1940 World Series
Game One: Los Angeles 3, St. Louis 1 at St. Louis, Fri. Oct. 11, 1940
Neither Satchel Paige nor Mort Cooper (17-11, 3.35) escaped the first inning unscathed, but the contest soon became a pitchers’ duel. Catcher Joe Greene’s fourth inning solo shot made it 3-1, Los Angeles, and that concluded the scoring. Cooper worked eight innings while Paige went the distance, picking up his third consecutive complete-game victory of the postseason.
Game Two: St. Louis 9, Los Angeles 3 at St. Louis, Sat. Oct. 12, 1940
Johnny Mize’s three-run first-inning blast gave the Redbirds an early lead which they continued to build upon throughout the game. Paul Derringer (21-10, 4.38) kept the Halos off the board until the eighth inning en route to a complete game victory.
Game Three: Los Angeles 6, St. Louis 3 at St. Louis, Sun. Oct. 13, 1940
Pinky Higgins’s two-run double capped a three-run second inning for St. Louis, but Jesse Flores threw shutout ball for the remainder of the contest. Wally Berger’s bases-clearing double in the fourth erased the Cardinals’ lead and two ninth-inning intentional walks came back to haunt the Redbirds when both recipients of the free passes came home on George Scales’ two-run single.
Game Four: Los Angeles 1, St. Louis 0 at Los Angeles, Thu. Oct. 17, 1940
Berger’s solo blast off Cooper in the eighth inning accounted for the only run of the day as Paige’s two-hit shutout put a bow on a postseason performance for the ages: four starts, four complete games, four victories, and a 1.00 ERA.
Game Five: Los Angeles 3, St. Louis 1 at Los Angeles, Fri. Oct. 18, 1940
Ralph Buxton befuddled the ’Birds for most of the afternoon while the ageless trio of Turkey Stearnes, Jigger Statz, and Berger (with his third homer of the series) all drove in runs to cement Los Angeles’ second world title.
1940 Nyquist Trophy Series
Game One: Los Angeles 7, San Francisco 2 at San Francisco, Tue. Oct. 1, 1940
Left fielder Lou Novikoff and right fielder Wally Berger each collected four hits to lead an 18-hit onslaught in support of Satchel Paige (25-8, 2.35), who scattered eight hits in picking up the complete-game victory.
Game Two: Los Angeles 8, San Francisco 5 at San Francisco, Wed. Oct. 2, 1940
First baseman Turkey Stearnes’ two-run first-inning homer got the Angels going, and Ralph Buxton’s (17-11, 3.25) shaky but workmanlike performance was sufficient to give the Halos a second consecutive road victory.
Game Three: Los Angeles 5, San Francisco 0 at Los Angeles, Fri. Oct. 4, 1940
Jesse Flores (13-14, 3.46) spun an eight-hit shutout while his teammates racked up 15 hits in support, putting the Angels in position to sweep.
Game Four: Los Angeles 9, San Francisco 3 at Los Angeles, Sat. Oct. 5, 1940
The Angels finished three games behind the Seals during the regular season and lost the season series 13-9, but in the Nyquist Trophy Series the tables were turned dramatically. The Halos’ Game Four rout completed the startling transformation, as the five players at the top of the order each collected two or more hits, including series MVP Novikoff, who homered twice and drove in five in a 4-for-5 performance. Outhitting San Francisco 61-31 in the four-game romp to earn their seventh PCL title, Los Angeles moved on to the upcoming World Series as a slight favorite over St. Louis.
The 1940 race ended with little fanfare; San Francisco (90-64) took four of six from Sacramento (84-70), knocking the Solons out of contention before the regular season’s final weekend, and with the Seals dispatching Sacramento, Los Angeles (87-67) needed little effort to clinch a postseason berth (and they seemed to give little effort, dropping five of six to San Diego). San Francisco finished three games ahead of the Angels, six games ahead of the Solons, eight games ahead of the Padres (82-72), 14 ahead of Portland (76-78), 15 ahead of Oakland (75-79), and 29 ahead of Hollywood and Seattle (both 61-93). The Nyquist Trophy Series begins Tuesday, with San Francisco hosting Los Angeles in Game One of the best-of-seven tourney.
