1.31.2010

IT'S ALL FRENCH-CANADIAN TO ME

September 12, 1924

To us, I mean. To us. Geez, it's been hard to believe I'm married now, even though I am. The fact we we didn't really go out on regular dates and everything wedding-wise happened so quick sure didn't help.

But now we're up here in Quebec City on our second day, and it might be the closest we ever come to being in France so it's sure a great place to celebrate love. We're in this old castle of a hotel called Chateau Frontenac, which is so gigantic and king-like I keep expecting to see mobs roll up guillotines and pound on the doors. We have an incredible view of the St. Lawrence River, and the food's been delicious even though I can't read the menu and don't know what I'm eating half the time.

That's another thing about Rachel I just learned: she knows French, or at least enough to get us through the day. We visited an old fort and saw the walls that the British soldiers climbed up, and we rode in horse taxis and walked cobblestone streets dodging horse dung until we got blisters on our feet and never once did we get lost looking at our French city map.

And I bet you didn't know there's real baseball up here called the Quebec-Ontario-Vermont League. That's right, they just started a six-team Class B operation, and we caught the last few innings of a game between the Ottawa-Hall Senators and Quebec Bulldogs, who've been in first place for both halves of the season. The two Vermont teams, the Montpelier Goldfish and Rutland Shieks, dropped out for money reasons after the first half, and hardly anyone was at the game today and the field was in awful shape but no one seemed to care. We sure didn't, because after a day without ball we were both missing it bad. We were even able to get the American scores tonight from a French-Canadian version of Mort's, this tavern on a back street called Leclaire's that had jazz music on a gramophone and served fabulous local ale.

Yup, you heard me. They tried to pass the Prohibition thing in Canada too but the Quebec province threw it right out, so there was legal booze to be had all over the place. Rachel picked wine and I went for this stuff called Boswell's, which got the frog legs in my stomach dancing in no time. Tomorrow we'll be taking a train down to Montreal, where I figure the ale will be running like sink water.

It's been great spending so much close time with Rachel. We've tried to just enjoy the moments instead of worrying or even talking about future ones, because that's what honeymoons are for. Matter of fact, marriage should probably be the same way.
—Vinny

National League games today (and one American):

PIRATES 14-21-0, at BRAVES 5-8-2
Brooklyn has the day off but the Bucs don't do them any favors. Kiki Cuyler, who I ran out of words to describe about a month ago, gets SIX straight singles in this one and the Pirates pound Genewich for 12 runs and 14 hits in the first four innings. Kiki is up to .374 now and closing on Hornsby for the hitting title.

at GIANTS 5-10-0, CARDINALS 4-9-2
Well, the Giants tie the Robins for second place, something Rachel isn't too thrilled about, but what a game this is! Down 4-3 to Sherdel in the last of the 9th, Ray Blades boots a grounder with two outs. Gowdy and Jackson follow with singles to tie the game, and a Meusel single, wild pitch and Groh single in the 10th win it. That makes New York 12-2 on the month.

CUBS 4-8-2, at PHILLIES 1-5-2
Yuck. The team I used to care about can't even hit Tony Kauffman. At home. On a warm day.

INDIANS 5-7-2, at BROWNS 3-10-1
Joe Shaute's first good-pitched game in a long while, and leave it to the drowning Browns to help him out. Tris Speaker wins it for the Tribe with a bases-loaded triple in the top of the 8th off Bill Bayne.




















NATIONAL LEAGUE through Friday, September 12
Pittsburgh Pirates8753.621
Brooklyn Robins8159.5796
New York Giants8159.5796
Cincinnati Reds7862.5579
Chicago Cubs7268.51415
St. Louis Cardinals6773.47920
Philadelphia Phillies5585.39332
Boston Braves39101.27948
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Friday, September 12
Washington Senators 8454.609
Detroit Tigers 7862.5577
Chicago White Sox 7267.51812.5
New York Yankees 7068.50714
Boston Red Sox 6772.48217.5
St. Louis Browns 6575.46420
Cleveland Indians 6180.43324.5
Philadelphia Athletics 6079.43224.5

1.30.2010

DOUBLE-DUTY BUTTERWORTH

FROM FENWAY TO SHIBE VIA AIR SMITH

By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber

September 11, 1924

BOSTON—My extra-sensory weathervane pointed us to New England late last night for today's 11 a.m. Yankee-Red Sox finale, and the strain of our constant flying is wearing on Dean C. Smith. His humor has dissipated, thankfully along with his liquor consumption, and when I announce I also have odd thoughts of Philadelphia, he ceases talking to me.

But I am getting ahead of my mind here. First to the Fens, where Joe Bush faces Jack Quinn in a rare morning game to assist both clubs in launching their final western rail journeys tomorrow. It is also the final meeting between the two geographical rivals, but with Boston officially removed from the pennant push with a loss, not many locals have chosen to witness it.

It is apparently Babe Ruth's mission to depart with a flourish, though. The Sultan swats a Quinn fastball to the very top of the right field bleachers in the 1st for his incredible 45th home run and a 1-0 lead. Ripping lefty batter Ike Boone is passed on purpose in the Boston 4th, but Huggins' strategy backfires and a two-out walk to Dud Lee knots the contest. Aaron Ward puts New York back ahead with a two-out single in the 5th, but a Ruth error and singles by Clark and Boone tie it again the same inning.

Wally Pipp, fresh off his four hits yesterday, then clubs one bleacherward in the 6th for another Yank advantage. Bush is still uneasy out there but double-play balls turned by his infield bail him out of trouble twice. And then it is Ruth again in the 8th, mashing one so high to center it scatters sea gulls before dropping over the fence just beyond Denny Williams' soaring and twisting glove. The few Bostonians tired of razzing him for his previous ten games here stand and cheer, and this reporter can only marvel at the sight of someone's 46th trot around the sacks.

"You ain't serious about this Philly thing, right?" asks Smith as he meets me outside the press gate.

"It is just past 12:30, and the Senators game at Shibe begins at three. How fast is your plane?"

He winks and sips from a re-filled flask.


PHILADELPHIA—Suffice it to say I miss the first inning, when the Nats spin out four singles to give Mogridge a 2-0 cushion, but the second Athletics inning, with all its blood and thunder, spills across the green pasture in front of me.

Hauser, Simmons, Perkins and Hale all single for starters. Pitcher Heimach rolls one out to Washington manager Harris, who fumbles the ball for an error. Lamar, Miller and Hauser again then single, and six Philadelphia runs have scored! What foul germ has infected the Senators of late?

Lucky for them, Heimach is throwing as poorly as his opponent, and Washington fights back with a vengeance, scoring in four of the next five innings to compile a 10-6 lead by the 7th. Goose Goslin, nowhere near as dangerous as in the first two thirds of the year, had singled in their first run of the day and cracks a two-run homer in the 6th to put them ahead again, angling for his long-awaited 22nd game-winner of the year. All seems comfortable in the Nats' late-inning camp.

So why does Mogridge then give up three more singles and a Mule Shirley error to make it 10-8 in the 8th? Firpo Marberry tries his pitching hand, but with one out and one aboard in the 9th, Sammy Hale knocks a ball off the left pole to amazingly tie the game! The paltry Shibe gathering screams itself hoarse, and every Senator seems to visibly slump on the field.

Even when Harris triples off Meeker to begin the 10th, they seem like a different team and decidedly are, as Leibold fans, Rice pops out, and after a Goslin walk Bluege dribbles out to strand him.

All that is left is another sad show by Firpo the Clown. Miller singles, Bishop walks, Hauser singles, and the first-placers suffer their most exciting and humiliating loss of 1924.

NYY 100 011 010 - 4 9 1
BOS 000 110 000 - 2 7 0

WAS 201 022 300 0 - 10 17 3
PHA 060 000 022 1 - 11 19 0


Other American League games today (National teams are all off):

WHITE SOX 11-15-0, at TIGERS 4-9-2
Sloppy and Harry skin the Tigers alive, Thurston with a tough complete game and Hooper with a homer, single, triple and four knocked in as Detroit fails to capitalize on Washington's woes. Ken Holloway, with 236 hits allowed now in his 156 innings, is our punching bag yet again.

INDIANS 5-11-0, at BROWNS 2-10-0
A rollicking Sportsman's Park crowd of 572 witness this sleep-inducer, as Sherry Smith bests Urban Shocker, who has been anything but jolting lately with his sixth consecutive loss.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Thursday, September 11
Washington Senators 8454.609
Detroit Tigers 7862.5577
Chicago White Sox 7267.51812.5
New York Yankees 7068.50714
Boston Red Sox 6772.48217.5
St. Louis Browns 6574.46819.5
Philadelphia Athletics 6079.43224.5
Cleveland Indians 6080.42925

1.29.2010

JACOBS BETTER THAN JAKE

REDS TALE EVEN SADDER AFTER MILLER HACKS THEM THRICE IN 5-4 CUB WIN

By C. Jedediah Butterworth

September 10, 1924

CHICAGO—While the Robins, Giants and Cubs move through September like rolling artillery, the Reds seem to be evaporating before our eyes. With their exceptional pitching and spunky, triple-heavy offense, they've stayed in the National race for months. Until now.

