3.31.2009

SABBATH EVE IN BROOKLYN


May 2, 1924

It was just me and Rachel today at Ebbets, thankfully. Her friend Margie had to work, and my head still hurt from listening to her all of yesterday. The weather was nice and this time we sat down past first base, which gave me a great view of Walter Holke and Jack Fournier as they played the bag. It's incredible to think that not too long ago fielders had to catch the ball with their bare hands. The huge gloves they use now are sure an improvement.

Burleigh Grimes pitched for the Robins, complete with his famous spitter. If the sun was just right I could see a bit of water gleaming off the ball as he threw it. The spray didn't seem to bug the Phillies, because they got their share of hits. The problem is they couldn't score anyone for seven innings. Bernie Neis tripled in the first Brooklyn run in the 3rd which got Rachel hooting and smacking my arm, and then Wheat and Brown got singles to make it 3-0.

Home Run Fournier did it again in the 6th, whacking Bill Hubbell's curve high and deep to right, where the ball almost hit a gull before it dropped over the fence. Rachel yelped with joy, grabbed the side of my face and landed a wet, sticky kiss on my right cheek. So she beat me to it, and made it easier for me to try a real one later.

Then the Phillies woke up. George Harper clubbed a homer to start the 8th, Holke singled, Wrightstone tripled over Brown's head in center, and Cy doubled him in to cut it to 4-3. Wilbert Robinson waddled out of the dugout and almost sent Grimes home but I guess Burleigh talked him out of it. He got the next two guys, hit Sand, then took care of the next four and that was that. The Phils have only beaten Brooklyn once so far, which might be their undoing if it keeps up.

Rachel tried to cheer me up afterwards by buying me a root beer float, and it worked pretty well. I found out she likes to write short stories and is thinking of trying a novel one day. She worked in the news room of the Brooklyn Eagle once delivering coffee to the writers, and said that inspired her. I promised I'd read something she wrote once, and she got us out of there quick as a flash and onto the first train to her parents' neighborhood.

The Stones lived on a nice shady street in Prospect Heights, in a row house kind of like the ones in Philadelphia except better kept. Her dad's name was Saul and her mom was Ruth, and I also met Rachel's younger sister and brother who were Sarah and Sammy. Anyway, the first thing her mother asked when we sat down in their living room was what my last name was. She made a funny face when I said Spanelli and Rachel said "He's Italian, not Jewish." Her mother shrugged and said, "Well, it's close enough." I think they were happy just to have Rachel bring a boy over who wasn't a troublemaker.

Mrs. Stone lit some candles and Mr. Stone said some things in Jewish language and then we ate a pretty good feast with this brown sliced meat and greasy flat potato things and something that was like saurkraut except that it wasn't. I also got a chance to drink wine for the first time, and had no idea it was so sweet. I started to feel kind of woogy after my second glass, which was when we went into their parlor room and listened to a play performed on their radio machine. I had a tough time hearing and following it, and because of the wine I mostly just stared at Rachel, who was right next to me on a little couch and smelling as good as the day before.

When her mother asked which hotel I was staying at Rachel butted in and said the Yorkshire, which I think she made up because she couldn't even tell them where it was. Then it was getting late. A friend of mine once told me if you want to get a girl you have to be extra nice to her parents, and boy, I was nice-ing the heck out of them all night and shook everyone's hand on the way out and said thank you maybe twenty times.

And I guess it worked, because the second we got back to Rachel's place she led me up on her roof, where she had two little chairs set up to watch the moon in. We could see its light on the river next to the Brooklyn Bridge from there, with Manhattan's big towers just behind it. Rachel moved her chair closer and put her hand on mine and we had a kiss that tasted like cinnamon and was probably only five seconds long but stayed in my head for the next five hours. We didn't know what to say to each other after except good night, and then it was back to the couch, but for the best sleep I'd ever had on one.

Two more Ebbets games left, reader-people. Right now I don't even care who wins.
—Vinny

Other National league games today:

GIANTS 7-13-0, at BRAVES 4-12-1
George Kelly is still not hitting for them, but the Giants finally beat the pesky Braves again behind McQuillan, and O'Connell gets a big triple.

at PIRATES 7-12-0, CARDINALS 5-14-1
Two homers from Earl Smith and two doubles from Cuyler give Meadows all he needs. Hornsby is suddenly in a strange slump going zero for his last nine at bats, most of them at important times.

REDS 3-11-0, at CUBS 1-3-1
Cincy is at it again, using two late singles and a Curt Walker 3-run smack to topple the punchless Cubbies, who can't do anything with Eppa Rixey this time.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Friday, May 2
Pittsburgh Pirates116.647
Cincinnati Reds107.588 1
Brooklyn Robins107.5881
Boston Braves89.471 3
New York Giants89.4713
St. Louis Cardinals810.4443.5
Philadelphia Phillies710.412 4
Chicago Cubs612.3335.5

3.30.2009

TIGERS PAINT THE TOWN BROWN


DETROIT OPENS ROAD JOURNEY WITH BRUTAL 11-0 WALLOPING OF ST. LOUIS

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 1, 1924

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — Eager to prove their mettle while away from Michigan, the Tigers ripped the Browns asunder today in a merciless pounding behind Rip Collins in front of nearly 20,000 speechless St. Loucians.

Four singles, a walk and an error by the esteemed George Sisler in the 1st put us ahead to stay, and for a time it appeared the score would freeze at 3-0. Collins could not even be nicked, and Danforth for the Brownies had settled down nicely.

But every hole in the St. Louis dyke became unplugged in the uncanny 8th inning. With O'Rourke on second and two out, Cobb rifled a two-sack hit off the right field fence. When Rigney followed with a similar poke into the left corner, it was 5-0 and George Lyons was hailed to prevent further blood spillage.

It failed to work. Haney singled, Heilman singled to third and Robertson threw it wide, Manush singled, Blue singled, Woodall doubled, O'Rourke singled for the second time in the inning, and then Lyons uncorked a wild heave for the eighth tally of the frame.

Cobb was beaming in the locker-room afterwards, though he reminded all within earshot that games such as this are rare. Detroit has actually had very few of them thus far, so would be wise to not take St. Louis lightly tomorrow. Hits have been dropping from American League trees like acorns in October, and the Browns have had their fair share of them lately.

DET 300 000 080 - 11 19 1
STL 000 000 000 - 0 5 3

Other American League games:

at INDIANS 13-16-1, WHITE SOX 5-15-0
Cleveland finally wins its first home game, in typical western style. The contest is 2-1 in favor of Chicago as late as the 6th inning. Fourteen runs and nineteen hits later, bodies are strewn everywhere. The Sox get one less hit than the Indians but eight less runs.

at ATHLETICS 1-6-1, RED SOX 0-6-1
Ehmke and Rommel are equally glacial, and the only run scores in the 8th when Bishop doubles home Rommel, who reaches when Boone misplays the pitcher's single.

SENATORS 4-11-2, at YANKEES 1-2-0
Another devastating home loss for the Gothamites. The Yankees always have trouble against portside hurlers, and Mogridge pitches his second straight gem after two early bombardments. Goslin snaps the 1-1 tie in he 5th with a Ruth-worthy clout into the far right bleacher section off Joe Bush. Washington has amazingly slipped back into first place in this squirmy American League affair.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Thursday, May 1
Washington Senators 116.647
Chicago White Sox 106.6250.5
New York Yankees 107.5881
Detroit Tigers 97.5631.5
Boston Red Sox 710.4124
St. Louis Browns 710.4124
Cleveland Indians 710.4124
Philadelphia Athletics 611.3535

3.29.2009

ALL KINDS OF NERVOUSNESS AT EBBETS FIELD

May 1, 1924

I slept real late on Rachel's couch before she got me up with egg and onion smells. She looked a little less cute in the morning but I guess most people do. The Phillies game at Ebbets started at 1 o'clock, and she asked if it was okay if her friend Margie Ginsberg came too. I said fine because here I was staying on a couch for free and eating her food. If I needed to sit with two crazy Robins fans for two hours, at least one of them would be Rachel.

Except I didn't think Margie would be so annoying. She was all skinny and talked forever and had this laugh that sounded like a rooster being pulled through a meat grinder, but I guess her dad was some big merchant in Brooklyn so she had great tickets for us right behind the home dugout. I have to say that Rachel and her did look pretty nice today, dolled up like they were going to a tea party afterwards. (That's Margie in the photograph with the bigger hat and mouth.) Rachel was wearing some kind of perfume or skin cream that smelled like roses, which mixed kind of strangely with the cigar and sausage smells around us.

Just my Phillies luck, Dazzy Vance was pitching again. Jimmy Ring was going for us, and he still hadn't won a game, so I didn't expect much out of this one. We loaded the bases in the 2nd with two walks and a Johnny Mitchell error, but Dazzy beared down and whiffed Ford and Ring to get out of it, Margie braying in my ear. Ring gave up a double to Brown in the 2nd and one to Taylor in the 4th, but escaped both times. In the 5th, Harper and Holke got singles and an error from Johnson loaded the bases with two out. I really wanted to stand and root like I would with Benny, but here I was trying to be a nice guest and it was driving me nuts. Butch Henline was up, and Rachel and Margie were yelling for another Dazzy whiff. The count was 3-and-2 and the next pitch was an inch outside for a run-scoring walk! Margie actually cursed and threatened to whack the umpire, and a security man was called over by some of the men around us to give her a talking-to. I guess it was hard enough for ladies to go to games, and when they did they were expected to act like them.

