1924 World Series Film

October 5, 2014

This is a pretty interesting find from the Library of Congress. Here’s the story behind it.

H/T to my Mom, who texted a CNN story about this to me.


1924 World Champions

June 2, 2007


from baseballhalloffame.org

1924 World Series Game 7

June 1, 2007

Friday October 10, 1924
Griffith Stadium

“Johnson had sustained two heart-breaking setbacks at the hands of the Giants, and it seemed the irony of fate would keep him from the goal of a lifetime.” – Sporting News 10/16/1924

The only irony in the end was that Johnson, who was baseball’s best starting pitcher for a number of years (and possibly the all-time pitcher), had his most glorious moment in baseball come in a relief appearance.

National Anthem at Game 7 of the 1924 World Series

Early on, however, it seemed that the Nationals were prepared to, quite literally, throw away their first World Series. The team had committed eight errors in the first six games of the series, many of them costing runs (just 15 of the Giants 24 runs were charged as earned runs). During the season, the Nats had the AL’s best defensive efficiency rating, and were second in fielding percentage, but that seemed to all be out the window in the World Series.

After manager Bucky Harris gave his team a 1-0 lead with his second home run of the series, a solo shot off of Nehf in the fourth; his team’s defense almost cost Washington a World Series. The team commited two errors in the fifth, part of a three-run inning for the Giants, that gave the National League champions a 3-1 lead. The runs came off of George Mogridge, who relieved starter Curly Ogden after he faced only two batters.

Harris touches home after his fourth inning home run

The Ogden start was a case of Harris trying to out-maneuver his counterpart John McGraw. He announced the right-handed Ogden would start so that McGraw would send out his lefty-heavy lineup. After a strikeout and a walk, Harris quickly removed Ogden to bring in the lefty Mogridge.

By the time the score was 3-1, it seemed that the strategy, while possibly clever, was not working. The score stayed the same until the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Nemo Leibold doubled down the left field line. He reached third on Muddy Ruel’s single, and Bennie Tate drew a walk to load the bases. New York starter Virgil Barnes seemed close to working out of the jam when he got McNeely on a lazy fly to left, but the manager would not let his club lose. Harris lined a single to left that tied the game.

Shirley Povich, 70 years later, described the scene in the ninth inning.

Now Harris needed a new pitcher going into the ninth and the crowd was clamoring, “We Want Johnson!” When Johnson strode to the mound the stadium was in an uproar. He could yet win a World Series game and so much of America would be pleased.

Johnson ran into some trouble right away, and had to pitch around a one-out triple to get out of the ninth with the score still tied. He and Giant pitchers Hugh McQuillan and Jack Bentley exchanged scoreless innings until the 12th. Johnson had to pitch around a lead off single to get out of the top half of the inning, but, as it turned out, a Hank Gowdy fly out to left would be the ace pitcher’s last pitch of the game.

In the bottom of the 12th it was New York’s turn to have defensive difficulty. With one out, Muddy Ruel earned a second chance when his pop foul was dropped by Gowdy. He made the most of it, firing a double to left for his second hit of the game and the series. Johnson, batting for himself, reached when the short stop Jackson booted his grounder, bringing Earl McNeely to the plate with men at first and second and only one out.

Who better to describe the play than Washington’s long time sports writer, Shirley Povich:

Third baseman Lindstrom was poised for a routine play on McNeely’s sharp grounder, maybe an inning-ending double play. And then for the Giants — horrors. For the Senators — glee. Whatever McNeely’s ground ball hit, a pebble or a divot or a minefield, it took a freak high hop over Lindstrom’s head into the outfield for a single and Ruel flew home from second with the run that won everything for the Senators.

In Griffith Stadium the crowd catapulted out of the stands to thrash onto the field and to dance on the dugout roofs, refusing to leave the park until long after nightfall.

The next day, of course, it was up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House for the World Series champions, the streets lined by tens of thousands. The city’s joy was best expressed, perhaps, by the enthusiasm of the men on the hook-and-ladder float of the Cherrydale, Va., Fire Department, which flaunted a huge banner that read: “Let Cherrydale Burn.”


1924 World Series Game 6

May 31, 2007

Thursday October 9, 1924
Griffith Stadium

Roger Peckinpaugh returned to the Washington lineup for the first time since he left Game 3 with what was originally reported as a “charley-horse,” but turned out to be a tendon problem. The return would be short-lived, however, as the veteran short stop re-injured himself in the ninth inning of Game 6.

He stuck around long enough, however, to get two hits and score a run in a game in which runs were particularly valuable. Game 6 was a duel of lefties; Tom Zachary of the Nats against Art Nehf of the Giants. Both pitchers had won their previous series start in impressive fashion, allowing just five earned runs between them in 20 1/3 innings pitched.

The Giants got to Zachary early with the help of a first inning RBI single by George Kelly. It was not a trend, however, as Zachary allowed just five more New York hits over the next nine innings, including a stretch in which he retired 14 out of 15 Giants.

The only Washington runs came on a single by Bucky Harris that scored both Peckinpaugh and Earl McNeely in the bottom of the fifth. The 2-1 lead held up thanks to Zachary’s pitching, and the Nats forced a seventh game.


