This Day in Baseball History: June 2nd, 1959

No more. We’re done. Stop talking about it. There were six other games in which the Yankees could have done something. Stop blaming the bugs that were just trying to take back their land.

On June 2, 1959:

The White Sox grounds crew gets creative.

In honor of the Monday Night Game of the Week, I figured I would share this little tidbit. I watched the Yankees-Indians game last night, and they talked about one of three things. One, Joba was on fire, and the man could do no wrong, except that fastball to Victor Martinez. Two, the Yankees had this error-less streak going that set an MLB record. Not that either of these things were wrong in any way, but they kept going on and on and on about them. Between that and Steve Phillips attempting to prove he has a brain, I was getting fairly annoyed, but I did enjoy the game from a fantasy perspective. Anyway, the third thing they talked about incessantly was the Joba vs. midges incident. Incidentally, on today’s date, there was another insect incident, but the grounds crew, even at a technological disadvantage, found a much better way to deal with the problem.

The night was June 2, 1959, and the Baltimore Orioles called upon the Chicago White Sox. Before the game started, gnats swarmed around pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm. The grounds crew came out and started batting at them with a towel, but it didn’t work. Then, they went to find bug spray, but that wasn’t the answer, either (sound familiar?). Finally, they get a bright idea. Smoke bombs! Attaching them to the fireworks display, the grounds crew set them off. Smoke covered the field, and the game was delayed a half an hour. However, the smoke cleared and the gnats were gone.

The game went on, and Wilhelm was glad it did. He went all nine against the White Sox, giving up seven hits and two runs. Bobby Shaw tried, but three consecutive singles in the top of the ninth derailed his brave attempt and broke the 2-2 tie. After a leadoff single, Wilhelm retired the next three and won his eighth game of the season, moving him to 8-0 with a 1.11 ERA. As for the rest of the season, Wilhelm struggled a bit more (from what he was doing, about anything was struggling), and he only won 7 more games while losing 11. Considering his ERA was a league-best 2.09, I would say it was the offense’s fault. Looking at the actual numbers, Baltimore scored a paltry 3.55 runs per game, good enough for last.

Trivia Time
Who was the other 15 game winner for the Orioles that season?

Yesterday’s Answer –> The 1930 Chicago Cubs scored 218 runs off of the Philadelphia Phillies. Seriously, go check. Look at the June 23-25 series, July 24-26 series, the middle of August, and the middle of September. Damn.


2 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: June 2nd, 1959”

  1. Bill Says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of runs to score against one team.

    WAG: Milt Pappas?

  2. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    I’m not sure what WAG means, but well done, Bill.

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