This Day In Baseball May 16
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for May 16
Fans assemble for Cleveland’s first Sunday baseball game only to have the police arrest the players after the 1st inning. Players and umpire Tim Hurst are released on bail provided by Cleveland club owner Frank DeHaas Robison. A test case is made of rookie hurler John Powell. On June 10th, he will be found guilty of playing ball on Sunday and fined $5.
A record 31,500 at the Polo Grounds see the Giants beat Pittsburgh, 7 – 3, behind Christy Mathewson. Matty allows eight hits in beating Brickyard Kennedy, who is bricked for 13 safeties. The first-place New Yorkers will soon fade, and the Pirates, now in third place, will win their third straight pennant.
National League President John Heydler calls a meeting with the league’s umpires to discuss ways that the new two-umpire system can prevent fighting by the players. A serious incident occurred several days earlier in Boston when Reds catcher Frank Roth attacked umpire Steve Cusack after a play at home. Several other Reds players threatened the umpire with baseball bats.
Pirates OF Ed Mensor will draw eight walks all year, but one of them comes in the 3rd inning against New York, ending Christy Mathewson’s string of perfect control at 47 innings. Mathewson takes a 7 – 1 lead into the 8th, but Ham Hyatt roasts a fastball into the RF stands to lead off and the Bucs follow with five singles. Matty holds on for a 7 – 4 win.
5/16/1925: With the Yankees playing in Detroit, Earle Combs hit a solo homer into the right field bleachers off Ed Wells to lead off the top of the ninth inning. Wells had just entered the game. However, with two out in the bottom of the frame, home plate umpire Brick Owens stopped the game due to the weather conditions, since there lightning and thunder in the area and the sky had grown dark due to the storm. Combs lost what would have been his first major league dinger to the poor conditions. Eleven other batters’ statistics were affected by the loss of the ninth inning.
In Boston, Mel Ott hits for the cycle in New York’s 5 – 4, 10-inning loss to the Braves in a doubleheader nightcap. Ott’s home run in the 7th lands half-way up in the right field bleachers, the longest home run to that section since 1915. Joe Dugan matches Ott’s four hits and scores the winner. The Braves also win the opener, 4 – 3.
In Kansas City, Hilton Smith pitches a no-hitter as the Kansas City Monarchs beat the Chicago American Giants, 4 – 0. Smith allows only one Chicago batter to reach base when he walks Melvin Powell in the 4th. Powell is erased on a double play and Smith faces the minimum 27 men. Sug Cornelius pitches a three-hitter in a losing cause.
Browns 3B Harlond Clift equals the American League record at the hot corner with nine assists in a 5 – 4 loss to the Tigers. A fumble and late throw in the 1st inning would have given him a 10th assist. By the end of the season, Clift will set a new record for total chances and the still-standing mark of 405 assists. The Tigers’ Gee Walker has a single to run his hitting streak to 21 games.
Four years after the Senior Circuit began playing evening tilts the first American League night game occurs when Cleveland defeats the hometown A’s at Shibe Park, 8-3. The small crowd of 15,109 fans, about half of the expected attendance, is the result of unseasonably cold temperatures in Philadelphia.
Mort Cooper goes AWOL from the Cardinals, returning to St. Louis. A 20-game winner for three previous seasons, Cooper, along with his brother Walker Cooper, has had his salary frozen at $12,000 for three years, and is in a salary dispute with owner Sam Breadon. Without Cooper, the Cards drop a pair to the Braves, losing 5 – 4 in 14 innings and 4 – 1.
The Yankees top Kansas City, 3 – 0, behind Bob Turley’s four-hit shutout. Mickey Mantle has a homer off Alex Kellner, the 11th time in his last 12 at-bats he’s reached base safely. That night a group of Yankees celebrate Billy Martin’s 29th birthday in raucous fashion. An ensuing fight at Manhattan’s Copacabana Club leads to $5,500 in fines and the eventual trade of Billy to Kansas City. Hank Bauer allegedly starts the fight by hitting a patron, although Bauer denies it. The Yanks fine Whitey Ford, Bauer, Yogi Berra, Mantle and Martin $1,000 each and Johnny Kucks $500.
