Friday, December 10, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Game Three

The Detroits and Browns arrived over the Vandalia this morning from St. Louis on a special train, having made the run from St. Louis in fifteen hours. The day opened cold but clear, and with a brisk wind out of the north that made overcoats rather a welcome article of apparel. There were but few people to welcome the champions at the train, the crowd being confined principally to urchins and depot loungers. The morning was spent by the Browns in wandering about the city, taking in the sights. Towards afternoon the weather clouded considerably, which made it all the colder. After dinner on the dining-car the two teams dressed on the train and were driven to the grounds in hacks, preceded by a brass band. The crowd commenced to gather early, and when the two teams reached the grounds they were welcomed by 7000 people. It was the Browns' first appearance in Detroit, and they were enthusiastically received as they stepped on the field. The audience was thoroughly impartial throughout, and those present will long have cause to remember the struggle as one of the grandest ever fought on a ball field. It was, indeed, a meeting of champion club and they played almost perfect base ball. The final score should have been 1 to 0 in favor of St. Louis but for Kelly's questionable decision in deciding Ganzel safe, he finally making the winning runs. It was unfortunate that both the Detroits' runs were given them on Comiskey's errors-first his wild throw and then his muff. The Browns' captain feels very sore to-night over his errors. Latham set the crowd wild with his coaching, and he was the favorite of the day. He played a magnificent game, too, both at the bat and in the field. Caruthers' work in the box was the feature of the game, the Wolverines being able to get but seven hits off him in thirteen innings. Bushong caught him in perfect style. Getzein was hit freely, but was effective at critical points. Bennett supported him in magnificent style. Deacon White took the honors for the Detroits, doing some wonderful work at third. He also batted well. The work on both sides was so near perfect that individual praise is hardly merited. The Browns could have won a dozen times by one safe hit, but it was not forthcoming. An urchin came very near explaining the cause of defeat. As the Browns drove out of the gate he yelled: "Seventeen hits and one run. Where are your base runners!" Gaffney called the ball and strikes to-day and Kelly the field decisions.

The Game.

First inning-Detroit took the field. As Latham walked up to the plate, cries of "hit it, Arlie," showed that the Browns' third-baseman's fame had traveled even to the far North. The dude waited patiently, and as a reward, was presented with a base on balls. Gleason hit to Dunlap and was thrown out at first. Latham attempted to reach third on the play, but Ganzel's quick throw caught him, and the crowd cheered loudly. O'Neill ended the inning by flying out to Hanlon. Richardson hit to Latham, who threw very wild to Comiskey, but the Browns' captain reached the ball after an effort, receiving some slight applause. Ganzel hit to Comiskey and was retired at first. Rowe hit a sharp one to Richardson and died at first.

Second inning-Comiskey hit the first ball pitched him past Getzein, and as the sphere rolled into center, the Browns' captain trotted to first. Caruthers hit safe to right, and Comiskey went to second. Foutz flew out to Richardson. Welch flew out to Hanlon. Robinson now stepped to the front and hit a high fly which dropped between Hanlon and Dunlup, and Comiskey scored, Caruthers going to second. Robinson stole second. Bushong hit to White, who touched Robinson, making the third man out. Thompson was loudly cheered as he stepped up to the plate. Caruthers pitched three bad balls and then shot two good ones over the plate. On the third Thompson drove a hard ball to left, which O'Neill captured in fine style. White knocked a pop fly which Robinson gathered in. Dunlap hit to Robinson, and retired the side on the latter's assist.

Latham's Amusing Antics.

Third inning-Latham kept the crowd in a roar by his antics at the bat. Finally he changed the laugh to a cheer by driving a line ball to left for a base. Gleason hit to White, who doubled Latham at second, the batter reaching first on the play. O'Neill flew out to Dunlap. Comiskey flew out to White, leaving Gleason on first. Bennett hit a high fly which Welch gathered in his usual easy style. Hanlon hit a high fly which Latham captured. Getzein set the crowd wild by making the first hit scored by the Wolverines. Getzein stole second. Richardson hit a hot one at Caruthers, who fielded the batter out at first, leaving Getzein on second.

