1st Jack Bentley makes his major league debut for Washington. shutting out the A’s, 1–0 in 8 innings. The good-hitting Bentley will win five games next year for the Nats, but will not win another in the majors until he resurfaces with the Giants in 1923 after going 41–3 for Baltimore (IL) in three seasons. With the win, the Senators set a ML record by shutting out a first-place team in a 3-game series or more, and not allowing a run. It will be matched one more time this century when the Orioles do it against the Red Sox in 1974.
Cleveland’s Vean Gregg tops the Tigers, 8-1, for his 20th win of the year. He’s the only 20th century pitcher to win 20 or more games in his first three seasons.
2nd The Giants and Phils wrap up the season with 7 games in 3 days. The August 30th game, called in the 9th, is completed at the Polo Grounds for an 8–6 Phillie victory. The following doubleheader is split. Tomorrow the Giants will win one and tie one. The day after they will win both.
3rd After Dutch Leonard sets down the host Senators on 2 hits to win, 2-0, the Red Sox lose game 2 of the doubleheader, 11-3. Earl Moseley (8-5) starts for Boston, and the Sox set an ignominious club record by allowing 8 stolen bases, a mark that will not be topped till 2010. Pinch Thomas is behind the plate as Milan and Foster each swipe 3 of the 8.
At the Polo Grounds, the Giants and Phils play two with New York taking the opener, 13-3. The Phillies, using a number of rookies in the lineup, make 7 errors. In game 2, Ferdie Schupp allows a run in his 4 innings, but notches his lone hit of the year, a triple. New York ties it at 4-4 in the 8th and that is the final. McGraw skips the games to go to Philadelphia and watch the Yankees and A’s play two.
4th Despite the Dodgers’ 6th-place finish, 1B Jake Daubert earns a new Chalmers automobile as the NL MVP. Daubert led the NL at .350 and will repeat his batting title in 1914.
Washington manager Clark Griffith uses an unheard-of 8 pitchers in an end-of-season farce game with Boston, including 5 in the 9th inning. At age 43, he pitches one inning himself, and coach John Ryan, also 43, catches. Griffith also plays RF, where he plays one off his head and misplays Hal Janvrin’s liner into an inside-the-park homer. On the other end of the scale, 17-year-old Merito Acosta plays outfield alongside Walter Johnson in CF. Johnson then comes in the 8th inning to lob pitches to 2 hitters. Both batters, Clyde Engel and Steve Yerkes lace hits to send Johnson back to CF, and then, in relief, Nat’s catcher Eddie Ainsmith, in his only ML pitching appearance, gives up two triples to allow the base runners to score. The Sox score in the 9th on Hal Janvrin’s 2nd inside-the-park homer of the game. Joe Gideon, in his only pitching appearance retires the last two batters as Washington wins, 10–9, beating Fred Anderson who goes the distance. The 2 runs “allowed” by Johnson will have historical repercussions: his ERA goes from 1.09 to 1.14, and Bob Gibson’s 1.12 ERA in 1968 will put Johnson’s ERA in 2nd place on the all-time list. The 8 pitchers sets a ML record that won’t be matched until the Dodgers, September 25, 1946.
At Detroit, White Sox pitcher Reb Russell gives Chicago a split by beating Detroit, 1–0, in the nitecap following a 7–5 loss. Russell (22–16) sets a ML rookie record with his 8th shutout. He also ties the ML record of winning five complete 1–0 games in a season set by Walter Johnson a mark since tied in each loop but never topped.
5th The Cubs beat the Pirates, 5-1, with the victory going to Zip Zabel, in his first ML appearance. Zip caught the attention of the Cubs when, on August 1, he pitched a doubleheader for Winnepeg against Winona, allowing 6 hits and a run in game 1 and pitching a one-hitter in game 2.
6th In a Series tuneup in New York, The Giants top the Phillies, 4–1, before 500 fans.
7th Rube Marquard gets the call for the Giants against Philadelphia’s Chief Bender in game 1 of the WS. Bender yields 11 hits, but Frank Baker’s HR and 3 RBI pace a 6–4 win over the New Yorkers. The A’s Frank Baker knocks in a run in the 3rdinning with a “Cincinnati base hit,” when he tops a ball to 1B Fred Merkle. When Merkle goes to tag Baker, Frank stops running and a confused Merkle then throws home in an unsuccessful attempt to nab Oldring running from 3B. Following the season, the Baseball Writers Association votes 35-26 to abolish the one-year-old category of “Cincinnati base hits.”
