SABR

Appendix 2: Supporting Documentation for the Corrections of the RBI Errors in Hank Greenberg’s Official DBD Record

By Herm Krabbenhoft

This article was published in the Spring 2012 Baseball Research Journal.

Editor's note: This is a supplement to Herm Krabbenhoft's article, "Hank Greenberg’s American League RBI Record", in the Spring 2012 edition of the "Baseball Research Journal".

Appendix 2: Supporting Documentation for the Corrections of the RBI Errors in Hank Greenberg’s Official DBD Record.

1933 June 3 – vs. Chicago – Tigers scored 6 runs

Fifth Inning (5 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “The Tigers opened their grand rally in the fifth when Gehringer blasted a single to right and Stone followed with a home run into the stands in right center, Walker singled to left and moved to second when Greenberg singled to the same garden. Rogell grounded to [second baseman] Hayes, who threw wildly to first, permitting Walker to score, Greenberg going to third and Rogell to second. Hayworth grounded to [third baseman] Dykes, scoring Greenberg, and Fox, who batted for Hogsett, grounded to [shortstop] Appling scoring Rogell.”

Detroit News – “Gehringer singled and Stone hit a home run into the centerfield bleachers. Singles by Walker and Greenberg, a two-base wild heave by Hayes and two infield outs that followed gave Detroit five runs for the inning.”

Detroit Times – “In the fifth Stone followed Gehringer’s single with a home run for Detroit’s first runs. Singles by Walker, Greenberg and Hayes’ error on Rogell’s grounder set the stage for three more.”

Chicago Tribune – “The five run cluster in the Tiger fifth began to blossom when Gehringer singled. He scored ahead of Stone, who drove a home run into the right center flied bleacher. Singles by Walker and Greenberg kept things going. Rogell grounded to Hayes and Sullivan was pulled out of position on the play. Jones tried to cover first, but Hayes threw the ball past him, letting Walker score. Greenberg took third and Rogell second on the error. These two men ran home on infield outs.”

Sixth Inning (1 run)

Detroit Free Press – “[Pitcher] Jones was given the signal to take a shower when he walked Owen to start the sixth. Marvin was the first man up. Faber went to the hill for Chicago then. He induced Gehringer to ground to [first baseman] Sullivan, forcing Owen, and Stone to ground out to Hayes but Walker slammed a double down the left field foul line that brought Gehringer across the rubber.”

Detroit News – “Faber relieved Jones in the sixth after Jones walked Owen. Two outs and a two-bagger by Walker followed and one run scored.”

Detroit Times – “In the sixth, Jones was taken out when he walked Owen, the first batter. Owen was forced by Gehringer, who scored Detroit’s last run when Walker doubled.”

Chicago Tribune – “Jones quit after walking Owen in the sixth. The run scored when Walker doubled off Rescuer Faber.”

SUMMARY: Details for the 6 runs scored by the Tigers

1 (fifth inning) – Gehringer scored on a 2-RBI homer by Stone.

2 (fifth inning) – Stone scored on a 2-RBI homer by Stone.

3 (fifth inning) – Walker scored from second base on a 0-RBI fielding error by the second baseman; Rogell was the batter.

4 (fifth inning) – Greenberg scored on a 1-RBI groundout by Hayworth.

5 (fifth inning) – Hayworth scored on a 1-RBI groundout by Fox.

6 (sixth inning) – Gehringer scored on a 1-RBI double by Walker

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT, CHT] box scores – Greenberg not listed.

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had zero RBIs – not one RBI as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1933 September 16 (second game) – at Washington – Tigers scored 3 runs

Fifth Inning (1 run)

Detroit Free Press – “Greenberg’s double and two outs gave Detroit a run in the fifth, …”

Detroit News – “The Tigers dented the counting block in the fifth that Greenberg began with a two-bagger banged against the right field fence. He completed the circuit as Stone and Owen became infield retirements.”

Detroit Times – “The Tigers dented the pan in the fifth when Greenberg doubled against the right field fence, went to third on Stone’s infield out and ‘home’ on Owen’s bounce to [second baseman] Myer, which Buddy got off [pitcher] Crowder’s glove.”

Washington Post – “That 3-to-0 lead was marred to 3 to 1 in the fifth after Greenberg got the second hit yielded by Crowder, a double, and scored on a pair of infield outs.”

Eighth Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “… and the visitors tied the score by tallying two more in the eighth. With the bases loaded, White singled to chase both runs across.”

Detroit News – “Rogell singled and Fox walked. They put through a double steal while Gehringer was at bat, but would have advanced had they waited, for only four pitches were needed to give Charley a base-filling pass. White then bounded a single over second to get Rogell and Fox to the final base.”

Detroit Times – “Two were out when Rogell singled, Fox walked and Gehringer walked to fill the sacks. White surprised both Crowder and the crowd by singling to center, Rogell and Fox scoring. Greenberg ended the rally by popping to Myer.”

Washington Post – “The Tigers’ big inning, the eighth, started harmlessly enough with two out, and then they tied the score. Rogell singled and two walks filled the bases. White then drove two runners home with a single over second. Crowder averted further damage by getting Greenberg on a pop to Myer.”

SUMMARY: Details for the 3 runs scored by the Tigers

1 (fifth inning) – Greenberg scored on a 1-RBI groundout by Owen.

2 (eighth inning) – Rogell scored on a 2-RBI single by White.

3 (eighth inning) – Fox scored on a 2-RBI single by White.

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT, WP] box scores – Greenberg not listed.

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had zero RBIs – not one RBI as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1933 September 23 – vs. St. Louis – Tigers scored 5 runs

Sixth Inning (4 runs)

Detroit Free Press – [Pitcher] Blaeholder was the victim of the Tigers’ sixth inning rally and Hamlin, the newcomer, started the fireworks with a double. Triples by Rogell and Stone and a single by Fox followed to bring in the four runs.”

Detroit News – “… but in the sixth Hamlin, leading off, broke the charm. He drove a two-bagger into [the] leftfield corner and Rogell followed with a three-base hit into [the] rightfield corner. Fox singled to center and Rogell scored. Blaeholder threw [the ball] into rightfield territory trying to catch Fox off first and the runner took two bases on the error. He held third while Gehringer grounded but scored on Stone’s triple off [the] rightfield screen. Fox’s run tied the score and a moment later Detroit was in the lead, Stone scoring after [left fielder] Reynolds made a grand catch of Greenberg’s drive to [the] leftfield wall.”

Detroit Times – “Hamlin doubled and scored on Rogell’s triple. Fox brought in Rogell with a single and then went to third when Blaeholder threw wild over first trying to nip him off the bag, after Gehringer tapped to the pitcher. Stone tripled off the right field fence, scoring Fox and scored himself on Greenberg’s line drive to [left fielder] Reynolds.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Hamlin doubled to left. Rogell tripled to right, scoring Hamlin. Fox singled to center, scoring Rogell. Fox went to third when Blaeholder threw into right-field foul territory. Blaeholder tossed out Gehringer, Fox holding third. Stone tripled off the right-field screen, scoring Fox. Reynolds made a nice catch of Greenberg’s long liner, Stone scoring. [Shortstop] Levey threw out Walker.”

Eighth Inning (1 run)

Detroit Free Press – Nothing at all.

Detroit News – “Braxton pitched the eighth for St. Louis and the Tigers got their last run off him on Rogell’s walk, Gehringer’s single and a fielder’s choice.”

Detroit Times – “Rogell walked, went to third on Gehringer’s single and scored on Stone’s fielder’s choice, beating [first baseman] Gullic’s throw to the plate.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Rogell walked. Fox flied to [center fielder] West. Gehringer singled center, Rogell stopping at third. Stone hit to Gullic and Rogell beat the throw to the plate, Gehringer going to second. Greenberg struck out. Walker flied to [right fielder] Campbell.”

SUMMARY: Details for the 5 runs scored by the Tigers

1 (sixth inning) – Hamlin scored on a 1-RBI triple by Rogell.

2 (sixth inning) – Rogell scored on a 1-RBI single by Fox.

3 (sixth inning) – Fox scored on a 1-RBI triple by Stone.

4 (sixth inning) – Stone scored on a 1-RBI fly by Greenberg.

5 (eighth inning) – Rogell scored on a 1-RBI safe-on-fielder’s-choice by Stone.

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT, SLPF] box scores – Greenberg (1).

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had one RBI – not zero RBIs as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1934 June 13 – at Boston – Tigers scored 13 runs

Third Inning (3 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “The Tigers made only one extra base hit all day, Bill Rogell doubling in the third when he came up with the bases loaded. The hit scored the Tigers’ first three runs.”

Detroit News – “They started right back at [pitcher] Welch in the third inning when Frasier [sic] and Fox singled in succession. Charley Gehringer walked and Bill Rogell cleaned the sacks with a double, the only Tiger extra base wallop of the day.”

Detroit Times – “Frasier [sic] singled to center. Fox singled to center, Frasier stopping at second. Cochrane flied to Johnson. [Second baseman] Cissell threw out Goslin, the runners advancing. Gehringer walked, filling the bases. Rogell doubled to center, scoring Frasier, Fox, and Gehringer. Rogell took third on a wild pitch. Greenberg struck out.”

Boston Globe – Nothing at all.

Boston Herald – “Meanwhile, Frasier and Fox had singled in succession in the Detroit third, had waited while Cochrane and Goose Goslin were being put out and Charley Gehringer was being passed, and scored on Rogell’s two-bagger to left.

Boston Post – Nothing at all.

Fourth Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – Nothing at all.

Detroit News – “Two more runs followed in the fourth after two were out and out went Mr. Welch. Again Frasier opened the business with a single and again Fox followed suit. This time, Cochrane and Goslin singled and Gehringer walked and in came [pitcher] Lefty Grove.”

Detroit Times – “Walker flied to Johnson. Lary threw out Owen. Frasier singled to right. Fox beat out a bunt toward third, Frasier stopping at second. Cochrane singled to right, scoring Frasier and sending Fox to third. Goslin singled to center, scoring Fox and putting Cochrane on third. Gehringer walked, filling the bases. Grove replaced Welch on the mound for Boston. Grove threw out Rogell.”

Boston Globe – Nothing at all.

