1917 All-Star Series: Junior Circuit Exacts Revenge, Evens Series
AMERICAN LEAGUE BESTS SENIOR CIRCUIT
IN EXTRA FRAMES
NEW YORK, July 13.—In a lineup loaded with the game’s biggest stars—from the peerless “Georgia Peach,” Ty Cobb, to Frank “Home Run” Baker to “Cocky” Eddie Collins—it was Indians shortstop Raymond Johnson Chapman that shone the brightest for the American League in the first game of a three-game set at the Polo Grounds today. The overflow throng of more than 38,000 was treated to a back-and-forth affair that saw six of the game’s nine runs scored in the sixth inning before the AL tallied solo markers in the eighth and tenth frames for a hard-fought 5-4 victory.
Last year the bugs in Chicago were treated to a match-up of Walter Johnson and Grover Cleveland Alexander, two of base ball’s greatest slab men. Today, “Old Pete” took the hill for the National League in the initial contest for the second straight year but “The Big Train” was nowhere to be found, having been left off the squad, perhaps in response to the controversy that surfaced last year when Washington magnate Clark Griffith accused A.L. manager Bill Carrigan of overusing his ace.
Another man conspicuous by his absence was Carrigan himself, who by virtue of leading the Boston Red Sox to the A.L. pennant last year, would have been assigned the task of leading this team into battle. But Carrigan retired to his home of Lewiston, Maine last year and appears to be doing just fine in the theater business. When he was asked by junior circuit president Ban Johnson to come out of retirement for the weekend, “Rough” rejected the plea wholeheartedly. So Johnson offered the position to White Sox skipper Clarence “Pants” Rowland, a capable man who led his team to a second-place finish last year and has the Pale Hose in first place as of this writing.
Rowland had the simple task of naming his ace, shine ball artist Eddie Cicotte, as Alexander’s mound opponent, made easier by the fans’ voting, which had Cicotte tops among A.L. hurlers. Neither man disappointed as Alexander tossed three nearly spotless stanzas, allowing only a first inning single to Chapman among the ten swatsmiths he faced. Cicotte had his knuckler dancing and shine ball glistening for the first two frames, but ran into trouble in the third when Honus Wagner singled, stole second, advanced to third on Alex’s bunt and scored on a bloop shot that dropped in short center field between Chapman and Collins.
Phillies southpaw Eppa Rixey, the Virginia giant, took the slab in the fourth and had an easy time with the A.L. in the fourth and fifth, but surrendered consecutive singles to catcher Hank Severeid and pinch hitter Frank “Ping” Bodie and was unceremoniously removed by senior circuit pilot Wilbert Robinson. “Uncle Robbie” played a hunch and summoned Cubs righthander Phil Douglas, who slowly shuffled toward the mound in his usual fashion before moistening up the ball and going to work.
Robinson was clearly hoping for a twin killing, but Cobb thwarted that plan with a ringing two-bagger to right that plated Severeid and moved Bodie to third, then “Chappy” poled his third hit of the tilt and sent Bodie and Cobb to the plate with the junior circuit’s second and third runs. Carl Mays, the Red Sox’s sidearm flinger, hurled two perfect innings before Rowland inexplicably removed him in favor of Howard Ehmke, a 23-year-old by way of Detroit who has barely had time to shake off the leaves from the bushes and settle in with a major league club.
Ehmke’s frayed nerves were on display for all to see and he immediately coughed up the lead in his first inning of work. Robins star Zack Wheat stepped to the plate for Douglas and belted a drive to one of the deepest parts of the garden that landed him on third. Burns expertly dropped a hit in front of Cobb to trim the lead to 3-2, then pilfered second, which wasn’t necessary for Heinie Groh’s base on balls would have pushed him to the keystone bag anyway. Edd Roush of the Reds fanned, but Burns and Groh engineered a successful double steal and “Cactus” Cravath knotted the score at 3-3 with a deep fly ball to left-center field. Groh advanced to third on the play and scampered home unmolested when Cardinals shortstop Rogers Hornsby shot a hard grounder to third that Baker couldn’t parlay into an out, and the N.L. sported a 4-3 lead.
