1934 World Series
Game One: Sacramento 5, New York 4 at Sacramento, Wed., Oct. 10, 1934
The game started strangely, with New York ace Carl Hubbell (24-10, 2.86) being lifted due to a sore hamstring after throwing five pitches. The first man to relieve him, 39-year-old Carmen Hill, was shaky but kept the Giants in the game, giving up four runs in four and a third innings while his teammates were plating two runs off of surprise starter Ray Kremer (9-6, 4.26). New York tied the game in the ninth on run-scoring singles by Sam Bankhead (filling in for another injured Giant, second baseman Frankie Frisch) and right fielder Mel Ott. Jim Winford, the fourth New York pitcher of the afternoon, entered the game in the bottom of the ninth but saw only one batter, Solons catcher Josh Gibson, who homered on a 2-1 pitch to win Game One for Sacramento.
Game Two: New York 8, Sacramento 6 at Sacramento, Thu., Oct. 11, 1934
Roy Parmelee (14-9, 3.01) was tasked with getting the Giants even, a daunting assignment considering his opponent would be perennial postseason hero Willie Foster. Neither man was in for an easy afternoon, as Parmelee left after seven innings with six runs against him and Foster left an inning later having yielded the same amount. The game was still knotted after nine but New York picked up a pair in the tenth on pinch-hitter Pid Purdy’s RBI-double and Bankhead’s sacrifice fly, making a winner out of starter-cum-relief specialist Bill Hallahan (19-9, 3.68), as Winford redeemed himself by getting the final three outs.
Game Three: Sacramento 2, New York 1 at Sacramento, Fri., Oct. 12, 1934
Hubbell lasted longer this time, but not as long as the Solons’ Fay Thomas, who pitched all ten innings of Sacramento’s 2-1 victory. Hubbell went the distance for New York but took the loss when he yielded an RBI-single to second baseman Frank Warfield with one out in the tenth.
Game Four: New York 2, Sacramento 1 at New York, Tue., Oct. 16, 1934
For the third consecutive time, the combatants were unable to settle matters during regulation, and this time an eleventh frame was required. With three days off to travel across the country, New York once again handed the ball to Hubbell, while Sacramento gave the nod to the well-rested Manny Salvo. Both hurlers were magnificent and both went the distance, but Salvo came up short by serving up the decisive solo shot to Ott with nobody out in the bottom of the eleventh.
Game Five: Sacramento 5, New York 3 at New York, Wed., Oct. 17, 1934
Sacramento’s Otho Nitcholas (8-6. 4.31) worked a solid eight innings, but the Giants rode Parmelee to a 3-2 advantage into the ninth. The hard-throwing righthander was unable to finish off the Solons, however, yielding a run-scoring single to outfielder Hank Steinbacher in the top of the frame, and with the Giants unable to score off reliever Bobby Hurst in the bottom of the inning, the weary clubs girded themselves for a fourth straight extra-inning contest. Sacramento scored twice off Hallahan in the tenth, and although the Giants loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame, Hurst weathered the storm by getting Bankhead to line into a game-ending double play.
Game Six: New York 1, Sacramento 0 at New York, Thu., Oct. 18, 1934
Bobo Newsom (14-12, 3.71) had originally been slated to start Game Two but Hubbell’s injury had reshuffled the Giants’ rotation and delayed Newsom’s start by a full week. The rested Newsom scattered four hits and five walks but permitted only two Solons to get as far as third base and none to get past it. Center fielder Freddie Linsdtrom’s fourth-inning RBI-single pinned the hard-luck loss on Foster and sent the thrilling series to a seventh game.
Game Seven: Sacramento 5, New York 3 at New York, Fri., Oct. 19, 1934
Thomas was making his second start of the series and Hubbell his fourth, but as they both pitched into the ninth the Giants ace appeared to have slightly more in the tank than the Solons’ 16-game winner. Having been staked to a 3-1 lead on Ott’s two-run, fifth inning two-bagger, Hubbell needed just three outs to give the Giants a second straight world championship. The Solons had other ideas, however; shortstop Joe Cronin led off the ninth with a solo home run, and after a single, a walk, and an error, Solons skipper Earl McNeely sent pinch-hitter Leo Ostenberg up with two outs, two on, and Sacramento’s season on the line. Ostenberg’s clutch single tied the game, and with the Solons no longer in immediate danger, McNeely recalled Lonny Backer from the on-deck circle to permit Thomas to bat. The pitcher delivered a two-run single to cap the four-run rally, pitched a scoreless ninth, and was hoisted on the shoulders of his teammates as the Solons celebrated their third world title.