1924 World Series Game 5

May 30, 2007

Wednesday October 8, 1924
Polo Grounds

49,271 fans packed the Polo Grounds on what was the coldest day of the series. It was thought that Walter Johnson would bounce back from his game one defeat with a victory in Game 5, but it was not to be. Johnson’s second World Series start turned out worse than his first, and it looked like the book might be closed on the post season career of the best pitcher the game had ever seen.

The game, like the first three, was close most of the way, but the Giants used an eighth inning rally to put some distance between themselves and the Nats.

The Giants broke the scoreless tie in the third, when three straight off of Johnson netted a run, the last of which was an RBI hit by Freddie Lindstrom. Washington evened the score in the fifth, when Ralph Miller, still in the lineup due to Roger Peckinpaugh’s injury, singled home Joe Judge.

For the second time in the series, a Giants’ pitcher hit a home run. This time it was starter Jack Bentley, who, with a man on, took a Johnson pitch into the right-field stands to give New York a 3-1 lead. Unlike Rosy Ryan, Bentley’s power was not particularly surprising, considering that he had hit 11 during the season.

Johnson held the opposition scoreless in the sixth and seventh, while his offense pulled within one thanks to Goose Goslin’s third round-tripper of the series that came in the eighth inning with the bases empty. The home run chased Bentley from the game, who had allowed only two runs on nine Senator hits. Hugh McQuillan came on to retire the Nats in the eighth.

The home half of the eighth was a nightmare for Johnson and his team. The Giants managed to load the bases with no outs, thanks in part to a Johnson error on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Travis Jackson hit a sacrifice fly to left, and one out later McQuillan and Lindstrom hit back-to-back RBI singles to give the home team a 6-2 lead.

McQuillan, despite a one-out walk, retired the Senators pretty easily in the ninth to clinch the victory. The Giants headed back to the nation’s capital needing just one victory to clinch the franchise’s fourth World Series win since the turn of the century.


1924 World Series Game 4

May 29, 2007

Tuesday October 7, 1924
Polo Grounds

For the first time in the series, a team jumped to a comfortable lead and kept it. In the process, Washington was able to even the series with the Giants, and make the series a best-of-three.

The Giants actually took the early lead, however, when an error by Ossie Bluege at third allowed yet another unearned run. George Mogridge was able to get out of the first with no further damage, though it would not be the last Washington error of the game.

The Nats’ offense started taking over in the third inning. With two out and two on, Goose Goslin launched his second home run of the series, this time off of Virgil Barnes, to give Washington a 3-1 lead.

The Griffs added two more in the fifth when a Barnes wild pitch scored Earl McNeely from third, and Goslin’s bat struck again, this time with an RBI single to score manager Bucky Harris from second base.

Washington added two more runs in the eighth, helped in part by another Goslin hit. For the game, Goslin went 4-for-4 with two runs and four RBI. The Giants were able to add a few runs to make it somewhat interesting, including another unearned run in the ninth thanks to a Sam Rice mishap; but the game was in hand for Washington, who won by the final score of 7-4.


1924 World Series Game 3

May 28, 2007

Monday October 6, 1924
Polo Grounds

The Giants took advantage of some costly Washington errors to take the first game at the Polo Grounds, and claim a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The scoring started in the home half of the second inning, when a Bucky Harris error caused a chain reaction that led to two unearned runs scoring in the inning. With one out and a man on first, Travis Jackson hit a ground ball to Ossie Bluege at third, who threw a perfect strike to the manager. Harris, a sure-handed fielder if there was one, dropped the ball allowing both runners to be safe on a potential double-play ball.

The Giants added a run in the third inning, when, for the second time this series, a double-play ball scored George Kelly. The Giants had a 3-0 lead.

It didn’t take long for the Senators to strike back. They managed to load the bases with just one out in the fourth. Ralph Miller, who subbed for Roger Peckinpaugh when he left with a “charley-horse” in the second inning, hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Sam Rice with the first Washington run of the game. After Muddy Ruel drew a walk to once again load the bases, McGraw yanked starter Hugh McQuillan in favor of Rosy Ryan. Ryan walked the pinch-hitter, Bennie Tate to score the second run of the inning before he coaxed Nemo Leibold to fly out to get out of the inning with a lead.

The Giants extended their lead, however, when Ryan, the pitcher, hit a home run into the upper right-field stands in the home half of the fourth. It was the first home run Ryan had hit in his career, and one of only two that he would retire with. New York went ahead 5-2 when another Washington error, this time charged to Peckinpaugh’s replacement at short stop, led to another unearned run.

A Mule Shirley single in the bottom of the eighth knocked in the third run for Washington, but McGraw’s team quickly answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. The game entered the ninth with New York ahead 6-3.

Things looked good for Harris’ team when his own single to lead off the inning helped Washington load the bases with just one out. McGraw called on Claude Jonnard to get out of the situation, and like Ryan before him, Jonnard walked the first man he faced to force in a Washington run. Unlike Ryan, that ended Jonnard’s day (and his series). McGraw went to Mule Watson to close out the potential rally, and he did so by getting Miller to pop out, and coaxing a ground ball to third off the bat of Ruel to secure the 6-4 win.