Dolf Luque, after failed victory tries by aces Mays and Rixey, proves no better as a Grigsby single in the 1st followed by consecutive two-sack hits by Grantham, Miller and Hartnett put Chicago ahead 3-0 in front of the small but riotous crowd. Elmer Jacobs gives the Reds nothing but a Bressler double and Wingo single for the first five innings, but a Hollocher gaffe leads to two Cincinnati tallies in the 6th, and a game is made of it.

Boob Fowler's pinch-hit single in the 7th knots the affair, before Hollocher makes up for his earlier flub with a line single off reliever Dibut to put the Cubs ahead once more.

So here I am in the cool late afternoon Illinois shade, the Reds are down to their final batter in the 9th, and I'm wondering why I was compelled to take in this game. How is this the most exciting one today? Backup infielder Sam Bohne has been chosen to bat for Dibut, and what could he possibly—

Oh. So I see. Bohne rifles the first Jacobs pitch deep over the left bleacher seats and the game is miraculously tied! Poor Jakie May, the second Reds relief man who won his first three games of the season and has lost seven in a row since then, takes the sphere and gives Grigsby a single to start the last of the 9th. Friberg and Grantham make out, but then Hack Miller steps plateward, he of the two doubles already. Hack powers one high and deep to center, Curt Walker races back, but the ball is over his head! Here comes Grigsby all the way from first to slide under Wingo's tag, and Chicago is three games above .500 for the first time all year.

"That game was a hoot and a half!" Smith tells me as we head out for seafood because I am not eating Chicago cow again for some time, "Where we off to tomorrow?"

"Do you not like surprises, Dean?"

CIN 000 002 101 - 4 7 0
CHI 300 000 011 - 5 11 1

Other ball games today (with Master Spanelli off vacationing with his new bride):

PIRATES 10-14-3, at CARDINALS
St. Louis plays as tough as they can without Hornsby, but their 3-0 lead on Cooper in the 1st is short-lived. The Pittsburghers score six times off Sothoron in the 2nd, four of the runs before an out is even recorded, Cuyler knocks in three more to give him a remarkable 132 runs batted in, and the Buccaneers snap out of their brief doldrums. What's more, they keep a one-game lead over Washington for the best record in the sport, the victor at season's end to enjoy four possible home games in the World Series.

at ROBINS 16-19-0, PHILLIES 3-13-2
Grimes throws horribly again, but Zack Wheat's three home runs and seven runs batted in make everyone at Ebbets forget that.
Consider this mauling a belated wedding gift for the new Mrs. Spanelli, courtesy of her favorite club.

at GIANTS 14-17-2, BRAVES 3-5-1
Art Nehf is superb, the Giants enjoy a seven-run 4th and five-run 7th and decrepit Boston loses their 100th game in appropriate fashion. Mr. George Kelly continues his fall rampage with two singles and a triple, and is now hitting .431 in the first ten days of September with 4 home runs and 22 knocked in.

SENATORS 5-10-1, at ATHLETICS 1-7-2
The masterful Walter Johnson ends the Washington losing routine, Bill Lamar's solo homer off him in the 8th the only blemish. The Nats score their runs off Baumgartner with their trademark flurry of walks and bloops and opposition errors, but their magical digit drops to 10 and can sink far lower this weekend in Detroit.

at TIGERS 6-16-2, WHITE SOX 3-10-1
The Detroiters continue to play fine ball, with Syl Johnson handcuffing the Chicagos this time around. Every Tiger in the lineup growls in with a hit, and Manush collects three.

YANKEES 6-12-0, at RED SOX 3-7-1
Back above .500, the Yanks and Pennock handle Boston with ease. Combs doubles twice and breaks a 2-2 tie in the 4th with his second one before going out with an ankle sprain while rounding the bag. The final Boston-New York contest occurs tomorrow, with Bush matching up against Quinn, and the Yanks with a 13-8 advantage.




















NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, Sept. 10
Pittsburgh Pirates8653.619
Brooklyn Robins8159.5795.5
New York Giants8059.5766
Cincinnati Reds7862.5578.5
Chicago Cubs7168.51115
St. Louis Cardinals6772.48219
Philadelphia Phillies5584.39631
Boston Braves39100.28147
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, Sept. 10
Washington Senators 8453.613
Detroit Tigers 7861.5617
Chicago White Sox 7167.51413.5
New York Yankees 6968.50415
Boston Red Sox 6771.48617.5
St. Louis Browns 6573.47119.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5979.42825.5
Cleveland Indians 5980.42426

1.28.2010

SOMETHING SENSORY THIS WAY COMES

By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber

September 9, 1924

A most extraordinary thing has happened to me.

It begins early this morning, while I lie in bed in a modest Brooklyn hotel room, nearly recuperated from my recent kidnapping ordeal. For some odd reason visions of Navin Field swirl through my head, and then I hear the voice of my pilot friend Dean C. Smith, as he announces "I knew I could track you down!" Now from what I gather, Smith was also cold-cocked with that young criminal's sap in the Pittsburgh hotel, so why I'd even hear his voice is beyond me.

Minutes later, I rise to a knock on the door, and there stands Smith himself, bandage affixed to his temple and a devious smile on his face. "Ha!" he proclaims, I knew I could track you down!" Good lord, have I just experienced a moment of precognition? He asks if I'm ready to report baseball again, because his plane is fueled and ready at a nearby air field, and both pennant races are beginning to tighten, and—

"Detroit!" I cry. "Fly us there, and we'll see the game at Navin Field!" He asks why, and all I can say is that the Tigers' field has been in my thoughts, and something is compelling me to be there.

And so we depart right away under clear skies, and make it to the ball park just in time for the 2 p.m. start. The gritty third-place White Sox are in town, and Whitehill is throwing, the Earl being nothing but mediocre of late. Then the score board shows Washington trailing at Shibe Park again by a 4-1 count, and this game is suddenly monstrous for my boys.

Unfortunately, Ted Lyons chooses the same day to stage one of his finest pitching acts all season, holding the Bengals to a mere two singles in the first five innings. Safeties by Mostil and Falk and a scoring grounder from Sheely have given Chicago a 1-0 lead, and the Navin nabobs squirm with unease.

Leave it to Tyrus Raymond Cobb to fire up our diesels. With one out in the 6th, the Peach singles and pilfers second base under Grabowski's throw. Lu Blue singles him in, Heilman follows with a single knock, and Heinie Manush doubles into the gap past Hooper to puts us ahead 2-1.

It is then three solid innings of murderous tension, as the White Sox get runners aboard but the Earl continues to cement them to the bags. With Archdeacon and Collins out there in the 9th and the crowd on its feet, Mostil skies out to Cobb, Falk fans, and believe it or else, the Tigers are a mere seven games from the top.

Smith follows me home for a long-awaited reunion dinner with Bonnie and the children, and then she asks where I am headed next. I turn to Smith, who is also awaiting my answer. It is apparent that the blow to my head the other day has given me an extra-sensory talent.

"Wherever the most important game of the day will be played," I say, "And I will know in tonight's dream."

CHI 000 010 000 - 1 7 0
DET 000 002 00x - 2 6 1

Only other American League games today:

at ATHLETICS 5-11-0, SENATORS 3-8-1
Shocking. Positively shocking. The Nats take their 16-2 record vs. the Mackmen into Shibe Park and play like guttersnipes from the Piedmont League for the second straight day, losing the game on a bases-filled triple by Al Simmons off Marberry in the 5th. A seven-game cushion at this juncture is still to their advantage, but their magical digit has been frozen at 11 for many days in a row, and they arrive in Detroit for three critical contests on Saturday the 13th.

YANKEES 4-7-0, at RED SOX 1-7-0
Sad Sam Jones spins his happiest pitches, Wally Pipp turns in a 4-for-4 show with two singles, a double and triple off the tough Ehmke and New York is back at the .500 level. For at least twenty-four hours.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Tuesday, September 9
Washington Senators 8353.610
Detroit Tigers 7761.5587
Chicago White Sox 7166.51812.5
New York Yankees 6868.50015
Boston Red Sox 6770.48916.5
St. Louis Browns 6573.47119
Philadelphia Athletics 5978.43124.5
Cleveland Indians 5980.42425.5

1.27.2010

HELLO AND GOODBYE


September 9, 1924

Rachel was so sure her team was going to beat mine today we'd already bought our train tickets to Quebec and had our packed bags stored away in one of the ticket-taker's booths at Ebbets Field. The fact Dazzy Vance was pitching had a lot to do with it.

But baseball's a lot like life, I had to remind her as we found our seats behind third base. Things that look certain hardly ever turn out that way. This may have been the quickest game these teams have played all year, but there were more tense moments packed into it than your average cliffhanger moving picture. Like these:

--Wheat doubles in the 1st, gets to third on a Cy Williams error but doesn't score.
--Phillies get two on and two out against Dazzy in the 2nd but don't score.
--Zack Taylor scores for Brooklyn with two outs on a Bernie Neis single in the 2nd, then Robins load the bases but Wheat flies out.
--Ford singles in Mokan to tie it in the 4th and Dazzy has to whiff Lew Wendell with two outs and two on.
--High triples with one out in bottom of the 4th but doesn't score.
--Neis triples with two outs in bottom of the 5th but doesn't score.
--Phillies get lead off singles in the 6th and 7th but don't score.
--Robins get two singles in the 6th and 7th but don't score.

