Baseball in 1939
|January 13||Yankee owner Colonel Jacob Ruppert dies of phlebitis at age 71. On the 17th‚ Ed Barrow is elected president to succeed Colonel Ruppert.|
|January 24||George Sisler‚ Eddie Collins‚ and Willie Keeler are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the BBWAA.|
|March 16||The Reds purchase veteran Bill Werber from the Athletics.|
|March 22||Pete Reiser‚ 0-for-3 yesterday against the Yankees‚ starts his 2nd spring training game for the Dodgers. He homers in his first at bat against the Cardinals‚ and follows with a walk and 2 singles. He will have 10 straight hits before striking out 3 times against the Yankees Orel Hildebrand on the 28th. When Jack Haley relieves Hildebrand‚ Reiser hits a HR off him. Reiser will go north with Brooklyn and play in an April 15th exhibition against the Yankees in Ebbets Field before being farmed out to Elmira.|
|April 2||At Los Angeles‚ the Angels split a pair with Hollywood‚ losing 10-6 and winning 7-2. The second game win starts a PCL record 19-game winning streak for the Angels.|
|April 6||A howling windstorm of 50 mph does not deter the Red Sox and Reds from playing an exhibition game in Florence‚ SC but the weather and the rock-hard infield results in the game being called in the 9th inning when all 54 baseballs have been disappeared. “Grounders were actually blown off the ground and over the outfield fences‚” observed Lou Smith in the Cincinnati Enquirer. The score is 18-18 when the game ends with both teams covered with grime.|
|April 16||Los Angeles wins its 15th straight PCL game‚ sweeping a pair from Portland. The second game‚ a 16-7 slugfest‚ is shortened to 5 innings to allow a ring to be set up for a heavyweight championship fight between Joe Louis and Jack Roper. Louis knocks Roper out in the 1st round. LA’s win streak will reach 19‚ tying a PCL record set in 1903‚ before a loss to San Diego on April 22.|
|April 17||The Reds drop their 7th Opener in a row‚ as the Pirates score 4 runs in the 8th for a 7-5 win. Frank McCormick homers for the Reds.|
|April 18||Announcer Red Barber calls the first-ever Dodger game to be broadcast‚ a losing effort to the Giants‚ 7-3. New York totals 13 hits in the game.|
|April 19||Near freezing weather in Columbus keeps the attendance down to a record low in the AA of 39 fans‚ who watch the Redbirds lose to Kansas City‚ 5-3.|
|April 20||A minor league attendance record is set at Jersey City as 45‚112 see the Giants farm team play Newark (International League).|
The Red Sox show off their prize rookie Ted Williams before 30‚278 in the opener in New York‚ delayed two days because of rain. After striking out twice‚ Williams collects a double off Red Ruffing‚ who wins 2-0. Gehrig makes an error‚ goes hitless‚ and lines into two double plays in the only game featuring the two great sluggers. Other notables in what will become a historic box score include Joe DiMaggio‚ Bill Dickey‚ Jimmie Foxx‚ Joe Cronin‚ Bobby Doerr‚ Red Rolfe‚ and losing pitcher Lefty Grove. The Yanks score their first run on a homer by Dickey and their 2nd tally on an error by Jimmy Foxx. Boston has baserunners in each inning‚ but Ruffing tosses just the 2nd opening day shut out in Yankee history. Four umpires work the game including 3B ump George Pipgras‚ the starting pitcher for the Yankees in the 1929 Opener; his opponent for the Red Sox that day was Red Ruffing.
|April 21||Ted Williams plays his first game at Fenway‚ scoring the first run for Boston against the A’s on a Frankie Hayes passed ball. The Sox roll to a 9-2 win.|
|April 22||Los Angeles (PCL) has 13 hits off San Diego’s Howard Craghead‚ but loses‚ 13-6‚ ending their 19-game winning streak. The win matches the PCL record set by Seattle in 1903 (one tie).|
|April 23||Chicago’s Marv Owen equals a ML record with 4 doubles‚ as the White Sox trounce the Browns 17-4.|
Against the A’s Bud Thomas‚ Ted Williams connects for his first ML home run while going 4-for-5. The A’s win 12-8‚ but Thomas will be waived to the Senators in a week.
|April 27||The Reds break a 3-3 tie with 8 runs in the 8th to beat the Cubs‚ 11-3.|
Ben Chapman hits a grand slam to pace the Indians to a 7-4 win over St. Louis.
|April 28||At Crosley Field‚ the Reds skin the Cubs again‚ as Ival Goodman hits a 3-run homer in the 9th‚ good for a 7-6 win.|
|April 29||In the 7th game of the season‚ Joe DiMaggio makes a sharp turn while fielding a liner against the Senators‚ and tears muscles in his right foot. The Yankees lose the game‚ 7-3‚ and DiMaggio will miss the next 35 games.|
|April 30||Gehrig goes hitless in four at-bats against the Senators Joe Krakauskas and is now hitting just .143. This will be the last game in his remarkable streak‚ though the Iron Horse makes the trip to Detroit with the team. Krakauskas wins‚ 3-2.|
|May 1||The White Sox and Cubs play a benefit game for Monty Stratton at Comiskey Park and raise a purse of almost $30‚000.|
|May 2||After carrying out the scorecard to the umpires‚ Lou Gehrig voluntarily benches himself “for the good of the team.” He is batting .143 with one RBI. His consecutive-game string stops at 2‚130. Babe Dahlgren‚ his replacement‚ has a homer and double‚ as the Yankees rout Detroit 22-2. New York bats around in three innings to make it easy for Red Ruffing. Ballyhooed Tiger teenager Fred Hutchinson makes his major league debut and the Yankees light him up for eight runs in 2/3 of an inning. Hutch gives up 4 hits and walks five.|
In New York‚ Mel Ott’s three run homer with two out in the 9th gives New York a dramatic 8-7 win over Cincy. Ott’s blow is hit off Cincy righty Gene Thompson.
