This Day In Baseball May 23
Recapping events that took place in the baseball world on this day
The history of sports is both vast and rich, thanks to the existence of so many different events and the longevity associated with them. With so much history to cull through, We offer the opportunity to look back and see what memorable things happened or milestones were reached on May 23 in baseball history.
Classic Games and Video Accounts of Historic Moments
Notable Events and Chronology for May 23
In a battle of the top two Cincinnati teams‚ the Red Stockings cut down the Buckeyes‚ 28 – 10. Asa Brainard‚ from the Excelsior Club‚ makes his first appearance with the Reds as a number of players have changed teams this year. Those who do so while having a valid contract with their original team are called “revolvers.”
The Louisville Colonels drop a game to Brooklyn because they have run out of baseballs. The home team is responsible for supplying balls‚ but the game begins with just three baseballs on hand‚ two of them practice balls borrowed from Brooklyn. By the 3rd inning‚ the balls are worn out and a messenger sent for new ones does not arrive back in time. Louisville is forced to forfeit the game.
Cleveland financier Charles Somers‚ who is also the president of the Boston club‚ meets with Nap Lajoie in Philadelphia and guarantees him a 4-year contract at $7‚000 per year no matter what the legal outcome of his case. Lajoie has played one game‚ then sat in the stands. In 1903‚ Cleveland fans will vote to rename the club the Naps in honor of Lajoie.
Before a packed house of 23‚000‚ John McGraw uses his entire pitching staff of six against the Cubs‚ but Chicago still wins‚ 5 – 2, to move into first place over New York. Hooks Wiltse lasts just one inning‚ giving up two Chicago runs. Jimmy Sheckard’s three-run homer in the 5th off Christy Mathewson‚ pitching on a day’s rest‚ seals the win for Chicago.
The Chicago Tribune announces a contest with an unusual prize: the three winners will join one of Chicago’s three major league teams – the Cubs, the White Sox and the Whales of the Federal League – for a road trip at the end of the season. The contest is open to all local amateur players under the age of 21 and will help launch the major league careers of Henry Rasmussen and Charlie Pechous.
Provost Marshal Enoch Crowder issues a “work-or-fight” order, originally setting July 1 as the deadline for players to enter needed war workforce or face induction into military service. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, who ignores Woodrow Wilson’s letter stating that the President saw “no necessity” for curtailing major-league play, does permit the major leaguers to continue to play through Labor Day, allowing the completion of the shortened season and the World Series with the teams’ rosters staying intact.
Phillie slugger Gavvy Cravath treats his old teammate Pete Alexander unkindly‚ collecting 3 hits and 5 RBIs to lead the Phillies to a 7 – 2 win over the Cubs. The winning pitcher is George Smith‚ just acquired from the Giantsfor P Joe Oeschger. Oeschger will be bundled to the Braves in August for Art Nehf.
The Cardinals trade C Mike Gonzalez and infielder Howard Freigau to the Cubs for catcher Bob O’Farrell. O’Farrell‚ who suffered a fractured skull from a foul tip‚ played just 71 games in 1924 and lost his job to Gabby Hartnett. But O’Farrell will have a banner year for the Cards‚ hitting .293 and catching 146 games‚ and then take over as manager in 1927. Freigau will hit .307 for the year.
Hack Wilson smacks a 5th-inning home run‚ a rare blast off the Wrigley Field scoreboard‚ situated at ground level‚ to start a rout of the Braves. The Cubs score 7 runs in the 8th inning to win, 14 – 8. Sparky Adamscontributes 4 hits for Chicago. Later that night‚ Wilson and a few others are arrested at a friend’s apartment for drinking beer in violation of the Prohibition Act. The scoreboard will be moved to the left field corner in 1937‚ before one will be built atop the newly-built bleachers.