San Francisco’s Arky Vaughan won his third consecutive batting title, hitting .366; he beat out his teammate, Joe DiMaggio (.358), and Oakland’s Ernie Lombardi (.346). Los Angeles’ Wally Berger, with 35 round-trippers, was the home run champion for the eighth time in his illustrious career; DiMaggio was second with 25 while three players hit 23 to tie for third. DiMaggio won the RBI title with 134 as San Diego’s Buck Leonard finished second with 127 and two players tied for third with 102.
Oakland’s Johnny Lindell led the loop in earned run average with a fine 2.13 mark; Bob Muncrief of Sacramento was second at 2.31 and Satchel Paige of Los Angeles was third at 2.35. Paige posted the most victories (25) in the league, with Lindell winning 23 and two pitchers winning 18. It should come as no surprise that Paige also was the strikeout king, as he has held that title for every one of his 13 Coast League seasons, but the 34-year-old marvel managed a novel twist this time around: his 293 whiffs surpassed his own all-time single-season record. Lindell was second with 173 and Leon Day of Hollywood was third with 158.
Los Angeles (86-62) picked a good time to get hot; the Angels swept Oakland (71-77) running their winning streak to seven games, and have caught San Francisco (also 86-62) at the top of the standings. Sacramento (82-66) is the only other team with a mathematical chance to catch the two leaders; the other five teams have all been eliminated.
Wally Berger of Los Angeles is the Player of the Week. Berger hit .360 (9-for-25) with four home runs and 10 runs batted in. Berger, with 34 home runs this season, appears poised to lead the league in homers for the eighth time in his career.
Los Angeles and San Francisco lead Sacramento by four games. The Seals and Solons will play the final six games of their regular season schedules against one another. The Angels will play six against fourth-place San Diego (77-71); fifth-place Portland (72-76) will play six against Hollywood (59-89), and sixth-place Oakland (71-77) will play six against Seattle (59-89). Currently Hollywood and Seattle are tied for seventh place.
With the finish line in sight, among the three playoff contenders only Sacramento (79-62) played better than .500 ball this week. San Francisco (83-58) split its final two games with Los Angeles (80-62), then dropped three of five to last-place Seattle (55-86); the Angels were only able to split four games against seventh-place Hollywood (56-86); the Solons took four of seven against San Diego (74-68) and Portland (68-73). These results didn’t quite lift the Solons into second place—they still trail the Angels by a half a game—but with a six-game Sacramento-San Francisco series starting just nine days from now, it is highly likely the race will remain a three-team affair into the final days of the regular season.
The Beavers are in sixth place and it appears unlikely they will finish much higher than that, but they may have found a new star in first baseman Cecil Dunn. Dunn, a 29-year-old rookie, was named Player of the Week after going 11-for-27 (.407) and driving in eleven runs. Dunn has logged just 174 at-bats this season but has homered six times and knocked in 31.
San Francisco (80-54) is in the catbird seat after winning five of their six games this week, including two of the first three of a key five-game set against second-place Los Angeles (77-59). Player of the Week Arky Vaughan made a substantial contribution to the effort, hitting .455 (10-for-22) with a homer and eight runs batted in. The San Francisco shortstop is second in the league in hitting at .367, ten points behind teammate Joe DiMaggio.
The Seals extended their lead over the Angels to four games, making the final two regular season meetings between the clubs must-wins for Los Angeles if the Halos want to stay in the chase for the top spot. Meanwhile, Sacramento (75-59) looms dangerously close, five games behind the Seals but only one behind the Angels.
