1941 September

1st Rudy York wallops 3 HRs and drives in 5 runs for the Tigers as the Tigers beat the Browns, 9–5 in game 1 in Detroit. The Tigers rattle 20 hits in the nitecap to win, 16–8.

In the first of two this Labor Day, Dolph Camilli hits the 200th HR of his career against the Braves to put the game into extra innings. Camilli then gives the Dodgers a 6–5 victory in the 15th inning with his 5th hit of the game. Camilli’s 29th HR of the year tied the game in the 8th, his double in the 10th with 2 on kept the Dodgers alive, and a 2-out single in the 15th won the game. Game 2 is cut short at 2–2 with Al Javery on the mound for Boston; he’ll get no rest tomorrow as he is the loser in a 9–2 Brooklyn win.

At Fenway, the Red Sox sweep 2 from the Senators, 13–9 and 10–3. Williams has only 5 official at bats, but has 3 hits—all homers—to take over the AL lead from Charlie Keller. Ted walks 4 times.

2nd The Cardinals sell pitcher Hank Gornicki to the Cubs and he will appear in one game for Chicago before the sale is voided. The Pirates will claim Gornicki in November and he will win 14 games for the Bucs in the next two seasons.

3rd The Dodgers split with the Phillies and drop .004 behind the rained-out Cards. Brooklyn wins the opener, 4–1, behind Whit Wyatt’s 19th win. The Phils win the nitecap by the same score behind Lefty Hoerst’s 4-hitter. Rookie Danny Murtaugh, brought up in mid-season, swipes 3 bases in the 2 games to tie for the lead with 17. His 18 will lead the NL, accomplishing that mark in just 85 games.

Reds manager Bill McKechnie jumps on a plane at the Chicago airport thinking he is bound for Pittsburgh. He ends up in Detroit instead. His Reds lose, 3–2, at Forbes Field without him.

4th The New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 6–3 behind Atley Donald to clinch the AL pennant, the earliest date in ML history. The Yankees need only 136 games, giving them a 91-45 record. Williams is 1–for-1 with 3 walks and is hitting .411. Mississippi State prospect Boo Ferriss pitches batting practice for the Sox.

At Briggs, Bob Feller (22-11) goes 10 innings for the Indians as they edge the Tigers, 7-6. Rip Radcliff has one of the 10 hits off Feller to run his consecutive-game hitting streak to 20 games.

5th The Reds score 8 runs in the 8th inning, four on a grand slam by Eddie Joost, and top the Pirates, 10-4 in the first of two games. The Pirates respond with a 9-4 win in game 2.

6th The Reds Johnny Vander Meer fires a 2-hitter, striking out 14, to beat the Cards, 2–0, in St. Louis. He strikes out 5 in the 2nd and 3rdinnings, walks a man, and records another K for six in two innings.

The Dodgers beat the Giants, 4–1, to increase their NL lead to 2 games. With Reese, Medwick, and Lavagetto benched, Camilli hits his 30th homer to pace the attack.

7th Washington rookie Early Wynn wins the first of his 300 victories, topping the A’s, 4–2, on 6 hits. Wynn won 16 games for last-place Springfield (Eastern) this year. In the opener, the Senators win, 3–2, behind Marchildon.

With Durocher again at SS, the Dodgers, roll over the Giants, 13–1, behind Higbe’s 20th win of the year. Camilli hits 2 homers as the Brooks pound Carl Hubbell and 2 relievers. Brooklyn wins the nitecap, 4–3 in 10 innings.

How do you score this? In the 4th of game 2, Boston batter Max West picks up a short passed ball and flips it to Phils C Livingston who throws to P Tom Hughes who relays back to the catcher to nail Frank Demaree coming in from 3B. In the next inning, West is hit in the mouth by a foul ball while sitting in the dugout and taken to the hospital. West has 3 hits in game 1 as the Braves win twice, 17–6 and 10–1.

8th The Dodgers embark on a 17-game road trip with a three-game lead in the NL.

9th The Reds purchase 3B Bert Haas from the Cards.

He’s better than his brother, Joe. Dom DiMaggio hits his first grand slam and Dick Newsome does the pitching as the Red Sox beat Detroit, 6-0. Dom D will hit another grand slam on the 24th.

The Indians release Mel Harder, who has been plagued with arm problems.

10th In Chicago, Johnny Schmitz makes his pitching debut and notches a victory by throwing only one pitch in the 9th inning, hit for a double play by Cookie Lavagetto. The Cubs then rally for 3 runs and win 5–4 over the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Cubs win the nitecap, 5–3, and the two losses, combined with the Cards sweep of the Phils, cut Brooklyn’s lead to one game.