5/23/1928 – The Washington Senators had two regulars out of the lineup as they played the Athletics in Philadelphia. This was the third contest with George Sisler substituting in left field and Joe Judge at first base. In the previous two contests, Judge batted third with Sisler after him. However, the lineup card turned in on this day had the two players reversed in the order. The first time through the lineup both players made outs. In the third inning, the Nats had the bases loaded with two out. Judge batted out of turn and walked for an apparent run. Philadelphia manager Connie Mack pointed out to umpire Bill McGowan that Judge hit in Sisler’s place. Sisler was called out and the run nullified. The Athletics won the game, 4-2.
In Philadelphia‚ the A’s win a pair from the Senators by 9 – 8 scores. In game 1‚ they spot the Senators 8 runs in the first two innings and then come back to win. The win goes to Howard Ehmke‚ the A’s fourth pitcher. Rube Walberg goes all the way to win the nitecap. Ossie Bluege has a homer in each game for the Nationals. The first-place A’s will sweep the series with the Nats.
At Crosley Field‚ following a single by Lee Handley‚ and two pinch-hitters reaching base‚ Sammy Byrd hits a pinch ultimate grand slam in the bottom of the 9th to give the Reds a 4 – 3 win over Pittsburgh. Bucs starter Bill Swift loads the bases and reliever Cy Blanton serves up just one pitch to Byrd who lets it fly. Byrd will hit one more homer this year and then retire next March 10th to play professional golf. The three pinch-hitters scoring ties the National League record.
Tony Lazzeri hits 3 home runs‚ 2 in the nitecap‚ good for 4 RBI as the visiting Yankees pound the Athletics‚ 12 – 6 and 15 – 1. The crowd of 24‚240‚ one of the largest in several seasons‚ pelts the field with cushions‚ bottles and other articles‚ making play difficult. Bill Dickey‚ Ben Chapman‚ Red Rolfe‚ and Frank Crosetti also homer for New York.
The Cubs’ Bill Lee tops the Bees‚ 4 – 1‚ as the Bees score their only tally in the 4th when pitcher Lou Fette drives in the run. This is the only run that Lee will allow in 47 straight innings going back to the 19th‚ when he tossed a shutout. He will shut out Pirates‚ 5 – 0‚ on May 27th‚ the Reds‚ 3 – 0 on May 30th‚ and the Bees‚ 4 – 0‚ on June 3rd.
In front of just 793 paid customers in St. Louis‚ the Browns trip the Senators‚ 8 – 7‚ in 12 innings. Jimmy Bloodworth’s 2-run homer gives the Nats the lead in the top of the 12th‚ but the George McQuinn’s second homer of the day‚ a single‚ and a triple by Rip Radcliff‚ who scores on a sac fly, gives St. Louis the win over Sid Hudson.
Wartime restrictions are eased‚ and Ebbets Field is the scene of the first night game in metro New York since 1941. The Giants’ Bill Voiselle loses a 2 – 1‚ 9th-inning lead because an apparent last-out fly ball is dropped by CF Johnny Rucker when Charlie Mead runs into him. Two runners score and the Dodgers win, 3 – 2. In other cities‚ there was no restriction on night play‚ but games could be interrupted at any time by test blackouts.
1950 – Pittsburgh’s first bonus baby, Bill MacDonald, who went 13-11 at New Orleans in 1949, makes his first major league start and shuts out the Phillies‚ 6 – 0. MacDonald will finish the season at 8-10 for the last-place Bucs before going into the service in 1951. He’ll win just one more major league game after that.
Mel Parnell gives up 4 hits in shutting out the Browns‚ while stroking 4 hits himself. Ted Williams walks 5 times in the 12 – 0 win. Vern Stephens sets an assist record for a third baseman‚ with an assist from SS Johnny Pesky. On the last out of the game‚ a grounder to Pesky‚ he flips to Stephens‚ who fires to 1B to set the record at 10 assists. Frank Malzone will equal the record in 1957 and Ken McMullen will top it in 1966.
At New York‚ the Angels score 4 in the 1st‚ and the Yankees counter with 5 in the bottom of the inning off Bo Belinsky. That’s all the scoring for the pinstripers as the Angels win, 9 – 5. This is only the second time this season that the injury-plagued Yanks have started their regular outfield of Mickey Mantle‚ Roger Maris and Tom Tresh. Mantle will pull a muscle on the 26th‚ keeping him out of the lineup for two weeks.
