Del Gainer Hero as Red Sox Win

Damon Runyon

Washington Herald/October 10, 1916

Poles Out Pinch Hit in Fourteenth, Making Score 2 to 1

Boston, Mass., Oct. 9—His name is Del gainer and tonight he is a hero. Batting for Larry Gardner, in the fourteenth inning of the second game of the current world’s series, he polled out a pinch hit which enabled the Boston Red Sox to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers by the score of 2 to 1.

For thirteen innings the teams had battled through the longest game in the history of world series competition, and then when it seemed that darkness would intervene and put a stop to the game, Del Gainer stepped into the breach and broke up the pastime.

Yet Brooklyn should have won. They should have won by the score of 1 to 0. But they lost. An unfortunate fumble—not an error—by George Cutshaw, the Brooklyn second baseman, in the third inning, paved the way for the run which brought the Sox on even terms with the Dodgers.

In the first inning, Hi Myers slammed out a terrific home run. Off to an early advantage the Dodgers should have won. They have the reputation of winning when out in the lead. But they lost, though in losing again flashed a fight which thrilled more than 41,000 baseball insects.

Fight Stubbornly

For more than two hours the teams fought stubbornly and tenaciously and whole-heartedly. From the third inning to the fourteenth, they battled on even terms.

Then with the stage set for a dramatic climax, with darkness coming on, Mr. Gainer, the villain, appeared upon the stage. Mr. Gainer is quite an actor. He looked over one strike and then swung upon the ball and sent it to left field.

Zach Wheat scurried for the ball, picked it up, threw it to the plate. But Mike McNally, who had been put in to run for Dick Hoblitzel, scampered across the plate with the winning run.

Much could be said of this person Gainer, the villain. His first name is Delos, and it is said that his habits are exemplary, though it is hard to believe this of a person who would deliberately ruin a perfectly good pastime which, to all intents and purposes, belonged to the Dodgers.

Might Call Him “Clouter”

He has a middle name, has this Gainer, but a diligent search has failed to reveal it. The initial, however, is C. Just what the name itself is we don’t know, but we suspect that it is Clouter, or some such name as that.

Hi Myers, who has acted like a perfectly respectable hero in the two games which have been played thus far, drove a home run in the opening frame, and, with Sherrod Smith pitching wonderful ball, it seemed that the Dodgers were going to return to Brooklyn with a game to their credit.

Babe Ruth and Sherrod Smith were the opening pitchers. Until today’s game neither had ever taken part in a world series contest. Yet upon the occasion of their joint debut they did much to make baseball history. For never in the history of professional baseball had a world series gone to fourteen innings.

Should Have Been Enough

That one run should have been enough to hold the Red Sox sage, but they tied the score in the third. The first man up, Everett Scott, tripled to left. Thomas hit to Cutshaw and Cutshaw made a very good play in holding Scott to third, and then tossing out Thomas at first. Ruth, who is a notable long-distance hitter, also smashed at the first ball pitched to him and hit a roller to Cutshaw. The Dodger second baseman got the ball all right, but then dropped it. Had he held it he could easily have retired Scott at the plate. As it was, he lost his chance of getting Scott, so he tossed our Ruth at first while Scott scored.

Before all this had occurred, however, Sherrod Smith had mussed up an opportunity for a run which would have enabled the Dodgers to retain a margin over the Sox tally in the third. In the Dodgers’ side of that same inning, after Otto Miller had been thrown out by Scott, Smith hit a terrific drive to right. It was an easy two-bagger, but when he reached second Smith decided to keep on going.

Down on third base Jack Coombs, wrapped up in a dingy old sweater, was waving his hands and yelling as he tried to make Smith stop at second, but Smith was on his way. He slid into third only to find the ball in the hands of Gardner. The next man, Johnston, hit a long single to center. Smith might have scored on that.

Dodgers Make Double Play

The Dodgers made their first double play of the series in the fourth when Hoblitzel walked after Smith had thrown out Walker. Mowrey got Lewis’ throw and the runners were doubled up, Mowrey to Cutshaw to Daubert.

In the eighth inning, which opened with the band playing the national anthem and everybody standing with heads bared, Mowrey singled to left. Olsen sacrificed him to second. Miller singled to center, the ball going on a line. It was here that Mowrey made a play which is being freely criticized. He took a look at the ball, instead of tearing out at top speed. When he finally got going, Walker had the ball and Coombs stopped Mike at third. There was no chance of him scoring then, but many think he could have scored if he had moved with Miller’s hit.

Walker threw to the plate and Miller took second on the throw. Smith hit to Scott, and Mowrey, who was rushing toward the plate, was caught in a run up along the base line and was an easy out. Miller moved up to third on this play, and Smith took second, but Jimmy Johnston bounced the second ball pitched to him back at Ruth and was tossed out at first.

The Sox half of the ninth inning was sparkling with excitement. Wheat missed Janvrin’s smash after a hard run and the former school boy phenomenon came up at second covered with mud from a long slide. Walker bunted foul and was then taken out with a strike called on him to let Jimmy Walsh, the former Yankee, bat.

Welsh bunted the first ball thrown by Smith back to the pitcher and Smith threw to Mowrey to get Janvrin. Quigley first called Janvrin out, but quickly reversed his decision when he saw the ball squirting from Mowrey’s mitt. Hoblitzel bit a long fly to Myers, who lost the ball for a second in the sun, which had crawled from beneath the clouds about the eighth inning, then located it again, made the catch, and threw Janvrin out at the plate. It was a smashing play. Lewis was intentionally passed, and Gardner fouled to Miller. In the Dodgers’ end of the thirteenth, Mowrey hit to Gardner, who made a bad throw to first. Olson sacrificed him to second, but Miller popped to Thomas, and Lewis made a wonderful running catch of Smith’s fly.

(Source: Chronicling America,