“DIARY OF A WINNER”

JOE CONNOLLY

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
Record crowds see the Giants and Braves split

September 7, 1914 ... Close to 75,000 fans turned out to see the two games between the Braves and the Giants at Fenway Park. About 35,000 got inside the grounds for the morning game and over 39,000 in the afternoon. In both games there were 5000 to 6000 left outside begging for someone to take their money, after the sale of the tickets had been stopped and the gates were closed. A new record for attendance was made and it will stand for quite a while. Nothing like these figures as ever been approached before. The Braves have had years when the attendance for the entire season was not greater than that of today's at Fenway.

The two clubs are still in a virtual tie for first place and it remains for the final game of this series to force a deadlock, as the Braves won the first game 5 to 4 and the Giants came back in the afternoon, to take the second game 10 to 1. It was one of the most thrilling exhibitions of baseball ever witnessed in the city. It was similar in some respects to the deciding game of the World Series in 1912 between the Red Sox and the same Giants.

It was Dick Rudolph and Christy Mathewson on the mound for the morning game. After the ground rules had been agreed upon, the Braves scored in the very first inning as Art Fletcher fumbled Herbie Moran's bounder. Johnny Evers moved him over to second base and he scored on a double by Joe Connolly. The Giants tied the score in the second inning when Fletcher led off with a double and came home on Eddie Grant's single.

In the fourth inning the Braves got another run on Butch Schmidt's double and Red Smith's single, to make it 2 to 1 in favor of the home team. But the Giants took the lead by scoring three runs in the fifth. Grant got a second life and got on at first thanks to a low throw by Red Smith. After Fred Merkle struck out, Larry McLean got a base hit. Matty flied out to center and Snodgrass doubled into the crowd to score Grant with the tying run. Larry Doyle then drove a single to right that hit the foul line, scoring McLean and Snodgrass. That made the score 4 to 2 in favor of New York. The Giants then could only make one more hit off Rudolph for the rest of the game, and George Burns, who made it, died on base.

After scoring another run in the eighth-inning, the Braves needed two runs to win the game when they came to bat in the ninth. Hank Gowdy, the first batter up, was disposed of by Mathewson and the Braves chances of being able to even tie the score seemed slimmer. Manager Stallings sent up Josh Devore, and old teammate of Matty's, knowing that he would give everything he had, to pull one over on his former team. Josh came through by getting a hit with the ball taking a bad bounce past Fred Merkle at first base. Then came Moran who slashed a double into the crowd in right field, putting Devore at third. There was some cheering when Devore got on, but the crowd was going crazy when Moran doubled.

Up to the plate came Johnny Evers, who waited and smashed the ball into left-field. Leftfielder George Burns came in fast to try and keep more than one run from scoring, and the ball struck the ground about three feet in front of him, bounded over his head and rolled into the crowd in left field. Devore and Moran trotted over the plate with the tying and winning runs and the crowd behind the ropes broke onto the playing field and made a rush towards the Braves dugout, yelling and screaming and going crazy. Those in the bleachers and the grandstand were shouting so loud they could of been heard back in New York. The Braves players were jumping in the air and hugging each other, with Devore and Moran in the middle of the frenzy. When the crowd could cheer no more, they began throwing their straw hats in all directions and for a few minutes there is simply a cloud of headgear sailing all around., They kept Manager Stallings from escaping to the dressing room for 10 minutes, after which the big crowd slowly began to melt away, as many took up positions in line to secure tickets for the afternoon game.

More spectators came for the afternoon game then had turned out in the morning, but there was nothing for them to cheer for. Lefty Tyler, who was on the mound for the Braves, but could not hold the Giants down as had Dick Rudolph in the first game. Tyler was hit hard and often besides making a couple of wild throws which each lead to a run. He allowed Fred Snodgrass to get to him and had a poor day overall. But the Braves had no license to win on the merits of their opponent on the mound Jeff Tesreau. They got only two hits off him up until the seventh inning and only four made in the whole game. The only run they scored was made in the seventh on doubles by Connolly and Smith. Tesreau struck out 10 of the Braves batters and was overpowering, leading his team to a 10 to 1 win.

