1951 May

1st  The Yankees’ new phenom, Mickey Mantle, connects for his first ML HR, off Randy Gumpert of the White Sox. Minnie Minoso becomes the first black to play for the White Sox. He plays 3B and, facing Vic Raschi in his first ML at bat, rips a HR to CF. The Yankees win 8–3, with Mantle collecting 3 RBIs.

At the Polo Grounds, the Giants collect 5 hits—3 by Alvin Dark—to beat the Cubs, 5-3. Dark’s big hit is a grand slam in the 6th. He also starts a nifty DP in the 7th when, with 2 on and no out, Terwilliger lines off Jim Hearn’s ankle and the carom is fielded by Dark. With Chicago in the field in the 4th, Umpire Frank Dascoli banished the entire bench of Cubs players (11 of them) to the clubhouse, apparently for calling him “Rabbit Ears.” Later, two of the players, Bill Serena and Smoky Burgess, were recalled for pinch hitting duties.

The A’s (2-12) score a record 8 runs in the 11th inning to beat Detroit, 9–1, and end their 10-game losing streak. Dave Philley, in his first day as an Athletic, hits a bunt single and triple in the big frame. Lou Limmer’s bases-loaded triple off Gene Bearden starts the scoring.

University of New Mexico pitchers walk 21 Arizona batters in college baseball.

2nd Before 4,976 at the Polo Grounds, the Giants score 6 runs in the 7th to defeat the Cubs, 8–1. George Spencer, who won the final game of the 1950 season, makes his 1951 debut a successful one, allowing six hits. Johnny Schmitz takes the loss for Chicago. Ray Noble has two ribbies for New York. Noble is playing for Wes Westrum, who broke his finger yesterday when he was hit by a foul tip.

3rd  In St. Louis, Gil McDougald hits a grand slam and a triple in the 9th, as the Yanks score 11 runs in the inning to rout St. Louis, 17–3. McDougald, destined to be Rookie of the Year, racks up 6 RBIs in the frame. Jackie Jensen follows McDougald’s triple with one of his own, then homers after Gil’s grand slam. The Yankees collect a record 7 extra base hits in the frame. Allie Reynolds is the winner.

At Boston, Andy Pafko hits a grand slam off starter Max Surkont to pace the Cubs to a 9-3 victory over the Braves. His four-bagger snaps a 1-1 tie and helps give rookie Bob Schultz his first ML win.

4th  NY Representative Emanuel Celler, citing the case of Danny Gardella, plans a probe of ML baseball for antitrust violations.

In St. Louis, the Yanks pummel the Browns, 8–1, behind Eddie Lopat. Mantle, again batting leadoff and playing RF, connects for his 2nd HR, off Duane Pillette, a 450-shot in the 6th inning.

5th At the Polo Grounds, Al Dark’s second grand slam in a week gives the Giants the lead as they top the Pirates, 8-3.

In a Western International League at Victoria, visiting Salem wins 1-0 in 23 innings. Victoria’s losing pitcher Roland Smith hurls the entire game.

6th  Pirate P Cliff Chambers throws a no-hitter at the Boston Braves in Boston, winning 3–0, in the 2nd of 2 games. He walks 8 and throws one wild pitch but hangs on to record only the second no-hit game in Pirate history. Chambers, hitting .429, drives in Wally Westlake with the 3rd run in the 8th. The loser is George Estock, a Braves reliever making his only ML start and the loss is his only ML decision. For Chambers, it is his last win in a Pirates’ uniform before he’s traded to St. Louis. Warren Spahn takes game 1 this afternoon, beating the Bucs, 6-0.

The Cardinals take sole possession of first place with an 11-7 win at Ebbets Field. The Birds plate 6 runs in the 8th inning after Pee Wee Reese hit a 7th-inning grand slam for Brooklyn.

The Reds and Giants split a pair at the Polo Grounds, with the Reds taking the opener, 4–3, in 10 innings. Reds second baseman Connie Ryan nabs Whitey Lockman in the 10th with the hidden ball trick, the 2nd time in 2 years that he’s pulled it off against New York. The Giants take the nightcap, 8–5, behind Dave Koslo’s 1st win of the year.