All was forgotten in the 6th, though, because with one out, Zack Wheat came to the plate. He was readying himself in the on-deck spot right in front of me when Andy High was up, grinding his hands into his brown bat. He was definitely Rachel's favorite player. She said he was 35 years old, from Missouri, and had been on the Brooklyn team for 15 years now. She sent him a love letter once but he never wrote back. Margie said she sent him nine. Anyway, Zack got up there, Ring threw, and he gave the ball a vicious swipe, knocking it high and over the right field fence in seconds. The entire crowd jumped up, even me, and I swear I never even saw Cy Williams hit one that hard. The game was tied, and my lady friends were bubbling over.

Then I started getting nervous. The Phillies kept getting little hits off Vance and I began to worry what might happen if they won. Would Rachel hate me and want me to leave town? Would Margie never stop talking and give me deadly brain sickness? Thankfully it was the Phillies they were up against, and sure enough, Ring gave singles to Neis and High to begin the bottom of the 8th. Wheat flied deep to right but it was caught this time, and after Fournier walked, Huck Betts was called in. He got Brown on a force-play at home, but then Mitchell took four straight balls and the Robins were ahead for good. Vance put the Phils to bed 1-2-3 in the 9th, and that was that. Rachel and Margie both gave me hugs for being such a good sport, which of course was the best part of the game for me other than watching Wheat's homer.

Margie went home after and I had supper with Rachel at a place near hers that made delicious chicken soups. She invited me to stay on her couch again, which was a good thing, and then asked if I wanted to come to her family's house the next night for a Sabbath dinner. I looked at her all weird and asked "Are you a witch?" and she laughed, said that's what Jewish people called Friday night dinner. Can you believe that? All this time I thought she was Italian. I said I'd never been friends with anyone Jewish and she said she could tell, and it was a good time to start. She gave me her cute little smile and I wanted to kiss her right there in the restaurant but whoa, I thought: That's how Benny got kicked out of town.

What do you think, reader-people? Should I try kissing her this weekend or not? Leave a comment under the door tonight if you have an opinion about this, even if it's from Anonymous. Good night!

PHL 000 010 000 - 1 7 0
BRK 000 001 01x - 2 8 2

Other National League games today:

at BRAVES 5-8-0, GIANTS 3-8-3
No wonder Rachel was in such a good mood! The McGraw men go back to their stinky play up in Boston, keeping a 1-0 lead until the Braves get two in the 7th and three more in the 8th on a lot of suspect defense. Boston has been as surprisingly good as the Giants have been terrible.

CARDINALS 10-17-1, at PIRATES 4-11-2
Good news for all in the National League, as Sherdel gives up two triples, three doubles and a homer by Carey and still wins easy because the Cards go batty-whacky agains tKremer, Stone and Pfeffer. Believe it or else, Hornsby gets NONE of the 17 hits.

REDS 5-11-0, at CUBS 1-5-2
Cincy has now won four out of five from the poor Cubs. Carl Mays gets hurt after just three innings but Jakie May and Pedro Dibut take over without a sweat. How about this close race we're having now?










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, May 1
Pittsburgh Pirates106.625
Cincinnati Reds97.563 1
Brooklyn Robins97.5631
Boston Braves88.500 2
St. Louis Cardinals89.4712.5
Philadelphia Phillies79.438 3
New York Giants79.4383
Chicago Cubs611.3534.5

3.28.2009

TIGER CAMPAIGN HITS THE RAILS


WILL THE LONG ROAD LEAD TO A HOUSE OF CONTENTION?

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 30, 1924

WEST OF CHICAGO—Our ball club pulled out of the Michigan Central Station early this morning, relieved to bid adieu to Navin Field until the second week in May, for they have not fared well as of yet in their home environ. The trip is a long one, packed with rail mileage. After four games in St. Louis beginning tomorrow, the Tigers will play four with arch-rival Chicago at Comiskey. A full travel day to the Nation's Capitol comes next Friday, where they will face four games at Griffith Stadium, followed by four more in Philadelphia before finding their way home to welcome scrappy Boston. "Our bats and arms will be sorely tested, that's for sure," offered Cobb in the dining car this morning, "a long trip like this will either glue us together our rip us apart like Maryland crabs, which I intend to find while we are in Washington."

The players spent much of the day reading newspapers, smoking their cigarettes and drumming up card games with members of the press in the parlor car. It is safe to say that Topper Rigney is a master at rummy, and I would be wise to not lay even a portion of my wages on a game with him again. The post-dinner merrymaking has about quieted down as I write here in my private berth, so now I can reflect on the first completed month of the season.

Detroit is second to Cleveland in run-scoring by just one digit. With Cobb at .419, Manush .358 and Heilman .354, opposing boxmen are cringing at seeing their faces. Yet Detroit's pitching, while not as putrid as the Indians', has done little to relax the nerves of Tigers fans. Sure leads have been vanishing like morning dew, as Dauss and Cole seem to take daily turns at ineptitude. The worse news is that they've yet to face the astute stickmen of New York, Philadelphia and Washington, so Cobb must rack his fertile brain over the next week to try and find a winning arm combination.

Rip Collins will start against Dave Danforth at Sportsman's Park tomorrow, as the Tigers will be fortunate to miss Brownie ace Urban Shocker on this swing through the midwest. Still, St. Louis just took four out of five from the menacing Indians, meaning we will certainly not be facing cream puffs.

Today's American League games, courtesy of the Chicago Great Western Telegraph Service:

YANKEES 5-10-1, at ATHLETICS 3-8-3
The Bambino might not be hitting yet, but Bob Meusel leaps into the ring with a double, home run and four runs knocked in, giving Herb Pennock his third victory.

at SENATORS 10-11-1, RED SOX 2-6-2
With Trains in mind, Walter Johnson ensures the tenth win of the year for Washington, bailing himself repeatedly out of jams while Joe Judge thumps two doubles and knocks in half of their runs.

at BROWNS 14-17-1, INDIANS 4-10-1
One hopes the Tiger hurlers will contain St. Louis better than Cleveland's have. Shocker wins his first while Sherry Smith is busy getting keelhauled. Ken Williams whacks his fifth homer of the season for the victors to tie Boston's Ike Boone for the league lead.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, April 30
Chicago White Sox 105.667
Washington Senators 106.6250.5
New York Yankees 106.6250.5
Detroit Tigers 87.5332
Boston Red Sox 79.4383.5
St. Louis Browns 79.4383.5
Cleveland Indians 610.3754.5
Philadelphia Athletics 511.3135.5

3.27.2009

A VERY GLORIOUS LOSS


April 30, 1924

So the creepy Nickelodeon manager rudely woke me up and threw me on the street around midnight, and when I spit on the sidewalk in front of his building he yelled for a cop who chased me three blocks, grabbed me by the collar and dragged me down to a local jail for the night. At least the cell was warm.

Me and some other lowlifes got fed watery oatmeal in the morning and then I started pleading to come out, which got me nowhere. Finally I offered this guard all the rest of my money and faked like I was crying and that worked, but it was one in the afternoon by the time I hit the Brooklyn street again. I ran past a ticket booth to get on the el train back to the Polo Grounds but stupidly took a connector train into Manhattan by accident, so there was no way I could get there for the start of the 2 o'clock game.

My mama always says that sometimes your best days are happy accidents, and this was sure one of those. I ended up in Times Square, the most crowded, exciting city place I'd ever seen, autos whizzing around everywhere and people all dressed up, and at one corner of it The New York Times had set up a giant electrical scoreboard that was showing the Giants and Phillies game, seconds after the action was happening at the Polo Grounds. What luck! A pretty large crowd of business men had skipped their lunches or afternoon work to stand in front of it, and I blended right in with a handful of kids who wanted no part of school like me.

The board had green lights for the balls, red ones for the strikes, and had these little mechanical men that moved around on the diamond. When Wrightstone hit a homer in the 3rd to put us up 2-1, I let out a cheer and got some low curses from the people around me, who I'm sure were mostly all Giants fans. New York has truly been playing bad so far, and their fans can't stop complaining about it. George Kelly their first baseman has been real rotten with men on base, something he never is, and I heard two different people say he shouldn't be making anywhere near his $7,000 a year.

Anyway, the 3-1 Phillie lead grew to 5-1 in the 8th when Harper homered to knock out Mule Watson. This time I kept my mouth shut but a girl about 100 feet away yelled "YAHOO!" real loud and I recognized all at once whose voice it was. I pushed my way through the crowd and there she was in front of me: Rachel. She couldn't believe I was there, too, and gave me a big friendly hug. After yesterday's tough loss she left Boston because she figured she was bringing them bad luck, and as you'll soon find out the Robins were getting their brains bashed in again on this day, but with the Giants losing too she was in great spirits.

