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.
1924 Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.
1952 On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.
1955 In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at 2-2 when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.
1959 The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.
1966 At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).
1988 In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.
1997 With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.
2003 At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.
2006 At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.
1936 Replacing Johnny Mize, tossed by an ump for arguing, Cardinal rookie first baseman Walter Alston makes an error in handling two chances and strikes out in his only major league at-bat. ‘Smokey’ will, however, win seven pennants and four World Series in his 23-year Hall of Fame career as Dodger manager from 1954 to 1976.
1951 Bill Sharman, recently called up from Fort Worth, is one of 15 Dodgers who are ejected by umpire Frank Dascoli for bench jockeying after a close call at home plate. The future basketball Hall of Famer will never play in the big leagues, and thus he will become the only player to be ejected from a major league game without ever appearing in one.
1960 Ryne Duren makes his first start in two years memorable when he strikes out the first five batters he faces in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory over Washington. The feat ties a modern major league record shared by Lefty Gomez (Yankees), Dazzy Vance (Dodgers), and Walter Johnson (Senators).
1961 Sandy Koufax breaks the National League mark for strikeouts in a season, surpassing Christy Mathewson’s mark of 267 established in 1903. Unlike the turmoil caused by commissioner Ford Frick’s edict of having to hit 61 homers by the 154th game in the extended 162-game schedule to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record, little is made that the Dodgers southpaw’s 268th punch-out occurs in the 151st game of the season, compared to the 142-game sked played early in the century.
1964 The Houston Colt .45’s play their final game in Colt Stadium, the team’s home ballpark since joining the National League in 1962. The future Astros beat the Dodgers in the 12th inning, 1-0, when Jimmy Wynn’s single plates Bob Aspromonte.
1993 In a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers, Cubs’ reliever Randy Myers becomes the first National League pitcher to record 50 saves in a season.
1993 Mike Piazza, who broke the major league rookie record for home runs by a catcher earlier in the month, sets another mark for round-trippers when he hits his 34th, surpassing the previous L.A. Dodger mark shared by Steve Garvey (1977) and Pedro Guerrero (1985). Duke Snider established the franchise record with 43 homers playing with Brooklyn in 1956.
2000 The United States Olympic team, managed by former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda, stuns the world, beating the much-favored Cuban team to win the country’s first gold medal in its national pastime. Ben Sheets ends Cuba’s 21-game Olympic winning streak with a 4-0 shutout.
2011 After giving up five runs in the top of the tenth inning, the Diamondbacks score six times in the bottom of the frame in an amazing 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Dodgers. Arizona infielder Ryan Roberts delivers the decisive blow in the Chase Field contest, a walk-off grand slam with two outs.
1908 Cubs right-hander Ed Reulbach pitches two shutouts in the same day, whitewashing the Brooklyn Superbas in the opener 5-0 on a five-hitter and 3-0 on three hits in the nightcap. The entire Washington Park doubleheader takes less than three hours to complete.
1954 Willie Mays, with three hits in the season finale, wins the batting title, finishing the campaign with a .345 average. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ goes third to first in batting average with his performance passing teammate Don Mueller (.342) and Dodger center fielder Duke Snider (341).
1975 Burt Hooton sets a Dodger record for starting pitchers by winning his twelfth consecutive game. The 25 year-old right-hander, who was traded to LA in May for Eddie Solomon and Geoff Zahn, accomplishes the feat by beating J.R. Richard and the Astros at Dodger Stadium, 3-2.
1981 Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher to throw five no-hitters when the Astros defeat the Dodgers at the Astrodome, 5-0. The Ryan Express, who will finish his 27-year major league career with a record seven no-hitters, previously has thrown hitless gems against the Royals (1973), Tigers (1973), Twins (1974), and Orioles (1975).
1997 Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, in a 10-4 win over the Rockies, hits the longest home run in the history of Coors Field. The 28 year-old backstop’s sixth-inning blast travels 496 feet and hits the left-center field billboard between the scoreboard and the Rockpile.
The Dodgers haven’t announced their starter as of 7:00 PM HST Saturday night [Update: it’ll be Ryan Yarbrough (7-6, 3.80 ERA)], while the Nats will start RHP Trevor Williams (6-9, 5.21 ERA), if, if the weather allows the game to be played. The forecast is somewhat grim: “Scattered showers and thunderstorms before 2pm, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm between 2pm and 5pm, then showers and thunderstorms likely after 5pm.”
1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.
1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
2008 With a 4-2 victory over the visiting Yankees, the Angels clinch the division flag on the earliest date in the history of the American League West. The Halos, the first club to secure a postseason spot this season, have finished in first place four times in the past five seasons.
It’s a battle of deadline acquisitions this afternoon as RHP Lance Lynn (7-9, 6.32 ERA) makes his second start for the Dodgers and old friend LHP Rich Hill (7-10, 4.76 ERA) makes his first start for the Friars.
1981 The players approved a split-season format necessitated by the seven-week strike. The Yankees, A’s, Phillies, and Dodgers are declared the first-half champions and will be automatically qualified for the divisional series.
2016 Giancarlo Stanton drives a pitch thrown by Rockies starter Chad Bettis deep into the Rockpile seats, a 504-foot blast that becomes the longest round-tripper in the 21-year-old history of Coors Field. The Miami Marlins slugger’s fifth-inning solo shot in the team’s 12-6 loss surpasses the 496-footer hit in 1997 by Dodger catcher Mike Piazza off current Colorado bullpen coach Darren Holmes.
LHP Alex Wood (1-1, 4.80 ERA) gets the ball for the Giants; RHP Bobby Miller (3-0, 0.78 ERA) gets it for the Dodgers. It’s a little hard for me to believe, but this is old friend Alex’s 11th year in the big leagues. He’s got a 72-61 W-L record with a 3.48 ERA in that time.
