Golden Baseball Magazine
Baseball Firsts

Billy Southworth Jr.


Satchel Paige

Baseball Firsts in the 1940s
  • December 12, 1940: Billy Southworth Jr. became the first professional baseball player to enlist in the armed forces prior to World War II. He had played the 1940 season for the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Interstate League and the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League. The son of St. Louis Cardi­nals manager Billy Southworth, Billy Jr. became a decorated bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Fair Forces during the war. Rising to the rank of major, he died on February 15th at the age of 27 after his B29 crashed on a training flight off the coast of Flushing, New York.

  • May 13, 1942: Jim Tobin of the Boston Braves be­came the first - and to date the only - pitcher to hit three HRs in one game since the 19th century. Tobin accomplished the feat in a game at Braves Field against the Chicago Cubs. The first two roundtrippers came with the bases empty while the last one drove home a base-runner in the 8th to give the Braves a 6-4 lead. Tobin surrendered a run in the 9th but held on for the 6-5 victory. Jim ended his nine-year major league career with 17 HRs and a .230 batting average.

  • October 10, 1948: Satchel Paige of the Cleveland Indians entered the 5th game of the World Series against the Boston Braves in the 7th inning with one out and runners on 1st and 3rd. The 42-year-old right­hander retired P Boston Braves on a sacrifice fly, then got Boston Braves to ground out. Satch thus became the first African-American to pitch in a World Series. NOTE: Brooklyn P Dan Bankhead entered the 1947 World Series as a pinch-runner.

  • October 11, 1949: Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers became the first African-American pitcher to start a World Series game. He battled the Yank­ees' Allie Reynolds through eight scoreless innings before allowing a HR to Tommy Henrich in the bottom of the 9th to lose 1-0.

Jim Tobin

Don Newcombe



Baseball Firsts - I
Fielders' Gloves | PA Announcer | Resin Bag | Pitching Machine | Amateur Draft | Uniform Numbers | Umpiring | Player Homering from Both Sides in Game | Pinstripes | Retired Number | Radio Play-by-Play | First World Series Telecast | Electronic Scoreboard | Steel/Concrete Stadium | Team Statistician | Woman Owner | Umpiring Staff | Batting Doughnut | Front Numerals

Baseball Firsts - II
Season Opener on Film | Switch-Hitter | Spring Training | Gold Gloves | Star Spangled Banner | Woman Professional | Stadium | Foul Line Umpires | Female Major League At-Bat | Lights on in World Series | Throw 3 Out at Plate | K for Strikeout

Baseball Firsts - III
Lineup Card and "Clean Up Man" | AL Pinch-Hit Grand Slam | Dishonest Ump | Polo Grounds Game | Yankee Stadium Game | Televised Game | Major League Telecast | Diamond Vision | Teammates Ejected for Fighting | North Side Park

Baseball Firsts - IV
Air Travel | 20-Game Winner by Age 20 | No-Hitter at Coors Field | Black MVP | Canadian MLB Game | Two 500 HR Hitters in One Lineup | African-American ML Pitcher | Hall-of-Fame Game | Back-to-Back Twice | Grand Slam and Three-Run Dinger by P

Baseball Firsts - V
Player Ejected from World Series | LSU Player in Majors | College Game | Ejected Twice in One Day | Domed Stadium | 60-Homer Season | Name on Jersey; Exploding Scoreboard | World Series Game Outside U.S. | Uniforms | More Ks Than Hs

Baseball Firsts - VI
Night All Star Game | Catcher's Mask | Ted's Debut | Batting Glove | Pentagonal Home Plate | 3,000 K Lefty | World's Series | All-Star Brothers | Ballpark with Waterfall | More Than 100K, Fewer Than 10W

Baseball Firsts - VII
AL Game in Canada | "Over-Thrown" Pitches | One Man-Two World Series Records | Shin Guards | President Attends World Series | Coach's Boxes | 18-inning Scoreless Game | Nine Non-White Starters | NLCS MVP on Losing Team | AL Night Game

Baseball Firsts - VIII
Reserve Clause



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