The electric board broke down for a half hour right then, and by the time they got it working again the Giants had scored three times in the 8th and Johnny Couch was now pitching for us instead of Glazner. Huck Betts must have been too tired after yesterday's work, and that was unfortunate. Down 5-4 in the 9th with the Times Square crowd hooting like nuts, O'Connell hit a pinch double for them with one out in the bottom of the 9th. Hack Wilson, who had done nothing all day, then tripled, his mechanical man chugging around on the board the same slow way he is.

Rachel and I got real quiet, and she actually gripped my hand. The game suddenly didn't mean as much, and I started rooting for extra innings so she'd never let go. But no dice. Frisch walked and Irish Meusel hit a fly that scored Wilson's little mechanical man, the crowd threw their hats up and we just snuck out of their quick as possible.

I told Rachel my problems with money and the cop and she offered to let me sleep on her couch for the whole weekend so I could go with her to the Phillies games at Ebbets. We stayed in Manhattan most of the night, first eating at a great Italian place that served the biggest manicottis I'd ever seen, then to a little dancing music club down in an area called Greenwich where she taught me how to do the Charleston till I got dizzy.

Actually she's been making every part of me dizzy, so I badly need to rest up now for tomorrow's adventure. It'll be nice to spend the whole First of May with Rachel and learn more about her. I found out her last name is Stone, not Italian-sounding like I thought it would be. But that's okay. Her name could be from Hell and I probably wouldn't believe it. Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

PHL 102 000 020 - 5 11 1
NYG 100 000 032 - 6 10 3

Other National League games on the big electric board:

at BRAVES 11-16-2, ROBINS 4-8-3
It was good Rachel missed this one or she might not have recovered. Tiny Osborne was dreadful while the Brooklyns could barely touch Marquard. Boston is playing unbelievably well in the early going.

at REDS 4-9-0, CARDINALS 2-10-0
Cincy is like a bunch of mosquito bugs. You seem like you're doing fine against them, and then you look up at the end of the game and they somehow bit you to death. Walker's triple in the 7th breaks the 2-2 tie with Sheehan getting the complete win.

PIRATES 6-11-0, at CUBS 0-2-2
Someone better start beating the Bucs soon. Johnny Morrison gave up a single in the 1st and a double in the 9th and NOTHING ELSE. They now go home to welcome the struggling Cards, so look out, league!










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, April 30
Pittsburgh Pirates105.667
Cincinnati Reds87.533 2
Brooklyn Robins87.5332
Philadelphia Phillies78.467 3
New York Giants78.4673
Boston Braves78.467 3
St. Louis Cardinals79.4383.5
Chicago Cubs610.3754.5

3.26.2009

NOT SO FAST, NAYSAYERS


EIGHTH INNING RUN EXPLOSION UNRAVELS WHITE SOX ON EVE OF TIGER JOURNEY

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 29, 1924

This reporter was remiss in announcing that yesterday was the final game of the White Sox series, and it was a good thing, for he would have left town on an empty train and missed perhaps the most exciting tilt of the 4-game set.

A game that was a scoreless duel between Blankenship and Stoner for the first five innings turned into an eight-cannon harbor battle by its conclusion. Kamm doubled in a Chicago run in the top of the 6th before a Heilman triple and Manush single knotted the game in the bottom half. In the top of the 7th, Topper Rigney committed his latest in a never-ending calvacade of gaffes, booting a possible double play grounder by the pitcher that quickly turned into three stragiht hits and four Chicago runs.

But the White Sox must have worn stockings on their hands, for they were equally butter-gloved. Clancy's error led to a 3-run rally in the 7th, and errors from Barrett and Falk opened the 8th frame floodgates. After Cvengros came in to hurl, Rigney walked, Heilman singled for the lead, Manush singled and Blue and Woodall doubled to file this one in the victory cabinet.

Cobb can now board the St. Louis Express with his underlings for the long journey west, calm visions of cozy berths and midnight card games in their heads.

CHI 000 000 400 - 5 13 3
DET 000 001 37x - 11 15 2

Other American League games:

RED SOX 9-12-3, at SENATORS 4-6-1
Two straight Senator disasters, as Firpo Marberry gets shellacked for seven runs in the first two innings. The surprising Bostonians are suddenly one game under the .500 mark.

YANKEES 10-15-2, at ATHLETICS 9-15-0
Despite the Bambino still doing almost nothing with his big stick, Shawkey gets his first win and the Yanks prevail. Lamar and Hauser each hit 2-run belts for the Elephants in the losing endeavor.

at BROWNS 8-11-0, INDIANS 3-9-0
The Tribe offense stays asleep until plating three runs in the 9th, hoodwinked by the inexplicably employed Ray Kolp, and tie the Browns for 7th place.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Tuesday, April 29
Chicago White Sox 105.667
Washington Senators 96.6001
New York Yankees 96.6001
Detroit Tigers 87.5332
Boston Red Sox 78.4673
Cleveland Indians 69.4004
St. Louis Browns 69.4004
Philadelphia Athletics 510.3335

3.25.2009

WHERE WILL I SLEEP TONIGHT?

April 29, 1924

I woke up in the Brooklyn doorway to find that the vagrant kids made off with all of my cash except for a five-dollar bill I stuffed in my sock. Not a great way to start a day in another city. After I checked to see if Rachel was home yet (she wasn't) I bought a buttery roll for breakfast and got myself back to the Polo Grounds.

I snuck into the park the same way I did yesterday, but took a seat down the right field line in a section that was less filled with Giants fans so I could enjoy myself more. And boy did I ever. Oescheger was throwing for us against Bentley, and for six innings we looked like world's champions. Schultz and Sand began the game with doubles and we scored three runs. Bentley was real terrible, giving up a double to Cy and a 2-run homer to Jimmie Wilson in the 3rd. Even Parkinson doubled in a run in the 6th to puts us up 6-0 and that was the showers for Bentley. Ryan, Baldwin and Jonnard calmed the Phils down, right when Oescheger began to get hit, but Huck Betts came on to pitch the last few innings and put us ahead of the Giants in the standings!

It was a warm sunny day but even though we won kind of easy, I started to get nervous around the 7th inning. I could see a lot of New York from up there, and all I could do was worry about where I was going to get dinner and end up sleeping that night. I actually began to root for extra innings, like 40 of them, because I knew if the game never ended I wouldn't have to leave and could just fall asleep in the grandstand. Of course I knew this would never happen until someone invented a bunch of spotlights that could let the teams play at night, but it was a nice dream to keep me going anyway.

I had about three dollars and fifty cents left, which bought me a sausage in Brooklyn and got me into a late-night nickelodeon, where I fell asleep to an organist serenading a small crowd while they watched a romantic story taking place in old England. Hopefully Rachel will be back tomorrow, because if not I'll probably have to go home. Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

PHL 302 001 000 - 6 11 1
NYG 000 000 121 - 4 9 0

Other National league games:

at BRAVES 1-6-0, ROBINS 0-5-1
Probably more shocking than the Phillies game. Joe Genewich holds the Robins at bay as the Braves win on a Gus Felix sacrifice fly off Ruether in the 9th.

PIRATES 8-14-0, at CUBS 7-14-3 (10 innings)
A fierce battle won by the first-placers. Chicago fights back to tie the game with three runs the last two innings, but Sparky Adams makes a big error to give the Bucs two runs in the 10th. Moore and Smith hit homers for Pittsburgh, only their second and third of the season.

CARDINALS 6-14-1, at REDS 5-9-3 (11 innings)
Back and forth they go, before Ray Baldes singles in Wattie Holm for the winner. Dolf Luque, who looks colored but is actually Cuban, is now 0-3 and getting no batting help from his Red mates.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, April 29
Pittsburgh Pirates95.643
Brooklyn Robins86.5711
Philadelphia Phillies77.500 2
Cincinnati Reds77.500 2
St. Louis Cardinals78.4672.5
New York Giants68.4293
Boston Braves68.429 3
Chicago Cubs69.4003.5

3.24.2009

BOUND AND GAGGED BY HOSIERY

TIGER RELIEF CORPS FAILS AGAIN IN 4-2 LOSS TO FIRST-PLACE WHITE SOX

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 28, 1924

There was nothing manager Cobb could even utter after this game that would soothe or inspire his troops. A day after a hit-filled, back-and-forth romp in which Detroit came up on the short end, the Tigers today proved they could lose tough, tight games with the minimum amount of scoring as well.

Detroit notched the only tally for the first seven innings when a passed ball and Barrett error helped Jones score on a Cobb grounder. Ken Holloway was allowing plenty of Chicago hits but keeping them adrift and bailed himself out with three double-play balls. But with two outs and no one aboard in the 8th, singles by Falk and Hooper brought on Herm Pillette to try and retire Bud Clancy, who was filling in for the hurt Sheely at first. Clancy roped a sharp single into right on the first toss to deadlock the affair.

Rigney then tripled with two outs in the Tiger 8th, and after a Heilman single rap, we possessed the lead once more. But if there is one certainty thus far this season, no late lead is safe at Navin Field or on any other American ball yard when Tiger relievers are assigned to protect it. Maurice Archdeacon hit a pinch double off Hooks Dauss to start the 9th, Barrett singled him in instantly, and the game was knotted 2-2. Meanwhile, save for Heilman's poke in the 8th, the Tiger swatters couldn't hit bugs off Ted Lyons, who came on to pitch when starter Robertson left the game with an ailment after five solid innings. Lyons normally hands out hits like Saint Nick does with presents on Christmas Eve, but not today.

After Syl Johnson came in for the 11th, the Sox pieced three singles and a walk together with two outs for the two scores that decided this debacle. With their Navin mark now dropping to 4-7, the Tigers will thankfully leave town now after a much-needed day off to lick their wounds and soak their heads, as the entourage journeys to the far west to begin a series with St. Louis. As you're about to read, no picnic will be had there, either.

CHI 000 000 011 02 - 4 17 2
DET 001 000 010 00 - 2 8 0

Other American League games:

at BROWNS 4-10-2, INDIANS 3-7-0
Today it is Dixie Davis' turn to befuddle the Tribe, as Gene Robertson homers and singles to knock in three of the Brownies' runs. Cleveland mounts a late comeback and fills the sacks with two outs in the 9th before Chick Fewster grounds into a force play to end it.

YANKEES 8-9-2, at ATHLETICS 4-11-1
New York breaks their 4-game losing dive with an impressive comeback win at Shibe Park. Down 3-0 early due to their sloppy defense, they tie the game with rallies in the 4th and 6th before racking up five runs with seven straight two-out baserunners off Heimach in the 7th. Sad Sam Jones gets the victory, his third of the year.

RED SOX 8-11-1, at SENATORS 1-11-1
Boston makes all of their hits count while the Nats waste all of theirs. Zachary dishes out five of them along with two walks in the 1st to put Washington behind and virtually kill the contest out of the box. The Senators have an odd proclivity for looking pennant-worthy one day and horrid the next.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Monday, April 28
Chicago White Sox 104.714
Washington Senators 95.6431
New York Yankees 86.5712
Detroit Tigers 77.5003
Cleveland Indians 68.4294
Boston Red Sox 68.4294
Philadelphia Athletics 59.3575
St. Louis Browns 59.3575

3.23.2009

SURE GLAD I INVITED MYSELF


April 28, 1924

Well, I never got any quick telegram from Rachel so I thought what the heck, why not go up to New York anyway and surprise her after the Phillies-Giants game? Mama bought my story about the newspaper carrier research, actually she was overjoyed that I was thinking about a job even though I wasn't, so all that was left was to either invite Benny with me or not.

Seeing the Phillies play at the Polo Grounds was exciting to me, but maybe seeing Rachel by myself was even more, so I decided to do my own adventure this time and tell Benny about it later. His luggage friend at the train station luckily remembered me and put me in a potato crate this time, and I just had to put up with sneezing once in a while.

When I got to Pennsylvania Station it took me a while to find the right el train that went to the Polo Grounds. The thing rolled right by brand new Yankee Stadium and let me tell you, that place is so huge it's frightening. Seems that the Yanks are playing kind of lousy, though, so I don't figure other teams have been too scared of them lately.

The Polo Grounds got bigger and bigger as the train got closer, and when I saw all the crowds outside I knew it would be tough to find a ticket. I had taken all the extra money I was saving in my snow boot in the closet, but if I spent it all on baseball tickets all week I might be in trouble. So lucky for me I saw a cop chasing away some poor kids trying to sneak in an outfield gate, and took a chance and slipped inside when his back was turned.

Wow, what a beautiful palace of baseball! They were finishing construction on one part of the upper grandstand in left, but I found a bunch of empty seats on the upper first base side that was pretty far from the seat ushers. The big centerfield was way open and you could see for miles. including Yankee Stadium across the river. It was strange to be with all Giants fans, and it was a good thing I didn't wear any Phillies clothes because they were in a bad nervous mood for most of the game because they just finished a pretty poor series at Ebbets Field.

Carlson was pitching for us and Art Nehf for the Giants, and even though pitchers were giving up hits, not many scored. Frisch hit a sacrifice fly in the 5th for New York, and it seemed like the one run might be the only one. There was a close play at frst base in the 6th where Holke was called safe, and I saw McGraw jump out of the dugout right below me and scream at the umpire, but the fans around me were yellng so much I couldn't hear any of his cusses.

Then in the 8th, Sand led us off with a single, and Holke doubled into the right corner. The stadium got real quiet, like they were waiting for a hangman noose. And they got one. Cy Williams knocked a high fly to right, which disappeared into cigar smoke for a few seconds, then dropped into the stands for a 3-run homer! I jumped and let out a yelp, then quickly sat back down when someone threw a peanut at the back of my head. Frisch flubbed a ball the next inning with Sand on third, and we had a fourth run we didn't even need. We outhit the Giants 15-6 and now have the same record as them!

Afterwards I found my way to Brooklyn and Rachel's rooming house, but believe it or not she had gone up to Boston to watch her team play the Braves! Plus her neighbor didn't even know when she was coming back so I left a note for her and walked up the street. I ended up in a seedy part of Brooklyn in the rain and slept in a doorway with a couple vagrant kids who spoke some language I couldn't figure out. Tomorrow I'll try this again and if I don't get a Phillies win maybe I'll at least get Rachel. Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

PHL 000 000 031 - 4 15 1
NYG 000 010 000 - 1 6 1

Other National League games on the Polo Grounds scoreboard:

ROBINS 10-13-2, at BRAVES 1-3-0
Yay for Rachel! Gibson triples in a run for the Braves in the 1st inning and that's their only highlight because Stengel gets hurt right away. Bill Doak is fantastic, and Fournier hits homer no. 6 to top both leagues.

at REDS 7-12-3, CARDINALS 4-9-1
Specs Toporcer leads off the game with a Cards homer, but then the Reds beat them silly again with five runs of their own, started by a Bottomley error and triple by Boob Fowler. Edd Roush comes back from a long injury, Pete Donohue gets the win, and Cincy is over .500 now.

at CUBS 8-12-2, PIRATES 7-16-1 (13 innings)
A crazy one at Wrigley. The Cubs have a 6-3 lead behind Jacobs in the 8th and throw that away, then give up the lead in the 13th on a Moore double and Kiki Cuyler single. Grantham pinch-hits in the bottom half, gets hit by Cooper's pitch and knocked out for a week, and Barney Friberg then socks one over the LF wall for a game-winning homer. Every team in the league now is within two and a half games!










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Monday, April 28
Pittsburgh Pirates85.615
Brooklyn Robins85.615
Cincinnati Reds76.538 1
Philadelphia Phillies67.462 2
New York Giants67.4622
Boston Braves67.462 2
St. Louis Cardinals68.4292.5
Chicago Cubs68.4292.5

3.22.2009

A FLABBERGASTER WITH NO END

MOSTIL'S POKE DECIDES 12-11NAVIN BATTLE FOR CHICAGOANS

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 27, 1924

A drama of extraordinary magnitude erupted at the Detroit ball yard today as the home nine fiercely roared back from a severe early beating, only to fall in the tenth frame to a White Sox club refusing to surrender.

The overflow Sunday crowd was quick to voice its displeasure after Chicago whacked Ed Wells around for three runs in the 3rd. The Tigers got the runs back right away off Sarge Connally but Wells did little to keep that hope, allowing two singles and two double-sack hits to the bottom four rungs in the Sox lineup. After an Earl Sheely solo homer in the 5th it was 7-3, and things looked most gloomy despite the bright Detroit sunshine.


It was then that the Tigers plated two to cut the deficit to 7-5, Reliever Dutch Leonard was worse than Wells, though, and gave up three runs in the Chicago 7th, capped by Mostil scoring on an Ike Davis double (pictured). With the score 10-5 and their heads primed for the crusher, Detroit came alive to keep the crowd from filing homeward. A Manush single made it 10-6 in the 7th, before a Barrett error kept a rally going in the 8th. After Bassler was plunked to load the bases with two outs, Doug McWeeny entered to face Heilman. Harry squeezed his mighty hands on the bat, whipped it around and hammered the sphere to Navin's nether-reaches for a triple to tie the contest at 10-10.

Bert Cole took over on the slab, and Davis got another big two-out double to put Chicago ahead 11-10. Then it was time for the Sox to play higgly-pop with the baseball, as two Davis errors at short tied the score 11-11. Cole then gave Chicago a one-out walk and single in the 10th, before Mostil singled in front of Manush with Collins scampering plateward. Cvengros relieved now, and things looked rosy again when Fatty Fothergill led the Detroit 10th with a single. But Heilman whiffed, Manush rapped into a twin-killer, and the White Sox were the bloody victors for another day.

The defeat was costly for other reasons. Lu Blue is already sidelined, and Pratt and Bassler joined him on the trainer table with injuries. Manager Cobb was followed about the club house afterwards, but managed to evade every reporter question, vowing only to "skin Chicago's rumps tomorrow."

CHI 003 310 301 1 - 12 16 3
DET 003 002 141 0 - 11 14 2

Other American League games:

at BROWNS 12-18-0, INDIANS 11-16-1
There is apparently nowhere to hide out here in the west. In a mirror image of the Tiger game, Cleveland watches a 6-0 advantage vanish, does the same with a 10-6 tilt, then an 11-9 lead in the 8th, as the Brownies score one in the 8th off Coveleski and two in the 9th off the hideous Indians bullpen.

ATHLETICS 1-5-2, at YANKEES 0-8-0
Back east, things are as serene as a funeral parlor. Bill Lamar's homer in the 9th off Waite Hoyt gives Baumgartner the surprise Yankee Stadium shutout. The befuddled Gothamites have now dropped four games in a row.

at SENATORS 1-9-4, RED SOX 0-7-1 (15 innings)
Topping the hushed noise from the Bronx, Boston and the Nats go scoreless forever at Griffith Stadium, before Goslin finally singles in McNeely with darkness closing in. Curly Ogden pitches all 15 innings without tiring, and has now allowed but three runs in 33 innings of toil. As you can see from the statistic numbers below, the surprising Washington club leads all comers in pitching prowess.


A.L. TEAM BATTING AVERAGES
.319 Cleveland
.315 Detroit
.314 Chicago
.291 St. Louis
.279 New York
.279 Washington
.254 Boston
.251 Philadelphia

A.L. TEAM EARNED RUN AVERAGES
4.19 Washington
4.30 Philadelphia
4.38 New York
4.44 Boston
4.50 Chicago
5.79 St. Louis
5.93 Detroit
6.05 Cleveland










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Sunday, April 27
Washington Senators 94.692
Chicago White Sox 94.692
Detroit Tigers 76.5382
New York Yankees 76.5382
Cleveland Indians 67.4623
Boston Red Sox 58.3854
Philadelphia Athletics 58.3854
St. Louis Browns 49.3085

3.21.2009

A LETTER FROM CHURCH


April 27, 1924

Dear Rachel,

How are you doing? The Phillies are off today and the Athletics went up to Yankee Stadium, so here I am stuck in church with my mama. Lucky for me she's always so busy praying I'm able to read baseball cards or do things like write letters inside my coat.

I just wanted to say that I had a real good time up in Brooklyn last weekend and liked meeting you an awful lot, so I hope you'll write me a letter back and we can be friends all year. I heard you weren't all that happy with Benny. I understand because he's my best friend and I know he can be a little rough about certain things, but I hope you don't grudge him for it, or grudge me for being friends with him.

Anyway, I just found out that the newspaper job I do with Benny sometimes is talking about adding a whole bunch of more carriers, and they need someone to go up to New York and do research stuff with some of the big papers there so they know how to do that. I volunteered for this research right away, but they want me to come up alone to save them money, and they asked whether I had any friends to stay with to save them even more money. So that's why I'm writing you now.

If you're too busy to spend any time with me I understand, but I hoped you might have a space on your couch for me to sleep on. And guess what? As it turns out, the Phillies will be playing in New York and Brooklyn for eight straight games starting tomorrow, so if I finish my research stuff in the mornings, there's a good chance I'll be able to go watch to them play. Is it possible you have some extra tickets for the Brooklyn games or know where I can get some? You can go with me if you want, but I didn't know how busy you were.

Anyway, I plan to tell Mama about this great opportunity as soon as I can, but in the meantime, write me back as soon as you can or send me a telegram. I didn't know your last name but figured I wrote down your address right.

Best sincerely, your Philadelphia friend,
Vinny

Today's National League games I found out about at Mort's, along with some nifty team statistics:

at ROBINS 8-14-2, GIANTS 4-11-4
The Giants played pretty terrible at Ebbets all week, as Burleigh Grimes beat them this time with the help of Fournier's 5th homer. I'm sure you were there, Rachel, tooting one of those big horns if you had one.

at CUBS 3-9-2, PIRATES 1-8-0
Good news! The Bucs finally lose again in their first game at Wrigley Field this year. Pete Alexander pitches a great one, and Gabby Hartnett wins it with a 2-run homer in the 6th.

at REDS 4-14-0, CARDINALS 3-11-3 (10 innings)
A real tough loss for the Cards. They're up 3-1 but the pesky Reds score one in the 8th, one in the 9th and the winner in the 10th when Stuart walks two guys with two outs and Hornsby and Blades make back-to-back errors.

TEAM BATTING AVERAGE
.340 Brooklyn
.322 Cincinnati
.308 Chicago
.303 St. Louis
.283 Philadelphia
.273 Pittsburgh
.269 Boston
.249 New York

TEAM EARNED RUN AVERAGE
2.86 Pittsburgh
3.04 Brooklyn
3.73 Cincinnati
5.11 Philadelphia
5.26 St. Louis
5.38 Chicago
5.54 Boston
5.56 New York

(How about that? The Giants are last in both departments, one of the reasons I decided to try to get up to the Polo Grounds. We have a chance against them!)










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Sunday, April 27
Pittsburgh Pirates84.667
Brooklyn Robins75.5831
Cincinnati Reds66.500 2
New York Giants66.5002
Boston Braves66.500 2
St. Louis Cardinals67.4622.5
Philadelphia Phillies57.364 3
Chicago Cubs58.3853.5

3.20.2009

HOME GHASTLY HOME


TIGERS RETURN TO NAVIN TO TAKE A 9-6 BEATING BY WHITE SOX

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 26, 1924

While this reporter journeyed home from Cleveland in his bouncing roadster, the Detroit team evidently enjoyed a bit too much revelry in their train car, for they were ill-equipped to take on the White Sox today in their first 1924 meeting with the deadly Chicagoans.

Earl Whitehill turned in a hideous showing, giving them 11 hits and 8 runs in less than five innings, while Faber kept the Bengals at bay until the 6th, when Cobb singled in a run for the second of his three uninspiring hits. Mostil and Barrett struck homers for the visitors, who seem whole bent on ridding the nation's minds of their 1919 betting scandal. The elegant Eddie Collins failed to get a hit five times in the leadoff slot, but he was ably assisted by Ike Davis, Earl Sheely, Bibb Falk, Harry Hooper and Mostil. Chicago leads the circuit in fielding, which should also help them abundantly in their pennant battle.

The Navin rooters were clamoring for Whitehill's head by the 3rd inning, and one hopes they will show a bit more patience in the next three days, because they will need it. Detroit will then take a day off to head out to the far west and play a series with the St. Louis Browns.

CHI 031 130 010 - 9 13 1
DET 000 203 010 - 6 13 2

After tomorrow's contest, and following every Sunday game, the Free-Enterprise will post some interesting team statistic numbers along with the daily standings.

Other American League games:

RED SOX 4-11-1, YANKEES 3-6-3
The Yanks suffer the indignity of losing three out of four home games to their New England rivals, and one can surmise their management not allowing them to slip any further in the race before calling for players' heads. Ruth homers late in this one with no one on base, just his third in the first 12 games, but their pitching has also gotten shabby, on this occasion by Joe Bush. A Danny Clark triple early on gives Boston the advantage they would never relinquish.

SENATORS 3-5-1, ATHLETICS 0-6-3
It was a day of flip-flopping pitchers, as the previously abysmal Mogridge allows 12 Athletics to reach base but strands each and every one and the Nats beat Rommel with a small flurry of timely singles.

INDIANS 15-22-2, BROWNS 9-15-3
Furious over being swept by the Tigers in their home openers, Speaker collects five hits in six tries, Homer Summa homers twice, and Jamieson and Joe Sewell add additional swats in a carnage-filled romp at Sportsman's Park. An incredible six homers are hit in the game, as starters Shaute and Danforth bring nothing to the affair.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Saturday, April 26
Washington Senators 84.667
Chicago White Sox 84.667
Detroit Tigers 75.5831
New York Yankees 75.5831
Cleveland Indians 66.5002
Boston Red Sox 57.4173
Philadelphia Athletics 48.3334
St. Louis Browns 39.2505

3.19.2009

A BIG WIN BEFORE WE ENTER HELL


April 26, 1924

When the Braves wrecked our early 2-0 lead with three runs in the 3rd on a Casey Stengel double, I said oh boy here we go again, another lousy day at Mort's. But this time Bill Hubbell calmed way down, Steineder pitched three innings of relief without a hit, and we got two big hits late, a pinch triple by Schultz and 9th inning triple from Steineder himself to win this one 5-3.

We needed it bad because now after a day off we go to the Polo Grounds to start eleven straight games against the Giants and Robins. I'm not kidding. Whatver dope thought up this schedule must be a Phillies-hater. Hopefully those two mashers will play as average as they've been lately, otherwise we might be out of this race in no time. Cy Williams had a triple and single in this game but he's gotta do much more for us.

Mama wants me to go to church with her tomorrow, so I guess I will because she did let me get away with going up to New York the other day. I don't like our preacher much but that's okay because it's usually easy for me to slip baseball cards into my coat pocket and flip through them during the sermon. Benny has a couple of Yankees cards he promised me once for helping him change a tire on some guy's jalopy, but I'm still waiting for them and got stuck with a bunch of St. Louis Browns this year. Oh well, have to make the most of them.

Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

PHL 101 000 201 - 5 6 0
BOS 003 000 000 - 3 5 0

Other National League games I read on Mort's ticker:

at ROBINS 6-8-0, GIANTS 0-4-3
My new pitching hero Dazzy Vance put the Giants to sleep on only four singles and whiffed an amazing eight hitters! Brooklyn scored on a Fournier solo homer in the 6th, a Wheat 2-run homer in the 7th and a Bernie Neis 3-run homer in the 7th.

at PIRATES 2-10-0, REDS 0-9-0
Didn't I tell everyone to watch out for the Bucs? Kremer throws a shutout and they take a 2-game lead. The good news is that they've only played the weaker western teams so far.

CARDINALS 6-7-1, at CUBS 2-5-2 (10 innings)
This was a surprise after all the scoring these teams have been doing. Sothoron had a 2-0 lead in the 8th but Jigger Statz tied the game with what must've been a doinky 2-run homer. Sheriff Blake was pitching in extras and walked three Cards to load the bases before Grantham threw a grounder away to start the winning 4-run rally. Hornsby had a terrible game going 0-for-5 but they still won!










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Saturday, April 26
Pittsburgh Pirates83.700
Brooklyn Robins65.5452
New York Giants65.5452
St. Louis Cardinals66.5002.5
Boston Braves66.500 2.5
Cincinnati Reds55.455 3
Philadelphia Phillies57.364 3.5
Chicago Cubs48.3334.5

3.18.2009

I CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT I JUST WITNESSED

SURE 8-0 LEAD VANISHES IN AN ERIE FOG BANK AS TIGERS ESCAPE CLEVELAND WITH STOMACH-GRINDING SWEEP

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 25, 1924

CLEVELAND, OH—Motoring back into Michigan tonight my eyes were still whirling and my ears throbbing from the afternoon's series climax at League Park. The Detroiters, as outlined yesterday, are making a habit out of putting all of their nervous followers through a veritable clothes wringer each and every day of the campaign.

With moundsman Rip Collins at the helm, the Bengals struck for gold early and often, using shabby indians defense to help them to an 8-0 lead by the 5th, But five Tribe hits chewed into the advantage for three runs, before Collins unravelled in the 6th, allowing three walks, two singles and two hit batters to tie the game. Two more Cleveland runs on four more singles in the 7th incredibly gave them the lead, but a Haney triple and Heilman double re-tied the affair instantly.


From there it was extra frames, and the overflow League Park horde had no chance of digesting their hot sausages. Indians starter Sherry Smith could not be scored upon for five straight innings despite numerous safeties, but when he was extracted for a pinch-hitter in the last of the 13th, Bud Messenger was called upon—the same one who failed miserably in an earlier game of the series. Yet this time he was not to blame. None other than manager Tris Speaker (pictured) dropped a Rigney fly with two outs as Woodall scampered plateward with the decider! Bert Cole notched a save and the giddy but weary Tiger club taxied to the Cleveland Union Depot for their short ride home. Who would think that by the time they arrived, a four-way tie would surface for American League supremacy?

DET 012 050 020 000 01 - 11 19 0
CLE 000 035 200 000 00 - 10 16 3

Other American League contests:

SENATORS 10-14-0, at ATHLETICS 6-13-3 (13 innings)
As cockamie a contest as Detroit's, and certainly on a par with yesterday's Shibe skirmish. Down by 3-1, the Nats tie the game 5-5 in the 8th for Walter Johnson, who survives all 13 innings without getting fatigued. After Washington goes ahead in the 12th, Lamar homers with two outs to tie it again, and Joe Judge finally unloads the bases with a momentous swat off Meeker for the ball game.

RED SOX 7-13-1, at YANKEES 3-6-2
Oh, how the Bronx wolves must be baying! Six extra-base Boston knocks decide this one, and the unknown Oscar Fuhr defeats the steemed Herb Pennock, plunging New York into the aforementioned four-leaf tie.

WHITE SOX 6-11-0, at BROWNS 4-12-0
Sloppy Thurston bests Urban Shocker in an all-amusing nickname party. Mostil and Hooper hit late homers to push the Pale Sox back to the top.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Friday, April 25
Detroit Tigers 74.636
New York Yankees 74.636
Washington Senators 74.636
Chicago White Sox 74.636
Cleveland Indians 56.4552
Boston Red Sox 47.3643
Philadelphia Athletics 47.3643
St. Louis Browns 38.2734

3.17.2009

IF THIS KEEPS UP I'M STAYING IN SCHOOL

April 25, 1924

I was only down at Mort's for an hour and a half of one today, because Jesse "Nubby" Barnes of the Braves speed-threw a shutout masterpiece at my stinkin' Phils before I barely had taken my coat off.

This guy Barnes holds the record for pitching the fastest 9-inning game in 1919—against the Phillies of course—which was 51 minutes. This one felt like 45. Henline got a double in the 2nd, Ford got two singles and Sand got one and that was it for the day. Our top five lineup men went for no hits in 18 at bats. I know I'm showing you a picture of Barnes with a bat, but he sure didn't need that. The 4-to-8 spots in the Boston lineup got all seven hits and four walks off Jimmy Ring, who hasn't caught one of those breaks yet.

Benny was there in a bad mood again because he stayed at Mort's till almost dark yesterday watching the Athletics beat the Senators in 18 innings on the ticker. His card games didn't go well either which might have been a bigger problem. Personally I think he's still mad at Rachel for not letting him kiss her. I still have her address in Brooklyn so I think I'll write her a letter soon.

One more of these games at Braves Field tomorrow and then we take Sunday off before the Polo Grounds. Spending all day in school doesn't seem such a bad idea at right now, and now that we're tied with the Cubs for last place, church doesn't either. Good night, reader-people!

—Vinny

PHL 000 000 000 — 0 4 2
BOS 020 200 00x — 4 7 1

Other National League games on the ticker today:

GIANTS 10-13-0, ROBINS 3-11-2
Don't get me going on this one. Seems like the Robins' feathers are already falling out, as Tiny Osborne gets beat up Frisch and Youngs and others and Mule Watson win his second game, of all people. Ebbets must be a quiet field all of a sudden.

REDS 5-17-2, PIRATES 4-9-0 (12 innnings)
A good tight battle lost by the Bucs for a change. Relief pitcher Dibut triples in two for the winners and still almost gives it up, getting Gooch and Wright two men on base to end it.

CUBS 8-12-3, CARDINALS 3-7-0
The Amazing Hornsby gets three more hits and now has 22 of them in 44 times up, a perfect .500. Jesse Haines wrecks the day for St. Louis though, because he can't get any Cubs out.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Friday, April 25
Pittsburgh Pirates73.700
New York Giants64.6001
Boston Braves65.545 1.5
Brooklyn Robins55.5002
Cincinnati Reds55.500 2
St. Louis Cardinals56.4552.5
Philadelphia Phillies47.364 3.5
Chicago Cubs47.3643.5

3.16.2009

TIGERS EDGE CLEVELANDERS WITH LATE HIGH WIRE ACT


STONER'S EARLY 7-0 LEAD NEARLY VANISHES

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 24, 1924

CLEVELAND, OH—It has become apparent that whether Detroit captures the league pennant or not, they intend to drag their cranks and scribes through a gut-screwing menagerie of failed chances and feats of narrow escape. Today's narrow 7-6 win at League Park was just such a circus.

With Lil Stoner hurling, the Tigers pounced all over the poor Indians with two runs in the 2nd off Luther Roy and five more in the 3rd, in a rally begun by Heilman's second home run poke of the year. Stoner was out for redemption after being shellacked in his first foray,and while he dished out the singles like a waiter would with blue plate specials, he managed to leave the hill each time with minor damage.

It was 7-3 in the last of the 9th though, Detroit failing to add to their lead repeatedly, when Homer Summa led with a pinch single. After Jamieson followed with a sharp safety, portsider Bert Cole took over. Oh, how Cobb regretted that manuever! Joe Sewell singled for one run, his brother Luke hit a pinch single for another, and George Burns doubles for two more, Stephenson popped out, but with Clarke pinch-hitting now, Hooks Dauss was summoned to complete the hopeful rescue. Clarke grounded out, Cobb's head was kept square on his shoulders, the Indian faithful repaired to their sad wigwams, and the Tigers were suddenly one notch from first place.

Tomorow in the final act, Rip Collins gets another try against Sherry Smith, who beat him in the season opener.

DET 025 000 000 — 7 12 0
CLE 000 210 003 — 6 15 1

Other American League results:

RED SOX 13-14-1, YANKEES 8-13-2
As shocking as a late-night mystery-book, Boston beats New York for the first time, and in Yankee Stadium. Fullerton survives the dreaded Gotham bats and Bob Shawkey gets pulverized for the second straight outing. The combination of Joe Harris and Ike Boone knock in ten of the Boston runs, each man with a home run and Harris with also a single, double, and triple in an amazing feat of cyclical skill. Ruth is only able to draw three walks, which may have been the New Yorkers' undoing.

ATHLETICS 8-19-0, SENATORS 7-14-1 (18 innings)
The Nats have been surprisingly tough, and just missed capturing this one. Down 4-1 early they rally to take a 6-4 lead on a big Sam Rice two-sacker in the 7th. But Firpo Marberry is unable to keep the advantage, and the game plunges into endless extra innings. Doubles from Judge and Ruel in the 18th off Bob Hasty finally give Washington the lead again, but Alan Russell is out of gasoline and allows hits to Simmons, Hauser and Miller before reserved catcher Frank Bruggy wins it with a sacrifice fly.

WHITE SOX 6-16-0, BROWNS 2-10-1
Chicago finally wins another one, sparked by a leadoff Eddie Collins homer and the astute pitching of Blankenship. Four teams are now within a whisper of the top!










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Thursday, April 24
New York Yankees 73.700
Detroit Tigers 64.6001
Washington Senators 64.6001
Chicago White Sox 64.6001
Cleveland Indians 55.5002
Philadelphia Athletics 46.4003
St. Louis Browns 37.3004
Boston Red Sox 37.3004

3.15.2009

CHERRY FIZZERS COULDN'T HELP ME TODAY


April 24, 1924

This was going to be our rebounding day, and I knew that when SCHULTZ HOME RUN, 1-0 PHL came across Mort's ticker after the very first batter. Then the same Joe Schultz dropped a fly in the bottom of the 1st, the Braves tied the game, and I needed my first cherry soda to relax.

Benny was back, after enjoying watching the Athletics lose their home opener over at Shibe yesterday. Benny hates the Athletics much more than me for a reason I still can't figure out, and you'd think because their field is right down the street from ours they'd be some kind of shared home team for us, but they're just not. Sometimes I think people can't root for two clubs at once and create excuses to divide them in their heads.

Anyway, Benny was in such a good mood that when the Braves scored three in the 2nd off Glazner with the help of an error by Frank Parkinson at third that he just shrugged and went to a table in the back to squeeze into a poker game.

But the Phils fought back, scored one in the 4th and then a Heinie Sand double tied it in the 6th. Marquard was pitching for Boston and we thought he was going to fall apart but just didn't, and got even tougher. After Sand's double he didn't give up another hit, and after Parkinson hit into a double play to ruin a rally in the 7th, I knew we were in trouble. I don't like Parkinson. He fills in sometimes against lefty pitchers because Wrightstone has trouble with them, but he's so bad they could name a disease after him.

So in the bottom of the 10th, Mort's all filled with cigar smoke by now, McINNIS HOME RUN, BOS 5 PHL 4 FINAL came across the ticker, and I couldn't even finish my fizzer. I always said it's easier when your team loses on the road because it's not right in front of you, but it's never easy to lose by one run, even if the game is played on the Moon. Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

PHL 100 102 000 0 — 4 5 2
BOS 130 000 000 1 — 5 9 1

Other National League games on the ticker today:

GIANTS 10-14-0, 5-11-3
Most of the people at Mort's were following this one, and nobody was happy about it. Jimmy O'Connell fills in for injured Ross Youngs in right and gets a double and three triples in the cleanup spot. Even the crummy Billy Southworth homers as the Giants destroy Dutch Ruether behind Bentley to open the Ebbets Field part of their season battle.

PIRATES 9-13-1, REDS 4-15-0
Cincy ties the game with three runs in the 5th but the big tough Bucs score three back immediately on four straight singles off Dolf Luque and a sacrifice fly ball. I'm not looking forward to our first skirmish with the Pennsylvanians from the far west.

CARDINALS 10-17-2, CUBS 8-11-1
Guess I could say that for these other western clubs, because they can all smack the ball. Hornsby is on base every time in this one with a homer, and the Cards come close to blowing away an 8-1 lead. Flint Rhem gives up five Cub triples but still escapes with the win.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, April 24
Pittsburgh Pirates 72.778
Brooklyn Robins 54.5562
New York Giants 54.5562
St. Louis Cardinals 55.5002.5
Boston Braves 55.500 2.5
Cincinnati Reds 45.444 3
Philadelphia Phillies 46.400 3.5
Chicago Cubs 37.3004.5

3.14.2009

MIRACLE AT 66th AND LEXINGTON


TIGERS WALLOP THREE HOME RUNS IN ONE INNING TO SHOCK INDIANS IN LEAGUE PARK OPENER

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 23, 1924

CLEVELAND, OH—Before a briefly-jubilant throng of over 25,000 Indian sweethearts, Cobb's Crushers exploded for six runs in the 8th frame today and safely grappled on to a 6-5 win.

League Park was awash in bunting, blessed with blue skies, and the Cleveland horde was giddy with glee after scoring three single runs off Ken Holloway on hits from Myatt and two by pitcher Uhle. Coasting along at 3-0, with victory as assured as the evening breeze on Lake Erie, Uhle gave up a pinch single from Fatty Fothergill with one out in the top of the 8th. Then Cobb, who nearly cleared the reachable right field fence with a triple in the 6th, banged a ball just over the high wire fence to tighten the game considerably at 3-2. After a Rigney walk, Bud Messenger entered from the nervous Cleveland bullpen and instantly made a mess of things. Bassler grounded Rigney to second, but Heilman tripled to the far reaches of left center to tie the game. Heinie Manush, the other gallant German, then swatted one just over the wire fence for a 5-4 advantage. As if this weren't startling enough, bench man Al Wingo, slotted in right with Lu Blue injured, then fired a cannon ball over the same spot as Manush's for the third circuit clout in the same inning!

A funereal hush draped over the Cleveland crowd, as well as our press row, and it was even more miraculous that the Speakermen recovered in the 9th long enough to score two runs off relief man Syl Johnson. The Tiger win knotted the clubs at 5-4, and Lil Stoner will get a second try tomorrow against Luther Roy. Manager Cobb appeared elated in the locker room later, as he only used two foul words in ten minutes of discussion.

DET 000 000 060 — 6 10 1
CLE 001 101 002 — 5 11 1

Other American League results

YANKEES 7-12-5, RED SOX 4-4-0
Another despicable Boston performance,as the New Yorkers commit five gaffes yet still win handily, the third time they have come from behind to beat the New Englanders this year. The Scarlet Hosers actually led 4-2 going to the last of the 6th but Jack Quinn plunked a man and allowed six Yankee hits, as the boisterous Yankee Stadium mob tooted its vocal horns aplenty.

SENATORS 9-15-1, ATHLETICS 6-12-3
The outcome was less rosy at Shibe Park, where the Nats silenced the packed gathering with five 1st inning scores, capped by an unlikely homer ball from short-stop Peckinpaugh. Zachary wasn't especially effective but Russell came on with a man on third to strike out Jimmy Dykes and end the game.

BROWNS 7-9-0, WHITE SOX 5-11-0
The memory of being push-broomed four times out of Comiskey still stirring in their bellies, the Brownies extract some revenge by taking a 7-2 lead with the assistance of a Ken Williams 3-run homer, then hold on despite starting hurler Dixie Davis going out with a mild injury. After enjoying the fruits of good fortune the first week, the Chicagoans have now failed for four consecutive days.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, April 23
New York Yankees 72.778
Washington Senators 63.6671
Detroit Tigers 54.5562
Chicago White Sox 54.5562
Cleveland Indians 54.5562
Philadelphia Athletics 36.3334
St. Louis Browns 36.3334
Boston Red Sox 27.2225

3.12.2009

A ROUGH AFTERNOON AT MORT'S


April 23, 1924

When the Phils are out of town, I basically got two choices to follow them: take a streetcar up to Broad Street News to watch the fake players move around on their diamond board, or head over to Mort's Cigars. And I already told you I was going there today so I guess it's no surprise.

Mort had the cherry soda fountain all ready to go, and poured me one the second I walked in. Benny didn't come because he decided to sneak into the Athletics home opener at Shibe Park instead. That idea didn't excite me, because I'm way too far gone for the Phillies to root for those second-division apes.

Anyway, Mort had his telegraph cooking with news from Braves Field every few minutes, and I jumped off my stool when the first ticker for the top of the 2nd read MOKAN HOME RUN. The next one said SINGLES BY SAND, FORD AND OESCHEGER. 2-0 PHILLIES and I put a nickel down for my second cherry fizzer.

Norbert the Naysayer was over at a table playing gin rummy, and every time I hooted or hollered he pounded his beverage glass on the table and yelled "Just you wait, sonny, just you wait!" I hate being called sonny. You'd think grownups would take a minute sometimes to learn your stupid name.

But either Norbert the Naysayer was right or he put a big whammy on us, because Mort's ticker for the last of the 5th read POWELL HOME RUN, 2-1 PHILLIES and in the 8th it was POWELL TRIPLE, CUNNINGHAM PINCH SINGLE, 2-2 SCORE.

From then I was too nervous to drink any more soda and had two fresh hot pretzels instead. Mort's lucky because he's so busy selling drinks and cigars and making sure card games and betting is going on that he doesn't have time to get broken up when the Phillies blow games.

And he was sure glad when those three cops came in later to get their payoffs, because he missed Huck Betts throwing the game down the laundry chute in the 11th. McINNIS SINGLE...STENGEL WALK...GIBSON WALK...I let the ticker paper roll into my hand but kept my eyes closed, then finally opened them to read BANCROFT SINGLE, BRAVES WIN 3-2.

Supposedly they had a warm Indian spring day in Boston, so I'm sure the Braves fans were thrilled. It's easy to be when your team hasn't won a pennant in ten years. Hopefully Glazner will shut them up good tomorrow. Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

PHL 020 000 000 00 — 2 9 1
BOS 000 010 010 01 — 3 10 0

Only one other National League game on the ticker today:

CARDINALS 13-14-1, CUBS 9-10-4
Ray Blades hits like a crazy person, knocking a 3-run homer, a triple, and getting seven runs batted in. Leo Dickerman actually has a 13-3 lead when the Cubs wake up in the 8th with five runs but it's too darn late. I've never been to Wrigley FIeld and only seen one photo, but I'm sure the place was pretty stuffed for their home opener, too. Tomorrow the Robins host the Giants and Forbes Field gets opened to the public against the Reds.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, April 23
Pittsburgh Pirates 62.750
Brooklyn Robins 53.6251
Cincinnati Reds 44.500 2
New York Giants 44.5002
Philadelphia Phillies 45.444 2.5
St. Louis Cardinals 45.4442.5
Boston Braves 45.444 2.5
Chicago Cubs 36.3333.5

FEEBLE, THY NAME IS DETROIT

TIGER ATTACK SHACKLED BY ERNIE WINGARD IN BON VOYAGE AFFAIR

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 22, 1924

A short 3-game trip to Cleveland looms for our ball club, but all Navin evidence today pointed to them zipping their bat bags before the train even left Michigan Central Station. The likes of portsider Ernest Wingard and the St. Louis nine pulled away with an efficient 2-0 win, lowlighted by Detroit's absolute inability to propel feet across their polished plate.

Time and time again we planted runners in the diamond soil, only to watch them wither and die. Cobb stroked a double to lead off the 1st but after a Rigney walk, Haney, Heilman and Manush could do nothing. Two runners got aboard the next frame and rotted, then a two-out Heilman triple was wasted in the 3rd. Two more were left in the 4th, if one can accept that. Woodall singled to begin the 6th and was instantly erased by a double play. The tightening drama would then have its tragic twist, as Ed Wells, with only three sigles allowed into the 8th, gave the Browns a single, double and 2-run Hank Severeid safety for the lone two runs of the game.

Manager Cobb discussed the game with his team in their blue locker room afterwards. "You pansy-asses think you're a cottin-pickin ball team? You ain't even cotton pickers, you're a bunch of limp nose-pickers, is what you are! We got a trip to Cleveland tomorrow, Speaker's gonna be lickin' his ugly chops to get at us, so let me tell ya that if I catch one of you drinkin' moonshine on the train or out cuttin' rugs with a tomato tonight, I'll personally whip your tail and throw ya into Lake Erie with the other refuse, 'cause you ain't gonna play on my squad no time soon, ya got that daisy-brains?" Cobb explained.

STL 000 000 020 — 2 6 0
DET 000 000 000 — 0 8 1

Other American League games:

SENATORS 7-12-2, YANKEES 3-7-1
Curly Ogden rights the Senator ship for the second straight time after a Mogridge monstrosity, as the Nats put the contest away with four two out runs n the 6th off Waite Hoyt. Ruth triples and scores twice but few of his other mates come to the fore.

ATHLETICS 11-14-2, RED SOX 5-12-2
After two wins in a row, Boston is red-faced when Philadelphia plates eight runs in the 1st frame off Ferguson. Baumgartner gets the complete victory to make it a 4-game split as the Elephants go home to Shibe Park to open against Washington, while the Red Sox will be the guests for the home opener at 1-year-old Yankee Stadium for what is sure to be a difficult stay.

INDIANS 9-14-0, WHITE SOX 4-10-0
Coveleski bears down nicely after allowing two quick runs, and the Tribesmen roar back against Sarge Connally with three big hits from Speaker and rafts of others. Cleveland wins the last three games after dropping the first one, and will now open their League Park schedule against our hit-starved boys with a full audience cheering their every breath.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Tuesday, April 22
New York Yankees 62.750
Chicago White Sox 53.6251
Cleveland Indians 53.6251
Washington Senators 53.6251
Detroit Tigers 44.5002
Philadelphia Athletics 35.3753
Boston Red Sox 26.2504
St. Louis Browns 26.2504

3.11.2009

PHILS TAKE ROBINS DOWN WITH EXTRA BIRD SHOT

By Vincent Q. Spanelli the Third

April 22, 1924

It was nice to have Benny with me for a whole game, and for the weather to get a little warmer, because let me tell you, baseball isn't supposed to be played on tundras. And I was in such a good mood after today's thriller that I ate all of Mama's broccoli stew and gave myself a fancy reporter's name for tonight.

Jimmy Johnson popped a cheap homer off the foul cage in left off Carlson to get Brooklyn's scoring going, but Andy High made a bad boot for them at second base to help us tie the game in the 3rd. Then the Robins got a real lucky run, when Wheat doubled with two outs in the 5th and ended up scoring on Carlson's wild pitch, which was basically a 1 out of 20 chance of getting past catcher Wilson.

Me and Benny were going bananas, though, because we must've had at least two guys on base every inning and couldn't move them an inch. Finally Sand hit a sac fly in the 8th, we were tied, all 9,000 or so of us were yelling, Benny was chucking peanuts at Zack Wheat, and we had a chance! Johnny Couch took over for Carlson and he started leaving Robins all over the bases.

Wrightstone started a third to catcher to first double play to get us out of the 9th, then walked to start our 10th. Cy Williams, who had not hit a lick in a pinch for days, then smoked a single into right to get Wrightstone to third. Our left field friend Mokan then bounced a single between Mitchell and High for the winner, and no hats were left on heads at the Baker Bowl.

We're back at .500 as we hit the trail again, this time to Braves Field in Boston and uh oh...the Polo Grounds. Think I've had enough travelling for a while, though, so I'll suffer through these games down at Mort's. He gets telegraph reports all day and serves a wicked cherry soda. Good night, reader-people!

BRK 010 010 000 0 — 2 13 1
PHL 001 000 010 1 — 3 9 2

Other National League games I found out about:

GIANTS 5-11-0, BRAVES 4-12-1
Man oh man, the Braves almost take three out of four from those creeps. Nehf has a 4-1 lead into the 7th but can't hold it, and they have to wait until Gowdy singles in their winner off Stryker in the 13th. What's great for the league is that both Hack Wilson and Ross Youngs get hurt for their next game against Brooklyn, and Jonnard their bullpen champ won't be available because he pitched here too much. I hope that's good. The Robins might end up being tougher than the Giants the way they're going.

CUBS 5-14-1, REDS 2-10-1
Pete Alexander never seems to get much batting help, but did late in this one, as Barrett tripled in the winner off Donohue in the 8th and the Cubbies avoid being swept in all four.

PIRATES 9-14-2, CARDINALS 6-15-0
So the Bucs are alone in first now after a strange game. They had a 9-1 lead early from knocking Sherdel silly, then go to sleep and the Cards almost come back all the way against Wilbur Cooper. Ray Blades is on base all five times for St. Loo with a homer, and Hornsby gets two more hits and is now batting .441.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, April 22
Pittsburgh Pirates 62.750
Brooklyn Robins 53.6251
Philadelphia Phillies 44.500 2
Cincinnati Reds 44.500 2
New York Giants 44.5002
St. Louis Cardinals 35.3753
Boston Braves 35.375 3
Chicago Cubs 35.3753

3.09.2009

IT'S HEINIE DAY IN DETROIT

MANUSH COMES THROUGH TWICE IN PINCH AS TIGERS TOP BROWNS AGAIN 7-3

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

April 21, 1924

The Detroit weather is still frosty, but the Bengal bats are showing signs of thawing off. Mr. Manush of the Left Field Meadow was the star at Navin today, igniting a 2nd inning rally off Danforth, doubling in the go-ahead tally in the 3rd after Cobb was tossed out stealing and almost eviscerated the rally, then singled in another in a rambunctious 6th, when the Tigers scored four and tucked the game to sleep.

Earl Whitehill won his second game with fine slab-work, as the St. Louicians dropped to a 1-6 record, and are even worse than Boston now. It will be Wingard against our Ed Wells in tomorrow's finale at the field, before the boys pack their things for a quick train ride to Cleveland. This reporter may even drive his Model T, if reports of sunny skies for the week are indeed true.

STL 001 100 100 — 3 11 2
DET 012 004 00x — 7 11 2

Other American League games:

YANKEES 9-10-0, SENATORS 0-9-2
By all accounts, a dreadful affair for the Washingtonians, as Mogridge is drubbed for the second straight time and the Nats manage to score nothing off Joe Bush despite knocking one less hit the New Yorkers. The Bambino contributed two doubles to the Yanks' first place cause, as they bunched their runs with two in the 2nd, three in the 5th and four more in the 8th.

RED SOX 2-9-0, ATHLETICS 1-7-0
Yowsa! The Bostons have notched two straight victories, this time on a sterling effort from Howard Ehmke. Rommel also pitched well but after an Athletics run in the first inning on a Simmons double play grounder, Philadelphia could no nothing more.

INDIANS 5-13-0, WHITE SOX 3-8-1
And make that two straight defeats for Chicago, who might have lost their leprachaunish ways already. Six Cleveland doubles did in Red Faber, as Chick Fewster played in the injured Riggs Stephenson's stead and collected three hits including the one that decided the game.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Monday, April 21
New York Yankees 61.857
Chicago White Sox 52.7141
Washington Senators 43.5712
Detroit Tigers 43.5712
Cleveland Indians 43.5712
Boston Red Sox 25.2864
Philadelphia Athletics 25.2864
St. Louis Browns 16.1435