“DIARY OF A WINNER”

POSSUM WHITTED

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
The Braves walk-off with a win
at Fenway Park in the 10th inning

August 1, 1914 ... About 20,000 fans, largest crowd that ever intended a National League game in Boston, turned out to see the Braves and the Cardinals play at Fenway Park. They saw a wonderful game and had the added satisfaction of seeing their Braves come from behind and win the game 4 to 3 after a 10 inning battle. In addition to the local fans, there were a couple of thousand from Springfield and Windsor Locks, Connecticut on hand to root for Rabbit Maranville and Leslie Mann, and some to yell for Pat O'Connor of the Cardinals. They brought a band with them and were full of enthusiasm.

The weather was perfect, while the game was being played, but it had rained most of the night and threatened to continue during the morning and nearly up to 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The overcast sky undoubtedly kept the attendance down and undoubtedly it can be said that those who missed the game, missed one of the great ones. Mayor Curley of Boston and Mayor Dennison and of Springfield were the distinguished guests and the latter presented to Maranville, Mann, and O'Connor souvenirs of the occasion from their fellow townsmen.

Maranville and Mann were both conspicuous in brilliant plays, the Rabbit making a brilliant catch after a long run into left field, taking the ball close to the bleacher fence, while Mann undoubtedly saved the game with a great throw from centerfield to the plate to choke off a run. Besides driving in two runs and scoring one himself, Joe Connolly made a brilliant catch deep in the left-field corner, backing up on the terrace and then coming down and catching the ball in the corner.

The visitors from Windsor Locks had no occasion to offering excuses for the work of Pat O'Connor, who played a fine game behind the plate. Lee Magee also played a great game in the outfield for St. Louis.

Bill James and Pol Perritt were stacked against each other on the mound, and they made a pitching duel of it for seven innings, four hits being made off each in that time. But each one of them had a bad inning. Perritt seem to tire a little in the eighth and James in the ninth. Perritt gave way to a pinch-hitter, but James went through and in the 10th inning seem to be just as good as he had been before.

The Cardinals scored quickly in the first inning and for seven innings it looked as if this run would be enough to win the game. Miller Huggins, who has a reputation for waiting out the pitcher, hung in until he drew a base on balls. Then on a hit-and-run play, he drew Maranville out of position by making a break for second base, and Magee rapped the ball through the Rabbit's vacated spot. Charlie Deal then made a fine catch of a foul fly from Walton Cruise close to the St. Louis dugout. Huggins and Magee next pulled a double steal, with Huggins scoring as Johnny Evers apparently did not expect the throw from Gowdy, and Hank's throw was a little off the mark. Dots Miller was thrown out at first as Magee went to third, where he was stranded as James threw out Chief Wilson to end the inning.

Until the eighth-inning, the score stood at 1 to 0 in favor of the Cardinals. St. Louis staged some excitement in the top half of the inning. After Perritt and flied out to Mann, Huggins waited on James for another pass and got it. Magee singled to left and Cruise shot one safely to center, and Huggins trying to score, was nipped at the plate by Leslie Mann's perfect throw.

In the Braves half of the eighth, James led off with a sizzling singled to right, but was forced at second as Josh Devore attempted to sacrifice unsuccessfully. Evers then drew a walk and Connolly came to the plate and sent a low liner to right field. Wilson was in front of the ball as it came rolling toward him, but it was going so fast that got by him and continued to the fence. Devore and Evers scored and Connolly reached third before the ball could be returned. Joe scored the third run on Maranville's sacrifice fly to deep right and the Braves now led 3 to 1.

It looked all about over in the ninth-inning as James struck out Wilson on three pitched balls. Zinn Beck doubled to left-center, but then Huggins sent up Chuck Miller to pinch-hit for Pat O'Connor and Miller struck out. With two outs and the game on the line, Lee Dressen singled to left to score Beck. Now the score was 3 to 2 and two outs, Frank Snyder was sent in to pinch hit for Perritt and poked the ball right field for a base hit as Dressen went to third. Snyder stole second without any opposition putting runners at second and third. Huggins came up next himself and singled to center to bring in Dressen with the tying run. Magee finally flew out to Devore to end the rally.

Slim Sallee came into pitch for the Cardinals and Snyder went in to catch in the bottom of the ninth. Charlie Deal led off by sending one down the right-field foul line, but Miller Huggins ran over and made a great catch for the first out. After Mann struck out, Magee ended the inning as he made a spectacular one-handed catch of Hank Gowdy's fly ball, as falling down running up the terrace.

The game now went into extra innings and James came back to pitch, retiring the Cardinals in order in the 10th. In Boston's half, James led off trying to get on with a bunt, but was thrown out by Sallee. Ted Cather, a right-hander, was sent in to pinch-hit for Devore and struck out. With two outs, Johnny Evers came up and doubled to left, with Cruise barely getting the tips of his fingers on the ball after a long run. Possum Whitted was sent in to hit for Connolly and smacked a hot grounder between Dressen and Huggins into right field. Evers never stopped as he rounded third, and came home with the winning run, giving the Braves a dramatic 4 to 3 come from behind walkoff win.

The game was over, but the fans were in no hurry to leave and remain to cheer. One would think from the enthusiasm, that a world's championship had been won. The Braves players could hardly have been more thrilled if this had been the fact. Big Butch Schmidt and Hank Gowdy picked up Whitted after he had run out his hit and carried him to the dugout, while the crowd rushed on to the field to congratulate their players.

By winning, the Braves brought their record up to and even 45 wins and 45 losses. The only one who got more pleasure out of the win then President Gaffney was Manager Stallings. It was a great day, a great crowd, a great game and a great victory. Many of the fans in the stands had not seen the Braves play for many years.

 

FENWAY PARK

 

P

C

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
     

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

 

3

9

3

 
     

BOSTON BRAVES

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

1

 

4

8

1

 

 

W-Bill James (12-6)
L-Slim Sallee (13-9)
Attendance - 20,000

2B-Nash (StL), Evers (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Josh Devore rf 4 1 0 .267  

 

Ted Cather ph 1 0 0 .257  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 3 2 1 .296  

 

Joe Connolly lf 4 1 2 .286  

 

Possum Whitted ph 1 0 1 .182  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 2 0 0 .246  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 4 0 0 .258  

 

Charlie Deal 3b 4 0 1 .223  

 

Les Mann cf 4 0 1 .248  

 

Hank Gowdy c 4 0 0 .238  

 

Bill James p 4 0 2 .254  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Bill James 10 9 2 3 6  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

New York Giants 52 36 -

 

 

Chicago Cubs 52 42 3

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 51 45 5

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

45 45 8

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 45 48 9 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 42 49 11 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 39 49 13

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 39 51 14