This Day In Baseball May 24
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for May 24
With RF Mike Dorgan committing 5 errors‚ New York loses to Providence‚ 19 – 5‚ at the Polo Grounds. The New York Times reports that the game is so bad that “the Siamese Embassy [staff] occupied the stockholder box and showed their knowledge by leaving in the middle of the game.” Charlie Sweeney (8-1) has 4 hits‚ 3 doubles and scores 4 times.
5/24/1893 – The St. Louis Browns were in Pittsburgh playing the Pirates. The Browns scored two runs in the ninth and lost the game 8-7. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Joe Gunson made his first appearance and batted out of turn. That paper did not have a box score for the game. However, the boxes in three other papers and a brief mention in the Boston Globe indicated that Gunson was a pinch hitter for the pitcher, and as such he was not batting out of turn.
The highest run total of the season is scored in a 15 – 13 Oriole defeat of the Orphans in Chicago. The pitchers yield 36 hits‚ 10 walks‚ 2 wild pitches‚ and 3 hit batsmen. Pitcher Clark Griffith of Chicago‚ ejected from the game‚ spews obscene language at umpire Tom Lynch‚ who threatens him with the Board of Discipline. Sporting Life notes “the only witness appears to be catcher Frank Bowerman of Baltimore‚ who is hardly likely to testify against Griffith.”
The Cubs overcome a 5 – 2 Giants lead to tie the game at 5 – 5‚ but a Johnny Evers error in the 8th gives New York a 6 – 5 win. Christy Mathewson‚ who pitches just 2 and 1/3 innings is credited with the win‚ since he left the game with the Giants ahead. Hooks Wiltse pitches the last 7 1/3 innings. By taking three out of four in Chicago‚ the Giants increase their hold on first place.
Stan Coveleski of the Cleveland Indians pitches a 19-inning, complete game to defeat the New York Yankees 3 – 2. Former P Joe Wood hits a home run in the 19th inning – his second of the game – to end the 3:45 marathon. For New York‚ Home Run Baker’s 11 assists tie the American League record for a third baseman in an extra-inning game.
At Salt Lake City, San Francisco (Pacific Coast League) outslugs the Bees, 30 – 14. The Seals outhit the Bees 37-17 with Paul Waner‚ Bert Ellison and Joe Kelly recording 6 hits apiece. Three of Ellison’s hits are homers and he will have two more tomorrow. He will set PCL marks for homers in two games (5), homers in three games (8), homers in a seven-game series (10) and most hits in a seven-game series (25) going 25 for 37. Pete Kilduff and Sam Agnew‚ with three doubles and two triples, each have 5 hits.
Chicago’s Ted Lyons and Detroit’s George Uhle go 21 innings before the Tigers get a run to win, 6 – 5, in the longest game – 3 hours and 31 minutes – ever seen to date at Comiskey Park. Uhle is the winner‚ tossing 20 innings‚ with Vic Sorrell pitching the bottom of the 21st. Lyons‚ the loser‚ goes the distance and gives up 24 hits. Charlie Gehringer drives in Roy Johnson with a sacrifice fly for the final run. No pitcher has matched either Lyons’ or Uhle’s marathon effort since. Les Mueller‚ in 1945‚ will come the closest.
The Cincinnati Reds host the Philadelphia Phillies in the first major league night game, winning, 2 – 1, before 25,000 fans. On the initiative of Larry MacPhail, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt throws the switch at the White House to turn on the lights. The Reds will play seven night games, one each against the other National League teams. The Phils’ Lou Chiozza is the first batter as the Reds’ Paul Derringer outduels Joe Bowman‚ though the Reds are outhit‚ 6 to 4.
At Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo‚ one of the most memorable games in Japanese League history takes place‚ a 28-inning marathon that ends in a 4 – 4 tie between Nagoya and Taiyo. It takes 3 hours and 47 minutes and both starters‚ Michio Nishizawa of Nagoya and Jiro Noguchi of Taiyo‚ go all the way: Nishizawa throws 311 pitches and Noguchi, 344. Games are not allowed to end in a tie because the teams have to show off their fighting spirit‚ according to historian Yoichi Nagata. Because this is the last day of the spring schedule in the three-part season (spring‚ summer and fall)‚ closing ceremonies and awards are scheduled‚ so officials order the umpire to end the game. Nagoya uses only 9 players‚ and Taiyo‚ 10. Despite the war‚ the game is noted in The Sporting News.
