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Harry Heilmann from the Chronology
Nov 23, 1944 - Five groups totaling 23 players‚ managers‚ umpires‚ and writers visit war theaters as part of the USO program. Included are Mel Ott‚ Dutch Leonard‚ Frankie Frisch‚ Bucky Walters‚ Harry Heilmann‚ Carl Hubbell‚ Freddie Fitzsimmons‚ Bill Summers‚ Beans Reardon‚ Johnny Lindell‚ Tuck Stainback‚ Steve O'Neill‚ Leo Durocher‚ Joe Medwick‚ Nick Etten‚ Dixie Walker‚ Paul Waner‚ and Rip Sewell.
Sep 28, 1941 - Ted Williams collects 4 hits in 5 at bats in the 12-11 first-game slugfest victory in Philadelphia to bring his average to .404. He goes 2-for-3 in game 2 against rookie Fred Caligiuri who beats Lefty Grove 7-1. Grove gives up 4 hits in the 1st inning and leaves the game his last ML appearance. Williams will finish the season with a .406 batting average the first .400 hitter in the AL since Harry Heilmann in 1923. Joe Cronin estimates that Williams hit 14 sacrifice flies in 1941 one of the years in which any fly advancing a runner is charged as a time at bat. Bobby Doerr drives in 3 runs in game 1 giving him 8 RBIs in his last 4 games and 93 RBIs for the year. The Red Sox finish with all 4 infielders over 90 RBIs (Foxx 105; Tabor 101 Cronin 95) 2nd to the 1934 Tigers and just the 2nd and last team this century to reach the mark. All four infieldershave hit 20 home runs the only time this century that this has been accomplished. The Texas infield of 2004 will be the second team to reach this.
Jun 15, 1931 - Cut-down day for ML rosters brings the retirement of Eddie Collins and Harry Heilmann. Collins becomes a coach for the A's. Heilmann will return briefly to the Reds in 1932.
Jun 8, 1930 - The increased hitting in the NL is reflected in these current batting averages: Riggs Stephenson .420; Babe Herman .414; Chuck Klein .401; Harry Heilmann .400; and Bill Terry .399. Giants' manager John McGraw observes "It's not the pitching it's that new jack-rabbit ball. All a batter has to do is meet it. If it's not hit right at somebody it's a base hit."
Oct 14, 1929 - Coming off a .344 season Detroit's Harry Heilmann clears waivers and is sold to Cincinnati. The future Hall of Famer has been bothered by arthritis in his wrists but will hit .333 in 1930 before retiring as a regular player.
Aug 2, 1929 - The A's spot the Tigers six runs in the first inning then rally to win 11-10. Harry Heilmann had 4 hits including two homers for the losers as did McManus and Alexander. The Tigers outhit the A's 13-10. The A's victory increases their AL lead to 11 1/2 games over the Yankees losers today to the Indians 9-8.
Sep 24, 1928 - The Tigers draw 404 fans for their last meeting with the last place Red Sox winning 8-0 behind Sam Gibson's 5-hitter. Pat Simmons is knocked out in the 7th when he gives up consecutive triples to Al Wingo batting 9th John Stone and Charlie Gehringer. Harry Heilmann has a HR and double for Detroit. Jack Rothrock is busy for Boston playing LF SS and pitching a shutout last inning. On September 29 Rothrock will catch an inning against the Indians before moving to left field to replace pitcher Danny MacFayden. With that move Rothrock plays all 9 positions this year plus pinch hitting and pinch running.
Aug 5, 1928 - Lefty Grove throws a masterful 3-hitter against the Tigers to lead the A's to a win 5-1. Harry Heilmann's round tripper is the only score for Detroit. With Ed Walsh Jr. beating the Yankees in Chicago the A's are 3 1/2 games back.
Jul 26, 1928 - Detroit rookie righthander Vic Sorrell and the Yankees' Waite Hoyt are 1-1 after 11. Twelve hits and 2 walks in the 12th all off Sorrell score eleven New York runs to set a ML record for the biggest extra-inning storm ever for the inning (the same two combined for 11 runs in the 12th inning on May 14 1923: NY-8 Det-3 which is a record for 2 teams). For the 3rd time Yankee Bob Meusel hits for the cycle a major league record that only Babe Herman in the NL will tie. Detroit takes the nitecap outslugging New York 13-10. Harry Heilmann hits a grand slam in the 2nd and adds a triple and single to drive in 8 runs. Earl Whitehill is the winner though reliever Elam Vangilder belts a homer.
Oct 11, 1927 - Lou Gehrig who established a new ML record with 175 RBI is named AL MVP. With 56 points Gehrig wins over Harry Heilmann's 35 and Ted Lyons's 34. Ruth is not considered because former winners are not eligible.