It’s showtime in Hollywood as Gilmore Field premieres with the Stars (PCL) losing to the Seattle Rainiers‚ 8-5. The stars are in the stands as well including a number who own stock in the team: Gracie Allen‚ Gene Autry‚ George Burns‚ Gary Cooper‚ Cecil B. DeMille‚ George Raft‚ Gary Cooper‚ William Powell‚ Robert Taylor‚ and the owner’s wife Gail Patrick (Mrs. Bob Cobb).
|May 3||In an 11-11 tie with the Browns‚ Washington 1B Jimmy Wasdell makes 4 errors to equal the ML mark.|
|May 4||In Detroit‚ Ted Williams belts two homers for the first time in his career to lead the Red Sox to a 7-6 win over the Tigers. Off Bob Harris‚ Williams thumps one homer over the right-field roof‚ the first ever hit out over the double deck at Briggs Stadium.|
Executive vice president Larry MacPhail is elected president of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
|May 5||In a 10-5 A’s win‚ the A’s Sam Chapman hits for the cycle against the Browns Harry Kimberlin. Tomorrow he’ll homer in his first two at bats against Johnny Marcum.|
|May 7||Joe Gordon smacks two homers and Red Rolfe one to pace the Yankees to a 15-4 hosing of the White Sox. Red Ruffing is again the easy winner; in his last outing the Yanks scored 22 against Detroit.|
After seven straight road wins‚ the Red Sox lose to the Browns‚ 6-3‚ and drop to 2nd place. Bobo Newsom‘s 7-hitter stops Boston. The Yankees take over first place‚ and remain there the rest of the season.
Before 36‚005 at the Polo Grounds‚ the Giants crush the Cubs‚ 10-3. Mel Ott has a triple double‚ and two singles‚ while ex-Cubbies Jurges and Demaree have two hits apiece. Cliff Melton is the winner for the Giants‚ now 8-8.
|May 8||In a 4-2 Cubs win at the Polo Grounds‚ Cubs first sacker Phil Cavarretta breaks his leg sliding into a base. He’ll be out of action until July 25‚ and will appear in just 7 more games this year‚ all as a PH.|
Chuck Klein hits a pinch triple with the bases loaded off the Reds Johnny Vander Meer‚ and the Phils win 8-7.
At Ebbets Field‚ Cards veteran Pepper Martin breaks up a pitching duel between Brooklyn’s Red Evans and Bob Weiland by swiping home in the 6th inning. Martin’s two-out steal is the only run of the game as the Cards win‚ 1-0.
|May 10||Bill Klem‚ behind the plate at the Reds game in Cincinnati‚ celebrates his 35th anniversary as a NL umpire. He then calls the 10-5 Reds loss to Brooklyn.|
Phillies rookie C Dave Coble catches a ball dropped from the 521-foot-high Philadelphia City Hall.
|May 11||The Yankees set down the Browns‚ 10-8‚ jumping on rookie Ewald Pyle for three hits before he exits. Pyle is subbing for Newsom‚ out with a skinned finger. Russ Van Atta‚ the Fresno Flinger follows‚ and the Yanks score nine runs in four innings to put the game out of reach. Bill Dickey has three hits to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Gehrig does not play‚ but takes infield practice and warms up Monte Pearson using a righty glove. New York now leads by 1 1/2 games.|
Ted Lyons hurls the White Sox to a 3-2 win over Boston‚ handing rookie Woodrow Rich his first loss. Chicago makes just 4 hits. Jimmy Foxx hits his 5th homer‚ a solo in the 9th‚ for Boston.
Cleveland native Al Milnar stops the visiting A’s‚ 7-0. Ken Keltner has a triple and three RBIs‚ and Roy Weatherly is 5-for-5‚ all singles‚ for Cleveland.
The Boston Bees collect 13 hits off the Cubs 33-year-old rookie Vance Page‚ but manage just 2 hits in losing 6-2. Billy Herman‘s bases-loaded triple in the 9th seals it. Pour base running contributes to the loss‚ the worst example coming in the 4th when Eddie Miller singles and stops at 3B on a drive down the 1B line by Elbie Fletcher. Fletcher is caught trying to stretch the hit to a triple.
|May 13||In a 10-player deal‚ Bobo Newsom goes from the St. Louis Browns‚ along with Beau Bell‚ Red Kress‚ and Jim Walkup‚ to Detroit for Vern Kennedy‚ Bob Harris‚ George Gill‚ Roxie Lawson‚ Chet Laabs‚ and Mark Christman. It is one of the biggest trades of the 1930s. Newsom will rack up 17 wins this year as a Tiger to finish at 20-11. Stephens will be the reverse‚ finishing at 9-20‚ while Gill‚ 0-1 after two fine seasons with the Tigers‚ will be 1-12 with the Browns.|
|May 14||Making his first appearance since elbow surgery in August 1938‚ Carl Hubbell pitches New York to a 2-1 win over the Phillies. Catcher Ken O’Dea hits a 10th inning HR to win it for King Carl.|
Next time‚ say it with flowers. Bob Feller‘s mother travels from Iowa to watch her son pitch against the White Sox. It is the first time she’s seen him play in the majors‚ and she is given a box along the 1B line at Comiskey Park. Sox 3B Marv Owen then lines a Feller fast ball that knocks Mrs. Feller unconscious. She revives and‚ with a few stitches‚ is none the worse. The Indians win‚ 9-4.
|May 16||A crowd of 15‚109 watch the first AL night game played at Shibe Park‚ with Cleveland beating the A’s 8-3 in 10 innings. Johnny Humphries is the winner over Roy Parmalee.|
|May 17||The first baseball game ever televised‚ Princeton against Columbia at Baker Field‚ Columbia’s home field‚ is seen by a handful of viewers via W2XBS in New York City. Bill Stern announces‚ as Princeton wins 2-1 in 10 innings. The 2nd game of the doubleheader is not televised. Reviewing the game the next day‚ the New York Times sniffs‚ “it is difficult to see how this sort of thing can catch the public fancy.”|
Brooklyn and Chicago play a 19-inning 9-9 tie game at Wrigley Field.
Boston Bees P Fred Frankhouse beans Harry Craft of the Reds and is accused of throwing spitballs. Boston wins 6-1.
In a Northern League game at Crookston‚ Joe Hatten of Crookston strikes out 2 Superior Blues batters to win‚ 5-0. Hatten’s ML call up won’t come until 1946.
|May 18||The Athletics waive P Bud Thomas‚ acquired from the Senators on waivers on May 1‚ to Detroit. Thomas will go 7-0 for the Tigers.|
|May 23||P Boots Poffenberger is suspended by the Dodgers and fined $400 for breaking training rules. Brooklyn acquired Boots over the winter.|
|May 25||In his last three at bats against the Red Sox Emerson Dickson‚ Cleveland’s Ken Keltner belts 3 homers in an 11-0 romp at Fenway. It’s the 11th time that an AL batter has hit 3 successive homers. Feller makes it easy‚ pitching a one-hitter for the win. Bobby Doerr‘s 2nd inning single for Boston is the only hit against Rapid Robert: it’ll be one of two one-hitters of Feller’s in which Doerr has the only hit.|
|May 26||With their 11th straight win‚ a 7-5 victory over St. Louis‚ Cincinnati takes over first place and holds the lead for the rest of the season.|
|May 27||The Reds set a club record by winning their 12th straight‚ a 3-2 decision over the Cards. Lee Grissom is the winning pitcher.|
For the first time in his career‚ Detroit’s Charlie Gehringer hits for the cycle‚ in a 12-5 win against the Browns. Charlie does it in order‚ the first player to cycle that way.
