4.30.2009

BUTTERFINGERS APLENTY


EIGHT-INNING MISCUES BY DETROIT INFIELD GIVES NATS 5-3 VICTORY

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 12, 1924

WASHINGTON, DC—Another hard-fought contest at Griffith Stadium went to the Senators today, as a taut 3-3 knot quickly unravelled late in the most heinous of ways.

A double from Bennie Tate, single by Bluege and two-run double from Peckinpaugh gave the Nats a 2-0 lead on Collins in the 2nd, but Al Wingo's double leading the 3rd began a double-tally rally for the guests to tie matters. Nat pitcher Ogden then singled in Bluege to put the home squad ahead in the 5th, but these clubs simply can't stay away from each other long. Sam Rice dropped Colins' fly to launch the 7th, and a RIgney single plated him on short notice.

We then repaired to the last of the 8th, where Collins, who had been throwing all afternoon with ample dexterity, retired Harris and Judge before Goslin sliced a single into left. Rice hit a ground single in front of Rigney, but Topper, notorious in this young campaign for heaving balls to points unreached, did the very same and there were suddenly runners at second and third. Tate then singled for the go-ahead strike, and after Dauss relieved a weary and angry Collins, Bluege hit a ball in the hole to the left of Del Pratt at third. He nabbed it but chucked the sphere wide of Heilman at first and another run scored.

To their credit, the Tigers mounted a brave rally in the 9th on a pinch single from Woodall and another plunker by Cobb, but Ogden earned his fourth win by getting the ball-molester Rigney out on a weak grounder.

Cobb was in in mood for discussion later. He had made up for his misadventure on the bases yesterday with a clean steal off Ogden today, but he likes losing about as much as a 6-year-old enjoys brussel sprouts, and passed up President Coolidge's invitation to a White House dinner tonight with complaints of bad indigestion. Mr. Coolidge might be wise to send any future honored missives following a Tiger win.

Whitehill takes his chances against Zachary tomorrow afternoon before the club heads up to Philadelphia for what will hopefully be an easier stay at Shibe Park.

DET 002 000 100 - 3 6 2
WAS 020 010 02x - 5 11 3

Other American League contests:

at YANKEES 5-11-0, WHITE SOX 4-11-1
Yes, three American teams are now within half of a game. A nip-and-tuck affair in the Bronx sees Bob Meusel fill the Bambino's hitting shoes again with a 2-run homer in the 1st, run-scoring double in the 6th and a game-winning single in the 10th. The dangerous Sox pepper Joe Bush with hits from start to finish, but Milt Gaston comes on for New York to halt the flow. Ruth does manage a single in the midst of a game-tieing rally in the 8th, but the big man continues to not perform when expected, and the vocal never let him forget it. One hopes things will remain this way until after the Tigers visit his town.

at ATHLETICS 3-11-1, INDIANS 2-9-1
Cleveland ruins a chance to approach the first division by dropping one at Shibe on a Max Bishop single off Messenger in the last of the 9th. Joe Sewell has been moved all over the Indian lineup but has been an awful slump since the first few weeks of the year, and Speaker needs him as his offensive compliment if the Tribe are to offset their subpar pitching.

at RED SOX 7-12-0, BROWNS 4-11-0
These clubs flip-flop for the third straight day, as Oscar Fuhr gets the win. Poor Dave Danforth drops to 0-6 for the Brownies, as he gets the first two outs in the Boston 5th before giving them seven straight hits and five runs.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Monday, May 12
Chicago White Sox 1610.615
Washington Senators 1711.607
New York Yankees 1611.5930.5
Detroit Tigers 1412.5382
Boston Red Sox 1214.4624
St. Louis Browns 1215.4444.5
Cleveland Indians 1216.4295
Philadelphia Athletics 919.3218

4.29.2009

PHILLIE FANS IN A LOST WORLD

May 12, 1924

Some days you can't get out of bed, or just plain shouldn't. It wasn't until 11 in the morning that I was well enough to eat something, and it was a stale biscuit Benny brought upstairs for me. My first encounter with illegal German beer didn't go all that swell, and I told him I'd be danged if I ever stepped foot in one of those beery gardens again.

The Redland Field sunshine helped my condition, though. This time Benny paid a little extra for good seats between third base and home plate, far away from our bleacher hooligan friends, and when Holke singled in the top of the 1st and Cy walked to the plate to face Rixey, it seemed like the day would turn out fine. But Williams grounded out, and the afternoon went down the drain like dirty bath water.

You see, after Wilson singled with one out in the 2nd, the remaining 23 Phillie batters went down without a fight. I don't know where this Eppa Rixey guy came from or what disease he was named after, but the lefty didn't throw one ball we could hit with a side of beef. Meantime, Cincy put together two of their famous softy rallies, scoring with walks, sacrifice flies, triples by people who never hit them, and it was 4-0 to stay by the end of the 6th.

The crowd around us was hooting themselves hoarse, and me and Benny just had to sit there and take it. Benny didn't even yell anything after the third inning, and by the end had sunk so low in his seat all I could see was his cap.

What do you do for fun after getting run down by a lorry? I said I'd even go back to Over-the-Rhine and that beer garden just to cheer Benny up, but he didn't want to run into those German goons again. So I said why not Fountain Square and another moving picture and he said fine.

This time I wanted to find one without kissing and we were in luck because the Lyric was showing "The Lost World", which I think was based on a book by the guy who wrote Sherlock Holmes stories, and it had all these scary prehistoric monsters in it. Benny jumped in his seat and even screamed at one part but mostly laughed and was in a much better mood when it was over and took me to a nice joint for a great spaghetti and sausage dinner. Sometimes when you have an awful day all you need is a good place to escape to, and the Lyric Theatre sure did it for us tonight.

One more Redland game tomorrow and we head to Pittsburgh. Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

PHL 000 000 000 - 0 2 0
CIN 000 202 00x - 4 7 0

Other National League games:

at PIRATES 2-6-0, BRAVES 0-5-0
Oh boy, now we get to play the red-hot Bucs after this. Johnny Morrison goes to 4-0 and Kiki Cuyler knocks in both runs with a single and homer.

at CUBS 10-16-1, ROBINS 4-7-2
Did the Brooklyners just lose two in a row? Unbelievable! Keen beats Tiny Osborne here, and the Cubbies do most of their bat-damage late. Tied 2-2 in the 6th, Rube Eberhardt relieves the tired Osborne and Ray Grimes triples off him to clear the bases. Gabby Hartnett smacks two homers and Chicago gets five more in the 8th to force a tie for first place between the Robins and Bucs. Tomorrow's pitching matchup is spectacular: Dazzy Vance against Pete Alexander. Wish I could listen to it on one of those radio-machines.

GIANTS 9-15-0, at CARDINALS 2-7-2
Well, that's what happens when I make fun of a team. George Kelly still can't drive in any runs, but the rest of McGraw's mashers sure do, as Virgil Barnes wins his fourth game. Frisch and Heinie Groh get almost half of the New York hits.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Monday, May 12
Pittsburgh Pirates169.640
Brooklyn Robins169.640
Cincinnati Reds1611.593 1
New York Giants1412.5382.5
St. Louis Cardinals1314.4814
Chicago Cubs1116.4076
Boston Braves916.360 7
Philadelphia Phillies917.346 7.5

4.28.2009

ANOTHER GRIPPER AT GRIFFITH


STONER EXCELS AT OPPORTUNE MOMENTS IN SECOND STRAIGHT 4-3 TIGER WIN

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 11, 1924

WASHINGTON, DC—The road away from Navin Field continued to be a safe route for the Detroit club today, after another hard-fought battle royale with the scrappy Senators. The Bengals are now 9-4 on visiting diamonds, with many games left on this current excursion, and have drawn to within two notches of first place.

'Lil Stoner faced off against Mogridge today, who had hurled three straight wins after two opening defeats. The Tigers scored three times right out of the gate when Rigney drew a pass, Cobb singled him to third, and Goslin dropped a Haney fly for a two-sack error. A Manush grounder and Woodall single completed the scoring, and then the Nats grabbed their lunch cans and went to work. For most of the game Stoner was in baserunner turmoil often, but his dexterity in tight situations paid off handsomely time and again.

Mogridge also calmed down after his initial misfortune, but in the 4th Ruel opened with a walk, Bluege singled, and Peckinpaugh tripled to the deepest environs to close it to 3-2. Judge roped a double to start the 5th, Rice singled him to third, and a long fly from Ruel tied the score.

Matters remained deadlocked until the 7th, when Rigney walked, Cobb forced him, and Haney singled Tyrus to third. Up stepped Heilman, the Prince of Pressure as far as Detroiters are concerned, and Harry lined a Mogridge fastball into the far left pasture for the 4-3 lead! The Tiger relief men were poised down the line, ready to be summoned, but Stoner would have none of that, and easily put away 14 of the final 15 swatters he faced, silencing what was once a cheery, female-blessed Mother's Day gathering.

