September 23, 1924

By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber

A full day of dashing around Gotham was too much for this reporter to bear, so it was a pleasure to drop into my comfortable, non-rolling chair in the Polo Grounds press row today.

Pittsburgh had lost three straight games, a marvel in itself, and Lee Meadows was tabbed to finish McGraw's Giants off once and for all. Across town at Ebbets Field, my young protege Spanelli was taking in the second Cubs-Robins game, and hopefully enjoying himself. His father offered to send me scoring missives by carrier pigeon, a daft notion to be sure, and I needed to remind them that the facility here would be keeping us fully abreast of the adjoining action.

Virgil Barnes toed the slab for New York, and while he's been as inconsistent as most of the Giant twirlers, he is capable of a good effort. This was surely one of those. Six Pirates struck singles in the first six innings, yet only one tally was across the dish on a scoring fly by Maranville.

For the Giants, a Travis Jackson single in the 4th knotted the game, and an ill-timed boot by Traynor with the bases loaded and two outs in the the 5th put the home nine ahead 2-1. This came only minutes after Giant right field roamer Youngs snared an Earl Smith home run attempt at the lip of the fence.

It was then that the crowd, forced to root for their arch rivals whether they enjoyed it or not, cheered loudly when it was discovered that Brown had socked a 3-run wallop to erase a 3-0 Chicago lead and put Brooklyn ahead 4-3 after three innings. Was another miracle in the offing?

It didn't appear to be, for Carey, Grimm, and Moore all struck hits off Barnes with one out in the 6th and we were knotted 2-2. Up stepped Cuyler, the King of the National League for certain, yet owner of just one hit in his last 15 times up since his huge opening performance in Brooklyn.

Typewriters and voices muted around me, over twenty thousand fans leaned closer to the field. Barnes wound, threw, and Kiki lifted a harmless truffle of a fly into the waiting glove of Hack Wilson in center. Earl Smith dribbled out and it remained tied.

Then came one of the grander moments of 1924. After O'Connell and Kelly made out to begin the Giant 6th, Youngs reached on a Lee Meadows walk. Wilson doubled him to third, and rookie Bill Terry strode up. The reports on this slugging imp have been promising, but McGraw has been slow to utilize him, and chose this day only because of Meadows' problems with left-side stickers.

Terry proved that on the very first pitch, propelling the ball on a monstrous arc into the throbbing right field bleachers for a 5-2 lead!! Spanelli's account of yesterday's hat-flying with Wheat's winning blow may have been surpassed here. The entire Polo Grounds shook with glee. The heroics by Terry were critical, for George Kelly has reverted to the punchless effort he turned in for the majority of the season. Four out of the five times he batted with men aboard, yet supplied nothing but two whiffs and three groundballs, one a twin-killing.

Barnes ran into difficulty in the 8th, but Jonnard and then Dean entered to save his hide. By the time the game climaxed, a 5-3 Brooklyn win in the nearby borough confirmed the seemingly impossible. A team had actually closed to within three games of first place, the Giants still breathing one behind them, with four games remaining for all. If this scenario repeats itself in tomorrow's finales, not one smidgen of work will be done in this city for days.

PGH 000 100 110 - 3 11 2
NYG 000 110 31x - 6 11 1

Other ball games today:

at ROBINS 5-9-0, CUBS 3-7-0
An unlikely hero also emerged on Flatbush Avenue. Dutch Ruether, banished to the bullpen months ago, takes Decatur's slot and throws a complete game victory, with Vance on the horizon for tomorrow.

REDS 1-7-1, at BRAVES 0-6-0
Rube Benton is now an astonishing 10-0 for the Redlegs, who are saving face themselves with a recent spurt of winning against the league's offal.

CARDINALS 11-16-1, at PHILLIES 1-8-0
A fine day of mound-work turned in by Bill Hubbell: four triples, two doubles and a homer allowed. Not even Boston has been playing as badly as the Quakers of late.

YANKEES 8-9-1, at INDIANS 4-11-2
After a long drought of power, Ruth smacks home run number 47 off Luther Roy and the Yanks avenge their earlier shutout against the same hurler in a win that would be far easier if not for Herb Pennock's fetish for issuing two-out safeties.

at TIGERS 13-15-1, RED SOX 7-10-3
On "Appreciate the Fans Day" at Navin Field, the Tigers close out their home agenda by storming back from a 6-0 disadvantage in the 3rd with consecutive five-run outbursts against 19-game loser Ferguson.

SENATORS 3-10-0, at WHITE SOX 1-4-1
Walter Johnson's 24th win is a 4-hit gem. Goslin is still not hitting, but the Nats move a half game in front of the Pirates for home ball park advantage in the World Series.

ATHLETICS 7-16-1, at BROWNS 3-16-1 (12 innings)
St. Louis comes back from 3-0 to tie Rommel and send the game into extra frames, but Pruett gives the A's four in the 12th and Jacobson is injured for the duration of the year. Huzzahs for a fine season, Baby Doll!

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, September 23
Pittsburgh Pirates9159.607
Brooklyn Robins8862.5873
New York Giants8763.5804
Cincinnati Reds8465.5646.5
Chicago Cubs7971.52712
St. Louis Cardinals7376.49017.5
Philadelphia Phillies5693.37634.5
Boston Braves40109.26850.5
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Tuesday, September 23
x-Washington Senators 9158.611
Detroit Tigers 8269.54310
Chicago White Sox 7872.52013.5
New York Yankees 7772.51714
Boston Red Sox 7080.46721.5
St. Louis Browns 7081.46422
Cleveland Indians 6883.45024
Philadelphia Athletics 6485.43026


  1. Good stuff, Jeff! Gotta love a pennant chase in Gotham.

  2. Be careful about what you love... (foreshadowing)