1942 The Dodgers replace team president Larry MacPhail, who accepted a commission in the U.S. Army in September, with Branch Rickey, formerly the Cardinals’ vice-president before resigning three days ago. Brooklyn’s new boss will guide the team to two pennants during his eight-year reign in the “The Borough of Churches.”
1966 In the final time when there is only one selection from both leagues, Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax becomes the first three-time recipient of the Cy Young Award. The 30-year-old left-hander, recipient of the prestigious pitching prize in 1963 and 1965, posted a 27-9 (.750) record and an ERA of 1.73 for the National League champs.
2001 The first major league game ever started in November becomes memorable when the Yankees, for the second consecutive night, make a dramatic comeback in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and go on to a World Series Game Five victory in extra innings. Scott Brosius hits a game-tying two-out two-run homer to knot the game at 2-2, and Alfonso Soriano singles in Chuck Knoblauch in the 12th, giving the Yankees a 3-2 victory and 3-2 lead in the Fall Classic over the Diamondbacks.
2005 The unveiling of a bronze sculpture capturing the friendship of Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson takes place at Brooklyn’s KeySpan Park, home of the Mets’ Single-A team. The William Behrends sculpture captures the moment when the Dodger captain showed support by putting his arm around his black teammate’s shoulder, hushing an unruly crowd hurling racial slurs at his teammate at Crosley Field in 1947.
2010 Edgar Renteria, who drove in the Marlins’ winning run against Cleveland during Game 7 of the 1997 Fall Classic, joins Yankees legends Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Yogi Berra as only the fourth player in baseball history to collect two World Series-winning hits. The Series MVP’s three-run homer off Cliff Lee in the seventh inning leads to San Francisco’s 3-1 victory over the Rangers, bringing a World Championship to the Giants for the first time since 1954.
1944 Dixie Walker, an outfielder on the seventh-place Dodgers, wins the National League batting crown with a .357 batting average, finishing ten points higher than runner-up Stan Musial. In 1947, the ‘People’s Cherce’s younger brother, Harry ‘the Hat’, will also lead the Senior Circuit, hitting .363 in the year when he is traded, after playing ten games for St. Louis, to Philadelphia.
1946 The Dodgers and Cardinals, who both finished the season with a 96-58 record, play the first game of a best-of-three series to determine the National League’s championship, marking the first time in major league history a playoff is needed to send a team to the World Series. St. Louis wins today’s Sportsman’s Park contest, 4-2, and will clinch the pennant in Game 2, beating the Brooklyn at Ebbets Field, 8-4.
1950 On the last day of the season, Pee Wee Reese, ignoring second base ump Frank Dascoli’s directive to slow down when his high outfield fly becomes stuck between the screen and the right field wall, continues sprinting around the bases at full speed, crossing home plate with the tying run in a game the team needs to win to finish tied with Philadelphia for the NL flag. The Dodgers shortstop’s unusual inside-the-park homer, due to an odd ground rule, will be the only run Robin Roberts allows in the Phillies’ pennant clinching 4-1 victory at Ebbets Field.
1950 After they retire today, Burt Shotton of the Dodgers and the A’s Connie Mack will become the last managers to wear street clothes. Although no edict specifically mandates a skipper must wear a uniform, there is now a rule that states that a person not wearing a uniform, except medical personnel, isn’t allowed on the field of play during a game.
1950 In the season finale, Robin Roberts, in the first of his six consecutive 20-win seasons, becomes the first Phillies right-hander to win twenty games for the team since Grover Cleveland Alexander accomplished the feat with a total of 30 victories in 1917. The complete-game, ten-inning 4-1 Ebbets Field victory over the Dodgers hurled by the Whiz Kid from Springfield (IL) clinches Philadelphia’s first NL pennant since 1915.
1951 The Giants’ 3-1 victory over the Dodgers in the first game of the National League playoffs is the first major league contest to be televised coast-to-coast. CBS, who obtained rights to the game, transmits the picture from Ebbets Field, but has to get the signal from ABC, who had made previous arrangements with WOR-TV, the New York station which carried Brooklyn’s regular season games.
1955 After losing the first two contests in the Bronx, the Dodgers even the World Series at a pair of games apiece when they defeat the Yankees at Ebbets Field, 8-5. Brooklyn will make it three victories in a row tomorrow with a 5-3 victory over the Bronx Bombers, but it will take a dramatic Game 7 for the ‘Bums’ to capture their first World Championship.
