1931 September

1st  Gehrig hits his 3rd grand slam in four days and his 6th HR in consecutive games when he connects in a 5–1 second game win over the Red Sox. The blast, his 40th of the year, comes in the 3rd inning off Ed Morris. Gehrig connects in the opening 11–3 win against Milt Gaston, belting his 39th homer in the 7th inning. Lou finishes the day with 6 RBI and has knocked in 21 runs in the past 6 games. With the A’s losing to Washington, New York is a half-game out of 2nd place.

In Philadelphia, the A’s lose to Washington, 5-1, to snap their 22-game winning streak at home, the longest ever in the AL. Sad Sam Jones is the Washington pitcher who stops the skein. The A’s will go 60-15 at home this year and compile three separate winning streaks: 17 games home and away; 14 games away; and 22 games at home. None of the streaks overlap.

Giants rookie Jim Mooney notches his 4th win since being called up 3 weeks ago, beating the Braves 4-0. It is his 2nd shutout.

5th The Cardinals lead drops to 5 ½ as the 2nd-place Giants whip Brooklyn, 5–1 and 10–1. New York’s Fred Fitzsimmons wins the opener, pitching 7 innings, giving up 3 hits and stroking a HR. In the 7th inning, Fitzsimmons is struck on the head by a pitch from Austin Moore, which ruptures a blood vessel and keeps the knuckleballer from making his next start.

In Cincinnati, the Cubs lose, 4–3, in 10 innings to Benny Frey, who goes the distance allowing 4 hits and collects 4 hits. Hack Wilson, in the Cubs dog house for drinking and not hitting, is left in the bull pen to warm up pitchers when manager Hornsby, short of outfielders, inserts pitcher Bud Teachout in LF. On the train back to Chicago that night, Wilson starts arguing with two writers. When Pat Malone wanders by, he joins in the argument and, with his encouragement, Wilson punches out both writers. Malone will be fined $500 for his actions while club president Bill L. Veeck will suspend Wilson without pay for the rest of the season. In 112 games, Wilson hit just .261 with 13 HRs, and the Cubs will send the slumping slugger to St. Louis over the winter.

At Boston, George Earnshaw loses a no-hitter in the 8th inning when Marty McManus’s roller gets away from SS Williams. Earnshaw ends with a 8–0 one-hitter. The A’s lose the nitecap, 6–3, to Wilcey Moore.

6th  The visiting Cardinals tighten their hold on first place by shutting out the Reds twice, winning 3–0 and 7–0. Flint Rhem allows 3 hits in the opener to beat Si Johnson, then Syl Johnson wins the nitecap over Larry Benton. The Reds are credited with a triple play in the 6th inning of game 2, going from LF Cullop to C Styles to 3B Stripp to SS Leo Durocher to 2B Cuccinello. Cooch’s last out is a hidden ball trick and since the ball is never returned to the pitcher, a TP is recorded. It’s Cooch’s 3rd successful hidden ball trick in two years, and the 2nd in which Durocher assists. It is also Cooch’s 3rd triple play in two years.

At Braves Field, the A’s down the Red Sox, 5-3, behind Ed Rommel. Mickey Cochrane drives in 4 runs. Al Simmons returns to the lineup after being sidelined for three weeks with various ailments, primarily an injured ankle. In his absence, the A’s have gone from an 11.5 game-lead to 15 games. The star goes hitless today, and will go hitless tomorrow, before running off a 14-game hitting streak to finish the year.

Homestead Grays ace Smokey Joe Williams fashions a 2-hit, 6–2 win over the St. Louis Stars in the Negro NL Championship Series. The Grays will win in 6 games.

7th  Van Lingle Mungo, Uncle Robby’s last find as a pitcher, reports to Brooklyn from Hartford and shuts out Boston 2–0 in his first ML start. He fans 7 and hits a triple and a single to drive in both runs. Ancient Tom Zachary takes the loss. Brooklyn also took the opener, 5–4, in 10 innings on Fresco Thompson’s RBI single.

In the morning game of a doubleheader in Philadelphia, the Yankees begin with 8 walks and score 8 times in the first inning on only 2 hits. Rommel, the 4th pitcher in the frame, retires Ruth, Gehrig, and Chapman on strikes. The Yanks win 15–3. In the 2nd game, Ruth and Gehrig bang 6th-inning homers off Waite Hoyt, and Ruth adds another Hoyt blow in the 9th, his 40th. The Yanks roll 9–4 over the first-place A’s.

The Pirates sweep a holiday pair from the Reds, 6–1 and 4–3, scoring 3 in the 8th of the p.m. game. The Bucs lose SS Tommy Thevenow when he fractures his ankle in 2 places sliding in the 6th inning of the opener.

8th Bill Harris, 31, who last pitched in the majors for the Reds, in 1924, makes his first appearance for Pittsburgh and shuts out Cincinnati, 3–0.

