[10/11/15] Mayer whitewashes Chicago in senior circuit opener

BY PETE PETERS / Grand National Tribune

CHICAGO (Monday, Oct. 11, 1915) — Gavvy Cravath singled twice and scored both times, breaking a scoreless tie in the sixth and doubling the lead in the ninth inning of a 3-0 series-opening victory by the Philadelphia Phillies over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series today at West Side Grounds.

Erskine Mayer tossed a shutout at the Western Division champions from the City of Broad Shoulders, allowing 6 hits and striking out 2 over 9 innings of work. Fred Luderus also had a pair of hits.

The Phillies had the game’s first two hits as well as the fourth, but did not score until their fifth hit came in the sixth inning. Cravath doubled with one out to bring up Beals Becker, who singled to left to crack open the stalemate. Becker squandered the chance to become an insurance run when he was caught stealing.

Philadelphia added on in the ninth inning behind a Cravath leadoff single. Becker sacrificed the runner to second base and Bert Niehoff doubled him home, eventually stealing third and setting the stage to score on Bill Killefer’s hit.

The Cubs poked out four leadoff hits, but followed each of them with an out: in each inning from the fourth to the sixth, the leadoff single was the extent of the Baby Bears’ attack. Art Phelan added a one-out double in the seventh, but that did no good followed by a pair of groundouts.

Chicago finally got a second hit in the same inning in the eighth, when Jimmy Lavender singled and was forced at second for the second out. Heinie Zimmerman singled to left, leaving men on the corners as the tying and go-ahead runs, but Cy Williams started a string of four straight Cub outs to end the game.

Wilbur Good had two hits to lead Chicago, which had no runs to score or bat in. Niehoff joined Cravath in the scoring column for Philadelphia.

Lavender allowed 3 runs on 8 hits in 8 1/3 innings, striking out 10 and walking 2. George Pierce got the last two outs.

The series continues tomorrow, when the Cubs will send Hippo Vaughn out to try to level the score and the Phillies will dispatch Pete Alexander to try and move them within a game of the league pennant. First ball is set for 2 o’clock local time (3 o’clock east coast time).

[10/11/15] Tigers hack their way to 1-0 ALCS lead

BY JOHN JOHNSON / Grand National Tribune

DETROIT (Monday, Oct. 11, 1915) — Donie Bush roped three hits and Harry Coveleski threw eight strong innings while batting in a run today in the opening game of the American League Championship Series, which the Detroit Tigers won 5-2 over the Boston Red Sox at Navin Field.

The Tigers sent eight men to the plate in the second inning and took a lead they never relinquished, adding two runs in the fifth and one more in the eighth. Bush scored twice but no other man had more than one hit, run scored or run batted in.

Coveleski gave up 6 hits and as many walks with 2 runs and 4 strikeouts. After he was lifted for a pinch hitter, Red Oldham got three of the four hitters he faced in the ninth for something that will one day be called a save.

Dutch Leonard pitched seven innings and a batter for the Red Sox, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits and 5 walks while striking out 4. Ernie Shore gave up a hit and two walks in relief, leaving the bases loaded but not conceding a run in his inning of work.

Hooks Janvrin and Duffy Lewis each posted two hits for Boston, which included a single and a double for each man.

Boston nearly got out of the first jam of the game, striking out two men to bring up Coveleski after Bobby Veach walked and Bush singled in the second. But the pitcher singled up the middle, driving in a run, and the second run scored on a walk to Ossie Vitt.

The Red Sox trimmed their deficit in the top of the fifth on a Dick Hoblitzell double and a Janvrin single, leaving their tying run at first base.

The Tigers added on in the bottom of the inning when Vitt tripled and Sam Crawford walked. A Marty Kavanagh single made it 3-0 and left runners on the corners. Veach hit into a force play, which erased Kavanagh and scored Crawford, before a popup ended the inning.

