ON THIS DATE (September
17, 1931) ...
The Red Sox and Indians split a doubleheader at Fenway Park, with the
Red Sox winning the first game 9 to 2, and the Indians winning the
second one, 2 to 1.
Earl Webb knocked out a double in each game and
thereby established a new season's total for two base hits with a number of 65,
that topped the mark set by George Burns in 1926, when Burns was a member of the
Cleveland ball club.
Webb is not through yet and before the end of the season should set a new
market that will stand longer than another five years, if not even longer than
that. Both his hits yesterday were up against the wall in left-center field.
Webb has been shooting at the record all season and is to be congratulated on
having accomplished the feat.
The breaking of the major league record was not the only noteworthy feature
of the double bill. Tom Oliver made one eighth the most sensational catches seen
this year. In the second inning of the second game, Earl Averill hit a ball that
looked as if it would land somewhere beyond the flagpole in center field. It had
the range and momentum, but Oliver sprinted to the fence and just as the ball
was about to clear the barrier, he threw himself into the air and snared the
ball, and came down with it at this point of the flagpole. He must've jumped at
least 6 feet to reach the ball.
Jack Rothrock hit the second ball pitched a him into the right-field
bleachers for a home run in the first inning. Marty McManus followed with a
single and Mary Olson sacrificed. Webb knocked in McManus with his 64th double
to tie the record. The Red Sox ended up scoring seven runs in that first inning.
In the second game, neither side scored in the first six innings. In the
seventh inning Cleveland took a 1 to 0 lead, but in Boston's half of the
seventh, Webb led off with a base hit and went to third on a single to right by
Oliver. He scored on John Smith's fly ball to deep center to tie up the game.
In the ninth-inning Cleveland put over their second and winning run on two
singles, a sacrifice and another single. The Red Sox made an effort in the
bottom of the ninth as Bill Sweeney pinch-hit for Olson and then Webb set the
new record with his 65th double. Sweeney was held up at third, but then was
forced out at the plate on a ground ball. The Indians took the second game by a
score of 2 to 1 for a split of the afternoon.