MASS EJECTIONS AT FENWAY

July 19, 1946 | Boston, Massachusetts – Fourteen Chicago White Sox players were kicked out of a game against the Red Sox in mass ejections at Fenway Park. It all started when White Sox pitcher Joe Haynes put Red Sox slugger Ted Williams on his fanny, the result of a pitch too far inside.

Umpire Red Jones gave Haynes a warning not to throw at Red Sox hitters. Here’s how the Associated Press described what happened next:

“A chorus of yammering from the Chicago bench resulted in [Umpire] Jones ordering four White Sox players from the bench – Ralph Hodgin, Dario Lodigiani, Ed Smith and Bling Miller.” The “yammerin” didn’t stop.”

Before the game was over 14 White Sox were ordered from the dugout for making derisive comments about Jones’ vision and judgment.

The Red Sox went on to win easily 9-2, and increase their lead against the second place New York Yankees to 11½ games.

A YAMMERING VENTRILOQUIST?

A story surfaced some days after the mass ejections at Fenway that it wasn’t the players doing the yammering. It was, get this, a ventriloquist in the stands. If you read John Branch‘s 2006 story from the New York Times you’ll find that the facts kind of get in the way of a good story.

The Red Sox went on to win the American League pennant in 1946 (this was before division play) before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

CONTRIBUTING SOURCES:
New York Times, July 6, 2006

The Associated Press (AP), July 20, 1946, Boston, MA  

 

DIMAGGIO’S HIT STREAK ENDS

JULY 17, 1941 | CLEVELAND, OHIO – Joe DiMaggio’s hit streak ends in Cleveland, and 56 becomes an iconic number in the world of sports. “Joltin Joe” got at least one hit in 56 consecutive games – until tonight.

The streak captivated the nation for weeks. A record-breaking 67,468 fans came to Cleveland Municipal Stadium on a Thursday night to watch the Yankee slugger try to extend his streak,

The streak started quietly at Comiskey Park in Chicago on May 15th. Interest intensified as DiMaggio reached 30 consecutive games with at least one hit. It grew into an obsession when DiMaggio surpassed Wee Willie Keeler‘s 45 game hit streak record on July 2nd and kept on going. Now DiMaggio was setting a new record every game.

It was stopped at the hands of two relatively unknown Cleveland pitchers, left-hander Al Smith and right-hander Jim Bagby. All-star third baseman Ken Keltner made two dazzling plays to rob DiMaggio of hits.

DiMaggio didn’t just break Keeler’s record, he smashed it by 11 games. Had 56 not been where DiMaggio’s hit streak ends, we could very well be talking about a 73-game hitting streak. After going hitless on July 17th, DiMaggio went on hitting in 16 more consecutive games.

How remarkable is DiMaggio’s display of hitting consistency? To this day no one has surpassed Wee Willie Keeler’s mark of 45 consecutive games with at least one hit – except Joe DiMaggio.

Top 10 Consecutive game hit leaders and year accomplished:
Joe DiMaggio 56 (1941)
Wee Willie Keeler 45 (1897)
Pete Rose 44 (1978)
Bill Dahlen 42 (1894)
George Sisler 41 (1922)
Ty Cobb 40 (1911)
Paul Molitor 39 (1987)
Jimmy Rollins 38 (2006)
Tommy Holmes 37 (1945)
Gene DeMontreville 36 (1897)

Contributing sources: 
The Associated Press
, July 18, 1941
Longest Hitting Streaks

July 14-Sibling Rarity

1972 | DETROIT , MICHIGAN – There have been a number of baseball playing brother combinations; the Alou’s being the most famous. Three times in September of 1963 Matty, Felipe and Jesus Alou played all three outfield positions at the same time for the San Francisco Giants (according to the New York Timess it’s a myth that the Alou brothers ever started a game playing all three outfield positions.)

Here’s something even rarer.

Today in baseball history – July 14, 1972 – home plate umpire Bill Haller looked over the shoulder of his brother Tom Haller, the catcher for the Detroit Tigers in a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Tigers. It’s believed to be the first time in major league history brothers played and umpired the same game. It ended up being a very well played game with the Royals winning 1-0.

