June 20, 1924
Mrs. Stone cooked a giant pot of homemade oatmeal for breakfast, and I read the sports page with Saul while we ate. He's worried a lot about the Robins, mainly because the Pirates and Reds have been so tough, but also because after Wheat and Fournier the Brooklyn lineup doesn't have much to be afraid of.
He told me some stories about the 1920 World Series when they lost to the Indians, how impossible it was to get tickets and how nobody went to work or school during the games. He saw Game 1 when Coveleski beat Brooklyn 3-1 and was glad he missed the unassisted triple play Bill Wambsganss made, which was in Game 5 out in Cleveland, "or I probably would've killed myself."
We went back to the hospital after breakfast and the first thing they said is that we didn't have to wear those creepy masks anymore. Rachel was feeling a lot better, and was ready to go home. We rode with her in an ambulance wagon and fixed her up in her bedroom, and that's when she said I could go over to Ebbets if I wanted and watch the Phillies play. "Bring me back a victory," she said, and kissed my hand. I said okay, but wasn't sure which team she was talking about.
It was easier getting a ticket to the game than last time, when Brooklyn had started out so hot, and I got a good seat in the lower grandstand for a dollar-fifty. A tasty sausage roll with onions did me right, and I made a brain note to find something to sweeten up my breath later, just in case.
Johnny Couch was throwing for us against Dutch Ruether, an old lefty who has a problem with hit-giving. He was at it again early, as a Wilson triple and Ford single gave the Phils a 1-0 lead in the 2nd. Mitchell booted a grounder to start the 5th, and singles by Schultz, Holke, Cy and Wilson put three more on the board. The crowd got quiet, and I was hoping Rachel wasn't listening on her father's radio machine because I didn't want her to have a relapse. Then Mokan doubled in a run, it was 5-0, and I was torn in half about whether to cheer or not.
Milt Stock tripled for Brooklyn after that, Loftus batted for the crummy Ruether and doubled, and after an Andy High triple it was 5-2 and the Ebbets folks were alive again. Art Decatur relieved for the Robins but he floated a pitch in too slow to Heinie Sand and the doinky shortstop lined it over the left field fence to put us up 6-2!
But Couch finally fell apart in the last of the 9th. High led with his second triple, Fournier singled him in with one out, Taylor singled Fournier to third and Huck Betts came on to get Tommy Griffith. Griffith was only in there because Bernie Neis was hurt, but he walloped Betts' first pitch way out to center field. Cy ran to the fence and it bounced off the very top for a double, and missed tieing up the game by a mere inch. Fletcher yanked out Betts in no time and put in Steineder, who got Stock to roll out to third and end the thing.
I felt bad that Brooklyn lost for Rachel's sake, but when I got back to her house she was sitting up in bed eating homemade soup with chicken in it, and had a lot more color in her face. She was thrilled the Phillies won because I deserved it for coming up to Brooklyn to see her, which got me all embarrassed of course.
After I rinsed the onion breath out of my mouth for about ten minutes with something called Klenzo Dental Creme, Saul set up their Victrola in her room and we listened to phonographs of Paul Whiteman and Al Jolson with a nice breeze blowing in through her curtains, and she held my hand for at least an hour of this until I heard her snoring. I pulled my chair closer and stretched out with my feet on the bed touching hers, and I'll tell you something, there's no better way to fall asleep. Good night, reader-people!
PHL 010 031 010 - 6 11 0
BRK 000 002 002 - 4 8 2
Other National League games today:
REDS 2-6-1, at PIRATES 1-7-2
Wow, what a pennant battle! Rixey is incredible again, shutting out the fiendish Bucs for the first seven innings until Grimm singles in their only run in the 8th. Walker leads off the game with a triple off Meadows and scores, and a Walker sacrifice pop the next inning gives Cincy the only runs they need. The Reds are just two games away with the win.
GIANTS 9-15-0, at BRAVES 4-11-1
For some weird reason the Braves just seem to play their best against New York, and give them a lot more trouble early before the GIants snap the 4-4 tie with two runs in the 7th and three more in the 9th. George Kelly, as disappointing to the Giants as Ruth has been to the Yanks, has been moved all over the lineup but fails in big situations wherever he lands. This time he gets no hits in four tries bating fifth, but is rescued by Irish Meusel who goes 5-for-5 in the sixth spot and drives in two. Virgil Barnes gets his eighth win and New York creeps closer to the top again.
The Cardinals have their second day off in a row and begin a series at Cubs Park tomorrow.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Friday, June 20|
|New York Giants||36||26||.581||4|
|St. Louis Cardinals||34||29||.540||6.5|