Despite another big win, Cobb was irksome in the club house later. He had walked with two outs in the top of the 9th and attempted to steal, but Washington relief ace Alan Russell spun like a top and gunned him down before he could leave the first bag. Tyrus does not think well of himself and especially others when he is nabbed during a thievery, and if he ever reaches first again off Russell, we should expect him to be carving a new dirt track in seconds.

Rip Collins takes the hill tomorrow against Curly Ogden, with the Nats positively starved for a win.

DET 300 000 100 - 4 7 0
WAS 000 210 000 - 3 8 1

Other American League contests:

at YANKEES 12-14-0, WHITE SOX 4-12-0
One imagines Herb Pennock having an easy time of it against Ted Blankenship, but this game is in serious doubt until the 6th inning. Ruth hits homer No. 7 earlier to help the Yanks to a 4-2 lead, but a Sheely double, Elsh triple and Kamm single knot the proceedings again. New York then goes out and collects five straight one-out singles, a walk to Pennock, a Combs single, Dugan walk, and after Cvengros is hailed to face the Bambino, a line double and Pipp single for eight runs and the ball game. Pipp has two other hits, three knocked in, and is a real asset to the Gothamites. Not since the infamous Hal Chase have the New Yorkers showcased a first sacker as adept as Wally Pipp, and it's hard to fathom a better one ever taking his place.

at INDIANS 12-16-2, ATHLETICS 7-6-2
Is there any worse fate than being a fan of the White Elephants these days? They plate three runs off Joe Shaute in the 1st, their best hurler Rommel gives up five to the Indians immediately, they score four times in the 4th to take the lead again, then allow two Tribe tallies in the 6th and five more in the 8th to fall to 8-19, by far the worst mark in either league. Thankfully the Brotherly Love City still has the destitute Phillies to share their misery.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Sunday, May 11
Chicago White Sox 169.640
Washington Senators 1611.5931
New York Yankees 1511.5771.5
Detroit Tigers 1411.5602
St. Louis Browns 1214.4624.5
Cleveland Indians 1215.4445
Boston Red Sox 1114.4405
Philadelphia Athletics 819.2969

4.27.2009

BIG TROUBLE IN THE RIVER CITY


May 11, 1924

We got to Redland Field early because it was Mother's Day and we didn't know how many of those mothers would show up in Cincinnati. There actually seemed to be a pretty good amount, and we had to change seats twice because of their big hats in our face.

We ended up way down in the right field stands about a spit away from the bleacher section. Whitey Glazner was pitching, who's just been plain lousy for us so far, and he didn't change our minds right away by giving up singles to Critz and the Boob and then a loud triple to Rube Bressler for a 2-0 Reds lead. When Roush hit a high fly to score the third run, two whole rows of the bleachers bounced around like a see-saw bench. A gang of young guys all wearing dark shirts and suspenders were making a big ruckus, and Benny went to a seat usher to ask who they were.

The Over-the Rhine Boys were from a tough German neighborhood that went by the same name, and I suddenly recognized them as the guys who followed us out yesterday with their dirty looks. It was 4-0 Cincy behind Carl Mays before long, but when we scored two runs in the 3rd thanks to a big error from Cliff Lee out in right, Benny hooted and waved his cap and made sure the Over-the-Rhine Boys were watching. I told him to keep it down because we weren't back at home but it's hard to calm Benny down when he gets fevered up.

Now Mays is the pitcher who threw the ball that killed Cleveland shortstop Chapman a few years back, and fans of every team except for his usually give it to him good, but today he didn't have to throw at anyone's head because the Phils couldn't have hit him with cave man clubs. And I forget whether I've mentioned it lately, but Cy Williams has been stinking real bad. Today he grounded out twice in the first three innings with people on second base, and with the lineup we got, Cy has to hit for us to have any chance at all.

Anyway, after we lost Benny was moping and cursing Carl Mays and sure enough those German roughnecks followed us out the exit again. We tried to squeeze through the big crowd but they had more friends waiting for us at the edge of the parking places and when one of them mouthed off to Benny in a creepy German accent, he reared back and punched him and then everything went blue. Normally I would have let Benny get himself in hot water but being far from home I just couldn't, and besides I haven't been thrilled with Germans since one of them killed Papa during the Great War so I jumped in and kicked a lot and got thrown to the ground. By the time I stood back up they'd dragged Benny up the street. I couldn't find a cop anywhere so I headed in the direction they took him and found myself in Over-the Rhine.

This part of the city had German restaurants and German hotels and German signs and even sold German newspapers, and I felt kind of sick just looking at them all and smelling the air. After wandering around for a good hour I finally found Benny sitting in an alley with a bloody nose and black eye. He ended up telling the gang his name was Hans Muellerschmidt even though it wasn't, just so they'd let him go, and he was lucky it worked. I helped him up and we found a German laundry where we could both wash up in a sink.

Now that Benny had turned German, he really felt he deserved a good dinner here, so we walked into a fancy restaurant called Mecklenburg Gardens to settle ourselves down, and believe it or not the place had a secret door to an illegal beer garden in the back. We wouldn't have even known it if Benny hadn't put a ten dollar bill in the waiter's pocket.

It was smoky and packed in there and I had to stay calm with all the well-dressed Huns around us, but the big kegs on the wall sure helped that problem. It was the first mug of real beer I'd ever had, all foamy and heavy, and after my second one it didn't take me long to feel poorly. Benny pulled me onto a floor to dance to some oom-pah song with two girls, which only made me run off to a toilet to upvomit.

Bad enough I have to worry about Benny's crazy driving, now I just hope I'm not spoiling his fun. Good night if I can fall sleep, reader-people!
—Vinny

PHL 002 000 000 - 2 6 0
CIN 310 010 00x - 5 9 3

Other National League games today:

at CUBS 6-10-0, ROBINS 1-7-1
Barney Friberg is my new hero! His 3-run homer in the 2nd off Dutch Ruether puts Chicago up 4-0 on the first place Robins as Vic Aldridge pitches like a champ and nobody in the league loses any ground.

at CARDS 8-16-0, GIANTS 7-10-0 (10 innings)
Even with a 7-3 lead in the 4th behind undefeated Mule Watson, even with Jonnard, one of the best relief men around, pitching the last four innings, the Cards still fight back and take the game in extra innings on three singles and a Specs Toporcer sacrifice fly. Right now, the Giants are an awful, awful team, and if they lose again tomorrow St. Louis will jump in front of them. Hornsby gets four hits with a homer in five tries, and is now up to .432.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Sunday, May 11
Brooklyn Robins168.667
Pittsburgh Pirates159.6251
Cincinnati Reds1511.560 2
New York Giants1312.5203.5
St. Louis Cardinals1313.5004
Chicago Cubs1016.3607
Boston Braves915.375 7
Philadelphia Phillies916.3607.5

4.25.2009

BIG TRAIN DERAILED IN THE TWILIGHT



WINGO'S BASE KNOCK WINS 13-FRAME D.C. THRILLER

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 10, 1924

WASHINGTON, DC—Ty Cobb stared out at the tall, aging Kansan perched on the Griffith Stadium mound, dug his cleats into the batter's box, and flinched at a passing strike that he barely saw. The first Tiger game in the Nation's Capitol this season began with a pitcher and batter match-up for the ages, and when it was over four hours later, as spring darkness cloaked the ball park, an overflow Senators crowd and handful of fortunate writers would barely recollect all the razor-edged, incredible moments the teams displayed before them.

Walter Johnson battled Cobb hard for that first at bat, and after the infamous twirler's long arm dropped down for a sidewheeling fastball and Tyrus limply popped out, the Train seemed to lose his initial focus. He walked Rigney, gave up a blistering single to Bassler, and Heilman singled hard past Peckinpaugh for a 1-0 Detroit lead out of the gate. Ken Holloway, the lone undefeated Tiger starter at 3-0, pitched in exemplary fashion once again, but after Lance Richbourg doubled with one out in the 3rd, Joe Judge singled him homeward to tie the score.

Johnson then settled into his customary act of pitching sorcery, while the Nats scored another in the 5th on Richbourg's second ringing double of the afternoon and a Peckinpaugh pop safety. Cobb had ripped a single off Johnson in the 2nd but grounded weakly off him to lead the 5th. Now, after Les Burke batted for Holloway in the 7th and made out, the Peach of Georgia dug back in, squeezing the bat handle so tight you could almost see its wood chips fluttering on his shoes. This time he lofted a high fly to right, but Richbourg, perhaps still dwelling on his two-sack hits, jiggled, juggled and finally fumbled the ball and looked up to see Cobb standing at second. Rigney sent the manager home with a sharp single on the next pitch to tie the score at 2-2.

But the keg of exciting gunpowder was just igniting. Bassler roped a double into the opposite corner in left, Goslin raced over like an oafish gazelle, scooped up the sphere and chucked it plateward. The ball flew as a comet would to catcher Tate, who parked his knee on the home dish and tagged Rigney's left collarbone in a cloud of dust for the out! The exultant mob stood and shouted "Gooooooose!" which sounded like "Boooo!" to the untrained ear.