Boston Herald – “Successive singles by Frasier, Fox, Cochrane and Goslin and Gehringer’s walk in the fourth inning, after two were out, accounted for two more runs, and proved to Bucky Harris that it was not Johnny’s day, and in came old Mose Grove, who retired Rogell on the first pitch which resulted in a grounder to the box.”

Boston Post – Nothing at all.

Eighth Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – Nothing at all.

Detroit News – “Lefty did well enough until the eighth when Goslin and Gehringer singled. [Right fielder] Porter made a somersaulting catch of Rogell’s liner and Greenberg and Walker followed with base knocks, with two runs totaling.

Detroit Times – “Goslin beat out a slow grounder to first. Gehringer singled to left, Goslin stopping at second. Porter made a shoestring catch of Rogell’s low liner. Greenberg singled to center, scoring Goslin, Gehringer stopping at second. Walker singled past Cissell, filling the bases. Grove deflected Owen’s grounder, the ball rolling to Cissell who threw him out, Gehringer scoring. Hogsett was called out on strikes.”

Boston Globe – Nothing of substance.

Boston Herald – “… little of moment occurred until the Tigers’ eighth, when they put together singles by Goslin, Gehringer, Hank Greenberg and Gerald Walker for two more runs.”

Boston Post – Nothing at all.

Ninth Inning (6 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “But Fox, first up, singled, and Ray Hayworth, Goslin and Gehringer followed suit, Goslin’s hit scored Fox and Gehringer’s sent Hayworth home. Bill Rogell flied out, scoring Goslin, and then Greenberg and Gerald Walker singled. [Manager] Harris yielded to the fans’ pleas to take [pitcher] Grove out and sent Rhodes in to pitch. Owen reached him for a single that scored Greenberg and then Jo-Jo White, batting for Hogsett, flied out, scoring Walker.”

Detroit News – “Pete Fox opened with a singled and raced to third as Hayworth singled. Goslin beat out a roller to the box for his fourth hit, scoring Fox and putting Hayworth on second. Gehringer’s third hit, a single to center, brought Hayworth home and advanced Goslin to third from where he scored on Rogell’s fly to [center fielder] Reynolds. Greenberg’s single scored Gehringer and Big Hank move to second on Walker’s single. It was then that Bucky Harris decided that Lefty Grove had enough. He called Gordon Rhodes, starting pitcher of the day before, and for a moment it looked as if he had made a bad decision. Owen greeted Rhodes with a single scoring Greenberg and sending Walker to third. Jo-Jo White batted for Hogsett and drove a liner to [left fielder] to Roy Johnson that was deep enough to send Walker to score after the catch.”

Detroit Times – “Fox singled to center. Hayworth singled off Cissell’s shins, Fox going to third. Goslin singled past the pitcher, Fox scoring and Hayworth stopping at second. Gehringer singled to center, scoring Hayworth, sending Goslin to third and Gehringer took second on the throw to third. Rogell flied to Reynolds, Goslin scoring. Greenberg singled to left, scoring Gehringer. Walker singled to center, Greenberg stopping at second. Rhodes replaced Grove. Owen singled to right, scoring Greenberg and putting Walker on third. White batted for Hogsett. He flied to Johnson, Walker scoring. Fox struck out.”

Boston Globe – “The first four batters up punched out singles; the next one flied to deep center and the next two hit singles – six hits off Grove in the inning, four runs in and others on bases waiting to be brought in. Grove was pulled out and Rhodes sent in. Another single and a long fly put over two more run, then Rhodes struck out Fox, relieving the tension.”

Boston Herald – “The Detroit ninth saw Fox, Ray Hayworth, Goslin and Gehringer singling in succession, Rogell flying out to centre field and Greenberg and Walker producing singles, before Rhodes took up the burden. He permitted Owen to get his first blow of the game, got pinch hitter Joyner White on a fly to left and then fanned Fox to end it all.”

Boston Post – “The first four men to bat hit safely. The fifth flied to deep centre to score a run, but two more safe drives were chopped out in quick succession, and with five runs scored for Detroit in this inning and only one man out, safety demanded the departure of the veteran left hander. So Dusty Rhodes made his hurried entrance to be found for one more safe hit before the chapter ended.”

SUMMARY: Details for the runs scored by the Tigers

1 (third inning) – Frasier scored on a 3-RBI double by Rogell.

2 (third inning) – Fox scored on a 3-RBI double by Rogell.

3 (third inning) – Gehringer scored on a 3-RBI double by Rogell.

4 (fourth inning) – Frasier scored on a 1-RBI single by Cochrane.

5 (fourth inning) – Fox scored on a 1-RBI single by Goslin.

6 (eighth inning) – Goslin scored on a 1-RBI single by Greenberg.

7 (eighth inning) – Gehringer scored on a 1-RBI groundout by Owen.

8 (ninth inning) – Fox scored on a 1-RBI single by Goslin.

9 (ninth inning) – Hayworth scored on a 1-RBI single by Gehringer.

10 (ninth inning) – Goslin scored on a 1-RBI fly by Rogell.

11 (ninth inning) – Gehringer scored on a 1-RBI single by Greenberg.

12 (ninth inning) – Greenberg scored on a 1-RBI single by Owen.

13 (ninth inning) – Walker scored on a 1-RBI fly by White.

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT, BG, BH, BP] – Greenberg (2).

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had two RBIs – not three RBIs as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1934 June 15 – at Boston – Tigers scored 11 runs

First Inning (1 run)

Detroit Free Press – “After Roy Johnson made a good catch of Fox’s line drive, Walker drew a pass and moved to third when Goslin singled to left. Gerald scored when Ostermueller threw out Gehringer, after which Rogell drew a pass only to be forced by Greenberg for the final out.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Fox lined to Johnson. Walker walked. Goslin singled to left, sending Walker to third. Ostermueller tossed out Gehringer, Walker scoring and Goslin taking second. Rogell walked. Greenberg forced Rogell, Lary to Cissell.”

Boston Globe – “With one out in the first, Walker drew a base on balls, went to third on Goslin’s single to center and scored when Ostermueller threw Gehringer out at first.”

Boston Herald – “He [Ostermueller] passed Gerald Walker with one out in the first. Gerald went to third on Goose Goslin’s single to left and tallied on Charley Gehringer’s infield out.”

Boston Post – “Here Walker drew a pass with one out, went to third on the first of Goslin’s three safe hits, and registered while Gehringer was being disposed of at first.”

Third Inning (3 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “Fox opened this explosion by working Ostermueller for a pass. He went to second when Walker singled and scored when Gehringer punched a single to center after Goslin had fouled out. Rogell followed with a double off the left field wall, scoring Walker, and then Greenberg bounced a fielder’s choice to the box, permitting Charley to score.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Fox walked. Walker singled to left, Fox stopping at second. Goslin fouled to Ferrell. Gehringer singled to right center, scoring Fox, Walker going to third. Rogell doubled off the fence in left, scoring Walker, Gehringer holding up at third. Greenberg hit to Morgan and when the latter’s throw was too late to get Greenberg, Gehringer scored. Rogell stopped at third and Greenberg was safe at first. Hayworth hit into a double play, Werber to Cissell to Morgan.”

Boston Globe – “In the third Fox, the first batter up, was passed; Walker singled, Goslin fouled out to Ferrell and Gehringer singled, scoring Fox. Walker and Gehringer scored on Rogell’s double to left.”

Boston Herald – “In the third Ostermueller walked Pete Fox, lead-off man, and Pete scored, along with Walker and Gehringer, who got singles, when Billy Rogell slashed a two-bagger to left field.”

Boston Post – “Fox drew a pass to begin the third and Walker hit safely. Goslin popped up by Gehringer singled to chase one run in and Rogell’s double scored two more. A brilliant stop by Werber that resulted in a double play stopped further mischief.”

Sixth Inning (4 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “Greenberg and Hayworth opened the frame by drawing passes, and then Bucky Harris motioned Ostermueller to walk himself to the clubhouse. He sent Henry Johnson in to pitch in his place. Owen greeted him with a sacrifice that advanced both Greenberg and Hayworth and then Rowe doubled to center, sending Hank home. Fox followed with a single to right that scored Hayworth and Rowe, and Pete also went home when Porter let the ball get past him.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Greenberg walked. Hayworth also walked. H. Johnson replaced Ostermueller. Owen sacrificed, H. Johnson to Cissell, who covered first. Rowe doubled to short right, Greenberg scoring and Hayworth stopping at third. Fox singled to right, scoring Hayworth and Rowe and when Porter let the ball go through him, Fox scored on the error. Walker flied to Reynolds. Goslin popped to Werber.”

Boston Globe – “Greenberg and Hayworth, the first two men to face Ostermueller, were passed. And Ostermueller was then passed to the dressing room, Henry Johnson taking over the job. Owen sacrificed. Rowe lobbed a Texas Leaguer to right, scoring Greenberg. Then came Fox’s single to right, which Porter allowed to get away from him and three runs clattered across the plate.

Boston Herald – “When he [Ostermueller] issued his fifth and sixth passes to Hank Greenberg and Ray Hayworth before anyone was put out in the sixth, out came Ossie and in went Henry Johnson. Henry fed Rowe a fat pitch and the Schoolboy leaned on it for a two-bagger to score Greenberg, and when Dick Porter let Fox’s single go through his legs to the right field fence, Pete and the two men on base ahead of him all raced across the plate.”

Boston Post – “He [Ostermueller] issued passes to Greenberg and Hayworth, the first two men to bat, and this brought Henry Johnson to his rescue. A sacrifice hit advanced the runners. Then Rowe unexpectedly dropped a short Texas Leaguer in right. It seemed that someone should have gotten under it. But they didn’t and one man counted. Fox drove a scorching liner to right, Porter let the ball go through him to the fence and before it came back to the catcher Fox had made a circuit of the bases and the Jungaleers had added four for the inning’s total.”

Seventh Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “Gehringer opened the inning with a double to center. He took third on a wild pitch after which Rogell walked and stole second. Greenberg and Hayworth struck out, Hayworth being chased from the game for protesting, but Owen tripled over Porter’s head, scoring both Gehringer and Rogell.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Gehringer doubled off the fence in left center. Gehringer went to third on a wild pitch. Rogell walked. Greenberg struck out. Rogell stole second. Hayworth was called out on strikes and Umpire Moriarty chased him out of the game for kicking. Owen tripled over Porter’s head in deep right, scoring Gehringer and Rogell. Rowe flied to Cissell.”

