1914 October

1st In the Braves 7–6 win over the second-place Giants, umpire Bill Klem provides most of the fireworks. He tires of the name-calling in the 6th inning and clears the entire Giants bench—24 players, including many rookies, march in step to the clubhouse. Allegedly, one of the Giants called Klem by the name “Catfish”, which he despised. In Larry Ritter’s The Glory of Their Times, Chief Meyers related Klem’s distaste for the nickname: “If Klem was umpiring behind the plate, all you had to do was call him ‘Catfish’ and out of the game you’d go. That’s all. Just that one word and you were out. I’m not quite sure why.”

After five starts in which Cleveland lost, Vean Gregg finally wins his 20th game, beating the Tigers, 8-1. For Gregg it is his 3rd 20-win season in his first three years, the only 20th century major league pitcher to accomplish that.

In a 9-7 victory, Phils slugger Gavvy Cravath belts his ML-record 19th homer, off Brooklyn’s Pat Ragan. All of Gavvy’s homers this year have come at Baker Bowl, a ML-record for the 20th century, topped only by Chicago’s Fred Pfeffer in 1884 (26). Lifetime he will hit 119 homers—93 in Baker Bowl—the highest percentage in history of home dingers. Cravath also leads NL outfielders with 34 assists in right field.

2nd In Boston, the Yankees make 5 errors to help Red Sox rookie Babe Ruth win, 11–5. Ruth, just recalled from Providence, makes his first ML hit, a double, off King Cole. It is just the fourth game this year that the Sox have scored in double figures.

Phil Douglas gives up just one hit—a single to Honus Wagner—but 2 walks and 2 errors in the 8th are his undoing. The Reds lose, 2–1, to the Pirates. For Wagner, it is the 3rd game in his career where he’s had the only hit. This is the 3rd one-hit loss this year; two occurred in July. For the fourth time in a week, the Pirates Dan Castello gets thumbed out of a game for protesting a strike call. He’ll appear in just 21 games this year.

3rd At Boston, Red Sox starter Ernie Shore gives up an unearned Yankee run in the 1st, and the score is 1–0 when he departs after 7 innings. Both team score 2 in the 9th inning, New York’s runs coming against reliever Guy Cooper. The scorer nails Cooper with the loss for pitching poorly.

At Robison Field, the Cubs and Cardinals split a season-ending doubleheader. The Cubs take the opener, 4-1, on Jimmy Lavender’s 5-hitter. Dan Griner tosses a 3-hitter in game 2 to win, 2-0. The Cards steal 5 bases in the second game, including one by Miller Huggins, his 32nd, and 2 by Lee Magee, his 36th. But Huggins ends the season caught stealing an NL-record 36 times. This surpasses the mark of 34 caught steals set by Ty Cobb in 1912; Cobb will get caught 38 times next season.

4th In Chicago, the ChiFeds lose, 1-0, to Doc Watson, a former Tinker hand released by Chicago in August and signed by St. Louis. Joe Tobin has 2 of the 3 St. Louis hits and drives in the lone run against Rankin Johnson. The Whales lead is down to a half game.

The Hoosiers take a pair from Kansas City, coming from behind to win the opener, 6-5, in 10 innings, and 4-0 in 5 innings. Indianapolis trails the Whales by a mere half game.

In front of “one of the largest crowds ever” at the Polo Grounds, the New York Fire Department edges the Police, 4-3, on a 9thinning homer by John Seger of Engine Company 252. The win gives the smoke eaters the silver cup, having won at Ebbets Field on September 20th and lost at the Polo Grounds on the 27th. With every city big wig in attendance, Mayor Mitchel throws out the first ball.

5th At Fenway Park, Washington’s Walter Johnson wins his 28thgame of the year, a 9–3 win over the Sox. Babe Ruth, pinch-hitting for pitcher Ray Collins, strikes out on three pitches.

