The "Miracle Boston Braves" sweep
ON THIS DATE (October 13, 1914) ... Before the last ball of the World’s Series, Stuffy McInnis’ bounder, had gone halfway from Charlie Deal to Butch Schmidt across the diamond, the fans were pouring over the fences in a torrent. As the ball was safely caught, the Braves’ outfield started for their dugout, running as if for their lives before an infuriated mob.
Every one of them made it; the bats were snatched in, and the whole club ducked hastily into the clubhouse. Only one player missed it, and he was promptly raised to men’s shoulders. It was only by the warmest sort of argument that he prevented his admirers from carrying him in triumph around the field. The fans swarmed round the dugout, thicker and thicker. From every stand they came, the whole playing field black with them, until one wondered how such a great multitude had ever been compressed into the seating space. The Athletics, in their mackinaws, came over in a group to shake hands and congratulate their opponents, now that the war was over. Only Connie Mack was missing, and he hung back, talking with friends, near his own dugout.
All this took place in the fraction of a minute. By that time the Royal Rooters were formed up and ready to march. They came gaily around the field, stepping to cheer in front of the now empty Athletics cave, and marched straight into the gathering throng until they jammed there. They cheered, and would have cheered some more, but it was evident that there would be speechmaking shortly. The Rooters had other business, so they somehow skew jawed their band around, headed out of the press and went triumphantly on their way.
Still the fans came, until there must have been more than 5,000 packed in a solid mass in front of the Braves’ camp. The crowd, dense to the very back, extended more than half-way across the diamond. Back of it people stood on chairs, many of them were women who were held in place by the most affectionate embraces, and didn’t mind it a bit. Mayor Curley came out on the roof of the dugout and addressed the crowd. He was eloquent, anybody could see that. But he was not satisfactory. What the crowd wanted was not Mayors, but Braves. And the Braves were for the moment engaged in personal adornment, getting rid of soil and into the garments of everyday life.
Long before the Royal Rooters’ phalanx thumped in and across the field the last seat in the park was taken and round the smooth, level field a living wall, the center of a world anxiously banging on the ends of thousands of telegraph wires, waited for the supreme moment of the World’s Championship fight. The band played “The Star Spangled Banner” and as everybody rose and took off their hats the grandstand suddenly like a great pool table with bald heads for balls, scattered about thickly on its surface.
The fans got action from the very jump out of the box, for Dick Rudolph’s first chuck was a strike. “Hey,” shouted the stands. Up went another swift one: whack! went the bat, and whiz – Johnny Evers to Butch Schmidt – and “Whee!” said the fans. Rube Oldring popped up a foul to Hank Gowdy, and once more the crowd yelled. The game was under way smartly, and doing business on every ball pitched, almost. A little later Oldring got a good-natured, ironical “hand” from the Royal Rooters for his hit, the only one he made in the World’s Series.
Presently a foul ball dropped just outside the third-base stand. A fat fan jumped the fence, picked up the ball, waved it triumphantly and calmly put it in his hip pocket before climbing back to his seat. The crowd shouted with laughter – a Gargantuan rumbling, laughter – at his deliberation.
And then, when the hits began to fly in the fatal fifth, and the championship of the world was put on ice, the real roar began, and never did cease again until the inning was finished. In the ninth there was one last comedy. A ball dropped in deep centerfield and Possum Whitted, a policeman and two or three fans started after it. The fan got it first; the policeman fell on him, one or two others fell on the policeman, and the whole mess was rolling on the ground, until Whitted came down on them and took the ball away from the lot of them. It took until dark to get all the people out of the park, and when they all fully realized that they had seen a World’s Series won it took them no time at all to start celebrating. In consequence, some of yesterday’s crowd hasn’t got home yet.