CATASTROPHE AT EBBETS AND POLO GROUNDS NIGHTMARE FINISH OFF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE
September 24, 1924
By C. Jedediah Butterworth and Vincenzo Spanelli
Base Ball Freescribers
All tension has been severed. The races in both leagues are over, and the Pirates of Pittsburgh will face the Senators of Washington in the 1924 World Series. The two climactic National games, like most of them this past week, were maddening spectacles, and our unlikely pair of documentarians met over egg creams at one of Louis Auster's soda fountains in Brooklyn this evening to discuss what they had just seen...
Spanelli: I should've gone to the Polo Grounds, damn it all. At least I could've watched McGraw lose. Instead I had to deal with Rachel blubbering into my shirt the last two innings.
Butterworth: Trust me when I tell you she will recover from her depression, my son. All true ball fans do when the budding trees come back around.
Spanelli: Yeah, well...it stunk like a dung pile anyway. And I'm not your son.
Butterworth: Shall I begin or should you?
Spanelli: You start. I can't even talk about it.
Butterworth: Fair enough. Honestly, it did seem as if another miracle day might occur early on. The Giants notched a 2nd inning run on Cuyler's dropped fly, while over at Ebbets Brooklyn had that early 1-0 lead—
Spanelli: I know! And Dazzy was pitching! And like I've said before, Dazzy always knows what to do, and eight of them Cubs screwed themselves into the ground whiffing on that curve of his in the first seven—
Butterworth: Would you care to let me finish?
Spanelli: Oh. Right. Sorry Cal...
Butterworth: So then the 4th inning began. And two of the three chief disappointments all season for New York went to work on the home crowd's spirits. I'm talking about shortstop Travis Jackson, who flubbed yet another grounder to keep a two-out Pirate rally going, and pitcher Jack Bentley—
Spanelli: I've seen him before. He's an ingrate.
Butterworth: Um, yes...Who proceeded to give up a 2-run double to Wright and single to Maranville and the Giants trailed just like that.
Spanelli: The Bucs have done that all year, y'know. Smash your whole china collection if you drop one teacup on the floor. Hey, that was kind of metaphorish, wasn't it?
Butterworth: Why yes. And then with Wilbur Cooper inexplicably mystifying enemy hitters again, it was time to bring the 1924 curtain down with the final George Kelly hitting tragedy of the year.
Spanelli: Really? Seems like his damn pants have been on fire.
Butterworth: His bat, perhaps. His bat. But never against Pittsburgh. With one out in the last of the 6th and his team trailing 4-1 after a Max Carey home run, Kelly rapped into a double play with the bases loaded and ended the inning. With two outs and two aboard in the 8th, he grounded into a force.
Spanelli: In the meantime Vance has a 2-0 lead going to the 8th after another Zack Wheat homer, and if anyone can hold a skinny lead it's Dazzy. But no, damn it. Not today. Gabby Hartnett rips a triple to start the 8th, Weis doubles, Hollocher singles and Rachel and her dad are screaming and ready to slice their own necks open and the crowd around us is even more insane, and then Grigsby works a walk with one out, Friberg beats out this cheap single and then the worst thing of all happens. Grantham grounds a double play chance to Wes Stock at third but the ball bounces off his groin or something and the go-ahead Cubs run scores! It was horrible!
Butterworth: Hmm. Eerily similar to some of Rip Collins' recent tragedies—
Spanelli: No, you're wrong. Dazzy just duzzn't!
Butterworth: Master Spanelli! You are beginning to sound like a Brooklyn fan.
Spanelli: No, I'm just a baseball fan. A pennant race fan. Just like you. And I wanted one more day of one.
Butterworth: Yes, but we still have a scintillating race for the best record in the game, haven't we? And a World Series that is bound to excite! And I can guarantee they are dancing in the streets in the western half of your home state this very moment.
Spanelli: Tell that to Rachel and her father. Which reminds me, I need to go over there now and peel them off the floor.
Butterworth: And pass up a second egg cream?
CHC 000 000 030 - 3 6 1
BRK 001 001 000 - 2 5 1
PGH 000 301 000 - 4 10 1
NYG 010 000 000 - 1 6 1
Other Ball Games today:
REDS 6-16-1, at BRAVES 1-5-1
Hardly worth mentioning, except for the fact it is Mays' 20th win and the Braves 110th loss.
CARDINALS 4-8-1, at BRAVES 3-10-2
Even more not worth mentioning.
at WHITE SOX 2-8-0, SENATORS 1-3-1
It's Firpo and Sloppy, sounding like a burlesque team, but Thurston notches his 22nd win with a beautiful effort. Falk's 8th inning triple decides it.
YANKEES 4-14-1, at INDIANS (12 innings)
The Yanks stay a mere half game out of third place with a tough elongated affair at League Park. Ruth goes 0-for-5 but the rest of his mates pick him up with a hit barrage, including four doubles from Earle Combs.
ATHLETICS 10-14-1, at BROWNS 6-11-2
The Mackmen make it a clean sweep of St. Louis, and still have a chance to catch the Indians for seventh place. Sam Gray struggles here yet Danforth pitches far worse.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, Sept. 24|
|New York Giants||87||64||.576||5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||74||76||.493||17.5|
|AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, Sept. 24|
|Chicago White Sox||79||72||.523||12.5|
|New York Yankees||78||72||.520||13|
|Boston Red Sox||70||80||.467||21|
|St. Louis Browns||70||82||.461||22|