This Day In Baseball May 29
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for May 29
With George Wright in its lineup‚ Boston upsets Chicago, 11 – 10. Wright scores 2 runs and fields flawlessly‚ but will play no more games because of protests from Providence‚ which still has him “reserved.” The loss snaps Chicago’s win streak of 13‚ which they will top in a little more than a month (June 2-July 8).
Taking advantage of a ground rule change which scores balls hit over Chicago’s inviting 180-foot LF fence as home runs (instead of doubles)‚ five players hit round-trippers in the White Stockings’ National League home opener against Detroit‚ winning 15 – 5. Chicago will hit 142 homers – last year they hit 13 – during the 112-game season (more than 90 percent of them at home) to set a record that will last until the 1927 New York Yankees. The rule change appears to be unilaterally made by Cap Anson‚ and the other league owners will squawk to no avail. But the league will set a minimum distance of 210 feet for an outfield fence after the season.
The Boston Herald box score credits Jake Beckley with a three-run homer to give Pittsburgh an 8 – 6 win over Washington. Under the rules of the era‚ which do not allow a team batting in the bottom of the last inning to win by more than one run‚ Beckley should be credited only with a triple, making the score 7 – 6. Apparently the rule is not strictly enforced.
The first-place Cubs make it 6 straight wins‚ beating the Cards, 8 – 5‚ in a game in which base stealing determines the outcome. For Chicago‚ a double steal by Charlie Hollocherand Dode Paskert helps‚ while the Cards drive Claude Hendrix from the mound in the 8th inning‚ then end the rally when Doc Lavan swipes third base‚ already occupied by teammate Jack Fournier.
At Redland Field‚ Pittsburgh’s Clyde Barnhart hits a 9th-inning line drive down the right field line that gets lost in the tarp in front of the grandstand. By the time RF Pat Duncanfinds the ball‚ Barnhart scores his first major league homer inside-the-park to tie the match at 2 – 2. Eppa Rixey gives up the homer but holds on for a 4 – 3‚ 13-inning victory. It is the only homer Rixey will allow in 301 innings pitched‚ and just one of two homers Reds pitchers will allow at home this season. Except for this‚ Rixey would have set the record for post-dead ball pitchers‚ a record that Allen Sothoron will post this year in fewer innings.
The American League-leading Indians complete a sweep of the four games with the Browns by winning‚ 11 – 9‚ behind George Uhle. Cleveland totals 15 hits in 8 innings against Urban Shocker. In all four wins the Tribe score in double figures. Jack Graney and Ken Williams each hit two homers‚ and Elmer Smith clubs one.
In a loosely played game at Yankee Stadium‚ the Yanks swamp the Red Sox‚ 15 – 7‚ scoring 7 runs in the 8th inning. Babe Ruth propels his 13th homer‚ off Danny MacFayden‚ while Johnny Grabowski is 4 for 4 with a walk. Dutch Ruether is ineffective‚ serving up gopher balls to the Bosox’s Grover Hartley in the 2nd and Fred Haney in the 3rd. The Sox give it back in the 4th with 3 walks‚ 2 errors‚ a single by Bob Meusel and a double by Mark Koenig‚ to make 4 runs. Ted Wingfield‚ pitching two-thirds of the 4th‚ takes the loss.
At Yankee Stadium‚ the Yankees sweep a pair from Washington‚ 3 – 2 and 12 – 3. Leo Durocher’s bases-loaded triple in the opener gives George Pipgras (8-1) the win. Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth both slug a pair of homers in the nitecap: Lou hits his 9th in the 3rd‚ off Washington starter Milt Gaston‚ then Ruth and Gehrig hit back-to-back dingers in the 4th off Lloyd Brown. Ruth adds his 18th off Brown in the 7th. Earle Combs also homers.
At St. Louis, Ray Pepper has five hits, including 2 homers, and drives in five runs to lead the Browns to a 12 – 7 win over Detroit. Pepper will knock in 101 runs this year, but his career total will be just 170 RBIs; he is the only player in history to have a 100-RBI season without reaching 200 for his career. Four other homers are hit today — two by Detroit — but George Blaeholder goes the distance for the win.
On tour in the US‚ Japan’s Waseda University nine loses to the University of Chicago‚ 18 – 16‚ as the two teams combine for 34 hits and 17 errors. Waseda scores 9 in the top of the 9th and Chicago answers with 5. Waseda will win tomorrow’s rematch‚ 10 – 5‚ as pitcher Wakahara allows 10 hits but strikes out 17.
