“DIARY OF A WINNER”

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
The Braves sweep Pittsburgh
in a nail biter

June 13, 1914 ... The Braves made four straight from the Pirates by winning the final game of the series 4 to 3. It was a thrilling contest that was greatly enjoyed by 10,000 fans. Like two of its predecessors, it was a battle from start to finish, as the two teams alternated in the lead or being behind several times, and at no time was there no more than a one run edge, keeping the crowd unsteady.

The Pirates were the first to score, but the Braves immediately tied it up in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning the Pirates scored another run in the Braves took the lead back in their bottom half of the inning, when Larry Gilbert knocked the ball over the right field fence, and then Rabbit Maranville singled in Johnny Evers to grab the lead.

The Braves held the lead for two innings when the Pirates knocked in another run to tie the game, as Ed Konetchy smashed the ball into the centerfield bleachers during the eighth-inning. But back again came the Braves in their half after two were out. Singles by Leslie Mann and Hank Gowdy, accompanied by a double steal, gave them what proved to be the winning run on a steal of home.

The Pirates then made a last ditch fight, and had another tying run on second base in the ninth, with only one man out. Wilson Collins save the day by making a running catch of a fly ball hit to deep center by Jake Kafora, who had been sent in to pinch-hit. The game ended as Butch Schmidt scooped one out of the dirt on a low throw by Maranville to end the game.

The series was a remarkable one, as three of the four games were a fight from start to finish. This final game was the best of the bunch and the big crowd certainly had a run for its money. The fact that the Braves won four straight from Pittsburgh shows that they have the ability to be a great team.

Lefty Tyler did the pitching for the Braves but did not have his best stuff. It was his teammates that gave him great support both in the field and at the bat. He issued only four passes, but two of the Pirates' three runs were scored by men he put on first. The game started out as it were going to be a battle. Neither side scored until the fourth inning. Mike Mowrey then smashed one past Butch Schmidt at first base, but the Braves' big firstbaseman threw himself on the ground to make the stop and scrambled to his feet and lobbed the ball over to Tyler covering at first base. It was one of the greatest plays seen this year. Tyler then passed Honus Wagner and Konetchy brought him home with a triple against the centerfield fence, to give Pittsburgh a 1 to 0 lead.

Maranville opened up the Braves half of the inning with a double up against the left-field fence. Schmidt put him on third with a sacrifice hit and Charlie Deal was passed. Maranville came home with the tying run on a high bounder that Leslie Mann hit to Alex McCarthy at second base.

Pittsburgh proceeded to untie the game when Tyler passed George Gibson in the fifth inning. Ed Mensor then singled to center and Mowrey brought in Gibson with a base hit. That made the score 2 to 1 in Pittsburgh's favor. That state of affairs only lasted momentarily, when in the bottom half of the fifth inning, Larry Gilbert sent the first pitch thrown by Joe Conzelman over the right field fence. It was not as long as the one he had the day before, but it was long enough to tie the score at 2 to 2. Johnny Evers then tried to duplicate the feat in the same spot, but it wasn't quite long enough. Pittsburgh right fielder Mike Mitchell tried to make a one-handed catch against the fence, but just missed it, allowing Evers to reach second base. Evers then went to third on Joe Connolly's out at first and scored on the Rabbit's hit to center to give the Braves a 3 to 2 lead.

The lead stood until the eighth-inning, when with two out, Konetchy got a nice one on the end of his bat and sent one into the centerfield bleachers. The smash tied the score up again at 3 to 3. In the eighth, after Butch Schmidt was thrown out at first by McCarthy, Charlie Deal went to first base after being passed. He tried to steal second but was thrown out while Les Mann was at bat. Mann then singled and it was followed by another single from Hank Gowdy. With runners on first and third, Gowdy started to jog down toward second base. Pittsburgh catcher George Gibson acted as if he had no intention of making the throw and kept Mann at third base. But Gowdy was running down to second base so slowly, that Gibson decided to rifle a throw down to Wagner. At that point, Mann broke for home. Gibson's throw was rather low to second allowing Les to beat the return of the ball to the plate. It was taking a long chance, but it succeeded and provided what would be the winning run.

In the Pittsburgh top of the ninth-inning Gibson hit a line drive between Gilbert and Mann and both started after it. It was going to be so close of play, that neither outfielder would call for the catch, although both kept on trying for it. They were right on top of each other, and although Gilbert made a grab for the ball, he lost it and Gibson ended up on second base. Jim Kelly was then brought in to run for Gibson and Kafora sent in to bat for the pitcher Wilbur Cooper. Kafora hit a long fly to Wilson Collins for the second out and Mensor slapped a grounder down to Maranville, that he picked up clean, but made a low throw to first. Schmidt picked the ball out of the dirt with a full-length stretch, and the great game finally ended.

T E A M S

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

 

 

3

6

0

BOSTON BRAVES

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

1

x

 

 

4

10

1

 

W-Lefty Tyler (4-5)
L-Wilbur Cooper (6-4)
Attendance - 10,000

2B-Gibson (Pitt), Evers (Bost), Maranville (Bost)
3B-Konetchy (Pitt)
HR-Konetchy (Pitt), Gilbert (Bost)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Larry Gilbert rf 3 1 2 .295  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 4 1 1 .272  

 

Joe Connolly lf 2 0 0 .267  

 

Oscar Dugey ph 1 0 0 .100  

 

Wilson Collins lf 0 0 0 .258  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 4 1 3 .230  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 3 0 0 .284  

 

Charlie Deal 3b 2 0 1 .235  

 

Les Mann cf 3 1 1 .196  

 

Hank Gowdy c 4 0 1 .243  

 

Lefty Tyler p 4 0 1 .308  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Lefty Tyler 9 6 3 4 7  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

New York Giants 27 17 -

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 29 22 1 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 27 26 4 1/2

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 23 23 5

 

 

Chicago Cubs 25 26 5 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 22 23 5 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 20 25 7 1/2

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

17 28 10 1/2