Sunday, January 8, 2017

World Series: Did You Know?

The top three RBI men on the Chicago White Sox in 1919 were suspected or proven fixers: Joe Jackson, Chick Gandil and Happy Felsch!

The rest of the team wasn't getting it done in the clutch, it appears. The Cincinnati Reds were the opposition and were able to hold a number of the Chicago batters in check when the chips were down, even the honest guys.

In Cincinnati for game one, the home team wasted no time in scoring a run off Eddie Cicotte in the bottom of the first, after Chicago knocked themselves out of the top of the frame. Shano Collins had singled, but was forced at second. Eddie Collins, who'd hit into the force, was then nailed at second on an attempted steal. Buck Weaver was then retired to end that.

The Reds took advantage of this, scoring in the bottom of the frame. In the top of the second however, it was Joe Jackson reaching on an error. No RBI, since he was leading off, but Joe made it all the way to second on the miscue. A bunt by Happy Felsch got him to third, and a sac fly by Chick Gandil scored him, Alas, that proved to be the only run the Sox scored the entire game, won easily by the home team, 9-1.

In game two, again in Cincinnati, the visitors pounded out ten hits: Three by Jackson and two each by Weaver and Ray Schalk, but to no avail!

The Reds won 4-2, as two errors got the White Sox two runs. Cincinnati had just four hits.

The series then shifted to Chicago for game three, and for the third straight contest, the home team won. Obviously, this time it was the White Sox. They shut 'em out, 3-0. Jackson and Felsch, however, didn't get any RBIs. Gandil drove both those men home in the bottom of the second. That was all pitcher Dick Kerr needed. And although Felsch scored a run, he was caught stealing (As was Jackson) and grounded into a double play.

Game four saw the visiting team win for the first time, eking out a 2-0 win. Both the Reds' runs were unearned as Eddie Cicotte made two errors. Jackson, Felsch and Gandil got a hit each. The rest of the team was no-hit. Cincinnati was up, three games to one.

After winning game five in Chicago, Cincinnati was now up 4-1. This was a best-of-nine affair, so the Reds still needed another win. Game six was in Cincinnati.

The Reds wanted it bad, and sailed ahead 4-0 after 4 innings in the sixth contest. Eddie Collins got the White Sox on the board with a sac fly in the top of the fifth, but time was running out.

The sixth inning saved Chicago's bacon. Kerr wasn't nearly as effective in this contest as he had been in game three. When the game finally ended, Dick had allowed 11 hits, which was more than his own team got.

Jackson singled home Buck Weaver in the top of the sixth, following a leadoff double. Felsch doubled himself to the left-centre gap, and Shoeless was across the plate. That made it 4-3. Gandil, though, popped out. Swede Risberg grounded to short. That got Happy Felsch to third, but now there were two outs.

Ray Schalk kept the rally going with a single. For good measure, the catcher stole second. Dickey Kerr grounded out to end the inning, alas. The score was tied at four, but now the visitors had to hold Cincinnati in check from here on in. Oh, and Chicago needed at least one more run.

That didn't occur until extra innings. The Reds got a man on in the bottom of the frame, and two more in the seventh. Kerr held the fort. The White Sox were held to without a hit in the seventh and eighth by Jimmy Ring. Ring was pitching in relief and just the right guy to end this Fall Classic. He'd tossed a fine shutout in game four. Both Shoeless Joe Jackson and Chick Gandil drew walks off him in the top of the eighth (Happy Felsch had been retired on a fly), only to see Swede Risberg hit into an inning-ending double play.

Kerr struggled in the bottom of that inning. First, he got two men on. Then, he came unraveled a bit. Two straight singles. Luckily for Kerr, his mound adversary hit into a force to end that. Ring himself got the first two men to face him in the top of the ninth out, then gave up his third walk of his relief stint. Nemo Leibold, who was the batter who looked at ball four, joined Ray Schalk as White Sox with base swipes in this contest not long after. The stolen base put Nemo in scoring position. But Eddie Collins flied to centre.

The Reds, looking to put the final nail in the White Sox coffin, got a single by Jake Daubert in the last of the ninth. World Series-winning run on. Heinie Groth, the third basemen, forced Daubert at second. Then Heinie tried for a stolen base of his own (Daubert and Morrie Rath had done it earlier, joining Schalk and Leibold as thieves in the day) Ray Schalk nailed him. To extras!

