2.27.2010

DIDN'T SEE THIS OR THAT ONE COMING


By Vicenzo Spanelli
Baseball Fan Scribe-at-Large

October 8, 1924

PITTSBURGH—Can you believe that Butterworth yesterday? What a snot-face! Sticking me in the corner with journalism papers to read like I just peed myself in the fourth grade or something. Mrs. Crackerbee wouldn't even have done that.

So nuts to him, I thought, as I followed him out of our hotel this morning. I'm sitting with the crazed Pirate fans this time and I'm going to write about the game the way I want and I'll get it to his New York Sun guy before he turns HIS in and he can just plain live with it. And if the Bucs win it today I'll probably end up drinking more than I've ever drunk because after all, it is a Pennsylvania team we're talking about, right?

Two lefties, Zachary for the Nats, and Yde for the Pirates, were pitching today, and both have had their crap-parties lately. Yde's actually famous for pitching seven or eight great innings and then melting into a puddle in the 9th.

This time his teammates were doing the melting, and pretty early. With Senators on first and third and two outs, a ball got past Gooch and in came the first run of the game. Then in the 2nd, Ruel hit a ball out to Cuyler who I'm sick of hearing about already and Kiki flubbed it for a two-base error to put men on second and third. Zachary then doubled home two and it was 3-0 Washington and there seemed about as much chance for a big Pittsburgh party as I did of becoming Governor.

Lucky for them, Ossie Bluege was playing third base for the other team. After a Grimm single and Traynor walk, Carey bounced an easy double play ball down to Bluege and he did everything but touch it as the ball ended bouncing off a seat rail behind him for a two-base error. Cuyler hit a sacrifice fly and just like that it was 3-2 and people around me were going ape and banging on their seats.

Around the top of the 4th after Carey dropped a ball I made a note on my pad about how the Bucs seemed to have butter in their gloves, and suddenly a pair of real gloves covered my eyes from behind. A scratchy voice said "Guess who?" in my ears.

"You got me," I said. "I know it ain't you Cal, that's for sure."

Then I smelled perfume. I spun around and looked up at Rachel Stone Spanelli, wearing a sweet light blue dress and matching hat and none other than my best buddy Benny standing behind her. I was so shocked I couldn't even talk.

"Think we were gonna stay home while you had all the fun?" Benny asked.

"I can't believe you're here! How did you ever—"

"Your old principal, that's how," said Rachel.

"You mean Tuggerheinz?"

"He knows the Phillies owner, remember?" said Benny, "Anyway he got left World Series tickets but got sick and couldn't go and left them with your mama—"

"—who sent them to me—"

"—who came down to Philly and scooped me up first—"

"—and now we're here!"

I jumped out of my seat, gave Rachel a hug and kiss and shook Benny's hand and then he took my seat while I went to the other side of home plate and sat with Rachel in theirs.

Meanwhile two more innings went by with no one scoring and the place getting real tense, because the last thing Bucs fans wanted was for their boys to have to go back to Washington.

The Senators begged to differ. Yde got all kinds of shaky all of a sudden, as Bluege singled, and Peckinpaugh and Ruel walked to load the bases. Up came Zachary, like most of the Senator pitchers also a great hitter. Sure enough, he painted the ball down the line an inch from the foul stripe, good for a double and two more runs batted in. Leibold grounded out but then Yde flubbed an easy grounder and a third run ran across.

Gooch tripled one in for the Bucs to keep their fans alive, and after Judge hit a scoring fly in the 8th, Yde knocked in another Pirate run with a two-out single. This finished off Zachary, brought on Firpo Marberry and got the Pittsburghers cuckoo again, but the Firp was up to the task this time. Smith hit for Barnhart and grounded out to leave two on the bases, and after Grimm singled to begin the Buc 9th, Traynor rapped into a killer double play, Carey bounced out, and we were all headed back to Washington!

Were we ever. Rachel and Benny and me were squeezed into the press people's parlor car along with assorted players, wives, writers and operators. Nobody slept because you couldn't. I wouldn't put the train ride in the same fun league as the incredible one we took with Oscar Charleston and Smokey Joe Williams and those Black Phillies back in August, and that's just something else the colored players were better at than us.

It was so packed on the World Series express I don't think I got a word in with Butterworth all night. Which was probably a good thing, because when he sees my name instead of his in the paper tomorrow morning he's gonna blow a valve.

WAS 120 003 010 - 7 7 1
PGH 002 001 010 - 4 10 3

W-Zachary L-Yde SV-Marberry GWRBI-none

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Game 6 of the World Series will not be available on Twitter this evening, due to Ye Olde Fox Tweeter Network Ltd.'s exclusive rights to all Saturday action. Readers must follow the concluding game(s) on this trusty page, but to quote an old popular sage, a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

6 comments:

  1. Hey Jeff, Great series, great reporting...I even followed along on the Tweet-cast (great idea). Don't look at the final results of my 1967 replay. The headlines are painful to see but they're something any Red Sox fan pre-2004 would expect.

    Two quick questions - How did Hornsby hit in your replay? And what's next?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hornsby ended up at .402, 22 points less than the .424 he actually hit. What a bum.

    As for what's next...just check tomorrow's post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Far out, Jeff! 1977 is a Dy-no-mite replay year. Please show my site some love on your '77 baseball blogpen. I'm in the process of converting my home page to Wordpress. A journey to 1968 is planned though I've considered a trip to the Jazz Age myself. www.diamond-replays.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ask nicely and you shall receive...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sweet! Except one thing, I'm not Kevin. D'OH! I think he's got the DMB Historic World Series site. I'd appreciate just a plain vanilla link of A Second Time through the Order to my home page at www.diamond-replays.com (newly redesigned, including a full-fledged Play That Funky Baseball link).

    The 1967 site will be moved from the link you posted in a little while.

    Thanks,
    Jimmy

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sorry, Jimmy. I get both of you guys all mixed up

    ReplyDelete