April 29, 1911
Philadelphia 10, New York 6
The A's hit the road with a win, taking down the same Yankees that bedeviled them so in the first series of the season. Hippo Vaughn*, who beat the A's on opening day, was unable to repeat his magic and was chased after three ineffective innings. HOFer Eddie Plank started and finished the game for Philadelphia and pitched well but for a four-run sixth. Stuffy McInnis**, the solid Athletics shortstop, went 5-for-5 with 2 runs scored.
According to the New York Times, "This was just the kind of a game baseball fans like. There were smashing hits, circus catches, daring stops of white hot grounders, plenty of action on the base paths, and some costly errors***, all of which went to make up a concoction that you would neglect your business any day to see." But with the Athletics "clubbing the ball with all the fury and terror that gave them the title of champions of the world," it was all just too much for the Yankees.
Despite the loss, it was a special day for the home team, as the Yankees debuted the new center field bleachers of Hilltop Park. In a rare treat for this blog and its faithful readers****, we have actual photos from this game (all from the Times, click to enlarge). Thanks to the excitement of the new addition to the ball park, a raucous crowd of 18,000, one of the largest ever at Hilltop, was there to witness the game.
This is the first game of the A's 22-game road trip, and it's good to start things off with a win. The A's are now 6-7 and in a three-way tie for fourth place. The next game will be on May 2nd.
* Hippo got his nickname thanks to his size, and the Times calls him a "giant southpaw." Vaughn is listed on b-r as 6' 4" and 215 pounds, which in this day and age doesn't strike me as particularly huge. Wouldn't it be weird if Matt Garza were nicknamed "Hippo?"
** From the Times again: "These world's champions are clubbers from Clubville. The lion of the day's clouting was Jack McInnes [sic], from Gloucester, Mass, and he's a whaler. There were just seven balls pitched at McInnes yesterday. One was a three-bagger and four others were one-base hits. The other two spare balls were thrown at him so far on the outside that he couldn't reach them. Five hits out of five times up, and fielding the short-stopper's province with a fine-tooth comb, was a noble day's work for the Gloucester lad.
*** It's interesting that costly errors were included as part of what fans like to see. Errors were a bigger part of the game then, so I guess it makes sense that fans would accept them as such.
**** The plural here might be a bit optimistic.
[Today's source for reporting, box score, and photos: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9805E4DB1431E233A25753C3A9629C946096D6CF]
Otis Johnson Batting
The Right Field Bleachers