Massacre Too Soft a Word to Convey Idea of the Game

Damon Runyon

Buffalo Courier/October 27, 1911

 

Damon Runyon Says Giants Went to Pieces When Barry Bunted and Athletics Immediately Inflicted Worst Beating New Yorkers Have Suffered This Year

Beaten in Fourth Inning, Giants Grew Worse As Game Went On

 

Philadelphia, Oct. 26.—A little of that soft, slow, slobby music, professor. All right—let ’er go.

            The tumult and the shouting dies,

The Players, with the dough, depart;

The dope, to our intense surprise

Was wrong—be still, oh aching heart.

(Piano)

There are some dollars that we bet.

(Extremely pianissimo)

Let us forget—let us forget.

 

Thirteen members of the Athletic baseball club touched the home plate at Shibe park this afternoon and Umpire Bill Klem admits it; wherefore the world’s series of 1911 passes into history with the Philadelphia American league club still champions of the world, because while this unlucky number of runners, trotters and pedestrians were passing in review before the astounded eyes of twenty some-odd thousand people, the Giants’ footprints tracked the plate but twice.

In all the bright lexicon of N. Webster there is no such word as adequately describes the sixth and last game of the post season meeting of the clubs that were best in their respective leagues.

A searching finger slides past “Massacre” and “slaughter” as too sedate and conservative to fit the case. If anybody had suggested that there were so many runs in all the world as were made by the Athletics in the seventh inning alone the suggestion would have been rejected as the vagary of a disordered brain.

Thirteen to two. My!

Well, well—so passes the big series, along with its scandals and dissensions and spikings, and untouched home plates, so pass the actor-author-athletes who have been in or of the battles and now that it is all over, who shall say that the best team did not win?

Not Connie Mack at all events.

Big Chief Wins Again

Big Chief Bender pitched this afternoon after a brief rest and Leon Ames, George Wiltse and Rube Marquard were the Giant twirlers who were squashed in the final charge of the White Elephant. The score is close to a record for a world’s series; it represents the worst whipping Johnny McGraw’s Giants have taken from any club this season.

Broken and beaten and on the run from the fourth inning, the Giants grew worse instead of better against the onslaught of the Athletic sluggers. Had the series ended Wednesday with the Giants beaten four straight, it would still have been considered a notable battle by the big town boys, and there would have been no regrets, but they won Wednesday by a wonderful stand at the eleventh hour and gave their admirers so much hope that several thousand New Yorkers moved upon Philadelphia today only to see the black robed polo grounders routed ingloriously.

They got away well and were out in front up to the third inning in the fourth. Red Ames, the unlucky Ohioan, who was pitching for the Giants, made a bad throw, which threw the McGraw crew clear out of their stride. In the seventh inning the Athletics fell upon “Hooks” Wiltse, the veteran left-hander, with fury and whaled his shoots to all corners of the lot, herding in a whole flock of runs.

There was no fight left in the Giants after that. Marquard was sent in and scored two runs by unleashing a wild pitch over Meyers’ shoulder. The crowd began leaving when the seventh closed.

Ames is called the unluckiest good pitcher in the upper circles of baseball. He proved it this afternoon. In the Wednesday game Ames relieved Marquard and pitched superb ball. He looked like a good bet on a coolish day such as today, and he stepped out bravely. The Giants slipped him a one-run lead in the firt inning and Ames cherished up to the third. It looked as if he was keeping the jinx under cover, too, but in the fourth he gave the crowd a peek.

The score at that time was 1 to 1. J. Franklin Baker of Trappe, Md., who is making a collection of base hits to touch up the gloom of the parlor back home, singled to the center. On a hit-and-run play Danny Murphy, who was resting under suspicion of owning a solid beam in his dome, because of that catch at the polo grounds Wednesday, skipped a single to the left center and Baker shoved along to third. Thereafter hitting the ball was the best thing Danny did, too.

Murray wisely let Davis’s foul fly drop to the ground and then Davis cracked a bounder to Doyle, who made a pretty play getting the ball. Then Larry hesitated, and the old copy books tell us that he who hesitates is lost, which is what happened to Larry and the game. He took a look around. There seemed to be time for Doyle to make a play at the plate on Baker, who was scudding for home, or on Davis and Murphy. Finally Doyle shot the ball to Meyers, but Baker was in by that time, Davis was safe at first and Murphy had whooped on to second.

Barry Made Circuit on Bunt

At this interesting juncture Red Ames unveiled his jinx. He got hold of Barry’s bunt and threw it toward first to get the shortstop. The ball cracked Barry on the head and bounced past Merkle into right field. Murray picked it up out there and fired it wild to Fletcher at second base to head off Barry, who was legging it in that direction, Davis and Murphy meanwhile hustling on over the plate. The ball bounced out into left field, where Devore got it for the purpose of examination. Josh also fumbled, so Baker went on in home. That was all.

There went the world’s championship title and something like $1,200 from each and every Giant player—that amount represented the difference between the winners and loser’s end.

The seven runs that the Athletics snared in the seventh made no particular difference. That was merely rubbing salt in the Giants’ wounds. G. Hooks was out there on the mound with nothing much but a bare left arm and the youthful disciples of the serious McGillycuddy stepped blithely to the bat, one by one, and pasted the ball to the outskirts of Philadelphia.

The Giants had a band with them and the musical youngsters did their best to instill tuneful courage into the hearts of the Giants, but they were past the soothing charm of even melody.

When the gotham crew were getting the boots in the seventh Philadelphia laid back and guffawed. It was the first hearty laugh they have had over there at New York’s expense since 1905. They had their usual demoniacal instruments for disturbance and they made a noise like a Chinese new year’s celebration throughout the stampede.

Sitting on the New York bench, grey as a badger from his season’s worry and marked with lines about the eyes that were not there a year ago, John J. McGraw, the pudgy leader of the big town boys—the man who “ran a shoestring into a pennant””—watched the rout. What his feeling were no man knows. What baseball wonders he has worked in winning the National League pennant with the material he had any baseball follower can tell, what a near miracle he accomplished by holding the sensational Athletics the way he has in this series will be told in the years to come.

Hard fights, close scores—a peek at the very championship itself—so much had he wrought—and now he sat there on the Giant bench and watched the devastation of his hopes and kept his thoughts to himself.

(Source: Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41571643/buffalo_courier/)

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