Bringing Back the Senators
Harris, Johnson Bring Nats Their First Title
Friday, October 10, 1924: Nationals 4, Giants 3
Monday, October 11, 2004; 1:22 AM
World Series Game 7: at Washington
The Posts' Frank H. Young concludes: "'World's champions, 1924.' That's what the fighting Nationals will have tacked across their manly breasts when they take the field next season. And don't let anyone tell you that they have not earned the right to do so. The title was won yesterday in a 12-inning thriller, 4 to 3, which will probably be verbally played over more times than the Civil War has been refought. Undoubtedly, it ended the greatest series ever staged and Washington fans will not hesitate in saying that it was won by the greatest team ever gathered together. This may not be true, but now is no time to start any arguments along this line."
"While a brown October sun, casting its big shadow over the stadium of baseball war, was curling up for the evening at precisely 5:04 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Mr. Earl McNeely, the best bargain at $50,000 ever put over, bludgeoned his way to everlasting fame with a hit that was heard 'round the world and started the greatest public demonstration ever enacted in the Nation's Capital or anywhere else. . . . With less than 10 seconds after McNeely's hit -- scoring Muddy Ruel, the Nationals' catcher, with the deciding run -- 35,00 men, women and children, delirious with joy, broke into a bedlam on the field that had never been duplicated in point of volume and intense excitement in the annals of sporting history."
"The whirlwind of joy which swept over Washington yesterday immediately after Earl McNeely had driven in the run that made the nationals world champions continued to rage until well after midnight. It subsided then only because a baseball-crazed city had yelled itself hoarse and stopped from sheer exhaustion.
"Clark Griffith, president of the club which infected the city with the madness of joy, was brought out of the jam after the big game by friends and found his way to the small porch of the club's office. There he was met by his little daughter, Thelma, who was crying. To calls for a speech, Griffith lifted the little girl up to the crowd and said: 'I'm too happy to make a speech, people, but it happened just as I wanted it to, with Walter Johnson winning it for us.'"
In the column attributed to Bucky Harris, the manager says "it's hard to analyze my feelings, but the biggest thrill I've gotten out of the biggest moment of my life was the glorious comeback of Walter Johnson, who put the finishing touch to the finest World Series game I ever played in, the best I ever looked at, or even read of -- probably the most dramatic World Series game ever played."
"Of the 23 eligible players on the Washington team, only two, [Paul] Zahniser and [Pinky] Hargrave, failed to get into the World Series. Up until yesterday, when he started on the hill, [Curly] Ogden had also failed to get into the classic."
"The four Washington hurlers who took part in yesterday's game of 12 innings released four less pitches than did Walter Johnson [in Game One] over the same route. A total of 163 pitches were thrown by the local hurlers. A quartet of Giants moundsmen sent the ball plateward 150 times. Chiefly on account of Johnson's great work in the last three innings, in which he struck out five men, the number of strikes hurled by the National moundsmen exceeded by 12 the total of 38 by the New York pitchers."
"The Nationals won their first World Series despite the fact that they were outbatted and outfielded by their New York opponents. The final averages show that the Giants batted .261 and fielded for a mark of .980, while the Nationals hung up a batting average of .246 and a fielding figure of .964. Bill Terry, Giants first baseman, was the leading individual hitter with an average of .429 for five games. Roger Peckinpaugh, crippled [Senators] hero, compiled a mark of .417 for four games and was second on the list, but Joe Judge, playing in all seven games, was the real batting king of the Senators with a .385 mark."
"Jamming Pennsylvania Avenue so that automobiles were forced to use the streetcar tracks, approximately 8,000 baseball fans worked themselves into an emotional frenzy before the conclusion of the simulation of the baseball classic yesterday on The Post's magnetic scoreboard.
"Fearing many person might be hurt in a collapse of one or more of the housetops adjacent to the ballpark, Building Inspector John W. Oehmann and several policemen yesterday warned houseowners and occupants and the several hundred fans on top of the buildings of the danger of collapse from too much weight. The warning may have scared some of those on the housetops, but there was no wild scramble down. 'It's a waste of time,' a policeman said. 'The only thing that'll bring that crowd down is for the house to fall down.'"
"President Coolidge, immediately after returning yesterday to the White House from the final game of the World Series, issued this statement:
"Washington's wild impromptu celebration of victory was climaxed last night by an announcement by [District] Commissioner Rudolph of plans for a citywide official victory celebration. . . . A dinner, attended by as many hundreds as are able to crowd into the largest dining room in the city, and later a great public reception probably will be part of the celebration. But greater than that from the viewpoint of a victory-drunk city is a proposed baseball game to be played between two teams made up entirely of members of the world's champions."
Some 47 years before Disneyworld opens, "in recognition of Walter Johnson's success in winning the last game of the World Series, the citizens of St. Petersburg have subscribed a fund to offer Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and their family a roundtrip [vacation] to St. Petersburg this winter."
"Ross Youngs, Giants outfielder, was to have married Miss Dorothy Hildegarde Pienecke at 8 o'clock tonight at St. Paul's Church, Brooklyn. The wedding had to be postponed until tomorrow night and the bride-to-be passed the day notifying the 100 guests of the change."
1925: For game three of the World Series, it's clear but bitterly cold in Washington following a rainstorm that caused the game to be rescheduled. President Coolidge throws out the first ball. The Pirates hold a slim lead, 3-2, after six innings. A walk and two singles score two in the eighth inning for Washington, and Firpo Marberry (8-6) closes it. Joe Harris has two hits for the third time; he'll lead the Senators by hitting .440. Sam Rice makes a controversial game-saving play in the eighth inning, tumbling into the stands in the right corner to spear a long drive by Earl Smith. About 15 seconds later he emerges with the ball. Despite the Pirates' arguments that a fan might have given it to him, ump Cy Rigler calls Smith out. Questioned about it for the rest of his life, Rice leaves a letter, to be opened after his death (in 1974), in which he states: "At no time did I lose possession of the ball."