Ehmke also had trouble in the seventh when he walked Wagner and surrendered a double to pinch hitter Walton Cruise, putting runners at second and third with nobody out, but he struck out “Lumbago Bill” Doak and Burns, and coaxed a soft liner off Groh’s bat and into Collins’ steady paws. Doak was mostly good in his time on the hill, allowing only a run in three innings of work, but that run tied the contest at 4-4 in the top of the eighth.
Tris Speaker batted for Ehmke and placed a grounder between first and second that was slow enough to allow the Indian to reach first with a hit. Cobb fanned but Chapman recorded his fourth safety of the game, and when Roush muffed the hit, both runners advanced an extra bag and landed on second and third.
George Sisler pulled a ground ball to Cutshaw at second and Speaker crossed the dish with the tying run. Yankees lefty and upstate Rochester native George Mogridge entered the fray in the eighth and probably wished he had stayed in bed. Roush greeted him with a single and Cravath followed with a two-bagger that put runners on second and third. Rowland ordered an intentional pass to Hal Chase to load the bags and set up a force at any base, and the ploy worked to perfection.
Cutshaw grounded to Baker, who fired a strike to Severeid for the first out. Boston’s Rabbit Maranville, who went into the game in the top of the inning to shore up the shortstop position, struck out swinging, and reserve catcher Bill Killefer shot one to Chapman, who stepped on second for the final out of the inning.
Doak and Mogridge navigated the ninth without trouble, and the contest went to extra frames. Robinson called on Dr. Fred Anderson, the 31-year-old New York Giant, who earned a degree in dentistry from the University of Maryland once upon a time and is one of the surprise stories of the current campaign. He entered to a rousing ovation that he shared with former Giants second baseman Larry Doyle, who took over at second for Cutshaw. Anderson got pinch hitter Wally Schang to pound one to Doyle for the first out, but Speaker, who remained in the game after his pinch hit, slapped a triple down the right field stripe to put the go-ahead tally only 90 feet away.
Wally Pipp, batting for Mogridge, was walked to set up a potential double play, but that man Chapman came through again with another base hit to give the A.L. a 5-4 lead. Anderson escaped without further ado and it was up to Bert Gallia of the Washington Senators to shut down the senior circuit and preserve the win. Though not as accomplished as his mound mate Walter Johnson, Gallia is believed to have as much “stuff” as Johnson, and he showed it by pouring the pill past the final two stick men to end the contest.
NATIONAL LEAGUE STORMS BACK
IN SECOND TILT
NEW YORK, July 14.—After pulling out a victory in a taut affair yesterday at the Polo Grounds, the American League laid down and played dead during a contest that boasted very little to write about. National League skipper Wilbert Robinson handed the ball to James “Hippo” Vaughn, the Cubs’ behemoth portsider, and that was all that was needed as “Big Jim” and crew made the junior circuit look like a bunch of bushers. Vaughn is said to especially delight in challenging hitters, offering up pitches he knows they like only to pour said slants past them.
And that’s exactly what he did, allowing only two hits in four innings of work and fanning four, two of which came in a moment of anger and self-flagellation. The only men to reach Vaughn for safeties were Tigers outfield mates Harry Heilmann, who singled in the second and Bobby Veach, who tripled in the fourth. With one out and Veach standing on third, Frank “Home Run” Baker tapped a grounder back to Vaughn and that should have been an easy out, but for the hurler fumbling the ball and allowing Veach to score.
Furious with himself, Vaughn dispatched of Heilmann and Eddie Collins with only seven pitches, striking out both to end the inning. The Nationals had already plated two men in the second against George “Babe” Ruth, so the lead was only sliced in two. The aforementioned runs came courtesy of a free pass to George Cutshaw, a stolen base, and singles by Honus Wagner and Bill Fischer.
Vaughn’s gaffe was the only success the A.L. would achieve the rest of the way and the 33,000 fans were only left to wonder which N.L. player would show up best. There were plenty of candidates to choose from. Wagner finished the day with two hits, three runs batted in and a run scored; “Cactus Gavvy” Cravath crashed a homer into the left field seats in the seventh with a man on to give the Nationals’ a two-run cushion they didn’t need. Still, it was exciting for the fans who remained in the yard despite the lackluster play of the losing side.