1934 Nyquist Trophy Series
Game One: Sacramento 5, Hollywood 4 at Sacramento, Tue., Oct. 2, 1934
Sacramento’s Willie Foster (19-11, 3.21) took on Hollywood’s Hank McDonald (16-10, 3.13) in the opener, and the pair looked like aces for the first five innings, with the Solons managing just a fourth-inning run on first baseman Mickey Heath’s RBI-single and the Stars managing nothing. Sacramento plated a pair in the sixth thanks to some errant work by McDonald (who uncorked a wild pitch with the bases full) and shortstop Dick Bartell (who booted what would have been an inning-ending grounder after Heath walked to load the bases again). The combatants traded runs in the seventh and the Stars pulled even with a three-run eighth highlighted by center fielder Vince DiMaggio’s two-run single, but the Solons regained the lead in the bottom of the frame on center fielder Cleo Carlyle’s run-scoring triple. Foster finished up and the Solons had a one-game advantage.
Game Two: Sacramento 6, Hollywood 4 at Sacramento, Wed., Oct. 3, 1934
Joe Sullivan (17-9, 4.33) got the ball for Hollywood, facing Fay Thomas (16-6. 2.64). The southpaw held Sacramento to a run over the first six innings, but yielded a pair to fall behind 3-1 in the seventh on second baseman Alex Kampouris’ two-run single. His teammates got him off the hook in the following frame, with left fielder Jesse Hill’s two-run single giving the Stars a short-lived 4-3 lead, but reliever Jack Wilson was ineffective, giving up two singles and four consecutive walks to give the Solons a 6-4 victory and a two-game advantage.
Game Three: Hollywood 5, Sacramento 1 at Hollywood, Thu., Oct. 4, 1934
Desperately needing a win at home to get back into the series, the Stars were in the hole early as left fielder Frenchy Bordagaray and first baseman Josh Gibson hit back-to-back doubles off Wally Hebert (11-11, 4.38) to give the Solons a 1-0 lead in the first. Rather than panicking, the hosts tied the game in the third on a solo blast by third baseman John Beckwith, took the lead in the sixth when second baseman Bobby Doerr drew a bases-loaded walk off Manny Salvo (13-11, 3.86), and added three insurance runs in the eighth while Hebert shut Sacramento out over the final eight innings.
Game Four: Sacramento 11, Hollywood 7 at Hollywood, Fri., Oct. 5, 1934
In the second meeting between Foster and McDonald, the Stars appeared well on their way to evening the series when manager/right fielder Oscar Charleston’s two-run, fourth-inning homer made the score 5-2 in their favor. McDonald couldn’t keep the Solons at bay for long though, as a sixth-inning lead-off Gibson homer sparked a five-run rally. Although the Stars tied it in the bottom of the frame they couldn’t keep up with the Solons on this day, as Sacramento picked up four more in the seventh to seal the 11-7 win and bring the series to the brink.
Game Five: Hollywood 9, Sacramento 4 at Hollywood, Sat., Oct. 6, 1934
The Stars had no desire to see the Solons celebrate in front of Southland fans, but Thomas was stingy in the early going and Sacramento held a 4-0 advantage after five and a half innings. The Stars stunned their foes with a four-run rally in the sixth capped by Doerr’s bases-clearing double, then overwhelmed them with a five-run seventh highlighted by two-run homers by Charleston and the sizzling Doerr. Hollywood sent the crowd home happy and hopeful in their final home game of the campaign.
Game Six: Sacramento 6, Hollywood 5 at Sacramento, Sun., Oct. 7, 1934
Hebert and Salvo locked horns and battled into the ninth inning, when Salvo left with one out in the top of the frame trailing 3-2. Hebert finished the ninth for Hollywood but was unable to seal the victory, yielding the tying run when catcher Frank Duncan delivered an RBI-single to send the game into extra innings. The Stars felt confident they would see a Game Seven when Bartell singled home pinch-hitter Cedric Durst and catcher Herman Franks in the tenth, but the Hollywood shortstop’s good fortune ran out when his error opened the door for Sacramento in the bottom of the inning. With runners on first and second Charleston called on the beleaguered Jack Wilson to stop the bleeding, but after a two-run double by right fielder Hank Steinbacher and a run-scoring single by center fielder Pete Washington the Solons had stolen the game and earned their fourth league championship.