The Dodgers selected the contract of LHP Bryan Hudson and designated RHP Tayler Scott for assignment.
1915 Cubs right-hander reliever George Washington Zabel, called into the game with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, throws 18 and 1/3 innings of the Cubs’ 4-3 victory over the Robins at Chicago’s West Side Park. ‘Zip’, establishing the major league record for the longest relief stint in one game, beats Brooklyn starter Jeff Pfeffer, who tosses a 19-inning complete-game. (Pfeffer won 113 games for Brooklyn and lost only 80 in a nine-year career with the Robins.)
1956 Joe Adcock’s ninth-inning home run off Brooklyn right-hander Ed Roebuck, his second round-tripper of the game, proves to be the game winner in the Braves’ 5-4 victory over the Dodgers. The blast to left field, which clears an 83-foot wall at the 350-foot mark, is believed to the only homer ever to land on the roof at Ebbets Field.
1956 Fred Haney, named yesterday to replace Charlie Grimm, wins two games in his managerial debut with the Braves when the team sweeps a doubleheader against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 5-4 and 3-1, starting a streak of 11 consecutive victories. The club’s former coach will compile a 341-231 (.596) record, guiding Milwaukee to two pennants and a world championship during his four seasons at the helm.
1976 At Shea Stadium, Dave Kingman hits a walk-off homer to give the Mets a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers. Sky King’s game-ending blast comes off Charlie Hough in the 14th inning.
1992 Dodger farmhand Mike Piazza, believing he was low balled in his contract negotiations, takes exception to the team giving a reported bonus of $500,000 to top draft pick Ryan Luzinski, a 220-pound catcher from Holy Cross High in Delran, New Jersey who will never play in a major league game. Next season, Piazza will be selected as the National League’s Rookie of the Year, and will hit .331 in seven seasons for LA.
One more item from the history books: on this date in 1962 Met Marv Throneberry’s apparent first inning triple becomes an out on an appeal play for missing second base in an 8-7 loss to San Francisco at the Polo Grounds. When New York manager Casey Stengel questions the call, he is told by the umpire, according to legend, “Don’t bother arguing Casey, he missed first base, too.”
1941 The Giants join the Dodgers and Senators in requiring their players wear protective headgear. The durable plastic liners, which are sewn into the hat, don’t provide a defense against defeats when the team drops both ends of a doubleheader to Pittsburgh at the Polo Grounds, 5-4 and 4-3.
1957 After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to extremely poor visibility. Brooklyn has a 1-0 lead when the game is postponed with one out in the bottom of the second inning.
1968 The day after Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles, Maury Wills refuses to play in a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers, his former team. The 35 year-old shortstop stays in the Chavez Ravine training room, reading RFK’s book, To Seek a New World.
1994 Mike Piazza hits the longest home run recorded in the history of Joe Robbie Stadium when his first career grand slam is estimated to travel 477 feet. The catcher’s Ruthian blast, one of four Dodger round-trippers during the Florida contest, isn’t enough to thwart the Marlins’ 11-10 come-from-behind victory.
2006 On the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the century, the Dodgers score six runs in the sixth inning during the sixth game of the homestand, beating the Mets, 8-5. On 05/05/05, the Twins scored five times in the fifth inning en route to a 9-0 victory over the Indians.
2007 At Petco Park, Trevor Hoffman becomes the first reliever to save 500 games. It takes the all-time saves leader 10 ninth inning pitches, including an 87 mph fastball thrown past Russell Martin for the final out, to reach the milestone in the Padres’ 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.
Another event of note: in 1944 Baseball canceled its scheduled eight-game slate due to the Allied invasion of Normandy known as D-Day. The military operation has 60,000 Allied troops, including future Hall of Famer Yogi Berra and six minor leaguers who will be killed in action, landing along a heavily protected 50-mile stretch of the coastline in France to begin an offensive assault against Hitler and the Nazi party. Of less momentous note, in 2000, thanks to the Angels’ video crew playing a clip from the 1994 movie “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective” on the JumboTron, the Rally Monkey is born. With the words “Rally Monkey” superimposed over a monkey jumping up and down in the Jim Carrey movie, the crowd goes wild when Anaheim scores two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Giants, 6-5.
1998 The Mets trade Preston Wilson, Geoff Goetz, and Ed Yarnell to the Marlins for Mike Piazza. Florida had acquired the All-Star catcher last week from the Dodgers, along with Todd Zeile in exchange for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios.
1999 Mark McGwire becomes the third player to launch a ball out of Dodger Stadium when one of his two home runs travels 483 feet in the Cardinals’ 10-7 victory at Chavez Ravine. The slugging first baseman joins Willie Stargell, who accomplished the feat twice in 1969 and 1973, and Mike Piazza, whose Ruthian blast cleared the ballpark two seasons ago.
1919 After 12 scoreless innings at Ebbets Field, the Reds score ten runs in the 13th inning to beat Al Mamaux and the Dodgers, 10-0. Cincinnati starter Hod Eller, who tossed a no-hitter in his previous start, is the beneficiary of the blowout.
1956 Sal Maglie, obtained on waivers by Cleveland last season from the Giants, is shipped to the Dodgers for a hundred dollars after impressing Brooklyn in an exhibition game. The ‘Barber’ will post a 13-5 record along with a 2.89 ERA for the eventual NL Champs, finishing second to teammate Don Newcombe in the balloting for both the Cy Young and MVP awards.
1998 On the day the Marlins trade Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, the team hangs on to beat the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 8-7. In the first inning, the Fish connect for nine consecutive hits, a franchise record, and score seven runs, all without the help of their recently departed teammates.