“DIARY OF A WINNER”

BILL JAMES

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
The Braves move into 2nd place behind Bill James

August 10, 1914 ... The Boston Braves won from the Cincinnati Reds at the South End Grounds by a 3 to 1 score, moving them into second place in the National League. They don't have much of a margin over Chicago and St. Louis, but they have the position all to themselves, and are only 6 1/2 games behind the Giants. About one month ago, or to be exact, one month and three days, the Braves were last in the standings and 15 games behind the leaders. The Braves certainly are traveling at a merry clip. They have won 26 of the last 31 games played and if they can keep it going, and there is no apparent reason why they should not, how long will it be before they forge to the front?

With Bill James in good shape, as he was today, the Reds did not have much of the show, although there was nothing certain about what the Braves could do with Rube Benton, the Cincinnati southpaw. Only six hits were made off James and three of these, which included a double, were Texas Leaguers. James saved himself a lot of trouble once by backing up at third and taking a wild throw from the outfield.

Benton at a couple of bad innings, but in the others he was effective. He gave way to a pinch-hitter in the eighth-inning and Earl Yingling, another left-hander, finished the game.

Red Smith, the Braves new third baseman, who was purchased from the Brooklyn Robins, made a fine impression on the fans in his first game with the Braves. He executed several fine plays in the field and drove in the first run with a nicely placed single.

Heinie Groh turned in the feature fielding play however on the very first play, when he captured Ted Cather's line drive with a high jumping catch. Buck Herzog played his usual brilliant game, Cather and Leslie Mann made some fine catches in the outfield for Boston.

Cincinnati lost one run through bad baserunning. This occurred in the seventh inning, as Buck Herzog led off with a single, but was forced at second on Herbie Moran's grounder to Red Smith. Fritz Van Kolnitz singled to center and Moran went to third on the hit. A good throw by Mann would've gotten him easily, but he threw it over Smith's head. James was on the job however, and he backed up Smith taking the ball on the fly near the third-base bleachers. Van Kolnitz scurried down to second on the bad throw. Groh then hit a fly to deep center which Mann caught, and after the catch Moran started for home and Van Kolnitz for third. But just before Moran got to the plate, he slowed up and looked around to see how the play was going at third. That little bit of curiosity cost the Reds a run, as Van Kolnitz was out before Moran got started again and crossed the plate. Most everyone assumed he would score and paid no attention to him. Umpire Bill Klem however was on the job and knew that Moran had not scored before the out was made.

Both sides were retired in the first inning, but the Braves got busy in the second. Rabbit Maranville doubled to left and Butch Schmidt attempted to sacrifice but Benton, the pitcher, and Van Kolnitz couldn't decide who was going to take the ball and Schmidt beat out the bunt. Smith, in his first time at bat with the Braves, delivered a base hit over Groh's head to score Maranville with the first run. Mann attempting to sacrifice bunt, beat out the bunt to fill the bases. Schmidt then scored when Hank Gowdy hit into a double play. James was struck out by Benton for the third out of the inning, but the Braves had a 2 to 0 lead.

Boston scored its third and last run in the sixth after two were out. Maranville singled and stole second, coming home on Schmidt's double. The three runs were enough to win for Bill James who was pitching a great game. In the second inning Van Kolnitz popped a bloop to center for a hit and in the fifth Heinie Groh singled, but was caught napping off first by James. With these two exceptions, Cincinnati was retired in order during every inning up until the seventh, when Moran lost the run for them on his out at the plate.

Cincinnati made one run in the eighth and that was all. With one out, Mollwitz dropped a blooper into centerfield and Tommy Clarke popped out another that dropped just inside the foul line behind third which was good for a double. Bert Niehoff was sent in to pinch-hit for Benton and Mollwitz scored on his ground ball out.

Governor and Mrs. Tener were at the game, coming down from their home in Salisbury Beach. The attendance at the games is increasing daily and someone suggested that if they stayed here at the Walpole Street park, the ballpark would be overflowing.

T E A M S

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

CINCINNATI REDS

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

 

 

1

6

1

BOSTON BRAVES

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

x

 

 

3

8

0

 

W-Bill James (14-6)
L-Rube Benton (13-12)
Attendance - 8500
2B-Clarke (Cinci), Maranville (Bost), Schmidt (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Ted Cather rf 4 0 0 .255  

 

Possum Whitted 2b 4 0 0 .169  

 

Joe Connolly lf 3 0 0 .292  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 4 2 3 .247  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 3 1 2 .269  

 

Red Smith 3b 3 0 1 .246  

 

Les Mann cf 3 0 1 .237  

 

Hank Gowdy c 3 0 1 .236  

 

Bill James p 3 0 0 .254  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Bill James 9 6 1 0 2  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

New York Giants 57 39 -

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

51 46 6 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 53 48 6 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 54 49 6 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 46 52 12

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 47 54 12 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 43 52 13 1/2

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 43 54 14 1/2