Finally, in the last of the 8th, with Rachel chewing her fingernails and me worried about our marriage already, Brown led with a walk, my pal Heinie threw a ball into the East River to put runners on second and third, and none other than Dazzy knocked one into left for a go-ahead single, his third game-winnng hit of the year to go with his 22-8 record and 2.06 earned run average. And it was also Brooklyn's 80th win.

"Never a dull game, is there?" Rachel sighed when it was over and we were fetching our bags. By the time we got to Pennsylvania Station we found out the Pirates had lost another double-header, and life suddenly seemed real strange. My first visit to a foreign country was coming up, but without talking about it I'm sure the first thing on our minds was how we'd be able to get baseball scores.
—Vinny

PHL 000 100 000 - 1 5 1
BRK 010 000 01x - 2 10 0

Other National League games today (Old Cal will be back with you all shortly):

at CARDINALS 7-9-0, PIRATES 6-11-3
at CARDINALS 7-15-0, PIRATES 0-2-2
Gadzooks! The first game's a thriller, with the Cards grabbing a 2-0 lead, the Bucs battling back to take a 4-2 lead, before St. Louis scores four off Meadows in the bottom of the 7th, before the Bucs tie it back up immediately in the 8th, before a Gooch error with two outs in the last of the 9th is followed by a Howard Freigau double(!), a walk-on-purpose to Bottomley and awinning single by Mike Gonzalez. For a while it seems like the Bucs have wired God to help them out again because Earl Smith comes back from his injury to go right back to work with a homer and two singles, and it's arranged for Hornsby to get injured for the entire rest of the series, but the Cards take the game anyway. Ha-ha. In the nightcap, Johnny Stuart just mows the Bucs down with a 2-hitter, the second time in three days Pittsburgh gets shut out to finish a double-header.

at GIANTS 15-15-2, BRAVES 3-10-5
McGraw's Mashers stay hot, spotting Boston a 3-2 lead in the 4th before eating them for lunch. Virgil Barnes goes the distance and Mr. Kelly is at it again with a homer and three singles while Hack Wilson adds a 3-run smash to cap an eight-run 7th. The next Braves loss will be number 100.

at CUBS 1-6-1, REDS 0-2-2
By contrast, Cincy arrives at the hitting palace called Cubs Park and suddenly can't hit, even for Eppa Rixey. Even with Roush, Bressler and Caveney all back from injuries, Vic Keen gives them two singles, a walk and nothing else to avoid becoming the first 20-game loser in baseball. I'd say that's about it for the Reds.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, September 9
Pittsburgh Pirates8553.616
Brooklyn Robins8059.5765.5
New York Giants7959.5726
Cincinnati Reds7861.5617.5
Chicago Cubs7068.50715
St. Louis Cardinals6771.48618
Philadelphia Phillies5583.39930
Boston Braves3999.28346

1.26.2010

THE RUDE AWAKENING


September 8, 1924

Rachel made the mistake of bringing her new Robins pennant over to the Polo Grounds today. The first balled-up pretzel wrapper hit the top of her hat by the 2nd inning and the first shower of peanut shells by the 4th, and then it was time for us to move our seats because I was still in my after-wedding glow and didn't feel like punching anyone's nose.

It was another pitching mismatch, but this time for the Giants. Hugh McQuillan got Wheat to bounce into a double play to end out 1st, and then New York went to work on Art Decatur. Frisch singled, O'Connell got plunked, scorching George Kelly singled and so did Hack Wilson and we were down 2-0 lickety-split.

Then Fournier smashed homer no. 29, best in the league, way out into the right bleachers and Rachel jumped up and yelled and waved her pennant until she had to duck for cover. There's always a couple good handfuls of Brooklyn fans at the Grounds, and most of them make it out alive but it always helps if you're a girl. The peanut shower happened after we tied it up in the 4th on a Brown walk, a bunt and singles from High and Taylor, and we found a more calm area just past the first base grandstand, where I convinced Rachel to roll her pennant up for a while.

It gave us bad luck. Fournier let an easy grounder go through his legs and down the right field line, a play you almost never see, Gowdy reached on a boot by Mitchell and one McQuillan double later we were down for good 4-2. Ruether tried to keep the game close by relieving Decatur in the 8th but all he did was give up two singles and a three-run cannon shot to Travis Jackson, and the hollering of the Giants fans sank us deeper in our seats.

The only good thing was that the Robins ended the season series 13-9 against them, but it didn't make Rachel any happier. She was still blaming me for making her roll up her pennant, and wouldn't talk to me for the first ten minutes after we walked out the grandstand tunnel, and I said this is stupid and it's about time we left on a real honeymoon already. "Uh-uh," she replied, "Your Phillies are playing at Ebbets tomorrow and I can't leave unless it's with a good baseball feeling."

Great. Now I have to root against my own team to get us out of town.
—Vinny

BRK 010 100 000 - 2 8 3
NYG 200 200 03x - 7 9 1

All other ball games today:

PIRATES 5-9-1, at REDS 0-6-1
Let's go down the Bucs check-list. Solid pitching performance from average pitcher? Yup, Ray Kremer shutout, strands all eleven runners he puts on base. Clutch hits from backup Johnny Gooch? Yup, two of those. Kiki Cuyler home run? Yup. Stupid untimely error by opposition? Yup, Hughie Critz again. The season series ends in an 11-11 tie, but this is is a big loss for Cincy in the pennant race department.

CUBS 11-15-0, at CARDINALS 4-9-2
The Cards get eliminated with the Bucs win, then get clawed to death by the Cubbie bears with Aldridge shutting them down. Hornsby gets two more hits and nobody cares but him.

at ATHLETICS 6-10-2, SENATORS 5-8-1 (10 innings)
Whoa, boy. Butterworth better get back to work soon because his league could have an actual race a-brewin'. It's the third dumb loss in a row by the Nats, this time on a Dykes single off Russell in extras after Sam Rice lets a Max Bishop single dunk in front of him in the 7th, then skip by him for a 3-base error and tie game.

at RED SOX 8-11-3, YANKEES 6-12-0
Leave it to the Yanks to not get over .500 with a completely stinky game at Fenway. Up 3-0 in the 2nd, Waite Hoyt allows two Boston walks and four straight singles to put his team behind. New York gets two right back and then Hoyt allows two more walks and three more singles in the 5th and the Sox never trail. Ruth chips in with an 0-for-5 show. There's three more games to play up there between these two, with Boston just a half game behind them again.




















NATIONAL LEAGUE through Monday, September 8
Pittsburgh Pirates8551.625
Brooklyn Robins7959.5727
New York Giants7859.5697.5
Cincinnati Reds7860.5658
Chicago Cubs6968.50416.5
St. Louis Cardinals6571.47820
Philadelphia Phillies5582.40130.5
Boston Braves3998.28546.5
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Monday, September 8
Washington Senators 8352.615
Detroit Tigers 7661.5558
Chicago White Sox 7165.52212.5
New York Yankees 6768.49616
Boston Red Sox 6769.49316.5
St. Louis Browns 6573.47119.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5878.42625.5
Cleveland Indians 5980.42426

1.25.2010

RACHEL GETTING MARRIED...AND HONEYMOONED

September 7, 1924

What's a hangover like with Jewish wine instead of the regular illegal stuff? A heckuva lot sweeter. Especially when you have this fuzzy memory of guys dancing you around while you're sitting in a chair.

The good thing was that I didn't have to know any yiddish to pull it off. We stood under this canopy thing while the rabbi blabbed away and then I had to smash a glass with my foot which only took three tries because the shoes Benny got me were pretty darn flimsy, and then it was just this big party in the next room forever and ever, and I got to dance with Rachel some even though she was mostly surrounded by girlfriends the whole night. Rachel's relatives were nice except there were too many of them and every one asked me how I spelled my last name. Cal Butterworth was there, but he was still messed up from his kidnapping and mostly just sat in a corner with his plate of food. Watching the bash I'm sure he was missing his family.

So I'm not anybody to brag or give details that are no one's business, but I did finally sleep in the same bed as Rachel and the love business went real good, considering my drunkenness. She had a big smile on her face when the morning light hit it so I guess that's what counts.

And then it was talk of where to go for our honeymoon, which we hadn't even had a chance to think about. Saul wanted us to hurry up in case he had to bring us to the train station or something because the Giants were at Ebbets Field today and he didn't want to be late for the game. Rachel gave me a goofy look when she heard that, I looked at her right back...and the spot for our pre-honeymoon was decided without a word.

Saul talked to his favorite ticket manager at the ballpark and got us seats by ourselves, thank God, that were right behind the Brooklyn dugout. He'd also talked to most every usher, too, because one after another came down to us with free peanuts, sausage rolls, lemonades and a spanking new Robins pennant just for Rachel. We felt like a king and queen.

Mule Watson was going against Bill Doak so you'd think Brooklyn had the advantage, but Watson has been as lucky a bad pitcher all year as Hal Carlson has been for the Phils. On top of that the Giants have been hot as Hades lately, as their four-game demolition of Baker Bowl just proved.

And they were at it again in the 3rd when the first six of them got on base with two singles, a walk, then a single-double-single, the rally not being worse only because Youngs got caught rounding too far off first after his hit. Wheat got the Robins one back with a double, but it was 5-1 New York all the way to the bottom of the 7th, and Rachel and me had plenty of time to talk about real honeymoon places. She brought up Niagara Falls, but seeing a bunch of pouring water seemed like a dumb way to spend a honeymoon to me. I thought we should go to Europe because neither of us had ever been there, but we both knew that was probably too expensive. As something in the middle we decided on French Canada, meaning Montreal and Quebec City. Neither of us knew French but we could take a train there and still eat get great food.

