1940 September

nd With the decision to play all their September games at Municipal Stadium, the Indians promptly drop a Labor Day doubleheader to the 7th place St. Louis Browns. The Tribe loses 2–1 and 3–0 and now lead the Yankees by 3 ½ games. Vern Kennedy wins the opener, collecting 3 hits.

Washington’s Sid Hudson beats the Red Sox Lefty Grove, 1–0, in 13 innings.

Recent call-up Danny Litwhiler drives in 8 runs on 6 hits to lead the Phils to a sweep of the Giants at Shibe Park. Kirby Higbe wins the opener, 11–2, and Litwhiler has a grand slam. The Phils win the nitecap, 6–5, on Bobby Bragan’s 10th inning HR.

3rd Detroit, in 3rd place behind the Indians and Yankees, gets HRs from Gehringer, Greenberg and Campbell, to beat the visiting Indians and Bob Feller, 7–2. Schoolboy Rowe is the winner.

4th In Detroit, the Tigers get two 3-run HRs, from Campbell and Gehringer, to again top the slumping Tribe, 11–3. Tommy Bridges and Al Benton combine for the win.

5th Before the start of their game with the Dodgers, the Phillies honor Chuck Klein, and present The Clouting Kraut with a box of coins and a ham. The Dodgers then present the Phils with an 8–5 loss.

Lew Fonseca, promotional manager for the American League, says that an analysis of film of Bob Feller throwing faster than a racing motorcycle reveals that Feller’s pitches were over 100 mph. “We are assured that the ball is traveling at a speed of more than one hundred miles per hour.” (The Sporting News, September 5, 1940),

6th Detroit’s Bobo Newsom wins his 18th and hands Cleveland its 5thstraight loss, topping the Tribe 10–5. The Indians now lead the AL by a game.

In Philadelphia, Brooklyn’s Freddie Fitzsimmons shuts out the Phils, 3–0, in the opener of a doubleheader. He’ll shut out the Pirates in his next start and will finish at 16-2 in his 18 starts. The Dodgers explode for a 14-3 win in game 2 as Joe Medwick hits a grand slam in the 8thoff Max Wilson.

7th The Tigers trip the Browns 5–4, scoring three runs in the 9thinning to win. Hank Greenberg hits his 29th homer of the year, 2ndbest in the AL, while Brownie star Rip Radcliff is hitless. Radcliff (.345) leads Ted Williams .341) in hitting. With the White Sox handing the Indians their 6th loss in a row, Cleveland now leads the AL by just .011 percentage points.

In Chicago, the first-place Reds overcome a 4th inning grand slam by Bill Nicholson, and edge the Cubs, 7-6.

Pittsburgh rallies to score 8 runs in the 8th and 3 more in the 9th to beat the Cardinals, 14–9. Three homers are hit, by Arky Vaughan, Terry Moore, and Vince DiMaggio.

The Giants beat the Dodgers, 4–1, when Babe Young clouts a fifth inning grand slam off Randy Gumpert. Young is the first Giants rookie to hit two grand slams in a season. Daryl Spencer will match it this century. The Dodgers score comes on a homer by Jimmy Wasdell.

The International League awards the MVP to 35-year-old hurler Mike Ryba, recently recalled by the Red Sox.

8th In the opener of a Sunday doubleheader, Johnny Mize of the St. Louis Cardinals sets 4 ML records as he rips 3 consecutive HRs, his second 3-homer game of the season and the 4th time in his career. For “Big John,” it is number 38 through 40 homers of the year. Pittsburgh still sweeps the 2 games, 16–14 on 21 hits, and 9–4 in 5 innings.

In a 9–4 win against the Red Sox, Yankee Joe Gordon hits for the cycle to back Spud Chandler’s pitching.

9th The Indians lose their 7th straight as White Sox lefty Thornton Lee beats them, 2–1. The Tigers take over first place with the Yankees one game back. Tomorrow’s opener in Cleveland with the Yanks will be rained out.

10th Boston’s Lefty Grove slows the Tigers, beating Bobo Newsom 6–5, in 13 innings. It is Lefty’s 2nd 13-inning win in succession. The win puts Cleveland back in first by .001.

Hitting against Washington’s Ken Chase, Chicago’s Bob Kennedy, with 2 on and no out in the 9th, lines into a triple play to end the game, a 5–2 win for the Nats. It’s the Nats 2nd triple play of the year. His previous at bat in the game, Kennedy hit into a DP, and will do the same tomorrow in his first at bat.

