The Nats story from July 4, 1914


 

In what I only hope can become an annual tradition, I was inspired to go back and read The Post’s Nats game story from July 4, 1914. Because nothing says America and independence, to me anyhow, like reading about the local baseballers in the local fishwrap.

Here’s most of Stanley T. Milliken’s report on the split doubleheader played on July 4, 1914. I have no idea what the heck he’s talking about, but it sounds cool. Enjoy the day.

Errors must crop out in baseball. They are inevitable. Two misplays had a most important bearing on the result of the morning and afternoon Independence day pastiming at Georgia avenue field yesterday. Morgan’s “boot” gave the Red Sox the point necessary to defeat the Nationals 1 to 0 in the after-breakfast battle. Scott tossed away the second game when he mussed up Shanks’ grounder in the sixth frame, thus enabling Gandil to score the winning run, after the big first sacker had driven across the tally that tied. This contest ended 3 to 2.

One could not wish for two better staged pitching duels than those of yesterday. Joe Engel made one of his few starts of the year, and suffered defeat because one of his comrades erred at the crucial moment. The Nationals were unable to get a run for Engel. Collins opposed the local lad, and the big left-hander was never better. Three scattered hits is a fragment of the story why the Nationals succumbed. Shaw outslabbed Bedient in the final, yet this contest was close throughout, and in doubt until Rehg, pinch hitting for Thomas in the ninth, drove into a double play.

There was but little to choose between the two teams in either contest. The high-class slabbing by the four twirlers made the hitting unusually light. Engel pitched one of the best games of his carer. Steady and game in the extreme, this youngster went into the fray and battled his older rival, Collins, practically to a standstill. In only three frames  was Engel in danger of being scored on, and in one of these the Red Sox put across the tally that made victory possible.

Engel’s trouble has always been wildness. He crossed the wise ones yesterday by only issuing two passes. Speaker’s double with one out, Henricksen’s single and Morgan’s error caused his downfall. The side should have been retired without a run, thus forcing overtime. Five hits were made off Engel, but Collins was even more effective. He pulled through with but three marks on his slate, and one of these was an infield hit by Shanks….

They say that turn about is fair play. The first one was handed to the Red Sox; the second one was presented to us, although Jim Shaw, the Pittsburgh stogie, had all the better of the argument with Bedient.

Shaw was in real trouble only in two innings. The first frame came close to causing his undoing. One needed a nerve tonic during the eighth, but Shaw pulled through without being scored on, the bases being full when Janvrin ppped to Williams. The Red Sox scored two runs off Shaw in the opening session on a base on balls, two hits and a sacrifice fly. After this the Griffite settled down and did not allow a hit until the seventh. Another came in the ninth with one out. This brought the Red Sox total up to four.

Bedient pitched good ball, but like Engel, was outslabbed in a real duel. In only two frames were the home folks able to bunch any of their six hits. Two came together in the first, when a run was made. The same number were garnered in the sixth, when the winning tallies were shoved over. “Chick” Gandil was at the initial corner yesterday for the first time since his suspension and to this player the Nationals owe the greater part of the credit for the victory in the afternoon contest.

Gandil’s sacrifice fly to Henricksen in the first inning sent Moeller across. The fly was short and there are but few players who would have beaten Henricksen’s throw to the plate. Gandil doubled Milan home with the tally that tied in the sixth, went to third on an out, and scored the winning run when Scott booted Shank’s grounder near second base.

Both contests, despite the fact that errors had much to do with the final result, abounded in brilliant fielding features. Moeller’s catch of Hooper’s drive in the third was the best of the two performances, and it undoubtedly saved Shaw some embarrassment. Hooper was the first man up and had the ball gone through it would have been good for three bases.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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