Boom Boom Beck, 46-year-old coach for the Toledo Mud Hens, takes the mound in the game 1 of a twinbill against Minneapolis (AA) and wins 10–2. The victory gives the former major leaguer an overall pro mark of 236-236.

7th In Cleveland, the Senators score 5 runs in each of the 4th and 5th innings and hold on to edge the Indians, 11-10. The Nats set a since tied AL mark with 8 consecutive singles in the 4th.

8th Bobby Shantz, A’s lefty, wins his first game of the season, stopping the White Sox, 9–4, on 12 hits. Ferris Fain and Eddie Joost hit consecutive homers for the A’s.

9th With 13 players on the sick list with the flu, the Cards bow to the Giants, 17–2. New York has now won 8 out of 10 games after suffering an 11-game losing streak. Noble, Dark, and Lockman each have 4 hits with Dark collecting 2 doubles and a triple. Maglie is the easy winner allowing 5 hits. Bill Sarni makes his debut, taking over for Garagiola behind the plate. Sarni caught for the 1943 LA Angels at the age of 15.

10th The A’s send veteran Sam Chapman to Cleveland for second baseman Lou Klein and OF Allie Clark.

12th  Although Boston’s Dom DiMaggio begins his 27-game hitting streak, the longest of the season in the AL, with 3 hits against the Senators, Washington wins 5–4.

In the 2nd game of a double header, Stan Musial, on the Cards bench because he has flu, pinch hits in the 8th inning and blasts a 3-run homer into the RF stands at Crosley Field. Teammate Bill Howerton had earlier hit a 2-run pinch homer, only the 4th time in NL history that two pinch hitters have hit four-baggers (it will happen 4 more times in the 1950s). The Cards win 8–6, after dropping the opener, 7–2.

13th At Philadelphia’s Shibe Park, Mantle hits his first righty homer, off Alex Kellner, in the majors, then makes the last out by popping up his bunt attempt with the tying run on 3rd. The A’s win 5–4, then win the nightcap as well. Mantle has no homers in the 2nd game loss, but misses 2nd base on a hit.

The Dodgers spot the Braves 6 runs, then roar back to win, 12–6 and take over the NL lead. Erv Palica gives up just two hits over the last 7 innings for his first win. Brooklyn scores five runs off Max Surkont in the 3rd and 4th innings, and Carl Furillo adds a three-run homer in the 5th off Dave Cole.

At Ft. Worth, ex-Dodger Rex Barney walks 16 Houston batters in 7 2/3 innings to set a Texas League record. Barney faces 41 batters and is behind on all but 7 off them, and adds 2 wild pitches. He leaves with a 2–1 score after walking across a run in the 8th, and ends up losing 6–2 to Vinegar Bend Mizell.

At Comiskey Park, Al Rosen belts a game 1 grand slam to pace the Indians to an 11-2 scalping of the White Sox. The Sox staunch the scoring with a 9th inning 1-6-3 triple play. Game 2 ends in a 9-inning 4-4 tie to allow the Indians to catch a train.

15th  At Fenway Park, the Red Sox celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first AL game in Boston. On hand are 29 old-timers who played, managed, or umpired in the AL in that first year including Connie Mack, Dummy Hoy, Cy Young, Hugh Duffy, Clark Griffith, Tom Connolly, Billy Sullivan Sr., Wid Conroy, Bill Bradley, and Ollie Pickering. Eight of the 29 participated in the first AL game, played in Chicago on April 24, 1901.The game that follows the ceremony features dramatic home runs as Ted Williams hits the 300th of his career in the 4th inning against Chicago’s Howie Judson. With Williams up in the 8th inning, White Sox manager Paul Richards moves reliever Harry Dorish to 3B and brings in Billy Pierce to pitch to Ted. Williams pops up against the lefty, and Dorish then returns to the mound. Boston ties the game against Dorish at 7–7, but little Nellie Fox, playing in his 6th season, cracks his first major league homer in the 11th to give Dorish a 9–7 victory. Ray Scarborough is the loser. The Sox will win their next 13 games.

