The final Sunday of summer, and what better way to spend a day off from Phillies baseball then with one more trip to the New Jersey seashore? Benny and me decided on Atlantic City this time, mainly because we didn't want to run into those gin-drinking putt-putt girls who tried to fleece us back in June, and we were halfway down my stoop with our clothes bags when a taxi rolled up and out stepped guess who, folks?
Rachel Stone of Brooklyn with her father Saul.
Benny and me stared at them like they'd just popped out of the ground, before I shook the heck out of Saul's hand and embraced Rachel until her perfume was up my nose. "What are you...Why didn't you tell me—"
"Don't you like surprises? I thought you did. And my dad is just thrilled to see our boys in that big double-header tomorrow, right Dad?"
Saul was dressed in a suit and bowler like he was headed for the symphony, and sure seemed to be in a great mood. "We plan to murder you fellows, sorry to say."
Benny pushed out a weak smile and it was quiet for a second or two, so I told them we were off to Atlantic City. Rachel naturally brought up our time at Luna Park and it took about five seconds for me to talk myself into inviting them along. They had already checked into a hotel near Rittenhouse Square and didn't bring any bathing clothes anyway, so off the four of us went to the train station.
Atlantic City was more packed than a packed factory of sardine cans. The last weekend of the summer always brings out the mobs, and there were circus acts to watch, and knucklebrains on the sand climbing on each other, and pretty girls for Benny to ogle and me to ignore, and more cheap tasty food you could imagine. I held Rachel's hand the whole time and she whispered to me that Saul didn't know about our engagement yet and when was I thinking of asking him? I couldn't exactly answer that because I wasn't prepared for the shock of seeing them today, so stalled her some more.
The bigger problem was that Saul wanted to find a place with a baseball scoreboard the second we hit the boardwalk. The Robins were home for their last game with the Giants, and it was killing Saul that he had to miss it, so "the least we could do is find an electric board!" It wasn't easy to find a good pretzel there when it was that crowded, let alone one of those things, but Benny did remember a newsstand near a Ferriss Wheel and we spent the next fifteen minutes squeezing through people until we found it.
The score after three innings was
"Why??" groaned Saul, fanning himself with his bowler, "That ingrate Bentley is pitching so why can't we hit him?? Get me away from here—"
So we walked down to the water, where Rachel took off her shoes and leggings and gave her white legs a salty bath, and Saul kept his entire suit on and couldn't relax one second. He said he had find a rest room and disappeared for a good half hour until we went back to the electric board and there he was in more agony, because the score from Ebbets was now
NYG 100 001
BRK 000 001
"I can't bear this!" is all he said over and over, and it made me realize he hates McGraw's team even more than me and Benny do. "Get me away from here!" he yelled, and this time we took him on a little ride on these fake swan boats, which seemed to calm him down until we went into a tunnel and his loud groan echoed all over the place and almost knocked me out of the boat. "It has to be the ninth inning by now! I need that electric board!"
We didn't even go back there with him, and when he joined us on a bench in front of a few hundred passing people, we could tell from his hound dog expression what had happened. "Doak was terrible. Gave up eleven hits. And on the same day the Pirates won!" Rachel patted his hand, kissed his cheek, and we started back to the train platform.
Hey Vin," said Benny, "How about you and me go to Atlantic City sometime?" I nodded with a sigh, looked over at poor Saul. Guess it was a good thing I didn't bring up marrying his daughter.
Only National League games today:
GIANTS 4-12-1, at ROBINS 2-7-1
Bentley, Frisch and Jackson have been three of the Giants' big losers all year. Well, Bentley throws his first good game in two months, Frisch hits a game-winning homer and Jackson doesn't even make an error at shortstop. Brooklyn heads to Baker Bowl for the holiday looking for Phillie blood.
CARDINALS 2-8-1, at REDS 1-7-1
Eppa Rixey had won six in a row and 15 out of his last 16 decisions. So naturally he loses to the Cards in extra innings on a Curt Walker outfield error in a game Cincy desperately needs.
PIRATES 17-17-0, at CUBS 2-9-4
Oh, boy. The formerly-swaggering Cubs run into the Bucs' cutlasses and have their limbs strewn every which way. It's actually 2-2 in the 3rd when Pittsburgh goes on a 15-0 romp that lasts the rest of the game. Kiki Cuyler who I've run out of shining words for hits a 2-run homer in the 1st and two singles and drives in four, while Traynor gets four hits and knocks in five. Chicago makes three errors in one of the three 4-run innings. The real scare is that Vic Aldridge, the best Cubs starter other than Alexander, takes most of the bashing.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Today's post is dedicated to Stephen Elia, Strat baseball man, true Phillie fan, and one of my best new friends who I knew far too briefly. I'll be missing you. —J.P.
