1954 May

1st  Red Sox IF Billy Goodman’s single in the 6th spoils Virgil Trucks’s bid for another no-hitter. Trucks, now with the White Sox, wins 3–0.

In Cincinnati, the Dodgers pay respect to Ted Kluszewski but it is Johnny Temple’s RBI-single in the 11th that wins it for the Reds, 7-6. After Big Klu homers in the 8th, the Dodgers give him a bases empty walk in the 9th and another intentional walk in the 11th with 1B filled. Duke Snider has a single, double and homer for the Dodgers.

2nd  Stan Musial hits 5 HRs in a doubleheader with the Giants in St. Louis. In attendance is 8-year-old Nate Colbert, who will be the only other player in history to accomplish this feat. The Cards win the first game 10–6 when Musial’s three-run homer in the 8th off Jim Hearn. Stan’s first two homers are served up by Johnny Antonelli. The Cards hit 5 homers in the opener, while the Giants hit three, including back-to-back blows by Westrum and Lockman. In the nightcap of the doubleheader, Don Mueller goes 5-for-5, and the Giants win, 9–7, with 8 runs in the 4th inning. Musial totals a since-topped record 21 bases in the two games, going 4-for-4 with a walk in game 1, and 2-for-4 with a walk in game 2. Don Mueller has 6 hits for New York.

The Dodgers bench C Roy Campanella, who is hitting only .167, but the game in Milwaukee is rained out. Tomorrow, he will undergo surgery for the removal of bone chips from his left hand.

Chicago’s Connie Johnson tosses a 2-hitter at the A’s to win, 4–0, before losing to the A’s, 2–1. Elmer Valo’s pinch single in the 9th wins the nightcap for reliever Marion Fricano.

At Chicago, the Cubs and Pirates split. Chicago’s Paul Minner outguns Vern Law in the opener, 5–3, and the Pirates outhit Chicago to win the nightcap, 18–10 in 8 innings. Frank Thomas has 7 straight hits on the afternoon for Pittsburgh, before fanning. Hank Sauer hits three homers for Chicago, two in the nightcap, when he goes 4-for-4: Hammerin’ Hank will belt 13 homers this year against the Pirates—a NL record (since tied by Joe Adcock, in 1956) for HRs against one team. Bob Skinner has 3 hits to drive in 5 runs for the Bucs in game 2, as they score 15 runs in the first 4 innings. Winning pitcher Bob Friend also drives in three runs to win his first of the year, even though he gives up 10 runs in the victory. Not until Vida Blue, in 1979, will anyone allows 10 runs in a win. With homers in both games today, the Cubs set an NL mark of 13 straight games in which they’ve homered since the start of the season.

At Yankee Stadium, Detroit’s Bill Hoeft pitches a 5-inning one hitter to win 4–0. A 5th inning double by Andy Carey is the only safety for the Yanks as rain shortens to contest. The Yanks take the opener, 12–4, scoring six runs in the 3rd inning. Allie Reynolds is the winner with six innings of relief.

3rd  Sandy Consuegra gives up 3 runs on just two hits as the White Sox pound the A’s, 14–3. The Sox pitchers have given up just 5 hits in the last 3 games.

4th  The Phils and Cards set a ML record, later broken, by using 42 players in an 11-inning, 14–10 victory for Philadelphia. The Cards use 8 pitchers and the Phillies use 7. Richie Ashburn and Earl Torgeson score 7 runs between them and Del Ennis has a homer and 4 RBIs.

At Griffith Stadium, the White Sox down the Senators, 8-6, behind Billy Pierce. Pierce also singles in 2 runs following a double steal by Cass Michaels and Johnny Groth. Minnie Minoso adds a grand slam, off Mickey McDermott, for Chicago. Roy Sievers has a 3-run homer and 4 RBIs for the Nats.

5th  The Senators Roy Sievers draws a bases-loaded walk to beat the White Sox 1–0. Bob Porterfield, who tossed 9 shutouts last year, beats Bob Keegan.

Walks do in the Browns Bob Turley, who gives up 2 hits in losing to the Yankees, 4–2. It’s Turley’s 2nd 2-hit loss of the season; The Indians beat him on April 21.

7th At New York, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra crash back-to-back homers in the 7th to pin a 2–0 loss on the A’s Morrie Martin.

9th  Athletic C Wilmer (Billy) Shantz, brother of P Bobby Shantz, hits a grand slam, the first homer of his professional career. It comes off former A’s pitcher Harry Byrd, now with the Yanks. Shantz will hit just one more ML HR. Wilmer’s slam is all the offense as the Yankees win, 7–4. The nightcap ends 1–1 after 9 innings.