At Crosley Field, Braves P Vern Bickford pitches a 2-hitter, but Ewell Blackwell bests him by allowing one hit, as the Reds win, 1–0. Connie Ryan’s 6th inning hit is the first off Bickford, and Johnny Pramesa’s homer in the 7th is the other. The only Boston hit is a 5th inning double by Bob Elliott. The Reds tie the NL record (set in 1911) for 9 innings by going to bat just 24 times.

At Wrigley Field, Duke Snider cracks a 7th-inning homerun to give the Dodgers the lead as they double the Cubs, 8-4.

At Shibe, Don Lenhardt has 3 hits, including a 2-run homer off Bobby Shantz, and drives in 5 runs to pace the Browns to an 11-8 win over the A’s. Gus Zernial has a pair of homers, including the first inside-the-park four bagger for the slugger. He’ll hit another in 1953.

In a fine trade for Chicago, the White Sox send lefty Bob Cain to the Tigers for hurler Saul Rogovin. Rogovin will lead the AL in ERA this season.

16th  At Yankee Stadium, Mantle drives in four runs and scores three as New York routs the Indians, 11–3. Mantle connects for the first of his 206 homers at the Stadium, the blast coming off Dick Rozek.

17th  Gus Zernial hits his 7th HR in 4 successive games to tie the ML record set by Tony Lazzeri in 1936, as his A’s beat the Browns 7–6. Yesterday, in a 10–9 loss to the Browns, Big Gus hit 2 homers to equal Lazzeri’s mark of 6 home runs in 3 games (and tied by Kiner in 1947). Zernial will hit 10 homers against the Browns this year, a league record.

The Browns trade C Les Moss to the Red Sox for C Matt Batts, P Jim Suchecki, Jim McDonald, and $100,000.

The Cards trade Erv Dusak and 1B Glenn “Rocky” Nelson to the Pirates for SS Stan Rojek.

18th  Catcher Walker Cooper of the Braves goes 5-for-5 in a 12–3 route of the Pirates. Max Surkont (5–1) is the winner, scattering 10 hits and giving up late inning HRs to Kiner and Westlake.

At Yankee Stadium, White Sox vet Bud Stewart cracks an 8th inning grand slam as the Sox top New York, 7-4. Billy Pierce is the winner.

At Wrigley, the Cubs outslug the Phillies and score 7 runs in the 4th inning to win, 18-9. Jack Cusick lines an inside-the-park grand slam to account for four of the runs. For Cusick, who hit his first homerun on the 13th, it will be his last ML homer.

Dave Philley hits a 5th inning grand slam to give the A’s a 6-3 lead over the Tigers, but Detroit scores 6 times in the top of the 9th for a 9-6 victory. Bob Cain is the victor in relief.

19th  In a 9-4 loss to Boston, Cleveland’s Al Rosen hits his 2nd grand slam in a week. He hit one on the 13th against the White Sox.

20th  Before 42,088 at Wrigley, Dutch Leonard wins a pair, beating the Braves, 4–3 and 5–4. Dutch tosses two innings in each game as the Cubs beat Chet Nichols and Vern Bickford. The Cubs are now a game back of the front-running Dodgers.

The Phils defeat the Pirates 17–0 and 12–4, as Richie Ashburn gets 4 hits in each game. Russ Meyer tosses the shutout in the first game pasting over Murry Dickson. Robin Roberts is the winner in game 2.

22nd  Les Moss cracks a grand slam for Boston as they defeat the Tigers, 6-3, behind Maury McDermott.

At Forbes Field, the Dodgers score 7 in the 7th and 5 more in the 9th as they beat the Bucs, 17-8. Gil Hodges contributes a grand slam, his 5th, in the keelhauling.