1961 The Wrigley Field on the West Coast hosts its last professional baseball game when the Angels, who will play at Dodger Stadium next season, are defeated by Cleveland, 8-5, in front of 9,868 fans at the 36 year-old ballpark, which will be torn down in five years to make room for an eventual public playground and senior center. In addition to being the home for the American League expansion team, the venue housed the PCL’s Angels from 1925 through 1957 and served as the location for the 1960 television series Home Run Derby.
1974 At the Astrodome, Mike Marshall establishes the major league mark for the most appearances by a pitcher when he throws two innings in the Dodgers’ 8-5 victory over Houston. With his 106 appearances, the right-handed reliever appears in 65% of the games that his team played this season.
1993 Mike Piazza plates Jose Offerman with a first-inning single to set a new team mark for runs driven in by a rookie with 107. The 24 year-old Dodgers catcher breaks the franchise record for rookie RBIs established by Del Bissonette, a freshman first baseman who played with Brooklyn in 1928.
2009 The Rockies’ 9-2 win over Milwaukee assures the team of a wild card berth in the postseason, and puts the team in position to still win the NL West by sweeping the Dodgers this weekend in L.A. Although the team was 12 games under .500 on June 3, today’s victory, their 91st – a club record – puts Colorado 23 games over .500, another first in the 17 year history of franchise.
2018 Two divisional tiebreakers are needed to determine the National League Central and West champs after Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and Colorado won yesterday. The Brewers/Cubs and Rockies/Dodgers winners will advance to the NLDS, with the losers facing one another tomorrow in the Wild-Card game.
1984 Former Dodgers Don Drysdale and Pee Wee Reese, along with Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew, American League hurler Rick Ferrell, and perennial All-Star shortstop Luis Aparicio are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
2021 The Romines become the first siblings to be battery mates since the Dodgers’ Norm and Larry Sherry (1960-62) when Andrew, an infielder by trade, takes the mound in a mop-up role, throwing the ball to his younger brother, Austin, in the Cubs’ 17-4 loss to the Brewers at Wrigley Field. The sons of Kevin, an outfielder with the Red Sox (1985-1992), join Jim & Ed Bailey (1959 Reds) and Bobby & Billy Shantz (1954-55 A’s), who also appeared in the same major league game as pitcher and catcher, playing at the same time in the contest.
In 2006 the Portland Beavers honor Rodney McCray, the former Vancouver Canadian who gain everlasting notoriety in 1991 when he literally ran through the right-field plywood fence trying to catch Chip Hale’s fly ball in Portland’s Civic Stadium. The PCL team commemorates the memorable play with a bobble head promotion which features the moment of impact and renames the right field area of their current ballpark “McCray Alley.”
In a great moment of fan history, in 2014 Tim Pinkard, attending his first game at Minute Maid Park, catches two home run balls, both off the bat of the Astros’ DH Chris Carter. In the third inning of Houston’s 10-4 victory over Minnesota, the Springfield (VA) resident gets his first souvenir of the night when the ball rebounds off a sign in left field, and then in the fifth frame, against astronomical odds, catches the second round-tripper stroked by the same batter, which is a laser shot hit directly to his seat.
1908 In Brooklyn, the last-place Cardinals blank the Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers), 3-0. The entire Washington Park contest is played with just one ball.
1941 Mickey Owens becomes the first catcher to handle three foul pop ups in one frame. The Brooklyn backstop’s third inning defense contributes to the Dodgers’ 11-6 victory over New York at Ebbets Field.
1942 In a military relief game at the Polo Grounds, which will be the last war-time twilight game played, Pee Wee Reese’s grand slam in the top of the ninth, which puts the Dodgers up 5-1, doesn’t count, because of the 9:10 pm government curfew. The game ends up as a 1-1 tie with the Giants.
1948 Ernie Harwell, filling in for Red Barber, who is recovering from a bleeding ulcer, calls his first major league game as the Dodgers beat the Cubs at Ebbets Field, 5-4. To obtain the future Hall of Fame broadcaster, Brooklyn general manager Branch Rickey trades minor league catcher Cliff Draper to the Atlanta Crackers.