In a twinbill loss to the Pirates, the Phils lose catcher Ben Warren when he suffers a brain concussion after being hit by a pitch from Luke Sewell in game 2. The Pirates sweep, winning 11-3 and 11-1 with the wins going to Joe Bowman and Sewell.

Former ML infielder Sam Crane, serving time for the 1930 murder of his former sweetheart and her boyfriend, starts parole proceedings.

11th In a doubleheader, the Yankees’ first-game win at Cleveland puts them atop the AL, as Ernie Bonham beats Bob Feller, 5–3. A 2ndgame loss, 5–3, aided by Babe Dahlgren’s costly error, drops them out of first, and they will never reach first again. Joe McCarthy will hold this error against Babe, contending that it cost them the pennant. He whispers to many that Dahlgren is a marijuana user, and will trade him after the season. The Dahlgren family will for years maintain that McCarthy essentially blackballed him out of the game and defamed him, though his .253 over 5 seasons might have played a part.

The Tigers route the Red Sox 11–7 to briefly take over first place. Three teams will hold first place today.

At Ebbets Field, Dizzy Dean makes a triumphant return to the Cubs, setting down the Dodgers, 3–2, in game 2. Reiser homers in the 7thagainst Diz, now pitching sidearm. The Cubs win the opener, 8–5.

12th Hank Greenberg hits his 32nd homer to lead Detroit to a victory, 6–3, over visiting New York.

The Boston Bees sting the Cardinals twice, winning 17–7 and 6–1. Pitcher Jim Tobin wins the opener and helps out by scoring 4 runs, the last NL hurler this century to do so.

13th Tommie Bridges shuts out the Yankees, 8–0, for his 16th victory and Detroit’s 8th win in 9 games. Greenberg hits his 33rd of the year.

The White Sox sweep a pair from the A’s, winning 6–2 and 8–4. A’s SS Al Brancato helps Chicago by making 3 errors in one inning in the nitecap, after making 2 errors in game 1.

14th The Yankees finally erupt against Detroit pitching, bombarding Bobo Newsom for a 16–7 win. Joe Gordon clouts two homers and Joe DiMaggio has two doubles among his 4 hits as he takes over the AL hitting lead from Rip Radcliff. The Tigers lead the AL by a half game as Red Sox rookie Earl Johnson stops the Indians, 2–1.

The United States, Hawaii, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico meet in the 3rd annual World Amateur Baseball Championship tourney, the first championship series to feature more than 3 participants. Cuba, the host country, is the victor for the 2nd consecutive year. The initial tourney had been held in England in 1939 and was also won by the host country, Great Britain.

15th Washington stops first place Detroit, 6–1, behind knuckleballer Dutch Leonard.

The Indians sweep the A’s, winning 5–0 and 8–5. Feller wins the opener, allowing no hits until Dick Siebert bloops a single in the 8thinning. Feller allows one other hit and walks none.

On “Ted Lyons Day” at Comiskey Park, the veteran pitcher is given a $1550 auto purchased with dimes contributed by fans. The Comiskeys add a check for $1800, and there is cash and gifts from his teammates. Moe Berg contributes a money clip. Lyons completes the celebration by beating the Red Sox on 3 hits for his 232nd victory. His 2.10 ERA will lead the AL, the only time he’s been best in that.

The Cardinals sweep a pair from the host Phillies, winning 7-0 behind Bill McGee and 3-1 behind Bob Bowman. Enos Slaughter contributes a grand slam in the opener, off Ike Pearson in the 7th.

16th Rookie Johnny Lucadello of the St. Louis Browns hits HRs from each side of the plate versus the New York Yankees in a 16–4 Browns win. Only Wally Schang, in 1916, had accomplished the same in the AL. Mickey Mantle in 1955 will be the next AL player to do it. Today’s clouts are the only HRs Lucadello will hit all year. The Browns sweep by winning the nitecap, dropping the Yankees to 3 ½ back of the Indians.

With Ray Mack hitting a grand slam, the Indians split a doubleheader with the last-place A’s, winning 8–3 and losing 3–2, while the Tigers move to a ½ game back by beating the Senators, 9–2. Bobo Newsom cops his 19th win.

After the Dodgers lose to the Reds, 4–3 in ten innings, a rhubarb at Ebbets Field results in a suspension and fine for Leo Durocher for “inciting a riot.” Perhaps better known from the game is the photo showing an obese Brooklyn fan astride George Magerkurth, pummeling the veteran umpire.

