1917 September

1st The Cardinals, behind the pitching of Oscar Horstmann and Milt Watson, win both ends of a doubleheader with Pittsburgh by 1–0 scores. Wilbur Cooper takes the loss in game one on an unearned run in the 9th. Hal Carlson loses the 2nd game. The Cards have now won three straight 1–0 games from the Pirates, tying the ML mark and setting the NL mark.

In the bottom of the 1st inning at Cleveland, Tris Speaker tries to steal home with Joe Evans batting (as noted by Retrosheet). Evans swings and lines the ball into Speaker’s face. Tiger manager Hugh Jennings allows a courtesy fielder Elmer Smith to play CF in the 2nd frame while Speaker has his face stitched. Speaker then returns to CF in the 3rd.

After 9 straight wins, the White Sox lose to the visiting Browns, 6-3. The Sox will win their next 9 to put away the AL pennant.

AL president Ban Johnson instructs umpires not to tolerate unnecessary delays. His statement is an outgrowth of a complaint by Charles Comiskey that protests of some managers and players about the condition of the ball in recent games has made it necessary to play two hours or more. The New York Times writes that, “Johnson said he would enforce the rule about discoloration of the ball but he has given out no bulletin on the ‘shine ball.’”

2nd The first place White Sox take a pair from the Tigers, winning 7–2 and 6–5. The Sox bunch four in the 1st and three more in the 3rd to make the shine ball’s leading proponent, Ed Cicotte, a winner over Willie Mitchell. In the nitecap, the Sox snap a tie in the 9th when Eddie Collins, with one stolen base already, swipes 2B and 3B after a walk. Jackson’s sac fly brings him home.

3rd  Trying to keep the Phils in the race, Grover Alexander does double duty, beating Brooklyn 6–0 and 9–3 in a Labor Day twinbill. Rube Marquard and Allen Russell try and stop Pete in the opener, while Jack Coombs and George Smith pitch in the nitecap. Milt Stock lines a homer in the opener when Zack Wheat, hampered by a sore ankle, can’t reach his drive. Dode Paskert’s bases-loaded triple in the 2nd game is the big blow. Alex will win 30 for the 3rd straight year, with a league-leading 1.86 ERA.

In a twinbill that will resonate for years, the White Sox sweep a pair—4 wins in the last two days—from the Tigers winning, 7–5 and 11–8, while the Yankees sweep a pair from the Red Sox. Chicago now leads the Red Sox by 6 ½ games. Detroit takes the lead in the morning game, driving Red Faber from the mound in the 5th, but Al Schalk’s triple in the 8th seals the win for Chicago. In the afternoon contest, Detroit again chases starter Faber and scores 7 runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings to take the lead, but Schalk’s three-run homer in the 4th, off James, puts Chicago in a lead they never relinquish. Ed Cicotte takes the p.m. game with 6 innings of relief, while Lefty Williams pitches 3 innings of hitless relief to win the a.m. game. The Sox run wild on the bases, stealing 8 against Oscar Stanage in the opener and 5 against Archie Yelle in the 2nd game. The Tigers total 24 hits, just two less than the Sox, in losing. Two weeks from now, while staying at the Ansonia Hotel in New York, the White Sox will collect $45 from each player as a gift for the Tigers, allegedly as a gift for beating the Red Sox. But suspicion will linger that some Tigers threw these two critical doubleheaders and Cobb, though he had three hits, will be included in the accusations.

The last-place Pirates sweep a pair from the Reds, winning 8-0 behind Frank Miller, then taking game 2 by a 5-3 score. With two outs in the 6th inning of the second game, the Reds record a 4-3-9 putout at 1B (as noted by Retrosheet). Pitcher Bob Steele grounds out to 2B Dave Shean, but doesn’t bother to run it out. Shean tosses to Hal Chase and the first baseman flips to RF Tommy Griffith coming in who steps on 1B for the third out.

At Shibe Park, the A’s host their biggest crowd in three years and celebrate by sweeping a pair from the Senators, 7–4 and 9–2. Joe Bush, reinstated today by Connie Mack after being suspended for two weeks, starts for the A’s but is lifted after three because of wildness. Roy Grover and Amos Strunk have 3 hits apiece in the opener. In the 2nd game, the Mackmen jump on Walter Johnson, knocking him off the rubber in the 3rd inning, and Jing Johnson coasts to the win.

4th The Phillies Joe Oeschger and Brooklyn’s Jeff Pfeffer face off to a 14-inning scoreless tie. Pfeffer gives up just 3 hits, while Oeschger allows just 6.

The rampaging White Sox use an 8-run 8th inning to beat the Browns, 13–6. Red Faber, starting his third game in a row, is the winner over reliever Tom Rogers. Faber is the last pitcher this century to start three games in a row.

The Yankees split a pair with Boston, losing 4–2 to Babe Ruth in the opener, then beating Carl Mays, 7–3. Ruth allows no hits until the 6th inning and just 5 hits overall.

5th At St. Louis, the White Sox score 3 runs in the 11th to whip the Browns, 4-1, and increase their lead in the AL to 7 games. The Sox win it without stealing a base, after swiping 28 in their last 5 games.

7th Boston’s Rube Foster shuts out the Athletics, 5-0, for his only shutout of the season. Bothered by a sore arm, he will finish up with an 8-7 record and a 2.53 ERA. In December, he announces his retirement.

8th  Following yesterday’s loss to Chicago, Browns owner Phil Ball accuses his players of laying down on the job because they dislike manager Fielder Jones. SS Doc Lavan and 2B Del Pratt sue him for $50,000 damages for alleged slanderous statements in St. Louis newspapers. Both are in the lineup, however, when Detroit beats the Browns, 1–0 in 12 innings. Ty Cobb triples off the RF fence in the 12th and scores on a sac fly.

The Yankees trade shutouts with the Senators, winning 2–0 before losing, 5–0. Doc Ayers wins the nitecap, his 2nd shutout in a row over the Yankees and the third time he’s beaten them in 8 days. Cullop takes the loss for New York. In the opening game, Ray Caldwell fires his only shutout of the year.

9th Grover Alexander beats New York’s Jeff Tesreau, 4–1. Ferdie Schupp takes the nitecap, 2–1 for New York, beating the Phils Eppa Rixey. The Giants still lead the Phillies by 10 games.

In Chicago, with the score tied 3–3 in the 10th inning between the Sox and the Indians, umpire Brick Owens forfeits the game to Chicago, 9–0, because of the ‘dilatory tactics’ of the Tribe. Chicago now leads the AL by 7 games. The Cleveland players protest Owens ruling in the 10th when, with two on a no outs, he calls Jack Graney out on a close play. The ensuing argument delays the game ten minutes with several Indians rolling on the ground and tossing their mitts. When Chicago’s first hitter, pitcher Dave Danforth, strikes out to open the bottom of the inning, Indian catcher Steve O’Neill fires the ball into CF, whereupon Owens calls the forfeit.

The Cubs Phil Douglas stops the Pirates on 3 hits to beat Wilbur Cooper, 1–0.

10th A red-hot Grover Alexander, chasing thirty wins, beats the Braves, 5–2, for the Phils.

11th Walter Johnson allows just two hits to beat Dutch Leonard to give the Nats a 4–3 win over the Red Sox. All the runs are unearned for Boston.

Stanley Coveleski allows just three Detroit hits and Jack Graney scores the only run as Cleveland wins, 1-0.

The Giants sweep the Robins at the Polo Grounds. New York takes the opener 3–2 by scoring the winning run in the 10th on George Burns inside the park homer, the first extra-inning IPHR in Giants team history. They win again in the nitecap, scoring two runs in the 9th to beat Jack Coombs. Pol Perritt, with relief help in the 9th, is the victor.

At Wrigley Field, Military Day is celebrated by a double victory for Chicago over the Reds, with Jumbo Vaughn credited with both wins. Vaughn starts the opener and retires after an inning with his team ahead by three runs. The Cubs win, 6–5, with Vic Aldridge allowing 2 runs in 5 innings, with Carter finishing. Aldridge will eventually get credit for the win and not Vaughn. Vaughn then goes 9 innings in the nitecap, striking out 9 to win, 5–1.

White Sox pitcher James Scott is admitted to the reserve officer’s training camp at the Presidio in San Francisco. Death Valley Jim was 6–7 this year, his final season.

12th Former major league pitcher Mysterious Walker is named football coach at Williams College for this fall’s season. Despite the late start, he will lead them to their first undefeated season, and then coach the basketball team to a 0-26 record. Mysterious will go on to coach football at a number of colleges including Dartmouth, Loyola of New Orleans, and DePauw. Additionally, he will coach basketball at the University of Texas and baseball at several colleges. Walker was a three-sport star at the University of Chicago.

14th Boston peppers Pol Perritt for 12 hits but the Giants pitcher still pitches a 5–0 shutout victory.

15th The Senators toss shutouts in both games today with the A’s. Harry Harper wins the opener 5–0, and Walter Johnson follows with a 4–0 victory.

At the Polo Grounds, Boston’s Babe Ruth takes an 8–0 lead into the 9th before allowing 3 Yankee runs. He finishes with a complete game 8–3 win and slugs his 2nd and last homer of the season.

17th At Boston, the Braves whip the Pirates, 4–1. Honus Wagner makes his last appearance of the year and is pinch hit for by Bill Wagner. Wagner strikes out. Wagner has played sparingly since being spiked by Stengel on July 14; at the Polo Grounds on August 29, he played SS, the only game of the year at that position. He finishes with a .265 average.

18th  For the 2nd time this month, a pitcher beats Brooklyn twice in one day, as the Cardinals’ Bill Doak wins 2–0 and 12–4. With his 14th and 15th victories, Doak picked up a bonus check as well. In a salary dispute in the spring, the Cards and Doak agreed upon a bonus if the pitcher reached 15 wins, and another bonus if he won twenty. He’ll win just one more.

The Giants suspend team captain Buck Herzog for refusing to accompany the team on its western trip. Buck last played on September 7 and will not play again until October 2nd. The veteran will be traded after the season.

19th In the first of two, the host Red Sox make 8 errors to help the Tigers to a 5–2 win. Detroit takes game 2 by a 1-0 score behind Hooks Dauss.

20th Baltimore (Federal League) files suit against the NL.

21st In Boston, the White Sox clinch the pennant with a 2–1 win in 10 innings. Pinch-hitting in the bottom of the 10th, Babe Ruth grounds into a game-ending DP.

22nd In Washington, Walter Johnson fans Ty Cobb in the 1stinning, and then laughs about it. The next time up, in the 3rdwith two on, Cobb lashes an inside-the-park homer and Detroit beats the Big Train, 4–3. It is Cobb’s only career homer off Johnson.

At the Polo Grounds, the Browns throw two of the taller pitchers in the majors at New York and come away with two wins. Big Dave Davenport wins, 4-2, and the usually wild Grover Loudermilk (1-0) walks none in shutting out the Yanks, 3-0. The New York Times says Loudermilk is 6’7 1/2″”, though this appears to be a tall story.

The Giants split a pair with the Pirates, winning 2-1 before losing on a one hitter. The Giants won’t lose another one-hitter until the next century. Al Demaree gives up a hit in 5 innings, and also walks 5 before he is lifted. Fred Anderson spits his way to 4 hitless innings. Rookie Elmer Ponder makes his 2nd ML start and gives up just 2 hits to win his first.

23rd Deja Vu all over again: Pete Alexander beats Chicago’s Shufflin Phil Douglas, this time 4–1, their 2nd matchup in three days.