10th  At Cleveland, the Indians knock out Whitey Ford in the 1st inning as they score 8 runs, 4 on a grand slam by Dave Philley. The Yankees return the favor and knock out Bob Lemon in the 2nd inning but the Tribe hangs on for an 8-7 victory.

At Baltimore, the Orioles score 4 runs in the 9th to edge the A’s, 7-6. Bob Trice, who had won his first 4 decisions this year, loses for the 2nd day in a row. Dick Kryhoski has 3 hits and 4 RBIs to pace the O’s.

12th  The Dodgers option LF Sandy Amoros to Montreal because of weak hitting. They will recall him later in the season.

Tom Brewer of the Red Sox loses a 1–0 three-hitter to the White Sox when he walks 4 in the first. Connie Johnson wins with a 2-hitter, the 2nd Sox 2-hitter in 10 days.

The Reds Harry Perkowski faces just 27 batters in 9 innings, but loses, 2-1, to the Giants. He allows just 2 hits and a walk through 8 innings. After a walk in the 9th, PH Bobby Hofman, the 27th batter Perky faces, hits a game-ending homer.

Dodger Gil Hodges’ HR in the 5th spoils Lew Burdette’s bid for a no-hitter in the Braves 5–1 win.

Rookie CF Wally Moon of the Cards has his 2nd 5-hit game and scores 5 runs in a 13–5 rout of Pittsburgh.

In a PCL contest, Oakland’s Al Gettel and Hollywood’s Bob Hall each pitch 21 innings. Each team scores a run in the first and the Oaks score 4 more in the top of the 21st to win, 5-1.

13th  Bobby Adams of the Redlegs hits a lead-off HR against Phillies P Robin Roberts. Roberts then retires the next 27 batters to win, 8–1.

14th After 12 straight defeats at Ebbets Field, stretching over 2 years, the Cards finally top the Dodgers, 10–1, behind Vic Raschi. Homers by Musial and Alston pace the Birds attack.

At Cleveland, George Strickland’s 1st inning grand slam powers the Indians to a 5-1 win over the Senators. Bob Lemon (5-0) is the winner.

At Connie Mack Stadium, the Reds’ 31-year-old rookie Art Fowler shuts out the Phils, 1-0. Fowler’s brother, Jesse, born in 1898, and 24 years older than Art, pitched in the majors in 1924.

15th With a pin in his shoulder, Ted Williams returns to action after breaking his collarbone in spring training and is hitless in two at bats against Baltimore. The O’s win, 2–1, behind Coleman.

16th  The Indians sweep the A’s 12–7 and 6–0 to take over first place. This begins a streak of 11 wins in a row.

The Orioles draw a record Memorial Stadium crowd of 46,796 for a doubleheader with the Yankees. Allie Reynolds wins the opener for New York, 2–0, on 3 hits, before Don Larsen stops the Yankees, 6–2 in the nightcap.

At Ebbets Field, Gil Hodges powers a 6th inning grand slam and Preacher Roe (1-2) wins his first game of the year, beating the Reds, 4-2.

The Cubs connect for 17 hits, including 8 by the battery of Paul Minner and Joe Garagiola (5), as they whip the Pirates, 12-3, in the first of 2. This is one hit short of the total made by Bob Miller and Smoky Burgess total last August 9. The Cubs manage just 4 hits off Jake Thies in game 2 as the Pirates win, 5-1. It is the first ML victory for Thies.

Ted Williams is back, though grimacing with each swing, and goes 8-for-9 with 2 HRs and 7 RBI in a doubleheader against the Tigers. Williams has 3 hits in game one, a 7–6 loss. He goes 5-for-5 in the nightcap, including both HRs, but Boston loses 9–8 in 14 innings. Bill Tuttle has a pair of triples in game 1 and in game 2 Ray Boone hits a pair of homers, including a walkoff roundtripper in the 14th.

17th  At Forbes Field, Big Hank Sauer has 3 hits, including a grand slam in the Cubs’ 7-run 5th inning as Chicago tops the Pirates, 10-6. Hank adds his first stolen base of the year. Dee Fondy and Ernie Banks homer for Chicago.

19th  The Phils apologize to Granny Hamner for having him followed by Charles Leland, a detective. Phils owner Robert Carpenter, suspecting that some players were not ready physically and mentally, had hired Leland to follow them. Hamner noticed Leland and reported him to the police, who promptly arrested the detective. Carpenter’s apology comes with the Phils tied for 2nd place, a game behind St. Louis.

