“DIARY OF A WINNER”

BILL JAMES

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
The Braves are in first place !!!!!

September 2, 1914 ... By winning both games of a doubleheader with the Philadelphia Phillies, while the New York Giants were losing to Brooklyn, the Boston Braves this afternoon landed in first place with both feet. The Phillies were beaten to a whisper and never had a chance to stop the Boston express in either game. The first game was won by score of 7 to 5 and the second game by a score of 12 to 3.

Dick Rudolph and Bill James did the pitching while manager Red Dooin threw in about half a dozen pitchers into the games, using all he had except Alexander and Mayer. Eppa Rixey started the first game for Philly and Ben Tincup was on the mound for the second game. All looked alike to the Braves hitters however.

The Braves did not have the strongest combination in the field today. Johnny Evers was ill and unable to play in either game, so Possum Whitted fielded at second base. In the first game, when the left-handed Rixey was pitching, Ted Cather played in left field, Leslie Mann in center, and Herbie Moran moved over to right-field. When Rixey left the game Joe Connolly and Larry Gilbert got in.

It was a pretty hot day for baseball in Philadelphia, but a crowd of 12,000 turned out to see the doubleheader. The fans were pretty loyal to their own team, but it may be safely said that they were shedding no tears tonight since the double victory landed the Braves in first place over the Giants.

The Braves pitchers were given great support in the field, with the only misplay being a dropped fly ball by Larry Gilbert, who lost it in the sun. Quite a number brilliant plays were turned in however. Mann made one great catch of a line drive between center and right and doubled up the runner at second, who did not think he had a chance to make the catch. Connolly and Moran also covered a lot of ground in the outfield, while Whitted did splendid work at second base and Smith at third base. In fact, the Boston infield showed up remarkably strong, in spite of the absence of Evers, who watched the game from the grandstand.

Rudolph took it easy after his team that security a good lead, although Sherry Magee and Gavvy Cravath knocked out home runs into the left-field bleachers that meant nothing. Bill James was in fine form, giving up only four hits until the ninth-inning. One of those was a home run by Hal Irelan, which made it over low fence in front of the bleachers in left field. The Phillies got three hits off James and the ninth, due to his desire to end the game quickly as he started throwing the ball down the middle of the plate to all the batters.

President Gaffney came over from New York to see the series and the president and manager Stallings are tonight receiving congratulations on the club having at last reached the top. Gaffney stated tonight that he accepted the generous invitation of Red Sox President Joe Lannin to make use of Fenway Park for the games in Boston. It was also decided that "Johnny Evers Day" will be observed on September 16th when the St. Louis Cardinals open a series in town.

The Braves scored three runs in the second inning of the first game after Leslie Mann had been thrown out at first on a great play by Hans Lobert. Butch Schmidt then drew a base on balls and hiked around to third on Red Smith's double to left. Rabbit Maranville came up and smashed one that was too hot for shortstop Jack Martin to handle cleanly, scoring Schmidt. Hank Gowdy was then passed to fill the bases and Rudolph hit one to Martin who forced Gowdy at second, as Smith came home and the Rabbit went to third. However Bobby Byrne tripped over the bag and stumbled as he forced Gowdy, so the Rabbit took off for home.

After the Philly scored one run in the fourth, the Braves got busy again in the fifth. Whitted led off with a triple and Joe Connolly came in to bat for Cather and hit in easy pop up over first base. Sherry Magee and Irelan however got mixed up and the ball fell between them, allowing Whitted to score and putting Connolly on first. Connolly came in to score when Butch Schmidt doubled one down the left-field line. Maranville came up and singled to center, but Schmidt, in trying to score from second on the hit, was out at the plate on a fine throw by Dode Paskert. The Braves, however, led 5 to 1.

Philly scored another run in the fifth and one in the sixth to make it 5 to 3. In the Braves eighth inning, they scored another run as Schmidt reached first on Hans Lobert's poor throw after he had made a great stop of the hot grounder from Butch. Schmidt took second on the wild throw where he scored on Smith's single, making it 6 to 3.

In the bottom of the eighth with two out, Irelan and Paskert doubled for the Phillies. Then Martin singled and Philly was back in the game, cutting the lead to 6 to 5. That was short-lived as the Braves gave Rudolph a little more margin to work on, by scoring another run in the ninth. Moran led off with a double, Whitted sacrificed, and Joe Connolly singled to score Moran. Larry Gilbert also singled, but in attempting a double steal, Connolly was thrown out at third.