The afternoon game was started about 10 minutes late and for six innings it looked as if there would be no contest. For three innings there was no score. Fred Merkle got the first hit off Tyler in the fourth with two outs. Lefty then passed George Burns, who stole second and then stole third after Fletcher was passed. He scored the first run of the game on Red Murray's double. Then in the sixth inning things fell apart, as Fletcher popped up ball that looked to be foul by at least 20 feet, but the wind carried it fair and Gowdy lost it after trying to make a desperate dive for it. The Giants went on to score four runs in the inning and they never looked back. They got to Tyler again in the eighth-inning, scoring four more before he was taken out and replaced by Dick Crutcher.

In the sixth inning, Fred Snodgrass took a pitch on the sleeve to reach first base, thumbing his nose at Tyler along the way.  Lefty, a joker himself, retaliated by acting out Snodgrass' 1912 World Series muff, by pretending to toss a ball in the air and going through the motions of dropping it in pantomime.  When Snodgrass returned to centerfield, the crowd booed him.  Then a barrage of pop bottles got thrown in his direction.  Several New York players rushed to his aid, but the police got there also.  Boston Mayor, James Michael Curley rushed on the field and demanded the umpires eject the Giant players. McGraw, worried that Snodgrass might incur an injury, replaced him.

 

FENWAY PARK

 

P

C

GAME #1

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
     

NEW YORK GIANTS

0

1

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

   

4

11

1

 
     

BOSTON BRAVES

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

2

   

5

12

1

 

 

W-Dick Rudolph (19-10)
L-Christy Mathewson (22-10)
Attendance - 35,000

2B-Snodgrass (NY), Fletcher (NY), Mathewson (NY),
Moran (Bost), Connolly (2)(Bost), Schmidt (Bost),
Smith (Bost)

 
 

P

C

GAME #2

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
     

NEW YORK GIANTS

0

0

0

1

0

4

0

4

1

   

10

14

2

 
     

BOSTON BRAVES

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

   

1

4

4

 

 

W-Jeff Tesreau (21-8)
L-Lefty Tyler (13-12)
Attendance - 39,162

2B-Snodgrass (NY), Murray (NY), McLean (NY),
Connolly (Bost), Smith (Bost), Maranville (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #1

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Herbie Moran cf 5 2 3 .234  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 5 0 1 .289  

 

Joe Connolly lf 4 1 3 .308  

 

Larry Gilbert rf 4 0 0 .267  

 

Les Mann rf 0 0 0 .231  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 4 1 2 .277  

 

Red Smith 3b 4 0 2 .245  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 3 0 0 .241  

 

Hank Gowdy c 4 0 0 .236  

 

Dick Rudolph

p 3 0 0 .113  

 

Josh Devore ph 1 1 1 .240  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Dick Rudolph 9 11 1 0 4  

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #2

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Herbie Moran rf 2 0 0 .233  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 4 0 0 .286  

 

Joe Connolly lf 4 1 1 .308  

 

Les Mann cf 2 0 0 .230  

 

Josh Devore ph/cf 1 0 0 .238  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 3 0 1 .278  

 

Red Smith 3b 4 0 1 .245  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 3 0 1 .242  

 

Hank Gowdy c 3 0 0 .234  

 

Lefty Tyler

p 2 0 0 .208  

 

Dick Crutcher p 1 0 0 .143  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
 

Lefty Tyler

7 12 8 4 2  
  Dick Crutcher 2 2 1 0 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

68 53 -

 

 

New York Giants 68 53 -

 

 

Chicago Cubs 68 59 3

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 67 62 5

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 56 65 12

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 57 66 12

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 56 69 14

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 55 68 14