In the first inning of a 5-2 loss to San Francisco, Jimmy Wynn is unable to catch Jim Ray Hart’s two-out routine fly ball when he loses the ball in the glare of diffused Texas sunlight streaming through plastic panes of the newly-opened Astrodome. The play, now a base-clearing inside-the-park three-run home run instead of an easy third out, results in the painting of the ballpark’s ceiling the next day and will lead to the use of Astroturf next season because the grass will be unable to be grown due to the reduced amount of sunlight.
1965 – Hard luck pitcher Ken Johnson loses his last game for Houston, 5-2 at the hands of the Giants, in typical fashion. Jim Ray Hart hits a three-run inside-the-park homer in the first inning when Jim Wynn fails to track the fly ball as it falls on the warning track behind him. Johnson is traded later that afternoon to Milwaukee for Lee Maye.
With 53‚337 on hand, Mickey Lolich and Les Cain‚ with 3 innings from Joe Niekro‚ notch shutouts as the Tigers sweep a doubleheader from the Senators, 5 – 0 and 11 – 0. The loser in the opener is Denny McLain‚ making his first appearance in Detroit since being traded. Al Kaline and Norm Cash each hit two-run homers off Denny‚ with Cash adding another pair‚ one with the sacks full‚ in the nitecap.
The Cardinals play three Cruz brothers, Cirilo, Hector, and Jose, all nine innings in the outfield during the team’s 9-2 spring training victory over New York at Al Lang Field. The trio Puerto Rican siblings, who personally outscore the Mets, bat first, second, and third in the Redbird’s lineup, making all three outs in the first and eighth frames.
The American League approves the transfer of the Boston Red Sox to a group headed by Jean R. Yawkey, Buddy LeRoux, and Haywood Sullivan. The purchase price is estimated at $15 million. Sullivan had a seven-year career as a catcher for the Red Sox and Kansas City Athletics, while LeRoux was the Boston trainer for eight years.
Five hours after the midnight deadline, Major League players and owners avert a strike by announcing a new four-year basic agreement. The new deal raises the minimum salary from $21,000 to $30,000 and increases the clubs’ contributions to the players’ pension fund, but the major issue of free agent compensation remains unresolved.
At Anaheim‚ 41‚205 watch as Dan Petry and the Tigers clip the Angels‚ 4 – 2‚ to run Detroit’s record to 34-5. Detroit has now won 16 straight on the road to tie the American League record of the 1912 Senators. The win goes to Petry. The losing pitcher is reliever Frank LaCorte‚ who takes his last major league loss when he gives up a two-run homer in the 7th to Lance Parrish. LaCorte will beat the Yankees’ Phil Niekro on the 29th for his last win.
At Wrigley Field‚ the Cubs outlast the Braves to win‚ 7 – 6‚ in 16 innings. Ryne Sandberg greets new reliever Jim Acker with a single and Jerry Mumphrey doubles him home. Dale Murphy is 2 for 3 and is walked 5 times for the second time in his career. Teammate Ozzie Virgil strikes out 5 times. The Braves garner 14 walks – 6 off winning pitcher Jamie Moyer‚ who allows no runs in 4 1/3 innings – and strand 17 runners.
Danny Tartabull‚ who hit an inside-the-park home run against Bert Blyleven last October‚ does it again in the Metrodome. The Twins hang on for a 7 – 5 win over Kansas City. Bert also served up a pair of inside-the-parkers to Dick Allen at Metropolitan Stadium in 1972‚ his only other such homers at Minnesota.
The Orioles defeat the Rangers‚ 15 – 6‚ scoring 10 runs in the 1st inning. Baltimore OF Brady Anderson is hit by a pitch twice in the 1st to set an American League record, and tie the major league record. Anderson joins Willard Schmidt (1959) and Frank Thomas (1961) as the only batters hit by a pitch twice in one inning.
