By Vinny Spanelli

April 15, 1924

So I snuck out the door behind the auditorium right before lunch, jumped on the Broadway streetcar and got to Baker Bowl 15 minutes before game time with the trolley only breaking down once. West Lehigh Avenue and 15th were real stuffed with people, especially kids, and it took a minute to get around them and find Benny, who was waiting for me with one of Mr. Brown's victory sausages. (We used to call them frankfurters before the War.)

Anyway, we found our seats, smack in the middle of a bunch of runaway businessmen in big coats and hats, which we didn't mind because it was awful cold and they made it all warmer. We were behind third base with a good view of the short, 60-foot right field wall, and we could see some kids sitting on top of it like crows. A band played and the guy with the big megaphone announced the lineups and the season was here!

Jesse Barnes started for the Braves and reliable Jimmy Ring for our Phils. Ring got out of two early pickles with double play balls, and then some Braves dope named Ed Sperber dropped an easy fly by Ring for a 2-base botch to start the 3rd. Holke doubled after an out and we were up 1-0! After Russ Wrightstone hit a scoring fly in the 5th it was 2-0 and me and Jimmy hooted and hollered until the men around us gave us dirty looks.

There was a real exciting play in the 6th. That crazy man Stengel walked for the Braves, and manager Bancroft doubled into the corner with two outs. Casey ran all the way around but George Harper fired a cannon throw, Butch Henline blocked the plate and Stengel was out to end the inning! Boston got a run in the 7th, but then Holke doubled in another for us, and then Barnes gave up a single and doubles by Ford and Sand and it was suddenly 5-1! Ring looked like a champion. The game was over.

But I've been warned never to expect easy wins at Baker Bowl. Ring got no one out in the 9th, with singles by Gibson, Padgett and Smith and a pinch double by Powell that made it 5-3. Huck Betts took over for him but threw a home run ball to Sperber that cleared the wall in right and probably bounced on the train tracks. We were losing 6-5. Skinny Graham pitched now for Boston, but he was awful too. Holke hit his third double, Joe Schultz got a pinch single, and with two out Mokan doubled for the tie! Schultz raced around but Stengel unbelievably threw him out at home! Benny screamed and smashed his peanut bag with his shoe. Extra innings!

Graham and Betts quieted things down until the first two Braves walked in the 12th. Betts got two outs but Les Mann pinch doubled for two runs and it was 8-6 Boston. But Woehr doubled to start our 12th, Cy Williams who did nothing the whole day finally walked, and Mokan doubled to make it 8-7. Stryker came on to relieve and got Henline, Ford and that no good Heinie Sand to finish the game. Agony!

Riding the streetcar back afterwards I was still glad they fought so hard and almost won lots of times. At least we found out we can beat this team.

I stopped at Mort's Cigars before I went home to get the other National League scores and some details for you. I'll be doing this every day. Mort has a betting parlor in the back with the latest baseball news and lets me in because he used to know my papa.

Anyway, tomorrow's another game, reader-people!

BOST. 000 000 105 002 — 8 15 2
PHILA. 001 010 121 001 — 7 15 0

at GIANTS 5-6-0, ROBINS 3-5-1
What a crappy day! Dazzy Vance is pitching fantastic, has a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 9th and Johnny Mitchell kicks a ball with one out. Youngs doubles, Kelly doubles, some guy named Hack Wilson hits a home run and that's the game.

at REDS 5-9-1, PIRATES 3-7-1
Cincy gets four in the 5th off Kremer, Roush drives in the first run. Carl Mays that batter-killer pitches the whole game and wins.

at CARDINALS 9-10-1, CUBS 4-9-2
St. Louis goes up 2-0, falls back 4-2 after Gabby Hartnett homers, then score seven times in the 6th to run away. Hornsby is 2-for-3 with two knocked in and Haines beats Aldridge.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, April 15
New York Giants 101.000
Cincinnati Reds 101.000
St. Louis Cardinals 101.000
Boston Braves 101.000
Philadelphia Phillies 01.0001
Pittsburgh Pirates 01.0001
Chicago Cubs 01.0001
Brooklyn Robins 01.0001

1 comment:

  1. Hey Vinny,

    Shouldn't you be in school?!! Young man, I will not tolerate these shenanigans this year!!!

    Mr. Howdy Tuggerheinz
    South Philadelphia Grammar School No. 3