|May 28||Robert Joyce‚ who gave up two HRs to New York’s George Selkirk yesterday‚ relieves for the A’s. Selkirk hits two more HRs off Joyce‚ giving him 4 HRs in 4 at bats against the same pitcher in two successive games. Yankees win‚ 9-5. The Yanks release vet Wes Ferrell‚ who never came back after arm surgery over the winter. Ferrell will appear with the Dodgers in ’40 and the Braves in 1941.|
|May 29||The Cubs get Claude Passeau from the Phillies for Kirby Higbe‚ Joe Marty‚ and Ray Harrell and $50‚000.|
|May 30||In an attempt to spruce up their appearance‚ NL umpires wear white gabardine trousers with blue jackets.|
Pittsburgh’s Johnny Rizzo drives in 9 runs‚ a Pirate record‚ to give the visiting Pirates a 14-8 victory over St. Louis in game 2. Rizzo includes homers in the 5th‚ off Clyde Shoun‚ and the 9th‚ off Bob Bowman‚ in the barrage. The Cardinals win the opener‚ 7-2.
At Cincinnati‚ the Cubs Larry French and Vance Page fire shutouts as the Cubs win‚ 6-0 and 2-0. Whitey Moore loses the opener‚ while Bucky Walters drops the nitecap.
At Boston‚ the Red Sox and Yankees split a Memorial Day doubleheader. The Sox double the Yanks‚ 8-4 in the opener‚ before the New Yorkers roar back to win the nitecap‚ 17-9. Ted Williams hits a long HR off Red Ruffing‚ that after retirement he says it is hardest hit ball he ever had.
|June 1||The Phillies plays their first-ever night game at Shibe Park‚ losing to the Pirates‚ 5-2. The Phils Gib Brack and the Bucs Bill Brubaker hit homers. Rip Sewell picks up the victory over newly acquired Kirby Higbe.|
At Brooklyn‚ Gene Moore’s steal of home in the bottom of the 14th gives the Dodgers a 3-2 win over the Cubs. Vito Tamulis takes the W over Charlie Root.
|June 2||The Reds score 4 in the 13th inning-3 on a homer by Ernie Lombardi-and outlast the Braves‚ 4-0.|
|June 5||The Philadelphia A’s sign Duke University All-American running back Eric Tipton.|
|June 6||At the Polo Grounds‚ the Giants unload on the first-place Reds with five HRs after two are out in the 4th inning‚ a ML record. Entering the inning‚ the Giants sport a 6-0 lead‚ thanks in part to homers by Jo Jo Moore and Met Ott. After two are out‚ Harry Danning homers off Peaches Davis. Then Ott singles‚ Zeke Bonura walks and Frank Demaree lifts a 3-run homer. Former batting practice hurler Wesley Livingood relieves and walks Tony Lazzeri. Burgess Meredith acts like a slugger‚ belting one of his two homers of the year‚ and pitcher Frank Salvo follows with his only career homer‚ an inside-the-park hit. Up for a 2nd time in the inning‚ Jo Jo Moore hits an upper deck blast for the 5th homer after 2 outs‚ an unsurpassed mark. The Giants coast to a 17-3 win.|
In Cleveland‚ three Red Sox players throw a baseball 122 feet a second into a new photo-electric pitching meter (as noted by historian Dick Thompson). Three Cleveland Indians can only do 119 feet. Pitchers are not included in the test but ‘unofficially‚’ Bob Feller of Cleveland fires three balls into the meter from a distance of 20 feet. The best mark he recorded was 119 feet. His less-touted teammate‚ pitcher Johnny Humphreys‚ recorded 127 feet. There will be a contest for pitchers later. Jimmy Foxx‚ Jim Tabor and Roger Cramer made it a clean sweep with a first-place tie in the contest. The Indians best is a tie at 119 feet by Ben Chapman‚ Moose Solters and Jim Shilling. The Cleveland men who developed the speed meter said the only comparable scientific marks were made in 1917. Walter Johnson threw the ball 134 feet a second‚ Christy Mathewson 127 and ‘Smoky Joe’ Wood 124. Their speeds were shown by a gravity drop interval recorder. In the contest that counts‚ the Indians edge the Red Sox‚ 8-7.
|June 7||With Joe DiMaggio back in CF after an absence of 35 games because of a foot injury‚ the Yankees roll to a 5-2 win over the White Sox. DiMaggio knocks in the Yanks’ first run with a triple and scores another in New York’s three-run 5th. Yankee nemesis Thornton Lee leaves the game with a torn muscle in his left shoulder after 5 1/3 innings‚ while New York’s starter Lefty Gomez goes 7 innings before wilting in the heat. New York’s lead over the idle Red Sox is now 9 games.|
After the Phils release Chuck Klein‚ Pittsburgh signs the former triple crown winner‚ who will hit .300 in 85 games. Klein will return to Philley after the season.
|June 8||DiMaggio leads New York to a 7-2 win over the White Sox by hitting a single‚ double‚ and his 2nd homer of the year. Joe is now hitting .464. Lefty Edgar Smith takes the loss for Chicago while rookie Atley Donald wins his 6th without a loss. New York’s record against southpaws is 15-4.|
|June 11||In game 1 in Chicago‚ Ted Lyons wins another Sunday outing beating Boston‚ 7-5‚ and pitches the last 4 innings without allowing a walk. He will go 42 innings in all‚ until the 1st inning of the June 23rd game in Chicago‚ without giving up a base on balls. The Red Sox win the nitecap‚ 4-3.|
|June 12||The greatest gathering of members and future inductees of the Baseball Hall of Fame assembles in Cooperstown‚ NY‚ for the dedication of the museum. A 6-inning game at Doubleday Field showcases lineups studded with players who will be elected in the future. Honus Wagner‘s lineup defeats Eddie Collins‘ squad‚ 4-2. Babe Ruth‚ Ty Cobb‚ Honus Wagner‚ Walter Johnson‚ Grover Alexander‚ Nap Lajoie‚ George Sisler‚ Eddie Collins‚ Tris Speaker‚ Cy Young‚ and Connie Mack accept their plaques. Cobb‚ angry at Commissioner Landis‚ shows up after the ceremony and photo taking to accept his plaque. Other inductees‚ all deceased‚ include Cap Anson‚ Charles Comiskey‚ Candy Cummings‚ Buck Ewing‚ Hoss Radbourn‚ Al Spalding and Wee Willie Keeler.|
|June 14||Veteran OF Earl Averill is swapped by Cleveland to Detroit for Harry Eisenstat and cash.|
|June 15||Pittsburgh picks up Elbie Fletcher‚ who will be their regular 1B for 5 seasons‚ from the Boston Bees for infielder Bill Schuster and cash. Fletcher will also lead the NL in OBA for 3 straight years‚ while Schuster will play just 2 games for Boston. The Pirates then send P Jim Tobin to the Bees for P John Lanning.|
|June 16||Cubs manager Gabby Hartnettt sends Dizzy Dean home to Chicago after he is called to Dean’s hotel room and discovers the pitcher with a gash in his left arm. The Chicago order is part disciplinary.|
At Wrigley Field in Los Angeles‚ Jigger Statz hits two homeruns in the PCL Angels’ 10-run first inning. They beat San Diego 14-5‚ then lose 8-5.