11th The Dodgers collect a 3-run homer from Dolph Camilli to tie the Cards 4–4 in regulation. They push across two runs in the 11th on Dixie Walker’s single, and Hugh Casey, in relief of veteran Fred Fitzsimmons, picks up the save. Brooklyn leads the Cards by 2 games.

12th The Cards take a 2–0 lead over Brooklyn and hold on to win 4–3. Estel Crabtree, filling in for the injured Slaughter, triples and scores the winning run and also makes a perfect throw to cut down a run at the plate. Rookie Howie Pollet and lefty Max Lanier combine to beat Curt Davis.

13th The Dodgers Whit Wyatt beats the Cards Mort Cooper 1–0 in St. Louis before 33,691, the largest paid attendance in St. Louis since June 18, 1927. Dixie Walker’s double in the 8th is the first Dodger hit. Walker then relays a stolen sign to Billy Herman, who singles him home. The Dodgers again lead the NL by 2 games. Bill Klem umps his final game in the majors, hanging up his whisk after a record 5369 games umped. Klem had retired at the end of last season, but umped in 11 games this season, all at 2B.

The beat goes on. Indians manager Peckinpaugh announces he has fined and suspended Roy Weatherly for not hustling in the series with the Senators. Weatherly will be paid off for the rest of the season and removed from the roster, but he will be back with the Tribe next year.

14th The Cards move 1 ½ games behind the Dodgers by sweeping the Giants in a Sunday twinbill. In the opener, Lon Warneke outpitches Hubbell, 1–0, and in the nightcap, reliever Howard Krist (10–0) wins, 6–5, in 10 innings. Krist’s 10–0 year, except for Tom Zachary in 1929 (12–0), is the best season without a loss.

In Cincinnati, five hundred fans arrive from Louisville aboard “The Pee Wee Reese Special.” The Dodger SS responds with 3 hits in a 7–5 Dodger win. MacPhail announces after the game that World Series ticket applications will be accepted.

Boston increases its second place margin over the White Sox by sweeping a pair, 9–2 and 5–1, In game 1, Jimmie Foxx starts the Boston scoring with a grand slam in the 1st inning off Ted Lyons. The drive gives him 102 RBIs for the season, the 13th straight year he’s reached the century mark. Dom DiMaggio, Finney, and Williams continue to pummel the vet, as the Sox collect 14 hits. In game 2, the Fenwaymen thwart Thornton Lee’s bid for a 20th win. In game 1, Ted Williams draws a walk for the 19th consecutive game stretching back to August 24. This is a new ML record that will be quietly broken by Roy Cullenbine in 1947. Williams total for the 19 games is 36 walks. He is walkless in game 2, but triples in 4 at bats.

The Senators turn a unusual 3–6 triple play in the 2nd inning, as Mickey Vernon turns Higgins’s liner into a TP and beat the Tigers, 2–0. Pitcher Sid Hudson allows 4 hits and scores both runs in beating the Tigers for the 6th time this year.

15th After 16 scoreless innings, the Dodgers score 5 in the top of the 17th and beat the Reds 5–1. Johnny Allen, acquired on waivers from the Browns, pitches 15 innings for Brooklyn, allowing just one hit in the first 9 innings, before he’s lifted for a pinch runner with the score 0–0. A tired Reds starter Paul Derringer finally gives up a 17th-inning homer to Pete Reiser, and is lifted after two more hits. Hugh Casey wins in relief as the umps order the Reds to forget about stalling to get the game called on account of darkness. The Dodgers now lead by 2.

The Red Sox hammer the White Sox, 6–1, winning for the 16th time in 22 meetings. Mickey Harris is the winner over Johnny Rigney. Ted Williams hits his 35th of the year, with 6 of the homers coming off Johnny Rigney to tie a ML record.

16th NL Prexy Ford Frick warns the Reds and Dodgers that any repeat of the slowdown of yesterday will result in fines. The two teams play normally and the Reds come away with a 4–3 11-inning win over the league leaders. Werber drives in all Reds runs.

The Cardinals-Giants game ends in a 1–1 tie called on account of darkness.

A’s rookie Elmer Valo hits his first homer, off Johnny Niggeling of the Browns. The Czech-born Valo, who hit .348 in six games last year, will improve to .420 in 50 at bats this September to earn a starting job for 1942.

17th In Pittsburgh, the Dodgers win, 6–4, behind Curt Davis.

Before just 3,585 fans in St. Louis for a double header with the Braves, the Cards take the opener, 6–1, behind Howie Pollet. In game 2, another rookie makes his debut as Stan Musial goes 2-for-4, hitting a 2-run double off knuckler Jim Tobin. St. Louis wins, 3–2, on Estel Crabtree’s homer. Musial, who started the season in the Western Association (Class C), will hit .426 in 12 games.

