August 4, 2020

Negro Leagues Game of the Day on This Date in 1928 (May 21st)

May 21, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Monday, May 21st – The Cuban Stars (West) are visiting the Chicago American Giants at Schorling Field.

Here are the starting lineups:

Cuban Stars
1. Bienvenido Jimenez, 2B
2. Cando Lopez, CF
3. Francisco Correa, SS
4. Esteban Montalvo, RF
5. Luis Entenza, C
6. Felipe Sierra, 1B
7. Rogelio Alonso, LF
8. Ramon Martinez, 3B
9. Pablo Martinez, P

Chicago American Giants
1. Nat Rogers, LF
2. Jim Brown, 1B
3. Steel Arm Davis, RF
4. Pythias Russ, SS
5. John Hines, C
6. Bobby Williams, 3B
7. Charlie Williams, 2B
8. Eddie Miller, CF
9. Owen Smaulding, P

30-year -old Cuban born Pablo Martinez, playing his only season in the U.S., goes against 31-year-old Owen Smaulding, who had been a ‘rookie’ the prior year with Kansas City, but was let go and picked up by Chicago.

The two pitchers trade shutout innings until the top of the 5th, when Esteban Montalvo triples leading off, but is stranded. In the top of the 6th, Francisco Correa singled to open the inning, and Montalvo reached on an error by 3B Bobby Williams. Entenza singled, scoring Correa. Felipe Sierra singled to left, loading the bases. Rogelio Alonso struck out. Ramon Martinez missed his bunt attempt on a suicide squeeze, with Montalvo caught stealing on the play. Martinez then grounded out to 3B Bobby Williams to end the threat. The Cuban Stars lead 1-0.

In the bottom of the 6th, Pythias Russ singles and steals second. After John Hines walks, Bobby Williams bunts to pitcher Martinez, advancing both runners. Charlie Williams then singles to right, scoring both runners. Pitcher Smaulding followed with a bullet back to the mound, which struck pitcher Pablo Martinez, with Smaulding reaching base. Martinez had to leave the game, and was replaced by RF Montalvo on the mound, with Conrado Rodriguez replacing Montalvo in right. Chicago now leads 2-1 after six innings.

On to the top of the 8th, where Conrado Rodriguez reaches on an error by SS Russ. Bienvenido Jimenez singles to left, then Cando Lopez sacrifices both runners forward, Jim Brown to 2B Charlie Williams covering first. George Harney relieves Smaulding on the mound. Francisco Correa sends a fly to center fielder Eddie Miller. Rodriguez comes in to score but is ruled to have not tagged up, resulting in a double play to end the inning.

In the top of the 9th, after Montalvo makes an out, Entenza and Sierra both single. Alonso then grounds to SS Russ, who touches second, but his relay to first hits Sierra. The umpire rules interference on Sierra, resulting in a double play and ending the game with the score 2-1 American Giants.

NOTES: This Cuban Stars team may have been one of the weaker ones to come over and play in their offseason in the Negro Leagues. Bienvenido Jimenez is in the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame, but other than Esteban Montalvo, the team seemed to lack stars. Montalvo had been a slugging star, but in 1928 his hitting fell off a cliff, and by 1930 he was dead. To complicate matters, the Cuban team only brought 14 players over (4 pitchers) while the rest of the league had 16 player rosters (typically 6 pitchers). Outfielder Rogelio Alonso doubled as the 5th pitcher, and Montalvo was the emergency pitcher.

Chicago center fielder Jelly Gardner was injured and did not play.

Charlie Williams was the hitting star, going 3-3 with a walk and 2 RBI. Smaulding pitched 7 1/3 innings, giving up 1 run, 5 hits, 0 walks, and 3 strikeouts.

Other NNL Scores:
Birmingham Black Barons-7, Cleveland Tigers-6 (Rickwood Field)

Owen Smaulding

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