Boston Globe – “… and the Tigers made a couple more runs off Johnny [Welch] in this inning on a double by Rogell, a wild pitch, a base on balls, and after Greenberg and Hayworth had struck out, a triple by Owen.”

Boston Herald – “Johnny Welch was pitching for the Sox when Detroit came to bat in the seventh and Gehringer greeted him with a double, went to third on a wild pitch, remained there while Rogell was being walked and Greenberg and Hayworth were fanning. Two more runs then scored when Porter misjudged Marvin Owen’s pop fly, which went for a triple.”

Boston Post – “He [Welch] was greeted at the outset by Charlie Gehringer’s two-bagger, and then walked the next batter. He struck out two men in a row and might have redeemed himself but for Porter’s misjudgment of Owen’s long drive that went for three bases. Thus two more tallies for the opposition.”

Eighth Inning (1 run)

Detroit Free Press – “In the eighth, the Bengals added one more tally just to make their victory convincing, when Fox doubled, Walker sacrificed, and Goslin singled.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Fox doubled down the third base line. Walker sacrificed, Werber to Morgan. Goslin singled to center, scoring Fox. Gehringer flied to Porter. Rogell fouled to Morgan.”

Boston Globe – “A double by Fox, a sacrifice by Walker, and a single by Goslin gave the visitors another run in the eighth.”

Boston Herald – Nothing at all.

Boston Post – “Fox tripled in the eighth and Goslin’s single drove him home.”

COMMENTARY

There are conflicting descriptions in the newspaper stories. The description given in the Detroit Times – a batter-by-batter play-by-play account – gives one RBI to Rogell and one RBI to Greenberg. The description presented in the Detroit Free Press concurs with that given in the Detroit Times. But, the descriptions given in each of the Boston newspapers have Rogell with two RBIs and Greenberg with no RBIs.

The box scores given in the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, and Detroit Times and the Boston Herald and the Boston Post show Rogell with one RBI and Greenberg with one RBI. But, the box score in the Boston Globe shows Rogell with two RBIs and Greenberg with no RBIs.

What a mess! How does one resolve it?

Here’s my resolution of the discrepancy and the rationale I employed: I believe that Rogell did bat in only Walker [i.e., Rogell had only one RBI (not two RBIs)] and that Greenberg did bat in Gehringer (i.e., Greenberg had one RBI (not zero RBIs)]. My rationale for this position is two-fold:

  1. While the batter-by-batter play-by-play accounts given in newspapers are not infallible, they are almost-always accurate. So, I accept the RBI information in the PBP account given in the Detroit Times – Rogell has one RBI and Greenberg has one RBI.
  2. Furthermore, as is demonstrated later (in Appendix Four), the order of the players listed with RBIs in newspaper box scores can provide important chronological information about what transpired in the game. The box score presented in the Boston Post lists the Tigers players with RBIs in the following order – Gehringer (2), Rogell (1), Greenberg (1), Rowe (1), Fox (1), Owen (2), Goslin (1). This is the exact chronological order in which each player achieved his first RBI – i.e., the list was generated in real time as the game progressed. Since Greenberg is included in the Boston Post box score – right after Rogell and before Rowe – it is clear to me that he (not Rogell) batted in Gehringer. [Incidentally, the other newspaper box scores basically list the players with RBIs according to their slot in the batting order.]

OK, based upon the above commentary, here is the summary for the 11 runs scored by the Tigers:

SUMMARY: Details for the runs scored by the Tigers

1 (first inning) – Walker scored on a 1-RBI groundout by Gehringer.

2 (third inning) – Fox scored on a 1-RBI single by Gehringer.

3 (third inning) – Walker scored on a 1-RBI double by Rogell.

4 (third inning) – Gehringer scored on a 1-RBI safe-on-fielder’s-choice by Greenberg.

5 (sixth inning) – Greenberg scored on a 1-RBI double by Rowe.

6 (sixth inning) – Hayworth scored on a 2-RBI single by Fox.

7 (sixth inning) – Rowe scored on a 2-RBI single by Fox.

8 (sixth inning) – Fox scored on 0-RBI error by the right fielder; Fox was the batter.

9 (seventh inning) – Gehringer scored on a 2-RBI triple by Owen.

10 (seventh inning) – Rogell scored on a 2-RBI triple by Owen.

11 (eighth inning) – Fox scored on a 1-RBI single by Goslin.

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT, BH, BP] box scores – Greenberg (1)

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had one RBI – not zero RBIs as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1935 June 29 – at St. Louis – Tigers scored 3 runs

Third Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “Manager Mike opened the Detroit third with a single to center. He remained at first as Gehringer popped out to [third baseman] Burnett but moved up to third when Greenberg singled to right, and scored when Goslin grounded out to [second baseman] Clift. Greenberg went to second on the putout and scored when Rogell drove a single to center.”

Detroit News – “Mickey Cochrane opened with a single to center on moved to third on Greenberg’s single to right. Cochrane scored while Harland Clift was tossing out Goslin, and Greenberg followed him over the plate when Willie Rogell singled to center.”

Detroit Times – “Singles by Cochrane, Greenberg and Rogell tied the score in the third.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Cochrane singled to center for the first hit off Andrews. Gehringer popped to Burnett. Greenberg singled to right, Cochrane going to third. Clift threw out Goslin, Cochrane scoring. Rogell singled to center, Greenberg scoring. Walker flied to Solters.”

St. Louis Globe-Democrat – “Cochrane opened with an ace. Gehringer popped to Burnett, but Greenberg sent a long base blow to right, Cochrane moving to third. Goslin was out, Clift to Burns, Cochrane crossing the plate and Greenberg taking second on the out. Rogell planted a hit in right center and Greenberg went over with the tying run.”

Sixth Inning (1 run)

Detroit Free Press – “Walker opened this one with a single to left. After Owen flied out, White was sent to bat for Bridges and forced Walker at second base. Fox and Cochrane hit successive singles to left, White scoring on Mickey’s hit but the party ended when Gehringer hit a pop fly to Clift.”

Detroit News – “Walker, leading off, singled to left. After Owen lined to [center fielder] West, Jo-Jo White was sent to bat for Bridges. He forced Walker at second but remained on the base lines to score on singles by Fox and Cochrane.”

Detroit Times – “Walker led off with a single. Owen flied to West. White batted for Bridges and forced Walker. Fox singled. Cochrane’s single scored White and sent Fox to second to bring up Gehringer, who popped to Clift.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “The Tigers needed three hits, one a very fluke one by Cochrane, to score once in the sixth.”

St. Louis Globe-Democrat – “Walker opened with an ace. West took care of Owen’s fly. ‘Jo-Jo’ White batted for Bridges and forced Walker at second. Fox singled, White stopping at the middle cushion, but going over a minute later on Cochrane’s single.”

SUMMARY: Details for the runs scored by the Tigers

1 (third inning) – Cochrane scored on a 1-RBI groundout by Goslin.

2 (third inning) – Greenberg scored on a 1-RBI single by Rogell.

3 (sixth inning) – White scored on a 1-RBI single by Cochrane.

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT, SLPD] – Greenberg not listed.

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had zero RBIs – not one RBI as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1935 July 5 – vs. St. Louis – Tigers scored 16 runs

First Inning (4 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “Fox opened the assault on Van Atta with a vey emphatic double to the left field wall. Walker sacrificed Pete to third and Gehringer hit a bounder to [second baseman] Bejma the second sacker trapped Pete between third and home. Fox scored, however, when [shortstop] Lyn Lary made a bad throw while the Browns were trying to run him down. Gehringer moved to third on the play and scored ahead of Greenberg hit a home run over the left field wall. Goslin walked and Rogell singled after that and Coffman was summoned from the bullpen. After the Goose and Bill worked a double steal, Hayworth walked, filling the bases. Owen then flied to [center fielder] West, scoring Goslin before Sorrell retired the side by forcing Hayworth.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Fox doubled off the left field wall, the twenty-sixth consecutive game in which he has hit safely. Walker sacrificed, Van Atta to Burns. Gehringer hit to Bejma and Fox was trapped between third and home and in the run down Bejma to Hemsley to Lary, Lary threw the ball in the dirt at the plate, Fox scoring on the error and Gehringer taking third on the play. Greenberg hit his twenty-fourth home run of the season over the scoreboard, scoring Gehringer ahead of him. Goslin walked. Rogell singled to left, Goslin stopping at second. Coffman replace Van Atta in the box for St. Louis. Goslin and Rogell pulled a double steal. Hayworth walked, filling the bases. Owen flied to West, Goslin scoring and Rogell taking third after the catch. Sorrell forced Hayworth, Lary to Bejma.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Fox doubled off the left field wall on the first pitch. Walker sacrificed, Van Atta to Burns. Gehringer hit to Bejma and Fox was apparently trapped between third and home. After the ball had been handled by Bejma, Hemsley and Burnett, Lary got into the play and made a wild throw to Van Atta who was covering the plate, Fox scoring and Gehringer going all the way to third. Greenberg hit over the scoreboard in left center for his twenty-fourth home run of the season and scored behind Gehringer. Goslin walked. Rogell singled to left, Goslin stopping at second. Van Atta was taken out and Coffman went in to pitch for the Browns. Goslin and Rogell worked a double steal. Hayworth walked, filling the bases. Owen flied to West, Goslin scoring and Rogell taking third. Sorrell forced Hayworth, Lary to Bejma.”

Third Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “They scored two runs on a single by Greenberg, a triple by Goslin and a fumble by West on Hayworth’s fly.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Greenberg’s single and Goslin’s triple netted two runs in the fourth when [center fielder] West muffed Hayworth’s fly by trying to throw home before he had the ball.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Greenberg singled to left. Goslin tripled to right, scoring Greenberg. Rogell grounded to Burns, Goslin holding third. Hayworth flied to West who dropped the ball, Goslin scoring with Hayworth safe at first. Owen forced Hayworth, Burnett to Bejma. Sorrell hit in front of the plate and was thrown out by Hemsley.”