18th The Pirates, losing 5–4 in the 8th against the Dodgers, score 2 runs to win 6–5. Hugh Casey balks in the tying run on a questionable call by George Magerkurth, then gives up a game-winning triple to the weak-hitting SS Alf Anderson. Durocher is tossed by George Magerkurth for arguing too ferociously, and the ump will later be verbally accosted by a five Dodgers. The fivesome and The Lip will all receive fines from the NL. Starter Freddie Fitzsimmons leaves in the 4th after allowing 4 runs, but does not get the loss, preserving his streak of 13 straight wins over the Pirates.

Meanwhile, the 2nd place Cards, with Musial batting cleanup, not only lose 4–1 to the Braves but lose slugger Johnny Mize again. Big John tears ligaments in his right arm and will sidelined for the rest of the year. The Cards are still just a game out.

19th While the Dodgers have Friday off in Philley, Durocher uses the time off to get into an argument with sportswriter Ted Meier. Meier and Leo end up in a fight and Meier gets knocked down twice. A lawsuit results that will be settled out of court next year.

At St. Louis, the Cards top the Cubs, 3–1, as Musial goes 3-for-3 with a walk. Harry Gumbert wins his 5th game in a row and his 11th of the year. Paul Erickson, the Cubs most effective pitcher of late, takes the loss. The Cards (92-52) are a half game behind the Dodgers.

20th Leading 3–1 going into the 9th, the Cards give up 6 runs to the Cubs in the 9th to lose 7–3. In the 9th, reliever Howie Crist’s first pitch to rookie Bob Scheffing is hit for a grand slam, his first ML homer. With the Dodgers sweeping, the loss leaves the Birds two games back in the NL pennant race.

The first-place Dodgers sweep two from the Phils, winning 3–1 and 6–1. Whit Wyatt, with Hugh Casey in relief, and Kirby Higbe are the winning pitchers, each recording their 21st wins of the year.

Washington’s Dutch Leonard wins a tight game, 1–0, over 30-year-old, making his A’s debut. Dutch allows 4 hits while Wolff allows 3.

Thornton Lee wins his 20th for the White Sox, beating the Tigers, 4–3. Bobo Newsom loses his 19th.

21st The Cardinals sweep a Sunday doubleheader from the Cubs, 6–5 and 7–0, as Musial goes 6-for-10. In the opener, Musial scores the winning run in the 9th inning, racing home from 2B on a topped ball that’s fielded by C Clyde McCullough. The sweep moves the Cardinals one game in back of Brooklyn.

35,909 fans are on hand at Shibe Park, many traveling from Brooklyn to cheer for the Dodgers. Brooklyn wins the opener, 8–3, behind Johnny Allen, and the Phils win the nitecap 6–3. Phils outfielder Danny Litwhiler hits a 1st inning grand slam off Luke Hamlin to start the scoring. The Dodgers now lead by a game.

Mosel Tov. With four Jews in their starting lineup, including the battery of Harry Feldman and Harry Danning, the Giants beat the Braves, 4-0, in the opener, then pile on to win, 15-4, in game 2. Feldman (1-0) wins his first ML game in the opener, tossing an 8-hit shutout, as Morrie Arnovich and Sid Gordon each have a hit. Babe Young hits his 25th homer. Johnny McCarthy (4 hits, 4 RBI) and Ken O’Dea (4 hits, 4 runs) pace a 20-hit attack in game 2.

In the fight for third place in the AL, the visiting Tigers take the opener with the White Sox, 6-3, behind Tommy Bridges. The second game goes 14 innings and ends in a 1-1 tie with each team collecting 8 hits. Starters Johnny Rigney and Schoolboy Rowe go the distance.

In the first of two at Griffith, the Senators push across 2 runs in the 9th to beat the A’s, 6-5. The Nats complete the sweep in the nitecap with a 6-2 win behind Early Wynn (3-0). George Case goes hitless and his consecutive-game hitting streak ends at 20.

In their last home game of the year, the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 4–1, behind Harris and clinch 2nd place. Williams is 1-for-3, hitting his 36th homer. Joe Cronin adds a homer and triple. Joe Gordon ties the ML record with 11 assists at second base.

22nd Because of a waiver rule violation, Commissioner Landis cancels the September 10th deal in which the Cardinals sold P Hank Gornicki to the Cubs for $7500. Gornicki made one appearance for Chicago before going back to the Birds. Undeterred, the Cards will sell Gornicki to Pittsburgh in December.