It was around the time we figured that out when Johnny Mitchell cracked a double down the right field line and knocked home two Brooklyn runs. "We're back in it!" yelled Rachel, leaping out of her seat. Someone should have told Doak that, though, because in the 8th he went back to pitching horrible. George Kelly started with his second double (geez, has that guy been hot!), Youngs singled, and after Wilson forced out, Irish Meusel doubled and it was 6-3 and Robinson finally yanked Doak off the hill. Ehrhardt whiffed Snyder to end the mess, and things looked bad.

The Mule got the Robins out in the 8th with just an Andy High single, and the Giants still had their three run lead going to the last of the 9th. Before Dick Loftus came out to bat for Ehrhardt, Rachel turned and gave me a big smooch. "Kiss me back," she said, "'cause we can't have our married life start this way." So I did, and Loftus walked on four pitches. Hmm. So we kissed again. And Neis singled Loftus to third. We grabbed each other's faces this time and Mitchell doubled to make it second and third! Harry Baldwin replaced Watson, and with the infield back, Wheat made it 6-5 with an infield grounder that scored Neis and sent Mitchell to third.

Ebbets Field was crazy and me and Rachel were crazier. I swear, with Fournier up we wanted to start undressing each other but Jack made us not have to by popping a fly deep deep enough to left to score Mitchell with the tieing run!

We had nobody decent for relief now so Jim Roberts got sent out there, but the Giants couldn't do a thing with him in the 10th. Brown singled to start our half, Stock bunted him over, and when Ernie Maun came on for a rare relief appearance, me and Rachel gave up the kissing act and just held hands so we wouldn't miss anything. Zack Taylor singled Brown to third, Tommy Griffith hit for Roberts, and we were all on our feet, and here came the pitch and there swung the bat and the ball was lined into right before we could even pray and Brooklyn had won the huge game 7-6!!

There's one more Giants-Robins battle over in McGraw's yard tomorrow, so this French Canada deal might get put off another day.
Vinny

NYG 005 000 010 0 - 6 11 1
BRK 001 000 203 1 - 7 14 0

All other games today (with Butterworth still recovering):

at REDS 3-13-2, PIRATES 2-8-0
at REDS 7-12-0, PIRATES 0-5-3
I'd say this was a pretty good afternoon for us. Falling behind 2-1 in the 9th on the typical Charlie Grimm clutch triple, the Reds shock the Bucs with two in the last of the 9th off Yde and Adams, the winner scoring on a Critz single, after Hughie had helped Pittsburgh tie the game earlier when he kicked a grounder. In the second game, Pete Donohue throws an unbelievable and timely shutout, especially when the Pirates had worked their evil voodoo magic by getting FOUR Red players injured on the same day.

CUBS 6-6-2, at CARDINALS 1-10-2
Believe it or not, this isn't the strangest line score of the day. Pete Alexander has now won eight decisions in a row and 15 out of 16, making him the second best pitcher in the league who isn't Dazzy Vance or Eppa Rixey. Hack Miller puts the game away with a late 3-run smash off Dickerman.

at YANKEES 8-5-1, ATHLETICS
As I promised, the strangest line score of the day. The Yanks, just to prove how much "better" they're playing, score five runs on one single, six walks and a hit batter off Gray and Meeker in the 6th. For the day, Ruth singles and walks four times and New York is back to .500 after their final home game of the year.

RED SOX 6-8-1, at SENATORS 4-7-1
A two-base error in the 1st by Bobby Veach helps the Nats score three quick runs off Fullerton, but Curt shuts them down after that and Goslin returns the favor by kicking away a single in the 8th for an added 2-base error, and giving Boston three late runs off a real angry Mogridge to take the game.

at TIGERS 5-83, INDIANS 1-6-2
Yup, Ripper Collins is now 24-3 and a certain favorite to win the Best Pitcher award. The Tigers get closer to first place than they've been for a long while, and finish the season series with Cleveland by going 14-8.

at WHITE SOX 4-5-2, BROWNS 3-10-1
Another stupid line score. The Sox strand only three runners, the Browns 12, and Chicago takes this season series 14-8 also.




















NATIONAL LEAGUE through Sunday, September 7
Pittsburgh Pirates8451.622
Brooklyn Robins7958.5776
Cincinnati Reds7859.5697
New York Giants7759.5667.5
Chicago Cubs6868.50016.5
St. Louis Cardinals6570.48119
Philadelphia Phillies5582.40130
Boston Braves3998.28546
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Sunday, September 7
Washington Senators 8351.619
Detroit Tigers 7661.5558.5
Chicago White Sox 7165.52213
New York Yankees 6767.50016
Boston Red Sox 6669.48917.5
St. Louis Browns 6573.47120
Cleveland Indians 5980.42426.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5778.42226.5

1.24.2010

BEST AND LAST GAME FOR MOST OF US


September 6, 1924

By Mickey from Warren Corner
as a favor to that kidnapped writer guy

OUTSIDE NAVIN FIELD, DETROIT—I never saw so many kids out on Trumbull and National as I did today, more even than on that day we were all waiting for the Babe's 30th homer, but it wasn't no surprise. Not with school starting up again on Monday and half the gang about to be kept home the last three Saturdays to get shoved back in their grammar books. Me? No chance. School for me is on the sidewalks every day, and I ain't missing crap at the ballpark until the Tigers are dead and in the ground.

Brainy Eyes Bradley let me watch the first few innings through our biggest hole in the fence today after I kicked him in the rump enough times. The Indians scalped us something awful yesterday, and most of us had given up and gone home by the 6th inning. Today Ed Wells was throwing darn tough, and actually Coveleski was too for them, considering what a crappy record he has, and after Cobb got to second in the 1st when Jamieson dropped a fly, Pratt singled him in and we had the first lead.

"Hey Mickey, cops are lookin' for ya!" I didn't hear who said it but it pulled me away from the fence and into an alley across the street for a good part of the middle innings until I realized some joker said it to get my eye out of the knothole. The Beesum brothers, wouldn't you know, so I put balled-up chewing gum pieces into the back of each of their heads with my slingshot to pay them back.

Turns out I missed seeing how we made it 2-0 in the 6th, and Brainy Eyes had to fill me in about the two errors at third by Yoter that helped get Pratt home. It was pretty pathetic that we could only score against this last-place team due to errors, but with the strait we're in these days we may as well take the runs.

Wells got out of trouble a few more times, and went to the 9th with a chance for an actual shutout. I was back at my fence hole just in time to see Luke Sewell and Homer Summa both single, hear the crowd groan, and then watch Cobb go the mound and call for Hooks Dauss. Hooks is definitely our human heart problem, but most of the time he gets the job done.

I did say most of the time. McNulty smashed a double down the right field line, the ball banging off our fence and making me dizzy a second. Then another pinch-batter Frank Brower creamed a triple the other way, and just like that we were down 3-2. One of the Beesums was poking my back for a look so I turned and punched him a few times to make myself feel better, but this was horrible!! How could we lose to these rubes?

Well, the Tigers must've been wondering the same thing, because they took care of business for a change. Al Wingo batted for Dauss, swung at Bud Messenger's first pitch and popped it deep to right. It flew over our fence, landed right in the middle of us, and bounced off twenty or so hands but I didn't move an inch from the fence to go for it because I didn't want to lose my spot and after all it was only an Al Wingo ball.

And I'm glad I didn't move, because Rigney walked, Cobb singled him to third, and with the infield pulled in Bob Jones, who replaced Pratt for defense when we were up 2-0 a long time ago, skipped a ball over the 1st base bag for the winning hit!

What a game. Even Bailey the Trumbull beat cop danced a little jig with us for a minute or so. By the time I got home I found out Washington had lost, too, so it was a great Saturday all around.

Thanks for listening.

CLE 000 000 003 - 3 8 3
DET 100 001 002 - 4 9 0

OTHER AMERICAN LEAGUE GAMES PLAYED THIS AFTERNOON,
NOTES COMPILED BY GROVER "BRAINY-EYES" BRADLEY:

RED SOX 4-6-3, at SENATORS 1-2-1
From what I gathered, the Lord certainly played a part in this one, because Alex Ferguson and his 8-16 record utterly did away with Walter Johnson and the Senators, issuing them just two singles. I speak of a miracle because not only did Ferguson also allow seven walks, but because the leadoff Senator in three separate innings reached second base due to a 2-base fielding folly on Boston's part, yet all failed to score. I will surely ask Mother and Father to take me to church an hour earlier tomorrow to keep this kind of thing going.

at YANKEES 6-14-2, ATHLETICS 3-8-0
Herb Pennock didn't pitch like a pudding-headed oaf for once, and the Yanks got three late triples from Scott, Meusel and Ward to finally do away with the Mack Bunch.

at WHITE SOX 13-17-3, BROWNS 11-16-1
St. Louis was eliminated from having a chance to win the pennant flag of the American League which they give out every year when a team finishes in first place, because Ernie Wingard stunk like poop. The Browns collected four runs for him in the very 1st inning but he gave Chicago four runs right back, then four more in the 2nd and two more in the 4th before the manager no doubt took a strap to his behind. From my extra extra research I also learned that Wingard allowed 16 of the 26 Chicago hitters he faced to reach base. For the White Sox, backup catcher Grabowski had a day of days, smashing four doubles and a single and knocking in eight of his team's thirteen runs. Wow.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Saturday, September 6
Washington Senators 8350.624
Detroit Tigers 7561.5519.5
Chicago White Sox 7065.51914
New York Yankees 6667.49617
Boston Red Sox 6569.48518.5
St. Louis Browns 6572.47420
Cleveland Indians 5979.42826.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5777.42526.5

1.23.2010

THE WOMAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH


September 6, 1924

Benny was sleeping downstairs on one of Saul's couches, so he was the one who answered the door at 3 a.m. when Munsey the publisher of the New York Sun showed up to tell us Butterworth had been kidnapped yesterday. Seems that Cal's pilot friend Smith, who he was sharing a hotel room in Pittsburgh with, got sapped on the head when he was in the bathroom and was able to whisper something to a maid before he passed out. And the Cal's boss came to us because he was afraid to go to the police about it.