9th  To raise funds to help the unemployed in the Depression, the Yankees, Giants, and Robins agree to a series of benefit games. Sixty thousand fans, paying regular prices, raise $59,000 in the first matchup, as Babe Ruth homers and the Yankees beat the Giants 7–2. At Comiskey Park, a crowd of 34,865 raises $45,000 for Governor Emmerson‘s unemployment relief fund and watch the Cubs trim the White Sox, 3–0, behind Charley Root. Root twirls a 6-hitter and drives in all the runs.

11th At Yankee Stadium, the Yanks load the bases in the first inning but a 5-4-3 triple play stops the scoring threat. The White Sox win, 3-1.

12th At Boston, Eddie Durham and Detroit’s Arthur “Red” Herring hook up in a 13 inning pitching duel, won by the Sox pitcher, 1–0.

The Reds split a pair today, beating visiting Brooklyn, 4–1, in an afternoon game, then play a night exhibition game under portable lights, losing 15-7 to a picked nine from Dayton. Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander pitches three innings for Dayton.

13th  Yankee Tony Lazzeri steals 2B, reaches 3B, then steal home in the 12th to give Lefty Gomez a 2–1 win over Detroit in the lidlifter. New York edges the Tigers, 4–3, in nitecap although Earl Whitehill holds them to 4 hits. One of the hits is a 2-run HR by Gehrig in the 6th.

After the Giants lose, 1–0, to Larry Benton in the opener, Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons pitches New York to a 9–4 nitecap win over the Reds. Bill Terry contributes 2 doubles and 2 HRs in the win.

Cardinal P Paul Derringer has his scoreless inning streak stopped at 33, but manages to beat the Phils, 6–2, on 6 hits.

At Wrigley, the Cubs win 11–7 over the Braves when player-manager Rogers Hornsby cracks an 11th inning pinch grand slam. According to historian David Vincent, this is the first extra inning pinch grand slam in ML history. The Cubs take the second game, 8–1, behind Guy Bush’s one-hitter, his 2nd of the year. His first was against the Cards on August 9th.

15th  The Philadelphia Athletics clinch the pennant, beating Cleveland at home, 14–3. Every starter for the A’s has a hit and RBI. Eddie Rommel, veteran knuckleball pitcher for the A’s, is the winning hurler, as Connie Mack wins his 3rd successive pennant. It is Mack’s 9th, and last, AL championship. The A’s went into first place for good on May 5th, when they started a win streak of 17 straight games and 20 of their next 21. In mid-July they won 13 straight.

16th  World Series tickets can now be printed as the St. Louis Cardinals repeat as NL champions. They beat the Phillies, 6–3, behind Bill Hallahan’s 18th win of the year, and prepare for a rematch of the 1930 WS. Earlier in the day, The Reds clinched it for the Birds by sweeping the Giants, 7–3 and 4–3. The Cards win completes a six-game sweep of the Phillies, who have gone 5-51 at St. Louis since 1927, a winning percentage of .089, the lowest in history for that many visiting games against a team.

Led by Earl Webb, who hits his 62nd and 63rd doubles of the year, the Red Sox edge the visiting White Sox, 2–1, and bound out of the AL cellar.

17th  On his 34th birthday, OF Earl Webb of the Red Sox ties and then sets the still-standing ML record for 2-base hits at 65. Earl doubles in the lidlifter, a 9–2 win over the visiting Indians, to tie George Burns’ double record at 64. Burns set his record in 1926. In game 2, a 2–1 Sox loss, Webb doubles off Jablonowski to set the record. He doubles tomorrow and will finish the season with a ML record 67. He would have had 68, but on August 4th the league corrected a May 1st box score, turning what had been credited as a double into a single.

In the first of two, the Yankees and Red Ruffing rough up the Browns and George Blaeholder, 17–0. Bill Dickey’s grand slam is the big blow. The Yanks take the nitecap, 6–1 behind Lefty Gomez’s three hitter and Babe Ruth’s 41st and 42nd homers of the year. Ruth connects for a home run in every park in the AL, a feat he’s accomplished every year since 1919, except 1922. No other American Leaguer has homered in every park in a season.

18th  In a 4–3 loss to the Cardinals, the Giants’ Mel Ott is beaned by Burleigh Grimes in the 5th inning. Ott suffers a brain concussion and, with the Cardinals clinching the pennant, he sits out the rest of the season.

Lefty Grove wins his 30th game, beating the White Sox, 3–1, on 5 hits. He is the first to win 30 since Jim Bagby of Cleveland in 1920 and will be the last AL hurler to do so until Denny McLain in 1968.

20th  The Yanks run their win streak to 10 in a row, beating the Indians 7–1 and 10–4 in 7 innings. Lou Gehrig hits his 45th homer in game 1 and drives in 4 runs for the afternoon to break his old RBI mark of 175, set in 1927. By the season’s end he will have a total of 184. Ruth also drives home 4 runs and hits his 44th in game 2.

