THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
The Cardinals beat the Braves in a controversy
June 18, 1914 ... There was more variety, more excitement and a lot of controversy during the last inning of the game between the Cardinals and the Braves at the South End Grounds. There was some very poor umpiring,
a lot of howling by the spectators, some woefully weak pitching, and the finest exhibition of an Indian war dance by the Cardinals, that has ever been given and a ball game.
The visitors seemed obsessed with the theory that things must go their way. It was a decision by umpire Lord Byron that gave the base runner second base when he was forced out, and called the succeeding batsman safe at first, when in all probability, he would've been out on the double-play
if it were not for the interference with the pivot at second base.
The score was 5 to 4 in favor of the Braves at the beginning of the ninth-inning. Braves pitcher Dick Crutcher passed Chief Wilson, the first man up. The next batter was Art Butler, who ducked away from an inside pitch as the ball hit his bat. The ball popped out near the pitcher's mound,
where Crutcher got it and threw to Rabbit Maranville at second base. The Rabbit was standing on the bag as Wilson came along and went into the base without a slide. As he reached Maranville, he grabbed him and therefore the Rabbit could not make the throw to first. Umpire Byron called both
runners safe. Wilson, undoubtably was afraid of hurting Maranville in an inevitable collision so he grabbed him in his arms and carried him off the bag with his momentum, and Maranville had no chance to catch the ball and throw it. The Boston players ran out toward second base but were
shooed away by the umpire.
Frank Snyder advanced both the base runners and Ted Cather popped out to Butch Schmidt. The next batter up was Ivey Wingo, who lined the ball to center field to easily score Wilson with the tying run. But on the play, Charlie Deal made Butler run around him, so that he did not even try to
score from third base. Every St. Louis player ran out to the field and gathered around the umpire Al Orth, claiming interference by Deal. They were yelling, kicking up sand, and pounding the ground. But Orth did not see any interference, and neither did umpire Byron. Two or three of the
Braves players backed away, but 20 of the Cardinals players were not driven off so easily. The umpires just stood there and listened and watched. Miller Huggins eventually had his players go back to the bench.
After the dust settled, Crutcher gave up two base on balls, which forced in the winning run. The game itself dragged its way through, but the wind up proved to be lively enough, as the Braves found themselves on the losing end of a tough 6 to 5 score.