|June 18||Dizzy Dean of the Cubs‚ trying to regain his old form‚ beats Brooklyn 1-0 on Gabby Hartnett‘s HR. The Cubs sweep‚ winning the 2nd game‚ 9-1.|
|June 21||The New York Yankees announce Lou Gehrig‘s retirement‚ based on the report yesterday from the Mayo Clinic that he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The 36-year-old star will remain with the team as captain.|
|June 22||Against the A’s Lynn Nelson‚ Detroit’s Barney McCosky leads off with a home run and Earl Averill quickly follows with another solo shot. It’s the 2nd time in AL history that the first two batters in a game have homered. But the A’s and Nelson come back to win‚ 6-5.|
Dizzy Dean (4-0) stops the visiting Bees for a 7-1 Cubs win. Chicago scores 5 in the 2nd‚ 4 on a grand slam by Augie Galan‚ to ease Dizzy’s burden.
At Comiskey Park‚ the Yankees whip the White Sox‚ 6-1‚ to run their record to 44-11‚ the best start of the century.
|June 23||The Indians score 7 in the 7th and beat the A’s‚ 11-5‚ behind Bob Feller‘s 11th win. Feller has three hits while Bruce Campbell has two doubles in the 7th.|
|June 25||Cleveland batters Ben Chapman‚ Hal Trosky‚ and Jeff Heath homer with two out in the 7th inning to tie an AL record while beating Philadelphia‚ 8-4.|
|June 27||The Dodgers and Bees play a 23-inning‚ 2-2 game at Boston‚ called on account of darkness after 5 hours and 15 minutes. Whit Wyatt (7-0) pitches the first 16 innings for the Dodgers; the two teams total 30 hits and 12 walks. The Bees seemingly have the game won in the 13th when manager pinch runner Otto Huber rounded third base with room to spare. But he slipped and could not recover in time. In a story that Casey Stengel repeated for years‚ he asked Huber after the game why he was wearing his old baseball shoes with worn spikes instead of the new pair; Huber replied that they hurt his feet. From then on Stengel made sure to look at the shoes of pinch runners before putting them into the game.|
Bob Feller allows just one hit as Cleveland beats Bobo Newsom and the Tigers‚ 5-0.
|June 28||In Philadelphia‚ the Yankees hit 8 HRs (Dahlgren (2)‚ DiMaggio (2)‚ Dickey‚ Gordon‚ Henrich‚ Selkirk) in the first game of a doubleheader with the A’s‚ and 5 more in the nightcap. Both are ML records‚ as are the 87 total bases and 98 at bats in a doubleheader. In the 7th inning‚ the Yanks belt 3 homers with 2 outs tying a ML mark; they are the 3rd major league team to accomplish that feat this month. Joe DiMaggio‚ Babe Dahlgren‚ and Joe Gordon each hit 3 HRs for the afternoon as the Yankees win the opener 23-2. Monty Pearson wins the laugher. New York then bangs out 16 hits takes the nightcap 10-0 behind Lefty Gomez‘s 3-hitter. Gomez contributes 2 hits himself. Facing just 5 pitchers in the twin bill‚ the Yankees finish off the A’s in 2 hours‚ 27 minutes in the opener‚ and take 1 hour‚ 40 minutes in the 2nd game. The A’s have no four-baggers on the day.|
The Giants rout to Phils‚ 7-1‚ and move into 2nd place behind the Reds. New York scores all its runs in the first three innings off Hugh Mulcahy‚ and Bill Lohrman rolls to his 6th triumph.
|July 2||In a doubleheader with the Dodgers before 51‚435 at the Polo Grounds‚ the fireworks start 2 days early. The Dodgers take a uneventful opener 3-2‚ but in the 4th inning of the nitecap‚ Dodger player-manager Leo Durocher ends the inning by grounding into a DP and spikes 1B Zeke Bonura as he crosses the bag. Bonura takes off after Durocher‚ chases him down the RF line‚ and throws his mitt at him. He finally wrestles him to the ground. Both players are ejected‚ and the Giants go on to win 6-4. To Bonura’s charge of intentional spiking‚ the Lip retorts‚ “If that big clown hadn’t got his foot in my way‚ I wouldn’t have been close to him.”|
|July 3||Cleveland’s Ben Chapman tallies 3 triples‚ tying the ML record‚ as Bob Feller notches his 13th victory 4-2‚ over host Detroit. The next American Leaguer with 3 triples in a game will be Bert Campaneris‚ in 1967.|
Johnny Mize equals a NL record with 4 extra-base hits-double‚ triple‚ and 2 HRs-in the Cards’ 5-3 win over the Cubs.
|July 4||In between games with the Senators‚ a tearful Lou Gehrig bids farewell to 61‚808 fans at Yankee Stadium with a short and moving speech.”Fans‚ for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and I have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure‚ I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also‚ the builder of baseball’s greatest empire‚ Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow‚ Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader‚ that smart student of psychology‚ the best manager in baseball today‚ Joe McCarthy? Sure‚ I’m lucky. When the New York Giants‚ a team you would give your right arm to beat‚ and vice versa‚ sends you a gift‚ that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies‚ that’s something. When you have a father and mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body‚ it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed‚ that’s the finest I know. So I close in saying that I might have had a bad break‚ but I have an awful lot to live for. Thank you.”His teammates give Gehrig a silver trophy with all their signatures on it and inscribed with the following poem by writer John Kieran:|
We’ve been to the wars together;
We took our foes as they came;
And always you were the leader‚
And ever you played the game.
Idol of cheering millions;
Records are yours by the sheaves;
Iron of frame they hailed you‚
Decked you with laurel leaves.
But higher than that we hold you‚
We who have known you best;
Knowing the way you came through
Every human test.
Let this be a silent token
Of lasting friendship’s gleam
And all that we’ve left unspoken.
