This Day In Baseball August 2
August 2, 1979, 32-year-old Thurman Munson of the New York Yankees is killed in the crash of his private plane in Canton, Ohio. The following day the Yankees will honor their captain before their game against the Baltimore Orioles. Fans will give Munson, who helped the Yankees to titles in 1977 and 1978, a thundering 10-minute ovation
August 2, 1960, In an agreement with the major leagues, the Continental League abandons plans to join the American League and National League as a third major league. Walter O’Malley, chairman of the NL Expansion Committee, says, “We immediately will recommend expansion and that we would like to do it in 1961.” Braves owner Lou Perini proposes a compromise that four of the CL territories be admitted to the current majors in orderly expansion. Branch Rickey’s group quickly accepts. The Continental League ends without playing a game.
August 2, 1938, the Brooklyn Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals use yellow baseballs in the first game of a doubleheader. The experiment will end quickly, as the two teams switch to white baseballs in the second game. The Dodgers sweep both games, winning 6-2 and 9-3.
August 2, 1930, Smoky Joe Williams of the Homestead Grays strikes out 27 Kansas City Monarchs in a memorable 12-inning night game. The 54-year-old Williams, who outduels Chet Brewer, 1-0, benefits from pitching under a portable light system that makes it difficult for hitters to see the baseball.
August 2, 1921 – With the jurors lifting the men onto their shoulders, the eight White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series are acquitted by the jury. The next day, Commissioner Kenesaw Landis will say the overwhelming evidence clearly shows the Black Sox fixed the games with gamblers and all involved will be banned from playing professional baseball again.
August 2, 1907, Walter Johnson makes his major league debut. The Washington Senators’ rookie loses a 3-2 decision to the Detroit Tigers. In an interesting twist, Ty Cobb collects the first hit against Johnson. Cobb would go on to collect more hits against Johnson than any other batter, and bat .366 against the hard-throwing righthander. In 1936, both players will become part of the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame.
Events for August 2
At Pittsburgh, the Giants win their 13th game in a row, beating the Pirates, 3 – 1, to take a 10 1/2 game lead over the Pirates. Christy Mathewson is the winner over Deacon Phillippe. Bucs star Honus Wagner is thrown out at first base in the 4th inning on a close play, then shows his displeasure by firing a ball near umpire George Bausewine during warmups the next inning. Bausewine responds by thumbing Honus out of the game. Wagner will be suspended for three games and fined $40.
The Senators’ 19-year-old rookie right-hander Walter Johnson makes his major league debut, losing to the Tigers, 3-2. Ty Cobb, with a bunt single, gets the first hit off of the future Hall of Famer, who will finish with a 417-279 (.519) record while compiling an ERA of 2.17 during his 21-year big-league tenure, all with Washington.