1930 Harvey Henrick’s ninth-inning three-run round-tripper off the bench gives the Dodgers a dramatic 9-8 come-from-behind victory over the Redbirds at Ebbets Field in the first game of a twin bill. Redbirds George Puccinelli and Jim Bottomley and Brooklyn’s Hal Lee also homer appearing as pinch-hitters in the game.
1956 In a 13-6 defeat to the Cubs, Dodgers’ shortstop Pee Wee Reese becomes one of five active players to collect 2000 hits, and teammate Junior Gilliam sets a major league record by handling 12 assists at second base.
1963 The usually mild-mannered Dodger manager Walter Alston is thrown out of both games of a doubleheader when the Braves sweep a twin bill from Los Angeles for the first and only time in Milwaukee, 7-2 and 13-7. To make matters worse, the manager has beer thrown in his face by a hometown fan as he leaves the second game. (My thanks to Lee for sharing this entry. He attended the game at County Stadium as a ten year-old. -LP)
2003 At Dodger Stadium, Vladimir Guerrero hit his 226th career home run, breaking Andre Dawson’s club record. The Expos’ right fielder hits his milestone round-tripper off Odalis Perez, a 454-foot blast over the left field wall.
1939 The Red Sox send 21 year-old farmhand Pee Wee Reese to the Dodgers for $35,000 and a player to be named later (Red Evans), along with three minor leaguers due to a less-than-enthusiastic scouting report filed by Joe Cronin, the team’s current player-manager, who deliberately downplayed the prospect’s talent to keep his own job in the Boston infield. The Louisville Colonels regular shortstop, a future Hall of Famer, will become a crowd favorite, helping Brooklyn to win seven pennants during his 16 seasons with the team.
1949 Jackie Robinson testifies in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, reading a carefully worded statement put together with the help of Dodger GM Branch Rickey. The Brooklyn second baseman’s statement makes it clear he disagrees with singer and actor Paul Robeson’s belief that American Negroes would refuse to fight in any war against Russia due to the country’s racial discrimination toward blacks.
1941 ‘Big Poison’ Paul Waner is signed by the Braves after being released by Brooklyn. The former Dodger joins his brother ‘Little Poison’ Lloyd on the Boston roster.
1947 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.
1973 In a 19-inning marathon, LA outfielder Willie Davis collects six hits in a 7-3 loss to the Mets at Dodger Stadium. The two clubs establish a National League mark by hitting into a combined nine double plays.
2000 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 are the harshest penalties ever handed down by major league baseball.
1927 For the second consecutive day, an umpire at Ebbets Field is the target of fan abuse. Arbiter Frank Wilson needs a police escort after the Robins (Dodgers) drop a twin bill to the Cubs.
1952 The Dodgers score a major league record fifteen first-inning runs en route to a 19-1 rout over the Reds at Ebbets Field. After Ewell Blackwell retires the first batter, the next 19 Brooklyn batters reached base (10 hits, 7 walks, and 2 HBP), including Pee Wee Reese getting to first base three times during the frame.
1963 Jim Maloney ties a major league record shared by Max Surkont (1953 Braves) and Johnny Podres (1962 Dodgers) when he strikes out eight consecutive batters, beginning with the last out in the first inning, in the Reds’ 2-0 victory over Milwaukee at County Stadium. The Cincinnati right-hander also equals the franchise mark with 16 strikeouts in one game, established by Noodles Hahn in 1901.
2000 Major League Baseball has its first six grand-slam day less than one year after establishing the mark with five, with Garret Anderson (Angels), J.T. Snow (Giants), Brian Hunter (Phillies), Jason Giambi (A’s), and Adrian Beltre and Shawn Green (Dodgers) all contributing to the record. The NL also set a league record, blasting four of the six base-loaded homers.
1947 During the pregame infield practice, a barrage of racial slurs is directed at Jackie Robinson by the Cincinnati fans during the Dodgers’ first visit to Crosley Field this season. Brooklyn shortstop Pee Wee Reese, captain of the team and a Southerner from Kentucky with friends attending the game, engages the black infielder in conversation, and then put his arm around his teammate’s shoulder, a gesture that stuns and silences the crowd.
Statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese outside MCU Park, 08/02/10: zoom-lens close-up of Pee Wee’s arm around Jackie (IMG_1908)
Photo from Flickr by Gary Dunaier
1952 Larry Miggins hits the first of his two major league home runs, going deep off Preacher Roe in the fourth inning of the Cardinals’ 14-8 loss to the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. The round-tripper hit by the Bronx-born outfielder, who had once shared his dream of playing in big leagues during a prep school assembly with a buddy with aspirations to be a baseball broadcaster, is called by an overwhelmed Vin Scully, Brooklyn’s play-by-play announcer who had wondered that day with his friend “what the odds against that would be.”
1958 San Francisco teammates Willie Mays and Darryl Spencer each have four long hits, driving in four and six runs, respectively, in the team’s 16-9 victory over the Dodgers at LA’s Memorial Coliseum. The Giants’ center fielder and shortstop combine for 28 total bases, with Mays hitting two homers, two triples, a single, and Spencer adding two round-trippers, a three-bagger, and a double to the offensive outburst.
2013 Thanks to a seventh-grade history class project, a three-mile stretch of the Kansas K-79 highway, from K-16 highway to Circleville, is designated by the Kansas legislature as the Barnes Brothers Memorial Highway in honor of Ozzie and Virgil, who grew up in the community and played with the Braves, Giants, and Dodgers in the 1910-20s. The McAlister middle schoolers’ research brought to light the many major league accomplishments of the two siblings, including being participants in first brother matchup in big league history.
1959 At the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Yankees defeat the Dodgers, 6-2, in an exhibition game played to benefit Roy Campanella, who was paralyzed in an auto accident prior to the team moving to the West Coast in 1958. The game, which draws the largest crowd ever for a baseball game, 93,103 fans with another estimated 15,000 turned away from the sellout, begins with an emotional ceremony in which Pee Wee Reese pushes the wheelchair-bound catcher into the darkened stadium that is totally illuminated by fans holding candles or matches.
1960 The Sherry boys become the tenth pair of siblings to appear as batterymates in a major league game when Norm replaces John Roseboro behind the plate in the top of the eighth to catch Larry, who is starting his first inning in relief. The backstop will hit a two-out home run in the bottom of the 11th inning, assuring his brother of a victory in the Dodgers’ 3-2 walk-off win over Philadelphia.
1969 Willie Davis, furious with the Wrigley Field Bleacher Bums because of their continual verbal abuse of him, tells his Dodgers teammates that he wants to hit a home run in the middle of the group, which he does in the sixth inning to tie the score. The LA center fielder exacts a bit more revenge on the heckling horde when his 12th-inning two-run round-tripper proves to be the difference in the 4-2 defeat of the Cubs.
1970 At Shea Stadium, Wes Parker hits a triple off Jim McAndrew to beat the Mets in the tenth inning, 7-4. The three-bagger completes the cycle for the Dodger first baseman.
1991 Darryl Strawberry returns to New York as a Dodger with mixed results. A crowd of 49,118 mostly booing fans watches him hit a two-run home run, and they cheer when he makes the last out of the game with the potential tying and winning runs on base in the 6-5 Mets victory.
2009 The Dodgers fail to improve upon their 13-game winning streak at home to open the season–the victorious span surpassed the 1911 Tigers to set a new major league mark. The 11-9 loss to Washington comes on the same day the team learns about Manny Ramirez, the club’s most productive hitter, being suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance.
2009 Major League Baseball suspends Manny Ramirez for fifty games after he tests positive for the use of a banned substance. The 36 year-old Dodgers outfielder, who will not be eligible to return to the team until July 3, apologizes to the fans, explaining he did not take steroids, but was given a medication which a doctor thought was okay to be prescribed.
2011 After a first-inning walk in the Dodgers’ 4-2 loss to the Mets, Andre Ethier goes 0-for-4, ending his 30-game hitting streak. The L.A. outfielder falls one game short of the franchise record set in 1969 by Willie Davis, who enjoyed a 31-game hitting streak that season.
2014 Adrian Beltre becomes the fifth player in major league history to hit 100 home runs for three different teams when he goes deep in the Rangers’ 9-2 loss to Colorado at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The 35 year-old third baseman, who joins Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Darrell Evans, and Reggie Jackson in accomplishing the feat, hit 147 homers for the Dodgers (1998-2004) and 103 with the Mariners (2005-09).
Rest in Peace, Vida Blue. Roger Angell once reported that Charlie Finley had tried to get Blue to change his name from Vida to True. Given Angell’s sense of humor, I’m not sure he was telling the truth. On the other hand, it does sound like something Finley would suggest.