In game 2 of a twinbill with the Braves, Dodger P Pat Ragan relieves in the 8th inning and strikes out the side on 9 pitches, doffing his hat to the home crowd after each K. He’s the first National Leaguer to do it. The celebration is a bit premature as the Braves score 5 runs off Ragan in the 9th to win, 9–5. Possum Whited hits his second homer of the afternoon in the 9th inning, a grand slam. Boston wins the opener, 15–2, pummeling Raleigh Aitchison for 5 innings before he is relieved, and continuing against “Smooth” Schmutz.

6th  The Brooklyn Robins (AKA the Dodgers) split with Boston—winning 3-2 and losing 7-3 in 7 innings—and finish 5th, their highest level since 1907. The Braves lose regular 3B Red Smith, picked up from Brooklyn on August 10, who breaks his right leg sliding into 2B in the 9th inning of game 1. He catches his spikes on the bag when he tries to stand up too quickly. Doctors predict it is a career-ending injury, but Smith will play 157 games next year. Charlie Deal will be back at third base for the World Series.

A minute before the start of the Phillies-Giants game at the Polo Grounds, John McGraw spies pitcher Hank Ritter munching peanuts in the grand stand and motions him down. The Giants manager tells Ritter (know as “Bill” during his playing days), he’s pitching today and to suit up. After Marty O’Toole pitches the 1st inning, a breathless Ritter arrives from the club house and finishes the game, allowing just 4 hits in 8 innings, as the Giants win, 4-1. Ritter appeared in 3 games for the Phillies in 1912, and toiled for Toronto this year, almost signing in the FL.

In a critical day in the Federal League, the Chicago Whales lose two games to Kansas City while the Indianapolis beats St. Louis, 7-4. The Whales lose the opener, 1-0, as Claude Hendrix loses his bid to win 30 games. The Packers gaff the Whales in game 2 by a score of 5-3. The Whales end their season a game behind the Hoosiers, who have two games to play with the Terriers. If St. Louis wins both, the Whales will take the pennant.

7th The Senators and the Red Sox wind up the season in a meaningless game in Boston, with the visitors winning, 11-4. Washington manager Clark Griffith, 45, makes his final mound appearance, while Boston’s star outfielder Tris Speaker does the only pitching of his career, giving up a run in an inning. Ruth, in relief of starter Hugh Bedient, pitches 3 innings for Boston, and both are hit hard. With the win, Washington moves into third place.

HooFeds ace Cy Falkenberg wins his 26th game and pitches his 9th shutout as the Hoosiers down the Terriers, 4-0. Cy allows just one hit in the first 8 innings—a single by Boucher—and gives up a bunt hit and ground single in the 9th. The win puts Indiana 1 ½ games ahead of the Whales, beached twice in Chicago, and clinches the pennant with a game to play.

The host Cubs take the first game, 4-2, in their city series with the White Sox in front of a crowd of 21,744.

The Brown win their second straight over the Cardinals, 7-4, in the Mound City series.

Before the start of the Brooklyn-BuffFed game in Buffalo, A field event contest is held. Buffalo’s Hal Chase wins the 100-year dash in 11 seconds, and also is the fastest at circling the bases, doing it in 14 2/5 seconds. He beats George Anderson, but Anderson ties the world mark in the bunt-and-run event, reaching 1B in 3 1/5 seconds. Bill Bradley wins the long toss with a 292-foot throw, and Earl Moore takes the fungo-hitting contest with a 378-foot blow. In second place is Three Fingered Brown at 358 feet. Brown wins the regular game, 10-4, in 8 innings.

8th In Chicago, the White Sox even the city series with the Cubs by scoring 3 in the 9th off spitter Larry Cheney and winning, 5–2.

In the season finale, Katsy Keifer of Indianapolis (FL) gives the hometown fans something to cheer about as he beats St. Louis, 4-2, in the last Federal League game played in Indiana. The FL champions will move to Newark for the 1915 season. It is also the first and last major league game for Katsy, who will not make the move to Newark. Five .300 hitters, led by Benny Kauff’s .370, pace the winners.