Boston also squandered a chance to tie the game in the sixth, loading the bases with two outs on hits by Larry Gardner and Everett Scott along with a pair of walks. The second free pass, to Leonard, drove in a run to make it 4-2, but Hoblitzell flied out to end the inning with the go-ahead run at first.

Detroit added an insurance tally in the eighth on Bush’s infield single and a walk to Ralph Young. Stanage bunted both men into scoring position before George Burns singled through the drawn-in infield.

The best-of-5 series continues tomorrow at 2 o’clock east coast time with the second game on Navin field. Boston’s Smoky Joe Wood opposes Detroit’s Hooks Dauss on the mound.

[10/8/15] Williams homer leads Cubs to National League West title

BY PETE PETERS / Grand National Tribune

CHICAGO (Friday, Oct. 8, 1915) — Wilbur Good delivered three hits, driving in one run and scoring another, and Cy Williams hit a two-run homer to give Hippo Vaughn all the help he needed today as the Chicago Cubs took the National League western division title with a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at the West Side Grounds.

The victory was Chicago’s 74th of the season, one more than the 73 posted by joint runners-up St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The Cubs and Cardinals each played makeup games Friday to settle the season results.

The Cubs scored twice in the first inning, getting a Good single and steal before Bob Fisher grounded out to move him to third. One flyout later, Williams cleared the right-field wall, or rather caused the ball to do so, and it was 2-0 Chicago.

Chicago added on in the second inning on Polly McLarry’s two-out single. After Vaughn reached on an error, Good singled to right to drive in McLarry for a 3-0 lead.

Boston put up single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, getting three straight hits from Bert Niehoff, Bill Killefer and Milt Stock in the former case. Possum Whitted started the sixth with a walk and stole second before scoring on Gavvy Cravath’s single to pull within 3-2.

The Braves got a one-out walk in the eighth inning and a two-out walk in the ninth. Stock also singled in the ninth, putting the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first, but Dode Paskert struck out in a pinch-hitting role to end the game.

Vaughn got the win despite being lifted with one out in the eighth, allowing 5 hits and 2 runs to go with 6 strikeouts. Pete Standridge retired five of the seven men he faced, getting one strikeout.

Pete Alexander pitched for Philadelphia. He allowed 9 hits, 2 earned runs and 3 runs total and struck out 2. Stock led the Phillie offense with two hits.

With the Cubs crowned Western Division champions, they will progress to the National League championship series which begins Monday in Chicago. The Phillies, as eastern division champions rather than regular-season opponents, will form the opposition for the best-of-5 series. First ball is set for 2 o’clock local time.

[10/8/15] Snyder’s bat keeps Cardinals in National League West race

BY JOHN JOHNSON / Grand National Tribune

BOSTON (Friday, Oct. 8, 1915) — Frank Snyder laced four hits, including a two-run triple in the sixth inning and the go-ahead double in the tenth, as the St. Louis Cardinals kept their season alive with a 6-4, 10-inning win over the Boston Braves on Robison Field.

The Cardinals improved to 73-81 with the win, level with the Pirates in the National League West and half a game behind the Cubs.

Tom Long scored twice for St. Louis and Snyder also drove in four of the six runs. Slim Sallee pitched all 10 innings without a walk, striking out 4 and allowing 4 runs to go with 10 hits.

The Braves got offense from Hank Gowdy, who racked up three hits including a double, and Ed Fitzpatrick, who had a double and a triple and scored twice. Joe Connolly singled twice and joined Gowdy in driving a run home.

Tom Hughes took the loss for the Beantowners, who took the lead twice but lost it both times. Hughes worked 10 innings of 9-hit, 4-walk ball, striking out 11.

The home team got on the scoreboard first in the third inning, getting a Herbie Moran double in front of Gowdy’s single to take the lead. Hughes bunted the catcher to second, where he scored on a Fitzpatrick triple, and the third run scored on Red Smith’s base hit.

St. Louis tied the score with two hits and a walk in the sixth inning. After Miller Huggins drew a walk and Long singled, Snyder’s triple scored both men, and Snyder himself came in on a John Wilson sacrifice fly.

