PAT RAGAN

THE 1915 BOSTON BRAVES
The Cardinals fumble the game away in the 10th

July 9, 1915 ... The first game in the series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park was won by the Braves in extra innings, by a score of 4 to 3. It was another one of those exciting games where through some extraordinary good luck, the Braves came through on the winning end of the score. They did not win the game on their hitting, but it came to them, just as many others had done, on good breaks.

It was a scrappy game from the first inning until the Braves scored the winning run in the tenth. The players of both sides were full of fight and went after everything in sight. There was not a dull moment during the afternoon. Whenever the action on the field slowed down a little, there was always debating with the umpires.

The Cardinals catcher, Frank Snyder, persisted in his claim that umpire Lord Byron was in error on his rulings on balls and strikes. At the time his pitcher, Bill Doak, was a little wild, and so Byron did not want to hear about it and threw him out of the game. Ham Hyatt, the St. Louis rightfielder, at another stage of the game, was very annoyed about something and making some very vigorous overtures in the direction of the Boston bench. It was not clear what he was annoyed about, but Butch Schmidt, who was coaching first at the time, imposed himself between Hyatt and the Braves players, so that he did not get hurt.

The Braves also had some differences of opinion with the umpires and in one instance appealed the decision of one, that was sustained by the other. This came about on a peculiar play in the eighth-inning. Art Butler was on first and Miller Huggins was at bat. While Pat Ragan was standing behind the pitchers mound, with the ball in his hand, Butler made a break for second base and covered two thirds of the distance before Pat was aware of what was going on. His own players alerted him and when Butler was in a few yards of second, Ragan turned and threw the ball, but never had a chance at getting the runner. Then Johnny Evers made a claim at the ball was dead since Huggins, had fouled the previous pitch into the grandstand and Ragan had not taken his position on the mound, so Butler had no right to steal second. Byron ruled that Butler had indeed stolen the base and then Evers turned toward the other umpire, Mal Eason to get a second opinion. Eason knew the rule and Butler was sent back to first.

Ragan had been pitching very well but nearly all of his last 4 or 5 games had been going into extra innings. Today was no different and he had a work overtime. Doak was also very effective, but according to the umpire was not getting his ball over the plate. Of course Doak and his catcher Snyder claimed that the umpire was making the calls incorrectly.

The Braves pulled off two great doubleplays, as well at several other great fielding plays. Evers played a fine game at second as did Red Smith at third. Sherry Magee made a great catch after all long run almost to the terrace between center and left. Miller Huggins showed his usual classy work around second base and Zinn Beck played a good game at third.

While the Cardinals got nine hits off Ragan, several of them came cheaply. One bounded off Ragan's chest, and another took a bad hop that hit Evers in the leg. There was another couple of bloop hits that fell in the outfield. Ragan made probably the best play the game himself, when with Hyatt on third and one out, he stopped the ground ball hit by Mike Gonzalez and sprawled a full-length on the ground, threw Ham out at the plate. After Gowdy made the tag, he then got Gonzalez at second, for one of the best doubleplays made in quite awhile.

The Cardinals were the first to score and they did it in the very first inning. Butler caromed the hot one off Ragan and it rolled out toward left field, allowing him to get the second base. Ragan passed Huggins and then Tom Long popped a bloop hit in short left, to score Butler.

Down 1 to 0 in the second inning, with men on second and third two out, Doak purposely passed Hank Gowdy to take a chance with Ragan. Pat waited and drew a base on balls, to force in a run and another run was forced in when Doak walked Herbie Moran, giving the Braves a 2 to 1 lead. This was the only bad spot in Doak's afternoon. The Braves got only six hits off him in the seven innings he worked.

In the fourth inning, the Cardinals came back to tie the game, as Long opened up with a single to left and then stole second, scoring on Hyatt's single to right. The Braves came back in the sixth-inning and grabbed the lead again, when with one out Dick Egan singled and Smith hit a hot liner over third, which should've been good for a double, but Beck held it to a single by knocking it down. Rabbit Maranville hit a ground ball down to shortstop Art Butler, which he fumbled and the bases were full. Gowdy then sent a fly to deep left field that scored Egan after the catch, giving the Braves a 3 to 2 advantage.

But in the eighth, the Cardinals tied it up once again. Jack Roach was sent in to bat for Doak and took Magee deep to centerfield for the first out. Butler followed with a single and Huggins then hit a sharp grounder near second which the Rabbit tried to scoop to Evers for the start of a doubleplay, but the ball went on through to the outfield and Butler made it to third. He was held there by Evers on a ground ball, but then Dots Miller rolled one along the third-base line which Smith thought would roll foul. It didn't and Butler came in with the tying run.

Over the next two innings Ragan looks better and the Cardinals were retired in order. It was the same with the Braves against the St. Louis reliever, Dan Griner, until the 10th. Then, with one out, he walked Magee, who stole second and went to third on Egan's out at first. Smith came up and hit a hot grounder down to Butler which he picked up nicely, but made a poor throw to first, with the ball getting to Miller on the hop. It allowed Smith to reach safely and brought in Magee with the winning run.

 

FENWAY PARK

 

P

C

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
     

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

 

3

9

2

 
     

BOSTON BRAVES

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

 

4

6

1

 

 

W-Pat Ragan (7-5)
L-Dan Griner (4-6)
Attendance - 3800

2B-Long (StL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Herbie Moran rf 3 0 1 .199  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 4 0 0 .262  

 

Joe Connolly lf 5 0 1 .287  

 

Sherry Magee cf 4 2 1 .266  

 

Dick Egan 1b 4 1 1 .202  

 

Red Smith 3b 5 0 1 .300  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 4 1 1 .262  

 

Hank Gowdy c 2 0 0 .228  

 

Pat Ragan p 3 0 0 .163  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Pat Ragan 10 9 2 3 4  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1915 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

Chicago Cubs 40 30 -

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 37 31 2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 38 36 4

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 35 35 5

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 35 35 5

 

 

New York Giants 31 35 7

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 30 36 8

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

31 39 9