Hollywood and Sacramento (both 85-69) clinched postseason berths with victories on Thursday. Sacramento will open the Nyquist Trophy Series at home due to the Solons’ 15-7 edge in the season series. The series starts tomorrow at 1 PM at Moreing Park.
Hollywood and Sacramento finished five games ahead of third-place Los Angeles (80-74). Seattle (76-78) rounded out the first division, followed by Portland (74-80), Oakland (73-81), San Francisco (72-82), and Mission (71-83). It’s the first time Mission has finished in last place.
The Triple Crown was attained in both hitting and pitching. Buck Leonard of Hollywood hit .383 with 47 home runs and 134 runs batted in, while Satchel Paige of Los Angeles posted a 2.43 ERA with 24 victories and a league-record 283 strikeouts. Smead Jolley of Portland was second in batting at .349; Lefty O’Doul of San Francisco was third at .347. The runners-up in home runs were Wally Berger and Gene Lillard of Los Angeles, with 41 and 37 respectively, and the second and third best RBI-men were Vince DiMaggio of Hollywood (124) and Berger (119). Fay Thomas of Sacramento’s 2.64 ERA was the league’s second lowest, while Ray Brown of Seattle was third at 3.06. Brown also finished second in wins with 21, while two southpaws, Willie Foster of Sacramento and Lefty Gomez of San Francisco, won 19. Luis Tiant of Oakland was second in strikeouts with 217, followed by Foster, who fanned 180.
Los Angeles (78-70) has pulled within three games of Hollywood (81-67) and Sacramento (also 81-67)—who are once again tied for first—but the unless the Angels are able to win five of their their final six games against the Stars, they will run out of time. Two wins by Hollywood assures the Stars of a postseason berth, and the Solons can only miss the postseason if they lose at least five of their final six games against Oakland (with the Angels also winning at least five).
Herman Pillette, the Mission Bells’ venerable righthander, took Player of the Week honors after two outstanding complete game victories over Seattle, one a shutout and the other an eight-hit, one-run performance. Pillette, 37, won his 162nd and 163rd P.C.L. games (he is seventh on the all-time list) and improved his season record to 12-15. His ERA this year is 4.54.
Los Angeles (74-68), five games behind both Hollywood (78-64) and Sacramento (77-65) when the week began, took four of six and picked up ground on both of the league’s top two clubs. The Stars, who split six games, are now all alone in first place, as the Solons, who dropped four of six, have dropped a game back. The Angels trail the Stars by four and the Solons by three. Seattle (72-70) is five games behind Sacramento and six behind Hollywood.
Jim Oglesby, the Angels’ 29-year-old first-sacker, is the Player of the Week. Big Jim hit .429 with two home runs and seven runs batted in. Oglesby is now hitting .312 for the season, with 19 homers, 70 RBI and 69 runs scored.
Both Wrigley Field residents dropped four of seven games this week, which was good news for Sacramento (74-61); the Solons went 4-3, earning them a tie atop the standings board with Hollywood (also 74-61) and increasing their lead over third-place Los Angeles (69-65) to five games. The Angels have already concluded their season series with Sacramento so they’ll need the help of other teams in order to catch the Solons. The Halos have more control over their fate regarding Hollywood, as they will finish the year with six games against the Stars. Each team has twenty games remaining in the regular season.
The Stars’ first-year skipper, Oscar Charleston, has had to direct the team from the bench for much of the season due to a knee injury suffered in July, but he’s back in the lineup now and playing much like the Charleston of old. This week he hit .484 with three home runs, seven runs batted in, and ten runs scored. He’s hitting .368 with 14 HR and 49 RBI and has kept the Stars in first or second place for virtually the entire season.
Los Angeles (67-62) has gotten hot, and the third-place Angels are now just four games behind second-place Sacramento (71-58) and five behind front-running Hollywood (72-57). The Halos’ lackluster play during the first three months of the season had seemed to doom their prospects for repeating as league champions, but a 18-10 August and wins in their first two games in September have lifted them into contention. They’ve won four straight and can sweep fourth-place Seattle (64-63) by taking both games of today’s Labor Day doubleheader.