Roberto Clemente’s 4th-inning blast aborts Juan Pizarro’s embryonic no-hitter and puts Pittsburgh ahead of Milwaukee, 1 – 0. “Clemente collected the first hit and it went for everything off Pizarro in the 4th,” reports Jack Hernon of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Clemente gave Bob Friend a lead when he sent his third home run of the season sailing into the few bleacherites in right field.” Although the Bucs never relinquish this lead, Dick Groat’s infield single, a walk to Hank Foiles and Gene Baker’s RBI single in the 7th will be much appreciated when, leading off the bottom of the 9th, Eddie Mathews manages to get one just beyond the grasp of centerfielder Bill Virdon and over the right centerfield fence. Immediately thereafter, Friend’s gratitude is tempered somewhat when Baker boots Joe Adcock’s grounder, putting the tying run aboard with no one out. Having barely grasped the goat horns, Baker is bailed out by Milwaukee’s Chuck Tanner, who misses a bunt sign and bounces into a 4-6-3 double play.
Roberto Clemente adds an encore to the previous night’s 3-home run, 7-RBI performance. Les Biederman writes in The Sporting News: “The night Clemente put on his show, only 5,222 fans showed up in Cincinnati. The next night, the attendance jumped to 13,389 and Clemente put on a display during batting practice. He lofted five of six balls out of the park in all directions and when he left the batting cage, the fans applauded. ‘It’s the first time I’ve seen that since Ted Williams’ days with the Red Sox,’ coach Johnny Pesky remarked. Clemente left Cincinnati, trailed by admiring remarks from the Reds.”
In the highest-scoring 11th inning ever, Seattle scores six runs, then allows 5, but hangs on for a 10 – 9 win at Boston. Jim Bouton gets the win with three shutout innings. Wayne Comer has a pair of homers, including one in the 11th. John Kennedy adds a homer in the 11th and Rico Petrocelli goes deep in the same inning for the Sox.
5/16/1975 – Royals manager Jack McKeon made out several lineup cards before the game. The official one he gave to the home plate umpire had George Brett hitting second and Amos Otis batting third. The one shown on the scoreboard and the one the Royals followed had Otis second, Hal McRae third, and Brett down in the sixth spot. The Royals followed that order the entire game because the Red Sox never checked the one they had been given when the lineup cards were exchanged. In the top of the third, they could have had at least two runs erased had they been paying attention. With runners on first and third and one out, Otis came up in the number two spot and hit a single to left that resulted in two runs after an error. At that point, the Red Sox could have protested and Brett would have been called out with Otis batting again, this time with two outs. The Royals scored three in the inning and won the game 5-2.
In an 11-4 rout of the Pirates, rookie right fielder Darryl Strawberry hit his first major league home run, a two-run round-tripper off Pittsburgh’s Lee Tunnell at Three Rivers Stadium. The troubled Mets outfielder, the eventual franchise leader with 252 homers, will hit a total of 335 during his turbulent 17-year career with the Mets, Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees.
The Twins sell 51,863 tickets to their 8 – 7 loss to the Blue Jays, but only 6,346 fans show up for the game. The skewed numbers are the result of a massive ticket-buying plan organized by Minneapolis businessman Harvey Mackay to keep the Twins in Minnesota; if the club does not sell 2.41 million tickets this season it can break its lease with the Metrodome. Taking advantage of reduced prices on the Family Day promotion, Mackay pays $218,718 for 44,166 tickets.
Mets catcher Gary Carter hits his 299th career home run, connecting for a three-run round tripper off Greg Booker in the seventh inning of the team’s 7-4 victory over the Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium. The future Hall of Fame backstop will go 230 at-bats and three months before hitting #300 on August 11th.
Sammy Sosa becomes the first Cub ever to hit two homers in one inning, hitting them in the 8-run 7th inning at Wrigley Field. The slugger accomplishes the feat leading off the 7th with a solo shot off Jeff Tabaka and then hits a two-run round tripper off Jim Dougherty. The Cubs roll over the Astros, 13 – 1, as rookie Amaury Telemaco, recalled two days ago from the Iowa Cubs, allows just one hit in seven shutout innings.
Albert Belle homers twice to lead the Indians to an 8 – 3 win over the Tigers. Jack McDowell is the winner for the division-leading Indians, now 5 1/2 games ahead of the White Sox. Before the game, the American Leagueorders Belle to receive “immediate counseling” and do community service as a result of his winging baseballs at a photographer several weeks ago. Belle’s agent replies that the star is already doing both.