The rest of the league no longer appears to be much of a threat. Fourth-place San Diego (71-65) lost five of six; the Padres are now ten games out of first and six games out of second. Oakland (69-67) has fallen 12 games back and Portland (64-70) is 16 back. Hollywood (54-82) and Seattle (50-84) have been eliminated from postseason contention.
San Francisco (75-53) and Los Angeles (74-56) have been joined by Sacramento (72-56) to make it a tight three-team race for first as the regular season enters its final month; San Diego (70-60) can’t be counted out of the playoff picture either, with the Padres only four games removed from the second postseason berth. The Solons reeled off eight victories in a row—all against the Angels or Padres—before the Halos cooled them off on Sunday. Sacramento and Los Angeles finish their season series with three games over the next two days; San Francisco and San Diego do the same.
The current count has the Seals leading the league by two games over the Angels, three games over the Solons, six over the Padres, nine over Oakland (67-63), 13˝ over Portland (61-66), 25˝ over Hollywood (50-79), and 29 over Seattle (46-82).
The Beavers faded from contention in August but first baseman-left fielder Bob Johnson continued to produce, culminating in his second Player of the Week award this season. Johnson hit .500 (11-for-22) with a pair of homers and seven runs batted in. He’s a .295 hitter on the season, with a team-high 19 home runs and 67 RBI.
Josh Gibson of Sacramento went 10-for-20 (.500) and hit three home runs while driving in six to earn the Coast League’s Player of the Week award as the Solons (67-55) scratched their way back into third place. Gibson is hitting .296 with 19 home runs, third-most in the league.
San Francisco (72-50) remains in first place but the Seals gave up ground to almost everyone this week; Los Angeles (72-62), Sacramento, San Diego (68-56), Oakland (63-60), and Portland (59-62) all gained on the leaders. The Angels are now a game out of first, the Solons and Padres trail by five, the Oaks trail by 9˝, the Beavers trail by 12˝, Hollywood (46-77) trails by 26˝, and Seattle (43-78) trails by 28˝.
While things are tight at the top, the bottom of the league has atrophied this year. Both the Stars and Rainiers are uncomfortably close to setting new records for futility. No team in the modern P.C.L. has finished with a winning percentage lower than .357 (Sacramento, 1921). Seattle, at .345, is already on pace to finish worse than that and Hollywood, at .373, is only two games ahead of the Rainiers. If the Stars’ current pace lags just slightly and the Rainiers don’t improve on theirs, they will become the first and second Coast League teams to lose 100 games in a season in the 154-game era.
When someone is named Player of the Week five times in a season, is it a good bet that he’s going to the the MVP? Sure—but don’t sell Joe DiMaggio short; there’s still over a month of season left, and he may have one or more Player of the Week awards in his immediate future.
This week he hit .440 (11-for-25), blasted three home runs, and knocked in six as San Francisco (70-46) took 4 of 7 games to take a two-game lead over Los Angeles (69-49). Joltin’ Joe leads the league in batting with a .381 average and runs batted in with 102; he’s second in home runs with 19, no small feat for a player who plays half his games in cavernous Seals Stadium.
Third-place San Diego (65-53) trails the Seals by six games. Sacramento (63-53), winners for six straight, are now seven games back. Oakland (61-57) trails by 10, and Portland (56-60) trails by 14. Hollywood (44-74) has lost of 13 (!) in a row and trails by 27, while Seattle (40-76) trails by 30.
The two Bay Area teams have gotten hot; San Francisco (66-43) has won five straight and Oakland (57-54) has won six straight. The Seals and Oaks began the week playing against one another, both of them taking one of the final two meetings of a five-game set, and it was all winning after that. The Seals are a game away from sweeping Hollywood (44-67) and the Oaks need one win to accomplish the same feat against Sacramento (57-52). Oakland is still ten games out of first place but San Francisco is technically back on top the standings, percentage points above Los Angeles (67-44).
Arky Vaughan of the Seals is the Player of the Week. Vaughan hit .484 (15-for-31) with eight runs batted in to raise his season average to .363, good for second best in the league behind teammate Joe DiMaggio.