What a mess. Here I was about to get married at sundown later, but there was no way me and Benny could let Cal stay kidnapped out there. Especially because we had a darn good idea who did it. That young and crazy table waitress named Gretchen who nearly kidnapped me a few months back had somehow lured Cal into the same trap of doom. Everything in Munsey's ransom note pointed to it, especially the part about the river cabin, and Gretchen had gone missing from her job when we called the hotel and asked for her.

So the plan was set. I left a note next to Rachel's pillow saying me and Benny had an emergency wedding errand and we'd be back before sunset come hook and crook, and then we grabbed a pre-dawn steam train to Pittsburgh.

There was one more Cardinals game at Forbes Field, and even though we were both tempted to catch it, we knew the wedding would never happen if we took it in. Smith was in the local hospital and wasn't much help being on all these drugs, but he did mention he smelled perfume behind him right before he was knocked out.

We rented a canoe from a place by the river and started paddling down it. I told Benny I'd recognize Gretchen's river cabin, but after an hour downriver we started seeing so many of other ones it was hard to tell them apart.

Then I saw her jalopy of a truck, and her crummy cabin beside it. We pulled right, hid the boat under some low branches and hopped out on the bank. I snuck up to the door and knocked. There was scuffling inside and I heard her creepy voice, "Who's there?" I said I was from the State Housing Board, and had an important paper to sign so she could keep her cabin.

I saw a curtain move, and heard her give a little gasp, and then she opened the door. "Vinny! It's you!" I could see Cal tied to a bed in the background, gagged up and wriggling in his long johns, but Gretchen stared at me with lust in her eyes, like she'd forgotten how I escaped from her and what she'd just done to Butterworth. "I knew you'd return someday..." she whispered, "Now we can wash away together."

"I don't think so, lady. Actually you got a friend of ours in there and I'm getting married later." Her eyes went wild. She stepped out of the cabin with a meat cleaver raised and Benny jumped out of nowhere and knocked her on the head with his canoe paddle. She crumpled to the ground and I jumped inside to untie Butterworth.

"That evil, evil harpy!" he shouted, obviously hungry, starved, and delirious, "How can I repay you?" I said we'd figure that out another time, but right now we had a wedding to get back to.

And so we did, after getting the police out to Gretchen's cabin, and after getting a giant plate of train food into Cal's stomach. We pulled into New York around 5 p.m., got to Brooklyn by six, and walked into the Ambrose Street Synagogue for the wedding the moment before the sun dropped. Everyone in the place turned and looked at the three of us in shock.

"Sorry we were gone so long," I said, "But we had to go over and pick up Cal!"

National League games today:

at PIRATES 5-11-0, CARDINALS 3-9-0
Sure glad we thwarted a kidnap instead of taking in this nightmare. The Cards take a 1-0 lead in the 3rd, and then with two outs in the Pittsburgh 3rd and no one on base, the Bucs do what they do best. Barnhart and Grimm walk. Traynor and Carey single. Cuyler gets his daily monster of a hit, this time a 3-run homer. Wright and Maranville single and the five runs decide the game. Bottomley returns from an injury to smack a 2-run shot off Cooper later, but there's no way St. Louis is coming back from that early clubbing.

at BRAVES 5-12-1, ROBINS 4-8-4
ROBINS 7-11-2,at BRAVES 2-8-4
Good thing Saul had this twinbill to distract him from us being gone all day, and he probably ran out of pigeons. Grimes turns in another in his never-ending series of awful starts in the opener, giving up two-out doubles all over the place. Johnny Mitchell throws two balls away in the 6th to give the Braves their winning runs. Ruether survives the second game with a great effort, and it's Boston's turn to stink up the field.

GIANTS 13-21-1, at PHILLIES 12-13-0 (11 innings)
GIANTS 11-15-1, at PHILLIES 3-8-0
By my count that's 52 runs and 74 hits we give New York in three days. Can't believe we missed the opener here, in which Cy belts three straight homers off awful Jack Bentley to give us a 10-4 lead, only to have the Giants tie the game in the 9th with four off Couch and win it with three more in the 11th off Betts. The second game is just your normal demolition of Glazner, with Frankie Frisch going 5-for-5 and Snyder adding a late homer.

at REDS 2-7-2, CUBS 0-5-1
A good old-fashioned pitcher duel at Redland Field, with Dolf Luque doing the honors for a change. Three more Chicago losses or Pittsburgh wins will finish the Cubs off for the year.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Saturday, September 6
Pittsburgh Pirates8449.632
Brooklyn Robins7858.5747.5
New York Giants7758.5708
Cincinnati Reds7659.5639
Chicago Cubs6768.49618
St. Louis Cardinals6569.48519.5
Philadelphia Phillies5582.40131
Boston Braves3998.28547

1.22.2010

TO WHO THIS IS CONCERNING:


September 5, 1924

DEAR SPORTING EDITER:

I HAVE YOUR BUTTERWORTH AS PRISONER. WILL NOT RELEESE HIM UNLESS YOU CUNVINCE PENCILVANIA GOVERNOR TO LET ME KEEP MY RIVER HOUSE OUT SIDE PITTSBURGH. THIS IS NO JOKING.
WAIT FOR MORE INSTRUKTING.



IN AMERIKAN LEAGUE GAMES TODAY:

INDIANS 14-15-0, TIGERS 3-9-0
TIGERS ALMOST AS DEAD AS BUTTERWORTH WILL BE IF YOU DON'T LISTEN. SHAUTE HASN'T BEATEN ANYBODY LATELY BUT TAKES CARE OF THEM FUZZY FOOLS.

BROWNS 5-12-1, at WHITE SOX 2-6-1
DANFORTH OVER CONNALLY. NOTHING ELSE YOU GOTTA KNOW.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Friday, September 5
Washington Senators 8349.629
Detroit Tigers 7461.54810.5
Chicago White Sox 6965.51515
New York Yankees 6567.49218
Boston Red Sox 6469.48119.5
St. Louis Browns 6571.47820
Cleveland Indians 5978.43126.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5776.42926.5

1.21.2010

PIGEONS TO THE RESCUE


September 5, 1924

Mr. Stone took the day off to help me set up the new room in their house for me and Rachel, and believe me it took us the whole day just to get my clothes chest up the stairs. The banister was in the way so we had to take that off first and hammer it back on, and meanwhile Rachel's little brother and sister were running all over the place and half of their relatives were stopping over to meet me.

What this all meant was that Saul should have been going crazy because he was missing news of how Dazzy Vance was pitching up in Boston. The Braves beat his Robins bad yesterday and by the time me and Benny finally got to Brooklyn in the truck he was in such a state I thought he was going to call off the wedding. He tried to teach me a few Jewish words late last night but I was too tired to concentrate and he finally gave up and said I had the rest of my life to work on this big religion change.

Anyway, while I was busy sweeping the new room today and moving furniture around, Mr. Stone kept disappearing and coming back with little smiles on his face, stuffing small pieces of paper into his pants pocket. Around the fifth time he did this I asked what was going on and he motioned me to follow him out a back window and up the fire escape.

He had a huge pigeon coop up on the roof, with about three or four birds inside. They all had names and he introduced each one to me, and then we heard a flapping sound overhead. "Here comes Lucy!" he cried, and the new bird dropped down and landed on his hand with a coo. He petted her and pulled a rolled up piece of paper off one of her legs, where it was tied with a rubber band. He unfolded the paper and grinned.

"We got three in the 5th! Dazzy with a 1-hitter still!" It seems that a friend of his at a betting room across town would send scores by pigeon once in a while if you paid him for the service, and Saul sure had some kind of bird tab going.

Hank DeBerry had just hit a big triple to make it 5-0 Brooklyn. "Do you know what the Pirates are doing? Or my Phillies?" Saul whipped out an ink pen, scribbled the two questions on a new slip of paper, attached it to Lucy's leg and sent her off with a kiss.

We could hear Rachel's mom calling for her husband at that point, so I said I'd stay up there on bird watch while he went back down to help her. Rachel was off with her girlfriends dealing with the dress business, Benny was off finding me a pair of new shoes. so I had the next hour or so to myself up on the sunny roof. It was a nice view. Even though it was hazy I could see the Brooklyn Bridge and make out the towers in Manhattan past that.