At Ebbets Field, the Cubs do all their scoring in the 8th inning, beating Carl Erskine and the Dodgers, 9-3. The Dodgers help with 3 errors as the Cubs collect just 3 hits in the frame, one a 3-run homer by Dee Fondy. Chicago won’t do that again till 1918 when they score 8 runs on 3 hits against the Nationals on April 12.

21st Boston rookie Frank Sullivan makes his first start and beats the Yankees at the Stadium, 6–3. Sullivan strikes out Mantle three times before Mickey clocks one over the auxiliary scoreboard into the right-CF bleachers.

At Sportsman’s Park, Jim Greengrass hits a 3-run homer in the 2nd for the Reds but Stan Musial trumps that with a grand slam in the 7th. After the Reds take a one-run lead in the 10th, Musial scores his 3rd run of the game as the Cards plate 2-runs on singles off reliever Joe Nuxhall to win, 7-6.

22nd At Yankee Stadium, Allie Reynolds tosses a 7-hit shutout over the Red Sox to win 7–0. Mantle is the offense, going 4-for-5 with 4 RBIs. Mick will knock in 10 runs in the 3-game series against the Red Sox.

In a unique Birdie Tebbetts’ shift against the Cards Stan Musial, the Redlegs enlist a “4th” OF in place of regular SS Roy McMillan. This causes a box score irregularity because left-handed Nino Escalera is officially listed as a left-handed SS. After all that, Art Fowler strikes out Musial to end the game as the Reds win 4–2.

Robert Rivich of Stockton (California League) drives in 11 runs in 5 innings to pace his team to a 16-3 win over Bakersfield.

23rd  At New York, Mantle’s three run homer in the 3rd ties the game, but Mickey strikes out for the final out of the game, and Boston wins, 10–9.

The White Sox announce that they are sending SS Grady Hatton and $100,000 to the Red Sox for perennial All-Star 3B George Kell. After changing Sox, Kell, 32, will continue to post solid numbers.

25th Cards rookie sensation Wally Moon swipes 4 bases in the Cards, 9–4, win over the Cubs. He is just the 2nd National Leaguer in the last 30 years to steal 4 bases in a game. Musial has a single, double, and triple to back Haddix’s pitching.

Warren Spahn tops the Reds, 3–1, for his 10th straight win over Cincy. It is a team record that will be broken by Spahn in 10 years. He helps his own cause with a homer, off loser Herm Wehmeier. It is the Braves 8th win in a row.

At New York, the Giants explode for 11 runs in the 8th inning to overwhelm the Pirates, 21–4. The Buccos score 3 in the top of the 8th for a NL record for the frame. Led by Lockman’s grand slam, the Giants score 5 in the 7th, then collect 8 hits in the 8th, including 2 homers. Johnny Antonelli has his 6th win and hits his first ML HR. Davey Williams has a single and HR in the 8th. Willie Mays scores 5 runs.

Billy Pierce and Virgil Trucks combine to give the White Sox a 4–2 win over the Indians, and stop Cleveland’s 11-game win streak. Bob Lemon takes the loss. Cleveland’s Al Smith steals a base off Sherman Lollar, the last base runner to swipe one this year. The Sox catcher will throw out the next 18 base runners who try.

26th  Robin Roberts of the Phils stops a personal 7-game losing streak to the Dodgers at Ebbets Field with an 8–6 win over Brooklyn.

The Senators collect three straight 2-out singles in the 9th and defeat Yankee lefty Eddie Lopat for the first time in 3 years, 2–1. The Junkman had won 12 straight over Washington.

Slugger Gus Zernial hits the last grand slam in the history of the Philadelphia Athletics franchise, as the A’s down the Red Sox 6–5.

27th At Washington, President Eisenhower presents a silver bat to Mickey Vernon for winning the batting title last year. Vernon goes hitless today but the Nats score 6 unearned runs to beat the Yankees, 7–3.

28th  At the Polo Grounds, the Giants whip the Dodgers 17–6 with a 6-HR barrage. Four of the HRs come in the 8th as Davey Williams, Alvin Dark, Monte Irvin, and Billy Gardner connect off Ben Wade. Whitey Lockman, in the 1st, and Willie Mays, in the 2nd account for the other two. Brooklyn scores a run in the 6th when Giants P Marv Grissom balks home Rube Walker from 3B. Catcher Ray Katt is at fault, having called a time out when Grissom is in his windup.

It’s the managers’ day for the bicarb, as White Sox (14) and Oriole (18) pitchers combine to hand out 32 walks in a doubleheader. In the first game, the Birds send up an AL record 8 pinch hitters (the Sox use 1 for a new ML-record 9). But all is for naught as the White Sox win both, 11–6 and 14–8. Cass Michaels clubs a grand slam in the lidlifter to help reliever Jack Harshman win his first ML game.