Fourth Inning (5 runs) – “

Detroit Free Press – “Fox opened the attack with a single to Bejma, the drive being too hot for the second sacker to handle. Walker attempted to sacrifice but he and Fox were safe when Pete beat Coffman’s throw to second. Both moved up a base a moment later when Gehringer sacrificed. Greenberg was given an intentional pass, filling the bases, after which Goslin singled to center, scoring Fox and Walker. Greenberg was thrown out at the plate when Rogell bounced to [first baseman] Burns, but Goslin and Rogell scored when Hayworth singled to center. Owen moved Hayworth home with a double off the scoreboard before Sorrell ended the inning by grounding out.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “The Tigers batted around again in the fourth. Fox singled and both runners were safe on Walker’s sacrifice when Coffman threw too late to second. Gehringer sacrificed. Greenberg was walked purposely, bringing up Goslin, who promptly singled through the box, scoring two runs. Rogell grounded to [first baseman] Burns and Greenberg was tagged out at the plate. Hayworth singled and Owen doubled to send three more runs across the plate.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Fox singled past third. Walker bunted for a sacrifice and both runners were safe when Fox beat Coffman’s throw to second. Gehringer sacrificed, Hemsley to Bejma. Greenberg was purposely passed, filling the bases. Goslin singled past second, scoring Fox and Walker and putting Greenberg on third. Rogell hit to Burns and Greenberg was run down, Burns to Hemsley to Burnett. Goslin went to third and Rogell to second on the play. Hayworth singled to center, scoring Goslin and Rogell. Owen doubled to center, scoring Hayworth. Bejma threw out Sorrell.”

Sixth Inning (3 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “The three runs the Tigers scored in the sixth were the result of singles by Greenberg and Goslin and a triple by Rogell and a line drive to [left fielder] Solters by Hayworth.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Nothing further happened until the sixth, when Rogell followed singles by Greenberg and Goslin with a triple and scored on Hayworth’s fly.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Greenberg singled off Burnett’s glove. Goslin singled to right, sending Greenberg to third. Rogell tripled to right, scoring Greenberg and Goslin. Hayworth flied to Solters, Rogell scoring. Owen popped to Burns. Burnett threw out Sorrell.”

Seventh Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “[Greenberg’s homer] No. 25 was made in the seventh inning with Pete Fox on base.

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Fox’s double and Greenberg’s twenty-fifth homer supplied the last two runs in the seventh.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Fox doubled to left. Walker popped to Lary. Gehringer grounded to Burns, Fox reaching third. Greenberg hit over the left field fence for his second homer of the game and his twenty-fifth of the season and scored behind Fox. Bejma threw out Goslin.”

SUMMARY: Details for runs scored by Tigers

1 (first inning) – Fox scored on a 0-RBI error by the shortstop; Gehringer was the batter.

2 (first inning) – Gehringer scored on a 2-RBI homer by Greenberg.

3 (first inning) – Greenberg scored on a 2-RBI homer by Greenberg.

4 (first inning) – Goslin scored on a 1-RBI fly by Owen.

5 (third inning) – Greenberg scored on a 1-RBI triple by Goslin.

6 (third inning) – Goslin scored on a 0-RBI error by the center fielder; Hayworth was the batter.

7 (fourth inning) – Fox scored on a 2-RBI single by Goslin.

8 (fourth inning) – Walker scored on a 2-RBI single by Goslin.

9 (fourth inning) – Goslin scored on a 2-RBI single by Hayworth.

10 (fourth inning) – Rogell scored on a 2-RBI single by Hayworth.

11 (fourth inning) – Hayworth scored on a 1-RBI double by Owen.

12 (sixth inning) – Greenberg scored on a 2-RBI triple by Rogell.

13 (sixth inning) – Goslin scored on a 2-RBI triple by Rogell.

14 (sixth inning) – Rogell scored on a 1-RBI fly by Hayworth.

15 (seventh inning) – Fox scored on a 2-RBI homer by Greenberg.

16 (seventh inning) – Greenberg scored on a 2-RBI homer by Greenberg.

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT] box scores – Greenberg (4).

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had four RBIs – not five RBIs as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1936 April 29 – at Washington – Tigers scored 3 runs

Fourth Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “Gehringer led off with a double to left and set the stage for a killing. Greenberg struck out but Simmons and Goslin drew passes, filling the bases, and when Travis fumbled Rogell’s grounder, both Gehringer and Simmons scored and Goose winged it to third.”

Detroit News – “Gehringer opened with a two-bagger. Greenberg missed a third strike. Appleton then walked Simmons and Goslin. The two walks filled the bases and Appleton was on the verge of fading. He got into a hole pitching to Rogell and the batter slashed a grounder toward center. Travis made a great try for the ball, but it glanced off his glove, rolling into the outfield. Travis was wrongly charged with an error. Anyway, two runs scored and Detroit had runners on first and third with one out.”

Detroit Times – “Gehringer doubled down the left field foul line. Greenberg struck out. Simmons walked. Goslin walked, filling the bases. Travis fumbled Rogell’s grounder, Gehringer and Simmons scoring and Goslin moving to third.”

Washington Post – “Back in the fourth the Tigers scored two runs to tie the game at 2-2 but it was a dismal error by Cecil Travis that gave ‘em those tallies. After Gehringer’s double, Old Pete struck out Greenberg and then filled the bases by walking Simmons and Goslin. With a perfect double play in sight on Rogell’s hard grounder, Travis booted the ball into center field and two runs scored.”

Ninth Inning (1 run)

Detroit Free Press – “Simmons opened the ninth with his home run into the bleachers in left center field but the next three batters went out in order, ending an unpleasant afternoon.”

Detroit News – “The Tigers second hit came in the ninth when Simmons, leading off, drove into centerfield bleachers for his first home run of the season.”

Detroit Times – “Simmons hit a home run into the center field bleachers. Goslin popped to Myer. Rogell flied to Miles. Owen flied to Stone.”

Washington Post – “A double to left field by Charley Gehringer in the fourth stood as the only hit permitted by Appleton until the ninth, when Simmons socked the ball into the bleachers, but that wallop produced the only earned run off Appleton.”

SUMMARY: Details for runs scored by the Tigers

1 (fourth inning) – Gehringer scored on a 1-RBI grounder by Rogell, who was safe on a fielding error by the shortstop.

2 (fourth inning) – Simmons scored on a 0-RBI fielding error by the shortstop; Rogell was the batter.

3 (ninth inning) – Simmons scored on a 1-RBI homer by Simmons.

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT, WP] box scores – Greenberg not listed.

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had zero RBIs – not one RBI as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1937 June 20 (second game) – at Philadelphia – Tigers scored 8 runs

Because of the significance of the correction of this particular RBI error in Greenberg’s official DBD record, it is appropriate to consider which players in each of the two games of the double header – but especially in the second game – were credited with RBIs and the number of RBIs they were credited with and which players were not credited with RBIs.

The box score for the first game, copied on September 13, 2011, from the Retrosheet website, is presented in Appendix Three. It is pointed out that the “Retrosheet box score” is derived from information provided in the official DBD records – i.e., the statistics may or may not agree with the statistics given in newspaper box scores and newspaper accounts. This game is listed on Retrosheet’s “Most Wanted Games” – which means that Retrosheet currently does not have any Play-By-Play (PBP) information for this game.

As can be seen from the Retrosheet box score, three players on the Tigers are shown with RBIs – Walker (with 2), York (with 3), and Laabs (with 1). Furthermore, it is shown that the Tigers team had six RBIs. Thus, each run scored was batted in (i.e., no runs scored on a wild pitch, balk, fielding error, or a steal of home, etc.).

Here is a summary of what was written in the Detroit Free Press about the RBIs credited to Tigers players in the first game:

Run No. 1 (first inning) – “Fox led off with a single and Rogell duplicated the hit. Gehringer walked, filling the bases, and after Greenberg struck out, Walker also walked, forcing Fox across the plate. York and Laabs then ended the inning by striking out.”

Run No. 2 (third inning) – “This run was the result of successive passes to Gehringer and Greenberg and a single by Walker. The Walker Man stole second, and the bases were filled when Laabs walked after York popped out, but Tebbetts ended the inning by hitting into a force play.” [This description suggests that Walker’s single batted in Gehringer and advanced Greenberg to third base.]

Runs Nos. 3 and 4 (fifth inning) – “Walker took two bases on Ambler’s wide throw on his grounder, stole third base and scored when York flied to deep left. Laabs then parked a home run into the left field pavilion.”

Runs Nos. 5 and 6 (seventh inning) – “Gehringer opened the inning with his one-base blow and went to third when Walker singled to left after Greenberg flied out to Moses. The Walker Man tried to take two bases on his hit but was trapped in a run down and retired. York then scored Gehringer by blasting Caster’s first pitch into the left field pavilion for a home run.”

The Detroit News had this about the fourth, fifth, and sixth runs: “Laabs connected with the bases bare in the fifth and York with Gehringer on third in the seventh.”

So, based on the newspaper descriptions for the Tigers runs, the RBIs should be credited to Walker (2), York (3), and Laabs (1). These players and their RBI statistics are the same as those shown in the Retrosheet box score. Furthermore, all of the box scores in the various relevant newspapers (Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Detroit Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Record, and The Sporting News) present exactly the same RBI information.

With regard to Philadelphia, the various newspaper accounts show that the Athletics collected their three runs as follows: Moses was batted in by Rothrock in the first inning; Werber was batted in by Ambler in the fourth inning; and Newsome was batted in by Hayes in the ninth inning. Thus the RBIs credited to the A’s players are: Rothrock (1), Ambler (1), Hayes (1). The Retrosheet box score shows exactly the same RBI information. And, each of the box scores in the various relevant newspapers also presents exactly the same RBI information.

So, there is complete accord and harmony for the runs scored and the runs batted in by both the Tigers and the Athletics in the first game of their double header on June 20, 1937, between the Retrosheet box score, the newspaper text descriptions, and the newspaper box scores. Furthermore, the runs scored and runs batted in information agrees completely with that given in the official Day-By-Day records (ledgers) compiled by the Howe News Bureau, the official statisticians for the American League (from 1912 through 1972).

Now, before proceeding to the second game of the Tigers-Athletics double header on June 20, 1937, I want to bring up a box score item that can have substantial utility to researchers – the order of the players listed in various statistical categories, i.e., those statistical categories presented in the lower portion of the box score – for example, doubles, triples, home runs, runs batted in, strikeouts by pitchers, etc.

A priori, there are several orders that can be used to list players who achieved “whatevers” – (1) alphabetical order, (2) quantity order, either descending or ascending, (3) batting order, (4) chronological order for achieving the player’s first “whatever,” (5) random order, etc. Moreover, each of these orders can be further ordered according to the player’s team.