Hooks Dauss relieved and threw two scoreless innings, and then Syl Johnson took the slab for four more. Johnson was weakening, but manager Harris knew that a weary Train was still preferable to any of the relief men waiting in the wings, and left him out for the extra segments. But after an Al Wingo walk and Pratt single in the 11th, Bob Jones hit a deep fly to put Detroit ahead 3-2. Now all base ball fans know the Great Johnson is also a wonderful hitter, yet three separate times—in the 9th, 11th and 13th—he came to bat with a man on second base and could not drive him in. The Nats' Doc Prothro instead was the Brave Knight of the 11th, as he singled in front of Manush with two outs to score Ossie Bluege and knot the game 3-3.

Oh, the tension! The score board had long posted a final score from Yankee Stadium, a surprise victory for Chicago, and both the Tigers and Senators were hungry for this win. The 12th went by with no further scoring, but Heilman picked out a dying Johnson curve to begin the 13th and cold-cocked it on a line into the deepest part of centerfield, just below the fine house that graces the top of the zig-zag wall. By the time Wid Mathews tracked down the ball, Harry had huffed into third for a leadoff triple. Manush flied to short center for a harmless out, but then Al Wingo, playing in place of the absent Lu Blue, singled past Harris for the 4-3 lead.

Yet these Nats are one of the toughest outfits in years. Bluege led the Nats' 13th with a double, his fourth hit of the game. Harris took himself out of the lineup for McNeely, but Pillette, now on the hill, whiffed him. The Train batted once more, tipping his cap to the cheering crowd, but grounded out, before Mathews rolled one to Heilman for the exhausting conclusion, as the giant peach of a sun dropped behind the stands.

The Tigers will take their licks against Mogridge tomorrow, while Lil Stoner will attempt to keep the Senators muzzled, but with this uncanny, drama-drenched spectacle still burning in their minds and aching muscles, the players may have a hard time upstaging it.

DET 100 000 100 010 1 - 4 11 1
WAS 001 010 000 010 0 - 3 12 1

Other American League contests:

WHITE SOX 9-12-2, at YANKEES 7-13-1
Dismal is too soft a word for the way New York played in this game. They mount a 6-2 cushion against Lyons, inlcluding a 2-run homer from their own hurler Bob Shawkey, yet simply cannot keep Chicago from scoring, allowing two runs in the 5th, 7th and 8th while the Gothamite offense takes knockout drops. Bottles, wrappers and other refuse are thrown from the Yankee Stadium rafters in the late innings, and Ruth is once again in his puzzling hypnotic state.

INDIANS 11-14-2, at ATHLETICS 4-8-2
Now ten games below the even mark, the A's are trounced again, their hitters baffled by Sherry Smith. Glenn Myatt belts a 3-run homer in the opening frame and knocks in five. These teams now journey to Ohio for one contest before returning to Pennsylvania, to honor the Keystone State's Sunday church laws.

BROWNS 9-12-0, at RED SOX 1-7-0
After their crushing 9th inning defeat yesterday, Urban Shocker and St. Louis have their way with the Beaneaters. Even with their slugger Ken Williams out, the Browns have been most astute with their sticks.











AMERICAN LEAGUE through Saturday, May 10
Chicago White Sox 168.667
Washington Senators 1610.6151
New York Yankees 1411.5602.5
Detroit Tigers 1311.5423
St. Louis Browns 1214.4625
Boston Red Sox 1114.4405.5
Cleveland Indians 1115.4236
Philadelphia Athletics 818.3089

4.23.2009

WE STORM THE RED BASTILLE


May 10, 1924

What's it like to wake up in Cincinnati? For me it could have been the Moon. There was ugly flower wallpaper all around the hotel room, strange sausage smells coming in the open window, and looking out I saw at least three or four big hills surrounding the city, and I don't think I ever saw one in Philadelphia.

Benny was snoring until at least nine, and after a pretty tasty breakfast at a place next to the hotel that served something called salt pork and eggs, we got back in the car and started searching for Redland Field. Two different people sent us in the wrong direction, or maybe we just took wrong turns because of our excitement. Anyway, we finally spotted two kids in Reds caps hustling along and Benny slowed down next to them and asked, "How ya get to the BALL-game?" but they couldn't tell us the street names so we let them hop in back and show us instead.

The field actually wasn't that hard to miss, because it was so big it dominated its factory-type neighborhood. Fans were lining up early for tickets, and because it was Saturday there were bunches and bunches of kids, but we only had to stand in line for about an hour before they went on sale. Benny was feeling all high and mighty with the bucks busting out of his pocket, so he asked for the best seats in the house and got us stuck way up in an upper deck behind a post. We ended up spending every inning in a different seat, using Benny's famous method of sitting in empties until asked to move, all the time going in a downward direction. By the sixth we were close enough to Edd Roush outside the Cincy dugout that we could see a blister pop open on one of his hands.

Redland Field is gigantic as far as the fences go, too, over 400 feet to both center field and the right field pole. We also realized that it's about five times more hot and humid in Cincinnati than back home, and we were dying for soda pops before long. Oescheger pitched for us, and he was tough, only giving the Reds five singles for two runs through the 3rd. Then we went to work on Tom Sheehan. Wrightstone and Jimmie Wilson singled to open the 4th, Mokan walked and Ford tied the game with a sharp hit past Boob Fowler at short. "No wonder they call you a boob!" yelled Benny, which I could have bet he would do. But then Oescheger whacked a double to put us ahead and even I was screaming.

Rube Bressler booted one at first to get us going in the 5th, and Wrightstone took the next pitch and shot it out of his bat cannon, deep and high over the right field wall! Burns doubled in a run to make it 5-3 us, but then the starters beared down the rest of the way. When Oescheger gave up a one-out single in the 8th, though, Fletcher brought in Johnny Couch so he could use his snappy bat in the 9th. And guess what he did? Socked a homer deep to left! Critz tripled with one out for them in the 9th, but Couch got the Boob to end it.

A couple of rough-looking older kids with German accents followed us out of the park, but we were able to lose them and find our car in the crowded parking lot. Benny wanted to look for a "beer garden speakeasy" to celebrate our win but I wasn't too sure about that so we drove over to Fountain Square instead and saw a movie and stage show at the Lyric Theatre. The movie was a western story called "The Iron Horse" with actors named George O'Brien and Madge Bellamy in it, and there was too much romance to keep Benny awake, but he sure liked the magician and tumblers that performed after.

There were lots of people in Fountain Square because it was a warm Saturday night, and Benny tried real hard again to find a speakeasy but didn't really want to leave me out so we went back to our hotel room after a while and just rolled some dice. Then as I was getting ready for bed I remembered something, and ran down to the hotel lobby to send a telegram to Philadelphia:

HI MAMA. SORRY I CAN'T BE WITH YOU ON MOTHER'S DAY TOMORROW. HOPE YOU HAVE A NICE ONE. LOVE FROM CINCY. VINNY.

PHL 000 320 001 - 6 9 0
CIN 002 010 000 - 3 11 2

Other National League games today:

ROBINS 4-8-0, CUBS 1-4-1
Rachel's Raiders attack Wrigley Field and just don't let up. BIll Doak goes to 4-1, hits a homer and drops his earned run average to 1.65.

at PIRATES 5-13-2, BRAVES 4-4-1
With only four hits, the Braves almost pull off a miracle win but three runs on five hits in the 7th put them away and keep the race with Brooklyn tight.

at CARDINALS 7-12-1, GIANTS 3-10-1
New York continues to not scare anybody. The Giants score three in the 1st inning but the Cards have a 4-3 lead two innings later on a Ray Blades homer. Hornsby triples in two runs later to help Haines get his third win. I can hardly wait to see Hornsby hit in person!










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Saturday, May 10
Brooklyn Robins167.696
Pittsburgh Pirates159.6251.5
Cincinnati Reds1411.560 3
New York Giants1311.5423.5
St. Louis Cardinals1213.4805
Philadelphia Phillies915.375 7.5
Boston Braves915.375 7.5
Chicago Cubs916.3608

4.22.2009

DAYLIGHT RAMBLERS


May 9, 1924

It was plain scary, that's all I can say. Benny had the Chrysler Six going as fast as 50 miles an hour on that Pennsylvania highway, and I had my teeth gritted for most of the ride. We passed every other car easy, even some big farm trucks, and a couple times we passed families with girls in the back and we could hear them ooh and ahh at the sight of us. Benny sure loved that part, and would take off his cap and salute them like he was one of those Indy 500 drivers. He even bought himself a pair of goggles for the trip, which made him look like some daffy frog.

The seats were made out of velour and were real comfortable, and the car's instruments were all readable on one glass panel instead of small separate ones that I'd seen in most other cars. Mr. Chrysler had also put in a new kind of brakes called hydraulic, which stopped the car quicker and safer than the old drum ones. All in all, the thing was definitely worth the 1,225 dollars that Benny had to shell out for it.