At Boston, Joe Collins 9th inning walk—the 20th of the game—turns into the winning run in the 9th as New York beats the Red Sox, 10–9. The Yanks overcome a grand slam by Jackie Jensen.

29th Before a record Milwaukee crowd of 40,001, the Cardinals beat the Braves 13–7, snapping the Braves 10-game win streak.

At Wrigley Field, Walker Cooper starts the Cubs scoring with a grand slam in the 4th off Fred Baczewski, and the Cubs down the Reds, 6-0. Howie Pollet scatters 4 hits for the win.

At Fenway, Yogi Berra has a grand slam and 6 RBIs as the Yankees pound out 17 hits in downing the Red Sox, 10-2. Mantle has 3 runs on 3 hits, including a homer. The Sox manage just 2 hits, one a homer by Ted Williams, off Harry Byrd in 6 innings. Johnny Sain adds 3 hitless innings and collects 2 hits.

30th At Boston, Mickey Mantle belts his 2nd homer in two days to tie the game at 1–1 in the 6th. But that’s all the scoring off Willard Nixon as the Red Sox win, 3–1.

Ex-outfielder Hal Jeffcoat (2–0) makes his first mound start and gains a 7–5 win over the Reds at Wrigley. He goes 8 innings and gives up 4 hits before leaving because of a blister on his finger. Cincy wins the nightcap, 6–5, in a game called after 8 innings because of darkness. They score 3 in the 8th.

Gil Hodges, given a 2nd chance when Lockman drops his foul pop, belts a 3-run inside-the-park homer in the 1st to lead the Dodgers to a 5–3 victory over the host Giants. Campanella, out of action since May 4 with a wrist injury, is 0-for-4.

Baltimore snaps its 10-game losing streak by snapping the White Sox’s 8-game win streak, 5-2. Jim Fridley and Eddie Waitkus homer to back Don Larsen’s win.

The Senators and A’s split a pair, with the Nats taking the opener, 6-0, behind the pitching of Maury McDermott, who bats 6th. He goes 0-for-4, but Wayne Terwilliger, the 9th hitter, homers in the 9th. Jim Busby scores on 3 errors: he reaches base on a E by Jim Finigan, steals 2B and Billy Shantz’s throw goes into the OF. Vic Power’s relay throw goes into the grandstand. Mickey Vernon has a homer in both games for Washington, which loses the nightcap 6-5 on Ed McGhee’s pinch double with the bases loaded in the 9th inning.

31st  In a Memorial Day nailbiter at Shibe Park, the Dodgers edge the Phillies, 5-4, in 12 innings. The Phils take a 4-3 lead in the 8th when Smoky Burgess clubs a 3-run pinch homer, but the Dodgers tie it in the 9th 4-4. In the 12th, Gil Hodges puts the Dodgers ahead, 5-4, with a homer off tired starter Bob Miller. With two outs in the 12th, two pinch hitters walk and Willie Jones cracks what looks like a homerun to deep left center but Duke Snider scales the wall at the 405-ft mark to snag the line drive. Ralph Branca later says, “He ran right up that wall. I later went out there and looked at the spike marks and they were up to my shoulders.” Duke will call it, “the greatest catch of my life.”

     The Dodgers send Joe Black, their 1952 relief ace and Rookie of the Year, to their Montreal farm club. His ERA is 11.57 in 5 appearances.

In game 1 against the A’s, the Red Sox pound out 18 hits to win, 20–10. Jim Piersall and Milt Bolling each collect 4 hits. Two of Bolling’s hits are homers, as he drives in 5. Bill Henry completes the sweep with a 9–0 shutout in game 2 as Harry Agganis drives in 4 runs with a HR and double.

The White Sox lose to Cleveland, 6-3, and fall a game in back of the AL-leading Indians.

At Wrigley, the Cubs maul the Cardinals, 14-4, behind Paul Minner (5-2). Minner clubs his second homer of the year, Hank Sauer hits 2 homers, while Ernie Banks and Bill Serena belt 2-run homers, all in the first four innings. Ralph Kiner chips in with a single, double, and triple, and Randy Jackson drives in 4 runs. Sauer now leads the majors in homers with 16. The Cubs are in 7th place in the NL, but just 4.5 games behind the leader, the Braves.

Gotta have a car. Reading and Allentown play a day-night doubleheader (one in Allentown and one in Reading). The first game in Allentown is won by Reading, 9-5, with Hank Aguirre getting the win. The second game in Reading also is won by the home team, 5-2. The father of future major leaguer Frank Tanana (Frank Tanana Sr.) hits his only homerun of the year in the game. Reading and Allentown are about 30 miles apart