In the New York city series, bridegroom George Burns gets 4 hits, including a triple, and steals 2 bases to give the Giants a win over the Yankees. Burns gets serenaded with the wedding march in his first at bat.

9th  The Boston Braves go into the WS as underdogs, despite their strong finish. Only one regular, LF Joe Connolly, hit .300, and their regular third baseman Red Smith is out with a broken leg. Their strengths are pitchers Dick Rudolph, George “Lefty” Tyler, and “Seattle Bill” James, 2B Johnny Evers, who wins Chalmers’ final MVP automobile, and SS Rabbit Maranville, their cleanup hitter. The Philadelphia A’s Eddie Collins, with a .344 BA, wins the Chalmers AL award with 63 of 64 possible points. The A’s have 7 pitchers with 10 or more wins, led by Chief Bender’s 17–3. Bender’s WS magic is quickly dispelled as the Braves knock him out in the 6th. Rudolph coasts to a 5-hit 7–1 victory. Hank Gowdy has a single, double, and triple. He will hit a WS record .545, and Evers, .438. Only Ruth will top Gowdy with .625 in 1928. Bender makes his last WS appearance, finishing with a record 59 strikeouts.

10th  In game 2, Bill James and Eddie Plank match zeroes for 8. In the 9th, Boston’s Charlie Deal doubles, steals 3B, and scores on Les Mann’s single. James gives up 2 hits.

12th  Joe Bush, 17–10 for the A’s, faces Lefty Tyler in game 3. Tied 2–2 in the 10th, Home Run Baker drives in his only 2 runs of the Series, but a HR by Gowdy starts a game-tying rally. After James comes on and sets the A’s down for 2 innings, Gowdy doubles. Bush gives up a walk, then throws a sacrifice bunt past Baker at 3B allowing pinch runner Les Mann to score the winning run. Boston wins, 5-4, in 12 innings.

13th  The first WS sweep in history belongs to the Braves—the only WS the franchise will ever win. Bob Shawkey and Herb Pennock allow just 6 hits, but one is a 2-run single by Evers, as Rudolph wins 3–1.

Braves outfielder Joe Connally is the big winner as he unexpectedly receives a $10,000 windfall (according to a 2015 newspaper article noted by Dennis VanLangen). Frank Schulte says the payment came from a young semi-professional ball player named “Jake.”  Jake hung around the Braves clubhouse during the 1914 season and received a $50 loan from Connolly some time after July 4. Betting only on Boston games in which Bill James or Dick Rudolph were the starters, Jake turned his $50 into substantial winnings.  He then bet all of his pot on the Braves to sweep the A’s in 4 games in the series.  He accumulated $25,000 and shared 40% of the amount with Connolly as a showing of deep gratitude for the $50 loan.  Connolly reportedly did not know what to make of it, so he checked with Braves manager George Stallings.  Stallings told him it was all right.

18th  NL and AL all-star teams, featuring stars such as Grover Alexander and Jeff Tesreau Joe start an exhibition tour today in Milwaukee with the Braves’ Bill James losing to Bullet Joe Bush, 6–2. The tour will take them to Hawaii after wandering throughout the West, with the NL winning 29 of the 50 games played. Playing tomorrow in Mandan, ND, the NL will win, 2–1, in 12 innings.

20th  Veteran C Pat Moran is named manager of the 6th-place Phils, replacing Red Dooin. Dooin will not be asked to stay on as the backup catcher; instead the Phils trade him to his home-town Reds for infielder Bert Niehoff.

24th In an unusual matchup (as noted by historian Bill Nowlin) Rube Foster and Walter Johnson match up in an exhibition game in Webb City, Missouri. Rube emerges the 3-0 winner, with the game scoreless for the first eight innings. Johnson pitched for Webb City while Foster pitched for Pittsburg, Kansas.