“DIARY OF A WINNER”

DICK CRUTCHER

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
Philly errors help the Braves finally win

April 21, 1914 ... The Braves finally broke into the win column, because a three errors committed by the Phillies, in a 4 to 3 victory at Baker Bowl. The boys were just as happy to achieve their triumph, as if they had smashed the ball to all corners of the field. While three of Boston's four runs were directly due to errors by Fred Luderus, Dummy Murphy and Hans Lobert, the Braves outhit the Phils by 12 to 10. They played better baseball then their hosts, who were guilty of errors of commission and omission.

Much of the credit for Boston's victory goes to three of their youngsters. Dick Crutcher pitched effective ball, despite the fact that the Phillies hit him for 10 safeties and a total of 18 bases. Although he was pounded hard at times, he was effective when men were on the base paths and when a hit threatened disaster. Time and again he worked himself out of tight places when the heaviest hitters of the Phillies were in the batter's box.

Hank Gowdy, while responsible for one of the Phillies three runs, due to poor play at the plate, figured extensively in the Braves attack on Joe Oeschger the young California phenom of the Phillies. Gowdy faced him four times and knocked out three singles, while roaring a walk the other time up. A great play from Larry Gilbert, picking off Beals Becker at second base who had hit the centerfield wall in the ninth-inning, did much to choke off a dying rally. A variation of but a few inches on the throw, and Becker would have been safe, leaving Crutcher in a ticklish dilemma.

The Braves got off to a flying start in the first inning. Rabbit Maranville hit one to Bobby Byrne at second base and reached when Fred Luderus muffed the throw to first. Johnny Evers then chopped a double over Murphy's head, putting Rabbit on second base. Connolly singled over second to score him, but Evers was chopped down on a beautiful throw from Dode Paskert. Connolly took second on the play and advanced when Byrne threw out Tommy Griffith. Butch Schmidt was grazed by a while pitch, but Larry Gilbert flew out to end the inning, giving the Braves a 1 to 0 advantage.

In the second inning Hank Gowdy singled to center and went to third when Murphy let Crutcher's slow grounder get through him. Following the gift, Maranville shot a single to left to bring home Gowdy with the second Braves' run.

The Phillies got one back in the bottom of their second, but the Braves countered again in the fourth. Singles by Martin, Gowdy and Crutcher filled the bases. Evers long fly to Paskert then scored Martin to make it 3 to 1.

The Phillies tied the game in the bottom of the sixth after two were down, Sherry Magee hit one over the right field wall for his third home run of the season. Gaby Cravath doubled to deep center and raced home when Luderus singled to right. Griffith made a great throw to the plate and would have cut down Cravath had not Gowdy not foolishly run up the line to the ball, instead of waiting for it to come to him.

The Braves came up with the deciding run in the top of the ninth inning. Gowdy opened by slamming a vicious drive to right field off the wall, but the ball bounded back so quickly that he could only hold first base. Crutcher then got away with another hit, thanks to an error by pitcher Oeschger. Crutcher in trying to sacrifice bunt, hit right back to him, but Oeschger got rattled over the situation, and made no attempt the throw to either base. Maranville then hit one back to the box and this time Oeschger cut down pinch runner Wilson Collins at third base. Johnny Evers followed by pounded a single into center, to fill the bases. Joe Connolly came to the plate and smashed one at Hans Lobert, who caught the ball and tried to cut down Crutcher at the plate, but made an unsteady throw wide to the catcher Red Dooin, giving Boston a 4 to 3 lead.

Crutcher took out the Phillies in the bottom of the ninth for the team's first win of the season. The weather was cold and only 2000 people were in the stands.

 

at Baker Bowl (Philadelphia) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

 

4

12

1

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

0

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

 

3

10

3

W-Dick Crutcher (1-0)
L-Joe Oeschger (0-1)
Attendance – 2000


2B-Evers (Bost), Paskert (Phil), Murphy (Phil), Cravath (Phil)
3B-Luderus (Phil)
HR-Magee (Phil)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 5 1 1 .133  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 4 0 2 .200  

 

Joe Connolly lf 5 0 1 .205  

 

Tommy Griffith rf 5 0 1 .059  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 3 0 1 .143  

 

Larry Gilbert cf 4 0 0 .231  

 

Jack Martin 3b 4 1 1 .091  

 

Hank Gowdy c 3 1 3 .667  

 

Wilson Collins pr 0 0 0 .000  

 

Bert Whaling c 0 0 0 .333  

 

Dick Crutcher p 4 1 2 .600  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Dick Crutcher 9 10 2 1 4  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 6 1 -

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 3 1 1 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 3 1 1 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 3 4 3

 

 

Chicago Cubs 2 3 3

 

 

New York Giants 1 3 3 1/2

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

1 3 3 1/2

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 1 4 4