Gas in your home…as safe as gas in a zeppelin!
At first, it sounds like a no-brainer. Lefty Grove (left) has been the ace of the staff, going 20-6 with a 2.81 ERA. But Lefty is, as his name implies, a lefty. And the Cubs lineup is extremely right-heavy, with 7 of the 8 position players batting right handed. Will Connie go with him anyway, or will he try something more coy? Mack’s not saying. As he told the Inquirer earlier this week:
I am not going to give any inkling of my choice for the first game until I ask (assistant coach) Bill Gleason to hand him a ball to warm up fifteen minutes before the opening game starts.
McCarthy thinks it could be any of the A’s regular starting four on the hill tomorrow at Wrigley Field. “The Athletics have four pitchers who have earned the respect of their own league’s batsmen, and…they are Grove, Walberg, Earnshaw, and Quinn. If Connie Mack’s calculations take in any other pitchers than these four, save for relief duty, no one has heard about it.”
The Cubs are expected to start right hander Charlie Root, who went 19-6 with a 3.57 ERA. More details on both teams’ starting pitchers tomorrow.
The first pitch of the 1929 WOrld Series will be thrown at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. On the hill for the Cubs will be Charlie Root (left). Root is the ace of the Cubs staff, going 19-6 this season with a 3.47 ERA. He’s a tobacco chewer and is tough as nails righty. As for the A’s we still have no idea as of press time who will be pitching. OUr best guess is Lefty Grove, but have no support to back that up other than that he’s the undisputed ace of the staff.
The game will be presented live on our Score-o-Matic at 2 p.m. You can also hear the game on your Atwater Kent radios. If you do not already have one, worry not. The Stern and Company store at 712 Market sells them and is open today!
Grand Opening of the Hotel Adelphia, created by the renowned (but hardly critically acclaimed) Horace Trumbauer, who helped design the “Great Greek Garage” known as the Philadelphia Art Museum that the critics have been blasting these past 4 years. The cooking at the event will be French yet reasonable. They’ll have a late night menu starting at 10 p.m.
(Click on pics to see larger images)
With the first game of the World Series only minutes from beginning, Connie Mack just shocked players on both sides by sending out little used Howard Ehmke to warm up to pitch! The 35-year old Ehmke has been kicking around the majors since 1915, when he debuted in the old Federal League. He only pitched 11 times this season, and actually missed a late season road trip because Mack didn’t think he’d be useful. He’s pitched less than 13 innings in the past two months! What on earth could Mack be thinking? Will he use the submariner to confuse Cubs hitters, then bring in Lefty in the 2nd inning? Or has the old man lost it, and think his best chance for Game 1 victory is with a pitcher who’s started one game since August 7th? I can tell you one thing…Joe McCarthy has to be every bit as confused as we are. Just a few days ago, he said, “The Athletics have four pitchers who have earned the respect of their own league’s batsmen, and…they are Grove, Walberg, Earnshaw, and Quinn. If Connie Mack’s calculations take in any other pitchers than these four, save for relief duty, no one has heard about it.”
First pitch is at 2 p.m. Oh boy, this should be interesting! As former umpire and current sportswriter Bill Evans just turned and said to me, “Surely Mack is kidding. He wouldn’t dare tempt fate by using a lame-arm pitcher with a half-dozen able-bodied stars sitting on the bench.” *
*Quote from Connie Mack: The Turbulent and Triumphant Years, which I will be using quite heavily as a source throughout this project. An excellent book.
Charlie Root is on the hill, and Max Bishop just stepped up to the plate! You may not be able to attend Game 1 of the World Series, but you can “watch” the plays happen as they occur on the Play-O-Matic, brought to us by Backtobaseball.com. We’ll be back with some analysis of today’s game in the evening paper, and a full report tomorrow morning! Want to know more about the lineups before you watch the game? You can read about the Cubs lineup here and the A’s lineup here. You can learn more about Playograph machines here.
Two months ago, in the midst of his season-long struggles with his health and his pitching, 35-year old Howard Ehmke was called into Connie Mack’s office, located in the spire above the main entrance to Shibe. He saw the 15 telegrams on the desk of Mr. Mack when he walked in the room. He had cleared waivers. No team wanted him. “Howard,” said Mack when Ehmke had taken a seat. “I am going to let you go. I am sorry.”
“Mr. Mack,” pleaded Ehmke. “Please give me a chance. My arm hasn’t been right, but I’m trying all the time to get it into shape. I’ll even let you suspend me without pay until such time as my arm improves and I can pitch again. I’ve been in the league for a long time and I never have been on a championship team. Just let me go into the World Series and then you can do anything you wish.”