We left the city before sunrise and by the time it was light enough we were way out in the countryside. I had no idea how much of the middle of our state is wild, and I could even smell the spring flowers when the car brushed past them. Benny wanted to get us to Cincinnati before dark, but I didn't expect that to happen. We had to stop for lunch and dinner and buy more petrol and figuring out the big dumb maps was something I needed to be back in school for. We had a big one that the Gulf Oil Company put out, and trying to follow my finger along the William Penn or Lincoln Highway or National Road was just plain impossible with Benny swerving around cars like a kook.

Another reason he was driving fast was because he knew the Braves were playing at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh that afternoon and thought maybe we could catch an inning or two. Why bother? I asked him, the Braves stink and the game's probably sold out. Never stopped us in Brooklyn, did it? he said back, and because he was the driver there wasn't much I could do.

We stopped at a diner in a town called Breezewood that had petrol pumps, and sure enough, every local man and farm boy in the place had to go outside and drool all over Benny's car. He even let a couple of the kids sit behind the wheel. I guess it was like this when the very first car rolled into any town, and I had to be careful not to start thinking we were like moving picture stars. Benny, though, was changing before my eyes. When we kept driving he started blabbing about all the pretty girls he was going to meet and I had to yawn and look out the window at a long passing train...
—Vinny


The Tigers' express line from Illinois to the Nation's Capital rolled through Indiana, Ohio and a good portion of Pennsylvania, and Harry Heilman proved to be a worthy companion at my dining car table. The man from San Francisco, thirty years of age now and still as imposing as a drill press, is trying to match his unparalleled 1923 campaign with the stick, in which he bated. 403 to capture the league crown.

"I feel very comfortable at home plate" he said over a lavish breakfast of Canadian bacon and eggs, "Mr. Cobb paid me little attention when I was a rookie, but now he's very helpful when my stroke needs work." Indeed, the 1920s have reaped an abundant crop of hits for Detroit's most fearsome slugger. It seems like only yesterday when Harry was recommended for a Carnegie medal for saving a drowning girl from the Detroit River, and local fans have serenaded his praises since then.

Does the impending series in Washington worry him? "Not in the least. Our offense can match theirs with ease, and Griffith Stadium is a huge yard with plenty of room for my doubles and triples. Our pitchers are the ones who need to buckle down, but I have faith in most of them."

The Tigers will face ace Walter Johnson in the first game, not Marberry as this scribe reported earlier, but the strapping Navy veteran will not be moved away from the dish. "He has that whiplash of a curve ball, but if I wait long enough I have a fair chance of knocking it into right field. Anyway, it's always thrilling to face the best hurlers, and Big Train is certainly one of those."
—Calvin J. Butterworth



Well, as I thought we didn't get to the Pittsburgh area until late afternoon, then got lost in some smoky neighborhood and gave up on Forbes Field this time around. But we did pass a general store that had a big sign out front reading PIRATES BALL GAME TODAY!! with a pretty big crowd hanging out the door. We were curious and parked the car. Inside the store was one of those new radio machines, and believe it or not, an announcer named Graham McNamee was telling us about the last few innings of the game, direct from the ballpark! It was hard to hear the words because they were all crackly, but the crowd was excited and we found out the Bucs had a huge lead. After the game finished we bought some snacks and kept on driving, turning west into Ohio.

The Chrysler's lights weren't too bright, and Benny had to slow down to keep us from smacking into trees. He asked if I wanted to try driving and I said forget that so he kept going even though he was getting tired. That was a big mistake because he dozed off around ten o'clock, the car went into a ditch and we had to get a couple farmers to help push us back out. Benny was real mad because there was dirt and a big dent on the side of his new car. Anyway, by the time we got to Cincinnati we were both dog tired and found the crummiest, cheapest hotel we could find, called the Cavalier Arms, and went right to our beds. A very sleepy good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

National League games we found out about at that general store in Ginger Hill, PA:

at PIRATES 13-17-1, BRAVES 3-12-0
Wilbur Cooper has the luck of a killer Buc attack, which includes no less than SIX triples off Benton and someone named McNamara.

REDS 6-10-1, at CARDINALS 4-7-0
The Cards put a 9th inning rally together off Spanish hurlers Luque and Dibut, but fall too short as Cincy prepares itself for the invasion of Phillies tomorrow. Please do not laugh.


TIGER TAILS...A late-evening card game on a baseball club's train can be dangerous turf to invade. It was the infield vs. the outfield in a poker contest as Blue, Rigney and O'Rourke had at it against Cobb, Manush and Heilman in the parlor car. When this reporter walked past the large crowded table and sneezed, four of the six gentlemen scolded me to no end and O'Rourke stood and did a small circular dance to ward off any sneezing spirits...They served Virginia quail at table tonight, and Johnny Bassler consumed far too much, as catchers are prone to do. One hopes it will not affect his movement behind the dish tomorrow...A birthday wish goes out to my loving wife, Bonnie Butterworth, on her 29th birthday today. Here's to my returning two weeks hence, with flowers and victories in hand.
—Calvin

Other American League contests on this travel day:

at RED SOX 5-10-1, BROWNS 4-10-2
The first West-East matchup in the league is a thriller. Down 4-1 in the 9th, the Bostonians collect a hit batter, two walks, a single and double by Howard Shanks off Pruett to vault back ahead of St. Louis in the standings.

at YANKEES 5-9-2, SENATORS 4-6-1
Apparently thrillers are a matched set. The Yanks tie the game in the 8th on Russell after trailing 3-1, fall behind in the 9th on an Ernie Johnson error to score Richbourg, then win it at the final moment when Dugan's double gets past Goslin for the winning runs. The rare Washington defeat moves the idle Tigers up a half notch, as well as placing Chicago in the lord's seat by percentages.

INDIANS 12-13-1, at ATHLETICS 5-11-1
The hapless Elephants are crushed by the Tribe, who were eager to get away from their luckless field. Eight runs cross the plate in the 5th after Galloway botches a double play ball, and Speaker and Jamieson combine for six safeties.





















NATIONAL LEAGUE through Friday, May 9
Brooklyn Robins157.682
Pittsburgh Pirates149.6091.5
Cincinnati Reds1410.583 2
New York Giants1310.5652.5
St. Louis Cardinals1113.4585
Boston Braves914.391 6.5
Chicago Cubs915.3757
Philadelphia Phillies815.348 7.5
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Friday, May 9
Chicago White Sox 158.652
Washington Senators 169.640
New York Yankees 1410.5831.5
Detroit Tigers 1211.5223
Boston Red Sox 1113.4584.5
St. Louis Browns 1114.4405
Cleveland Indians 1015.4006
Philadelphia Athletics 817.3208

4.20.2009

TIGERS DEPART CHICAGO IN UTTER DISMAY


BATTING AND PITCHING FOLLIES CONTRIBUTE TO ANOTHER DEFEAT AT HANDS OF DARNED SOX

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 8, 1924

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—If their stay in Washington is anything like the distressing one they just completed in the Windy City, the Tigers may not be long for this pennant chase. Unable to muster anything offensive against the winless Sarge Connally, Detroit suffered a frightfully dull 4-1 setback and put Manager Cobb in another poor mood.

Ed Wells toed the slab for our boys, and it took merely four batters before Sheely's double scored Mostil with the opening run for Chicago. Cobb lifted his first homer of the year down the right field line in the 3rd, but nobody was on base for him and it was only 1-1. Tiger stick-handling ended there, while Wells was battered for three hits and a run in the 4th and two more scores in the 5th. The rabid Comiskey rooters thus sat back, enjoyed the May sunshine and waited for the contest to peacefully end.

"Okay, Blue is out, but that don't mean we gotta hit like tammyheads and pitch like drunk one-armed baboons! We got ball games to win on this trip, meaning we gotta go into D.C. now and slap that old buzzard Johnson around because I'll tell ya right now, those clown-pants couldn't hit a homer if they swung all nine of their bats at the same time and we got Heilman and Manush and even me sometimes who can hit one out! I want at least three of those Senator games won or I'm throwing every lousy piece of our clubhouse grub in the alley for the dogs and 'coons!" Cobb outlined before boarding the train at the Chicago station.

Thankfully, the team will have all day on the rails tomorrow to lick their wounds. Ken Holloway gets the nod against the aforementioned and remarkable Walter Johnson in the Griffith Stadium opener Saturday at 1 p.m.

DET 001 000 000 - 1 9 0
CHI 100 120 00x - 4 11 0

Other American League games:

BROWNS 10-18-3, at INDIANS 8-16-1
Ah, there is nothing like a wild west American League show. Ahead by 4-1, the Indians score six runs in the 5th off Dixie Davis , take an 8-5 lead to the 9th, only to have the Browns score five times off Uhle and Messenger for another Tribe humiliation. The Clevelanders have now dropped seven of the nine meetings with St. Louis and will begin their eastern swing in the City of Brotherly Love.

