South Jersey Baseball History:
Sunday, July 25, 1999
By Charlie Schick
Dateline is a diary of South Jersey baseball that highlights area players, games, events, and outstanding accomplishments in the past history of the great game of baseball. The dates and facts listed below are taken from the manuscript entitled "A Day's Walk Through South Jersey Baseball".
July 1, 1910. Chicago White Sox opens new Comiskey Park at a cost of $750,000 to build. The first game attendance was about 25,000. Although the Sox lost to the St. Louis Browns 2 to 0, local player Lena Blackbourne of Palmyra, New Jersey collects the first hit in the magnificent ball yard.
July 2, 1924. Salem County New Jersey's Whitey Witt, outfielder for the New York Yankees, walked 5 times in a game. Whitey known for his ability to get on base via the walk, led the American League in free passes with 89 in 1922, finished the 1924 season with 45 walks plus 178 hits for the Yankees.
July 6, 1980. In Camden County American Legion action, Brooklawn's Bob Sebra struck out 20 Mullica Hill batters in racking up a 5 to 1 win. Sebra completely dominated Mullica Hill as he allowed just a hit in blazing his way to victory. Offensively, he also showed his worth by knocking in the winning run with a solo home run. Teammate Steve Cordner also homered.
July 8, 1958. The American League All Stars downed the National League team 4 to 3. as South Jersey pitcher Ray Narleski, Cleveland Indians, pitched 3-plus innings. Ray relieved in the 2nd frame to shut down a NL rally, and went on to burl shutout ball through the 5th inning. The American squad scored the go-ahead run in the 6th to give Narleski teammate Early Winn the win.
July 10, 1929. In Burlington County Semi-pro League action, Walt Dann of Delanco A.A. pitched a no-hit no-run game, as he mastered Palmyra F.C. 10 to 0. The winner's hard-hitting third baseman Johnnie Shaw led all hitters in the one-sided contest with 4 solid hits.
July 12, 1988. South Jersey native Orel Hershiser, right-hand pitcher for the Las Angles Dodgers, burled a scoreless 8th inning for the National League All Star team, but the American League won a tight low scoring game 2 to 1. Oakland A's catcher Terry Steinbach drove-in both American League runs with a home run and sacrifice fly.
July 13, 1935. Philadelphia Athletics outfielder Roger "Doc" Cramer, Beach Haven, New Jersey, collects 6 hits in 6 at bats for the second time in his major league career. The perfect day tied his own American League record. Cramer would go on to lead the league in at bats with 644.
July 14, 1919. Jack Sweeney star hurler for the Mount Holly Baseball Club pitched the first ever perfect game in Burlington County Scmi-pro League history. In facing only the minimum 27 batters, and striking out 10 over 9 innings, he pitched his club to a 4-0 victory over the Palmyra nine. Holly's offense was led by shortstop Buck Beaudry who had a 3 for 4 day at the plate.
July 15, 1978. South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame infielder Larry Milbourne, hits home runs from both sides of the plate to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 7-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians in a American League contest. The 2 home runs were Milbourne's only 2 homers of the 1978 season.
July 17, 1998. Jeff Datz of Clearview New Jersey, manager of the Buffalo Bisons AAA team in the International Lewe, collected his 300th win as a minor league manager. In his 5th year managing in the Cleveland Indians organization, Datz has led the Bisons to a 50-43 record so far in 1998.
July 19, 1984. Cherry Hill East High grad right-hander Orel Hershiser threw a 2-hitter and his 3rd straight shutout, to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers over the St. Louis Cardinals by the count of 10-0. Hershiser struck out 10 Cardinals while throwing his complete game 2-hitter.
July 22, 1905. Roger "Doc" Cramer was born in Beach Haven New Jersey. After starring at Barnegat High, Cramer went on to play in the big leagues for 20 years (1929-1949). He posted a career average of .296, 2705 hits, 396 doubles and 109 triples. He led the league in hits with 200 in 1940, and led the American League in at bats 7 times.
July 24, 1875. Joe Borden of Jacobstown New Jersey, right-hand pitcher forthe Philadelphia Athletics of the National Association, made his major league debut. In his rookie year, his only big league season, Borden pitched 7 games, winning 2 and losing 4. Midway through the season, arm troubles ended his promising professional career.
July 27, 1990. Cherry Hill's Babe Ruth 13-year-old team won the New Jersey State title with a 9-3 victory over the Hamilton Americans squad. The Cherry Hill offense was led by second baseman Dave Martin, catcher Todd Groves, and outfielder Matt LeFever all with 2 hits.
July 28, 1936. Detroit outfielder and Salem New Jersey native Goose Goslin, hit an inside the park home run, as New York Yankee outfielders Joe DiMaggio and Myril Hoag collided while chasing down his long fly ball. The great Goslin would go on to smash 24 home runs in 1936.
July 30, 1940. Rookie Dom DiMaggio joins the Boston Red Sox outstanding outfield of Ted Williams and Roger "Doc" Cramer of Beach Haven New Jersey. The hard-hitting outfield trio would all finish the season hitting over.300. DiMaggio finished at .301, Cramer at .303 and the great Williams at .344.
July 31, 1994. Lenape High's southpaw Scott Schoeneweis of Duke University, was selected to the NCAA Baseball Freshman All American Team. Schoeneweis produced the best freshman pitching season in Duke varsity baseball history when he posted a 12-3 record with a 3.12 ERA.
This is just a sample of South Jersey's baseball history, but I hope you enjoyed it half as much as I did researching these outstanding scholastic, college and major leaguers from our area.
©1999 South Jersey Sports Online