The visiting Giants beat the Reds, 7 – 6, on a pinch homer by colorful Danny Gardella. Gardella had started the day by leaving a suicide note in his hotel room for his roommate Nap Reyes. When Reyes returned to the room a few minutes later‚ he noticed the open window and read the note. Horrified‚ he rushed to the window only to see the grinning face of Gardella‚ who had been hanging from the window ledge several stories over the street.
The Tigers lose Al Benton‚ who has 5 wins and 3 shutouts‚ when he is hit on the ankle in the 4th frame by a line drive off the bat of Bobby Estalella. The A’s score 4 in the 5th to win‚ 7 – 2. There is great confusion in the 2nd inning, when Irv Hall and George Kell bat out of turn for the A’s: Kell, batting 6th in the lineup card handed to umpire Eddie Rommel, comes up in place of Hall, who is batting 5th. He strikes out, so Tigers manager Steve O’Neill does not point out the mistake, validating Kell’s at-bat. But Hall then steps to the plate when the 7th hitter, 1B Dick Siebert, should have followed Kell. Hall singles, O’Neill appeals, and Rommel calls him out to end the inning. However, no one can then agree on who is to lead off the 3rd (if the rule had been properly applied, Siebert would have been the one called out to end the 2nd and number 8 hitter Frankie Hayes should have been next up). Rommel decides that Kell should be next. Both managers protest the decision, although no one seems to be sure who should have been the proper batter. When American League President Will Harridgerules on the protest filed by O’Neill (who claims, wrongly, that Siebert should have led off the 3rd), he dismisses the protest – but for the wrong reasons – indicating that he is just as confused as everyone else. The perplexing rule will be clarified in 1957.
5/24/1945 – The Athletics beat the Tigers, 7-2, in a wild game. In the fourth inning, pitcher Al Benton of the Tigers was hit by a line drive by Bobby Estalella. Benton suffered a fractured bone just above the right ankle and was carried off the field. The Philadelphia batting order turned in to umpire Eddie Rommel had Joe Burns batting fourth, Irv Hall fifth and George Kell sixth. However, on the scoreboard Hall and Kell were reversed. Burns struck out to open the bottom of the second inning. Kell, batting out of turn, also struck out. Hall then batted and, when he singled, the Tigers protested that he was out of order. Rommel declared Hall out, which was incorrect according to the rules. The proper batter in this case was Dick Siebert, who followed Kell in the lineup in the seventh spot, and he should have been declared out, not Hall. Rommel further declared that Kell should lead off the third inning, which is also incorrect. Since Siebert was the proper batter, Frankie Hayes (in the eighth spot) should have led off the third inning. Since Rommel had Kell lead off the third inning, it looks as if only five batters made six outs in the first two frames. One result of the confusion is that Kell’s strikeout disappeared from the official records. The confusion continued when the Tigers’ protest of the game based on Kell was not being the proper lead off batter was denied incorrectly by the AL president.
At Brooklyn‚ Carl Furillo pinch-hits for LF Gene Hermanski – in the 1st inning – and clouts a three-run homer to give the Brooks the lead over the Phillies. Skeeter Newsome’s third career homer in 5 years ties the game in the 8th and the Phils win it in 10 innings‚ 4 – 3. Freddy Schmidt wins over Hugh Casey. Furillo’s pinch homer sets a major league record – it is the only pinch home run to come in the 1st inning. Phils manager Ben Chapmanstarted righty Al Jurisich just to pitch to Brooklyn’s first two hitters: Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson. Lefty Oscar Judd‚ warming up from the start‚ then comes in to pitch to the next three lefty hitters: Pete Reiser‚ Dixie Walker‚ and Hermanski. Reiser and Walker bat and then Furillo hits for Hermanski‚ though he is not listed in the box score as a pinch-hitter.
