June News & Notes
Baseball’s Most Unbreakable Record?
Seventy-five years ago on Wednesday, July 16, 1941 at League Park Joe DiMaggio had three hits in four at-bats as his Yankees beat the Indians 10-3 before 15,000 fans. DiMaggio, batting clean-up, singled off losing pitcher Al Milnar in the first inning and scored New York’s second run. He singled again off Milnar in the third inning and walked and scored in the fifth inning. In the eighth inning he doubled and scored against relief pitcher Joe Krakauskas. DiMaggio’s hits extended his Major League Baseball record hitting-streak to 56 games. The record has never been seriously challenged.
The streak ended on Thursday night, July 17, 1941 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium when DiMaggio went hitless in three at-bats (drawing one walk) before 67,468 fans. DiMaggio was stopped by pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby Jr. and sparkling defense by third baseman Ken Keltner and shortstop Lou Boudreau.
Join us at the Baseball Heritage Museum on Saturday, July 16 as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of one of baseball’s greatest feats. The museum will be open its regular hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If League Park Could Talk:
About Helene Britton – First Woman MLB Owner
Frank DeHaas Robison is the father of League Park, home of the Baseball Heritage Museum. Robison had three children including Helene born in 1879.
Frank was owner of the Cleveland Spiders and, later, the team now known as the St. Louis Cardinals. Robison’s decision to move his best players from Cleveland to St. Louis decimated the Spiders and effectively ended Cleveland’s tenure as a National League city.
When Frank died on September 25, 1908 ownership of his St. Louis team passed on to his brother Stanley. When Stanley died on March 24, 1911 ownership of the Cardinals passed on to his niece and Frank’s daughter Helene. Thus Helene, by then married to Schuyler Britton, became the first woman owner of a Major League Baseball team.
Mrs. Britton remained owner of the team until 1918. Frank, Stanley and Helene are all buried not far from League Park at Lake View Cemetery.
Barrier Breaker: Minnie Minoso
Sixty-five years ago, early in the 1951 season, Minnie Minoso was traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Chicago White Sox in a three-team deal that brought pitcher Lou Brissie to Cleveland. Minoso was the first player to break the color line for the White Sox. The White Sox were the sixth team in Major League Baseball to break the color line and the last for 16 months until September of 1953 when Ernie Banks joined the Chicago Cubs and Bob Trice joined the Philadelphia Athletics.
Minoso was born in Cuba and played with the New York Cubans from 1946-1948 including the 1947 team that beat the Cleveland Buckeyes in the Negro League World Series. He made his Major League Baseball debut with the on April 19, 1949.
After seven outstanding seasons for the White Sox, Cleveland’s new General Manager Frank Lane brought Minoso back to Cleveland in a deal that sent Al Smith and Early Wynn to Chicago. Two years later he traded Minoso back to Chicago.
Including brief appearances for the White Sox in 1976 and 1980, Minnie Minoso played in Major League Baseball in five decades. With single game appearances for the minor league St. Paul Saints in 1993 and 2003, Minnie played professional baseball in seven decades. A statue of Minoso was unveiled in the White Sox home park, U.S. Cellular Field, in 2004. Minoso died March 1, 2015 at age 89.
Thank you to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, for support of our “If League Park Could Talk” program. Follow the project on Twitter @LeagueParkTalks
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