By JOHN LIKANJE
The Newark Bears and Rochester Red Wings were the cream of the crop in the International League in 1940. The Red Wings finished with a league-high 96 victories and the Bears right behind with 95.
One pivotal game in this rivalry which decided the final standings was August 12, 1940 at Ruppert Stadium in Newark, New Jersey. The Red Wings trotted out ace Don Miguel Ryba for the opener of this four-game series. Ryba delivered a complete game with nine strikeouts in a 5-1 statement win.
Ryba’s lone mistake was a solo shot to Mike Chartak, who led the Bears with 11 triples that season, to lead off the fifth. Otherwise, the 5-foot-11 right-hander utilized his screwball to baffle batters and limited the rest of the damage to five singles.
Ryba received backup in the form of an infield assist as well. First baseman Harry Davis corralled a wild throw from Creepy Crespi and gunned down Hank Majeski at the plate in the second.
For Ryba, it was his 18th victory of the season. The 5-foot-11 right-hander went on to lead the team in wins (24) and innings pitched (272).
Also on this day: 2001 – Eddie Grabito scored from second on Darnell McDonald’s two-out grounder in the eleventh inning to score the only run in Rochester’s 1-0 victory over Pawtucket at Frontier Field. Grabito’s run was Rochester’s first in 34 innings. 2006 – Hyang-Nam Choi pitched six strong innings and Jonathan Van Every went 4-of-4 as Buffalo defeated Rochester, 6-2, Saturday night at Dunn Tire Park.