A familiar name usually penciled in on the Cleveland Indians scorecard is notably absent for the first time in 673 games, as outfielder Earl Averill misses the day’s game after being injured by fireworks in a pre-Fourth of July celebration.
Averill had not been kept off the field since missing the penultimate game of the 1930 season, his second year in the Majors. His 13-game hitting streak, one that featured eleven multi-hit games, had just come to an end on June 25, the last game played in his streak.
At a picnic, it was reported that he was tossing fireworks with his sons. One of the explosives appeared to have failed to go off, but when Averill picked it up, it went off in his right hand. The explosion tore flesh from his fingers and palm and burned him on his chest and forehead.
Averill missed 15 games over the next three weeks and was unable to play in the All-Star Game (in what was his third consecutive honor). He returned on July 14 as a pinch-hitter in a doubleheader in Boston against the Red Sox, striking out in his lone at bat.
He was hitting .293 before the injury and hit .283 the rest of the way to finish the year with a .288 batting mark, the first time in his seven-year career that he batted below .300. He recovered nicely the following season, making his fourth straight All-Star team while hitting .378 with a league-high 232 hits and 15 triples.
Also on this date in Tribe history:
2011 – Trevor Bauer makes his Major League debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He will work four innings in a starting role, allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts in a no-decision.