NATIONAL LEAGUE STATISTICAL COMPENDIUM
RECORD IN AUGUST
Chicago 17-11, Pittsburgh 16-12, Brooklyn 14-11, Philadelphia* 15-12,
Cincinnati 13-13, New York 13-13, St. Louis 10-17, Boston 9-18
*Black Phillies 7-1 included
RECORD AT HOME
Pittsburgh 42-27, Brooklyn 39-21, New York 30-27, Cincinnati 34-33,
St. Louis 34-36, Chicago 35-39, Philadelphia 20-38, Boston 16-40
RECORD ON ROAD
Pittsburgh 39-18, Cincinnati 39-23, New York 39-28, Chicago 28-26,
Brooklyn 34-34, St. Louis 28-30, Philadelphia 34-37, Boston 20-52
Pittsburgh 26-16, Brooklyn 23-14, St. Louis 24-18, New York 17-17,
Cincinnati 19-22, Boston 18-22, Chicago 12-17, Philadelphia 14-27
Pittsburgh 13-6, Boston 7-2, St. Louis 10-8, New York 5-7,
Philadelphia 7-9, Cincinnati 7-10, Chicago 3-7, Brooklyn 4-8
COMEBACK VICTORIES/RUINED ADVANTAGES
Brooklyn 37/27, Pittsburgh 37-28, New York 29/23, St. Louis 37/31,
Cincinnati 33/33, Chicago 25/27, Philadelphia 27/34, Boston 17/38
St. Louis .303, Cincinnati .293, Pittsburgh .289, Brooklyn .286,
New York .285, Chicago .284, Philadelphia* .268, Boston .252
*Black Phillies .396 (8 games)
St. Louis 740, Chicago 733, Pittsburgh 698, New York 684,
Brooklyn 652, Cincinnati 622, Philadelphia* 576, Boston 461
*Black Phillies 81 not included (8 games)
Cincinnati 112, Pittsburgh 109, Chicago 86, New York 79,
St. Louis 76, Brooklyn 49, Philadelphia 50, Boston 36
Philadelphia* 94, Chicago 88, Brooklyn 72, New York 69,
St. Louis 50, Pittsburgh 43, Cincinnati 37, Boston 15
*Black Phillies 14 not included
DOUBLE PLAYS GROUNDED INTO
New York 117, St. Louis 124, Chicago 127, Pittsburgh 128,
Cincinnati 130, Philadelphia 131, Brooklyn 167, Boston 182
EARNED RUN AVERAGE
Cincinnati 3.34, Pittsburgh 3.27, Brooklyn 3.80, New York 4.09
Chicago 5.01, St. Louis 5.20, Philadelphia* 5.27, Boston 5.58
*Black Phillies 4.20
Philadelphia 100, Boston 134, Pittsburgh 135, Brooklyn 159,
St. Louis 161, New York 163, Chicago 171, Cincinnati 175
DOUBLE PLAYS EXECUTED
Pittsburgh 179, Cincinnati 159, Brooklyn 159, St. Louis 153,
New York 131, Philadelphia 130, Chicago 120, Boston 104
HOME RUNS ISSUED
Pittsburgh 39, Brooklyn 46, Cincinnati 47, Philadelphia 51
Boston 60, New York 67, St. Louis 73, Chicago 95
BATTING AVG. LEADERS
.408 Hornsby, STL
.380 Wheat, BRK
.368 Cuyler, PIT
.359 Youngs, NYG
.347 Bressler, CIN
.346 Critz, CINC
.342 Fournier, BRK
.338 Williams, PHL
.332 Blades, STL
.323 Grimes, CHC
HOME RUN LEADERS
28 Fournier, BRK
28 Hartnett, CHC
22 Williams, PHL
19 Wheat, BRK
18 Hornsby, STL
17 Harper, PHL
RUNS BATTED IN LEADERS
123 Fournier, BRK
119 Cuyler, PIT
119 Hornsby, STL
117 Hartnett, CHC
113 Bottomley, STL
104 Wheat, BRK
16 Fournier, BRK
15 Cuyler, PIT
14 Blades, STL
12 Wilson, NYG
12 Bottomley, STL
12 Grantham, CHC
19-6 Rixey, CIN
19-8 Vance, BRK
18-8, Mays, CIN
17-10 Grimes, BRK
17-10 Kremer, PIT
16-4 Alexander, CHC
16-8 Meadows, PIT
2.21 Vance, BRK
2.23 Mays, CIN
2.31 Rixey, CIN
SAVED GAMES LEADERS
16 Jonnard, NYG
14 Dibut, CIN
12 Ehrhardt, BRK
12 Fowler, STL
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Sunday, August 31|
|New York Giants||69||57||.548||12|
|St. Louis Cardinals||62||66||.484||20|