Pitching for the Great Falls Electrics against the Boise Pilots of the Class C Pioneer League, one-armed Bob Lightbody allowed only three hits in a 7-0 shutout (as noted by J.G. Preston). Manager Buck Elliott, who is also the Electrics’ regular catcher, calls Lightbody “the most courageous athlete I have ever known.” Lightbody, who is missing his left hand, will be sent down to Class D and close out his short career there.

23rd  Mel Parnell gives up 4 hits in shutting out the Browns, while stroking 4 hits himself. Ted Williams walks 5 times in the 12–0 win. Vern Stephens sets an assist record for third baseman, with an assist from SS Johnny Pesky. On the last out of the game, a grounder to Pesky, he flips to Stephens, who fires to 1B to set the record at 10 assists. Malzone will equal the record in 1957 and Ken McMullen will top it, in 1966.

In Pittsburgh, the first-place Dodgers continue to use the big inning to thrash the Pirates, 11-4. Billy Cox hits Brooklyn’s 2nd grand slam in two days as he connects in the 6-run 5th inning.

24th  Cleveland whips the Senators, 16–0, with Bob Feller pitching a 2-hitter. Larry Doby has a homer and 4 RBIs to lead the Tribe.

Mantle is 0-for-5 but reaches base twice after striking out on a wild pitch. The 2nd time, in the 6th inning, he reaches 2B before Detroit C Joe Ginsberg can retrieve the ball, and DiMaggio follows with a homer to deep left field. New York wins, 11–1, behind Joe Ostrowski.

25th  Giants rookie Willie Mays, who was hitting .477 with Minneapolis, goes 0-for-5 in his ML debut against the Phils. He strikes out in his first at bat, against Bubba Church. New York wins, 8–5.

Following an intentional walk, the Reds Connie Ryan clouts an 11th-inning grand slam to beat the Cardinals, 5–1, in St. Louis. This is the first extra-inning grand slam in Reds history.

26th  The Dodgers use 12 different players in the number 9 slot, 7 of them pitchers, in losing to the Braves 12–10. In attendance is General Douglas MacArthur, who was proposed as the new baseball commissioner last month by Reds prexy Warren Giles.

At Yankee Stadium, the Yanks top the A’s, 8–5, with Mantle belting a bases-loaded triple off Dick Fowler that bounces off the bleacher railing in CF.

27th  At Fenway, the Red Sox do all their scoring in the 3rd as they top the Senators, 7-1. Ted Williams has a four-run homer for the Sox.

28th  After going 0-for-12, Willie Mays connects for his first ML hit, a HR off Braves P Warren Spahn. The Giants lose the game 4–1.

Newly acquired White Sox hurler Saul Rogovin 2-hits the Browns in a 4–2 win.

29th  The Indians sign high school star Billy Joe Davidson for a reported $150,000, eclipsing the $100,000 the Pirates paid to Paul Pettit in 1949. Several teams sought the services of the tall lefty, alleged to be the best Indians prospect since Bob Feller.

Indians hurler Bob Lemon one-hits the Tigers 2–1. The only Bengal hit is Vic Wertz’s homer to lead off the 7th inning.

30th In a doubleheader loss with Boston, Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle strikes out 3 times in the opener, and twice more to start the 2nd game: Stengel lifts the slugger in the middle of the game for Cliff Mapes. In the opener, Ted Williams scores from 2B on a sacrifice bunt, and then ties the game with a HR. Vern Stephens 15th-inning homer, his 5th hit of the game and his second homer, off Specs Shea wins it for Boston, 11–10. Stephens connects in the 1st inning for a 3-run homer off Ed Lopat: the 14-inning spread between homers is unmatched in the 20th century. In the game 2 contest, Williams ties the match with a double and Stephens’ single drives him home with the game winner as Boston triumphs, 9–4. Ray Scarborough and Bill Wight are today’s winners. The loss drops the Yanks into 2nd place, where they’ll stay for a month.

The first place White Sox beat the Browns, 5–2 behind Billy Pierce. But in game 2, Randy Gumpert (3–0) stops Chicago’s 14-game winning streak, beating the Sox, 8–1. Eleven of the wins come on the road. Gumpert has 2 hits and 2 runs batted in. Al Widmar is the loser.