Trailing the Seals and Angels in the standings are San Diego (60-51, 7 games back), Sacramento (9 games back), Oakland (10 games back), Portland (55-54, 11 games back), Hollywood (23 games back), Seattle (34-75, 32 games back).
Los Angeles (63-42) remains red hot; the Angels have won eight in a row and have slipped past San Francisco (60-42) into first place. The Halos were just 12-15 in June but have won 27 of 35 since.
Satchel Paige won both of his starts this week, and now the Angel right-hander has 300 wins in Coast League play. He is the only pitcher to attain that number of victories; Paige and two recently-retired hurlers, Willie Foster (283) and Frank Shellenback (270), are the only pitchers with 250+ victories. Paige is 16-5 this season.
The league’s outstanding individual performer, however, was not an Angel, but a Padre. Buck Leonard is the Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks. This time around Leonard picked up 11 hits in 28 at-bats for a .393 average, adding a homer, eleven runs batted in, and 7 runs scored. Leonard is third in the league in hitting at .335 and second in RBI with 84. The Padres, unfortunately, were unable to ride Leonard’s hot bat to a winning record this week, losing four of seven.
The now second-place Seals are a game and a half behind Los Angeles, Sacramento (56-46) is 5˝ back, San Diego (55-50) is eight back, Portland (53-50) is nine back, Oakland (51-53) is 11˝ back, Hollywood (43-61) is 19˝ back, and Seattle (33-70) trails by 29 games.
Satchel Paige of Los Angeles is closing in on 300 career wins; this week he tossed two three-hit shutouts for wins #297 and #298, earning the Player of the Week award and helping the Angels (56-42) pick up five wins in seven games. Paige, who is second to Oakland’s Johnny Lindell in wins and ERA this season, is 14-5 with an ERA of 2.18. The Angels are second to San Francisco (58-38) in the P.C.L. race, now just three games out; they’ve picked up four games in the standings in two weeks.
The Seals went 2-4, allowing most of the other contenders to gain ground on them. Third-place Sacramento (52-44) is six games out; fourth-place San Diego (52-46) is seven games out; fifth-place Portland (50-46) is eight games out. Oakland (49-49) did not have a good week and remains ten games behind the Seals. Hollywood (39-59) is in seventh place, 20 games out, and Seattle (32-64) is still in the cellar, 26 games behind San Francisco.
Los Angeles (51-40), defending league champions and winners of 95 games last year, have been mostly just hanging around this season, staying within arm’s length of the pennant race. This week something lit a fire under the team and they went undefeated; they’ve now reeled off eight straight. The Halos began the week in fifth place but they are now in second, 5˝ games behind San Francisco (56-34).
San Diego (48-43) had almost as good a week as the Angels, losing just once, with much of the credit going to first baseman Buck Leonard, the Player of the Week. Leonard went 9-for-23, a .391 average, with three home runs and 10 runs batted in. Big Buck is now fifth in the league in batting (.335) and second in RBI (68). He has ten home runs.
Sacramento (49-41) dropped to third place this week, seven games behind San Francisco. Portland (47-42) is percentage points ahead of San Diego (48-43); both are 8˝ back. Oakland (47-45) is reeling; the Oaks have lost nine of their last eleven and have dropped all the way to sixth place. They’re ten games out of first but just 4˝ out of second. Hollywood (36-56) and Seattle (28-61) are 21 and 27˝ games back respectively.
Los Angeles’ Gene Lillard is the Player of the Week, coming off a 12-for 25 (.480) performance which included a homer, five runs scored, and five runs batted in. Lillard, who missed the entire month of June due to a strained abdominal muscle, is making up for lost time with a .370 average in July. He’s hitting .280 for the season, with 10 HR and 29 RBI. The Angels (44-40) are in fifth place but they’re still in the thick of the playoff hunt, only two games behind second-place Sacramento (46-38).