As Tony Phillips says, “It’s not been a good 24 hours.” The White Sox OF is picked off base in the 9th inning of Chicago’s 3 – 2 loss to Milwaukee, then returns to the clubhouse to learn that battery charges have been pressed against him by a fan. Phillips and the fan got into a shoving match after the outfielder left yesterday’s game in the 7th inning, changed into street clothes and sought the fan. Phillips contends the fan was yelling racial slurs during the game. Both Phillips and the fan will eventually be charged with disorderly conduct and fined.
Montreal spots the Giants an early 9-run lead, then stages the biggest rally in franchise history to win, 14 – 13. Barry Bonds and Glenallen Hill homer as the Giants take an 11 – 2 lead after three innings. Montreal responds with four runs in the 4th, three in the 5th and three more in the 6th for a 12 – 11 lead.
Michael Tucker’s two-out double in the 9th breaks up Alan Benes’ no-hitter. Benes, unfortunately, is matched against Greg Maddux, who holds the Cards scoreless for eight innings. The Braves finally push across a run in the 13th on Andruw Jones’ infield dribbler to beat Cardinals reliever John Frascatore, 1 – 0. The teams combine for 33 strikeouts, three shy of matching the National League record for an extra-inning game set by the Giantsand Mets in a 23-inning contest in 1964.
After a fan steals Los Angeles catcher Chad Kreuter’s hat and hits him in the back of the head, many Dodgers, including coaches John Shelby and Rick Dempsey, go into the stands and start fighting with the Wrigley Fieldfaithful. When the melee ends, several fans are arrested as the game is delayed nearly ten minutes, and there is litter all over the field. The Dodgers defeat the Cubs, 6 – 5.
After a fan steals Los Angeles’ catcher Chad Kreuter’s hat and hits him in the back of the head, many Dodgers, including coaches John Shelby and Rick Dempsey, go into the stands and start fighting with the Wrigley Field faithful. When the melee ends, several fans are arrested as the game is delayed nearly ten minutes, and there is litter all over the field.
Chicago outfielder Sammy Sosa becomes the thirty-third major leaguer to reach 400 career homers when he goes deep off Houston’s Shane Reynolds at Wrigley Field. The popular Dominican outfielder has hit 371 homers as a Cub, putting him third on the all-time franchise list behind Ernie Banks (512) and Billy Williams (392).
The New York Times reports that October 1st, which is the first day of the postseason, is also being considered as a possible strike date. In yesterday’s edition, the newspaper had indicated an early August date was being considered for a labor action by the Players Association if a new Collective bargaining agreement can’t be reached.
The New York Times reports October 1, the first scheduled day of the postseason, is also being considered as a possible strike date by the Players Association. In yesterday’s edition, the newspaper indicated an early August date was being considered for a labor action if a new CBA could not be reached.
In a game which features the Molina brothers as the respective catchers for their teams, Jose’s theft in the fourth proves to be the key to an Angel four-run inning. Blue Jays backstop Bengie takes second base without drawing a throw from his older brother, advancing on defensive indifference in the seventh inning of an 8-3 Los Angeles victory in Anaheim.
After drawing a warning from home plate umpire Joe West for throwing a ball behind Barry Bonds, Astros’ hurler Russ Springer strikes the Giants slugger on the shoulder with the fifth pitch of the at-bat. This incident will cost the 37 year-old right-handed reliever four games when baseball suspends him for his action against the San Francisco superstar, who needs just one home run to equal Babe Ruth’s career home run mark.
Jayson Werth ties the Phillies’ single-game RBI record when he drives in eight runs in Philadelphia’s 10-3 win over Toronto. The 28 year-old center fielder, who equals the franchise mark shared by Kitty Bransfeld (1910), Gavvy Cravath (1915), Willie Jones (1958), and Mike Schmidt (1976), accomplishes the feat with three home runs in team’s 10-3 victory over Toronto in the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park.
Before the start of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium, the visiting Mets conduct a closed-door clubhouse meeting to clear the air concerning comments made yesterday by closer Billy Wagner about his teammates’ availability after games. Although the reliever addresses the issue, his remarks put focus the team’s lackluster start to the season, and the need to get it done on the field.