Richie Ashburn hits his first major league homer‚ a leadoff inside-the-park home run‚ off Thornton Lee’s third pitch. It runs Ashburn’s hitting streak to 18 games but it’s the Phils’ only run‚ as the Giants win‚ 7 – 1. Bill Rigney leads off the 1st‚ 3rd‚ and 5th innings with hits‚ while Sid Gordon adds a three-run homer in the 5th. Lee is a complete-game winner over another ex-American League hurler‚ Walt Dubiel.
David Tracy resigns as the Browns’ team psychologist due to the lack of cooperation from the players. The 8-22 last-place team loses confidence in their psychological guru when his use of hypnosis, used in an effort to relax the struggling players, fails to improve the club’s performance on the field.
Boston’s Maury McDermott faces 27 batters and fires a one-hitter to beat the visiting Senators‚ 1 – 0. Mel Hoderlein’s 4th-inning single is the only hit, and he is erased on the basepaths. Maury walks one batter who is also doubled up. The Senators leave no runners on base today and combined with the two they left on base on the 27th set a new major league low for fewest in two consecutive games. It will be matched in both leagues.
Larry Doby of the Indians hits the first major league homer over the outer wall in Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium‚ an estimated 500-foot clout in the 6th. The Indians win, 4 – 2, behind Herb Score‚ who is replaced in the 9th after singles by C Wilmer Shantz and PH Enos Slaughter. Wilmer’s brother Bobby Shantz is the loser.
Tough-talking New York Mayor Robert Wagner says he plans to confer with the Giants and Dodgers about their proposed move to California‚ but that the city will not be “blackjacked” into anything. In related news, four Pacific Coast League teams may seek as much as $6.7 million in indemnities if both the Los Angeles Angels and the San Francisco Seals withdraw from the league as a result of the rumored move.
Ernie Banks makes a spectacular return from his May 25th beaning with 3 homers and a double against the Braves at Wrigley Field. Three teammates hit home runs‚ but the Cubs lose to the Braves‚ 11 – 9. Amado Samuelhits his first major league homer and Joe Torre and Joe Adcock also connect. The Cubs outhit the Braves‚ 15 – 8‚ but an Andre Rodgers error in the 3rd opens the way for 6 unearned runs.
The defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals continue to struggle, losing their 11th out of 13, 2 – 1, to Juan Marichal and the Giants. In the past two weeks, they have virtually traded places with today’s opponent, falling from 1st place on May 15th, 3 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco, to 3 games behind today (actually in 4th place behind Philly and Atlanta as well). From this point forward, however, the Cards will catch fire; by August 1st, a 2 – 1 win will give them 49 victories out of their last 64 games and leave them 15 games ahead of their nearest National League competitor.
The Mets feature firepower as Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver combine to strike out 26‚ tying the Mets’ own major league record set on September 9‚ 1970, in a doubleheader sweep of the Padres. Seaver wins the opener‚ 5 – 1‚ with 10 K’s and Ryan cops the nitecap‚ 2 – 1. Mets batters strike out 15 times: the 41 strikeouts ties the major league record.
At the suggestion of A’s owner Charlie Finley, orange-colored balls are used in an 11-5 exhibition game loss to the Indians. After Cleveland outfielder George Hendrick, who hit three home runs in the contest, claimes he had difficulty picking up the ball due to the lack of red seams on a white sphere, the concept is dropped.
At Minnesota‚ the Yanks put runners on first base (Graig Nettles) and second base (Bobby Murcer) with no outs. When Roy Smalley strikes out on a wide 3-2 pitch from Terry Felton‚ Murcer attempts to steal third base. But Sal Butera’s throw beats him so badly he retreats to second, only to find Nettles there. Gary Gaetti tags Murcer who is standing safely alone on the base‚ and then throws to Kent Hrbek to catch Nettles heading back to first. Murcer then tries for third and Hrbek’s throw to Felton, covering the bag, completes the triple play. Alas‚ Felton‚ 0-8 coming into the game gets a no-decision‚ and will lose another 5 to finish his career with an 0-16 record.
Texas Rangers outfielder Jose Canseco, who three days earlier had a ball hit by Carlos Martinez bounce off his head for a home run, voluntarily pitches an inning in a 15 – 1 blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He hurts his arm in the effort, and as a result, will undergo season-ending elbow surgery from his ill-advised outing.