San Francisco (51-53) remains in first place with a five-game lead over the Solons. Portland (45-38) and Oakland (46-39) are 5˝ back, Los Angeles is seven back, San Diego (42-42) is nine back, Hollywood (36-49) is 15˝ back, and Seattle (26-57) is 24˝ back.
If the rest of the league has been waiting for San Francisco (49-29) to hit a rough patch, it’s finally happened. The Seals won only one game this week, losing the other six, allowing every team in the league except Hollywood (31-47) to gain ground on them. A week ago at this time Oakland (44-34) was the only team trailing the Seals by fewer than ten games; as of today there are four others. The Seals lead the Oaks by five, Portland (41-36) by 7˝, Sacramento (41-37) by eight, Los Angeles (40-37) by 8˝, and San Diego (39-38) by 9˝. The Stars and Seattle (25-42) trail by 18 and 23˝, respectively.
The hottest team in the league right now is Sacramento. The Solons, in the midst of their mid-season ten-game series with the Seals, have won four of the first five; their 41-37 record is the best it’s been all season. A good portion of the credit must go to infielder Eddie Lake, this week’s Player of the Week. Lake hit .474 (9-for-19) with four home runs and eight runs batted in. The 24-year-old Antioch, California native, in his first season as a regular, has split time between second and third base, hitting .287 with 10 HR and 40 RBI along the way.
Hollywood’s Monte Irvin hit a sizzling .538 this week, adding three home runs and nine runs batted in to his season totals, earning the league’s Player of the Week award for the third time in his short career. Irvin had hit 9 HR so far this season, tying him for sixth-best in the loop. He is hitting .302.
San Francisco (48-23) let up on the gas a little this week, going just 3-3, which allowed Oakland (39-32) to pick up a half-game in the standings. The Seals still lead the Oaks by nine games, and the rest of the league still trails them by double-digit amounts. Third-place Portland (37-33) trails San Francisco by 10˝ games, Los Angeles (36-34) trails by 11˝, San Diego (35-35) trails by 12˝, Sacramento (35-36) trails by 13, Hollywood (30-41) trails by 18, and Seattle (22-48) trails by 25˝.
Earl Averill of Sacramento is the Player of the Week. The 38-year-old left fielder hit .455 (10-for-22), crushing four home runs and knocking in nine. Averill’s 10 homers are third most in the league. It is the 14th time in his distinguished career that the Snohomish, Washington native has earned Player of the Week honors.
The Solons (32-33), however, managed just three wins in seven games this week, and ultimately lost two games in the standings to front-running San Francisco (45-20). The Seals appear to be winning the top playoff spot in a walk, leading second-place Oakland (35-29) by 9˝ games, third-place Portland (33-31) by 11˝, Los Angeles and San Diego (both 32-31) by 12, Sacramento by 13, Hollywood (27-37) by 17˝, and Seattle (20-44) by 24˝. The Seals have had only one losing week all season.
San Francisco (40-18) again extended the gap between themselves and second place, and they didn’t even have to play winning baseball to do it. The Seals went 3-3, but Los Angeles (30-27), who began the week 7˝ games behind and in second place, lost five of six. This dropped the Angels into third and the lifted San Diego (31-26), who also went 3-3, into second. San Francisco leads the Padres by 8˝, Los Angeles by 9˝, Oakland (30-28) by 10, Sacramento (29-29) by 11, Portland (28-30) by 12, Hollywood (25-34) by 15˝, and Seattle (18-39) by 21˝.
And once again, it was Joe DiMaggio of the Seals winning the Player of the Week award. This time the 25-year-old center fielder went 12-for-23 (.522) with two home runs and seven runs batted in to earn the honors. DiMaggio is tops in the league in hitting at .395, first in RBI with 54, fourth in HR with 8. For good measure, he leads the league in hits, triples, total bases, and sacrifice flies. Most importantly, he is the most obvious reason his team leads the league in wins.