Called up from the Eastern League in August, Phillies rookie Danny Litwhiler singles in both games of 7–1 and 3–2 losses to St. Louis, extending his hitting streak to 21 straight games. He will be stopped tomorrow by Whitey Moore at Cincinnati, but will hit .345 in 36 games.

17th The Tigers regain first place defeating the Senators, 6–3, behind the pitching of Schoolboy Rowe (15-3). Rudy York hits his 29th homer.

The Reds Whitey Moore stops the Phils on 5 hits and stops Danny Litwhiler’s 21-game hit streak, the longest of the year. The Reds are a game away from clinching.

18th The A’s are mired deep in the cellar, but Connie Mack hits all the right buttons today. He sends 4 pinch batters to the plate in the 9thinning versus Detroit, and all 4 deliver hits, a record, with an ML-record tying 3 scoring. Hank Greenberg matches that for Detroit with a grand slam as the two teams split a doubleheader. Detroit wins the opener, 14–0, and the A’s take the second game, 13–6, as they plate 9 runs in the 9th.

Cleveland tops the Senators, 3–1, in game 1, as Johnny Allen picks up the victory Pitching on two days rest, Bob Feller wins his 26th in game 2, beating the Senators, 2–1. Sid Hudson takes the loss. The sweep moves Cleveland to a half-game ahead of Detroit.

The Reds clinch the NL flag, outdistancing the Dodgers and the late-rushing Cardinals. The Reds win in Philadelphia, 4–3, in 13 innings.

In a football score at Ebbets Field, the Cardinals top the Dodgers, 14-7. Johnny Mize has 4 hits and drives in six runs for the Birds, while Babe Phelps hits a grand slam for Brooklyn.

19th The AL race is a tie when the Tigers sweep the A’s, 13–2 and 10–1. Floyd Giebell, 30, just up from Buffalo where he went 15–16, wins the opener and Dizzy Trout takes the nitecap. The Indians win and with 8 games left, the Tigers and Indians are knotted at 85–61.

Paul Derringer notches his 20th win, his third in three years, as he guns down the Phillies, 4-1.

Chicago’s Claude Passeau tops the Giants 8–2 to hand New York its 11th straight loss.

20th At Detroit, the Tigers, down 4–1, jump on Bob Feller, in relief of Mel Harder, and Joe Dobson for 5 runs, and win 6–5. For the first time in 18 games the Tigers fail to hit a home run. The Tigers now lead the AL by a game over the Tribe. The Plain Dealer’s Gordon Cobbledick laments, “if the Indians fail to win the pennant, it will be because Feller has been worn to a frazzle by working in and out of turn.”

In St. Louis, Harlond Clift hits a first-inning grand slam and the Browns hold on for a 7-6 win over the White Sox.

21st With the Tigers, Indians, and Yankees neck-and-neck, the Tigers boost their lead to two games, as Schoolboy Rowe shuts out Cleveland 5–0. Rowe, seemingly washed up after anchoring the staff through Tiger championships in the mid-1930s, wins his 16th game.

Against the Reds, Pittsburgh’s Debs Garms laces 5 hits in game 2 of the doubleheader, including the game winning RBI. His batting average stands at .379. Despite going 0-for-23 the rest of the way, he will sew up the NL batting title with a .355 average. Garms has only 358 at bats but has appeared in 103 games, thus qualifying him for the crown. He will have just 6 strikeouts on the year. The Reds win, 8–1, to extend their winning streak to 11 games, all on the road, then lose 8–7 in 10 innings.

The Giants break their 11-game losing streak, beating the Bees, 3–1, in Boston.

22nd Bob Feller comes through again for Cleveland, whipping the Tigers, 10–5, before 56,771 fans in Detroit. Detroit gets a homer from Greenberg, his 40th, but Feller matches that with his 2nd of the year, and Hal Trosky, Roy Weatherly, Ben Chapman, and Ken Keltner also go deep for the Tribe. Detroit’s lead is cut to a game.

At Chicago, the Cards sweep two, winning the opener 8–1 behind Mort Cooper. Dizzy Dean is the loser. Max Lanier takes the nitecap, 2–1, over Larry French.

The Reds Jim Turner 2-hits the Pirates, winning, 2–1, in Pittsburgh. With a 4-3 win on the 26th, the Reds will set a ML record this year with 41 one-run victories.