The Dodgers Curt Davis shuts out the Phils, 5–0, to boost Brooklyn’s lead to 1 ½ games over the idle Cards.

The A’s waive Tom Ferrick to the Indians for $7500.

23rd With the Dodgers idle, the Cardinals lose the critical opener of two to the Pirates, dropping St. Louis two games back. Pirate hurler Ken Heintzelman allows just 6 hits. The Birds win the nitecap, 9–0, as Stan Musial has three hits, including his first homer, off Luke Sewell.

A triple by Eddie Collins, Jr, triggers a 2-run 9th inning rally as the A’s beat the Yankees, 9–8. Red Ruffing takes the loss, despite hitting a homer, triple and single and driving in 3 runs. Four errors by NY, three by Joe Gordon, help the A’s. DiMaggio homers and has 2 RBI in his RBI race with idle Charlie Keller. Bill Dickey plays 4 innings to set a ML record of catching 100 games in each of 13 seasons, breaking the record of 12 set by Hartnett and Schalk.

Jack Kelly, head of a syndicate to buy the Phillies, drops his plans. The group’s reported $500,000 offer was turned down by Gerry Nugent. NL prexy Ford Frick says he is powerless to intervene.

24th The Cardinals top the Pirates, 4–0 behind Harry Gumbert, as Musial drives in 3 runs. But the Cards have just 3 games left.

At Boston, the Dodgers maintain their 1 ½ game lead over the Cards by beating the Braves, 4–2. Celebrating his birthday, Dixie Walker’s 7th inning fly ball triple, lofted over a close-in Max West, drives home three Dodger runs, and Kirby Higbe wins his 22nd.

Thornton Lee allows 2 hits, one a homer by Ken Keltner, as the White Sox edge the Indians, 2-1. It is Lee’s 21st victory.

The Yanks down the A’s, 7-2, as Joe DiMaggio hits #29 and #30, the fifth year in a row he’s reached the 30 mark. His three RBIs moves him close to the idle Charlie Keller.

The Giants sweep a pair from the Phillies, winning 3-1 behind Hal Schumacher and 2-0 on Tom Sunkel’s 2-hitter. Sunkel, who has sight in just one eye as a result of a childhood accident, doesn’t allow a hit until 2 outs in the 8th inning when Johnny Rizzo singles. He strikes out 12.

At Washington, the Red Sox take a pair from the Senators, winning 7–2 and 5–4 as Dom DiMaggio has a grand slam in the opener. Ted Williams has a hit in game 2, but goes hitless in game 1. However, he receives two walks which never get credited in his year-end totals, according to research in 2002 by Herm Krabbenhoft. Williams’ base on balls total for the year should read 147.

25th Whitlow Wyatt throws a 5-hit shutout to stop the Braves 6–0, in a pennant clincher. It is Wyatt’s 6th win over the Hubbers. Bama Rowell, Boston’s second baseman, helps by making 3 errors in the 3rd inning, tying the NL mark, as the Dodgers score a lone run in the frame. Bama will top the NL’s second basemen with 40 errors this year. As Wyatt takes the mound in the 9th, the scoreboard flashes the news that the Pirates had beaten the Cards. He completes the inning with 9 pitches and the Dodgers clinch their first pennant in 21 years. For Wyatt, it is his 22nd victory. The Dodgers have a wild celebration on the train ride back from Boston and, reaching New York, they are greeted by thousands of jubilant fans at Grand Central Station.

The Pirates top the Cardinals, 3–1, scoring two runs on Elbie Fletcher’s inside-the-park 2-run homer. Rookie SS Billy Cox scores another after hitting a triple.

At Crosley Field, Ray Starr two-hits the Cubs to win, 6–0.

26th Rick Ferrell’s bunt single—intended as a sac bunt—in the 5thinning is the only hit against Bob Feller as Cleveland edges St. Louis 3–2. It is Feller’s 25th win and his 5th one-hitter. The Browns win the opener, 6–5, in 11 innings.

The Yankees win a pair of three hitters, beating the Senators, 4–1 and 1–0. Spud Chandler wins game one, and in game two Mario Russo outduels Washington’s Early Wynn, 1–0, handing the prize rookie his first loss after three straight wins. Russo allows 3 hits, while Wynn gives up six, including a first inning pop homer down the LF line by rookie Phil Rizzuto. New York also turns four DPs to give them the AL record at 190, breaking the mark of the 1928 Indians. DiMaggio has an RBI to take the AL lead by one over hobbled teammate Charlie Keller. Gordon and Rolfe each score a run. The Yankees finish with five players with more than 100 runs scored: DiMaggio, Gordon, Henrich, Keller and Rolfe. Not until 2002 will a Yankee team even have four players with 100+ runs.