Another pigeon with brown spots on its head and whose name I didn't know came flying in to tell me that Brooklyn had scored two more times in the top of the 7th and someone named Red Lucas was on to pitch for Boston, so I guess the Braves had flat out given up for the day.

Lucy was back by the time Saul reappeared, smelling like barley soup. "PIT 6 STL 1 after five" was on her note, along with "NYG 5 PHIL 0", so we both had reasons to be upset, even though I'd stopped caring about the Phillie season the day I walked off my batboy job.

We all had a big Sabbath evening meal, the house stuffed with two dozen friends and relatives, and I never shook so many hands in my life. I didn't see much of Rachel, but that was okay, I needed time with my thoughts instead. Benny clinked my glass of too-sweet imported wine with his later and said he was going to miss getting in trouble with me.

"Well," I said, "Guess that means we'll have to try a little harder."
—Vinny

National League games today:

at PIRATES 7-12-0, CARDINALS 1-9-1
The reason I've been reporting in the first place is because Butterworth didn't wire in his story from Forbes Field today for some reason, and I decided to do his boss from the New York Sun a favor. Old Cal would be bored with this one anyway, because Meadows goes to 17-9, Cuyler singles and homers to start two different 3-run rallies, and Hornsby goes back to his do-nothing role in big games by making an error and leaving five guys in scoring position.

at REDS 4-8-0, CUBS 1-6-3
Eppa Rixey notches his 20th win pretty easily, a Hooks Cotter homer being his only pimple. Barrett throws two balls away to help Cincy score twice in the 1st and get them going.

ROBINS 8-11-2, at BRAVES 0-3-2
Dazzy dazzles again, Brooklyn rebounds from a terrible loss yesterday by crushing Rube Marquard, and they stay ahead of the surging Giants.

SURGING GIANTS 5-12-1, at PHILLIES 4-16-2
I could've predicted this. One day after scoring over twenty runs, New York barely beats Jimmy Ring. Virgil Barnes is given a 5-0 lead and almost throws it into the sewer single-handedly before Jonnard bails him out by getting Cy to rap into a huge double play in the 9th.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Friday, September 5
Pittsburgh Pirates8349.629
Brooklyn Robins7757.5757
New York Giants7558.5648.5
Cincinnati Reds7559.5609
Chicago Cubs6767.50017
St. Louis Cardinals6568.48918.5
Philadelphia Phillies5570.40729.5
Boston Braves3897.28146.5

1.20.2010

RAJAH'S REDEMPTION


HORNSBY MAKES UP FOR EARLY FAILURES BY CAPSIZING BUCCANEERS

By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber

September 4, 1924

PITTSBURGH—When one is batting .410, one is expected to come through with key blows with some degree of regularity. In short, Mr. Rogers Hornsby must deliver the winning mail for the Cardinals to win with their spotty pitching. But the Rajah has come up short time and again this season against the fierce Pittsburghers, and today at Forbes he has another chance to make amends.

Judging from today's 1st inning examples, it's clear why St. Louis is 19 games behind in the losses column. After Specs Toporcer reaches on a Wright flub to begin the game, Blades singles him over with one out. Kremer then bears down and Hornsby grounds into a third-to-second-to-first double death to kill the inning. By contrast, after a Grimm triple and Moore walk in the bottom of the 1st, the extraordinary Kiki Cuyler singles for the game's first run.

Two singles and a double in the Cardinal 2nd knots the game, but Jesse Haines gets scant support from the gloveworkers behind him. Cooney throws a rolling infield single away to lead to two Pirate runs in the 4th, and Hornsby kicks a ball with two outs and the sacks filled in the 5th to make it 4-1 for the Forbes home-standers.

It stays this way until the 8th, when Kremer tires, as many of the Buc hurlers have been doing of late. Max Flack and Heinie Mueller lead with consecutive doubles, Cooney singles, Gonzalez lofts a scoring fly, and pinch-batter Wattie Holm rips a double to tie the game! Babe Adams takes over immediately on the hill to snuff out the fire, and Hi Bell relieves Haines, throwing a scoreless bottom of the inning.

Then it is the 9th act, and Ray Blades opens the curtain with a deafening triple into the yard's outer reaches. Hornsby, who doubles and singles after his early flop, only to be stranded on the paths, cracks another double on Adams' first offering, and the Cards have the lead. A Flack single sends him scampering in, and it is suddenly 6-4.

But who would ever think this game is over? No one within fifty miles of Pittsburgh, that is certain. And with one out, Cuyler and Traynor single off Bell. Jesse Fowler is ready in the bull pen, but putting in a lefty against Wright and Maranville is sheer folly, and Hi is given the signal to continue. He gets Wright on a harmless pop to right, the Rabbit on a grounder to first, and the shocked silence at Forbes can be felt in Brooklyn.

STL 010 000 032 - 6 16 3
PIT 100 210 000 - 4 13 1

Other National League games:

at BRAVES 11-15-0, ROBINS 3-10-2
The Pittsburgh shock must take a bow to this one, though. Tiny Osborne is crushed like a flea in less than four innings of futile toil, surrendering a grand slam home run to Cunningham, only the 16th bash of the year by Boston, before he is shoved into the showers by manager Bancroft. A hideous, untimely loss for the Brooklyns.

GIANTS 23-26-2, at PHILLIES 2-7-6
Not the Phillies' best effort of the year. Joe Oescheger takes one for the team, and possibly three other teams. George Kelly, who along with Ruth is finally giving New York the timely hitting they've failed to supply until now, wallops two home runs, one with the bases loaded, and drives in seven.

CUBS 3-7-1, at REDS 2-8-2
Carl Mays again cannot notch his 19th win as Hollocher's single in the 9th ends a great pitcher's duel between Mays and Vic Aldridge and vaults the Giants back over the Reds into third place.

American League games today, which I will relate with Master Spanelli being occupied with imminent betrothal matters:

at YANKEES 5-9-0, ATHLETICS 2-10-1
Ruth's 44th home run leaves Yankee Stadium in the 7th, his sixth in five games, to give New York the insurance they need for their third straight victory.

at SENATORS 8-10-1, RED SOX 0-4-2
After Collins and Johnson, Curly Ogden has certainly been the best twirler in the circuit. His fifth shutout keeps the carmine hose in a coma throughout, and the Washington triumverate of Judge, Goslin and Rice drive in all of the game's runs. The Senator magical digit for winning the league drops to 12, and they take a half-game advantage over Pittsburgh for the best record in the land.

at WHITE SOX 4-10-0, BROWNS 3-11-1
Urban Shocker's reputation is suddenly pulp, as he loses his fifth straight decision and six out of seven, mainly due to a blistering three-double 1st inning by Chicago. St. Louis has cooled considerably after a scorching few weeks.




















NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, September 4
Pittsburgh Pirates8249.626
Brooklyn Robins7657.5717
New York Giants7458.5618.5
Cincinnati Reds7459.5569
Chicago Cubs6766.50416
St. Louis Cardinals6567.49217.5
Philadelphia Phillies5579.41028.5
Boston Braves3896.28445.5
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Thursday, September 4
Washington Senators 8349.629
Detroit Tigers 7460.55210
Chicago White Sox 6964.51914.5
New York Yankees 6567.49218
Boston Red Sox 6469.48119.5
St. Louis Browns 6471.47420.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5776.42926.5
Cleveland Indians 5878.42627

1.19.2010

THE BATTLE OF MIKE AND EMMA'S


September 3, 1924

I was just going to move up to Brooklyn by taking the train, but then I started finding all kinds of boxes of extra things I wanted to bring, and decided I wanted my own clothes chest instead of one of Rachel's girlie ones, so enlisted Benny to drive me up to New York in a rented truck.

We got an old Ford one that lurched along and exploded exhaust out of its pipe every ten miles or so, and it was real slow going. On top of that the Weehawken and Hoboken ferry boats were both closed because of real choppy water on the Hudson River, and autos were backed up for miles, so Benny pulled an old dirty map out of the glove box and we headed north to work our way around.

The map was impossible to read and it was my job to read it, and me and Benny spent so much time arguing directions that by the time we crossed a much narrower part of the river we accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up in Connecticut an hour later. Now I knew how Butterworth got so lost in Vermont.

Benny was being a pig-head by refusing to ask anyone for help, until I finally lost my temper, ripped the damn map up and tossed it out the window. Lucky for us we were running out of gasoline, so Benny was forced to stop at a combination petrol station/pharmacy/store/grill in this small town called Tonimicut, and I got a chance to ask someone for directions.

What I wasn't expecting was to walk into Mike and Emma's Grill and be smack in the middle of a full-scale shouting brawl. One half of the room had people wearing Red Sox hats and waving little pennants, while the other half was in Yankee caps and jerseys and sat under a wall of framed, signed photos of Ruth and Huggins and Bob Meusel. And everyone was grouped around a miniature electric board that followed reports from New York, where Boston and the Yanks were playing their last of four games. It seemed like all good-natured yelling, but I'd never seen suck a ruckus in an eatery.

After a waitress lady wrote down the correct directions for us, we decided to sit at the counter for a couple sandwiches and take in the daffiness. Tonimicut was close enough to Massachusetts to be split down the middle between the two groups, and then things got crazier. Seems that Mike, from a family of Yankee fans, had married Emma, from a family of Red Sox fans, and when they opened the grill together the place became a natural baseball earthquake spot. And having Boston hop over New York in the standings two days ago sure didn't help.

