2.04.2010

MEN ON A MISSION

September 16, 1924

When me and Rachel got back to Brooklyn yesterday, there was our own bedroom upstairs which Saul had all ready for us,and there was a fabulous homemade dinner of brisket beef waiting to be eaten, and there was a telegram from Benny in Philadelphia sitting on the table for me to read:

BUCS MUST PERISH. THREE GAMES AT
BAKER START TOMORROW.
OUR LUNGS DESPERATELY NEEDED.

What could Rachel say? She wanted Pittsburgh to lose more than anyone except maybe her father. And after our nice relaxing honeymoon, she agreed that an after-marriage reunion with my best friend for a few days could be a healthy thing, and Mama wouldn't mind hearing about French Canada either. So that was that.

I reminded Benny the second we got on the streetcar today that the Phillies had lost nine games in a row, but he didn't want to hear a drop about it. "The dang Boston Braves beat the Pirates yesterday, Vinny. Wise up!" Still, this wasn't the same Phillies team I batboyed for during the summer, and it was pretty obvious in the 1st inning. After Max Carey led with a single off Hubbell, Schultz let a double go to the wall in right, Wilson kicked a dribbler in front of the plate and the Bucs had two unearned runs right off the bat.

"Oh Kiki!!!" yelled Benny from our bleacher seat as soon as the best player in baseball took left field in front of us, "Now I know why they gave you a bird's name! Because you're a scavenger like the rest of your team! SCAVENGERS!!" Cuyler turned around for one scary moment and Benny dropped behind a fat guy in front of him, which wasn't easy for him to do because there were only about three dozen people in the entire bleachers.

What's made the Pirates a first-place team all year is that they never, ever seem to get rattled, and Benny's scavenger plan did nothing right away. Wright, Maranville and pitcher Cooper all singled to begin the third. Carey walked, Grimm doubled past Schultz again for two more, and after a Moore single it was 6-0 Villains.

Our team looked like they'd rather be getting their teeth pulled out. Cy grounded out four times for the day, and we swung at every piece of junk Cooper threw up there, not walking once the whole game. Cuyler made outs his first two times so Benny started calling him "Crummy Kiki" along with "lucky oaf" and kept jabbing my ribs to get me to yell along with him, but it didn't feel right after I yelled a few times. Crummy Kiki responded with singles his last three trips up to get his average to .376, and the Bucs ended the day with 17 hits and a shutout.

"We need a new idea for tomorrow," is all I said to Benny as we trudged down to Mort's after the game. "They haven't won no stinkin' pennant yet!" is all he would say.
—Vinny

PIT 240 011 000 - 8 17 1
PHI 000 000 000 - 0 6 2

Other National league games today:

CARDINALS 8-10-0, at ROBINS 1-6-3
Uh-oh. I sure hope Rachel stayed home for this one. Dazzy Vance, who lost a brutal close game to the Cards his last time against them, just gets creamed this time, as Bottomley wallops a 3-run blast in the 1st and Brooklyn is hypnotized by none other than Flint Rhem and his 5-13, 6.51 statistics. That's why in baseball, you never know anything.

at GIANTS 3-8-1, REDS 2-10-2
By far the best game of the day. Eppa Rixey is up 2-0 at the Polo Grounds into the 7th when Critz flubs a ball for one Giant run, Gowdy ties the game in the 8th with a homer, and Frisch wins it in the bottom of the 9th with a sacrifice fly to score Groh on Edd Roush's arm. New York is back alone in second and stays six behind the Bucs.

CUBS 5-15-1, at BRAVES 2-8-0
Chicago is now 19-1 against the Braves as Alexander goes to 19-4 and Hartnett knocks in three. They've been the hottest team for almost two months, so too bad they're eliminated.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, September 16
Pittsburgh Pirates8954.622
New York Giants8360.5806
Brooklyn Robins8261.5737
Cincinnati Reds7964.55210
Chicago Cubs7568.52414
St. Louis Cardinals6974.48320
Philadelphia Phillies5588.38534
Boston Braves40103.28049

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