A World Series Past

For the last couple of seasons, Rattler Radio took a look back at an old series involving the teams playing in the current series.

That was easy in 2006 when the Cardinals and Tigers met (a rematch of 1934 and 1968) and in 2009 when it was the Phillies and Yankees (a rematch of 1950).

It was a little tougher in 2008 with the Phillies and Rays (Went with 1915, the Phillies first World Series appearance).  I did not do this series of posts during the Rockies/Red Sox Series in 2007.  I was on vacation at the time…to Denver of all places.

The Giants haven’t been in a World Series since 2002 and haven’t won it all since 1954.  The Rangers haven’t been in a World Series…well…ever.  They were the Washington Senators before moving to Texas, but they weren’t the Senators of Walter Johnson.  They were the Senators of Ted Williams….manager Ted Williams.

But, there is a neat Fall Classic matchup from the past that is too good to pass up for the this year.

The year was 1924.  The New York Giants of John McGraw (and future Appleton Papermaker manager Travis Jackson) had just won their fourth straight NL Pennant.  The Washington Senators had just won their first ever AL Pennant.  The Giants edged Brooklyn to win the NL and the Senators held off the mighty Yankees by two games for the AL crown.

The immortal Johnson was 36 years old and in his 18th season pitching for Washington.  He led the AL in wins (23), ERA (2.72), shutouts (6), and strikeouts (158) during the 1924 season.

Of course, Johnson was going to start Game One for Washington.  The Giants would counter with Art Nehf, who was 14-4 for New York.

Game One took place at Griffith Stadium on October 4, 1924 and it was a classic.

The Giants took a 2-0 lead on Johnson early.  George “High Pockets” Kelly hit a leadoff homer in the second inning.  Bill Terry hit a two out homer in the fourth inning.  To put those in perspective, Johnson had allowed just 10 homers in 277-2/3 innings during the regular season.

The Senators rallied back to tie the game…eventually.  An RBI grounder by Sam Rice in the sixth inning got Washington on the board.  In the ninth, a one out RBI double by Riger Peckinpaugh sent the tying run across the plate.  Johnson, who hit .283 with a homer and 14 RBI during the season, came up with two outs and Peckinpaugh at third.  But, the game stayed tied when Johnson flew out to center.

Both Johnson and Nehf pitched into extra innings and it was the Giants who broke through to take the lead.

Johnson walked Hank Gowdy to start the twelfth.  Nehf singled to send Gowdy to third and an error on the play allowed Nehf to take second.  Another walk loaded the bases.  The Senators got a force play at the plate for the first out.  But, Ross Youngs singled home Nehf with the go ahead run.  Kelly made the score 4-2 with a sacrifice fly.

But, the Seantors weren’t done yet.

In the bottom of the twelfth, an error by Jackson allowed the leadoff batter to reach.  One out later a single set up Washington with runners on first and second.  Nehf got the next batter, but Bucky Harris singled home a run to make the score 4-3 and set up the tying run on second base.

Rice singled to center to load the bases for the Senators top RBI man.  Goose Goslin had 12 homers and 129 RBI during the 1924 season.  But, he would strand three teammates as Nehf got him to ground out to second to end the game.

Johnson’s line that day was 12IP, 14H, 4R, 6BB, 12K.  Nehf also pitched a complete game.  He allowed three runs (two earned) on 10 hits with five walks and three strikeouts.

You may see the entire boxscore and play-by-play at retrosheet.org.

Game two of the 1924 World Series is October 5 at Griffith Stadium.  The pitching matchup is Jack Bentley (16-5, 3.78) for the Giants against Tom Zachary (15-9, 2.75) for the Senators.

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