—Your pals of the Yankee teamGehrig’s uniform number 4 is then retired‚ the first ML player so honored. The Yankees split‚ losing the opener‚ 3-2‚ to Dutch Leonard and taking the nitecap‚ 11-1. George Selkirk homers in both games‚ and adds a triple and single in the nitecap. Sundra wins over Alex Carrasquel.
Red Sox 3B Jim Tabor hits 4 HRs as Boston sweeps Philadelphia 17-7 and 18-12 as the two teams combine for a ML record 54 runs in the twinbill. Jimmie Foxx and Tabor lead the plating with 7 runs apiece‚ with Tabor scoring 5 runs in game 2. Three of Tabor’s HRs‚ including a record-tying two grand slams (matches Lazzeri‚ in 1936)‚ come in the nightcap‚ the first Red Sox player to clout three in a game. He totals 19 bases and 11 RBIs in the two slugfests on an afternoon featuring 65 hits. Boston accounts for 35 of them. Joe Heving and Denny Galehouse are the Boston winners‚ while A’s hurlers Cotton Pippen and Chubby Dean are the losers. Making his debut in game 1 as a pinch hitter is Eddie Collins Jr.‚ son of Sox GM Eddie Collins.
Cubs CF Hank Lieber clouts 3 homers‚ but the Cardinals win 6-4 in the first of two games at Wrigley Field. The Cubs take the nitecap‚ 3-2‚ when Gus Mancuso drives home the winning run in the 10th inning.
|July 5||Yankees rookie P Atley Donald wins his 10th game without a loss‚ beating Washington‚ 6-4.|
|July 7||Sacramento (PCL) beats San Francisco 5-4 in an exhibition game played inside Folsom Prison.|
|July 9||The Red Sox win 4-3 and 5-3 to sweep a 5-game series in Yankee Stadium. The Yankee lead is now 6 1?2 games. Joe Cronin drives in runs in both games‚ giving him 12 games in a row with an RBI.|
The Giants beat the Dodgers 14-8 at Ebbets Field‚ even though Zeke Bonura grounds into his ML record 5th double play in two consecutive games. He grounded into 3 in yesterday’s nitecap.
Kirby Higbe beats the Bees 3-1 on a 6-hitter to give the Phils their 1st win after 11 straight losses.
|July 11||With another Yankee-dominated lineup‚ the AL defeats the NL 3-1 in the 7th All-Star Game‚ at Yankee Stadium. Joe DiMaggio excites the partisan crowd with a 5th-inning homer. Cincinnati OF Ival Goodman fractures his shoulder diving for a ball.|
Archie Templeton of the Albuquerque Cardinals (Az-Texas League) strikes out 19 El Paso batters but fails to get credit as he is lifted in the 8th. A steal of home by El Paso’s Mel Berman ties the score in the 9th and when an argument ensues over the pitch‚ umpire Jack Rice is forced to call in the police as he tosses 3 Cardinals. Albuquerque wins in the 10th‚ 8-5.
|July 13||The Red Sox play their first night game‚ defeating the Indians in Cleveland‚ 65‚ in 10 innings.|
|July 14||The Yankees tie the AL record with only one assist‚ as Red Ruffing wins 8-3 over the Tigers.|
|July 15||A disputed call on a Harry Craft ?y ball down the LF foul line into the upper deck at the Polo Grounds touches off a melee in which the Giants Billy Jurges and umpire George Magerkurth spit at each other. Both will be fined $150 and suspended for 10 days. NL President Ford Frick announces that 2-foot screens are to be installed inside all foul poles to prevent future arguments. The AL eventually also adopts the rule. The Giants lose 8-4 to the Reds and will add another 8 in a row to take them out of contention.|
|July 16||Bees All-Star SS Eddie Miller collides with teammate OF Al Simmons and fractures a bone in his ankle. He will be out for the season. The Bees beat the Reds‚ 3-0‚ behind Bill Posedel‚ before losing game 2‚ 4-3.|
|July 17||Pittsburgh’s Chuck Klein makes his 1st appearance in Philadelphia since leaving the Phils‚ and cracks 2 HRs to lift the Bucs to a 7-4 win.|
|July 18||J. Louis Comiskey‚ owner of the White Sox‚ dies at the age of 56 in Wisconsin.|
|July 19||Arky Vaughan hits for the cycle to pace the Pirates to a 10-2 win over the Giants.|
|July 22||A Boston Bees fan‚ outraged when Al Lopez drops a pop foul‚ his 2nd error and the team’s 7th of the game‚ jumps from the stands to punch the Boston catcher. Pittsburgh wins‚ 9-3.|
Detroit pitcher Schoolboy Rowe helps his own cause by bashing a 2nd inning grand slam off A’s pitcher Nels Potter. Rowe drives in five runs before being chased in the 6th inning‚ but his Tigers hang on for an 11-10 win.
|July 23||The Dodgers use the new yellow-colored baseball again‚ but the Cardinals see it better in a 12-0 win.|
|July 24||The Detroit Tigers release oft-injured Dixie Walker. He signs with Brooklyn‚ with whom he will have his most productive years.|
|July 25||Unbeaten rookie Atley Donald wins his 12th in a row for the Yankees‚ beating the visiting Browns 5-1. DiMaggio’s HR off Brownie southpaw Howard Mills is the big blow‚ as the ball travels an estimated 450 feet into the LF Bleachers. Only Hank Greenberg‚ last year‚ has reached those distant seats in 16 years. Red Rolfe also homers to back Atlee’s five-hit victory.|
With the score tied 3-3 at the end of 8 innings‚ Cleveland scores 9 runs and Philadelphia 5 in a record-setting 9th inning. Tribe pinch hitter Jeff Heath has a double and triple in the big inning.
Salisbury’s (Eastern Shore League) Count Henri S. “Hank” Bertrand de la Vigne‚ known as the only titled pitcher in baseball‚ wins his 11th of the year‚ beating Milford 8-0 and striking out 11. The Count will be 14-9 for the year‚ but he will never make it to the majors.
|July 26||At Yankee Stadium‚ the Yankees score in all 8 innings to beat the Browns‚ 14-1. Bill Dickey leads the 20-hit attack by slamming three straight homers. Red Ruffing coasts to the win‚ allowing 3 Brownie safeties.|
|July 27||The Dodgers acquire Louisville shortstop Pee Wee Reese‚ sending the Red Sox a reported $75‚000 and 4 players to be named. Pitcher Red Evans (21-14 for New Orleans in 1938) and OF Art Parks + two minor leaguers eventually trade uniforms. Tom Yawkey‚ one of three partners who bought the Louisville team for $100‚000‚ voted against the sale: his partners‚ Donie Bush and Frank McKinney‚ voted for the sale.|
|July 28||With the addition of 1B Elbie Fletcher‚ the Pirates send 1B Gus Suhr to the Phillies for P Max Butcher.|
Washington’s Ken Chase loses his no hitter in the 9th inning when he gives up two safeties‚ but holds on to beat Bob Feller and the Indians‚ 2-0. Skeeter Webb has the first hit.