Carl Furillo hits a three-run homer as a pinch-hitter in the first frame of the Dodgers’ 4-3 ten-inning loss to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field. The unusual substitution occurs when Phillies manager Ben Chapman uses his right-handed starter Al Jurisch to pitch only to Brooklyn’s first two hitters, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, and then brings in southpaw Oscar Judd, who had been warming up from the start of the game, to face the next three lefty hitters, Pete Reiser, Dixie Walker, and Gene Hermanski, the batter replaced by Furillo.
Nat Clifton’s Harlem Globetrotter contract is purchased by the New York Knicks, making the talented athlete the first black to sign a deal to play in the National Basketball Association. Prior to his career in the NBA, ‘Sweetwater’ played first base for the Chicago American Giants in the Negro Leagues.
Jimmy Piersall and New York’s Billy Martin first exchange insults before a game in Boston‚ then exchange punches in the tunnel under the stands. It takes coaches Bill Dickey and Oscar Melillo‚ along with starter Ellis Kinder‚ to break up the fight. Piersall goes to the clubhouse to change his bloody shirt and gets into another brawl with teammate Mickey McDermott. He sits as Ellis Kinder stops the Yanks‚ 5 – 2.
A year and 3 days after scoring 15 runs in an inning‚ the Dodgers explode again. Against the Phillies they score 12 runs in the 8th inning before making an out. Their two bases-loaded triples in the 8th tie a major league record for a game and set it for an inning. The half inning takes 44 minutes to play. The final score is 16 – 2.
Pittsburgh’s highly touted Rule 5 acquisition, rookie outfielder Roberto Clemente, debuts his new uniform number, 21 (as reported by Pittsburgh Press beat writer Les Biederman). Originally number 13, he replaces the previous 21, outfielder Earl Smith, who was optioned to New Orleans of the Southern Association on May 3rd. Clemente is the 15th and final Pirate to wear number 21, which will be retired in 1973, following his fatal airplane crash on New Year’s Eve, 1972.
After losing 11 straight games‚ the Pirates rout the Dodgers, 15 – 1‚ their highest score in 172 games. Tomorrow, they will sink to the cellar. Bob Friend‚ who pitches the last 4 1/3 innings in relief of starter Vern Law‚ is the winner. Preston Ward has a single‚ triple and home run to pace the Corsairs.
In his first two major league at-bats‚ Cubs rookie Frank Ernaga hits a solo home run in the 2nd inning and follows with a run-scoring triple in the 4th‚ both against Warren Spahn. The Cubs beat the Braves, 5 – 1, at Wrigley Field. Ernaga is the second National League rookie to debut with a triple and homer; he will add just one more homer to his major league career total.
On an off day at Fenway Park, Ted Williams, using his shotgun, shoots approximately 35 pigeons, sitting on a chair in front of the bullpen of the empty ballpark. The ‘Kid’s’ target practice predictably upsets the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but Red Sox owner and avid sportsman Tom Yawkey’s participation in the ‘hunt’ helps to quell the outrage usually directed at the superstar ballplayer.
In his first big league at-bat, Frank Ernaga hits a third-inning home run to deep left field off future Hall of Fame southpaw Warren Spahn in Chicago’s 5-1 victory over Milwaukee. The rookie right fielder follows his Wrigley Field round-tripper with a three-bagger in the following frame to become the first Cubs player to have hit a home run and a triple in his major league debut.
The Tigers score their first 4 runs on homers‚ then score the winner on a passed ball in the 11th to beat the Orioles‚ 5 – 4. Charlie Lau misses a Hoyt Wilhelm knuckler to allow Dick McAuliffe to score. Jim Bunning pitches the first 9 innings for Detroit and is accused by O’s manager Billy Hitchcock of notching the ball with his belt buckle.
With glare of the sun shining through the roof making fly balls difficult to track during day games, the clear plastic panes of the Astrodome’s ceiling are painted at a cost of $20,000. The decision to cover the roof, which reduces the ambient lighting by 40%, prevents the ballpark’s natural grass from growing and will lead to the use of Astroturf next season.
At Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Don Rose homers on the first pitch he sees in his first major league at-bat. The right-hander’s third inning round-tripper, which will be his only career round-tripper and the last hit by an American League hurler for thirty years, proves to be the difference in the Angels’ 6-5 victory over the A’s, earning the 25 year-old his only victory in the big leagues.
With the game scoreless in the 9th‚ the Cards put runners on first and third base with one out. Tim McCarver grounds to Cubs 1B Billy Williams who fires home to C Tom Lundstedt to snag Ted Simmons in a rundown. But as soon as Lundstedt throws to 3B Matt Alexander‚ Simmons races home to an uncovered plate. The Cards win‚ 1 – 0.
New York Yankees relief pitcher Lee Guetterman gives up five runs in the 9th inning of a New York 11 – 4 loss to the California Angels, ending his consecutive scoreless innings streak at 30 2/3. It is the longest season-opening streak in the majors since Harry Brecheen’s in 1948, and the longest season-opening streak ever by a reliever.
“I can only hope that one day those teammates who have found it convenient to criticize me will realize that we are all in this together. If only we can concentrate more on the games than complaining and bickering and pointing fingers, we would all be better off.” – Text from Gregg Jefferies’ Open Letter
The St. Louis Cardinals set a major league record by stranding 16 runners without scoring, losing to starting pitcher David West and three Philadelphia Phillies relievers, 4 – 0. The Cards collect 9 hits and 8 walks to strand runners in every inning but the 1st. At the end of 8 innings, the game is scoreless‚ but new Cards reliever Mike Perez gives up 2 hits and a walk‚ then a three-run homer to Pete Incaviglia. The old record of 15 baserunners in a shutout had been done 4 times‚ the last on May 12‚ 1975. The Mariners in 1998 will match the Cards’ futility and set the American League record.
The Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers play the longest doubleheader by time in major league history as the teams split the twinbill, which lasts 7 hours and 39 minutes. By the end of the second game, only a few hundred spectators remain at Comiskey Park. Chicago wins the opener‚ 10 – 8‚ while the Rangers take the nightcap‚ 13 – 6.
1996 – In Seattle‚ Ken Griffey‚ Jr sinks the Yankees with three home runs‚ scoring 5 runs and driving in 6 as the Mariners win‚ 10 – 4. It is the first 3-homer game for Griffey. Scott Kamieniecki takes the loss‚ his last game with the Yankees. His season will end in a month when he goes on the AAA disabled list.
For the third time in major league history a team blows a seven-run lead twice in a week. The Houston Astros lose a 7 – 0 advantage at home against Philadelphia after blowing a 9 – 2 lead in the 9th inning at Milwaukee two days earlier. The Astros also lose CF Roger Cedeno who breaks two bones in his right hand and will miss two months.
The Giants defeat the Expos‚ 18 – 0‚ as pitcher Shawn Estes hits one grand slam and narrowly misses another as he collects 5 RBIs. The game is the Giants’ largest shutout win in modern times, breaking their previous record‚ 16 – 0‚ set on July 3‚ 1949‚ against the Dodgers; the previous San Francisco record was 14 – 0‚ against the Reds‚ on August 23‚ 1961. Their all-time record is a 24 – 0 win against the Buffalo Bisons‚ on May 27‚ 1885. On the other side‚ the game is also the worst shutout loss in Expos history‚ breaking the record of 16 – 0‚ set against the Cardinals‚ on August 11‚ 1980.
Sixteen Dodger players and 3 coaches are handed suspensions for going into the stands during a fight with fans at Wrigley Field on May 16th. The 19 suspensions are believed to be the most ever stemming from one incident. The suspensions total 60 games for the players and 24 games for the coaches. All 19 individuals are also assessed fines.
Sixteen Dodger players and three coaches are suspended by the commissioner’s office for going into the stands during the Wrigley Field scuffle with fans on May 16. The suspensions totaling 60 games for players and 24 games for coaches is the harshest penalty ever handed down by major league baseball.
