On this day in 1930, in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Cleveland's League Park, White Sox hurlers Pat Caraway and Bob Weiland combined to strike out six in a 5-2 loss.
Two of those strikeouts were of third baseman Joe Sewell. Since 1900, Sewell was the toughest player to strike out in baseball history. In 1903 career games (7132 at-bats), he whiffed a mere 114 times.
Sewell took over as Cleveland's starting shortstop shortly after the fatal injuries suffered by Ray Chapman from a Carl Mays pitch to the skull on Aug. 16, 1920. In his first four full seasons, Sewell's strikeout totals were in double digits, topping out at 20 in 1922. Then, for the remaining nine seasons of his career, in which he played in over 100 games each season, he never struck out more than nine times again. The year-by-year from 1925-33 looks like this: 4-6-7-9-4-3-8-3-4. The small (5-foot-6, 155 pounds) infielder finished his career with a .312 BA and .391 OBP, with four top-10 finishes in AL MVP voting.
But back to May 26, 1930...
It was one of only two games of Sewell's career in which he struck out twice...he had only one other strikeout the entire season (414 total PA, 356 AB in 1930).