The Padres send Hideki Irabu to the Yankees to complete the April 22nd trade that dealt two players to be named later, Gordon Amerson (minors) and Homer Bush to New York, in exchange for Rafael Medina, Ruben Rivera, and $3,000,000. The 28 year-old Japanese right-hander, who was purchased by San Diego from the Chiba Lotte Marines in January but refused to sign with the team, insisting he would only play with the Bronx Bombers, will become a disappointment to George Steinbrenner, often incurring the owner’s wrath during his three years in the Big Apple, where he posts a mediocre 29-20 record.
Oakland Athletics second baseman Randy Velarde turns an unassisted triple play, just the 11th in major league history, on a line drive hit by Shane Spencer of the New York Yankees. With runners on first and second base running with the pitch, Velarde tags Jorge Posada as he nears second base, then touches the base to retire Tino Martinez. In 1995 spring training, while with the Yankees, Velarde turned an unassisted triple play against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers defeat the Mets‚ 4 – 1. Mets SS Rey Ordoñez breaks his left forearm on a tag play in the 1st inning and will be out for the rest of the season. His arm hits the helmet of a sliding F.P. Santangelo. The Mets will fill in with various bodies for two months before renting Mike Bordick from the Orioles.
At Yankee Stadium, Randy Velarde completes the tenth unassisted triple play in major league history. With runners on first and second, Shane Spencer hits a line drive to the A’s second baseman, who catches the ball, tags out Jorge Posada coming from first base, and steps on second, tripling up Tino Martinez, who took off for third, to complete the rare event.
The Diamondbacks defeat the Giants‚ 1 – 0, in 18 innings, with the game lasting 5 hours and 53 minutes. Erubiel Durazo throws out a runner at home in the 17th‚ then drives in Steve Finley with a double in the 18th. The loss goes to Ryan Vogelsong‚ making his major league debut. Vogelsong almost redeems himself with a double in his first at bat in the 18th. The two teams combine for 139 plate appearances and their 14 pitchers throw a total of 503 pitches (301 strikes and 202 balls).
Albert Pujols hits his 25th home run of the season, a three-run blast, in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 3 – 1 victory over the Houston Astros. Pujols becomes the third-fastest big-leaguer to 25 homers, reaching it in 51 games. Barry Bonds required 47 games in 2001 and Mark McGwire needed 50 in 1998. Pujols also increases his major league lead to 64 runs batted in.
Roy Halladay pitches the 20th perfect game in Major League history, striking out 11 in the process, as the Phillies defeat the Florida Marlins, 1 – 0. Following Dallas Braden’s perfect game earlier in the month, it is the first time that two perfect games are pitched in the same season in 130 years. Lee Richmond and John Montgomery Ward had both pitched perfect games five days apart in 1880.
Eri Yoshida, the first Japanese female player to appear in a male professional baseball league, makes her US debut. She tosses a scoreless 1st inning for the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League and leaves after giving up 4 runs in three innings; she also singles in a run in her club’s 8 – 6 win.
Roy Halladay throws the 20th perfect game in major league history, outdueling Josh Johnson in the Phillies’ 1-0 victory over the Marlins at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium. The former American League Cy Young Award winner, obtained from Toronto in the off-season, joins Jim Bunning as the only other hurler in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
The Giants call up Buster Posey to start at first base, and the 23 year-old rookie responds going three-for-four with three RBIs in a 12-1 rout of the Diamondbacks at AT&T Park. The Leesburg, GA native, who will be selected as the National League’s Rookie of the Year at the end of the season, will not become the team’s starting catcher until Bengie Molina is traded to Texas at the end of June.
The Diamondbacks unexpectedly find themselves in first place in the NL West after beating Houston, 4 – 2, completing a three-game sweep. It is the D-Backs’ 14th win in their last 16 games, but manager Kirk Gibson is not there to enjoy it, having been ejected in the 4th inning for arguing a balk call against starter Josh Collmenter. Losing pitcher J.A. Happ hits his first major league homer for the Astros.
The South torches the North, 11 – 1, in the Mexican League All-Star Game at Parque Francisco I. Madero. Starter and losing pitcher Andrés Meza and 11 relievers fail to stop the South, as Rubén Rivera (the MVP), Erick Rodriguez and Doug Clark all go deep. Francisco Campos gets the win, as the North is held to six hits.
Ciego de Ávila wins its first Cuban Serie Nacional title, beating the 12-time champion Industriales, 4 games to 1, in the finals. Game 5 goes 11 innings before Ciego de Ávila emerges with a 4 – 3 win. Yoelvis Fiss drives in 3 runs for the winners, while Yander Guevara works 10 1/3 innings and Ricardo Bordón drives in the winner. Yoandri Urgellés hits a two-run homer for the losing side.