Among the slab men, Robins greenhorn Leon Cadore was brilliant and whitewashed the juniors for three innings, allowing only a walk to Collins in the seventh inning. Collins was summarily dismissed from the bases, however, when Fischer’s throw to second arrived before Collins’ legs. Cubs and former Giants hurler Al Demaree threw a perfect eighth, and Reds righthander Fred Toney capped off the victory with a scoreless ninth.
Ruth, Stanley Coveleskie and George Dumont were all unimpressive on the A.L. side, but Ray Chapman recorded another hit, giving him six in nine at-bats. Manager Rowland chose an interesting strategy and kept most of his players on the bench, electing to save them for tomorrow.
“It was clear to me I had two choices,” the skipper said after the game. “Expend all of my ammunition and try for the impossible, or keep my men fresh and ready for the not-so-impossible. You boys can figure it out from there.”
JUNIOR CIRCUIT REBOUNDS
AND WINS SERIES
NEW YORK, July 15.—In what might be considered a sign that three games are two too many in this mid-summer exhibition series, fewer than 28,000 fans showed up to the Polo Grounds today to watch the American League defeat its senior counterpart by a count of 6-3. Not even Giants ace Ferdie Schupp could put people in the seats, and those who stayed away missed an opportunity to cheer for “Laughing Larry” Doyle one more time as he was given a start in the building he once called home.
Schupp was opposed by Indians workhorse Jim Bagby and it looked like the former would emerge victorious when his teammates reached Bagby for two scores in the second inning thanks to a colossal blast by Doyle that landed in the right center field seats and brought the crowd to its feet. He’s no longer a Giant but he’s fondly remembered around these climes. But Schupp wasn’t up to the task and the American League immediately erased the lead and took over in the top of the third.
“Pants” Rowland mixed things up a bit and started Bill Wamsganss at second base and Wally Schang behind the dish and it paid off when “Wamby” opened the third with a single, advanced to second on a Bagby bunt and scored on a safety by Ty Cobb. Cobb moved to the keystone station on an ill-advised throw home but would have scored from any base when Ray Chapman poled a double to deep center field. George Sisler followed with a single that sent Chapman plateward, and Bobby Veach and Frank Baker loaded the bases with soft safeties of their own.
Schupp retired Harry Heilmann and Schang to escape further damage, but his replacement, Grover Cleveland Alexander, allowed the blood flow to continue when he surrendered three more runs to the juniors in the fourth. Wambsganss reached first on a Doyle miscue, then White Sox third sacker Buck Weaver, seeing his first action of the series, followed with a hard hit to left. Cobb moved the runners up with a ground out and Chapman did the same, plating the A.L.’s fourth run of the game.
Sisler poled a two-bagger to score Weaver, and Veach drove a single to left to plate Sisler with the American League’s final run of the tilt. The National League cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the fourth on hits by Gavvy Cravath, Doyle and Honus Wagner against Red Sox sidearmer Carl Mays, but that was all they could muster for the remainder of the game. Mays settled down, then Babe Ruth shut down the senior circuit for the rest of the game, tossing four innings of scoreless ball.
Among the American Leaguers, Sisler led the way with three hits and two runs batted in; Chapman drove in two; and Ruth carried the mound load. On the National League side, Cravath and Doyle had two hits apiece and the latter knocked in two of the team’s three runs; and Eppa Rixey and Hippo Vaughn allowed only one hit over the last four frames.
Ray Chapman, who batted .500 with five runs batted in, was named outstanding player of the series.
The Voice of the Fan—YOU—will be heard!
After a long 19 months away from their families and their sweethearts, our fighting boys have put an end to the tyranny of The Hun and have returned to do battle with each other on the BASE BALL DIAMOND, where they belong!
And now, the very best Base Ball has to offer are getting ready to show off all the skills they can muster at once in the 1919 All-Star Game at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass., home of the World’s Champion Red Sox.
THE GREAT WAR robbed us of our beloved All-Star contest in 1918, and robbed YOU of the opportunity to vote, as we marshaled every last resource of our Democracy to defeat the evil Kaiser and his wretched band of nefarious Heinies. But FREEDOM has won out, and now the All-Star Game and the VOTE are available to you once more!
Voting is taking place RIGHT NOW. The starting players at each position, plus three pitchers, will be selected by YOU, The Fan!
Do not delay! Vote for the 1919 All-Star starters and pitchers today!
—Chuck Hildebrandt, Chairman of SABR’S Baseball and the Media Committee