At Brooklyn, the 2nd-place Dodgers sweep a pair from the last-place Phillies, winning 6–3 and 8–6. In between games, there is a 3-inning oldtimers match between the Robins and Dodger players of the 1930s. Included on the Robins side are fan favorite Zach Wheat, Tim Jordan, Otto Miller, Rube Marquard, Sherry Smith and Hy Myers. The Dodgers are represented by Fresco Thompson, Joe Stripp, Del Bissonette, Rube Bressler, Val Picinich, Waite Hoyt, and Dazzy Vance among others. Also on hand is turn of the century Brooklyn player Bill Dahlen. The 30’s youngsters whip the oldtime Robins, 6–3.

23rd Before a Wrigley crowd of 1,843, Claude Passeau notches his 20th win as he scatters four Cardinal hits. Passeau helps his cause with a home run in the 10–0 romp.

Despite stranding 11 runners in the first 7 innings, Brooklyn beats the visiting Giants, 3–2, scoring 2 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th. Dolph Camilli homers into the CF bleachers with 2 out in the 9th. Winning P Tex Carleton relieves in the 9th with runners on 2B and 3B and one out. He intentionally walks PH Joe Moore to load the bases. He sprawls snagging Johnny McCarthy’s popped bunt attempt for one out and then scrambles to 1B to complete the unassisted DP. The Dodgers score in the 9th and Tex picks up his 100th win in his final ML appearance.

24th George Caster of the Philadelphia Athletics allows 6 HRs against the Boston Red Sox, four of them coming in the 6th inning when the Sox total 25 bases and an AL record (since tied) 7 extra bases on long hits. Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, and Joe Cronin connect successively, with Foxx’s HR his 500th career homer. Bobby Doerr hits a triple (he is held up by the 3B coach and some observers felt he might’ve scored) and Jim Tabor adds another HR in the 6th as Boston barely wins, 10–9, in 10 innings, clouting 5 doubles, 3 triples, and 6 homers. Boston then wins the 2nd game, 3–2. It is the 3rd time that Foxx has been part of a three consecutive-homer barrage.

With all their September games now at Municipal Stadium, the Indians drop a 7–2 game to the lowly Browns. Red Sox and Tiger castoff Eldon Auker outpitches Mel Harder for his 15th win. With the Tigers rained out, the Indians are 1 ½ back.

The Yankees sweep a pair from the Senators with fireman Johnny Murphy winning both games. Murphy pitches the 10th inning of the opening 6–5 win, then tosses 2 2/3 innings of the nitecap, a 9–4 win stopped after 6 ½ innings because of darkness. The Murphy wins puts the Yankees at 2 ½ games back.

25th Walker Cooper, recently called up from Columbus (AA), and Mort Cooper, pitching in relief, make up a brother battery in the Cards, 4–3 win over the Reds in the 2nd game of a twinbill. In the opener, Junior Thompson 2-hits the Cards to win, 5–0. Both hits are by Enos Slaughter.

The Indians Al Milnar stops the Browns, 4–2, his 5th straight win over St. Louis.

In Detroit, Bobo Newsom wins a clutch doubleheader for the Tigers, pitching 2 innings of relief in the opener against the White Sox for his 20th win. Detroit wins 10–9 in 10 innings on Rudy York’s double. Bobo goes the distance in the nightcap for his 21st win, a 3–2 triumph. Greenberg contributes his 41st homer and 150th RBI in the 2nd game. Detroit now leads by 2 games.

In Chicago’s 2–1 and 6–4 sweep over the Pirates, Debs Garms takes over in LF in game 2 for the Bucs. For Garms, who was 0-for-5 in game 1, it is his 100th game, qualifying him for the batting title. Garms will play in 103 games and lead the NL in hitting with a .355 average in 358 at bats. The NL ruled in early September that there was no rule stating that a player had to be up 400 times to qualify for the title and 100 games would qualify. Garms wins the batting title despite going 0-for-last 23 at bats.

26th The Yankees stay in contention by sweeping a pair from the A’s, 5-4 and 2-0. New York, winners of 8 straight, are now 2 ½ games behind Detroit and a half game behind Cleveland. Red Ruffing wins the openers with home run support from Joe Gordon and Bill Dickey. For Gordon, it is his 30th homer of the year. Ernie Bonham allows 4 hits in the nitecap.

The fading Red Sox lose to the Senators, 6-5, as the Nats have 3 straight hits in the 9th, including Cecil Travis’s game-winning hit, to emerge victorious. Losing hurler Jim Bagby, Jr, sets a ML record for pitchers when he makes all 3 putouts in the 4th inning. It won’t be matched until 1963.