The Rangers sign free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt, who has been inactive so far this year, for the remainder of the season for $5 million. Ironically, the signing comes on the day his former team, the Phillies, place their ace Roy Halladay on the disabled list, but the Phils’ renewed interest in Oswalt’s services comes too late.
Ryan Zimmerman hits three homers in a losing cause as the Nationals bow out to the Orioles, 9 – 6. 8 homers are hit overall as the ball flies out of Camden Yards. Things start off well for the Nats, with Zimmerman homering in his first three at-bats for a 6 – 3 lead, but in the 7th, Jordan Zimmermann serves up a two-run homer to Steve Pearce and reliever Tyler Clippard allows a two-run homer to Chris Davis, his second of the game, as the O’s score six times by the end of the inning. Zimmermann falls to 8-3 as Steve Johnson wins for the first time this year.
Josh Collmenter faces the minimum 27 batters in spite of allowing three hits in recording his first career complete game and shutout as the Diamondbacks defeat the Reds, 4 – 0. All three Reds baserunners are erased on double plays, including Brayan Pena, who is tagged out at third in trying to advance on a fly out after hitting a double.
The Blue Jays’ nine-game winning streak is snapped by an 8 – 6, 10-inning loss to the Kansas City Royals, but Edwin Encarnacion continues to set homer records. By hitting a pair of long balls, he claims the all-time Blue Jays record for homers in a month with 16, passing Jose Bautista, and ties Mickey Mantle for the American League record for most homers in May. He is only the third player to have five multiple-homer games in a month, following Harmon Killebrew in May of 1959 and Albert Belle in September of 1995. The Jays come within an out of extending their streak to 10 games, as they lead, 6 – 5, with two outs in the 9th, when pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson ties the game, taking advantage of SS Jose Reyes’s errant throw to first base on a ground ball. The Royals then score twice against Todd Redmond in the 10th to win the game.
Lewis-Clark State College wins the 2015 NAIA College World Series, its 17th NAIA title but first in seven years. They top St. Thomas University, 10 – 7, in the finale, rallying from a 7 – 1 deficit. Cameron Pongs allows only 1 hit in 4 2/3 relief innings and Max Whitt’s bases-loaded single drives in the winner in the 8th.
Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals improves to 9-0 on the year with a 10 – 2 win over the Cardinals, powered by a pinch-hit grand slam off the bat of Jayson Werth and a two-run homer by Wilson Ramos. Strasburg sets a new franchise record for most wins to start the year by a starting pitcher, besting the eight recorded by Pedro Martinez to start off his Cy Young Award-winning 1997 campaign. He also has 12 straight wins dating back to the previous September, which ties the franchise record shared by Dennis Martinez (1989) and Livan Hernandez (2005).
For the first time in over a century, the Yankees win a game in spite of being limited to only one hit. Starlin Castro hits a two-run homer off Jake Odorizzi of the Rays in the 7th inning, and it is enough to procure a 2 – 1 win. The last time the Yankees had won a game while collecting a single hit was on July 10, 1914, when Charlie Mullen had the only safety in the second game of a doubleheader against Cleveland, shortened to 6 innings by darkness.
A big brawl erupts in the 8th inning of a game between the Nationals and Giants. With Washington leading 3 – 0, Hunter Strickland plunks Bryce Harper on the hip with a 98 mph fastball, angering the young superstar who charges the mound, triggering a bench-clearing brawl. Not many punches land, but an angry Strickland has to be dragged off the field by three teammates. The Nats claim the pitch is in retaliation for an incident during the 2014 Division Series, when Harper homered twice off Strickland and the two exchanged words; they had not faced one another since then. Harper will receive a four-game suspension and Strickland one of six games for their part in the fracas.
The Blue Jays tee off against the Reds, with a 17 – 2 beatdown that features a 23-hit barrage. Russell Martin hits a two-run homer off Lisalverto Bonilla in the 2nd, Troy Tulowitzki adds a grand slam off Robert Stephenson in the 3rd while Justin Smoak hits a three-run shot in the 4th. Ezequiel Carrera and Devon Travis both collect four hits as everyone in Toronto’s line-up pitches in in support of Marcus Stroman. Both Stephenson and fellow reliever Jake Buchanan allow ten hits hits, something unseen since 1929.
1976 – Joe Niekro tags his brother Phil for a home run in a 4-3 victory at Atlanta. It is the only homer in Joe’s 21-season major league career (973 ABs). The seventh-inning blast comes on a knuckleball that Joe sends over the left field fence. Ken Boswellcontributes three hits, including the game-winner.
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