Mack thought it over, then said, “All right, Howard, we’ll just let this rest between ourselves…I’ll give you another chance. And when you tell me your arm is right I’ll take you up.”*
It was a beautiful day for baseball yesterday in Chicago, and that glorious young ballpark they have in Chicago was packed to the gills with over 50,000 fans. Most of them were expecting to see a heavyweight bout between Charlie Root and Lefty Grove. Instead they watched in shock as a few minutes before gametime as sidewinder Howard Ehmke, so close to being released two months earlier, started to warm up. Two months earlier, not a single team wanted Ehmke on their team. And yet here he was, starting Game 1 of the 1929 World Series. Apparently, he thought his arm was right.
The fans were indeed treated to a pitching duel, as Root was every bit as good as advertised. Ehmke, meanwhile, struggled a bit in the first. He allowed a single to Woody English, then Rogers Hornsby caught a hold of one that brought the whole house to its feet, but was snagged just in front of the bricks in right by Bing Miller. Ehmke found himself in trouble again in the 3rd, as the Cubs got runners to 2nd and 3rd with only one out and Hornsby and Hack Wilson the next two at the plate. Disaster seemed eminent. But Ehmke calmly struck out the mighty Hornsby, then did the same to Wilson, and the scoreboard continued to fill with aughts.
Ehmke got stronger as the game went on, striking out the side in the 6th. Root was every bit as effective, keeping the mighty A’s to a mere two hits through 6 innings. But in the top of the 7th, the Beast went into Beast mode. Jimmie Foxx (right) delivered a shot into the left field bleachers, and the A’s took a 1-0 lead.
Ehmke got into trouble again in the bottom of the the 7th, as the Cubs had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. But Ehmke coaxed pinch hitter Cliff Heathcote to fly out to shallow left, then struck out pinch hitter Gabby Hartnett.
The game went into the 9th inning with the A’s holding that slimmest of margins. Reliever Guy Bush was on the hill for the Cubs. MIckey Cochrane led off the inning with a single. The Cubs should have then gotten a double play, but young shortstop Woody English booted the ball, and the A’s had runners on 1st and 2nd. Up came Jimmie Foxx. He too hit one right at English…and English flubbed it again! Now the A’s had the bases loaded with no outs, and a Bing Miller single knocked in two. The A’s took a 3-0 lead into the 9th with Ehmke still on the hill.
In the bottom of the 9th, Kiki Cuyler reached 2nd on a throwing error by Jimmy Dykes, and scored on a Riggs Stephenson single. Charlie Grimm followed up with another single, and now the Cubs brought the winning run to the plate in the form of pinch hitter Footsie Blair. But Mack stood by his man, and Ehmke got Blair to groundout. Up came another pinch hitter, Chick Tolson, standing in for the pitcher. And Ehmke ended this most memorable Game 1 by doing what he had done all game…earning a strikeout. It was a World Series record 13th strikeout, and the A’s victoriously headed back to their clubhouse with a 1-0 Series lead.
*quotes come courtesy of an October 9th, 1929 article in the Milwaukee Journal.
Game 2 of the 1929 World Series will take place today at 2 p.m. No surprises at pitcher today. On the mound for the A’s will be 29-year old righty George Earnshaw (left). Earnshaw had a splendid season, going 24-8 with a 3.29 ERA. “Moose”, as he’s called, intimidates opponents with his size, as he stands an imposing 6’4″, 210 pounds. A former 3-sport star at Swarthmore college, he later signed on with the Baltimore Orioles, the independent minor league team that paid it’s players as well as many major league teams. Therefore, Earnshaw never made it to the bigs until he was 28 years old. He struggled with control in his rookie season, but the patience of Mickey Cochrane behind the plate led him to settle down, and this year he was a real big six, leading the majors in wins. He’s got that combination of dominance and wildness that makes batters’ knees shiver: he led the league in walks and was second to Grove in strikeouts. He has an animated windup and an excellent curveball, though he leans very heavily on the fastball.
Opposing him will be Cubs pitcher Pat Malone, who led the National League in wins with 22 and in strikeouts with 166. He’s also not a half-bad hitter, as he hit .248 with 4 homers on the season. Pat’s known to be Hack Wilson’s drinking buddy, and the two of them drinking in Chicago is probably what keeps Al Capone rich. Let’s hope for the Cubs’ sake he stayed off the bottle last night. Action starts at 2 p.m.
From top to bottom, Mickey Cochrane, George Earnshaw, Bing Miller, Mule Haas, Al Simmons, and Eddie Rommel. And speaking of hats, you can get your official 1929 Philadelphia A’s hat at Pro League Authentics.