"Ruth? You can have that fat ape!" yelled one of Emma's brothers after he hit a 2-run homer in the 1st, his 42nd of the year. "He'll bust a gut and put his team right down the pike, just you watch!" "I'll be watching you bums sink into last place, that's what I'll be watching!" shouted Mike's dad in his carpenter outfit. It was 2-1 New York when doubles by Schang and Shags Horan helped them to four more runs and a 6-1 lead, and the whole room almost tilted in the Yankee fans' direction.

Me and Benny were having the time of our life, like watching a louder, more smelly burlesque show, and it got me a little nervous about me the Phillie fan being about to be married into a serious Brooklyn family. After an Aaron Ward error, single, two walks and a plunked batter gave Boston two runs in the 5th, the other half of the place started bleating again. Benny wanted to get back on the road but I had to stay and see how the drama turned out.

Each team took turns scoring a few more and it was 9-4 Yanks in the 8th when Ruth came up for the last time against Bill Piercy. It was so deafening I couldn't hear my teeth chew my cherry pie. The Babe, already with a double, walk and homer, crashed another homer, his 43rd of the year, fifth in his last four games according to Mike's nephew, and seventh in his last nine. And grapes and handfuls of bread crumbs flew back and forth across the room.

The final was 11-5 for a series split, and we stumbled back outside with our ears shaking. I had no clue the Red Sox and Yanks had such a rivalry going, but I figure once Boston gets their team good again a in a couple of years that'll all calm down.

I shared my new marriage nervousness with Benny put he poo-poohed it away. "Y'know, when I went to the restroom there I got a look at Mike and Emma themselves. Leaning over a sink in the kitchen and hugging each other with smirks on their pusses. Hell, if they can make that goofy arrangement work, anyone can."

—Vinny

Only other American League games today:

TIGERS 9-16-1, at WHITE SOX 6-13-1
A horrible loss for Chicago, who take a 6-2 lead into the 8th thanks to more bad Earl Whitehill pitching, only to have Detroit score five times off Lyons, topped by a Heinie Manush triple. The Tigers pick up their second half a game in two days and will now go home to face the last-place Indians.

at BROWNS 8-14-4, INDIANS 6-8-1
The Tribe is up 3-1 when their "best" pitcher Sherry Smith gives the Brownies seven runs in the 6th, a Ken Williams 3-run belt finishing off the top of the cake.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, September 3
Washington Senators 8249.626
Detroit Tigers 7460.5529.5
Chicago White Sox 6864.51514.5
New York Yankees 6467.48918
Boston Red Sox 6468.48518.5
St. Louis Browns 6470.47819.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5775.43225.5
Cleveland Indians 5878.42626.5

1.18.2010

BUCCANEERS ESCAPE FROM BRIG AGAIN


DWINDLING LEAD RE-FATTENED WITH PLUCKED CARDINALS

By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber

September 3, 1924

PITTSBURGH—After a memorably foul night in a Chicago hotel room, brought about by a massive consumption of steer at the Berghoff, I contact Master Spanelli once again to return his favor and give him a day's break from National League reporting.

Also, with the Senators idle again and me having quite enough of Comiskey Park for a while, I desire ribald pennant race action, and the Steel City is where it occurs this week. The Cubs are gone, to the gratefulness of the locals, and the lead that was recently nine games has been slimmed to six. The usually-swatting Cardinals have replaced them, and Flint Rhem faces Johnny Morrison in the opener.

Now Morrison has had the Irish luck since April, fashioning his lukewarm talent into a sizzling 12-4 mark, and everything falls right for him again in the early frames at Forbes. The usual devastating and timely injury to the opposition occurs in the 2nd when Sunny Jim Bottomley is hit on the ankle by a pitch and will be out for three of the four games here. St. Louis gets a rash of runners aboard but double play balls by the sterling combo of Wright and Maranville quickly extinguish them.

For his part, Flint Rhem is throwing wonderfully for the visiting nine, and the game is still scoreless going to the last of the 7th. A fat 6-0 lead for Philadelphia over the Robins has been on the score board for some time, and the Forebesian throng is getting restless. The Cardinals have wasted enough chances, say the base ball gods, and it is time to make them pay. Thus, Wright walks and Maranville singles. Thus a bouncer by third-string catcher Walter Schmidt clanks off Cooney's glove at short for an error. Morrison plates the first run with a deep fly, Carey shoots a ball to deep right-center for a triple and the Pirate lead is abruptly 3-0.

Morrison strolls back out to the hill to relax in his 8th inning lawn chair, but he never should have raised his feet, for Cooney makes good on his muff with a searing lead triple. Wattie Holm pinch-bats a single. A wild pitch gets Holm to second, two grounders get him home and it is 3-2.

Then the 9th arrives—oh, the dramatic, gloriously tragic 9th—and the mystifyingly dormant Hornsby erupts with a lead walk. Two outs go by and the denizens rise to their feet, waving hats. But Cooney singles to hush them, catcher Mike Gonzalez doubles in both runners to mute them, and St. Louis has a 4-3 lead!

It is at junctures like this that Pittsburgh has awed and shocked the base ball world for months. No lead, whether big or small, has been safe here in the Buccaneers' maritimes. Even with Cardinal relief expert Jesse Fowler at the wheel, even after Clyde Barnhart bats for Morrison and skies out to begin things, no one is ruling out a fresh uprising.

And like most Pirate ambushes, this one happens with four slashes of a bloody cutlass. Carey doubles, Grimm singles, Moore singles, Captain Kiki Cuyler fires a whistling liner over Douthit's head in center, and Pittsburgh is awash in noise and delirious revelry once more.

Saddened as I am for today's chapter in the pennant race, I am honored to be here and witness the latest local miracle, even though it still has my mind buzzing hours later. At the hotel, a fetching young female table servant named Gretchen slips me a tiny glass of homemade liquor to calm my nerves, and I am more than grateful to her...

STL 000 000 022 - 4 9 1
PIT 000 000 302 - 5 12 1

Other National League games:

at PHILLIES 6-6-0, ROBINS 1-4-1
One day after winning twice at Baker, Brooklyn is hoodwinked by Hal Carlson. Decatur pitches nearly as well, but one horrific 2nd inning, when the Quakers bunch four singles and a Carlson 3-run homer together, does them in and knocks them seven games out again.

GIANTS 8-14-1, at BRAVES 1-7-3
at BRAVES 7-14-0, GIANTS 5-13-1
McQuillan has his way with the Beaneaters in the opener, thanks to a huge Bill Terry home run early on, but even with Kelly returning to the fore in Game Two, the patched and weary Giant pitching parade of Ryan, Baldwin and Jonnard cannot stem the Boston hitting tide. Ed Sperber's 8th inning blast off Jonnard nullifies a wonderful New York comeback after Terry homers again in the top of the inning to briefly give the Giants the lead.

at REDS 5-8-0, CUBS 4-8-3
Having fallen under .500 in their home park, the Reds desperately need a win and get one from the shockingly undefeated Rube Benton, now 8-0 on the campaign. A 2-run clout from George Burns off Jacobs knots the game in the 6th, and a two-out gaffe by Spark Adams puts the winner across in the 8th as Chicago is suddenly and strangely missing Pittsburgh.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, September 3
Pittsburgh Pirates8248.631
Brooklyn Robins7656.5767
Cincinnati Reds7458.5619
New York Giants7358.5579.5
Chicago Cubs6666.50017
St. Louis Cardinals6467.48918.5
Philadelphia Phillies5578.41428.5
Boston Braves3796.27446.5

1.17.2010

WOOZY HUZZAHS

September 2, 1924

Rachel and her father took an early train back to New York because Saul actually had to work for a living, and I was thrilled just to see him get away from his team before he had a heart problem and the wedding was called off. Last night at dinner it was decided Rachel and me would hitch next Saturday night. That seemed a little too quick to organize things and learn my Jewishness, but the whole thing was going to be at their synagogue, Saul already knew the date was open, and he wanted to get the thing done so he could follow the end of the pennant race without distractions. Boy does he ever sound like me.

Mama was on a crying routine this morning because she knew her other man was leaving and she'd be all alone, but I said maybe she'd meet a new guy at the wedding if she kept her face dry for a couple hours. She liked that idea, but was kind of wishing it was an Italian wedding instead.

Benny came by to take me to our next game with Brooklyn but wanted to stop at Mort's first to "pick something up" that he left there. There was a big sign on the door that said PRIVATE PARTY TODAY but he opened it up anyway and shoved me inside.

"Surprise!!!"

Two dozen or so people were waiting for me, the usual Mort's regulars and a bunch I knew from the neighborhood, and they toasted me with tall glasses of bubbly red liquid I'd never seen before. Mort came around the counter, pounded my back and walked me to a table with a giant bowl of the same drink. "Super Vinny cherry fizzer! In honor of your soon-to-be betrothicals." He poured me a mug of it and it was down the hatch. It was spiked with someone's homemade illegal wine and had some kind of kick.

"We didn't know when you were leaving for New York," said Benny, "So I thought we should take care of this celebration business right away." A phonograph started up with jazz music, and a few of the saucier girls who were there took turns dancing me around, and before long I was having the time of my life. Even Pop Lloyd from the nearby Hilldale Daisies showed up.

