“DIARY OF A WINNER”

TED CATHER

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
The never quit Braves win one in the  ninth

September 11, 1914 ... Aided by some clever juggling both pitchers in pinch hitters by manager George Stallings, some breaks in luck, and their never give out spirit, the Braves won the final game of the series with the Phillies by a score of 6 to 5. It was a close call and since the Boston boys won their game, and held their 2 1/2 game lead over the Giants, that probably is all that should be expected. Nevertheless, there was some rather poor playing on the field.

The Braves had a three run lead that was not only lost, but the Phillies players were allowed to take the lead, not once but twice, so that the Braves came into the ninth-inning needing two runs to win. They got those two runs however and won the game. They have won many game in the ninth-inning and they seem to revel in that kind of finish, but when a team has a big lead in the first half the game, it is better to add to it and hold it, rather than depend on a whirlwind finish to pull it through.

Because Johnny Evers drew a three-game suspension for his discussion with umpire Mal Eason in the first game of the series, the balance of the regular infield was somewhat upset. Philadelphia manager Red Dooin's use of left-handed pitcher Eppa Rixey cause Stallings to play Ted Cather in left field, Leslie Mann in center and Herbie Moran in right. Although in every instance the second string men, in the field did splendid work, there was one rather costly mix-up on the bases that probably cost them runs.

The Braves jumped out to a 1 to 0 lead in the second inning, when Rabbit Maranville tripled to left-center. Butch Schmidt was hit by a pitch and Maranville scored on a sacrifice fly by Red Smith to right-field. Dick Crutcher and Herbie Moran singled in the third and Possum Whitted attempted to sacrifice, but Rixey decided to try and force Crutcher at third but failed, filling the bases. Cather singled, scoring Crutcher, and Moran and went to second on the throw to the plate. Maranville hit a grounder down to Hans Lobert, who drove Whitted back to third and then threw the Rabbit out at first. Cather ran over to third, apparently not paying attention to the plate and was caught between the bases. Butch Schmidt came up next and Beals Becker made a great catch of his fly ball near the foul pole, which if missed, would've gone for at least three bases. The Braves were up 3 to 0, but did not get all that they should have.

Stallings had to use four pitchers and three pinch hitters in the game. Crutcher, who started, was given the three run cushion, hit hard in the fourth inning and was taken out in the fifth, after Smith on a wonderful play, saved two runs. Paul Strand was then sent in with men on second and third and only one out. Philly slugger Sherry Magee was at bat and Strand passed him rather than give him a good ball to hit. Now with the bases full, Strand worked Gavvy Cravath, another slugger, until he was in a hole himself and had to put the ball down the center of the plate. Cravath delivered and the three runs which came in on his hit, put the Phillies in the lead, 4 to 3.

The Braves tied the score in the sixth inning. Butch Schmidt singled but was doubled up on Smith's grounder down to Lobert. Mann then singled to right and went to third, when Jack Martin allowed Bert Whaling's grounder to get by him. With runners at first and third, a double steal was attempted and Mann scored because catcher, Ed Burns dropped the ball on the return throw from second, to tie up the score at 4 to 4.

But in the seventh, after Beals Becker reached on a scratch infield hit, Strand made a wild throw to first, and a few minutes later added in a wild pitch, so that another single by Cravath brought Becker home and put the Phillies in the lead again, 5 to 4. With two runners on, one of them on with a free pass, Strand was relieved and George Davis came into pitch. Davis finished the inning without any trouble and the next without a hit being made off him, before he gave way for a pinch-hitter. Gene Cocreham finished the game and retired the Phillies in order in the ninth.

Now with a score of 5 to 4 against them, the prospects of a win for the Braves did not look good. Oscar Dugey was sent in to bat for Moran and beat out an infield hit, which took a bad hop to Jack Martin and hit him in the chest. Dugey went to second on a wild pitch by Rixey and Whitted came up and attempted to sacrifice. He beat out a perfect bunt to reach first with a hit and put Dugey on third. Cather knocked out a fly ball that was hauled in by Becker and Dugey scored the tying run. Becker's throw to the plate however, got away from Burns, allowing Whitted to scamper over to third. Maranville came up and hit a fly ball out to Cravath in right and Possum came in with the winning run. During this rally the 4000 hardy fans, who braved the cold weather, kept up a continuous chant and it went temporarily insane at the finish.

Ted Cather made one fine catch of a fly ball on the terrace and on a bit of good fielding held a triple to only one base and got two nice hits in his for chances at bat. Smith played his usual strong game at third and Whitted fill the bill at second for the Braves.

The Braves won four of the five games played here with the Phillies in the last three days, which closes their season's schedule with them. The record for the season with Philadelphia is 13 wins in the 22 games played. It took two hours and 45 minutes to play the game which, considering the weather, seemed unduly long to the spectators.

 

FENWAY PARK

 

P

C

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
     

PHILA PHILLIES

0

0

0

1

3

0

1

0

0

   

5

11

4

 
     

BOSTON BRAVES

0

1

2

0

0

1

0

0

2

   

6

11

1

 

 

W-Gene Cocreham (3-3)
L-Eppa Rixey (1-9)
Attendance - 4000

2B-Becker (Phil), Rixey (Phil)
3B-Maranville (Bost), Schmidt (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Herbie Moran cf 4 1 1 .231  

 

Oscar Dugey ph 1 1 1 .188  

 

Possum Whitted 2b 4 1 1 .231  

 

Ted Cather lf 4 0 2 .278  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 4 1 1 .245  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 3 0 2 .278  

 

Red Smith 3b 3 0 0 .250  

 

Les Mann rf 4 1 2 .244  

 

Bert Whaling c 2 0 0 .221  

 

Hank Gowdy ph/c 0 0 0 .235  

 

Dick Crutcher p 2 1 1 .152  

 

Paul Strand p 1 0 0 .313  

 

George Davis p 0 0 0 .375  

 

Charlie Deal ph 1 0 0 .217  

 

Gene Cocreham p 0 0 0 .125  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Dick Crutcher 4.1 8 3 1 1  
  Paul Strand 2.1 3 1 4 3  
  George Davis 1.1 0 0 1 0  
  Gene Cocreham 1 0 0 0 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

73 54 -

 

 

New York Giants 70 56 2 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 69 61 5 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 68 62 6 1/2

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 59 66 13

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 58 69 15

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 57 71 16 1/2

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 56 71 17