An ordering system frequently employed during the time before RBIs were included in the upper portion of the box score was to list the players achieving the RBIs in the chronological order in which they achieved their first RBI and, if needed, add the appropriate number after their name if they should subsequently achieve additional RBIs. For instance, for the runs batted in category, the box scores in all of the above-mentioned newspapers have the following list:

Runs batted in – Rothrock, Ambler, Hayes, Walker 2, York 3, Laabs.

So, for the box score presentation of the players with RBIs, the players on the Athletics are listed first – in the exact chronological order in which they achieved their first RBI: the first Philadelphia RBI was achieved in the first inning, by Rothrock; the second Philadelphia RBI was achieved in the fourth inning, by Ambler; and the third Philadelphia RBI was achieved in the ninth inning, by Hayes. Hence, the chronological order of Athletics players with their first RBIs is “Rothrock, Ambler, Hayes.”

For the box score presentation of the Tigers players with RBIs, the Tigers players are listed after the Athletics players – in the exact chronological order in which the Tigers achieved their RBIs: the first Detroit RBI was achieved in the first inning, by Walker; the second Detroit RBI was achieved in the third inning, by Walker; the third Detroit RBI was achieved in the fifth inning, by York; the fourth Detroit RBI was achieved the fifth inning, by Laabs; the fifth and sixth Detroit RBIs were achieved in the seventh inning, by York. Thus, the chronological order of Tigers players with their first RBIs is “Walker, York, Laabs. The number of RBIs achieved by each player is then appended to each player’s name: “Walker 2, York 3, Laabs.”

As it turns out in this instance, the listing of the players credited with RBIs in the chronological order of their first RBI is coincidentally exactly the same as the listing of the players credited with RBIs in the order of their slot in the batting lineup.

So, to positively demonstrate the employment of the chronological order of players listed in the box score, several examples are given in Appendix Four.

The take-away from the analysis given in Appendix Four is that – without exception – the newspaper box scores presented in the Philadelphia Inquirer for every game between the Tigers and Athletics played in Philadelphia during the 1937 season list the players who achieved RBIs in chronological order. Thus, the order of the players listed with RBIs provides “hidden” chronological information about the game – which can be very important in reconstructing and/or proving what actually happened in the game.

Indeed, the newspaper box scores for the second game of the Tigers-Athletics twin bill lucidly illustrate the importance of the chronological order of the players listed in correcting significant RBI errors in the official baseball records.

To begin our examination of the RBIs for the Tigers in the second game of the June 20, 1937, double header, the box score for the second game, copied on September 13, 2011, from the Retrosheet website, is presented in Appendix Three. Again, the box score was constructed from the information provided in the official DBD records; Retrosheet currently does not have any PBP information for this game.

Here is verbatim what was written in the articles in the above-mentioned newspapers about the runs scored by the Tigers in the second game:

[A] The Third Inning – The Tigers scored one run. Neither the Detroit News nor the Detroit Times nor the Philadelphia Inquirer nor the Philadelphia Record provides any details on the run the Tigers scored in the third inning. Fortunately, the Detroit Free Press account (by Charles P. Ward) clearly states how Rogell scored the third-inning run for the Tigers:

Detroit Free Press“The Tigers scored their first run of this game in the third inning on a pass to Rogell, a single by Gehringer and a wild pitch, …”

Thus, it can be logically deduced that Rogell reached first base via a walk, moved to third base on a single by Gehringer, and scored when the Athletics pitcher (Kelley) threw a wild pitch.

All of the newspaper box scores are consistent with and supportive of this deduced detail – Rogell is shown with only three at bats, indicating that he walked in another plate appearance; Gehringer is shown with three hits, two of them singles; Kelley is shown having thrown two wild pitches; Rogell is shown with having scored one run.

Likewise, this deduced detail is in complete accord with the relevant official DBD records – Rogell is shown with having received one walk; Gehringer is shown with having collected three hits, two of which were singles; Kelley is shown with having thrown two wild pitches; Rogell is shown with having scored one run.

So, the evidence that Rogell scored the run in the third inning on a wild pitch and that he was not batted in any Tigers player is beyond reasonable doubt.

[B] The Fifth Inning – The Tigers scored one run. Again, neither the Detroit News nor the Detroit Times nor the Philadelphia Inquirer nor the Philadelphia Record provides any details on the run the Tigers scored in the fifth inning. Fortunately, the Detroit Free Press account clearly states how Greenberg scored the fifth-inning run for the Tigers:

Detroit Free Press“The Tigers scored their second run in the fifth inning on a walk to Greenberg, a stolen base and a single by Walker, …”

Thus, it can be logically deduced that Greenberg reached first base via a walk, advanced to second base by stealing it, and scored on a 1-RBI single by Walker.

All of the newspaper box scores are consistent with and supportive of this deduced detail – Greenberg is shown with only three at bats, indicating that he walked in two other plate appearances; Greenberg is listed with one stolen base; Greenberg is shown with having scored two runs; Walker is shown with one hit, a single; Walker is listed with one run batted in.

Likewise, this deduced detail is in complete accord with the relevant official DBD records – Greenberg is shown with having received two walks; Walker is shown with having collected one hit, a single; Greenberg is shown with having scored two runs; Walker is shown with having batted in one run.

So, the evidence that Greenberg scored the run in the fifth inning and that he was batted in by Walker is beyond reasonable doubt.

[C] The Sixth Inning – The Tigers scored five runs. Neither the Detroit Times nor the Philadelphia Inquirer nor the Philadelphia Record provides any details on the runs the Tigers scored in the sixth inning. Fortunately, the Detroit Free Press account and the Detroit News account (by Sam Greene) each provides ample details for how the players scored the runs for the Tigers in the sixth inning:

Detroit Free Press – “The Tigers were leading 2 to 1 when they put on their rally in the sixth inning of the second game. The Macks helpfully kicked in with two errors that made the spectators address them with shrill shouts of anger. Bridges himself opened the rally with a double to right and moved up when Kelly [should be Kelley] cut loose with a wild pitch. After Fox walked, Chubby Dean fumbled a slow roller by Bill Rogell and Bridges scored. The Fire Chief [Rogell] injured his leg in running out the hit and Clifton was sent in to run for him. Gehringer then singled, scoring Fox. Greenberg followed with a grounder to Newsome who made a wild heave in attempting to throw out Gehringer at second base, and permitted Clifton and Gehringer to score. After Walker and York flied out, Laabs hit his triple to far center, scoring Greenberg.”

Detroit News – “Rogell was hurt in the midst of a five-run rally at Harry Kelley’s expense in the sixth inning. Tommy Bridges had opened the inning with a double and Pete Fox walked before Rogell came to bat. He hit a grounder to Chubby Dean who fumbled. As Rogell tried to pick up speed on a successful dash for the bag he strained his leg and Clifton was sent to run for him. Bridges who had taken third on a wild pitch scored on Dean’s error. Fox moved to second and tallied on Charlie Gehringer’s single. Clifton and Gehringer scored when Lamar Newsome made a wild throw of Hank Greenberg’s grounder and Greenberg followed them home on Chester Laabs’ triple.”

Thus, from these two independent accounts, it can be logically deduced that the five sixth-inning runs were scored as follows:

First run – Bridges doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Rogell’s grounder (which was fumbled by first baseman Dean, Rogell reaching first base on the error); Rogell is rightfully credited with batting in Bridges. [It is noted that the Detroit Free Press account states, “The Fire Chief injured his leg in running out the hit …” Here, “the hit” means simply that the ball was hit (batted) – i.e., Rogell was running out the hit (batted) ball; “the hit” does not mean that Rogell got credit for a base hit – neither the text account, nor the box score, nor the official DBD records show Rogell credited with a base hit.] Rogell is rightfully credited with batting in Bridges because, as stated in the official scoring rules in effect at the time, “With less than two out, if an error is made on a play on which a runner from third would ordinarily score, credit the batsman with a Run Batted In.”

Second run – Fox walked, moved to second on Rogell’s grounder, and scored on Gehringer’s single; Gehringer is rightfully credited with batting in Fox

Third run – Rogell hit a grounder and was safe on Dean’s error; Clifton, who ran for Rogell, advanced two bases to third on Gehringer’s single (which is completely consistent with the two bases Fox advanced in scoring the second run on Gehringer’s single), and scored on Greenberg’s grounder (which after having been fielded by shortstop Newsome was thrown wildly to second base, Greenberg reaching first base on the error); Greenberg is rightfully credited with batting in Clifton. Analogous to that mentioned above for the first run in the sixth inning, Greenberg is rightfully credited with batting in Clifton because, as stated in the official scoring rules in effect at the time, “With less than two out, if an error is made on a play on which a runner from third would ordinarily score, credit the batsman with a Run Batted In.”

Fourth run – Gehringer singled, moved to second on Greenberg’s grounder to shortstop Newsome, and scored when Newsome threw the ball wildly to second base; Gehringer was not batted in by any Tigers player.

Fifth run – Greenberg hit a grounder and was safe on Newsome’s error; after Walker and York flied out, Greenberg scored on Laabs’ triple; Laabs is rightfully credited with batting in Greenberg.

All of the newspaper box scores are consistent with and supportive of these deduced details –

First run – Bridges is shown with one hit, a double. Kelley is shown with two wild pitches [one, as described in the Detroit Free Press account, in the third inning (which allowed Rogell to score), and the other in the sixth inning (which allowed Bridges to move to third base)]. Bridges is shown with one run scored. Rogell is shown with one run batted in.

Second run – Fox is shown with four at bats, indicating that he had walks in two other plate appearances. Fox is shown with one run scored. Gehringer is shown with having collected three hits, two of which were singles. Gehringer is shown with one run batted in.

Third run – Clifton is shown as a replacement for Rogell. Clifton is shown with one run scored. Gehringer is shown with three hits, two of them singles. Greenberg is shown with one run batted in.

Fourth run – Gehringer is shown with having collected three hits, two of which were singles. Gehringer is shown with one run scored.

Fifth run – Greenberg is shown with two runs scored, one of which he scored in the fifth inning according to the previously-mentioned account in the Detroit Free Press. Laabs is shown with having collected one hit, a triple. Laabs is shown with one run batted in.

