“DIARY OF A WINNER”

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
The Braves return home to their largest crowd
in years, but lose to the Cubs

July 25, 1914 ... The Boston Braves were given the Royal treatment today as more than 16,000 fans turned out at the South End Grounds to do them honor, and when the players had a fine chance to put on a few frills before the great gathering, they miscued and were beaten by the Chicago Cubs, 5 to 4. Otto Hess had one bad inning, during which the visitors connected for two singles and a double, which with a base on balls, were good for two runs. These two runs were exactly what was needed to win the game.

While the Braves players made only one error, the breaks in the game were undoubtedly against them and were what beat them. The crowd was the largest that the Walpole Street ball park had seen in years, and hundreds were turned away because they could not get seating. Every seat and every inch of standing room in the grandstand was occupied. Thousands were backed up against the fences in front of the $.50 seats on the field beyond the outfield. The shifting of the fans back and forth behind the ropes made it difficult for the outfielders.

There was only one deplorable incident as Umpire Lord Byron walked off the field and was hit by a thrown ball on the side of the head. Fortunately the bottle struck a glancing blow. Byron was not badly hurt and in the dressing room after the game, as he just shrugged it off. With this exception the crowd was cooperative and easily handled.

In the sixth inning, Charlie Deal, the first batter up the ball into the crowd in center and the crowd would not let centerfielder Tommy Leach get through to the ball. Umpire Byron ruled that the batter would have only gotten two bases if the fielder had been allowed to get to the ball. To make it perfectly fair to both sides, an agreement was made that a ball hit into the crowd entitled the runner to two bases. Another one was a similar hit which brought in a run, whereas it would've been an easy out if the crowd was not on the field.

The game did not open well for the Braves, for with two outs in the first inning, Vic Saier smacked out a home run. After the first two men were out in the Braves half of the inning, Ted Cather singled to right. Maranville hit one safely between center and left, which ordinarily would have been good for three bases, if the ball had gone to the fence. It went into the crowd, and so Cather was held at third and the Rabbit at second. Both were left there as Butch Schmidt grounded out to Saier at first.

In the second inning, after Frank Schulte struck out, Bill Sweeney and Claud Derrick both singled after which the Rabbit fumbled Bubbles Hargrave's grounder to fill the bases. Hess got out of the hole by fanning Hippo Vaughn and covering first on Leach's grounder to Schmidt.

Chicago worked in another run in the third. Wilbur Good led off with a double and Hess got Saier on strikes as Zimmerman grounded out to Evers. Schulte next hit one near to the edge of the crowd in right-center which either Cather or Dugey should have gotten easily. Dugey made the play but muffed the ball and Good scored to make it 2 to 0.

However the Braves tied the score in their half of the third inning as Hess singled but was forced at second by Dugey. Dugey went to second on a passed ball and scored when Derrick fumbled and threw wild to first on Evers' ground ball. Johnny made it to second on the misplay and Cather brought him home with a single lobbed over second base, as the Cubs infield was playing in. That tied the game at 2 to 2.

In the next inning the Braves took what looked like a winning lead, when they put over a couple of runs on singles by Whitted, Gowdy and Hess in succession, to make it 4 to 2. However Sweeney started making trouble for the Braves in the sixth. He cracked a double into the crowd in center and scored on Derrick's ground ball, which took a bad hop and went over Evers' head as he was prepared to make the play.

With the score 4 to 3, the beans were spilled in the seventh inning. Leach singled, Good doubled and Saier was passed to fill the bases. Zimmerman came up and singled through second to score Leach and Good, giving the Cubs a one run lead 5 to 4.

The Braves had a chance in the ninth. After Gowdy had been thrown out at first by Sweeney, Bert Whaling batted for Hess and drew a walk. Devore was put in to run for him and Dugey also walked. Just as Vaughn seem to be losing his control, Evers tried to wait him out. Vaughn had him down two strikes when he hit a low liner to short center field. It looked like it would be a hit, but Leach made a great running catch and doubled up Devore at second base to end the game. The crowd swarmed onto the field and it was at this point that umpire Byron was hit by the thrown bottle.

T E A M S

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

CHICAGO CUBS

1

0

1

0

0

1

2

0

0

 

 

5

11

3

BOSTON BRAVES

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

4

8

2

 

W-Hippo Vaughn (13-4)
L-Otto Hess (2-6)
Attendance - 16,100
2B-Good (Chi), Sweeney (Chi), Hargrave (Chi),
Maranville (Bost)
HR-Saier (Chi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Oscar Dugey rf 4 1 0 .185  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 5 1 0 .292  

 

Ted Cather cf 4 0 2 .257  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 4 0 1 .250  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 4 0 0 .264  

 

Charlie Deal 3b 4 0 0 .228  

 

Possum Whitted lf 4 1 1 .170  

 

Hank Gowdy c 4 1 1 .238  

 

Otto Hess p 3 0 3 .219  

 

Bert Whaling ph 0 0 0 .234  

 

Josh Devore pr 0 0 0 .274  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Otto Hess 9 11 4 2 6  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

New York Giants 51 32 -

 

 

Chicago Cubs 51 37 2 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 49 41 5 1/2

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

40 45 12

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 40 48 13 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 38 46 13 1/2

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 37 47 14 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 36 46 14 1/2