I’m not sure if this image of the Senators about to win Game 7 the 1924 World Series has any particular relevance to anything, but it’s pretty cool, so here it is. The game was played on Oct. 10, 1924, 88 years to the day before the first postseason game at Nationals Park.
Post columnist Thomas Boswell, who said the image was new to him, recently passed it along — courtesy of FC Associates — with a few notes from a game long considered among baseball’s best.
* Muddy Ruel is halfway home with the winning run, but you can already see players and coaches leaping in celebration. Ruel reached base by doubling after catcher Hank Gowdy dropped a pop-up in foul territory.
* Earl McNeeley, the batter, hit a one-out ground ball that bounced over third baseman Freddie Lindstrom’s head to score Ruel.
* Walter Johnson pitched four innings of shutout relief, from the ninth to the 12th, to get the win, after picking up losses in Games 1 and 5.
* According to Boz, “looks like the Giants’ infield was probably (not for sure) at ‘double play depth,’ the same as it would be today.” (Johnson had reached base and was on first with one out.)
* From the source of the photo: “Note the coaches for the Senators leaping in mid air (lower left), while Muddy, the slowest guy on the Nats squad, ran toward home for the winning run — and the losing pitcher for the Giants, walking forlornly towards home plate.”
* And of course, I had to go back to the next day’s paper, from October 11, 1924, in a story written by Francis P. Daily:
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.
As you already know, it was young McNeely whose drive, bounding over third base, scored the winning run of the seventh and decisive game of the world’s series and won the championship of the world for the Nationals, 1924 champions of the American league.
Within less than ten seconds after McNeely’s hit, scoring “Muddy” Ruel, the Nationals’ catcher, with the deciding run, 35,000 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.
And so on and so forth. The story later called it “the most dramatic spectacle in the realm of sportdom.”