SENATORS 15-21-1, at RED SOX 3-12-3
The Nats complete their desecration of Fenway Park by gunning down Alex Ferguson and two other wretched Boston hurlers. Goslin does nothing in his first four at bats, then clubs a grand-slam in the center of an eight-run 8th.

at YANKEES 8-13-1, ATHLETICS 5-12-1
The Bambino silences his booing fans with three hits and his 6th home run, as the Yanks also club five doubles and two triples for Waite Hoyt and push ahead of the Tigers into third place. The White Sox now visit the large field in the Bronx for what should be a spirited 4-game display.

TEAM BATTING AS THE WEST JOURNEYS EAST:
.329 Chicago
.322 Detroit
.321 Cleveland
.313 St. Louis
.291 Washington
.288 New York
.258 Boston
.257 Philadelphia

TEAM HOMERS
12 St. Louis
12 New York
11 Chicago
11 Cleveland
10 Philadelphia
8 Washington
8 Boston
7 Detroit

TEAM TRIPLES
19 Washington
18 St. Louis
14 Detroit
14 Philadelphia
13 New York
12 Boston
11 Chicago
10 Cleveland

TEAM EARNED RUN AVERAGE
4.42 Washington
4.43 New York
4.51 Chicago
4.51 Philadelphia
4.72 Boston
5.52 St. Louis
5.59 Detroit
6.33 Cleveland









AMERICAN LEAGUE through Thursday, May 8
Washington Senators 168.667
Chicago White Sox 158.6520.5
New York Yankees 1310.5652.5
Detroit Tigers 1211.5223.5
St. Louis Browns 1113.4585
Boston Red Sox 1013.4355.5
Cleveland Indians 915.3756
Philadelphia Athletics 816.3337

4.19.2009

TIME TO PACK UP

May 8, 1924

Baker Bowl was packed solid thanks to this being the Phillies' last home game until almost the end of the month, but somebody else was in Benny's bleacher seat. My friend was off looking for a car all day, while I sat there wondering why Mama was so nice to me about this crazy trip I was about to take.

This time I decided to just tell the truth instead of making up a fake story, and it completely worked. Mama was real happy that Benny's uncle left him a bunch of money and said I should stick around with him even more because people with money got more opportunities and I had a better chance of catching one for myself on the rebound. I asked her about my school work and said she never took too much stock in that in comparison to getting a job, and she'd make something up to tell Mr. Tuggerheinz. See, she never got a chance to travel anywhere herself, and said as long as I sent her some letters from out west a few times, she'd know I was safe and could maybe even enjoy the trip through my eyes. I guess I am to her kind of how the Phillies are to me, and she's a bigger fan of me than I thought she was.

Anyway, Benny missed a good game, even though we lost. His best friend Irish Meusel knocked in four of the five Giant runs with two singles and a homer in the 5th that made it 4-0. But Johnny Mokan homered twice for us, making it an all-leftfielder show, and it was 5-3 in the 9th and we had two people on the bases and George Harper pinch-hit for Schultz to try and hit one out off reliever Jonnard.

Nope, he lined out instead, and with the Cubs winning today we're back in last place as we hit the road.

After I got home I was eating dinner with Mama and we heard a loud toot-toot on the street outside. We went to the window and there was Benny, standing next to the most shiny blue auto I've ever seen. He went for the best and gambled with his money on a brand new car called a Model Six, just made by a guy named Walter Chrysler. It was supposed to be lighter than a Buick auto that was similar to it, and Benny's could go from five to fifty miles an hour in an amazing 13 seconds. Benny rode me around the neighborhood all the time with lots of kids jumping on the bumpers for free rides, and I couldn't believe how comfortable it was.

It was real hard getting to sleep later. Mama had my bag all packed up, but all I could think about was the places we'd be going. The Phillies play four games each in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chicago and St. Louis, then three more in Boston. Phew! If we can figure out how to read all the crazy maps Benny's bringing, we might even have time to enjoy this adventure. Good night and see you tomorrow on some highway, reader-people!
—Vinny

NYG 002 020 100 - 5 11 1
PHL 000 020 001 - 3 11 0

Other National League games today,
followed by interesting statistic numbers as the four eastern teams hit the road:

CUBS 3-7-0, at PIRATES 2-10-0
The Bucs miss a good chance to get closer to Brooklyn, as Meadows loses to Jacobs and the Cubbies break a 2-2 tie in the 7th on a homer from Charlie Hollocher.

REDS 17-18-2, at CARDINALS 2-9-4
Oh boy, now we get to play these Reds, who just spank St. Louis here like they're five-year-olds. Winning 4-2 in the 6th, they score ten runs off Dickerson and Bell, with Cliff Lee creaming a grand slam in the middle of it. And this is with three of their regular players injured.

TEAM BATTING
.322 Brooklyn
.313 Cincinnati
.306 St. Louis
.285 Philadelphia
.284 Pittsburgh
.276 Chicago
.275 New York
.253 Boston

TEAM HOME RUNS
20 Brooklyn
19 Philadelphia
17 Chicago
12 St. Louis
9 Cincinnati
8 New York
7 Pittsburgh
6 Boston

TEAM TRIPLES
21 New York
19 Cincinnati
17 Pittsburgh
16 Chicago
15 St. Louis
10 Philadelphia
9 Brooklyn
9 Boston

TEAM EARNED RUN AVERAGE
2.87 Brooklyn
3.30 Cincinnati
3.64 Pittsburgh
4.70 New York
5.22 Philadelphia
5.23 Chicago
5.32 Boston
6.00 St. Louis











NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, May 8
Brooklyn Robins157.682
Pittsburgh Pirates139.5912
Cincinnati Reds1310.565 2.5
New York Giants1310.5652.5
St. Louis Cardinals1112.4784.5
Chicago Cubs915.3757
Boston Braves814.364 7
Philadelphia Phillies815.348 7.5

4.18.2009

UNDONE BY GAFFES


TIGER MOMENTUM SLOWED BY SHORT-STOP GROTESQUERIES IN 6-4 LOSS

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 7, 1924

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—With a chance to gain ground on both Washington and New York, Detroit soiled their silver platters in a most foul manner today at Comiskey Park.

After Cobb drew a free pass from Red Faber to begin the contest, Rigney and Bassler both singled to give the Tigers a quick 1-0 lead and produce visions of more Sox bludgeoning in their heads. But after Heilman plated the second run with a long fly, things went decidedly sour. They left two runners adrift in that frame, then failed to score in the 2nd after filling the sacks with one out. A boot by short-stop Rigney helped Chicago score a run that same inning, and after four Sox singles put the Tigers behind in the 3rd, Hooper's double play grounder was stumbled over again by Rigney, leading to the fourth and fifth tallies. From there the Tigers played as though in a dream state, bouncing into twin killings and leaving further runners stranded whenever possible. Barrett's two shortstop errors for the enemy side led to their other two runs, but Faber proved iron-sided when he needed to be, and the contest was hopelessly lost.

Even more distressing was the foot injury to Lu Blue, who will miss three of the four critical upcoming games at Griffith Stadium. Ed Wells faces Sarge Connally in tomorrow's finale, before the luggage is rolled back on the train. Cobb was unusually quiet after the game, but vowed to reporters his club would rebound in fine style. This one, however, has his doubts.

DET 200 010 100 - 4 10 2
CHI 014 100 00x - 6 11 2

Other American League games:

ATHLETICS 4-8-0, at YANKEES 1-8-0
Boos rain down on the Bambino nonstop, as he whiffs twice in three hitless tries and the Gothamites never combine two hits together against Stan Baumgarten, now 4-1 on the season. Joe Bush pitches adequately, but a Hauser triple and Lamar homer do him in as New York drops to 3-8 at Yankee Stadium.

at RED SOX 3-5-1, SENATORS 1-2-1
After a few days of rampant hit-making, the Nats turn in another drowsy effort, letting Howard Ehmke hypnotize them from start to finish. Ira Flagstead's leadoff homer into the Fenway bleachers off Ogden proves the game-winner.

BROWNS 6-11-0, at INDIANS 0-3-1
In another sleepwalking affair, Cleveland is at the low end of Ernie Wingard's second shutout, as Coveleski gets battered mercilessly by the Brownies. The larger news here is the two-week injury to St. Louis' only home run threat Ken Williams, which should keep them from making any headway in the tough American race.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, May 7
Washington Senators 158.652
Chicago White Sox 148.6360.5
Detroit Tigers 1210.5452.5
New York Yankees 1210.5452.5
Boston Red Sox 1012.4554.5
St. Louis Browns 1013.4355
Cleveland Indians 914.3916
Philadelphia Athletics 815.3487

4.17.2009

BENNY THE GOOD MAN

May 7, 1924

So for a change I got to the ballpark before Benny today. He ran up to me out of the crowd maybe a minute before the first pitch and was excited and all out of breath and said he'd meet me in the bleachers later or if not, wait for him over at Bookbinder's Restaurant on Walnut Street. I looked at him like he'd popped a cork, and he just said see you later and ran off again.