The Player of the Week is Portland’s Moose Clabaugh, who hit .412 with five home runs. The 32-year-old Clabaugh, playing his first season in the Coast League, has lifted his season’s average over .300 (.303).
The league’s top three clubs—Hollywood (70-54), Sacramento (69-54), Los Angeles (63-61)—all played .500 ball this week, allowing Seattle (63-61), who went 4-2, to pick up a game on all of them. The Rainiers have tied the Angels for third place, six and a half games behind Sacramento and seven behind Hollywood. Portland (60-64) has fallen ten games back.
Buck Leonard of Hollywood has dominated the league since stepping onto the field on Opening Day this year and he looks more like a viable Triple Crown candidate every day. He is currently leading the league in hitting (.388), home runs (43), runs batted in (117), and runs scored (109), as well as the unofficial category of Player of the Week awards. He took home his fifth of the season this week, hitting .500 with three homers and 9 RBI.
Just when it was starting to look like Hollywood (67-51) and Sacramento (66-51) had pulled away from the rest of the league and made the remainder of the schedule more or less academic, this week the Stars lost six of seven and the Solons split six games, allowing three teams—Los Angeles (60-58), Seattle (59-59), and Portland (58-60) to emerge on the outer edge of contention.
Typifying what an unusual week it was, Angels’ veteran lead-off man Jigger Statz—who had hit no home runs in 424 at-bats prior to Monday—hit four this week. The 36-year-old center fielder also hit .444 to raise his season’s average to .293 as the Halos won five of six. Los Angeles is over .500 for the first time since July 6.
Los Angeles trails second-place Sacramento by six and a half games, Seattle trails the Solons by seven and a half, and Portland trails them by eight and a half. Those three clubs still have a lot of work ahead of them to close the gap. But it no longer looks hopeless.
Sacramento (63-48) managed to split the final four games of their five-game set with Seattle (55-56), and then began their final regular season series with Hollywood (66-45), beating the Stars twice in the first three games of the six-game tilt. In so doing the Solons picked up a game on both the Stars and the Rainiers, so second-place Sacramento now trails Hollywood by three and leads third-place Seattle by eight.
Vince DiMaggio’s P.C.L. career is less than three years old and he’s already playing for his third P.C.L. team; that should not be taken as an indication that the 21-year-old center fielder is underappreciated, but rather that he is in great demand. This week’s .414/3 HR/12 R/6 RBI performance demonstrates his appeal. It is no coincidence that DiMaggio’s previous two teams made it to the postseason and that his current one, Hollywood, seems bound for the October stage as well. DiMaggio is hitting .275 with 20 home runs and 82 runs batted in this season.
The hottest team in the league right now is not first-place Hollywood (62-41), but Seattle (52-52), whose perfect 6-0 ledger vaulted them into third place, ten and a half games behind the Stars and seven games behind second-place Sacramento (59-45). Could the Rainiers, who haven’t been .500 this late in the season since 1930, catch the Solons? They certainly could if they make the most of their opportunities. Seattle downed Sacramento 6-3 on Sunday behind Ray Brown (15-4) in the first game of a five-game series at Sacramento. The two clubs meet again in September for a six-game series in Seattle. Much of the Rainiers’ post-season aspirations depend on what they are able to accomplish in those ten remaining games against the Solons.
Meanwhile the Stars kept rolling, winning four of five and increasing their lead over Sacramento by two and a half games. Hollywood went 21-9 in July.
The coldest team in the league right now is San Francisco (47-57); the Seals have lost ten straight, tumbling down to seventh place, fifteen and a half games out of first.
Emil Mailho of Oakland had a great week but the Oaks (45-58) were only able to win two of five games and remain in last place. Mailho, a 25-year-old right fielder from neighboring Berkeley, hit .516 with a home run, four runs batted in and 12 runs scored. It was his first career round-tripper. Known more for his glove, Mailho is hitting .288 this season.
After winning just one game the previous week Hollywood (58-40) changed the script and took six out of seven this week. With Sacramento (57-41) muddling through a 3-4 week the Stars and Solons have once again swapped positions; Hollywood leads Sacramento by a game.
