming up with a sore shoulder, beats the Red Sox, 7–3. The Tribe scores six in the 2nd inning, including Ken Keltner’s three run homer off Jack Kramer. On the next pitch, Minnie Minoso making his second start, hits his first major-league homer. Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr hit 8th-inning homers for Boston, while Joe Gordon adds a homer in the 5th for Cleveland.

The Red Sox acquire outfielder Al Zarilla from the Browns for Stan Spence, who pinch-hit today, and cash.

6th Bobby Shantz makes a sensational debut, tossing nine hitless innings in relief of Carl Schieb in a 13-inning, 5–4, Athletics’ win over the Tigers. Shantz finally gives up 2 hits and a run in the 13th, but old-timer Wally Moses, now back with the A’s, saves him with a 2-run HR in the bottom of the 13th.

7th In Boston, the Braves Bill Voiselle allows just two hits, but loses, 4-2. Buddy Lively is the winning pitcher as the Braves collect 10 hits.

8th In Philadelphia, the Reds score 5 in the 9th to take a 7–3 lead, but the Phils tie to go into extra innings. Cincinnati then scores 7 runs in the 12th to win, 14–7.

Behind the 2-hit pitching of Tommy Byrne, the Yanks roll over Detroit 12-0. Gene Woodling scores 5 runs.

9th At Detroit, the Tigers set back the first-place Yankees, 4–1, behind the five-hit pitching of Ted Gray. Vic Raschi also allows just five hits, including a homer by Dick Wakefield, in taking the loss.

The first-place Giants win their 7th in a row as Sheldon (Available) Jones stops the Cubs, 7–2. Aided by ten walks and homers by Sid Gordon and Willard Marshall, the Giants pin the loss on starter Ralph Hamner, who allows one hit in three innings.

Rookie Eddie Kazak hits his first ML homer, an 8th inning grand slam off Joe Hatten, as the Cardinals paste the Dodgers, 14-5, at Ebbets Field. Kazak will have a hot first half and make the All-star team as a starter, going 2-for-2, but by the end of the year injuries will slow him down and Tommy Glaviano will take over third base.

10th Longtime Cardinal owner Sam Breadon dies. Robert Hannegan, the man to whom he sold the club, will die October 6.

A’s top the White Sox, 5-0, behind Joe Coleman’s 5-hitter. Elmer Valo has no at bats, but walks 4 times and scores a run, He also picks up an RBI.

11th The White Sox score in all 8 innings they beat the Red Sox, 12–8. They are the fourth AL team to accomplish the feat, last done in 1939 by New York. No AL team in the 20th century will score in all 9 innings (being the home team).

12th The Baseball Commissioner rules that Artie Wilson, who hit .402 with the Birmingham Black Barons last season, belongs to the Yankees and not the Indians. Wilson had signed with Cleveland, gone to spring training with them, and is playing for their PCL affiliate San Diego Padres. The Yanks will assign him to the unaffiliated Oakland Oaks on the 17th, where he will room with future Yankee Bill Martin and hit a league-leading .348.

14th Roy Sievers has a double and HR to drive in 4 runs in the Browns 8–3 win over the Tigers. Slick-fielding Tiger first baseman Paul Campbell ties the ML record by making 2 unassisted DPs; while with Montreal (IL) in 1941, Campbell started 26 DPs at first base: the ML record is 18.

President Truman makes a surprise visit to the ball park and cheers on the Washington Senators to a 5-4 win over the Red Sox. It is the Nats’ 10th victory in 11 games.

The Braves overcome an 8th inning grand slam by Gil Hodges and beat the visiting Dodgers, 7-6. The Dodgers take the lead in the 12thon an RBI triple by Jackie Robinson, but Boston plates 2 to win.

For the third time in four days, Luke Easter of San Diego (PCL) hits two homers as the Padres lose 8-5 to Los Angeles. Tomorrow’s doubleheader will draw a record 23,083 (according to John Spalding).

15th White Sox hurler Bill Wight coasts to a 10–0 win over the Indians, and Al Gettel follows with a 2–0 whitewash of the Tribe.

In St. Louis, the Tigers score 6 in the 7th to top the Browns, 9-3. Vic Wertz has a grand slam in the frame.

At Philadelphia, the A’s sweep a pair from the Yankees by using come-from-behind scoring. The Mackmen take the opener, 8-7, scoring a pair in the 9th and a run in the 11th to win. In game 2, a six-inning affair, the A’s score 7 in the bottom of the 6th to win, 7-6.

Boston’s Vern Bickford stops the Dodgers, 4–0, allowing just four singles. One is by Gil Hodges, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. Jim Russell switch hits a homer and double to pin the loss on Morrie Martin. The Braves start Al Lakeman at 1B in place of Earl Torgeson, who separated his shoulder yesterday when he attempted to block Jackie Robinson on a double play. Torgeson will be operated on tomorrow and will be sidelined several months.