San Francisco (37-15) seems to be extending their lead in the Coast League by another game every week. They did it again this past week, and with three more games of a six-game series with second-place Los Angeles (29-22) on the horizon, they are poised to keep the trend going. The Seals took two of the first three games of that series after completing a five-game sweep of Hollywood (20-32). San Francisco leads the Angels by 7˝ games, San Diego (28-23) by 8˝, Oakland (28-24) by nine, Portland (24-27) by 12˝, Sacramento (24-28) by 13, the Stars by 17, and Seattle (16-35) by 20˝.
The Beavers’ Bob Johnson has been a prolific run-producer his entire career, a fact that has probably been overlooked by some due to the rarity of his team’s postseason appearances. Johnson has spent his entire career in Portland and is the club’s all-time career leader in home runs. This week he took home Player of the Week accolades with a .464 average (13-for-28), a home run, three runs driven in and eight runs scored. Johnson is currently second in the league in homers with nine.
After the “live ball” replaced the “dead ball” in the P.C.L. in the early 1920’s, no-hitters became extremely uncommon. There were none from 1921 to 1935; fibnally Willie Foster tossed one in 1936 for Sacramento. Two and a half years later Jack Salveson threw one in the closing weeks of the season while pitching for Los Angeles. Add a third name to the list—the Angels’ Satchel Paige no-hit Portland last Monday, striking out 11 and walking 2 in the Halos’ 3-0 victory.
Josh Gibson of Sacramento (20-25) has been a perennial standout performer, boasting a .330 career batting average and 208 career home runs. But when the 28-year-old catcher got off to a slow start this year (along with a number of his teammates), fans worried that he had lost something. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as this week he hit .360 with two home runs and eight runs batted in to capture the Coast League’s Player of the Week award. Not surprisingly, Gibson’s hot streak coincided with a string of Solons wins (Sacramento went 5-2 this week). The Solons are still in sixth place, and Gibson is still hitting just .230 for the season, but the team and its star catcher are both moving in the right direction.
San Francisco (32-14) continues its domination, winning six of eight, and the Seals now lead second-place Los Angeles (24-19) by a not insubstantial 6˝ games. San Diego (23-20) and Oakland (24-21) are in a virtual tie for third, 7˝ games back, Portland (22-21) is 8˝ back, Sacramento is 11˝ back, Hollywood (18-28) is 14 back and Seattle (14-29) is 16˝ back.
San Francisco (26-12) was victorious in their first five games this week, losing only Sunday’s contest to Hollywood (16-22), and the Seals are now four games in front of Oakland (22-16), five in front of San Diego (21-17), six in front of Los Angeles (20-18), and seven in front of Portland (19-19). Instrumental in this recent surge was shortstop Arky Vaughan, the Player of the Week. Vaughan picked up 14 hits in 29 at-bats, a .483 average, while knocking in ten runs. He’s hitting .372 for the season (fifth best in the league), and has driven in 31 runs (tied for second). Now in his ninth season, the 28-year-old is recognized as the Coast League’s all-time leader in career batting average. Currently at .350, he’s three points ahead of his longtime manager, Seals legend Lefty O’Doul.
With five teams at or above .500, the other three are accounting for a lot of losses so far this season. Sixth-place Hollywood is six games under .500, seventh-place Sacramento (15-23) is eight games under, and last-place Seattle (13-25) is already 12 games on the wrong side of even.
San Francisco (21-11) bounced back from a rocky performance a week ago to take four of six contests from first division teams; they took the final two games against Los Angeles to earn a split in that six-game series, and then split the first four games of a five-game set at Oakland (that series concludes today). The Seals now lead the Oaks (18-14) by three games and the Angels and San Diego (both 18-15) by 3˝ games. Portland (16-17) is 5˝ games back, Hollywood and Sacramento (14-18) are both seven games back, and Seattle (11-22) trails by 10˝.