Unfortunately for the other six teams in the league there is little further intrigue in this season’s pennant race. As the Stars and Solons have kept rushing past one another they have been steadily creating more distance between themselves and the rest of the loop. The also-rans have mostly themselves to blame as none of them have even managed to play .500 ball this year. The best of the lot—currently—is Mission (48-50), who climbed into third place this week without doing anything particularly impressive—the Bells won four and lost three, and that was enough to slip by flailing San Francisco (47-51), who lost six of seven. Tied for fourth place with the Seals is Portland (also 47-51), Los Angeles and Seattle (both 46-52) are tied for sixth. Oakland (43-55) brings up the rear.
Seattle’s Dutch Holland was the week’s top performer, hitting .500 with six home runs and 14 runs batted in as the Rainiers went 4-3. Holland is hitting .339 with 15 home runs and 67 RBI this season.
San Francisco native and long-time Seals captain Lefty O’Doul took on a big addition to his workload this season by accepting the post of field manager, a decision that many observers assumed meant O’Doul was nearing the finish line as a player. Not necessarily, if this past week’s performance is any indication. The gregarious 37-year-old hit a sizzling .625, adding two home runs and eight runs batted in to capture the Player of the Week award. O’Doul leads the Seals in batting (.348), HR (10, tied with Mike Hunt), and RBI (55), clearly indicating he’s a “lead by example” manager.
While O’Doul’s Seals (46-45) played .500 ball and remained in third place, the top two teams in the league switched positions again. Sacramento (54-37) took five of six while Hollywood (52-39) lost five of six, so the Solons are back on top, two games ahead of the Stars. San Francisco is six games behind Hollywood and the only other team above .500. Mission (44-47), Los Angeles (43-48), Portland (43-48), Seattle (42-49), and Oakland (40-51) have been too inconsistent to make much of a run in this year’s pennant chase.
Smead Jolley returned to the P.C.L. this season after four seasons back East, and the 32-year-old outfielder is glad to be back in the salt air. Playing for Portland, Jolley has rediscovered the form he showed during his best years in San Francisco in the late ’20’s. His sizzling .531 average—augmented by four home runs and 13 runs batted in—earned him Player of the Week honors. He’s now second in the loop in batting with a .354 clip.
Hollywood (51-34) kept up their winning ways, taking three of the last four against Los Angeles (42-43) and the first to of a five-game set with Sacramento. bounced back to take two of three from Sacramento (49-36). The Solons had taken four straight from Oakland (36-49) to pull even with the Stars on the eve of the series but are now two games back. San Francisco (43-42) is in third place, six games behind the Solons, and the Angels are now in fourth place, seven games behind Sacramento.
It was a big week for Buck Leonard and Hollywood (46-33). While Babe Ruth is enjoying a banner season at the age of 39, one wonders if the heir to the Throne of Swat hasn’t emerged this season in Hollywood. Leonard, the Stars’ 27-year-old rookie first sacker, hit five home runs this week, running his season total up to 31. Could the Bambino’s single-season record of 66 be in jeopardy? Leonard’s pace is a little shy of what is needed to eclipse the mark, but on the other hand, he’s hot. He also hit .448 and drove in 12 runs this week, and now leads the loop in all three Triple Crown categories with a .368 average, 31 HR, and 73 RBI.
Last Monday the Stars were in second place, three and a half games behind Sacramento (45-34), with Los Angeles (39-40), San Francisco (39-40), and Portland (38-41) breathing down their necks, just two, three, and three and a half games behind them respectively. The Stars began the week by taking the final two games of a six-game set with the Seals, and then beat the Angels in five of six. With the Solons, Angels, Seals, and Beavers all failing to play .500 ball during the week, the Stars are now in first place, a game ahead of Sacramento, and a comfortable seven games ahead of Los Angeles and San Francisco and eight games ahead of Mission (38-41) and Portland.
The pennant race became a lot more interesting this week, thanks largely to four straight Portland (36-36) wins over Sacramento (43-29). The Beavers, eight games under .500 on June 16, have gone 12-4 since and are now just seven games out of first and three and a half games out of second.
With the Solons losing five of eight this week, second-place Hollywood (39-32) had a golden opportunity to close the gap, but they missed it. In fact, the Stars lost ground to Sacramento—and everyone else in the league—dropping six of seven games. Third-place Los Angeles (37-34) and fourth-place San Francisco (36-35) took advantage, closing to within two and three games of the Stars respectively. Sixth-place Mission (34-37) did not have a good week but the Bells are still just five games out of second place.