Fitzpatrick doubled to become the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, taking third on a ground ball and scoring on Connolly’s single through the drawn-in infield.

Dots Miller led off the St. Louis ninth with a single, taking second on Art Butler’s sacrifice bunt before Cozy Dolan singled him home. Dolan never got a chance to be the go-ahead run, though: he was caught stealing for the second out.

The Braves went down in order in the ninth, sending the game to extra innings, where the Cardinals opened with four straight men reaching base. Bob Bescher doubled, Huggins walked and Long hit into a force play to leave runners on the corners. Snyder delivered the winning blow, a two-run double to left.

Gowdy started the bottom of the inning with a double, instantly putting the tying run in the batter’s box, but the Braves grounded out three times to end their season.

The victory means that the Cardinals stay alive in the National League West race, needing a Cubs loss to force a three-way playoff that would also involve the Pirates and start tomorrow in Chicago. More details on the playoff picture in the National League will be known tonight after the Cubs-Phillies game concludes in Chicago.

[10/7/15] Four teams still alive in NL at season’s nominal end

BY JOHN JOHNSON / Grand National Tribune

ALLEGHENY NATIONAL FOREST, Pa. (Thursday, Oct. 7, 1915) —

Current Regular Season Standings
National League East: Philadelphia (90-62) over Boston (83-69)
National League West: Chicago (73-80) leads Pittsburgh (73-81) and St. Louis (72-81)
American League East: Boston (101-50) over Washington (85-68)
American League West: Detroit (100-54) over Chicago (93-61)

National League West Still Unsettled

Any of three teams could still win the National League West in the final game of the season. On Friday, the Cubs will host Philadelphia and the Cardinals will travel to Boston. A Chicago win would give them the league championship, while a loss ensures that Pittsburgh remains alive. If the Cubs lose, St. Louis could make it a three-way tie with a victory.

Chicago won more games than it lost among both remaining challengers, giving the Cubs home-field advantage in any potential playoff. St. Louis holds a similar edge over Pittsburgh in the event of a three-way tie.

A two-way tie between the Pirates and Cubs would be broken by a best-of-3 playoff, beginning Saturday in Pittsburgh before moving to Chicago for Sunday and perhaps Monday.

A three-way tie would be broken by a series of playoff games among the three teams involved. Each team will be eliminated upon its second loss, so as many as five games could be required.

The Cubs would host Pittsburgh on Saturday and St. Louis on Sunday, followed by the Cardinals and Pirates in St. Louis on Monday. If all three teams win once, the Tuesday game will again be St. Louis and Pittsburgh, with the victor returning to Chicago on Wednesday for the finale; if one team is eliminated by the end of Monday, play would continue among the other two teams until the second team loses twice.

Because the western team hosts each league’s championship series opener this year, there would be no day off between the western playoff and the National League championship, unless the schedule requires travel from Pittsburgh to St. Louis.

Postseason Schedule Unveiled

Because the season ended on Thursday, the usual method of allowing an off day before the playoffs would result in an unusual schedule in which the first three games were on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. In view of that, the commissioner has determined that the American League pennant series will not begin until Monday in Detroit. After two games there, the teams will move to Boston for three more beginning Thursday.

If the Cubs win the division on Friday or if the playoff is decided Sunday, the National League series would follow the same schedule, beginning in Chicago or Pittsburgh and moving to Philadelphia.

The American League champion will host the first, second, sixth and seventh games of the World Series, which will begin no earlier than Monday, Oct. 18. Whether or not travel days will be built into the schedule will be determined once the teams are known.

All playoff games will begin at 2 o’clock prevailing local time. With Detroit shifting to east coast time in May, Chicago and St. Louis are the only places in the major leagues observing central time.

If the Red Sox and Phillies meet in the World Series, Boston would be declared champion and we would move to 1916.

