Friday, December 3, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Game Two

A cold, raw wind from the northwest, that went right to the bone, blew across Sportsman's Park yesterday afternoon, and made it rather unpleasant for the crowd that had congregated to witness the second game of the world's championship series between the St. Louis Browns and Detroits. This disagreeable feature, though, did not have a tendency to keep down the attendance, and long before the hour set for the game to commence the seats in the grand stand and in other portions of the park were comfortably well filled. As 3 o'clock approached, the time for the contest to be called, the crowd increased with much rapidity, and when the first bomb was fired, the seats at the extreme western part of the grounds were the only ones in the park that were not adorned with a shivering mass of base-ball enthusiasts. The fact that the mercury was only 8 [degrees] above freezing point did not dampen the enthusiasm, and every good play was loudly cheered and applauded by the 7000 people present. If the Brown cranks did not yell as hard as they did on Monday, they had good reasons for not doing so, and if the many brilliant plays did not receive proper recognition in the way of applause it was because the Detroits made more than the Browns. Under the circumstances, though, the crowd was very charitable, and no good work by the League visitors went unnoticed.

When the Detroits made their appearance on the field for preliminary practice they were greeted with only a slight ripple of applause, but when the Browns appeared from the door of their dressing-room, to the right of the grand stand, the cheering was loud and prolonged. In fact, it did not die away until after the members of the team had stationed themselves at their respective places on the diamond.

The contest, while it didn't result in a manner at all satisfactory to the admirers and backers of the Association champions, and while it could by no means be called a brilliant exhibition, it was nevertheless a good game of ball, was interesting from the outset, and at times exciting. The Browns were defeated by a combination of mishaps at most critical moments, and a painful inability to bat at the proper time. On numerous occasions did they distribute men on the bases, and it would have required but a hit of almost any kind to bring some of them in, but at such junctures as these no hits were forthcoming. For instance, some one would line out the ball for a single or a double before any were out, and although the base-runner would work his way around to third, the retirement of the side would usually leave him there. This was repeated time and time again. The Browns, though, hit harder than the visitors, and but for costly errors and hard luck would certainly have come out victorious. Their base-running, while probably not up to its usual excellent standard, was good. The pitching of Foutz was only fair, and his curves in the opening innings did not puzzle the Wolverines to the extent desired. His support in Boyle behind the bat was perfect. The base play of the Detroits was excellent, almost brilliant at times, and their judgment in most manners at all stages was vastly superior to that used by the Browns. The battery work of Conway and Bennett was good. The brilliant features of the game numbered few, and there was a great scarcity of grandstand plays of any kind. The hitting of O'Neill, Foutz and Welch, the former making doubles and the latter a triple, a double play by Foutz and Comiskey, which cut a Detroiter off at the plate, another double play by Gleason and Robinson and the wretched, almost miserable, work of Latham at third constituted the features on the Browns side. The first-base play of Ganzel, Rowe's work at short, Hanlon's base running and the good, all-round playing by the whole team might be included in the list of things done well by the Detroits. The visitors were again somewhat crippled by the absence of big Brouthers, but his place was filled in a most acceptable manner by Ganzel. The Browns never lost hope and worked hard in the closing innings to increase their score. Kelly and Gaffney again did the umpiring, and their decisions were so satisfactory that there was not a single protest from either side. Just after the close of the eighth inning, Joe Carr, in a neat and appropriate speech, presented catcher Boyle with an elegant gold watch and chain, a gift from some of his friends and admirers.

First inning-Detroit took first turn at the bat. Richardson, after making three strikes, hit a high fly, which O'Neill took care of. Ganzel hit a high fly into right and it landed between Caruthers' hands. Rowe also hit a high fly and once more Bob Caruthers took care of the sphere. Latham hit a hot grounder to Rowe and never reached first. Gleason hit hot to White, who fumbled, and Brother Bill landed safe at first. O'Neill hit an easy bounder to Conway, and died at first, Gleason going to second. He was left, however, as Comiskey hit a high foul fly back of third, of which White made a good capture.

Second inning-Thompson drove a hard liner to center, which Welch, after a hard run, reached but could not hold, and the champion batter was given a life. Foutz was a little wild, and sent White to first on balls. Dunlap hit to Comiskey and died at first, but each runner advanced a base. Bennett here cleared the bases with a drive to left field, which passed through O'Neill's legs, the batter going to second. Hanlon hit a grounder which Comiskey stopped and then fielded to Foutz, who had covered the bag, retiring the batter. Bennett went to third on the play, but was left, as Conway struck out. Caruthers waited quietly at the plate until Conway had pitched five wild balls, when he trotted to first. Foutz hit to Dunlap, who fielded the batter out at first, Caruthers going to second. Welch hit a high foul fly, which Bennett caught. Robinson went to first on balls but both he and Caruthers were left, as Boyle hit to Rowe and was thrown out at first.