Seattle’s Willie Wells had a good week, even though the Rainiers (30-42) didn’t. The 28-year-old shortstop hit .408 with four home runs and 15 runs batted in, but Seattle won only twice in seven games. The Rainiers are in last place, a game worse than Oakland (31-41). Wells is hitting 272 with 14 HR and 43 RBI.
Hollywood (38-26) bounced back to take two of three from Sacramento (40-24) and two of three from Mission (30-34), so the Stars are now within two games of the first-place Solons. The Solons also dropped two of the first three games of a six-game set against third-place Los Angeles (33-31). Fourth-place San Francisco (31-34) struggled this week, losing five of seven to fall three games below .500. The Angels trail the Stars by five, the Seals trail the Angels by two and a half, and the Bells trail the Seals by a half-game.
The Player of the Week is Portland first baseman Bob Johnson. “Indian Bob” hit .333 with five home runs and 12 runs batted in the Beavers (30-35) split six games. Johnson is hitting .270 this season.
Earl Averill, the slugging sensation from Snohomish, Washington, has been making life miserable for PCL pitchers since 1926. This season is Averill’s first in a Sacramento (38-20) uniform, but aside from that small detail everything else about the man seems to be the same. This week he hit five home runs, drove in ten, scored seven, and hit .387 as the Solons took five out of seven to open up a four-game lead over Averill’s previous team, Hollywood (34-24). Averill was particularly unkind to his old mates, homering twice in three games against the Stars, all of which the Solons won. Averill is hitting .350 with 11 HR and a league-leading 53 RBI. Sacramento and Hollywood continue their head-to-head battle today with the fourth game of their six-game series.
Los Angeles (30-28) has climbed into third place ahead of San Francisco (29-29); the Angels are within four games of the Stars. Also continuing to rise is fifth-place Mission (27-31), who picked up three games in the standings on the second-place Stars, and now trail them by seven. The Bells were 13 games behind Hollywood on June 1.
Having caught Sacramento (33-18) last week, Hollywood (also 33-18) has been unable to pass the Solons, and the Solons have been unable to shake the Stars; the deadlock atop the standings board remains. This week both teams played just slightly better than .500 ball, both winning four and losing three, while their closest challengers San Francisco (27-24) and Los Angeles (26-25) did the same, so the leaders retained a six-game edge over the Seals and a seven-game edge over the Angels.
The hottest team in the league right now is Mission (23-28), winners of ten of their last eleven games. This surge has lifted the Bells from the cellar into fifth place, ten games out of first. It’s still too early in the season for any team to give up hope.
Solons catcher Josh Gibson is the Player of the Week. The slugging backstop had been held without a home run all season, but this week he collected three while batting .423, driving in seven runs, and scoring five. Gibson’s home run production was late in arriving, but he’s been productive all year, hitting .350 with 31 RBI.
With the way Hollywood (29-15) had been playing of late it seemed inevitable that they would catch Sacramento (also 29-15), and catch them they did. The Stars won five of seven this week while the Solons had their first sub-par week of the season, losing five of seven. Buck Leonard, the rookie Hollywood first baseman who has taken the league by storm, had another phenomenal week, hitting .500 with a pair of home runs and eight runs batted in. Leonard has 19 home runs, which comfortably leads the league, and he’s tied for the league lead in batting average (.389) and RBI (45) with a couple of his teammates, Bobby Doerr and Vince DiMaggio.
The surging Stars notwithstanding, this was a week in which the second-division teams mostly held sway. Fifth-place Portland (20-24) went 4-2, sixth-place Oakland (19-25) went 5-2, and last-place Mission caught Seattle (both 17-27) for seventh place by going 4-3. 12 games separate first place from last place.
Hollywood (25-13) gained two games on Sacramento (27-10); the Stars lost the final game of a five-game set with Seattle (15-22) but then swept five from Portland (16-22). The Solons only managed to split six games against Mission (13-24) and San Francisco (20-17) so their lead over the Stars is down to two and a half games. Los Angeles (19-18) is in the black for the first time this season; the defending champs won four of five this week and climbed into the first division. Mission got off to such a poor start this year that even their current five-game winning streak hasn’t been enough to lift them out of the cellar, but the Bells are now just a game out of seventh place and just two and a half games behind fifth-place Portland.
Oakland’s Buzz Arlett is the Player of the Week. The 35-year-old first sacker hit .500 with a home run and nine runs batted in. Arlett, a career .307 hitter, is hitting .290 with 3 home runs and 23 RBI.