Gee. As if that wasn't enough to distract me, we had the Giants to deal with again and tough Hugh McQuillan on the mound. Frisch walked to start the game and Youngs doubled him in right away and I said oh boy, here we go again. But Bill Hubbell pitched for us and bore down, Harper tied the game with a sacrifice pop, and in the 4th Russ Wrightstone cracked a first-pitch homer over the wall in right. There wasn't many of us in the bleachers, but we jumped up and made a pretty big ruckus anyway.

And it just got better. Wrightstone singled in a third run n the 5th and in the 6th Youngs dropped his second fly in two days to score Sand and make it 4-1. But these Giants never quit because McGraw would chew out their ears if they did. Travis Jackson homered over my head in the 7th, Youngs made up for his error by doubling in Frisch again in the 8th, and Huck Betts came on to save us.

And did he ever! With Irish Meusel on second, he got the next three guys, then threw a scoreless ninth. Benny showed up in time to watch Hack Wilson whiff to end the game and join us in throwing our hats, the big losing streak was over and we were out of last place!

Then it was mystery time. Benny was even more excited than he was before the game, but all the way down to Walnut on the streetcar he wouldn't say a word. Bookbinder's is a big famous fish restaurant that's been around since the 1880s, but it was way too fancy to get us in the door in our stinky rags. Benny just smiled at the guy, reached in his pocket and took out a brand new twenty-dollar bill. The door man's eyes nearly fell out and he got us inside and gave us a small corner table away from the stuffy crowd.

We ordered fresh pasta with giant shrimps and Benny finally spilled the beans. Seems that he had a rich uncle up in Boston who just died and left him over ten thousand dollars, and now he was going to buy himself an automobile, put me in the front seat with him and drive us out west to follow the Phillies on their entire 16 game road trip! I almost fell off my leather chair. It's actually 19 games if you count the three they have to play the Braves at the end, but that would mean us getting from Chicago to Boston in two days, which might be a struggle.

A bigger struggle is what the heck do I tell Mama this time? And how can I miss school? How do we get to these places, and does Benny even know how to drive??

On the other side of my hand, how can I even THINK about passing this chance up? I've never been west of Scranton!

There's one more game with the Giants tomorrow, which I'll try to enjoy while Benny is out shopping for an auto and hopefully some lessons. The Phils then take Friday off to head for Cincinnati, and if everything goes miracle-good tomorrow, we'll be motoring right behind them.

Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

NYG 100 000 110 - 3 12 1
PHL 001 111 00x -4 9 0

Other National league games today:

at PIRATES 10-15-2, CUBS 3-8-2
This one is 3-3 as late as the 6th inning, when the Bucs put four singles and a walk together off Pete Alexander for three runs, then smash him for four more in the next inning, finished off by a bases-clearing triple by Earl Smith.

at ROBINS 4-7-1, BRAVES 3-6-0
Boy, it's high time Brooklyn played a better team. With Zack Wheat and Andy High both hurt, they come back from 3-0 anyway and win it on a Johnston double in the 8th off Johnny Cooney. Grimes gets his fourth win, making him a scary duo with Vance.

at CARDINALS 3-4-1, REDS 2-5-2
A real strange game. Cincy goes up 2-0 in the 2nd, the Cards get three back right away with the help of awful errors by Pinelli and Roush, before Eppa Rixey and Bill Sherdel settle down and throw nothing but outs the rest of the way. Roush also gets injured and will miss the first game against us on Saturday. Yay!











NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, May 7
Brooklyn Robins157.682
Pittsburgh Pirates138.6191.5
Cincinnati Reds1210.545 3
New York Giants1210.5453
St. Louis Cardinals1111.5004
Philadelphia Phillies814.364 7
Boston Braves814.364 7
Chicago Cubs815.3487.5

4.16.2009

TIGERS MOP THE FLOOR WITH SLOPPY


CHICAGO MYSTERY SOLVED WITH LATE BLUDGEONING, 15-3

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 6, 1924

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—In one of their most valiant efforts of the young season, the hometown nine recovered from losing an early 3-0 lead on Sloppy Thurston by pulverizing said ace for eleven scores in the final two frames today.

A Bassler single and Heilman double in the 3rd gave Rip Collins a two-run advantage, before a wild pitch by Thurston added another Tiger tally in the 5th. Then the Chicago bugaboo took another victim, this time manager Cobb. After Mostil doubled in the 5th with one out, Hooper skied a ball out to Tyrus by the centerfield Comiskey fence. Cobb leaped but the ball kissed the pinnacle of his glove and fell over the board for an uncanny homer! Catcher Buck Crouse then singled after another single and walk, and the game was knotted at three.

Thurston retired the Bengals with ease in the 6th and 7th, but the 8th was a twisted tale. Cobb led with a free pass, Rigney, Bassler and Heilman singled for a 5-3 lead, Mostil dropped a ball for another, Blue reached when Crouse dropped and punted a third strike, and two singles later, Leverett had replaced His Sloppiness and the massive murder took its final form.

Detroit now sports a superb 7-2 mark away from Navin Field, which bodes well because in two days they invade the Nation's Capitol for a 4-game jousting match with the leading Senators.

DET 002 010 084 - 15 15 0
CHI 000 030 000 - 3 11 2

Other American League contests:

at INDIANS 7-14-3, BROWNS 5-7-1
Cleveland collects twice the number of hits but still has to hang on to a brittle lead in the 9th. Joe Shaute improves to 4-1 while Charlie Jamieson chips in with three hits and is now batting a robust .402.

SENATORS 10-17-0, at RED SOX 1-11-1
Mogridge notches his third straight win despite dishing out 11 safeties, and the Washingtonians move a game and a half in front. Goslin gets three more runs batted in and two hits and now leads the circuit with five winners.

at YANKEES 9-12-2, ATHLETICS 5-10-2
While Ruth does little, Bob Meusel continues to shine, sparking the Yanks with a double and homer here as Pennock is now 4-1 and New York stays even with Detroit in a tie for third place. One can only hope the Behemoth of Bust stays in hibernation until after the Tigers face him, which will occur later on their long eastern swing.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Tuesday, May 6
Washington Senators 157.682
Chicago White Sox 138.6191.5
Detroit Tigers 129.5712.5
New York Yankees 129.5712.5
Boston Red Sox 912.4295.5
St. Louis Browns 913.4096
Cleveland Indians 913.4096
Philadelphia Athletics 715.3188

4.15.2009

WE TRIED EVERYTHING TODAY

May 6, 1924

Mama's mustard plaster treatment worked a whole bunch of wonders, and I was up at nine to eat a full breakfast and make plans for another Baker Bowl afternoon. The Phils have been stinking something awful lately, and me and Benny were determined to see their losing streak end if we had to do it ourselves.

After my morning arithmetic class I smiled at Principal Tuggerheinz and left school to catch the streetcar. I met Benny outside the bleachers entrance at 12, and he was so excited to see me again that he bought me a wiener. Virgil Barnes was pitching for the Giants against our Jimmy Ring. Ring was 0-3 but Barnes had already lost twice to his brother Jesse on the Braves, so we knew he could be had.


We were too far away from the Giants dugout to yell at McGraw but we could see him in there, pacing around with his dinky body and throwing dirt pebbles he got off the top step. Brooklyn's been much better than his team so far, which must be making him cuckoo.

Well, the first inning made us cuckoo instead. Frisch singled to start the game, stole second base on Henline, got singled to third base by Groh, and Youngs walked. George Kelly, who usually bats in their cleanup spot, got knocked down to the 5th position, and Hack Wilson came up instead. He's a tough-looking hitter, but how's he ever going to amount to anything with a stupid first name like that?

"HEY HACK!" yelled Benny right away, "I LIKE YOUR NAME! BET YOU REALLY ARE ONE!" We knew there was no way he could hear us, but it made the fans around us laugh and got some people in the third base stands yelling at him, too, which then spread around home plate, kind of like what an ocean wave does. Hack took two strikes from Ring and we both yelled even louder. "GOTTA BE UP THERE HACKIN', HACK, YOU BUM!" Ring then gave him a pitch that we could tell right away was too good and Wilson clobbered the thing so deep and so far over our heads we lost sight of it in the bright sky. I think I saw the ball bounce up in the air on the street behind us but wasn't sure. Anyway, the grand slam made it 4-0 in the top of the 1st and made Benny nuts.

He got on Irish Meusel right away, who came out to play left field for them straight in front of us. He's the brother of Bob on the Yankees and isn't as good and his name is Irish, so of course he was easy pickings. "HEY O'MEUSEL!" yelled Benny, "HOW MANY WHISKIES DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?" He didn't even turn around, and when the Phillies scraped out a run on a bases-filled walk to Henline, Benny got even louder. "HEY O'MEUSEL! YEAH, YOU! THIS ONE'S BOUNCING OFF YOUR POTATO-HEAD, SO WATCH OUT!" It sure sounded good, but Benny forgot that Heinie Sand was up, and he grounded out weakly to end the inning.

Benny calmed down after that because his voice was almost gone, and because the Giants got two more runs in the 3rd and doubles from Youngs and Mr. Hack in the 4th to make it 7-1. Ring has had some bad luck for us, but today he was just a garbage-arm. He did double in a run, after which Harper sac flied another one to make it 7-3, but that was our last real batting burst.

The only good thing was that Irish got no hits in five times up and ruined a rally in the 7th with a double play ball. Benny came back to life when he took the field after that, yelling stuff about his washerwoman mother and asking how it felt to be the lousier brother but Meusel didn't even flinch. I guess they're trained not to do that, otherwise there would be fights with fans every day.

So that's seven straight losses for us, and we're getting a little too comfy down in the National cellar if you ask me. All I know is I want to be there the next time they win, because it's going to be as sweet as Mama's best cannoli. Good night, reader-people!
—Vinny

NYG 402 100 000 - 7 12 1
PHL 100 200 010 -4 7 1

Other National League games today:

at ROBINS 2-7-0, BRAVES 1-3-0
How anybody ever beats Dazzy Vance is a mystery to me. The Braves give it a good try at Ebbets by tieing the game in the 4th, but Fournier whacks a two-out double in the 8th for his fifth winning hit of the year already. I better write Rachel another letter soon before she proposes marriage to this guy.

at PIRATES 4-10-3, CUBS 3-8-0
Morrison has a 4-0 lead here but then his defense starts making errors and the Cubs almost take the game. Babe Adams saves a win for the third time and the Bucs stay close to Brooklyn.

REDS 17-22-1, at CARDINALS 4-10-3
Yikes. Rube Benton starts instead of injured Carl Mays and Cincy doesn't miss one beat, punching out the Cards' lights with 11 runs in the last three innings. Hornsby gets two more hits but no one at Sportsman's Park probably notices.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, May 6
Brooklyn Robins147.667
Pittsburgh Pirates128.6001.5
Cincinnati Reds129.571 2
New York Giants129.5712
St. Louis Cardinals1011.4764
Boston Braves813.381 6
Chicago Cubs814.3646.5
Philadelphia Phillies714.333 7

4.13.2009

A FITFUL DRUBBING AT COMISKEY


LIL' STONER HURLS AS HIS NAME SUGGESTS IN 15-6 WHITE SOX BARRAGE

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 5, 1924

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—In their first visit of the year to Chicago's south side, the Tigers turned in another inept showing against the second place Sox before a feisty Comiskey Park gathering of nearly 25,000. After five games with them, Detroit has bobbed up on the losing side of the lake four times.

Lil' Stoner's performance was worthy of a Greek tragedy from the first inning on, as Bibb Falk poled a triple and Hooper singled to put him behind out of the gate. "Hostile" Johnny Mostil singled to open the Chicago 3rd, and after Stoner induced a harmless Falk fly, a Hooper walk and Sheely single made it 2-0. A run-scoring force, Kamm walk, Schalk triple and homer by pitcher Blankenship counted for six tallies in the frame, and Cobb strode moundward to garrot the pathetic twirler.

Detroit made a few small dents in the Chicago juggernaut with two runs in the 4th and a single one in the 6th, but relief pitchers Leonard, Johnson and Pillette allowed eight more Sox digits to puncture the board in the last of the 6th to make the grandstand wobble with joy and sicken this writer to his toes.

For the game, the Tigers actually outhit their enemies by two and still managed to score nine less times, a feat few have mastered. Hopefully Rip Collins will be able to flip the submerged Tiger canoe back over tomorrow against the challenging Sloppy Thurston.

DET 000 201 003 - 6 15 1
CHI 106 008 00x - 15 13 1

Other American League contests:

BROWNS 6-13-1, at INDIANS 5-11-4
Cleveland has had the same amount of poor luck with their St. Louis rivals. Urban Shocker pitches to the end for his second win, as a hideous Sherry Smith outing and four Tribe gaffes help do them in.

SENATORS 9-11-0, at RED SOX 1-6-2
The startling first place Nats remain a half game better than Chicago as Walter Johnson chalks up win number four. Goose Goslin triples twice and drives in four to hush the Fenway crowd.

ATHLETICS 4-9-1, at YANKEES 3-9-1
Yankee center fielder Witt lets a Simmons hit drop in front of him for two late runs, beating Shawkey and handing the Gothamites their seventh home loss in nine tries. With a 9-2 record away from the Bronx, the Yanks might do well to petition the league for less Yankee Stadium contests.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Monday, May 5
Washington Senators 147.667
Chicago White Sox 137.6500.5
Detroit Tigers 119.5502.5
New York Yankees 119.5502.5
Boston Red Sox 911.4504.5
St. Louis Browns 912.4295
Cleveland Indians 813.3816
Philadelphia Athletics 714.3337

4.11.2009

A RECURRING SICKNESS

May 5, 1924

After getting home very late last night during a rainstorm, I woke up in the morning with a scary fever and had to stay in bed. Mama took lots of pity on me and mixed me up some mustard plaster to lay on my chest. I hate that stuff, but when you're sick it's always better to let your mother do what she needs to.

Mama was proud of me for going on my newspaper research trip to New York, and I had to make up a few things about it. Then she was off to the clothes factory so I put up the window and whistled down to little Stinker Delfi who was always throwing dice with his friends on our stoop. I said the Giants were playing at Baker Bowl in the afternoon and if he'd go back and forth to Mort's for me and keep giving me the score I'd pay him a whole dollar when the game was over. Stinker wasn't too smart but he never could pass up a dollar.

I'm not sure he got all the details right, but it seemed like catching a fever was the best thing that could've happened to me. New York got four runs in the first inning off Glazner, and they were ahead 6-1 by the 5th. George Kelly had even knocked in a few of the runs. We were getting bushels of hits off Mule Watson, but couldn't score enough of them, and I'm sure Benny was cursing again in the bleachers and wondering why I never showed up.

Stinker didn't show up again until 4:30, when he yelled up to the window to say the Giants had scored eight more times. I was so sick by then and angry at my team that I just slammed the window down. Stinker and his goony friends pelted the glass with dice until a part of it cracked and I heard them run away. He'll be too afraid to come back for that dollar, which is okay, because I'd much rather pay him for hearing about a Phillies win. If we ever get another one.

Wish me better health, reader-people!
--Vinny

NYG 400 203 302 - 14 18 2
PHL 010 000 020 - 3 14 1

Other National League games Stinker Delfi was able to tell me about:

at ROBINS 6-14-1, BRAVES 3-8-0
Fournier hit another one, and now has nine for the year! He's a better slugger than Ruth! Rachel must be dancing on the moon.

CUBS 7-14-3, at REDS 6-11-1 (12 innings)
Well, guess what? We're alone in last place now because the Cubs finally won again. Aldridge went the whole way and survived a George Burns 3-run homer for Cincy that bounced off the foul screen.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Monday, May 5
Brooklyn Robins137.650
Pittsburgh Pirates118.5791.5
Cincinnati Reds119.550 2
New York Giants119.5502
St. Louis Cardinals1010.5003
Boston Braves812.400 5
Chicago Cubs813.3815.5
Philadelphia Phillies713.350 6

4.08.2009

TIGERS TAKE ALONG NO PRISONERS

FINISH OFF BROWNS WITH 18-7 RAMPAGE

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 4, 1924

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—Mightily discouraged after dropping their third game of the series yesterday, Cobb's Crushers flexed their white ash clubs with boundless glee as they utterly destroyed the hapless St. Louis team at Sportsman's Park.

Behind 1-0 in the 2nd and nearly out of the inning, Brownie twirler Ray Kolp caused Detroit pitcher Holloway to loft a harmless fly out to Ken Williams, only to have the soapy-handed left fielder lose the ball in the sun for a two-sack error. This was followed by the inevitable: a Cobb single, Rigney walk, singles from Bassler, Heilman and Manush, a Blue walk and Pratt single for seven tainted runs.

Against Vangilder in the following frame, Heilman rifled a 3-run blow out of the field and it was 12-0. For the day, his Harryness was a true king, plating seven of the 15 Tiger runs while amassing four hits. Dauss came on in the 8th after Holloway had grown weary and dished out seven runs of his own, but by that stage the fate of the game was etched in the season log book.

So the team boarded the express for Chicago tonight, ready to wrestle four more times with the White Stockings, and deadlocked with New York now on the third American League rung. Manager Cobb was especially feisty, and had the finest slaughterhouse cuts served to every Tiger man in the dining car.