Behind Harry Gumbert and Bob Carpenter, the Giants beat the Phils, 3-1 and 2-1. Both Phillie tallies come in the 9th. Giants CF John Rucker, the Crabapple Comet, records his first homer in game one, an inside-the-park homer.

Boston sweeps a pair from Brooklyn behind unlikely rookie pitchers, George Barnicle and Hank LaManna, who both win their only decision of the year. Barnicle takes the opener, 5-2, when Don Manno clouts his only ML homer, a 6th inning grand slam off Wes Flowers. Manno debuted four days earlier. LaManna wins the nightcap, 5-4, as Boston scores 4 runs in the top of the 9th.

27th Besides Bobo Newsom (21-5), Schoolboy Rowe (16-3), and Tommy Bridges (12-9), the Tigers pitching staff combines for a losing record. Needing one victory to gain the title, manager Del Baker decides to withhold Newsom and Rowe and picks 30-year-old rookie Floyd Giebell. Giebell shuts out the Indians 2–0 to beat Bob Feller, who gives up just 3 hits, including a wind-blown two-run homer by Rudy York down the LF line. The ball would likely have been caught at League Park. Not eligible for the WS, Giebell never wins another game in the majors. During the game, unruly Cleveland fans shower the field with fruit and vegetables delaying the game. Greenberg is hit by a tomato while in the field. At one point, a basket of green tomatoes is dropped onto Tigers C Birdie Tebbetts’ head while he sits in the bullpen, knocking him out for a few moments. When Birdie recovers, he finds the unruly fan, now in the hands of the police, and punches him.

In Pittsburgh’s 4–3 win at Cincinnati, Lonny Frey, Reds infielder, breaks his right foot in the dugout when the heavy metal cover of a water cooler falls and lands on it. Frey will be limited to two at bats in the WS.

In New York, the Yankees, winners of 8 straight games, lose to the A’s Johnny Babich, 6–2. Babich is a former Yankee minor leaguer. New York is out of the World Series for the first time since 1935. Yankee C Arndt Jorgens, on the club’s active roster both last year and this, ends the season without an appearance, certainly a ML record. Last season he scored a run as a pinch runner, but had no at bats.

The Red Sox pound the Senators, 24–4, at Fenway, scoring 10 runs in the 4th and 7 runs in the 8th. Boston bangs out 22 hits to make Fritz Ostermueller the winner. Dom DiMaggio scores 5 runs and Ted Williams drives in 4 as all 12 Sox batters collect a hit. Much of the damage comes against Joe Kraukaukas, who gives up 12 earned runs in 5 innings.

Hugh Mulcahy ends the last-place Phillies twelve-game losing streak and his personal 12-game loss streak with a 6–0 whitewash of the Giants. Despite the win, Mulcahy, a member of the 1940 All-Star team, still leads the NL in losses with 22.

28th At Fenway, A’s starter Chubby Dean goes all the way against the Red Sox despite giving up 19 hits. The Sox fatten their averages, winning 16–4. Boston will end the season with 5 wins and start the ‘41 season with another 5 wins, their longest streak over 2 seasons.

29th Johnny Rucker, a Life magazine cover boy at the start of the season, based on his .346 average with Atlanta and his speed afoot, never quite lives up to the ballyhoo. But this day he hits a grand slam and drives in record-tying 7 runs in two consecutive innings, as the Giants whip Boston, 14–0.

The Reds win their 100th game, beating the visiting Pirates 11–3, behind Bucky Walters. With one error in the game, Bill McKechnie’s Cincinnati team totals just 117 errors during the season, a ML record and 18 less than any previous team. The .981 fielding mark is the best up to this time. The defense, plus the pitching of Bucky Walters, Paul Derringer, and reliever Joe Beggs, brings the 2nd straight NL flag to the Reds, despite multiple injuries to Ernie Lombardi. The big catcher went down again September 15th, and with Hershberger’s suicide, the club turns to 39-year-old coach Jimmy Wilson for some of the backstopping. Wilson will end up as a WS hero.

The AL finishes the season drawing 5,433,791, surpassing the attendance record set in 1924.

30th At Fenway, the Yankees edge the Red Sox, 4-3, behind Mario Russo’s complete game. Russo improves to 13-5. The victory leaves the Yanks in 3rd place, a game behind the Indians and Tigers. Ted Williams has 3 RBIs for the Bosox and hits a homer in his 4th straight game against New York, a Red Sox team record. The previous mark of a homer in each of three straight contests against New York was set by Babe Ruth. Jackie Jensen will tie the Splendid Splinter.