Nick Hundley homers off Micah Owings with two outs in the 16th inning to end a marathon, 6 – 5, in favor of the Padres over the Cincinnati Reds. Normally a starter, Owings is pressed into pitching 5 2/3 innings in relief for the losers before surrendering the game-ending shot, while rookie Luis Perdomo, the Padres’ eighth pitcher, picks up his first major league win.
The Twins stun the Yankees with an 8th-inning grand slam by Jason Kubel against closer Mariano Rivera for a 6 – 3 win at New Yankee Stadium. Rivera had converted a record-tying 51 consecutive save opportunities at home and had not given up a grand slam since 2002; the runs are also the first he gives up this season.
The Indians pound the Royals, 19 – 1, collecting 20 hits and 8 walks. Reliever Vin Mazzaro bears the brunt of the damage: he gives up 10 runs in the 4th inning, and a team-record 14 runs overall as he takes one for the team. He is then sent down to AAA Omaha immediately after the game, his ERA having ballooned to 22.74. He is only the fourth pitcher since World War II to give up 14 runs in a game. Michael Brantley and Matt LaPortadrive in 4 runs each, while Travis Hafner and Orlando Cabrera chip in with 3 RBIs apiece. Kyle Davies is the loser, retiring only one batter on a nightmarish evening for Kansas City’s pitchers.
Drayton McLane sells the Astros for approximately $685 million to a group led by Jim Crane, who failed in his attempts to buy this team in 2008, the Cubs in 2009, and the Rangers with Mark Cuban in 2010. During McLane’s tenure with Houston, which started in 1992, the club appeared in the postseason six times, including a losing trip to the World Series in 2005.
Is there anything the old man cannot do? 49-year-old Jamie Moyer picks up his second win of the year for Colorado by throwing 6 1/3 innings, during which he allows a single run, and helps his own cause with a two-run single in the 4th. The hit is fielded by Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt, but Moyer outraces him to the bag, eluding a lunging attempt at a tag, while the speedy Dexter Fowler takes advantage of Goldschmidt’s distraction to score all the way from second base. The runs make Moyer the oldest player to collect a major league RBI, passing Julio Franco. The final score is 6 – 1 in favor of Colorado.
It is advertised as a match-up of marquee pitchers Yu Darvish and Justin Verlander, but tonight’s contest between the Rangers and Tigers is a high-scoring one, ending 10 – 4 in Texas’s favor. The Rangers score 7 runs in the 3rd, capped by a three-run blast by C Geovany Soto that chases Verlander from the game for his shortest outing in nearly three years. For his part, Darvish allows a pair of long balls to Jhonny Peralta and Don Kelly but pitches 8 innings to improve to 7-1 on the year.
Miguel Cabrera hits the 400th home run of his career off Tyler Lyons in the 1st inning of a game against the Cardinals. With the blast, he passes both Andres Galarraga, who held the record for most homers by a player from Venezuela, and Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline, who both finished with 399 homers. The homer comes one night after Adrian Beltre also reached the 400 mark. The Tigers win, 4 – 3, in 10 innings.
Chris Davis homers twice in extra innings to help the Orioles outlast the Tigers, 13 – 11. His blast in the 12th inning sets up a three-run outburst, but Detroit replies with three runs of its own to keep the game going. In the 13th, Davis tees off against Francisco Rodriguez with a runner on third base, and those two runs prove to be the margin of victory. The Orioles squander an early 7 – 1 lead and need a homer by Mark Trumbo with two outs in the 9th to stay alive. For Detroit, J.D. Martinez homers twice, including a grand slam, and they have the winning run on third base in both the 11th and 12th innings, but both times, Tyler Collins, mired in an 0-for-30 slump, makes the final out without cashing in the runner. Richard Bleier earns his first career win in the slugfest.
2011 – The Astros formally announce the sale of the ballclub to a group of investors led by Houston shipping magnate Jim Crane. The reported cost is $680 million dollars, the second highest amount to date for a Major League franchise. The sale awaits the approval of the other owners before becoming official. Elsewhere, the Astros drop a 3-2 decision to the Braves to sport a 15-26 record – worst in the National League.
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