San Diego’s Buck Leonard wrested the Player of the Week award away from San Francisco’s Joe DiMaggio for at least one week. The Padres’ first sacker hit .452 (14-for-31) with a pair of homers, eight runs batted in, and eight runs scored. The 32-year-old Leonard is hitting .391, good for fourth in the league, with 27 RBI, which currently places him second.
It’s three in a row for Joe DiMaggio. San Francisco’s 25-year-old center fielder picked up 16 hits in 29 at bats (a .517 average) while driving in eight runs to pick up his third consecutive Player of the Week award. Joltin’ Joe now leads the league in hitting at .485 and RBI with 32, and his five HR place him just one behind league leader Wally Berger of Los Angeles. Berger’s sixth home run of the season, which came on May 7 against Sacramento, was the 500th of his career.
The Seals (17-9), despite DiMaggio’s heroics, fell back to the pack a bit, losing five of seven, so their lead over second-place Oakland (15-11), who went 4-3, is down to two games. Los Angeles and San Diego (both 14-12) are three games back. The other four teams in the P.C.L. are under .500: Portland and Sacramento (both 12-14) are five games out, Hollywood (11-15) is six games out, and Seattle (9-17), suffering a brutal 1-6 stretch, is in the cellar, eight games off the pace.
What does Seals center fielder Joe DiMaggio do for an encore? He repeats the whole performance.
DiMaggio is the Player of the Week for the second week in a row, this time hitting .440 (11-for-25) with three home runs and 14 runs batted in. The 25-year-old is hitting “only” .471, which places him second in the league in hitting to San Diego’s Ted Williams (.485), but his five homers tie him the the league lead with Los Angeles’ Wally Berger and his 24 RBI put him well ahead of all challengers.
Spurred by Joltin’ Joe’s big week, the Seals (15-4) went unbeaten and now lead Los Angeles and Oakland (both 11-8) by four games. Portland and San Diego (both 9-10) are six games out, Sacramento and Seattle (both 8-11) are seven games out, and Hollywood (5-14) trails by ten.
Joe DiMaggio, San Francisco’s exceptional center fielder, ripped opposing pitchers to the tune of .522 (16-for-29) en route to the Player of the Week award. More importantly, he led the Seals (9-4) to five wins in seven games, earning them a share of first place with Oakland (also 9-4). The Oaks, losers on Opening Day, had followed up that setback with a nine-game winning streak, but losses in their last three contests allowed to Seals to catch them.
One of the most incredible games in Coast League history took place on Thursday in Oakland. Los Angeles led the Oaks 6-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th, but the Acorns came up with a run in the 8th and two in the 9th to send the contest into extra innings. The two teams were unable to score for the next 13 innings. Finally the Halos’ Billy Holm singled home a run in the top of the 23rd frame, but it was to no avail; Satchel Paige, working his 8th relief inning, walked the first five Oaks in the inning, and Loyd Christopher’s double off Jesse Flores (who had to start the next day) gave the Oaks a thrilling 8-7 win.
The Angels, Portland, and San Diego (all 7-6) trail Oakland and San Francisco by two games, Seattle and Sacramento (both 5-8) trail by four, and Hollywood (3-10) is already six games back.
Injuries to two Angels outfielders created an opportunity for 38-year-old ex-St. Louis Brown Johnny Moore to step into a starting role, and the veteran flycatcher made the most of it, earning the Player of the Week award by hitting .522 (12-for-23) with two homers and 13 runs batted in as Los Angeles (5-1) began the defense of their league title in grand style. The Halos have company in the top slot, however, as Oakland also went 5-1. All four opening-week series were decisive, so the league is currently divided between teams with winning records and teams with losing records. The Angels victimized San Diego (1-5), the Oaks bettered Hollywood (1-5), Portland (4-2) had the advantage over Seattle (2-4), and San Francisco (4-2) topped Sacramento (2-4).
The season’s second week will test the mettle of the loop’s two top teams, as Oakland hosts Los Angeles in a five-game tilt.