With regard to the deduced details for the five sixth-inning runs being in accord with the relevant official DBD records, there is accord for only four of the runs – the first, second, fourth, and fifth runs:

First run – Bridges is shown with one hit, a double. Kelley is shown with two wild pitches [one, as described in the Detroit Free Press account, in the third inning (which allowed Rogell to score), and the other in the sixth inning (which allowed Bridges to move to third base)]. Bridges is shown with one run scored. Rogell is shown with one run batted in.

Second run – Fox is shown with having received two walks. Fox is shown with having scored one run. Gehringer is shown with having collected three hits, two of which were singles. Gehringer is shown with one run batted in.

Fourth run – Gehringer is shown with having collected three hits, two of which were singles. Gehringer is shown with having scored one run.

Fifth run – Greenberg is shown with having scored two runs, one of which he scored in the fifth inning according to the previously-mentioned account in the Detroit Free Press. Laabs is shown with having collected one hit, a triple. Laabs is shown with one run batted in.

So, the evidence that Bridges scored the first sixth-inning run and that he was batted in by Rogell is beyond reasonable doubt.

Likewise, the evidence that Fox scored the second sixth-inning run and that he was batted in by Gehringer is beyond reasonable doubt.

Similarly, the evidence that Gehringer scored the fourth sixth-inning run and that he was not batted in by any Tigers player is beyond reasonable doubt.

And, the evidence that Greenberg scored the fifth sixth-inning run and that he was batted in by Laabs is beyond reasonable doubt.

There is not, however, accord for the deduced detail for the third fifth-inning run with the relevant official DBD records:

Third run – Clifton is shown with one run scored. Greenberg is, however, not shown with any runs batted in – i.e., the cell in the RBI column is left blank, indicating zero runs batted in. [NOTE: The official DBD records do not indicate that Clifton entered the game as a pinch runner – the official DBD records show that he played shortstop and that he received two walks. The Retrosheet box score also does not indicate that Clifton entered the game as a pinch runner.]

Thus, there is a discrepancy between the newspaper box scores and the official DBD records with regard to crediting Greenberg with batting in Clifton – the newspaper box scores showing Greenberg with one run batted in; the official DBD records showing Greenberg with zero runs batted in. Only one of these statistical summaries/records can be correct. We will address that topic after we have completed the presentation of the last run the Tigers scored in the game, i.e., the run they scored in the eighth inning.

[D] The Eighth Inning – The Tigers scored one run. Each of the five relevant newspapers provided the details of the Tigers eighth-inning run:

Detroit Free Press – “York smashed out two homers today, his second coming in the eighth inning of the second game with nobody aboard.” … “The Tigers scored … their last one in the eighth on York’s homer.”

Detroit News – “York also hit a homer in the second game off Edgar Smith, a young lefthander who finished for Kelley. [According to the newspaper box scores and the official DBD records, Smith pitched the final three innings of the game, i.e., the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. Since the Tigers did not score in the seventh or ninth innings, but did score in the eighth inning, it is completely reasonable to conclude that York hit his homer off Smith in the eighth inning.]

Detroit Times (Leo Macdonell) – “York bagged his [two homers] yesterday, one in each game.”

Philadelphia Inquirer (James C. Isaminger) – “In the nightcap … in the seventh inning Edgar Smith and Bill Conroy formed a new battery for the A’s. In three rounds Smith was found for one hit and one run. This was a homer that Rudy York smashed in the eighth.”

Philadelphia Record (Red Smith) – “In the three remaining rounds Smith fanned five, allowed one hit, which happened to be a second four-master by York.” [Since, according to the newspaper box scores, the Tigers did not score in the seventh or ninth innings, but did score in the eighth inning, it is completely reasonable to conclude that York hit his homer off Smith in the eighth inning.]

Thus, it can be logically deduced that York scored and batted in the Tigers run in the eighth inning by hitting a solo home run.

All of the newspaper box scores are consistent with and supportive of this deduced detail – York is shown with one hit, a home run; York is listed with one run scored; York is listed with one run batted in.

Likewise, this deduced detail is in complete accord with the relevant official DBD records – York is shown with one hit, a home run; York is listed with three runs batted in.

So, the evidence that York scored the run in the eighth inning and that he was batted in by York is beyond reasonable doubt.

It is emphatically pointed out here that, while the three RBIs shown for York in the official DBD records allow for one of them to be associated with the solo home run he hit in the eighth inning, the other two RBIs are not associated with any of the other runs the Tigers scored, at least according to the information already discussed. We will deal with this issue at the same time we deal with the aforementioned RBI discrepancy for the third sixth-inning run.

SUMMARY

Let’s first succinctly summarize what we know from the above analysis of the eight runs the Tigers scored in the second game of the double header. Chart A presents a summary of the runs scored and runs batted in by the Tigers players in the second game of the double header on June 20, 1937:

 

Chart A. Summary of Runs Scored and Batted In for the Second Tigers-at-Athletics Game on 20 June 1937.

Run No. Inn. Run Scorer RBI Player Run-Scoring Event
1 3 Rogell --- Wild Pitch
2 5 Greenberg Walker Single (RBI)
3 6 Bridges Rogell Grounder; SOE (RBI)
4 6 Fox Gehringer Single (RBI)
5 6 Clifton Greenberg or --- Grounder; SOE (RBI)
6 6 Gehringer --- Error
7 6 Greenberg Laabs Triple (RBI)
8 8 York York Home Run (RBI)

 

Thus, as shown in this chart, there is one uncertainty – was Clifton batted in by Greenberg or did Clifton score on a fielding error? The box scores in several newspapers – indeed, in every newspaper across the entire nation – show that Greenberg had one RBI – for batting in Clifton, based on the above analysis. Contrarily, the official baseball records show that Greenberg had zero RBIs – suggesting that Clifton was not batted in, but scored on a fielding error.

Chart B summarizes the RBIs credited to each player (listed according to the slot he occupied in the batting lineup) according to the box scores published in several newspapers – the three major daily newspapers published in Detroit [the Detroit Free Press (DFP), The Detroit News (DN), the Detroit Times (DT)], the two major daily newspapers published in Philadelphia [the Philadelphia Inquirer (PINQ), and the Philadelphia Record (PREC)], The Sporting News (TSN), and one major daily newspaper from each city with a team in the American League [The Boston Globe (BG), The Chicago Tribune (CHTRB), the Cleveland Plain Dealer (CLPD), The New York Times (NYT), the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (SLGD), and The Washington Post (WPST)]. The official DBD records (OFF-DBD) for RBI are presented in the right-most column. Those newspapers in which the box scores were accompanied by a summary of the game by a writer/reporter from the Associated Press are so indicated by including (AP) beneath the newspaper abbreviation. [A detailed review of the distinguishing features for each of the box scores included in Chart B is presented in Appendix Five.]

 

Chart B. Runs Batted In credited to Tigers players in second game on 20 June 1937 according to newspaper box scores.

Player DFP DN DT PINQ PREC TSN BG (AP) CHTRB (AP) CLPD (AP) NYT (AP) SLGD (AP) WPST (AP) OFF-DBD
Fox                          
Rogell 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Clifton                          
Gehringer 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Greenberg 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 **
Walker 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
York 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 *3*
Laabs 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Tebbetts                          
Bridges                          
 
TEAM 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 *7*

 

Inspection of the information in Chart B reveals that there is complete agreement among all the newspaper box scores for the RBIs credited to each of the Tigers players. Furthermore, there is complete agreement between the newspaper box scores and the official DBD records for the RBIs credited to Rogell, Gehringer, Walker, and Laabs (each of these players being credited with one run batted in) as well as Fox, Clifton, Tebbetts, and Bridges (each of these players being shown with no RBIs).

There are, however, two players for whom the RBI numbers shown in the newspaper box scores do not agree with the RBI numbers shown in the official DBD records –

(A) Greenberg is credited with one RBI in each of the newspaper box scores while the official DBD records show him with “zero” RBIs;

(B) York is credited with one RBI in each of the newspaper box scores while the official DBD records show him with three RBIs.

Furthermore, each of the newspaper box scores shows that the Tigers team had six RBIs in the game (ascertained by adding up the RBIs credited to each of the individual players) while the official DBD records shows that the Tigers team had seven RBIs in the game (“7” having been entered into the cell in the RBI column on the official team DBD ledger).

To resolve with these three RBI discrepancies, let’s first focus on the discrepancy involving Rudy York.

As described above, the newspaper accounts provide detailed information for each of the eight runs scored by the Tigers. Let’s revisit those descriptions with a pinpoint focus on York:

(1) The Tigers first run was scored in the third inning by Rogell, Rogell scoring on a wild pitch – York did not bat in Rogell.

(2) The Tigers second run was scored in the fifth inning by Greenberg, Greenberg scoring on a 1-RBI single by Walker – York did not bat in Greenberg.

(3) The Tigers third run was scored in the sixth inning by Bridges, Bridges scoring on a 1-RBI grounder by Rogell – York did not bat in Bridges. (Indeed, because of their relative slots in the batting order, it was impossible for York to have batted in Bridges.)

(4) The Tigers fourth run was scored in the sixth inning by Fox, Fox scoring on a 1-RBI single by Gehringer – York did not bat in Fox.

(5) The Tigers fifth run was scored in the sixth inning by Clifton, Clifton scoring as a consequence of Greenberg’s at bat – York did not bat in Clifton.

(6) The Tigers sixth run was scored in the sixth inning by Gehringer, Gehringer scoring as a consequence of Greenberg’s at bat – York did not bat in Gehringer.

(7) The Tigers seventh run was scored in the sixth inning by Greenberg, Greenberg scoring on a 1-RBI triple by Laabs – York did not bat in Greenberg.

(8) The Tigers eighth run was scored in the eighth inning by York, York scoring on a 1-RBI solo homer by York – York did bat in York.

York was not the batsman when each of the first seven Tigers runs was scored – York could not have batted in any of the first seven Tigers runs. So, it is unequivocal that York did not have three RBIs in the game. York had only one RBI in the game – the RBI he earned on his eighth-inning solo home run.

Consequently, this conclusion is beyond reasonable doubt – the official RBI record for Rudy York in the second game of the double header on 20 June 1937 is wrong – Rudy York did not have three RBIs in the game.

Furthermore, it is beyond reasonable doubt that the box score RBI information for Rudy York in the second game of the double header on 20 June 1937 is correct – Rudy York had one RBI in the game.