8th Christy Mathewson ties the Series, shutting the Athletics out for 10 innings to beat Eddie Plank 3–0. Mathewson also brings in the winning run with a double in the 10th. In the 9th, Matty is saved twice by pitcher Hooks Wiltse, playing 1B. Wiltse entered the game in the 3rd as a pinch runner for Fred Snodgrass, pressed in to action at 1B. The A’s put runners on 2B and 3B with no outs in the final inning, and the next two batters hit shots to 1B. Both times Wiltse guns out a runner at home and Matty gets the last out to send the game into extra innings. Before the game, Walter Johnson (36–7, 243 strikeouts, 11 shutouts) is presented the Chalmers Award, and an automobile, as the AL’s MVP. Joe Jackson is 2nd in the voting.
9th In game 3, the A’s have no trouble solving Jeff Tesreau. Rookie P Bullet Joe Bush throws a 5-hit 8–2 win before 36,896 at the Polo Grounds, the largest crowd of the Series. Again, the Giants use Wiltse at 1B when Snodgrass pulls up lame.
10th The bottom of the Athletics batting order—Jack Barry, Wally Schang, and Chief Bender—drives in all the runs, as Bender wins his 4th straight WS game, 6–5.
11th John McGraw loses his 3rd straight WS. In game 5, Mathewson is good, but Eddie Plank is better; his 2-hitter wins the 3–1 finale. Plank retires the first 13 batters, bettering the mark of 12 set by the Cubs Mordecai Brown on Ocotber 9, 1906 Frank Baker at .450 and Eddie Collins at .421 lead a strong A’s offense. Frank Baker is the last player to get a “Cincinnati base hit,” a fielder’s choice where an infielder elects to try for a force play and is unsuccessful. Baker hits a 3rd inning squibber to 1B Fred Merkle with A’s runners on 2B and 3B. Merkle goes to tag Baker, who stops, and Merkle then attempts to nab runner Eddie Murphy at home but is unsuccessful. The one-year “Cincinnati base hit rule” will be abolish this winter by the Baseball Writers Association.
12th John McGraw hosts a reunion for Hughey Jennings and the old Orioles. After a night of heavy drinking, he blames his longtime friend, business partner, and teammate Wilbert Robinson for too many coaching mistakes in the Series. Robby replies that McGraw made more mistakes than anybody and McGraw fires him. Eyewitnesses say Robby douses McGraw with a glass of beer and leaves. They won’t speak to each other for 17 years. Six days later Robby will begin a legendary 18 years as manager, replacing Bill Dahlen. The team will carry the nickname Robins, as well as Dodgers, during his tenure.
13th In St. Louis, the City Series between the Browns and the Cardinals ends in a fight. In today’s doubleheader, the Cardinals had taken the first game 5–2, and the 2nd game, and the 2ndgame is tied 1–1 after four innings when a brawl broke out. Since there had been several other fights in the series, and because the series was played outside the auspices of the National Commission, the umps announce they have had it, and retire to the clubhouse. The series ends abruptly at 3 wins apiece, with one tie. Each Brownie player received $77.22.
In the wrap-up of the city series between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, now tied at three games apiece, Cleveland lefty Vean Gregg pitches possibly “the best game of his career” (historian Eric Sallee). Matched against Claude Hendrix, Gregg strikes out 19 batters, including Honus Wagner twice, and allows five singles in 13 shutout innings. Gregg finally wins his own game doubling and scoring the winning run. As noted by Sallee, home plate umpire Bob Emslie said, “I have seen all of the great ones; Rusie, Radbourne, Mathewson; but I am confident that I never saw any pitcher show the stuff that Gregg had.” Dots Miller, the Pirates’ first baseman said, “I can’t understand how anyone ever hits that fellow.”
19th The Giants and White Sox, fortified with other players, start their world tour in Cincinnati. After a 31-game tour to Seattle, they will head for the Philippines, Australia, China, and Japan. Reach is the exclusive supplier of equipment, with Baseball Magazine noting that its cork-center ball will be used.
28th In the only time the two future immortals face each other, Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson square off at South Main Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Johnson, backed by the White Sox, wins the battle, 6–0, pitching the distance, while Matty exits after 4 innings. Johnson strikes out 8. Tris Speaker and Buck Weaver do the hitting for the Sox, while fan favorite Jim Thorpe has 2 hits off Johnson. The game is delayed for nearly 2 hours when the stands collapse, injuring 52 people and killing a soldier. The governor of Oklahoma narrowly escapes injury in the tragedy.