It was sure a decent place to follow our 7th place team. Mort ran over with ticker reports after every inning, and when I wasn't laughing, burping or doing the Charleston I followed the best I could. Back-to-back home run belts by High and Wheat gave Brooklyn a quick 2-0 lead, but then Burleigh "Ol' Stubblebeard" Grimes threw what could've been the worst inning of ball all year, seeing what his team's situation was. Harper tripled, Sand singled, Holke doubled, Cy singled and Wrightstone walked before he even got an out. Wilson hit into a double play but then Mokan reached on a single and errror, Grimes kicked another one away and it was 4-2 us.

Wilson homered later after they got a run back to make it 5-3, then it was 5-4 after a High triple, and then Bill Hubbell coughed up the lead in the 8th, giving the Robins three beginning with a High double this time. We got one back on two walks, a bunt and a grounder, so it was 7-6 going to the last of the 9th. The ticker also told us that the Bucs were losing yet again to the Cubs, so this was suddenly a huge game. Mort poured in another batch of Super Vinny fizzer, and the guests who could still stand were bunched around the ticker waiting for every pitch.

Mostly everyone seemed to be pulling for Brooklyn, being Giants and Pirates haters, but when Philie hero Cy Williams came up with one out against Ehrhardt and the ticker suddenly said WILLIAMS HOME RUN...BRK 7 PHL 7, the place divided itself with cheers and boos. Benny was off in the bathroom getting sick when Brooklyn's Eddie Brown scored what was about to be the winning run in the 10th on a Hubbell wild pitch, but when news came across that Pittsburgh had lost, his face looked less green right away.

Can this be a pennant race yet, we wondered? Brooklyn will be up at Braves Field next Saturday for a double-header, but if the games go late, will Mr. Stone be able to give his daughter away before midnight? Oh, the lives of insane baseball fans...

—Vinny

BRK 201 001 030 1 - 8 16 2
PHL 400 010 011 0 - 7 12 2

Cal Butterworth tracked me down at Mort's during the party and asked if I could "report" the American League games for him. I guess he was sick all day himself from eating too much Chicago steak last night.

National League games:

CUBS 9-18-3, at PIRATES 6-13-0
This one isn't that close until the 9th, when Pete Alexander loses it and gives the Bucs four runs. Old Pete is now a whopping 17-4 and the Cubs are over .500! Cooper has a 1-0 lead into the 4th but Chicago scores in every inning after that. Unfortunately for them, Ray Grimes goes out for two whole weeks with a twisted leg, so catching anyone higher than them could be a problem.

GIANTS 8-18-1, at BRAVES 5-10-0 (10 innings)
The no-hitting Braves make it tough for the should-be-hitting-better Giants, but without Kelly in their lineup I guess we should give them more credit. Skinny Graham pitches three great relief innings before New York gets three off him in the 10th, and the McGrawsters sneak past the Reds into third place.

American League games:

at YANKEES 5-8-1, RED SOX 4-10-4
Is Ruth hitting a homer every day now? Well, he's got 41 after his smash here off Fuhr, and the Yanks are given the win for a birthday present when Boston third-baseman Clark makes two 2-base errors in the 7th inning to go with his three for the game.

TIGERS 6-12-0, at WHITE SOX 1-4-1
Too bad Cal is laid up with gout and misses his ace Rip Collins go to 23-3 with another fabulous performance. Cobb racks up two singles and a big late triple as Detroit picks up a half game on the sitting-around Senators.

INDIANS 14-17-1, at BROWNS 9-15-0
Just another tight little pitching game between these two. Dixie Davis is just plain awful for the Brownies, giving up a 3-run inning, a 4-run inning and a 5-run inning before he's dragged off the mound.




















NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, September 2
Pittsburgh Pirates8148.628
Brooklyn Robins7655.5806
New York Giants7257.5589
Cincinnati Reds7358.5579
Chicago Cubs6665.50416
St. Louis Cardinals6466.49217.5
Philadelphia Phillies5478.40928.5
Boston Braves3695.27546
AMERICAN LEAGUE through Tuesday, September 2
Washington Senators 8249.626
Detroit Tigers 7360.54910
Chicago White Sox 6863.51914
Boston Red Sox 6467.48918
New York Yankees 6367.48518.5
St. Louis Browns 6370.47420
Philadelphia Athletics 5775.43225.5
Cleveland Indians 5877.43026

1.16.2010

LABORIOUS INDEED


SCRAPYARD SOX GNAW TIGERS TO EARN HOLIDAY SPLIT

By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber

September 1, 1924

CHICAGO—My earlier forecast of a hit-filled Labor Day in these midwestern parts is unrealized to the maximum, for the Tigers and White Sox stage two knuckle-chewing tributes instead that harken back to the dead ball days of recent yesteryear.

And who else to christen the day-long event but Tyrus Cobb, as he bludegons the very first thrown ball between Mostil and Hooper for a heart-stopping triple. Rigney singles him home and Charlie Robertson is already behind 1-0. Chicago, after a four-game murder of the Tribe over at League Park, has proven to be the toughest outfit in the league lately, but Hooks Dauss, pressed into a starting role due to injuries to both Holloway and Syl Johnson, rises to the occasion like an oven popover. Threat after Soxian threat is vanquished, inning after inning, and Bibb Falk's three sharp hits have earned Chicago nothing.

Robertson is also tough in his many pinches. Detroit floods the sacks with no one out in the 2nd but cannot score. In four consecutive innings they have a runner reach first with two outs and leave him there to gather mold. A lead double by Cobb in the 9th accomplishes nothing, and everyone in the press row is certain the foreshadowing will lead to this novel's bad end.

It doesn't seem that way at first, because Dauss gets Sheely and Crouse with ease to begin the White Sox 9th, but then Ray Morehart slices a double in front of Manush. With the Comiskey horde on its feet and hooting, seldom-used third-sacker McClellan dumps a dying sparrow into the open meadow of center field, and Morehart skips plateward for the tie! After another single lefty Bert Cole is summoned to face Collins, and Eddie rolls out to send us into extra frames.

Still snappy with his delivery, Robertson remains in the contest, but Cole is up to his challenge. Each team takes turns putting runners on and neglecting their futures until the top of the 14th, when Johnny Bassler smotes a curve off the deepest fence to send Lu Blue ripping around the clay, sliding under Crouse's tag for the lead run! Cole retires Elsh, Collins and Mostil without incident for his best relief performance of the season and the opening winner.

The second affair is a purely trying experience for fan and writer and electric score board watcher alike. The Tigers jump to an early lead again on Ted Blankenship, but never-used starter Dutch Leonard cannot handle the erupting Chicago hit volcano. Two singles, a double and triple net them three runs in the 4th, and single tallies in the 6th, 7th, and 8th keep them a step ahead of us the rest of the way. Feeble Sox fielding helps Detroit score three more times,but with the Tiger bullpen completely unavailable, old Dutch is forced to keep the crumbling wall up with his pinky finger, to no avail.

The two clubs are knotted at 7-7 for the year, and to the Tigers' credit, today could have been far worse, for the great Eddie Collins fails to get on base in twelve trips to the dish.

After telegraphing my family now, I will take Mr. Smith up on his suggestion for a steak dinner at Berghoff's. Chicago surely has the best beef choices in the land, and all this travel has me pining for protein.

DET 100 000 000 000 01 - 2 13 0
CHI 000 000 001 000 00 - 1 12 1

DET 200 010 020 - 5 11 3
CHI 000 301 11x - 6 11 3

Other Holiday Twinbills today:

RED SOX 11-20-1, at YANKEES 5-8-0
RED SOX 11-14-2, at YANKEES 7-10-2
My lord, was I fortunate to have escaped the Bronx before it was burned down. The Yankees' double-death today is a perfect study of their lost season, for in each game Babe Ruth blisters a 2-run homer in the 1st inning to put them ahead (40 now!), only to have first Herb Pennock and then Al Mamaux get eventually torn apart in an explosion of Boston hits. It is actually the Red stockings, not the White ones, who are torching the walls of the league right now. Since the start of August their record is 21-8, and they have suddenly leapt over the New Yorkers and into fourth place, with Chicago in their sights!

at SENATORS 7-11-0, ATHLETICS 3-7-2
at SENATORS 5-10-0, ATHLETICS 1-5-1
Don't look for Boston to ever catch the Washingtonians, though. Even with Goslin out for the first game, every little thing turns their way. None other than Paul Zahniser and Firpo Marberry combine to keep the Mackmen at bay, before Slim McGrew—yes, you heard correctly—throws a complete game victory in the second act. Joe Judge fills in nicely for the Goose earlier by driving home five.

at BROWNS 9-14-1, INDIANS 3-5-2
INDIANS 5-13-1, at BROWNS 4-7-0
In the second game, St. Louis comes within a whisper of passing New York in the standings four times in the last five innings, but Bud Messenger saves James Edwards' hide, retiring Jack Tobin with the winning runs afloat in the 9th. In the opener, Coveleski, one of the quieter terrible pitchers in the league, has a 3-1 lead in the 6th, only to have the Browns score eight times in their last three appearances.










AMERICAN LEAGUE through Monday, September 1
Washington Senators 8249.626
Detroit Tigers 7260.54510.5
Chicago White Sox 6862.52313.5
Boston Red Sox 6466.49217.5
New York Yankees 6267.48119
St. Louis Browns 6369.47719.5
Philadelphia Athletics 5775.43225.5
Cleveland Indians 5777.42526.5