Sep 8, 1927 - The A's Lefty Grove beats Detroit 9-1 and holds Harry Heilmann hitting .395 hitless. Grove shows the batting leader how it's done going 2-for-3 with a HR 3 RBIs and a stolen base. Heilmann will go 0-for-12 before his next hit and then finish 0-for-7 while Gehrig will manage one hit in 13 at bats. Al Simmons off the DL on September 6 will take over as the batting leader.
Aug 22, 1927 - Harry Heilmann goes 4-for-6 in a Detroit doubleheader sweep of Washington. In the 2nd game Heilmann and Marty McManus hit 4th inning homers off Walter Johnson the last homers the Big Train gives up in his career and the only time he's allowed 2 in an inning. It is also Johnson last career loss. The Tigers have now won 13 in a row (one tie) to overtake the Nats in the battle for 2nd place with the Yanks in front by 12 1/2 games. Heilmann is now hitting .390.
Aug 2, 1927 - Washington celebrates Walter Johnson Day on the 20th anniversary of his joining the team. He receives $14764.05 a silver service and a Distinguished Service Cross from the AL The cross is made of gold with 20 diamonds. Billy Evans who was behind the plate of Johnson's 1st game is there again though on crutches. He leaves after calling the first inning. The Tigers kayo Johnson in a 3-run 9th to win 7-6 the loss going to reliever Garland Braxton. Under today's rules the runners he inherited (and the loss) would be charged to Johnson. Harry Heilmann enroute to his 3rd batting crown is 3-for-4 against Johnson.
Jul 18, 1927 - In Detroit the Philadelphia A's Ty Cobb makes his 4000th hit a double that glances off the glove of Harry Heilmann. The hit is off Sam Gibson of Detroit. Detroit wins 5-3 over Lefty Grove.
Jul 13, 1927 - The Tigers sweep two from the Senators 7-3 and 13-9. Sam Gibson wins the opener despite walking 12 batters before being lifted in the 9th. Harry Heilmann cracks a homer and single in the first game then is 5-for-5 with 3 doubles in game 2. Tiger first baseman Johnny Neun steals home in both games.
Nov 29, 1926 - Tris Speaker resigns as Indians manager. Stories of a thrown game and betting on games by Ty Cobb and Speaker gain momentum when Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis holds a secret hearing with the 2 stars and former P-OF Joe Wood. The story and testimony will not be released until December 21st. Former Tigers P Dutch Leonard wrote to Harry Heilmann that he had turned over letters written to him by Joe Wood and Ty Cobb to AL president Ban Johnson‚ implicating Wood and Cobb in betting on a Tiger-Cleveland game played in Detroit‚ September 25‚ 1919. He charged that Cobb and Speaker conspired to let Detroit win to help them gain 3rd-place money. At a secret meeting of AL directors‚ it was decided to let Cobb and Speaker resign with no publicity. But‚ as rumors spread‚ Judge Landis takes charge of the matter and holds the hearings‚ at which Leonard refuses to appear. Cobb and Wood admit to the letters‚ but say it was a horse racing bet‚ and contend Leonard is angry for having been released to the Pacific Coast League by Cobb. Speaker‚ not named in the letters‚ denies everything. Public sympathy is with the stars‚ but the matter will remain unresolved until January of next year.
Jul 6, 1926 - The Tigers get solo home runs from Fats Fothergill and Harry Heilmann but that is all the scoring as the Browns win 5-2. George Sisler has an inside-the-park homer when his grounder caroms off second baseman O'Rourke's shoe into deep center.
Oct 4, 1925 - Harry Heilmann gets 6 hits in Detroit's doubleheader sweep over the Browns 10-4 and 11-6 to edge out teammate Ty Cobb for the batting crown .393 to .389. Cobb bats over .300 for the 20th time. In the 2nd game the final game of the season managers George Sisler of the Browns and Ty Cobb of the Tigers both pitch in relief in for the 2 clubs won by Detroit 11-6. Cobb is perfect in his one inning while Sisler holds the Tigers scoreless in two.
Apr 3, 1924 - In Ashville the first game ever played in McCormick Field is a smashing success as the visiting Detroit Tigers beat the Ashville Skylanders 18-14. A sparse crowd of 3199 watches as Harry Heilmann bangs 3 homers two off the top of the LF grandstand. Ty Cobb adds a homer. When the Dodgers leave Ebbets Field the scoreboard will be relocated to McCormick Field.
Oct 16, 1923 - Soon after Babe Ruth receives his WS winner's share of $6160.46 insurance agent Harry Heilmann who beat Ruth for the batting title by 10 points sells him a $50000 life insurance policy. Beneficiaries are Mrs. Ruth and adopted daughter Dorothy.
Oct 2, 1923 - In a 7-5 Detroit win over the White Sox Harry Heilmann goes 2-for-2 to put his average over .400. He will sit for the rest of the season except for a pinch single on the final day and will win the batting title with a .403 average. Cobb helps out today with a steal of home in the 7th inning his first steal of home in more than three years.