16th The Cubs pick up 2B Bob Ramazzotti from Brooklyn for $25,000 and INF Harry Schenz.

18th The Pirates trade Johnny Hopp (.218) to the Dodgers for Marv Rackley. Hopp will go 0-for-14 while Rackley will be 11-for-35 before the trade is canceled on June 7.

At Crosley Field, Grady Hatton has a triple and double but saves the best for last, hitting a walkoff grand slam in the 9th to cap a 5-run inning. The Reds outlast the Braves to win, 13-9.

21st The Dodgers break up a tight game with an 8-run 9th to trim the Cardinals, 15-6. Pee Wee Reese scores 5 runs and Jackie Robinson has 6 RBIs.

Behind Eddie Joost’s 4 hits and 6 RBIs, the Athletics bomb the Tigers, 15-7, pinning the loss on Art Houtteman, who gives up 4 unearned runs in one inning of relief. It is Houtteman’s first appearance since he fractured his skull in a traffic accident in Florida two months ago.

22nd Brooklyn’s Don Newcombe, 23, (according to the later baseball encyclopedias: 25, according to Who’s Who in Baseball). makes his first ML start a dandy, shutting out the Reds, 3–0, in Cincinnati. It’s the first shut out in a National League debut in eleven years and extends Brooklyn’s win streak at Cincinnati to 19 games going back to June 1947. Newk gives up hits to the first 2 batters, then allows just 3 more hits while walking none. He drives in 2 runs as well. Ken Raffensberger then matches Newk by firing a one-hitter to beat Brooklyn, 2–0, tossing only 83 pitches. The only hit is a leadoff single by Gil Hodges in the 8th. Raffensberger pitched two one-hitters against the Dodgers in 1948.

24th Striking out the last 6 St. Paul batters, Maurice McDermott of Louisville (American Association) fans a total of 20 for a new league record. McDermott wins, 3–1, striking out the side in the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 9th innings.

27th The Indians start so badly, 12–17, that owner Bill Veeck arranges a “2nd Opening Day.” Behind Al Benton, the Indians make it a success, beating Chicago, 4–0. The Indians do rise to 2nd place, within 2 1⁄2 games of the top, but they will finish 3rd, 8 games back.

28th White Sox rookie LF Gus Zernial breaks his collarbone making a diving catch against Cleveland in the 10th. He will be out of action for 2 months. The Indians push across a run in the 11th to win, 3-2, for Early Wynn, who allows 4 hits and retires the last 21 batters in a row.

The A’s Lou Brissie loses a tough one, 2-1, to the Yankees in 14 innings. Yogi Berra does the most damage driving in a run in the 9thwith a double, then scoring from 1st on a double in the 14th. Joe Page is the winner.

In Don Newcombe’s Ebbets Field debut, the Dodgers stake him to a 6-0 lead over the Braves. But Boston rallies to tie it at 6 apiece, led by Pete Reiser’s 8th inning grand slam, and wins, 7-6.

29th After 44 games and 285 errorless chances, 2B Red Schoendienst of the Cardinals errs twice against the Pirates. His last E was September 15, 1948. Elmer Riddle wins, 4–2, over the Cards Harry Brecheen.

At Yankee Stadium, the A’s defeat the Yankees, 3-1, ending New York’s six-game winning streak. Phil Rizzuto contributes a neat 6-5-3 play in the loss. The New York Times describes it as follows: “Quick-thinking Rizzuto took Chapman’s rap to deep short in the fourth, saw he couldn’t throw to Phillips in time, so he flipped to [3b Billy] Johnson, whose toss arrived at first a stride ahead of the runner.”

30th Jackie Robinson hits a 13th-inning HR to give the Dodgers a 2–1 game one win at the Polo Grounds. The Giants take the nitecap, 7-4, and the Durocher-Robinson feud is fueled when Robby steals second during a timeout for a pitching change. He has to return to first and Leo gives him the “swollen head” gesture.

In Philadelphia, the Phils salvage a split with the Braves by winning game 2 by a 6-5 score in 11 innings. The Braves had scored 4 runs in the 9th to tie. Boston took the opener 7-3. The split leaves the Braves, Giants and Dodgers all tied for first place.

The Red Sox sweep a pair from the visiting Athletics, winning 10-2 and 4-3. Al Zarilla drives in 6 runs and clouts a grand slam in the Sox 6-run 6th in game 1.

31st Cleveland druggist Charley Lupica boldly climbs to a 20-foot platform atop a flagpole after announcing that he was staying there until the Indians repeat as pennant winners. The 7th-place Indians will move up to 3rd by the time Lupica descends on September 25, but the disappointed druggist will be rewarded for his loyalty with a new car from Bill Veeck.