Red Sox To Turn Tables, Rent Field From Braves

With the Braves out of the running and their stadium available, the Red Sox have announced plans to play their postseason games in spacious Braves Field. The steel monolith opened in August to crowds of 46,000 – more than 10,000 above what Fenway Park can handle.

Umpires Set For Additional Affairs

The two league offices have announced the umpires who will handle postseason assignments.

The National League assigned Bill Klem and Cy Rigler to the World Series while Hank O’Day and Ernie Quigley work the pennant playoff.

The American League placed Frank O’Loughlin and Billy Evans on the Fall Classic, leaving Tom Connolly and Bill Dinneen on the league championship.

The National League’s games on Friday will include Klem and George Cockill in Philadelphia; Rigler and O’Day will work in Boston. Klem and Rigler will call the game Saturday if one is necessary.

Upcoming Schedule (all times east coast time)

Friday, Oct. 8, 1915 — Jan. 3, 2020
Cardinals at Braves, 2 o’clock: John Johnson
Phillies at Cubs, 3 o’clock: Pete Peters

Saturday, Oct. 9, 1915 – Jan. 4, 2020 (any game: Pete Peters)
If Cubs win: no game
If Phillies and Braves win: Cubs at Pittsburgh, game one, 2 o’clock
If Phillies and Cardinals win: Pittsburgh at Cubs, 3 o’clock

Sunday, Oct. 10, 1915 — Jan. 5, 2020 (any game: Pete Peters)
If Cubs win: no game
If Phillies and Braves win: Pittsburgh at Cubs, game two, 3 o’clock
If Phillies and Cardinals win: Cardinals at Cubs, 3 o’clock

Monday, Oct. 11, 1915 — Jan. 6, 2020
Red Sox at Detroit, game one, 2 o’clock
Pittsburgh at Cardinals (playoff), 3 o’clock
OR Phillies at NL West champion, game one, T.B.D.

1914 World Series in Press Clippings

Because the Playoff of Dreams’ 1914 World Series matchup was the same as the actual 1914 World Series matchup, we are not replaying the series in the interest of redundancy.

In order to maintain a complete archive of game recaps, though, here are the clippings for the 1914 Fall Classic from the Chicago Tribune.

Game 1 (Part 2)

Game 2 (Part 2)

Game 3 (Part 2)

Game 4 (Part 2)

The 1915 Playoff of Dreams will begin on Friday, January 3.

[10/14/14] Miracle Braves win pennant with 7-3 triumph

BY PETE PETERS / Grand National Tribune

ST. LOUIS (Wednesday, Oct. 14, 1914) — Joe Connolly and Les Mann had three hits apiece and Bill James threw a complete game for the Boston Braves, who anointed themselves 1914 National League champions with a 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals today in a winner-take-all Game 5 of the National League Championship Series at Robison Field.

Mann and Connolly each scored twice and Bruno Schmidt and Hank Gowdy each had two hits in the win.

Schmidt’s one-out double started the line moving for the Braves in the third inning. He took second on a fielding error before scoring on Johnny Evers’ single. Connolly and Rabbit Maranville each added run-scoring hits and Jack Martin reached on a throwing error for the final run of the 4-run inning.

The Braves added on in the fourth inning behind doubles from Mann and Connolly, the latter man scoring on a single by Hank Gowdy. An eighth-inning double from Mann drove in the second run.

St. Louis did all of its scoring in the seventh inning, getting five straight singles to plate three runs. Lee Magee, Ivey Wingo and Art Butler scored the runs and Wingo, Dan Griner and Cozy Dolan drove them in.

James allowed three runs on 9 hits, striking out two men and walking one. Griner took the loss after 6 runs on 3 hits in 7 innings, striking out 3 and walking 1. Bill Doak finished the pitching chores.

The win drove the Braves into the World Series, of which they will host the first two games at Fenway Park. Because the Braves and Philadelphia Athletics actually met in the 1914 World Series, we will skip that series on the Playoff of Dreams and proceed to 1915 in due course.