In the German Bundesliga, Enorbel Márquez of the Solingen Alligators throws a 16-strikeout perfect game in a 9 – 0 rout of the Bonn Capitals. Márquez, a star of the German national team, is paired once again with backstop Kai Gronauer. Gronauer signed with the New York Mets earlier in the season but visa issues have kept him in Germany longer than anticipated.
Omar Vizquel, who already owns the record for most games played at shortstop, reaches another mark, tying Luis Aparicio’s total for second-most hits at the position, 2764. This year, Vizquel is wearing Aparicio’s uniform number 11, even though it has been officially retired by the White Sox, in tribute to his idol and countryman. The Yankees’ Derek Jeter is first in hits, having himself passed Aparicio earlier this year, and he is steadily adding to his total. The day is doubly sweet for the Sox as they defeat the Indians, 7 – 2, handing Justin Masterson his 11th straight loss dating back to last season.
The Angels are shut out for the first time this season, falling 6 – 0 to Brett Cecil. Cecil is the latest Toronto starter to throw a low-hit gem, allowing only two hits; he follows Shaun Marcum, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero, who have all flirted with no-hitters for the Jays, who are now 27-20 and are surprisingly managing to keep pace with the three juggernauts in the AL East.
For once, über-prospect Stephen Strasburg is merely human in a AAA start, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs in 5 innings for Syracuse against Toledo. Before that, he had allowed 4 hits and no runs in his first 18 1/3 innings at the level; even now, he is 3-0, 0.99 with well over a strikeout per inning as he awaits the inevitable call to Washington.
Just after midnight, the Jupiter Hammerheads pull out a 2 – 1, 23-inning win over the Clearwater Threshers. After failing to score against two Clearwater position players, Jupiter gets a run in the 23rd off Clearwater closer Justin Friend, who entered the game with a 0.86 ERA and a minor league-leading 16 saves. Backup 3B Jose Duarte singles in the winner. Jiwan James reaches base five times and falls a homer shy of the cycle in a losing cause, while SS Jeff Dominguez goes 0 for 9 for Jupiter. The teams finish six innings shy of the Florida State League record, set 45 years earlier.
Anibal Sanchez throws no-hit ball until the 9th inning, when Joe Mauer breaks up his bid for a no-no with a one-out single to center. He strikes out the final two hitters but has to settle for a one-hit shutout as Detroit beats Minnesota, 6 – 0, the Twins’ 10th straight loss. Miguel Cabrera’s streak of four straight games with a homer ends, but he has two more RBI as he pursues his bid for another Triple Crown.
The Rangers pull a fast one in the 2nd inning of their 9 – 5 win over the Mariners. In his first major league at-bat, Jesus Sucre hits a ground ball to first. 1B Mitch Moreland relays to SS Elvis Andrus to retire Justin Smoak for one out, and Andrus throws back to first, but P Justin Grimm crosses in front of Moreland and catches the ball, well away from first base, and walks away as if nothing particular has taken place. The umpires are fooled though, and call Sucre out for a double play. Umpire Jeff Nelson will later admit his mistake, explaining that “the pitcher came out of nowhere” to make the catch. He’s not the only one fooled by Grimm’s great acting job, as on-deck hitter Brendan Ryan says he also missed it, and Mariners manager Eric Wedge comes out to argue – but only that Moreland’s foot was off the bag!
On the day they retire Bernie Williams’ number 51 and unveil a plaque in his honor in Monument Park, the Yankees suffer their 10th loss in 11 games to fall to .500. The Rangers’ 5 – 2 win completes a three-game sweep, as a two-run homer by Adam Rosales off Chris Capuano, and two RBIs by Prince Fielder, account for the bulk of the damage.
Trevor Story of the Rockies becomes the fastest shortstop to the 100-homer mark when he connects off Shawn Armstrong of the Orioles in the 7th inning. It comes in his 448th game, whereas Alex Rodriguez had need 470. Story isn’t done, though, as in the 9th, he comes up against Mychal Givens with a runner on base and hits a walk-off shot to give Colorado an 8-6 win.
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