When the Player of the Week keeps coming from the same team every time, you might think that team would be in first place. In this case, they’re not—but they’re in a better position than they were most of last year. Center fielder Vince DiMaggio led Hollywood (20-12) to a split in six games this week, slugging four home runs, driving in twelve, and hitting .333, as the second-place Stars maintained their position on the standings, 4 1/2 games behind league-leading Sacramento (20-12) and a game and a half ahead of San Francisco (18-13). DiMaggio is the Stars’ fourth Player of the Week in the first five weeks of the season. All three of those players (first baseman Buck Leonard has been honored twice) are newcomers to Hollywood this year, which may explain the turnaround for a club that finished in last place last season.
Meanwhile Sacramento continues to set a high bar, winning four of their six games. The Solons are second in the league in runs scored (nine behind Hollywood) and second in fewest runs allowed (one more than San Francisco), but first in the all-important wins category.
Buck Leonard of Hollywood (17-9) has taken the league by storm. The 27-year-old rookie first baseman hit .500 with four home runs and nine RBI this week to win Player of the Week honors for the second time in four weeks. Leonard has 14 home runs already this season and has the Stars in second place, 3 1/2 games behind Sacramento (20-5).
The Solons are still in command. They escaped a six-game series with last-place Mission (7-18) with only one loss and then kicked off a five-game series with third-place San Francisco (15-10) by splitting the first two games. The Seals are five games behind Sacramento but only a game and a half behind Hollywood. Portland (13-13) is 7 1/2 games out of first, four games out of second.
Sacramento (16-3) won eleven straight before finally bowing to Seattle (9-11) on Thursday. The Solons then took the first two games of a six-game set with Mission (6-13) and are now hold a four-game lead over second-place San Francisco (12-7). During this run the Solons’ pitching and fielding has been very good but their offense has been other-worldly: Sacramento is hitting .343, and they’ve scored 6.9 runs per game. In just 19 games they’ve tallied 39 more runs than any other team.
Hollywood (12-8), 4 1/2 games behind the Solons and in third place, is the one other team with 100 runs scored this season (exactly 100). The Stars have needed that much offense because they’ve given up almost as many runs as they’ve scored. This week their new center fielder, 37-year-old Oscar Charleston, led Hollywood to five wins in six games, hitting .417 with two home runs, five runs scored and eight runs batted in. Charleston is the Player of the Week for the nineteenth time in his career (and first in a uniform other than that of the Portland Beavers). He’s hitting .327 with 5 HR and 15 RBI for the season.
Sacramento (11-2) is riding an eight-game winning streak, having won the final game of their opening series with Oakland (3-10), going on to sweep a five-game series with Hollywood (6-7), and then sweeping a doubleheader against Seattle (7-6). The Solons have a two-game lead over San Francisco (who won six out of seven this week to bring their record to 9-4) and a four-game lead over the Rainiers. The other five teams are all under .500 after two weeks.
Mission (5-8) is struggling, not including right fielder Rap Dixon, who hit .323 with five home runs, eleven runs batted in, and seven runs scored this week. The big right fielder leads the league with 14 RBI, and is second in home runs and fourth in batting. Known for his cannon right arm, he’s already registered two base runner kills this season. Dixon threw out 24 runners in 1931.
Opening Week 1934
Hollywood first baseman Buck Leonard led the Stars to four wins in six games over league champion Los Angeles, capturing the Player of the Week award in his first week in the loop. Leonard hit .333 and blasted five home runs while driving in nine and scoring six.
Another rookie, Ray Dandridge of San Francisco, is one of three players leading the league in hitting at .474.
The Angels’ Turkey Stearnes hit his 400th career home run on Tuesday. Only Babe Ruth, with 686, has hit more round-trippers than Stearnes at the big league level.
Willie Foster of Sacramento also reached a milestone this week, notching his 200th career win. In so doing he passed Nip Winters to become third all-time among P.C.L. hurlers. The league’s top three winners are all still active, and all three started two games this week, although only Foster was victorious both times. Frank Shellenback of Mission (215 lifetime wins) split his two decisions and Bill Holland of Oakland (209 career wins) lost twice.
Hollywood and Sacramento are 4-2, Los Angeles and Oakland are 2-4, and the rest of the league is even money with one week in the books and 148 games left to play.