|July 31||The Cardinals‚ partial to MacPhail’s yellow-dyed baseballs‚ use them at Sportsman’s Park to beat the Dodgers‚ 5-2.|
|August 3||Veteran C Joe Sprinz of the San Francisco Seals (PCL) tries to break the altitude record for a catch as a stunt at the Treasure Island Exhibition. A ball is dropped 800 feet from a blimp and hits him in the face. He suffers a compound fracture of the jaw and loses several teeth.|
|August 4||Mike Kreevich of the Chicago White Sox equals the ML record by grounding into 3 successive DPs against the Washington Senators. Chicago loses‚ 6-5.|
|August 6||With the Tigers ahead‚ 10-1‚ the Red Sox put Jimmie Foxx on the mound for the 9th inning. The slugger retires all three batters‚ one via a strikeout.|
|August 10||With the Red Sox beating the A’s‚ 7-5‚ to sweep their series‚ the Yankees knuckle under by the same score to Dutch Leonard and the Washington Senators. Leonard is now 4-0 over New York. The Yankees lead over the Red Sox is now 5 1/2 games.|
At Rochester‚ the Red Wings (IL) bombard Jersey City 26-1. Si Johnson coasts to his 19th win.
|August 12||At Shibe Park‚ the Yankeees bombard the feeble A’s. 18-4 as Steve Sundra (6-0) coasts to the win. Babe Dahlgren has 4 hits‚ including a solo homer in the 6th and a grand slam an inning later. He drives in 6 runs. Joe Gordon adds his 18th homer of the year.|
|August 13||The Giants hit three successive solo HRs in the 4th inning‚ with Alex Kampouris‚ P Bill Lohrman‚ and Joe Moore connecting. It is the 2nd time in two months that Moore has followed back to back HRs with one of his own. Zeke Bonura adds a 4th solo HR to set a ML record‚ since tied‚ for solo shots in an inning. The Giants add 3 more HRs-Demaree (2)‚ Bob Seeds-to beat the Phils 11-2 in the opener of two. It is also the second time this season they have banged 7 homers‚ and rookie pitcher Bill Kersieck gives up all but one. Seeds‚ incidentally‚ is the only major leaguer to own a minor league team; he is owner and president of Amarillo (NM-West Texas League).|
After losing to the A’s‚ 12-9 in game 1‚ the 2nd game is mercifully called after eight innings with the Yankees beating the A’s 21-0 to equal the ML record for lopsided shutouts. Joe DiMaggio and Babe Dahlgren each have a pair of HRs‚ one each inside-the-park. Red Ruffing collects 4 hits along with pitching a four-hitter. Cotton Pippen takes the loss; the A’s will waive him next month to the Tigers. With the win yesterday and the 23-2 win on June 28‚ the Yankees have now scored 18 or more runs against the A’s three times this year. The next team to top 17 runs three times against one team will be the 2005 Yankees against Tampa Bay.
|August 14||In the first night game at Comiskey Park‚ 30‚000 see the Sox beat the Browns‚ 5-2. Johnny Rigney is the winner allowing 3 hits in taking his 7th victory in a row.|
Trailing the Pirates 7-0 in the 5th‚ the Reds rally for a 9-8 win‚ scoring 4 runs in the 9th. Lew Riggs singles home the winner with the bases full after Dick West had driven in 2 runs with his first ML hit.
|August 16||The Giants suspend 2B Burgess Whitehead‚ who bizarrely will show up the next day in full uniform at Yankee Stadium and ask to work out. Yankee manager Joe McCarthy refuses. Whitehead rejoins the Giants a few days later‚ but he will be suspended again in mid-September after leaving the team.|
At Forbes Field‚ Cardinal OF Terry Moore belts two homers‚ both inside-the-park‚ in the Cards sweep of the Pirates‚ 4-3 and 3-0. In the next 50 years‚ the only National Leaguer to hit two inside-the-park in a game will be Hank Thompson‚ in 1950.
|August 17||The Reds pull off their 2nd big rally in 3 days as they spot the Cubs a 6-1 lead in the 4th inning‚ then rally to win 7-6 in 10 innings. Backup backstop Dick West drives in the winner with his 2nd (of 4 this year) ML hit.|
|August 19||Ted Williams leads the Red Sox to an 8-6 win over Washington by hitting his first ML grand slam. He’ll hit his 2nd in 10 days.|
|August 25||At St. Louis‚ the Yankees sweep the Browns‚ 11-0 and 8-2. Red Rolfe scores for the Yankees in both games giving him 18 straight in which he’s tallied a run. In the 18 games he’s scored a total of 30 runs. The Browns will end the season with a dismal home record of 18-59: the .234 winning percentage is the worst home record in the 10th century.|
|August 26||The first ML telecast of a game occurs at Ebbets Field as the Reds play the Dodgers in a doubleheader. Red Barber broadcasts the game over W2XBS‚ the 2 referring to the number of sets able to view the game: one is in the press box‚ while the other‚ at the RCA Pavilion in Rockefeller Center‚ attracts a huge crowd. The Dodgers win the first game 5-2‚ and the Reds take the 2nd 6-1‚ behind Bucky Walters 2-hitter.|
|August 28||At Cleveland‚ Indian OF Jeff Heath punches a taunting fan leaning over the railing‚ but the umpires miss the incident and he goes unpunished. The Red Sox win‚ 6-5.|
A day after whipping the Tigers‚ 13-3‚ the Yankees unload on the Bengals again‚ winning‚ 18-2. DiMaggio leads the way with a grand slam.
|August 29||Detroit snaps the Yankees’ win streak at 10 games by beating the visiting New Yorkers‚ 8-7. DiMaggio‚ hitting .408‚ hits a 3-run HR in the 9th to tie it‚ but the Bengals score off reliever Spud Chandler. After going 16-3 in their last 19 games‚ the Yankees now lead the AL by 12 lengths. During that span‚ the Yankees have scored an impressive 125 more runs than they’ve allowed.|
|August 31||The Reds purchase vet Al Simmons from the Boston Bees.|
|September 1||The Dodgers and Cubs use an open date to play a doubleheader of two rained out games. The visiting Cubs take the opener‚ 6-2 behind Larry French‚ and the Dodgers take the nitecap‚ 3-1. In game 2‚ Gabby Hartnett sets a ML record for games caught of 1‚722. The old mark was held by Ray Schalk.|
|September 2||Nine players hit homers‚ as the Giants beat the Dodgers 10-6 in the opener of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds‚ falling one short of the record for two teams in one game set in 1923. Brooklyn wins the 2nd game‚ 7-2.|
|September 3||With the Sunday curfew impending‚ and the score at 7-5 in the 8th against the Yankees in Boston‚ the Yanks start making outs to get the game in while the Red Sox starts stalling. Two Yankees are walked intentionally and the Fenway fans then litter the field with cushions and debris to help slow things down. Umpire Cal Hubbard forfeits the game to the Yankees‚ but AL President Will Harridge subsequently overrules him‚ fines both managers for their tactics‚ and the game is ordered to be replayed.|
|September 4||After the Labor Day games‚ the Reds lead the Cards by 4 games. In the AL‚ the Yankees are 141?2 ahead.|
|September 8||Twenty-year-old Bob Feller becomes the youngest 20th-century pitcher to win 20 games‚ as Cleveland beats St. Louis 12-1.|
At Boston‚ the Yankees take a 4-1 lead into the 7th when the game is stopped because of violent thunder and lightning.
