The Red Sox and some great All Stars
ON THIS DATE (September 27, 1917) ... Boston baseball fans and many from all parts of New England paid an impressive and well deserved tribute to T.H. Murnane.
Murnane played in the majors for the Philadelphia Athletics (1873–1874), Philadelphia White Stockings (1875), Boston Red Caps (1876–1877), Providence Grays (1878) and finally the Boston Reds (1884), whom he also managed. After his career in uniform, Murnane served as president of the minor league New England League and Eastern League, and went on to a 30-year career as a sportswriter and baseball editor with The Boston Globe. Murnane died in February at age 64, after a heart attack while attending the opera at Schubert Theatre in Boston.
More than 17,000 people gathered at Fenway Park out of respect to his memory and more than $13,000 was contributed to his memorial fund. Entertainment of the highest possible caliber lasted from 2 PM until 5 PM and the only regrettable thing about it was that Murnane was not there to see it. The weather conditions were perfect and it seemed as if the day was made to order for the occasion.
Incidentally, the Red Sox defeated the All-Stars, 2 to 0 in a great game. There were some interesting contests before the game. Mike McNally of the Red Sox equaled the world's record in getting down the first base on a bunt in a time of 3.25 seconds. Ray Chapman was not far behind the record for circling the bases. Joe Jackson made a throw of 396 feet, 8 inches which is pretty close to the best performance on record. Dutch Leonard hit the open end of a barrel, sitting on a box at second base, on his first row from home plate, beating the likes of Duffy Lewis, Ty Cobb, Harry Hooper, Joe Jackson, Sam Agnew, Pinch Thomas, Wally Schang and Walter Johnson couldn't do it in three attempts. Babe Ruth won the fungo hitting contest, hitting the ball 402 ft, 8 inches.
Will Rogers was there with his cow pony and circled the park at top speed, whirling a lariat that had a loop that seemed to be about 30 feet in diameter. Then with Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb riding the horse, Rogers gave a thrilling exhibition of rope work. He finished by coaching third base for the Red Sox in the ballgame.
Hughie Jennings, coached the All-Stars with the assistance of heavyweight champ John L Sullivan. Rabbit Maranville got the crowd going when he squared off in front of John L. and ducked out of the way of his swing.
The game was a gem, Babe Ruth and Rube Foster making the All-Stars look like Bush Leaguers. Three hits were made off the Babe and the one by Cobb was an infield scratch. Nothing like a hit was even close off Foster. Urban Shocker, Howard Ehmke and Walter Johnson did the pitching for the All-Stars and it was reserved for Walter to be charged with the loss of the game.
Shocker was hit for a triple in the first inning, a double in the second, and a single in the third but he always tightened up in the pinches. Ehmke worked for the next three innings and in two of them, got by without being nicked.
In the sixth inning, a base on balls was followed by a fumble by the Rabbit on a hard-hit ball by Duffy Lewis, Tilly Walker then came through with a smashing single to center and it looked as though the Red Sox would finally score. But a great throw by Joe Jackson and a lightning play by
Wally Schang at the plate nailed Dick Hoblitzell as he slid wide.
The Red Sox pulled off their batting rally against Johnson in the eighth inning after two were out. Jack Barry started off with a single to left. Hobby hit a sharp bounder over Walter's head, which he had misjudged, letting it go through without a try, thinking Maranville or Chapman would field the ball and make the force play at second base. But the ball was going so fast, it shot between them into center field. Duffy Lewis was next up and what he did to the ball was good enough. He met it squarely on the nose and sent it sailing off the centerfield bleacher wall for a triple, scoring Barry and Hobby to bust up the game.
The All-Stars did not have a right fielder who can play the sun in right field. Jackson, Speaker and Cobb alternated in each of the three outfield positions. While playing in left field during the second inning, Speaker almost spoiled Tilly Walker's double, going up the bank on the run and having the ball fall out of his glove when he fell down.
The big crowd was rooting hard for the Red Sox to win, but they were always ready to applaud the players on the opposing team, Johnson and Cobb being the favorites. Maranville only had two chances, but in practice he gave the crowd a thrill with some trick fielding.