Sep 4, 1923 - Yankee Sam Jones no-hits the Athletics 2-0 beating Bob Hasty. Babe Ruth makes the only strikeout of the game as he slips a point behind Detroit's Harry Heilmann in the batting race. Not till Ken Holtzman's no-hitter in 1969 will another pitcher record a no-hitter with no strikeouts.
Aug 11, 1923 - The Tigers beat the Yanks 10-4 in a series that features the top 2 AL hitters. Babe Ruth goes 3-for-8 against the Tigers while Harry Heilmann is 5-for-10 against the Yanks. The two are neck and neck at .390 for the year. After the game AL President Ban Johnson rules that Babe Ruth must give up his Sam Crawford bat made for him by the future Hall of Famer. The bat is "four pieces of seasoned wood carefully glued together." On August 21 Johnson rules that only one-piece bats will be allowed a rule that also affects Ken Williams who is using a plugged bat.
Jul 18, 1923 - In a 4-1 win at Detroit Yankee RF Elmer Smith snags a hit-and-run line drive by Del Pratt and jogs to 1B to get Harry Heilmann who had been running. The unassisted DP by an outfielder is the only one in Yankee history but for Smith it is his 3rd putting him behind Tris Speaker on the all-time list. He'll add a 4th in 1925 when patrolling the outfield for the Reds.
May 29, 1922 - The Browns top Detroit 9-6 paced by Ken Williams grand slam in the 3rd inning. Harry Heilmann and Ty Cobb get into an argument with the umpires and will be suspended missing tomorrow's twinbill.
Apr 30, 1922 - Johnny Mostil fleet-footed White Sox CF moves over to LF for the only time in his career and makes two outstanding catches to save Charlie Robertson's 2-0 perfect game over Detroit. Robertson is the 3rd pitcher in the 20th century to pitch a perfect game. Play is stopped twice after Ty Cobb and Harry Heilmann complain that Robertson is doctoring the ball. The losing pitcher is Herman Pillette whose son Duane will pitch in the AL.
Oct 1, 1921 - At Detroit the Browns beat the Tigers 11-6 in 11 innings. Detroit is without Cobb who was suspended the last two games of the season for an argument with ump Evans a week ago in Washington (though Detroit has not played since the 26th). Detroit's Harry Heilmann is 0-for-5 and down to .396. He'll go 1-for-4 tomorrow but will lead the AL in hitting with a .394 average.
Sep 24, 1921 - Harry Heilmann is 3-for-4 against Walter Johnson but Washington wins the game over Detroit 5-1. Ty Cobb is so incense by the umpiring of Billy Evans that he challenges him to a fight. The two future Hall of Famers go at it with Cobb getting the best of Evans. George Hildebrand the 2nd ump assigned to the game reports the incident to AL prexy Ban Johnson. When Johnson fails to act Commissioner Landis steps in and suspends Cobb but allows him to continue as a non-playing manager.
Jul 8, 1921 - In Detroit RF Harry Heilmann hits a HR off Boston's Joe Bush that the New York Tribune reports measures 610 feet. The story says the groundskeeper measured the distance. Heilmann hitting .413 on July 2 is in the middle of a 34-for-58 hitting splurge. But Detroit manages just 3 other hits off Bush in losing 4-1.
May 15, 1921 - Walter Johnson starts for Washington but Detroit batters light him up. Harry Heilmann drives in 2 runs on a single and Johnson departs. Detroit wins the slugfest 13-10 though Walter is not the loser.
Jun 1, 1920 - Detroit outhits Cleveland 17 to 16 and outscores the Tribe 11-10. Harry Heilmann is 5-for-5 while Cleveland's Joe Evans has three doubles in four at bats. Howard Ehmke toils nine innings to win while the Indians use five pitchers and three catchers.
Jul 13, 1918 - The Tigers edge the Senators 1-0 scoring their only run in the first Harry Heilmann's Texas Leaguer. The loss is starter Harry Harper's first following 7 straight wins. Ty Cobb announces that he will join the military after the season. The statement by the AL's leading hitter comes after he and his family drop in at the White House following the game.
Jul 8, 1918 - The A's pound out a 16-9 win over the Tigers who are playing without Harry Heilmann. Heilmann is struck by a bat in pregame practice. Three players-Cobb McAvoy and Acosta-collect four hits apiece but Cobb playing 2B and Bush at short add two errors apiece.
Jul 26, 1916 - Tigers favorite Harry Heilmann gets an appreciative hand from the crowd for having dived into the Detroit River last night to save a woman from drowning. The Tigers then beat Washington 6-5.
Aug 8, 1914 - At Boston center fielder Tris Speaker pulls off his 2nd unassisted DP of the year this one coming against Detroit. Tiger runner Harry Heilmann is doubled off 2nd in the fourth inning when a hit-and-run play becomes a line drive to Speaker. Boston wins 5-2. Speaker had another unassisted DP on April 21 against the A's. The two OF unassisted DPs in a season is a ML record.