August 15, 1924
I never thought it was possible to destroy an enemy team and feel scared and guilty about it at the same time. Until today...
The first matchup at Cubs Park was a good one, Smokey Joe Williams against Vic Aldridge, and after the easy way the Bucs took care of us a few days ago, I was expecting another tough battle. The whole city of Chicago was too, because every seat was gone by ten this morning and all eight local papers had shouting headlines like CUBS BRING SHARPEST CLAWS OUT and INVASION OF THE COLOREDS. The regular bad Phillies would have been lucky to fill half this place, and there was Benny and Roy and Roy's brother Thomas, forced to stand at the back of the left grandstand and choke on everybody's tobacco smoke.
Aldridge got Torriente, Wells and Charleston 1-2-3 on easy grounders in the 1st, and the crowd went cuckoo. Williams had one-fourth of a cigar in his mouth until he walked out to pitch, and it was my job to keep it safe somewhere. Smokey walked Friberg with one out but then whiffed Grantham on a high fastball and got Grimes on a fly. Mule Suttles singled and Jud Wilson got hit due to his usual plate-crowding in the 2nd, but Aldridge got out of the minor mess pretty easy.
Then the 3rd inning happened. After Smokey whiffed for starters, Torriente ripped a single to right. Wells got him to third with a single, and Charleston completely hammered a ball over Heathcote and off the center field wall for a double. Mule then singled and I never saw a human run so fast as Oscar did getting across home. The fans, who were happy and buzzing when the game began, were suddenly crabby and quiet.
Grimes singled in a run for them in the bottom half to get them going again, but the resurrection didn't last long. It seemed like the Black Phillies must've like scoring those first three runs, because they did it three more innings in a row and in the 8th inning did it a fifth time. And the balls couldn't explode off their bats fast enough. Wells hit a 3-run cannon shot after Aldridge got the first two guys out. Jud Wilson remembered Aldridge plunking him in the 2nd and got him back with a 3-run rocket onto Sheffield Avenue with nobody out the next inning. Turkey Stearnes gobbled up a fastball and put it in the bleacher oven and one out later Tubby Scales did the same.
Standing in the third base coach box I was expecting bottles to be thrown at us, or certainly more racist yelling than I heard, but it just got weird and quiet, like parents who had just watched their kids get run over by a truck. After Tubby's homer some fan in the bleachers yelled something I couldn't make out and whipped the ball back on the field—kind of an original, funny idea if you ask me—but that was the only peep out of the crowd.
Smokey Joe finished off the poor Cubs by getting the last five, two on strikes, shook some of his teammates' hands, grabbed the cigar butt from me that I was carrying in my pants pocket, lit it back up and smoked the rest of it in the shower.
There were extra police there to make sure no one jumped us on our way out, but that wasn't going to happen here. Chicago people know their baseball, and sure know how to take a clubbing. If this happens again tomorrow, though, we'd better keep our bags packed.
003 333 030 -15 21 0
001 000 000 - 1 10 3
Other National League games today:
GIANTS 9-14-0, at PIRATES 6-16-0
Even when New York wins a game they manage to look terrible. McQuillan is given a 6-0 lead into the last of the 6th and Cuyler and Traynor whack him for leadoff triples. Four straight Buc singles in the 7th put them right back in the game and make pathetic Hughie walk the plank. Lucky for McGraw, Hack Wilson singles, doubles, triples and homers and knocks in six of their runs because Kelly goes his usual 0-for-4 and adds nothing but a big hole in the 5th spot. The Black Phils pick up a full game and are just 31 out!
at REDS 7-15-3, ROBINS 5-8-2
Cincy also gets closer in a thriller at Redland Field. Down 4-1 in the 8th, Brooklyn scores four times, only to have the Reds score three in the same inning on a walk, two singles and two doubles off horrible Dutch Ruether and take the game.
at CARDINALS 13-19-0, BRAVES 0-6-0
Happy to see the Cubs dealing with us, St. Louis screws eliminated Boston into the ground. Hornsby collects a triple and three singles and ups his average to .407.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Friday, August 15|
|New York Giants||62||51||.549||11.5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||55||57||.491||18|