1944 October

1st In Detroit 45,565 watch 27-game winner Dizzy Trout, pitching on one day’s rest, lose to Washington knuckleballer Dutch Leonard 4–1. Prior to that, Leonard had lost 7 straight to Detroit in 1943-44. Years later, Leonard reports he had received a phone call offering him $20,000 to throw the game. Despite the victory, the Senators will finish in 8th place, 25 games behind the first place Browns. Except for the shortened season of 1918, this is the closest an 8th place AL team will finish to the leader.

The Browns have their first sellout in 20 years, and their largest crowd ever, as 37,815 pack Sportsman’s Park. St. Louis clinches the flag on the final day of the season by sweeping the series with the Yankees and winning 5–2. The big blows are a pair of 2-run HRs by Chet Laabs, off Mel Queen Sig Jakucki is the winning pitcher.

At Chicago, the Red Sox and White Sox scramble through a double header, finishing the two games in a total of 2 hours and 48 minutes. In the opener, Rex Cecil outduels Chicago’s Joe Haynes to give Boston a 3–1 win as each team collects 5 hits. In the nitecap, completed in 1:10, Chicago raps 11 hits off Johnny Humphries, but 4th place Boston wins, 4–1. The crowd is 3,917, up from 839 yesterday.

A’s reliever Joe Berry wins a pair from the Indians, pitching two innings in the opener, a 5–2 win, and four more in the nitecap, 5–0, in 10 innings. Berry finishes the year with 10 wins and 8 losses, AL highs in relief. His 12 saves is also tops in the AL. Boudreau is 1-for-8 to win the AL batting title (.327) over the Army’s Bobby Doerr.

4th The first and only all-St. Louis WS opens with the Browns, as the visiting team, beating the Cardinals 2–1 on George McQuinn’s 2-run homer. Denny Galehouse is the winning hurler and Mort Cooper loses despite allowing just 2 hits. It is the first Series in which all the games are played west of the Mississippi River. The Series is dubbed the Streetcar Series and is played with no days off. Red Hayworth is behind the plate for the Browns, with Frank Mancuso as his backup. In a family oddity, brothers Ray Hayworth and Gus Mancuso also catch in the big leagues.

5th Ken O’Dea’s pinch single in the 11th drives in Ray Sanders for a Cardinals’ 3–2 win. Two errors by Potter and one by Mark Christman give the Cards 2, early-inning, unearned runs.

6th The Browns take a 2–1 game lead with a 6–2 victory for Jack Kramer, who fans 10. Five singles and a wild pitch by Fred Schmidt give the Browns 4 runs in the 3rd.

7th The Cards even the Series with a 5–1 win by Harry Brecheen, who strands 10 runners.

8th Mort Cooper strikes out 12; Denny Galehouse, 10. But the Cards get the runs to win, 2–0. Cooper walks none and there won’t be a pitcher in a WS game who strikes out 10 or more with no walks until 2017 when Kershaw does it.

9th Emil Verban drives in 3 runs as the Cardinals top the Browns 3–1 and win the Series in 6 games. Ted Wilks allows no one to reach base in 3 2⁄3 innings of relief, fanning 4 pinch hitters. George McQuinn hits .438 for the Series. The winners get $4,626 each; the Browns take $2,743, the lowest player shares since 1933.

In the Junior World Series in Baltimore, a record (for Municipal Stadium) crowd of 52,833 watch Louisville edge Baltimore, 5-4, in game 4. The WS in St. Louis draws 36,568.