27th After going 1-for-7 in the twinbill on the 24th, Ted Williams starts the day with a .401 batting average and refuses a suggestion by Boston manager Joe Cronin that he sit out the season to preserve his average. Against the A’s he hits one single in 4 at bats and his average drops to .39955. Dom DiMaggio’s 3-run double helps the Sox win, 5–1.

Bobby Bragan drives in 5 runs for the second time in 4 days and the Phillies whip the Dodgers, 7-3. Despite the loss, the Dodgers stay 2 ½ games ahead of the Cards, 6–5 losers to the Cubs. Catcher George Pfister makes his debut behind the plate for the Dodgers, but the league will rule that Pfister, who never signed a Brooklyn contract, is the property of Montreal (International League), and his name is supposedly removed from the box score (he remains in every version of the box score that this editor could find, including Retrosheet). His 0-for-2 stays in the encyclopedias. Pfister will spend his next three years in the service, break a leg while playing minor league ball in 1946 and become a minor league manager and coach and baseball lifer. He will be a coach on the 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers.

Cleveland pitcher Al Smith homers in the 9th inning to beat the Browns, 4–3. His teammates don’t help much, making 7 errors behind him. Jeff Heath hits his 20th triple of the year and is just the third major leaguer to top 20 doubles, 20 triples, and 20 homers in the same season. He joins Schulte (1911) and Bottomley (1928). It will be 38 years before George Brett will duplicate the feat in the AL. Willie Mays will do it in the NL in 1957 and that is the list for the 20thcentury.

The Yankees tune-up for the Series with a 4-3 loss to the Senators, although the Griffmen drive Lefty Gomez off the mound in the 1stinning. Keller finally plays, going 0-for-4, while DiMaggio has 2 RBIs to take the lead 123 to 122 over Keller. New York will be shut out tomorrow by the Nats. The Yankees pull off their record-tying 194thDP (1928 Reds) when Tommy Henrich traps a Cramer fly ball and throws to Rizzuto who tags two baserunners.

The White Sox regain 3rd place by scoring 8 runs in the 4th inning and thumping the Tigers, 10-6. The last 2 runs come off phenom Virgil Trucks who debuts with 2 innings.

At Pittsburgh, the Reds outslug the Pirates to win 15-9. The win goes to sensational rookie Elmer Riddle (19-4), who benefits from a 7-run 7th. Elmer is replaced with the score 14-9 and 2 innings later his brother Johnny comes in to catch.

Cy Slapnicka, GM of the Indians since November 1935, resigns saying, “I simply decided that after six years on the job I preferred a change.” Oddly, Oscar Vitt, storm center of the Indians in 1940, resigns today as the manager of Portland (PCL).

28th Ted Williams collects 4 hits in 5 at bats in the 12–11 first-game slugfest victory in Philadelphia to bring his average to .404. He goes 2-for-3 in game 2 against rookie Fred Caligiuri, who beats Lefty Grove 7–1. Grove gives up 4 hits in the 1st inning and leaves the game, his last ML appearance. Williams will finish the season with a .406 batting average, the first .400 hitter in the AL since Harry Heilmann in 1923. Joe Cronin estimates that Williams hit 14 sacrifice flies in 1941, one of the years in which any fly advancing a runner is charged as a time at bat. Bobby Doerr drives in 3 runs in game 1, giving him 8 RBIs in his last 4 games, and 93 RBIs for the year. The Red Sox finish with all 4 infielders over 90 RBIs (Foxx, 105; Tabor, 101, Cronin, 95), second to the 1934 Tigers and just the second and last team this century to reach the mark. All four infielders have hit 20 home runs, the only time this century that this has been accomplished. The Texas infield of 2004 will be the second team to reach this mark.

At Briggs Stadium, the White Sox stop the Tigers, 3-0, behind Thornton Lee’s 22nd win. It is also his league-leading 30th complete game. The Sox’s pitch staff total of 106 complete games will not be matched the rest of the century.

A jubilant crowd at Ebbets Field watches as the Dodgers beat the Phillies 5–1, handing the Phils their 111th loss, a club record. For Brooklyn, it is their club-record 100th win. The crowd sets a new season attendance record at 1,215,253.

29th A crowd estimated at one million jams downtown Brooklyn to cheer the Dodgers in a parade.

30th Thirteen ML clubs draft 17 minors leaguers. The winners are the Giants taking Sal Maglie (Buffalo); Braves taking C Clyde Kluttz (Sacramento); Cubs taking Hi Bithorn (Hollywood).