|September 9||After being rushed to the hospital‚ Jimmie Foxx is operated on for appendicitis‚ and will be out for the season. His 35 HRs will still win the AL title.|
|September 10||Detroit’s Bobo Newsom beats the White Sox‚ 5-1‚ and‚ as noted by historian Lyle Spatz‚ stops Johnny Rigney’s consecutive win streak of 11 games. Rigney’s mark is a club record that will be tied (Gary Peters‚ 1963) and finally topped by LaMarr Hoyt (13 in one season) and Wilson Alvarez‚ both with 15 over 2 seasons.|
The Reds Paul Derringer wins his 20th‚ beating the host Cubs‚ 7-2.
|September 12||Trailing 2-0 to the visiting Dodgers‚ the Reds score 2 runs in the 9th on a 2-out HR by Billy Myers off Hot Potato Hamlin. Frank McCormick‘s single in the 10th drives in the winning run.|
|September 13||At Crosley Field‚ Reds P Junior Thompson shuts out the Dodgers‚ 3-0‚ on 2 hits‚ a single in the 2nd by Johnny Hudson and another in the 8th by Dixie Walker. The Reds lead the Cardinals by 3 1/2 games.|
|September 16||The New York Yankees clinch their 4th successive pennant with a 10-3 win over Detroit.|
|September 17||The Dodgers pull within one game of the 3rd-place Cubs‚ taking a pair at Wrigley Field. The yellow-dyed ball is used in the first game‚ as Brooklyn wins‚ 10-4. Hugh Casey winning over Earl Whitehill. In the nitecap‚ the Dodgers win‚ 3-2‚ as Hot Potato Hamlin bests Claude Passeau.|
|September 19||In a 6-2 Red Sox win at Fenway‚ Ted Williams hits a HR off Thornton Lee‚ one of 31 HRs he hits in his rookie season. Williams will homer off Thornton’s son‚ Don Lee‚ 21 years later.|
|September 21||The NL announces that for the first time in the 20th century‚ games will be transferred from one city to another. The Dodgers’ doubleheader in Philadelphia will be moved to Brooklyn in an effort to top one million paid attendance.|
|September 22||the first-place Reds sweep a pair from the Pirates‚ 6-0 and 10-9. Wally Berger has a grand slam in the 3rd inning of game 2.|
|September 23||Cookie Lavagetto goes 6-for-6 as Brooklyn swamps Philadelphia‚ 22-4. Cookie has 4 singles‚ a double‚ a triple and a walk in 7 plate appearances.|
|September 24||OF Johnny Cooney of the Boston Bees‚ playing at the Polo Grounds‚ hits his first HR after 15 years as P/OF in the majors. The dinger is a two-run shot off Randy Gumbert in game 1 of a Sunday twinbill‚ but the Giants win 5-4. Tomorrow Cooney will repeat the feat. Boston wins game 2‚ 5-3‚ behind George Barnicle’s 2nd ML win in 5 days.|
|September 25||Johnny Cooney hits his 2nd homer in two days‚ a third-inning HR off Giants pitcher Bill Lohrman. But the Giants prevail over Boston‚ 6-5. For Cooney‚ it is the 2nd and last homer in what will be a 20-year career.|
|September 27||The hometown White Sox play the first “day-night” doubleheader against Cleveland‚ but lose both games 5-2 and 7-5. Fans are charged separate admissions for each game. For just the 2nd time this century‚ visitors sweep more doubleheaders than the home team; 58 sweeps for the visitors‚ 47 for the home team. RetroSheet stats by Dave Smith will show that the first season this occurred was 1923; 1962 will be the last.|
|September 28||Starting the day with a 2 1/2 game lead‚ Cincinnati clinches the pennant with Paul Derringer defeating 2nd-place St. Louis‚ 5-3‚ despite allowing 14 hits. It is Derringer’s 25th win. He also drives in the go-ahead run in the 6th with a single. Harry Craft adds an 9th-inning HR.|
The Giants and Phillies combine for a record setting 13 double plays in their double header. The mark will be tied on September 6‚ 1948. New York sweeps winning 4-3 and 8-3.
|September 30||In a split with the Browns‚ White Sox reliever Clint Brown sets a ML record with his 61st relief appearance. Chicago takes the opener‚ 5-1‚ then drops the nitecap‚ 7-5.|
The Senators beat the A’s‚ 9-5‚ behind rookie Joe Haynes pitching. He allows 11 hits‚ including native Philadelphian Al Brancato’s 1st ML HR. A’s PH Elmer Valo walks‚ but at Connie Mack‘s behest‚ official scorer Red Smith removes his name from the box score because Valo has not signed a ML contract. (in 1972‚ Smith wrote a letter about this to Jim Charlton). Thus‚ Valo will later miss joining the four-decade list.
|October 1||The Tigers and Indians split‚ Cleveland winning the opener‚ 8-3 behind Feller’s 24th win. The Tigers take the nitecap‚ 1-0‚ behind Bobo Newsom‘s 20th win of the year. Bob won 3 with St. Louis before being traded to Detroit.|
|October 3||Frank Frisch abandons the broadcasting booth to return to managing‚ signing for 2 years with the Pirates.|
|October 4||The WS‚ with the Yankees as heavy favorites‚ begins in New York. The pitching of Red Ruffing for New York and Paul Derringer for Cincinnati produces a tense‚ low-scoring duel that is tied 1-1 until the last of the 9th‚ when Yankees C Bill Dickey singles home DiMaggio with the winning run.|
|October 5||In game 2 of the World Series‚ Yankees P Monte Pearson does not allow a base hit until one out in the 8th when Ernie Lombardi singles. The Reds are shut out 4-0. Babe Dahlgren hits a HR and double to pace the Bombers off losing pitcher Bucky Walters..|
|October 7||The Series resumes at Crosley Field‚ and Yankee power proves too much for the Reds‚ who collect ten singles. Bump Hadley pitches well enough in relief of Lefty Gomez to wrap up a 7-3 victory. Yankees OF Charlie Keller hits 2 HRs‚ and DiMaggio and Dickey also connect. Junior Thompson is the loser.|
In Chicago’s City Series‚ Hank Lieber belts a two on 2-out 9th inning homer to lead the Cubs to a 5-3‚ and give the Cubs a 3-1 series edge. The Sox win the next 3 to take the Windy City bragging rights.