Did Tom Haller, the player, get rung up by Bill Haller, the umpire? The answer is no. A check of the box score from that day in July 1972 shows Tom going one for four, with a single. He did not strike out or walk.

Umpire-player sibling combinations are extremely rare, but not playing brothers. Here are some:

DiMaggio – Joe & Dominic
Boyer – Clete & Ken
Niekro – Phil & Joe
Aaron – Henry & Tommie
Perry – Gaylord & Jim
Brett – Ken & George
Maddux – Gregg & Mike
Giambi – Jason & Jeremy
May – Lee & Carlos
Drew – J.D. & Steve
Upton – B.J. & Justin
Young – Dimitri & Delmon
Patterson – Corey & Eric

There are some famous father & son combinations:
Alou – Matty (brother) , Felipe (brother/father), Jesus (brother) and Moises (son of Felipe)
Boone – Ray (grandfather), Bob (father), Brett (son) and Aaron (son)
Bell – Gus (grandfather), Buddy (son), David (grandson), Mike (grandson)
Ripken – Cal Sr. (father), Cal Jr. (son) & Billy (son)
Griffey – Ken Sr. (father) & Ken Jr. (son)

Contributing Sources:
New York Times, November 3, 2011
July 14, 1972 Tigers/Royals box score/game stats
Brothers

July 13 – Ed Delahanty : A Tragic Star

1896 | CHICAGO, ILLINOISPhiladelphia Phillies outfielder Ed Delahanty became the second major league player to hit four home runs in one game on this date in 1896. Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters (the current Atlanta Braves) was the first to do it in 1894.

Despite Delahanty’s display of power, the Chicago Cubs beat the Phillies at old West Side Grounds in Chicago, 9 to 8.

Reports indicate Delahanty’s four home runs were all inside-the-park, which was common in those days. While the stands were reachable down the foul lines at 340 feet, centerfield was well over 500 feet – a lot of room for a ball to roll around in, and a chance for a hitter to run all the way home.

Delahanty had a fine career. He hit over .400 three times, finished with a lifetime average of .346, drove in 1,464 runs and scored 1,599 times in a 16-year career.


He met a tragic and mysterious end, however. Exactly what happened is not known, but on July 2, 1903 he fell into Niagara Falls. His mangled body was pulled from the falls seven days later. The story is, while traveling by train through Niagara Falls after playing in Detroit, Delahanty was kicked off the train for being drunk and disorderly. He was last seen walking across the bridge over the falls. Some questioned whether Delahanty fell, suggesting he may have met with foul play.

Regardless of the circumstances of his death, Ed Delahanty lives on in Cooperstown. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.

CONTRIBUTING SOURCES:
July 13, 1886 game info
Society for American Baseball Research 
Ed Delahanty” Career

July 12-Disco plus baseball equals forfeit

1979 | CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Rock & Roll and Disco don’t mix, neither, apparently, do Rock & Roll and baseball. The Chicago White Sox and two Chicago radio shock jocks found that out today in baseball – July 12, 1979 – when a promotion got out of control. It forced the Sox to forfeit the second game of a doubleheader.

Chicago radio DJ’s Steve Dahl and Garry Meier and Mike Veeck, the son of Sox owner Bill Veeck, agreed to have a promotion called “Disco Demolition Night.” Rock jocks Dahl and Meier despised Disco music, so they invited thousands of their fans to bring Disco records to the Sox-Detroit Tiger doubleheader in exchange for a free ticket. The records would be blown up in center field between games. The problem was thousands of their fans brought Disco records to the game in exchange for a free ticket. The records were blown up in center field between games.

Once this triumphant disco demolition took place the “fans,” most of who, you could safely bet, were not your average baseball fans, became oblivious to a second game soon having to be played on the field they had just overrun by the thousands.

After more than an hour of trying to clear the field, chief umpire Dave Phillips postponed the game between the Sox and Tigers. American League President Lee McPhail went even further and ruled the game a forfeit win for the Tigers also won the first game 4-1.

CONTRIBUTING SOURCES:
The Chicago Tribune, July 13, 1979
ESPN program on Disco Demolition