DET 174 100 230 - 18 23 1
STL 004 000 210 - 7 14 3

Other American League contests:

WHITE SOX 9-8-1, at INDIANS 8-13-1
Warming up for the Detroiters, Chicago charges back from a 4-0 deficit to overwhelm Luther Roy and the Tribe at League Park. Cleveland makes five more hits and Joe Sewell emerges from his cocooon of lumber silence with three hits and three knocked in, but far too many sparrows are left on the wires.

at SENATORS 7-11-1, ATHLETICS 2-7-2
No one seems to strand base runners more than Washington, but they have enough pitching and fielding artists to compensate. Marberry pitches rather well for him, and Russell finishes up to keep the Nats a half notch ahead of Chicago.

Boston and New York enjoyed a day with God or their families, and resume play Monday by hosting the Senators and Athletics, respectively.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Sunday, May 4
Washington Senators 137.650
Chicago White Sox 127.6320.5
Detroit Tigers 118.5791.5
New York Yankees 118.5791.5
Boston Red Sox 910.4743.5
St. Louis Browns 812.4005
Cleveland Indians 812.4005
Philadelphia Athletics 614.3007

4.05.2009

GET ME TO THE FIELD ON TIME


May 4, 1924

I woke up kind of late at Cecil's apartment in Harlem, and by the time I washed and dressed, Benny was back with some hot muffins and apples for breakfast. Cecil slept over at his woman's place, which was lucky for him but knowing that didn't cheer me up any.

On the first hand, I felt pretty bad about the way I treated Rachel's book pages. I probably should have just pretended I could read the words and that they were great and writer-like. Then at least we'd probably still be friends. On the second hand, Benny made a good point about not getting too kooky over one girl, not when there was lots more to choose from. Except maybe that was much easier for him than for me.

Anyway, the big news when Benny showed up was that we figured the schedule all wrong. The Braves, just like the Red Sox, aren't allowed to play in Boston on Sundays, so them and the Giants had taken trains back to New York last night. Meaning Brooklyn was hosting the Braves today, and the Phillies were kicked back over to the Polo Grounds for one game before going back to Baker to play four more with those Giants. Benny thought this was a lot better because Harlem is much closer to the Polo Grounds than Ebbets, and also because the Robins have been rubbing our noses in it day in and day out and the Giants are playing like chumps.

But this also meant if I wanted to try and see Rachel again today I couldn't.

We got to Coogan's Bluff a half hour before game time. I said it might be fun to actually go up on the bluff to watch the game with all the people who couldn't get in, which my dad said was what happened at the end of 1908. But Benny said no dice, the only place to see a baseball game is where you can smell the grass, so he snuck us in under a grandstand fence during the second inning. It was just in time to see the Giants' O'Connell boot one and lead to three Phillies runs in the 2nd and give them a 3-1 lead on Bentley. Doubles by Ford and Parkinson made it 4-1 in the 4th, and with Oescheger going with his 2-0 record, things looked good.

It was another one of those slow agony games with lots of runners, and my mind started thinking about Rachel again. Okay, so maybe she wasn't the easiest girl to get along with, but watching that moonlight on her roof stayed with me like a head cold I couldn't shake. The score board on the far fence read BRK 8 BOS 2 with a 6 beside it, and I knew there was still maybe half of both games left. I fibbed to Benny, told him I promised to buy something for my mama before I left New York and said to wait for me outside the grandstand gate if I wasn't back in time.

I was lucky to remember which train cars to take to Brooklyn, and had no problem slipping or jumping over the ticket booths on every line. I ran like a nut when I got into Brooklyn and ended up on a street behind Ebbets Field. There was a big open area outside the left fence they were just starting to build on, and saw a bunch of wild yellow flowers growing on a hill. I'm not sure what they were and they made me sneeze when I smelled them, but they were sure pretty enough for any girl so I picked the whole bunch.

The Robins were creaming the Braves awful good, like 10-2 in the 7th, and fans were starting to leave. This made it a cinch to slip inside the place. I squeezed around the fans in their big coats, the few ladies I saw in their hats, checking every one's face to see if it was Rachel's. It was actually easier to pick out the female fans because of those hats, and when Dutch Ruether pitched Brooklyn out of a little pickle in the top of the 7th, I heard a young woman let out a yelp.

Rachel was in a low third base seat with her father, who I didn't know was a baseball fan himself. I crouched right behind her seat, tapped her shoulder and when she turned I held out the flowers and sneezed. She was amazed and I said all in a rush that I was real sorry about yesterday and really did want to read her writing some time and that I just couldn't stop thinking about her all night and I really do want to be friends, and that she was welcome to visit me in Philadelphia any time during the summer for a tour of Baker Bowl. I put the flowers in her hand, tipped my cap to her father and left the grandstand.

By the time I got back to the Polo Grounds, all out of breath, Cy Williams had dropped a fly in center helping the Giants tie the game 4-4 in the 7th, Frisch had singled in Snyder with two outs in the 8th, and the Phillies had lost again 5-4.

But I sure hadn't.

Good night from our good old luggage car out of New York, reader-people!
—Vinny

PHL 030 100 000 - 4 9 1
NYG 100 001 21x - 5 11 1

Other National League games I somehow was able to find out about:

at ROBINS 10-15-1, BRAVES 4-8-1
I suppose this helped Rachel's mood as much as the flowers did. Jack Fournier got four more hits, including homer no. 8 and now has 24 runs knocked in. If they ever gave out an award for the best player in each league, Fournier would win in a flash.

at REDS 7-11-1, PIRATES 0-5-3
A horrible game by the Bucs, who fall out of first place with this one. Dolf Luque pitches fantastic and Cliff Lee hits two big doubles. Cincy is now tied with them behind Brooklyn.

CARDINALS 15-19-1, at CUBS 8-14-4
Only the terrible Cubs are keeping us out of last place right now. They go up 3-1 on Jesse Haines in the 2nd before Tony Kaufmann allows eight Redbird runs in the 4th and three more in the 5th. Ray Blades gets two singles, a double and homer in the leadoff spot.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Sunday, May 4
Brooklyn Robins127.632
Cincinnati Reds118.579 1
Pittsburgh Pirates118.5791
New York Giants109.5262
St. Louis Cardinals1010.5002.5
Boston Braves811.421 4
Philadelphia Phillies712.368 5
Chicago Cubs713.3505.5

4.04.2009

A DISTURBANCE IN THE TIME WARP

Beginning on Tuesday the 7th of April, missives from 1924 will be sporadic at best for about a week while the author returns to the present to take a long overdue family vacation. He apologizes for the inconvenience, but do understand that he needs to rest his dice-throwing hand while further contemplating Vinny Spanelli's dilemma.

--Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis

4.03.2009

TIGERS FAIL TO SING DIXIE

BROWNS' DAVIS HAS HIS WAY WITH DETROITERS IN 6-2 DRUBBING

By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 3, 1924

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—The first road loss of the season was bound to be a memorable one for the Tigers, and this one cost them a chance to share second place with Chicago.

Dixie Davis improved to 3-1 by scattering eight singles while St. Louis was lambasting Ed Wells all over the yard. The Brownies rapped out five doubles, a triple and another homer by Ken Williams to bloody the Bengals in every corner of the Sportsman house.

MacMillan's double plated Gerber and Williams in the 1st, and St. Louis followed that up by spreading out 1-run daggers in four straight innings. Bert Cole replaced Wells in the 7th and instantly served up the piping hot homer to Williams, but the fate of the game was long decided.

Manager Cobb kicked over a collection of chairs and the entire sandwich table after the game, as he clearly despises losing to the second division Browns. "We should beat these palookas' brains in every time, no matter who's hitting and no matter who's pitching! We're a better club than they are and even they know it! Why do you think Baby Doll Jacobson is called Baby Doll? Huh?? Because he wees in his uniform every time he sees us take the field!" Cobb explained.

The Sunday series finale will pit Ken Holloway against the Browns' Ray Kolp, and the Tigers would be wise to procure a win before heading up to Comiskey Park.

DET 000 010 100 - 2 8 0
STL 200 111 10x - 6 13 2

Other American League contests:

at INDIANS 15-19-1, WHITE SOX 5-13-2
The Tribe gets back on their warpath and bludgeons Chicago to death before three innings are played. Sarge Connally bears the brunt of the murder as Speaker homers in the 1st before a six-run 3rd inning and five-run 6th.

SENATORS 9-13-2, at YANKEES 4-10-0
Washington shakes off their 22-run clobbering of the day before with an inspired late victory here. The Nats get three in the 6th to break up a Zachary/Jones pitching duel, but the Yanks get four right back, all with two outs. The Nats then say oh shucks and score twice in the 8th and four more in the 9th off the shabby New York relief squad.

RED SOX 5-11-0, at ATHLETICS 3-11-1
Boston may not win the American pennant, but they sure have the skill to spoil other people's parties. Jack Quinn toughed out a tight game after the Sox scored four times in the 1st and lowered the team's earned run average to 3.92, the best in the league.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Saturday, May 3
Washington Senators 127.632
Chicago White Sox 117.6110.5
New York Yankees 118.5791
Detroit Tigers 108.5561.5
Boston Red Sox 910.4743
St. Louis Browns 811.4214
Cleveland Indians 811.4214
Philadelphia Athletics 613.3166