|October 8||In the 10th inning of game 4‚ the Reds make 3 errors and watch in shock as the Yankees run wild‚ scoring three runs The inning is climaxed by Joe DiMaggio‘s slide across the plate left unguarded by Ernie Lombardi‚ who was stunned by a kick in the groin by the preceding runner‚ Charlie Keller. The Yankees win 7-4‚ beating Walters for the 2nd time‚ and sweep the Reds to win their 4th straight World Championship. Starter Paul Derringer guns down the first 14 Yankees to tie a WS mark set exactly two years ago. It will not be tied or topped this century.|
|October 10||Ted Lyons pitches a 7th game win for the White Sox in their City Series with the Cubs. The loser is Earl Whitehill. It is Lyons second five-hit win as the series ends‚ as it started‚ under the lights at Comiskey.|
|October 11||Bucky Harris signs to manage Washington again.|
Lou Gehrig is appointed NYC Parole Commissioner by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.
In Los Angeles‚ Bob Feller is paid $2‚000 to pitch against the Philadelphia Colored Royal Giants. Feller fans 14 in 7 innings and leaves with the score‚ 2-2‚ after which the Royal Giants score 3 to win‚ 5-2‚ with Terris McDuffie winning over Lee Stine.
|October 14||In Baltimore‚ the Negro League all stars complete four-game series of games against a big-league all-star team (as noted by historian John Holway) by losing 3-1. The winning pitcher is Pete Appleton‚ while the losing pitcher is Marion “Sugar” Cain. Webster McDonald pitched hitless and runless ball for 8 relief innings for the Negro Leaguers. The double header on October 8 was won by the Major Leaguers‚ 3-1 and 2-0.|
|October 17||Bucky Walters is voted NL MVP by the BBWAA‚ with Johnny Mize 2nd.|
|October 19||Cincinnati release future Hall of Famer Al Simmons. He’ll sign next on December 10 with the A’s.|
|October 24||Despite missing 32 games‚ the AL MVP is Joe DiMaggio‚ with Jimmie Foxx the runner-up‚ in the BBWAA poll. DiMag has 280 points‚ while Foxx draws 170.|
|October 26||Brooklyn Dodger exec Larry MacPhail proposes that a new World Series format be used in which‚ as now‚ the top 2 teams in each league compete against each other; at the same time the 2nd place teams play each other; the 3rd place teams play each other‚ and so on. The results of these games are added up and a trophy or money presented to winners. The idea doesn’t reach first base.|
|November 12||The youngest of the 3 DiMaggio brothers‚ Dom‚ is bought for $40‚000 by the Boston Red Sox from San Francisco (PCL).|
P Victor Starfin wins his 42nd game in a 96-game season‚ leading the Yomiuri Giants to the pennant‚ and setting a post-1900 world record for season victories that will be equaled (by Kazuhisa Inao in 1961) but never broken. Starfin‚ the 6’4″ son of Russian immigrants‚ was exempt from the military call-up of able-bodied Japanese. From 1936-55 he won 303 games‚ the first in Japanese baseball to top the 300 mark. Except for Oh‚ he is the only non-Japanese player in the Japanese baseball Hall of Fame.
|November 19||The National Professional Indoor Baseball League‚ headed by league president Tris Speaker‚ begins play. The league has 10 clubs‚ one in each then Major League city except Washington. Alas‚ it disappear within a month.|
|November 28||Ken Keltner is turned down in Cleveland for off-season unemployment benefits.|
|November 29||Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis fines Brooklyn‚ Detroit‚ and the St. Louis farm club‚ Columbus‚ for manipulating player contracts. He frees 7 farm hands.|
|December 6||In a trade of veteran shortstops-or “worn-out shortstops‚” as one newspaper described it-the Cubs acquire Billy Rogell from the Detroit Tigers for Dick Bartell. Rogell‚ who injured his arm playing handball the previous year‚ will hit just .136 before hanging up his spikes. The Tigers will release “Rowdy Richard” 5 games into the 1941 season‚ but he will stick with the Giants until 1946.|
The Bees are busy clearing their pitching staff. Jim Turner goes to the Reds for 1B Les Scarsella and cash‚ while Johnny Lanning is sent to Pittsburgh for P Jim Tobin and cash. On December 8th‚ P Danny MacFayden joins Tobin in a trade for P Bill Swift.
|December 7||Lou Gehrig‚ age 36‚ is unanimously elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame‚ the sole choice this year. The five-year waiting period is waived for the Iron Horse.|
|December 8||The White Sox trade Gee Walker to the Senators for Pete Appleton and Taffy Wright. The Sox also pick up OF Moose Solters from the Browns for OF Ray Radcliffe‚ both sluggers coming of poor years.|
The Dodgers get Gus Mancuso and Newt Kimball from the Cubs for Al Todd.
The Braves trade veteran Danny MacFayden to the Pirates for Bill Swift and cash.
At the December meeting of both leagues in Cincinnati‚ Judge Landis votes against all amendments favorable to farm systems. The Rules committee‚ with an eye towards raising declining batting averages‚ votes to restore the sacrifice fly for 1940. Seven American League owners push through a new rule barring the AL champion from making any trades within the league. Clearly aimed at the Yankees‚ winners of the last 4 world series‚ the National League owners decline to vote it for their league.
|December 9||Wally Moses is traded by the Philadelphia Athletics to Detroit for Benny McCoy and Slick Coffman. The deal will later be voided by Judge Landis‚ who declares McCoy a free agent because of a Tigers cover-up. He gets a $10‚000 bonus to sign with the A’s.|
|December 11||The Yomiuri Giants beat the Hanshin Tigers‚ 4-2‚ to clinch the Japanese league pennant. The Giants will win the pennant for the next 4 years.|
|December 27||The New York Giants obtain infielder Mickey Witek from the Newark Bears for $40‚000 and infielder Alex Kampouris and catcher Tommy Padden. New York has high hopes for Witek‚ the 1939 MVP in the International League.|
The Cubs trade Gene Lillard‚ Steve Mesner and cash to the Cardinals for minor league blue chipper Ken Raffensberger. Raffy won 15 games at Rochester in each of the past 2 seasons.