On October 10, 1904, 41-game winner Jack Chesbro of the Highlanders let loose a wild pitch in the ninth inning of the final game of the season. This snapped a 2-2 tie, allowing Pilgrims right-hander Bill Dinneen to claim victory as the Boston team claimed the AL pennant. Dinneen finished the year having completed every game he started during the season, throwing 337.2 consecutive innings without relief during his streak of 37 consecutive complete games.
For the second time in major league history, two one hundred-loss teams faced one another on October 6, 1923. The 52-100 Beaneaters beat the 50-102 Phillies, 5-4, in the first game of a doubleheader. Boston had also been part of the first one hundred-loss matchup when the 50-100 club played 45-103 Brooklyn in 1905.
I enjoyed watching Edgar Martinez play while growing up. I would say that watching and hearing about Edgar was how I truly came to understand what a designated hitter was.
Cy Young pitched and recorded his 511th and final career victory on September 22, 1911, when he defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates. Young kept the Pirates scoreless at Forbes Field, winning 1-0. With a season record of 35-101, the Boston Rustlers won only three contests in 22 attempts against Pittsburgh during the 1911 season, with two of the victories coming as a result of shutouts thrown by the 44 year-old Cy Young.
On September 17, 1900, Reds shortstop Tommy Corcoran left his position and began digging around the third base coaching box with his spikes at Philadelphia Park. The Reds captain ended up digging out a metal box containing an electrical device inside with attached wires. It was suspected that the device was being used by the Phillies in a sophisticated scheme to steal signs, though I’m curious as to what tipped off Corcoran to start digging.
After swearing at umpire Mal Eason on September 10, 1914, Braves shortstop Johnny Evers wound up with a three-day suspension from baseball. Evers, however, insisted that he had been talking to the ball and not the umpire.
The 1978 World Series pitted the defending champion New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a rematch of the previous year’s World Series. Although the Dodgers won the first two games of the Series, the Yankees swept the next four, winning in six games to repeat as champions.
The Series featured some memorable confrontations between Dodgers rookie pitcher Bob Welch and Reggie Jackson of the Yankees. In Game 2, Welch struck Jackson out in the top of the ninth with two outs and the tying and go-ahead runs on base to end the game. In Game 4, Jackson avenged the strikeout when he singled off Welch to advance Roy White to second, allowing White to eventually score the game winning run on a Lou Piniella single. In Game 6, Jackson hit a two-run homer off Welch in the seventh inning to increase the Yankees’ lead to 7–2 and solidify the Yankees’ victory to win the Series.
The poem below was written by AP correspondent Jules Loh. In a tribute to the famous “Casey At the Bat” verse, Loh writes about Jackson’s Game 2 strikeout to Welch to end the game.
The outlook wasn’t brilliant
for the Yankees in L.A.
The score stood 4-3, two out,
one inning left to play.
But when Dent slid safe at second
and Blair got on at first
Every screaming Dodger fan had
cause to fear the worst.
For there before the multitude —
Ah destiny! Ah fate!
Reggie Jackson, mighty Reggie,
was advancing to the plate.
Reggie, whose three home runs
had won the year before,
Reggie, whose big bat tonight
fetched every Yankee score.
On the mound to face him
stood the rookie, young Bob Welch.
A kid with a red hot fastball —
Reggie’s pitch — and nothing else.
Fifty-thousand voices cheered
as Welch gripped ball in mitt.
One hundred thousand eyes watched Reggie rub his bat and spit.
“Throw your best pitch, kid, and duck,” Reggie seemed to say.
The kid just glared. He must have
known this wasn’t Reggie’s day.
His fist pitch was a blazer.
Reggie missed it clean
Fifty-thousand throats responded
with a Dodger scream.
They squared off, Reggie and the kid, each knew what he must do.
And seven fastballs later,
the count was three and two.
No shootout on a dusty street
out here in the Far West
Could match the scene:
A famous bat,
a kid put to the test.
One final pitch. The kid reared back
and let a fastball fly.
Fifty-thousand Dodger fans
gave forth one final cry…
Ah, the lights still shine on Broadway,
but there isn’t any doubt
The Big Apple has no joy left.
Mighty Reggie has struck out.