Before addressing the RBI discrepancy involving Hank Greenberg, we can first arrive at two other important conclusions:

[1] Since we have incontrovertibly proved that York had one RBI – not three RBIs – in the second game on 20 June 1937, it is concluded beyond reasonable doubt that the Tigers team did not have seven RBIs in the game.

[2] Consequently, this conclusion is beyond reasonable doubt – the official RBI record for the Detroit Tigers in the second game of the double header on 20 June 1937 is wrong – the Detroit Tigers team did not have seven RBIs in the game.

OK, let’s move on now to the resolution of the RBI discrepancy involving Hank Greenberg.

At this point, it’s appropriate to introduce some additional information regarding the newspaper box scores. There are, in fact, two distinct, independent newspaper box scores for the second game of the Tigers-Athletics double header on June 20, 1937:

(1) The box score published exclusively in the Philadelphia Inquirer and

(2) The box score published in all the other newspapers across the nation.

The box score provided in the Philadelphia Inquirer accompanies the article written by James C. Isaminger, a renowned baseball writer who in 1974 was honored with the prestigious J.G. Taylor Spink Award (given annually by the Baseball Writers Association of America for meritorious writing in baseball). While we have not been able to prove it, it does not seem unlikely that, based on some information presented below, Isaminger was the official scorer for the game.

All of the other newspapers published throughout North America carried the Associated Press box score, which was generated from the scorecard of the AP writer covering the game.

How do we know that these two sources of box score information are independent?

Because they are subtly different with respect to the RBI information.

Here is the detailed RBI information from the newspaper box scores:

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer box score lists the Tigers players with RBIs in this order: Walker, Rogell, Gehringer, Greenberg, Laabs, York.

Note that the Tigers players with RBIs are listed in the exact chronological order in which they achieved their first RBI in the game. Please refer to the previously-described newspaper accounts for each of the eight runs scored by the Tigers. And, as mentioned previously (Appendix Four), listing players in the exact chronological order in which they achieved their RBIs was invariably done in the box scores provided in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

  • The AP box score presented in each newspaper across the nation lists the Tigers players with RBIs in this order: Walker, Rogell, Gehringer, Laabs, Greenberg, York. See Chart C for a summary of the relevant supporting evidence.

 

Chart C. Orders of Players Listed in Newspaper Box scores with Runs Batted In in second Tigers-at-Athletics Game on 20 June 1937.

Order Newspaper Box score 1st Player Listed 2nd Player Listed 3rd Player Listed 4th Player Listed 5th Player Listed 6th Player Listed 7th Player Listed
A PINQ Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Greenberg Laabs York
B DN (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B DFP (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B DT (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B PREC (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B TSN(AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B BG (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B CHTRB (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B CLPD (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B NYT (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B SLPD (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York
B WPST (AP) Moses Walker Rogell Gehringer Laabs Greenberg York

 

Note that the order for Greenberg and Laabs is reversed in the AP box score (Order “B”) compared to the Philadelphia Inquirer box score (Order “A”).

Why was that? Here’s the likely explanation:

In scoring the game, the sports writers/reporters kept separate lists for the various “other” statistical categories, such as RBIs, doubles, triples, homers, etc. – because the scorecards did not have columns for entering doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, etc. for each player. So, when the Tigers got their first RBI (when Walker batted in Greenberg in the fifth inning), the writers wrote down something like:

Tigers RBIs (after Walker batted in the fifth inning)

Walker

And, when the Tigers got their second and third RBIs (in the sixth inning when Rogell batted in Bridges and Gehringer batted in Fox) the writers added Rogell and Gehringer to their lists:

Tigers RBIs (after Rogell and Gehringer had batted in the sixth inning)

Walker

Rogell

Gehringer

When Greenberg batted in the sixth inning and hit his grounder to Newsome, which Newsome fielded and threw away, two runners scored on the play – Clifton and Gehringer. Philadelphia Inquirer writer Isaminger credited Greenberg with one RBI – for batting in Clifton – and added Greenberg to his RBI list:

Tigers RBIs (after Greenberg’s at bat in the sixth inning) – Isaminger

Walker

Rogell

Gehringer

Greenberg

However, initially, the AP writer did not credit Greenberg with an RBI (i.e., for batting in Clifton). So, immediately after Greenberg’s at bat, the AP writer still had the following list of Tigers with RBIs:

Tigers RBI (after Greenberg’s at bat in the sixth inning) – AP writer

Walker

Rogell

Gehringer

Then, after both Walker and York were retired on flyouts, Laabs batted in Greenberg. So, right after Laabs’s at bat, Isaminger updated his list of Tigers with RBIs to the following:

Tigers RBIs (after Laabs’s at bat in the sixth inning) – Isaminger

Walker

Rogell

Gehringer

Greenberg

Laabs

Likewise, the AP writer updated his list of Tigers with RBIs to the following:

Tigers RBI (after Laabs’ at bat in the sixth inning) – AP writer

Walker

Rogell

Gehringer

Laabs

Next, sometime between the conclusion of Laabs’s at bat in the sixth inning and York’s at bat in the eighth inning, the AP writer learned from the official scorer that the official scorer had credited Greenberg with one RBI, for batting in Clifton in the sixth inning. So, the AP writer then updated his list of Tigers players with RBIs, adding Greenberg to the list – after Laabs – because that was the next line/space:

Tigers RBIs (before York’s at bat in the 8th inning) – AP writer

Walker

Rogell

Gehringer

Laabs

Greenberg

Finally, after York’s at bat in the eighth inning (in which he hit his solo home run), both writers added York’s name to the list of Tigers players with RBIs, writing York’s name on the next line:

Tigers RBIs (after York’s at bat in the eighth inning)

Isaminger AP writer
Walker Walker
Rogell Rogell
Gehringer Gehringer
Greenberg Laabs
Laabs Greenberg
York York

 

These lists turned out to be the sources for the box score RBI information in the various newspapers – Isaminger’s list being the source for the players listed with RBIs in the box score in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the AP writer’s list being the source for the RBI information given in the box scores presented in all the other newspapers across the country – including the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Detroit Times, and Philadelphia Record. It is noted here that the articles about the game published in the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Detroit Times, and Philadelphia Record were written by each newspaper’s sports writer covering the game – Charles P. Ward, Sam Greene, Leo Macdonell, and Red Smith, respectively.

[As shown in Chart B, the box scores provided in each of these newspapers presented the exact same list of players with RBIs – in the exact same order – as the box scores in each of the AP newspapers. Thus, the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Detroit Times, and Philadelphia Record either used the AP box score or each of their sports writers generated exactly the same list of players with RBIs as did the AP writer. Based on my careful examination of each the box scores in Appendix Five, I believe the AP box score was used in each newspaper across the country (except, of course, the Philadelphia Inquirer).]

So, based on the two different orders for the Tigers players with RBIs given in the box scores (a) published exclusively in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the box scores (b) published in all of the other newspapers across the country, it can be reasonably concluded that they are two independent box scores – the box score provided in the Philadelphia Inquirer having been derived from Isaminger’s scorecard and the AP box score presented in all of the other newspapers across the country having been generated from the writer covering the game for the Associated Press.

Moreover, there are a few other subtle but significant differences between the Philadelphia Inquirer box score and the AP box score which support the contention that they are independent box scores:

  • For the pitchers who struck out batters, the Philadelphia Inquirer box score has the order Kelley, 4; Smith, 5; Bridges, 3. The AP box score has Bridges, 3; Kelley, 4; Smith, 5.
  • For the “left on base” information, the Philadelphia Inquirer box score has “Left on bases – Athletics, 5; Detroit, 13.” The AP box score has “Left on bases – Detroit 13, Philadelphia 5.” Note that the order is different in the two box scores (Athletics given first in the Philadelphia Inquirer box score and Detroit given first in the AP box score) AND that the Philadelphia Inquirer box score states “Athletics” while the AP box score states “Philadelphia.”
  • In the PO (Put Outs) column in the upper portion of the box score, the Philadelphia Inquirer box score shows right fielder Walker with four putouts and left fielder Laabs with two putouts, while the AP box score has Walker with five putouts and Laabs with one putout. Significantly, the official DBD records show Walker with four putouts and Laabs with two putouts – i.e., exactly the same corresponding numbers in the Philadelphia Inquirer box score. [See Appendix Two for additional discussion of this item.]
  • And, in the A (Assists) column in the upper portion of the box score, the Philadelphia Inquirer box score shows second baseman Gehringer with three assists, while the AP box score has Gehringer with four assists. Similarly, the Philadelphia Inquirer box score shows the Tigers team with 10 assists, while the AP box score has the Tigers team with 11 assists. Curiously, the official records show Gehringer with four assists and the Tigers team with 11 assists – i.e., exactly the same corresponding numbers in the AP box score. [See Appendix Five for additional discussion of this item.]

So, from scrutinizing the box scores in the various newspapers, the conclusion is straightforward and beyond reasonable doubt – there are two independent box scores for the game: the box score in the Philadelphia Inquirer, generated from the scorecard filled out by Isaminger (who may have been the official scorer of the game), and the AP box score which appeared in newspapers across the country.

The fact that there are two independent box scores for the game is exceedingly important – in any research study or legal action, it is always better to have multiple experiments or multiple witnesses than only one: i.e., the erstwhile adage – “two heads are better than one.” Therefore, the diamond events that took place in the second game of the double header on June 20, 1937, were recorded by two independent writers – each of whom had his information derived from (sanctioned by) the official scorer – as required by baseball’s scoring rules.

And, most importantly, the two independently-generated newspaper box scores are in perfect agreement with respect to the RBIs for the Tigers players including Rudy York – who is credited with one RBI – and Hank Greenberg – who is credited with one RBI.

Alright, with the detailed examination of the newspaper box scores now completed, let’s wrap up the resolution of the discrepancy in RBIs between the official records and the newspaper information for Greenberg.

Based on all the evidence, I contend that the following conclusions are beyond reasonable doubt:

  • [A] The detailed text (play-by-play) accounts in two independent newspapers show that two runners – Clifton and Gehringer – scored as a consequence of Greenberg’s at bat in the sixth inning.
  • [B] There are two independent box scores in the newspapers – the box score provided in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the AP box score presented in all the other newspapers across the country.
  • [C] All the newspaper box scores show Greenberg with one RBI – which is only consistent with Clifton being on third base when Greenberg stepped into the batter’s box.
  • [D] Crediting Greenberg with one RBI is completely consistent with the official scoring rules – and is exactly parallel with the RBI for which Rogell rightfully received credit in the very same inning.

And, let me also reiterate three previously-ascertained conclusions from my analysis of the RBIs credited in this game:

(i) The conclusion that “the official records are wrong for York having three RBIs” is beyond reasonable doubt.

(ii) The conclusion that “the newspaper box scores are correct for York having one RBI” is beyond reasonable doubt.

(iii) The conclusion that “the official records are wrong for the Tigers team having seven RBIs” is beyond reasonable doubt.

So, therefore, combining all the evidence {i.e., conclusions [A], [B], [C], [D], (i), (ii), and (iii)}, I assert that:

  • The conclusion that the official records are wrong for Greenberg having zero RBIs is beyond reasonable doubt.
  • The conclusion that the newspaper box scores are correct for Greenberg having one RBI is beyond reasonable doubt.
  • The conclusion that the newspaper box scores are correct for the Tigers team having six RBIs is beyond reasonable doubt.

Finally, to wrap up this investigation, I’ll offer a scenario that might explain how the official DBD records ended up with York being shown with three RBIs, Greenberg not being shown with one RBI, and the Tigers team being shown with seven RBIs. There are two possible origination points for inadvertent transcription errors in the official DBD records –

(1) The official scorer could have made an error in transcribing his game-scorecard information to the official score report (which then gets sent to the office of the official statistician of the league).

(2) A staffer at the league’s official statistician’s office could have made an error in transcribing the information on the official score report to the official DBD ledgers.

Now, nearly three-quarters of a century later, it is probably not possible to rigorously ascertain which of these two possible origination points for the RBI errors actually occurred – unless the official scorer’s game-scorecard and/or the official score report can be located (perhaps buried in some warehouse or landfill).

However, a not unlikely origination point for the RBI errors is the former one: As shown at the outset of this analysis, in the lid-lifter of the double-dip, Rudy York did have three bona fide RBIs; and Hank Greenberg had no RBIs. Perhaps the official scorer inadvertently entered his first-game RBI scorecard information for York – 3 RBIs – and Greenberg – 0 RBIs – into the second-game official score report and then added up the individual player RBI numbers and entered the incorrect sum – 7 – on the team line of the official score report: a couple of simple transcription errors for York and Greenberg and an errors-derived error for the Tigers team.

Such first-game-second-game transcription errors, while not flagrantly common, are not rare – they have been discovered numerous times over the years.

Regardless of the origin of the RBI errors in the official DBD records for York, Greenberg, and the Detroit Tigers team for the second game of the double header on June 20, 1937, the records for the erroneous RBIs credited to York, Greenberg, and the Tigers team need to be changed to the correct values.

Here is the bottom-line for the RBIs earned by Tigers players in the second game of the double header between the Tigers and Athletics in Philadelphia on June 20, 1937:

  • Gee Walker had one RBI.
  • Billy Rogell had one RBI.
  • Charlie Gehringer had one RBI.
  • Hank Greenberg had one RBI – not zero RBIs as shown in the official DBD records.
  • Chet Laabs had one RBI.
  • Rudy York had one RBI – not three RBIs as shown in the official DBD records.
  • The Detroit Tigers team had six RBIs – not seven RBIs as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1938 May 4 – at Boston – Tigers scored 4 runs

Second Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “Ross opened the winning drive with a single off Wilson’s glove with one out in the second. Tebbetts moved him to third with a double to right and Rogell scored both with a double to left.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “York flied to Cramer. Ross singled off Wilson’s glove. Tebbetts doubled to right, sending Ross to third. Rogell doubled to left, scoring Ross and Tebbetts. Cronin threw out Poffenberger as Rogell took third. Fox struck out.”

Boston Globe – “York flied deep to Cramer. Ross singled off Wilson’s glove. Tebbetts doubled along the right-field foul line, putting Ross on third. Rogell doubled to left, scoring Ross and Tebbetts. Cronin went back of second for Poffenberger’s bounder and threw him out, Rogell going to third. Fox struck out.”

Boston Herald – “Ross caromed a single off Wilson with one out in the second, went to third on Tebbetts’ double to right and both scored when Rogell doubled to left.”

Boston Post – “It took a single and two doubles to score the firs Tiger run and both the doubles were scratchy ones, Tebbetts scratching one into right near the foul line to score Ross, who had reached when Wilson deflected his drive back through the box for a hit. And then Rogell sliced another double to left near the line to score Tebbetts.”

Seventh Inning (1 run)

Detroit Free Press – “Walker started the Tiger drive in the seventh, singling to left and moving around on a single by Gehringer and a double off the left field wall by Greenberg.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Higgins tossed out Fox. Walker singled to left. Gehringer singled to right, sending Walker to third. Greenberg doubled off the left field wall, scoring Walker and sending Gehringer to third. York was purposely passed, filling the bases. Ross hit into a double play, Cronin to Doerr to Foxx.”

Boston Globe – “Singles by Walker and Gehringer and a double by Greenberg were bunched to give the Tigers their third run in the seventh.

Boston Herald – “After Higgins had made a grand play in throwing out Fox in the seventh, Walker and Gehringer singled and Greenberg, three and one, splashed a double off the left field fence, tallying Walker.”

Boston Post – “Here [in the seventh] Walker singled to left with one down, Gehringer shot a hit through Double X and Greenberg’s second double of the day, a dynamic drive off the left field wall, brought Walker home.”

Ninth Inning (1 run)

Detroit Free Press – “Greenberg scored the final Tiger run. He singled past Higgins with one out in the ninth and moved around on a single by York and another by Tebbetts. Humphries then filled the bases by giving an intentional pass to Rogell, but ended the inning by inducing Poffenberger to fly to Vosmik.”

Detroit News – Nothing at all.

Detroit Times – “Humphrey went to the box for Boston. Gehringer hit a fly back of second which Doerr and Cramer went after. Doerr finally got the ball, but muffed it but Cramer caught it before it touched the ground. Greenberg bounced a hit off Higgins’ arm. York singled to left, Greenberg stopping at second. White ran for York. Ross flied to Cramer in short center. Tebbetts singled to center, scoring Greenberg, White stopping at third. Tebbetts took second on the throw home. Rogell was purposely passed, filling the bases. Poffenberger flied to Vosmik.”

Boston Globe – “Against the pitching of Humphreys, they [the Tigers] made another [run] in the ninth on singles by Greenberg, York, and Tebbetts.”

Boston Herald – “Humphreys was pitching in the ninth when Greenberg and York singled and the former crossed from second as Tebbetts singled to center, Cramer’s throw hitting Greenberg just before he reached the plate.”

Boston Post – “The fourth run was made while Humphreys was pitching the ninth. The inning started with a peculiar play. Gehringer hit a fly to short centre and Doerr ran out there and appeared to muff the ball. However, Cramer was at his side when he made the muff and the decision was that Cramer grabbed the ball before it hit the ground for the out. Greenberg and York singled, and after the second out had been made, Tebbetts got his third hit of the day, which brought Greenberg home with the fourth and final run.”

SUMMARY: Details of runs scored by the Tigers

1 (second inning) – Ross scored on a 2-RBI double by Rogell.

2 (second inning) – Tebbetts scored on a 2-RBI double by Rogell.

3 (seventh inning) – Walker scored on a 1-RBI double by Greenberg.

4 (ninth inning) – Greenberg scored on a 1-RBI single by Tebbetts.

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT, BG, BH, BP] box scores – Greenberg (1).

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had one RBI – not zero RBIs as shown in the official DBD records.

 

1939 July 2 – vs. Chicago – Tigers scored 5 runs

First Inning (2 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “McCosky opened the Tiger half of the first with a double to left, starting a two-run rally that decided the outcome then and there. Fox fouled out but Averill followed with a single to right, McCosky scoring. After Higgins flied out and York singled, Greenberg singled to right, sending Averill home with what proved to be the deciding run.

Detroit News – “A double by McCosky and singles by Averill, York and Greenberg scored two runs in the Tiger first.”

Detroit Times – “The Tigers came back with two tallies in their half of the inning. McCosky led off with the first of his trio of safeties and scored later on a single by Averill. The later came on a one-base blow by Greenberg.”

Chicago Tribune – “McCosky opened Detroit’s first half with a two bagger to left center. A pop foul to Tresh disposed of Fox, but Averill punched a single past Hayes to score McCosky. Higgins flied to Kreevich for the second out and York’s single shoved Averill to third. He scored when Greenberg singled to right.”

Fifth Inning (3 runs)

Detroit Free Press – “Young Dobernic got through the fourth without difficulty but he walked Averill after one was out in the fifth and the rally was on. Higgins bounced to Owen who made a bad throw while trying to get Averill in a force-out at second. As the result, Earl went to third base. After York walked, filling the bases, Greenberg was hit by a pitched ball, Averill scoring. Kress then doubled to left, sending Higgins and York home with the last runs of the game.”

Detroit News – Nothing of substance.

Detroit Times – “Three more Tiger markers were added in the fifth. Dobernic hit Greenberg with a pitched ball to force home one and Kress drove home the other two.

Chicago Tribune – “Averill walked with one out. Higgins poked a possible double play grounder at Owen, but Marvin threw the ball into right field and Averill, instead of being out, took third. A pass to York filled the bases. Greenberg was nicked on the shirt sleeve by a pitched ball, forcing Averill to score. Kress doubled to left on the first pitch, Higgins and York counting. Brown then took charge and, after purposely walking Croucher, ended the inning without further mishap.”

SUMMARY: Details for runs scored by the Tigers

1 (first inning) – McCosky scored on a 1-RBI single by Averill.

2 (first inning) – Averill scored on a 1-RBI single by Greenberg.

3 (fifth inning) – Averill scored on a 1-RBI hit-by-pitched-ball by Greenberg.

4 (fifth inning) – Higgins scored on a 2-RBI double by Kress.

5 (fifth inning) – York scored on a 2-RBI double by Kress.

RBIs for Greenberg in newspaper [DFP, DN, DT, CHT] box scores – Greenberg (2).

CONCLUSION: Greenberg had two RBIs – not one RBI as shown in the official DBD records.

Individual Memberships start at just $45/year

Become A Member Today

When you join SABR you are making a statement of support for baseball history. You are joining a worldwide community of people who love to read about, talk about and write about baseball.