Fourth inning-Caruthers hit a hot one at Getzein, who made a clever one-hand stop and threw the batter out at first. Foutz flew out to Dunlap. Welch hit to Deacon White and retired the side on the latter's assist. Ganzel hit a corker to right and the ball got away from Foutz. Before the lean pitcher had recovered the sphere Ganzel had reached third. Rowe flew out to O'Neill, and the crowd groaned. Thompson hit a foul fly which Latham took after a hard run and the Detroits stock fell like lead. "Bring in Jim," shouted Hanlon from the coacher's box, as Deacon White stalked up to the plate, but Jim was unable to save his side, hitting to Latham and going out at first.

Robinson Gets His Base.

Fifth inning-Robinson once more demonstrated that he is a waiter and went to first on five balls. He was thrown out trying to steal second. Getzein continued very wild and Bushong went to first on Balls. Latham hit to White and Bushong was doubled at second. Latham made a great steal of second. Gleason hit an easy bounder to Rowe and died at first, leaving Latham on second. Dunlap hit to Comiskey and died at first. Bennett went to first on balls, Caruthers being unsteady for the first time during the game. Hanlon hit the first ball pitched to right for a base, Bennett going to second. Getzein, who had been hitting Caruthers very hard, struck out, and the Browns' stock went up. Richardson hit to Caruthers, who made a great one-hand stop and threw the batter out at first.

Sixth inning-O'Neill again hit the ball into the air, this time to Hanlon, and sat down. Comiskey hit to center for a base and reached second on Hanlon's wild return to Dunlap. Caruthers foul tipped out. Foutz hit a hard line ball to Thompson, leaving Comiskey on second. The excitement now became intense, and every play was watched with the most intense interest. Ganzel hit to Robinson and was retired at first. Rowe hit an easy ball between Caruthers and Gleason, and reached first amidst the greatest enthusiasm. Thompson drove a terrific ball to Foutz, and Dave this time gathered it in. Rowe stole second. White again had a chance to tie the score, and for the second time retired his side on an easy hit to Caruthers.

Welch Left On Second.

Seventh inning-Welch hit a hard ball along the left foul-line for a couple of bases. Robinson flew out to Dunlap, and Bushong followed suit to Rowe, and everything now depended on Latham. The dude bunted the ball and was thrown out on a very close play, the ball just beating him to first, White making the assist. Dunlap hit a hot one to Gleason, and was thrown out at first. Bennett hit a hard ball at Latham, and was unable to reach the initial bag. Hanlon attempted to bunt the ball, but was thrown out by Caruthers.

Eighth inning-Brother Bill led off with a corker to center for a base. O'Neill advanced him to second on an easy hit to White, on which the batter was thrown out. Comiskey hit to Getzein and was thrown out at first, but Gleason reached third on the play. Caruthers hit a hot one to Gunzel and was retired at first. "Kill it, Getz," shouted the crowd to Detroit's pitcher, as he stepped up to the plate, but Getz, after four frantic attempts to hit the ball, sat down. Richardson was unable to do any better, and although Bushong muffed the fourth strike, he threw the latter out at first. Ganzel hit to Caruthers, who threw wild to first and the batter was safe, the decision being very questionable. This was a chance and the crowd yelled. Rowe bunted the ball and beat it to first. Ganzel started for third, and as Comiskey threw wild the runner crossed the plate with the coveted run. The scene at this point beggers description. Hats, umbrellas and canes were thrown in the air, the owners seeming to care little what became of them. When the enthusiasm had subsided Thompson flew out to Latham, ending the trouble.

White's Wonderful Work.