Third inning-Richardson started the inning by hitting the air four times. Ganzel hit a high foul fly, which Comiskey captured after a lively chase. Rowe hit to Latham, who threw wild, giving the batter a life. Big Sam Thompson now stepped up to the plate and drove a hard ball to left. O'Neill fielded the ball to Latham. Thompson started for second and Latham fielded the ball to Robinson. The latter muffed and Rowe scored. White hit to center for a base, and Thompson scored. White stole second, and Dunlap ended the sport by striking out. Latham hit a high fly, which Dunlap captured. Gleason popped up a baby fly to Rowe. O'Neill drove a hard ball past first for two bases. "Now, Cap," shouted Latham as Comiskey stepped up to the plate. "Cap," however, was unable to do anything more than furnish Hanlon with a high fly.

Fourth inning-Bennett hit too hot for Gleason to handle. Latham recovered the ball and threw wild to first, Bennett going to second. Hanlon went to first on balls. Conway hit a short fly to Gleason, who doubled Bennett at second. Hanlon stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch. Richardson for the second time fanned the air, retiring the side. Caruthers opened with a line drive to right for a base. Foutz hit a hot one, which White stopped and forced Caruthers at second, the batter reaching first in safety. Welch hit to Rowe, who with Dunlap and Ganzel, completed a double play.

Fifth inning-Ganzel hit a high fly to right, which Caruthers caught off the fence, receiving a round of applause for his pluck. Rowe flew out to Latham. Thompson again hit past Gleason for a base, and stole second, but was left, as White hit to Latham and was thrown out at first. Robinson was unable to make connection with the ball after four attempts, and sat down. Boyle hit a high foul fly which fell into Richardson's hands. Latham hit to Rowe and was thrown out at first.

Sixth inning-Dunlap hit a high fly in front of the plate, which Foutz caught. Bennett flew out to O'Neill. Hanlon drove a hard ball past second and stole second. He was left, however, as Conway flew out to Welch. Gleason opened with a hot grounder to center for a base. O'Neill stepped up to the plate and the crowd cheered. But such is the uncertainty of base-ball, the king hitter fanned the air four times and sat down. Comiskey flew out to Ganzel. Caruthers ended the inning by hitting to Rowe and dying at first.

Seventh inning-Richardson hit to Gleason, who fumbled, and the batter reached first. He stole second. Ganzel hit to right and Richardson scored. Rowe hit to right for a base. Thompson hit to Robinson and died at first, but each base runner advanced. White hit in front of the plate. Foutz touched Ganzel, who was attempting to score, and then threw the Deacon out at first, completing a neat double play. Foutz hit to Dunlap and was thrown out at first. Welch set the crowd wild by driving the ball into the right field seats, the hit netting him three bases. Robinson then drove the ball to center for a base and Welch scored. Robinson was caught napping a moment later by Conway. Boyle flew out to Rowe.

Eighth inning-Dunlap hit to Robinson and was thrown out at first. Bennett hit a corker to center for a base and went to second on a passed ball. Hanlon hit to Gleason and died at first, Bennett going to third. He was left, however, as Conway flew out to Welch. Latham went to first on balls. Gleason flew out to Ganzel. Latham stole second. O'Neill flew out to Thompson, Latham going to third on the play. Comiskey hit to center and Latham scored. Comiskey stole second and came all the way home on Bennett's wild throw, which got by Hanlon.

Ninth inning-Richardson hit to Gleason and was retired at first. Ganzel hit to Robinson and sat down. Rowe hit to Gleason and died at first. It was now the Browns' last opportunity to win and Dave Foutz opened the sport with a drive into the right-field seats for two bases. Welch fouled out to Bennett and the crowd commenced to leave. Robinson flew out to Rowe, and as Boyle flew out to Rowe the game was lost.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 12, 1887

I would suggest reading the first sentence of the Globe's article in the voice of John Facenda. Try it now: "A cold, raw wind from the northwest, that went right to the bone, blew across Sportsman's Park..." Not exactly "The autumn wind is a pirate" but it's still fun.

No comments: