This day in baseball: Earnshaw leads the A’s to World Series win

Philadelphia Athletics pitcher George Earnshaw defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-1, on October 8, 1930 to secure a World Series victory for Philadelphia. Throughout the Series, Earnshaw collected two wins and a 0.72 ERA, and also pitched seven scoreless innings as Game 5 starter, but ended up with a no-decision as Lefty Grove relieved him in the eighth and took the win on Jimmie Foxx’s two-run homer. A’s manager Connie Mack gave more credit to Earnshaw for the Athletics’ World Series victory over the Cardinals than any other player.

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1934 Goudey baseball card of George Earnshaw of the Philadelphia Athletics (public domain)

This day in baseball: Walter Johnson’s 36-win season

Washington Senators pitcher Walter Johnson defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 1-0, on September 29, 1913 to record his final decision of the season. Johnson would appear in only one more game in 1913 and finished the season with an impressive 36-7 record and a mind-boggling 346.1 innings pitched. Over the course of the season, Johnson also notched two saves, 243 strikeouts, and only gave up 9 home runs and 40 walks. He concluded 1913 with an ERA of 1.14.

Walter Johnson (Library of Congress)

This day in baseball: Schoolboy Rowe’s win streak ends

After winning a record-tying (at that time) 16 consecutive games on the mound, Lynwood Thomas “Schoolboy” Rowe finally lost to the Athletics, 13-5, at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park on August 29, 1934. The Tigers’ right-hander’s mark tied the American League record for consecutive wins shared by Smoky Joe Wood, Walter Johnson, and Lefty Grove.

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Schoolboy Rowe, 1936 (public domain)

This day in baseball: Shibe’s stance on lively baseballs

On June 5, 1920, in the midst of an explosion in the number of home runs being hit around the league, Philadelphia Athletics vice president Tom Shibe insisted that baseballs were not “livelier” that season and that the increase in round trippers could be attributed to the elimination of the spitball. Shibe also happened to be part owner of the Reach Baseball Company, which manufactured the league’s game balls. The only changes, Shibe would insist, consisted only of “improvements in the method of manufacture.”

Later, others would state that while Shibe may have truly believed his stance, it was those basic improvements to the baseball that likely had the unintended side effect of making it more elastic. In 1936, Jim Nasium would state, “The funny thing about it was that Tom Shibe, working only to improve the quality of the ball and make it more durable, never realized the effect that this would have on the playing of the game.”

Reach Baseball Company sign

This day in baseball: Intentionally walking Nap Lajoie

Going into the ninth inning against the White Sox on May 23, 1901, the Athletics were trailing 11-7, but managed to load the bases with nobody out. White Sox player-manager Clark Griffith put himself into the game and intentionally¬†walked cleanup hitter Napoleon Lajoie, forcing in a run and cutting the lead to three.¬† The strategy proved successful when he induced the next three batters to ground out, thereby completing the 11-9 victory at Chicago’s South Side Park.

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South Side Park, 1907 (Chicago Daily News)

This day in baseball: Athletics win the 1910 Series

On October 23, 1910, before a crowd of 27,374, Philadelphia’s Jack Coombs won his third game of the World Series to defeat the Chicago Cubs, 7-2. The victory sealed the outcome of the Series, as the Athletics took the championship in five games. Eddie Collins had three hits, including two doubles, in that final game for the A’s.

Jack Coombs (Library of Congress)

This day in baseball: Connie Mack retires

Having spent over five decades managing in the major leagues, Connie Mack retired as skipper of the Athletics on October 18, 1950. At the age of 87 years old , Mack left the game with the most wins and losses in the game’s history, compiling a 3731-3948 (.486) record during his 50+ years as a manager. At the time of his retirement, Mack stated, “I’m not quitting because I’m getting old, I’m quitting because I think people want me to.”

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National Baseball Hall of Fame Library/Major League Baseball/Getty Images