Ninth inning-Foutz hit to Rowe and died at first. Brown Stocking enthusiasm burst forth when Welch drove a safe hit to center. Robinson hit hot toward third and White made a wonderful stop, forcing Welch at second. Bushong hit to right, and although Dunlap made a great one-hand stop he could not recover in time to catch the Doctor. Latham hit to White and was retired at first, leaving Robinson and Bushong. White hit at Gleason and the ball passed through his legs. Dunlap hit a terrific liner to Foutz, who gathered the ball in and doubled White up, the crowd groaning at first, but breaking out in a cheer at the conclusion of the play. Bennett hit to Latham and was thrown out at first.

Tenth inning-The excitement was now at fever heat. Gleason hit a short fly, which Ganzel gathered in. O'Neill lifted a high fly, which Hanlon, who was playing a very deep field, took in. Hanlon hit to Comiskey and the Browns' Captain was waiting on the bag when the batter arrived. Getzein hit a high fly to short right and Robinson took care of it. Richardson hit to Caruthers, who again threw wild, the ball rolling into the seats. Richardson, owing to ground rules, was only allowed second on the play. Ganzel ended the agony by hitting to Comiskey and dying at first.

The Browns Have Two Men Left.

Eleventh inning-Caruthers bunted the ball to White and beat it out. Foutz hit a terrific liner, which hit Getzein on the right leg and bounded off to Rowe. The runner reached first in safety and Caruthers went to second. Welch flew out to Thompson, without advancing either runner. Robinson could do nothing better than hit the air four times. Bushong flew out to Hanlon and what had promised big results ended in a blank. Rowe hit a high fly, which Welch gathered in. Thompson hit a terrific grounder to Latham, and the dude retired the big right-fielder on a perfect throw to Comiskey. White hit a line ball to O'Neill, and the eleventh inning was at a close with the score still a tie.

Twelfth inning-Latham hit past White for a base. Gleason hit to Dunlap and was thrown out at first, but Latham reached second on the play. It was once more the giant batter's turn at the bat. O'Neill hit a high fly which Dunlap captured, but Latham made a daring break for third and as he landed safe the crowd cheered. He was left, however, as Comiskey hit to Rowe and died at first. Dunlap hit a high fly to right when Robinson captured after a hard run. Bennett hit a high foul fly which Latham caught almost off the open seats. Hanlon hit to Robinson and was thrown out at first, and once more the teams were on even terms.

The Winning Run.

Thirteenth inning-Caruthers hit hard to right but the ball rose too high, and when it landed it was between Thompson's hands. Foutz hit a high fly, which Hanlon took on a hard run. Welch hit a corker to center. Robinson again had a chance to distinguish himself, and again failed ignominiously, striking out. Getzein hit a high fly, which dropped between Comiskey and Foutz, either of whom could have taken it. Richardson hit to Robinson and was thrown out at first, Getzein going to second. Ganzel hit to Robinson, who made a beautiful stop and throw, retiring the batter, Getzein going to third. It was now Rowe's chance to even the game. He hit a hot one to Robinson, and as Comiskey muffed the throw, Getzein shot across the plate with the winning run. With one yell the crowd sprang into the field, and cheer after cheer rent the air. The Detroit players were given an ovation, while the Browns, too, came in for their share of the applause, and thus ended one of the greatest ball games ever played in the United States.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 13, 1887

Kind of a shocking end to a good game. It's odd seeing Comiskey as the goat but these things happen.

The most interesting thing in the article, I thought, was the reference to Yank Robinson, who they called a "waiter." I assume that there was a bit of a negative connotation to that but it's true, as I've mentioned before, that Robinson was good at taking a walk. He led the AA in walks twice and also led the UA in walks in 1884. Three times in his career, Robinson had over one hundred walks and once he had over ninety. In 1889, he hit .208 with a slugging percentage of .292 but had an on-base percentage of .378. That's kind of a weird line. He basically hit like 2010 Brendan Ryan but walked 118 times.

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