Before a game with Brooklyn, Sparky Adams, Cards 3B, injures his ankle. He can see only limited action in the WS, leaving a chance for Andy High to shine as his substitute. Gabby Street, 48-year-old Cardinal manager, catches the last 3 innings of the 6–1 win against the Robins. Street, who last played in 1912, throws out Babe Herman, the only Brooklyn runner who tries to steal. Street is 0-for-1 at the plate.

21st  In Philadelphia, the A’s and Tigers split a pair, with the A’s winning the opener, 3-2. Jimmie Foxx hits a grand slam in the 7th of the second game but the first-place A’s fall, 6-5.

22nd  In a 13-inning game at Forbes Field, Hal Finney, Pirates catcher, has no putouts in a 3–2 win over Philadelphia. Paul Waner draws 5 walks, and 20 runners are left on base, as Heine Meine wins his 19th game to tie for the lead in the NL.

At Philadelphia, the A’s set a new franchise record as they win their 105th, beating the Tigers, 8–6. Jimmie Foxx belts his 30th, a 3-run homer in the first to pave the way for George Earnshaw’s 21st win. Tiger infielder Mark Koenig makes his 3rd mound appearance of the season, walks 6 while pitching 2 runless innings. The A’s complete their season series with Detroit at 18–4.

In St. Louis, the House of David baseball team loses to the Cardinals, 17-6, in the first night game at Sportsman’s Park. By using a portable lighting system, the game attracts 9,000 fans. The hirsute House of David squad is led by pitcher Pete Alexander, who faced the Reds under the lights 10 days ago while pitching for a team from Dayton. The Cards lose the afternoon contest, 6–3, to Brooklyn before just 450 fans, but they maintain an 11-game lead in the NL over the Giants.

24th Lefty Grove wins his 31st, beating the Red Sox, 9–4, his 11th straight win over the Red Sox stretching back to May 26, 1930. Since July 25, 1930, Grove’s record is 46–4, the best 50 decision streak in the century, as noted by Jim Kaplan.

The round-robin playoff among New York City’s 3 ML teams, to raise money for the unemployed, concludes with Brooklyn losing to both the Giants and the Yankees at the Polo Grounds. Again, a near capacity crowd turns out and adds $48,000 to bring the fund to $108,000. In field events held between games, Babe Ruth, normally a left-handed hitter, bats right and wins the fungo hitting contest. He breaks the old distance record held by Big Ed Walsh. Ruth’s drive lands in deep center field, 421 feet away. The old record, set 20 years earlier, was 4191⁄2 feet.

25th The A’s 19-year-old rookie Lew Krausse makes his ML debut a dandy one, twirling a 4-hitter to beat Boston, 7–1.

Sam Rice drops a fly ball and the Yankees rally for 5 runs in the 8th to beat the Senators, 8–3. Ruth has two solo homers to help in the win. The 3rd place Yanks now trail the Nats by a ½ game.

27th  Lou Gehrig hits a HR to tie Babe Ruth at 46 while the Yankees pound Lefty Grove, 13–1, and deny him his 32nd victory. Grove throws just 3 innings in the warm-up for the Series. Gehrig drives in 2 runs as he (184) and Ruth (163) combine to drive in 347 runs for the year, the most productive duo in history. Dickey has 4 hits and ends the year with no passed balls, the only AL catcher—and the Yankees are the only AL team—to ever accomplish the feat. The Yankees score 1,067 runs this season, the highest number this century.

At Wrigley the third-place Cubs end the season by beating the 5th-place Pirates twice, 3-1 and 8-4. Charlie Root picks up his 17th win in the opener while Pat Malone is the winner in relief in game 2. Canadian Vince Barton belts a grand slam in the 6-run 7th of the nitecap. The rookie finishes the year with 13 homers.

The most desperately contested battle for individual honors takes place in the race for the NL batting title. Chick Hafey, who reported late due to a contract dispute, goes into the final doubleheader with the Reds batting .353, 4 points over Bill Terry, last year’s champ. Hafey gets only 2 hits in 8 times at bat to drop to .349. Terry’s Giants are playing archenemy Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. Brooklyn, in their last game as the Robins, wins 12–3, behind Clark. Terry gets only one hit in 4 times at bat. The title goes to Hafey, who batted .3488 to Terry’s .3486. Jim Bottomley, Hafey’s Cardinal teammate, goes 4-for-8 and finishes at .3481. The Cards win 6–2 and 5–3, to win 20 of 22 with the Reds.

In a scheduled doubleheader at Ebbets Field, the Dodgers beat the Giants, 12–3, in the opener. The nitecap, called on account of darkness after three innings with no score, will turn out to be the final contest between managers Wilbert Robinson and John McGraw, one-time friends and business partners, but now bitter enemies. McGraw has the edge, 197–190, with 5 ties.

28th  In a tune-up charity game in Philadelphia, the A’s manage just 3 hits off the Phillies duo of Phil Collins and Clise Dudley, and the Phils prevail, 5-0. Chuck Klein has a pair of 2-run homers, and the infield pulls off a triple play on a Dib Williams line drive.