At Miller Park, Shawn Green of the Los Angeles Dodgers becomes the 14th man in major league history to hit four home runs in a game and also sets a big league record with 19 total bases. Green goes 6 for 6, scores six runs (both franchise records), and has seven RBI in a 16 – 3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Green is the second player this year to hit four home runs in a game. He also surpasses Joe Adcock’s former mark of 18 total bases, set in 1954. Green also is the first major league player to collect six hits while hitting four homers, and his four homers plus a double tie the National League mark for extra-base hits. The Dodgers hit eight homers in the game, another franchise record. Before today’s power display, Green had gone 0 for 15, and had been benched on May 18th.
Jeremi Gonzalez earns his first major league victory in nearly five years as the Devil Rays beat the Angels, 3 – 1, at Anaheim Stadium. Gonzalez wins for the first time since June 28, 1998, when he was with the Chicago Cubs. He had elbow surgery that year and in 1999 before the Cubs released him in 2001.
In a Class A South Atlantic League game in Lakewood, NJ‚ between the BlueClaws and Kannapolis‚ a groundskeeper is ejected from the game. Buddy Biancalana’s Lakewood team is leading 3 – 0‚ when it starts raining hard. Bill Butler‚ who wanted to protect the field with a tarpaulin‚ walks on the field‚ but the umpires want to stop him and the dispute turns heated and he is ejected. He is a three-time Groundskeeper of the Year in the minors and is working his 13th season in the business. He says he told umpires Brandon Cooney and Steve Cummings it was time to cover the field.
2003 – After 51 major league appearances, righthander Scott Linebrink gets his first big league win – and is released the next day. A six-run first inning allows Linebrink to post a 7-5 victory over the Cubs, capped by a three-run homer from Jose Vizcaino. Injuries and illnesses force the Astros into the roster move that sends Linebrink back to the farm.
Kaz Matsui, who surpasses Tommy Agee’s 1969 team record, sets a franchise mark with his fifth leadoff home run of the season, becoming the first Mets player to accomplish the feat in consecutive games. The 28 year-old Japanese shortstop is also the first big leaguer to have his first five career round-trippers be hit batting first in the first inning of a game.
2008 – Jose Valverde takes a line drive off the face yet stays in the game to notch his league-leading 15th save in a 4-3 triumph against the Phillies. Hunter Pence had drilled two solo homers and Brandon Backe allowed just one run over 7-1/3rd innings but Valverde steals the spotlight with his amazing toughness.
The Mets win their first subway series against the crosstown Yankees since 1998 with a 6 – 4 victory. Jason Bay homers twice – only his second and third long balls of the year – against CC Sabathia. Johan Santana is the winner and Francisco Rodriguez picks up the save by striking out Alex Rodriguez with two men on to end the game.
Chasing a sixth-inning foul pop near the Rangers dugout in the sixth inning, A.J. Pierzynski nearly makes contact with George W. Bush, who is sitting in the owner’s box with his wife, Laura. The ball drops harmlessly into the stands, but the former president takes the opportunity to comment the startled White Sox catcher.
The Red Sox use a power outburst from their scrubs to defeat the surprising first-place Orioles, 6 – 5, and reach .500 for the first time this year. Back-up C Kelly Shoppach and OFs Scott Podsednik and Daniel Nava, both recently called up from the minors because of a rash of injuries, all homer from the bottom three spots in the starting line-up.
The Angels hit four home runs – by Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Chris Iannetta and Mark Trumbo – as they defeat Kansas City, 5 – 4, for their fifth straight win. Joe Blanton wins for the first time this season after seven straight losses, while Robert Coello picks up his first career save after closer Ernesto Frieri falters by giving up two runs in the 9th.
Brian Matusz becomes the second pitcher this week to be ejected for having a foreign substance on him, after Will Smith. The Orioles’ lefty is tossed in the 12th inning of what is then a scoreless game against the Marlins. Miami scores on a bases-loaded single by Martin Prado in the bottom of the 13th for Dan Jennings’ first win as a manager, 1 – 0. Like Smith, Matusz will receive an eight-game suspension for his action.
Todays Major League Birthdays On May 23
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Major League Baseball Deaths On May 23
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