The tenth inning started with a double by Weaver, just like he'd done in the sixth. But Joe Jackson didn't get him home. He beat out a bunt that moved Weaver to third. Felsch, with a grand chance to make it a 5-4 game, fanned. Gandil showed Felsch how it's done with a single to score Weaver. Buck had scored the game-winning run, as it turns out. There were still two more runners on, but Swede Risberg lined into an inning-ending double play, with Shoeless Joe nailed off second on that.

No matter, Kerr (Who'd allowed 11 hits in only 9 innings pitched so far) got 'em 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 10th. The White Sox won 5-4, and were still alive. But now for the bad news: The Reds still led the World Series four games to two! Worse, still, Chicago now had to win again, in Cincinnati!

Eddie Cicotte started game seven for the Chicago White Sox. He was 0-2. His team had scored one run for him in his two outings. He'd pitched bad in game one. Things sure looked dim. Though he pitched better he in this must-win game, Eddie wasn't great.

The Chicago bats showed signs of being that. Jackson got the White Sox off on the right foot with an RBI single in the top of the first off Slim Sallee. Felsch followed that with a single of his own, but the Sox were held to that one run.

Both the Collins, Shano and Eddie singled to start the third. Buck Weaver hit into a double play, but Jackson then drove home his second run of the contest with another single.

Then in the fifth inning, Eddie Collins singled. Weaver and Jackson reached via errors. Felsch singled like he had in the first, getting himself two RBIs and putting Chicago up 4-0. Sallee was removed following this. Chick Gandil grounded out, putting Felsch in scoring position at second. and Jackson 90 feet from home. Swede Risberg fanned. The White Sox would not score again in game seven.

Dolph Luque, who replaced Ray Fisher after getting Gandil and Risberg out, shut down the Sox on one hit in the last four innings. Cicotte won the game 4-1, giving up seven hits.

Game eighth was in Chicago, but Cincinnati wasn't about to be denied. They scored four runs in the top of the first. Chicago had two men on to start the bottom of the inning, but Weaver, Jackson and Felsch failed to deliver. It was 5-0, Reds when Shoeless Joe hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third. The score was 9-1 in the bottom of the sixth as Jackson sent Edd Roush back in centre on a fly.
The Reds didn't let up, alas.

They made it double digits by the time the White Sox batted in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, and the score 10-0 for Cincinnati, Eddie Collins singled. Buck Weaver doubled him to third. Joe Jackson scored both men with a double of his own. 10-3. Happy Felsch though, didn't help the cause by popping out. Chick Gandil sent one that made it all the way to the fence. Closest to the ball was right fielder Greasy Neale, but he seemed to have problems keeping up with the flight path of the ball. Gandil was on third when it was all over. The triple scored Jackson. The Sox weren't done. Swede Risberg sent one out to Edd Roush's territory in centre. But Edd made an error. Gandil scored. 10-5. Ray Schalk, the eighth batter in the bottom of the eighth, grounded out to end that.

Cincinnati put a man on in the ninth inning via a single, but Roush was retired to end that. Chicago mounted another rally in the ninth. Eddie Murphy, batting for relief pitcher Roy Wilkinson, reached base the hard way. Hod Eller had plunked him. Leibold batted, and got a hold of one, sending it to centre. Here's where Edd Roush atoned for his previous muff as he made a fine catch.

It was crucial, since Eddie Collins followed that with a single. Buck Weaver made good contact and hit it to deep right. This time, Greasy Neale didn't lose sight of it, and made the catch. Murphy took third, but there were now two outs.

With Joe Jackson now at the plate, Collins caught 'em all napping and stole second. But when Jackson grounded out to second basemen Morrie Rath, the Cincinnati Reds had the game 10-5, and the 1919 World Series, 5-3.


References


Neft, David S., Richard M. Cohen, and Michael L. Neft. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, 1992. 12th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992, pp. 91. Print.

Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series: Complete Play-by-play of Every Game, 1903-1989. 4th ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1990, pp. 76-81. Print.

Sports Reference LLC. Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information. http://www.baseball-reference.com/. Web. 8 Jan. 2017.

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