In the Philly ninth Lobert singled for the fourth time of the game with one out, but Beals Becker was struck out by Rudolph and Magee forced Lobert at second base to end the game, with the Braves winning 7 to 5.

The second game was a runaway and practically clinched in the first inning. The Braves piled up five runs off Tincup before he had a chance to even get warm. Moran led off with a single and Whitted sacrificed. Connolly drew a base on balls and Gilbert rolled a slow one to Irelan, who in trying to make a quick play, dropped the ball and the bases were full. Schmidt knocked a single through the infield to score Moran, but the bases were still full. Connolly scored on Smith's sacrifice fly and the Rabbit doubled to left to score both Schmidt and Gilbert. He came home on Hank Gowdy's single, but Hank was thrown out trying to stretch it to second base.

The Phillies got a run back in the bottom of the first when Gilbert muffed Lobert's fly ball that was lost in the sun. He came home on Magee's single, but James got the next two men out easily.

The Braves continued their onslaught in the second inning by scoring four more runs. James, Moran, Whitted and Connolly all singled in succession. Cather came up and doubled to right and four runs were up on the board, making it 7 to 1 in favor of the Braves.

In the third inning the Braves piled up an additional three more. Singles by Gowdy and James, an out at first, an error by Irelan, and a double by Schmidt against the right-field fence, made it 12 to 1. The Braves did not score again and did not try very hard do so. The Phillies got another run in the fourth on a ball hit by Irelan, which made it into the left-field bleachers and scored one more in the ninth, to make the final score 12 to 3.

The Braves now have first place all to themselves. They were sharing it with the Giants 10 days ago, but no one thinks the Giants will not fight back next week in Boston.

Oscar Dugey, was badly hurt in practice before the game, cutting one of his fingers badly and needing stitches. Johnny Evers was sick due to stomach problems and had trouble with nausea all day, being unable to eat and is rather weak. It is doubtful he will get into the game tomorrow.

Connie Mack sent several of the Athletics players over to watch the game, including Chief Bender, Wally Schang, Herb Pennock and Otis Strunk.

In Brooklyn the Giants lost to the Robins by a score of 6 to 2 and lost their hold on first place. Rube Marquard was knocked out of the box in five innings with Brooklyn getting 11 hits, including five doubles and a triple.

 

at Baker Bowl (Philadelphia) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

0

3

0

0

2

0

0

1

1

 

7

11

0

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

0

0

0

1

1

1

0

2

0

 

5

13

2

W-Dick Rudolph (18-10)
L-Eppa Rixey (1-8)
Attendance – 12,000


2B-Moran (Bost), Schmidt (Bost), Irelan (Phila),
Paskert (2)(Phila)
3B-Whitted (Bost)
HR-Magee (Phila), Cravath (Phila)
 

 

Game #2 ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

5

4

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

12

15

1

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

 

3

7

3

W-Bill James (19-7)
L-Ben Tincup (6-7)


2B-Cather (Bost), Schmidt (Bost), Maranville (Bost)
3B-Connolly (Bost)
HR-Irelan (Phila)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #1

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Herbie Moran rf/cf 5 1 1 .232  

 

Possum Whitted 2b 4 1 2 .195  

 

Ted Cather lf 1 0 0 .272  

 

Joe Connolly lf 3 1 1 .296  

 

Les Mann cf 2 0 0 .231  

 

Larry Gilbert rf 3 0 1 .277  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 4 2 2 .273  

 

Red Smith 3b 4 1 2 .245  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 4 1 2 .241  

 

Hank Gowdy c 2 0 0 .243  

 

Dick Rudolph p 4 0 0 .117  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Dick Rudolph 9 4 0 4 2  

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #2

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Herbie Moran cf 5 2 2 .234  

 

Possum Whitted 2b 3 2 1 .198  

 

Joe Connolly lf 4 2 2 .298  

 

Larry Gilbert rf 1 1 0 .276  

 

Ted Cather rf 3 0 1 .273  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 5 1 2 .275  

 

Red Smith 3b 3 0 0 .243  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 5 1 2 .243  

 

Hank Gowdy c 3 1 2 .247  

 

Josh Devore ph 1 0 0 .230  

 

Bert Whaling c 1 0 0 .216  

 

Bill James p 5 2 3 .260  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Bill James 9 7 2 2 5  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

65 51 -

 

 

New York Giants 63 51 1

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 64 58 4

 

 

Chicago Cubs 63 58 4 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 54 62 11

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 55 64 11 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 53 63 12

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 53 63 12