24th At the Polo Grounds, Slim Sallee tops the Cards, 2–1, and clinches the N.L. pennant for the Giants, their sixth under McGraw. The New Yorkers manage just 4 hits (and six walks) off Bill Doak, but they come when needed.

Babe Ruth shuts out the champion White Sox, 3–0, scattering nine hits. The Babe is 0-for-3 at the plate.

At Washington, the Tigers and Senators split a pair. Detroit takes the opener, 8-3, as Ty Cobb steals 4 bases, then the Senators win game 2, 2-0.

The 3rd-place Indians fashion a 5–4 win over the A’s, the 10thwin in a row for the Tribe. Ray Chapman doubles, then steals 3B and home to lead the Indians. It is his 4th steal of home during this month. Chapman will also finish the year with 67 sacrifices, a ML record. The previous mark was Bill Bradley’s 60, in 1908.

25th The host Cards beat the Series-bound Giants, 5–3. Ross Youngs debuts for the Giants, and the future Hall of Famer is 0-for-4. The loss goes to Ad Swigler, in his first and only ML appearance as the University of Pennsylvania recruit walks 8 and gives up 4 runs in 6 innings. Not feeling well in St. Louis, Swigler will undergo an emergency appendectomy in a week.

26th The Braves Jesse Barnes tops the Reds, 1–0, in the first of two games. Art Nehf follows with a 3–0 win to sweep Cincinnati.

27th  The Red Sox play a benefit game against an AL all-star team and Babe Ruth and Rube Foster combine for a 2–0 shutout. The AL squad features Cobb, Speaker, and Jackson in the outfield. More than $14,000 is raised for the family of sports writer Tim Murnane, who died February 13th. Murnane had played and managed in Boston in the 19th century. Actress Fanny Brice helps sell programs and former heavyweight champ John L. Sullivan coaches 3B for the Sox. Ruth wins the fungo hitting contest with a drive of 402 feet, while Joe Jackson has the longest throw at an impressive 396’8” feet. Duffy Lewis is second and Tilly Walker is third. Ray Chapman circles the bases in 14 seconds flat to win a loving cup.

28th At Fenway, the Browns trip the second-place Red Sox, 2-1. Just 356 fans watch this Friday game, a record official low attendance number for Fenway. The Boston Globe says it is “the smallest crowd in years.”

29th Babe Ruth coasts to his 6th shutout of the year, an 11–0 pasting of the Browns in the second game of a doubleheader. He also leads the offense with 3 hits and 3 runs scored. Boston also wins the opener, 13-5, as Tillie Walker drives in 4 runs and Harry Hooper hits a pair of triples.

The Senators sweep a pair from the Indians, winning 11-2 and 4-3. Nats outfielder Mike Menosky, who hit two homers in the Federal League in 1914, hits his first in the AL, and it is a grand slam, coming in the 4th of game 1 off Red Torkelson. Tork finishes his one-month cup of coffee with a 5-inning start, allowing all 11 runs.

30th  Detroit’s future Hall of Fame OF Sam Crawford retires from ML baseball at 37. In addition to his career-record 312 three-base hits, he has hit 50 inside-the-park HRs. He will play in the PCL for several years.

Jim Bagby scatters 10 hits to give the Indians a 2–1 win over the Senators as Cleveland completes it’s schedule. Cleveland’s leadoff man, OF Jack Graney, walks once to lead the AL with 94 walks despite a .241 BA. No other player will lead a league in walks with so low a batting average until Gene Tenace with Oakland in 1974 draws 110 walks with a .211 BA. In 1919 Graney will walk 105 times and bat .234. Graney finishes the year with 54 sacrifice hits, third on the all-time list. Ray Chapman has a sac hit today to finish with 67, the ML record.

The Cubs finish the season with a 9–2 loss to the visiting Braves. Vic Saier, out with a broken leg he suffered April 15th (as noted by Bill Deane), starts at 1B and goes 3-for-4 in his last game as a Cub. He’ll play in 1919 with the Pirates.