May 3, 2011

Game 15 - "A Fusillade of Hits All Over the Plateau"

May 3, 1911
Philadelphia 13, New York 4

"ATHLETICS BATSMEN ON WILD RAMPAGE" screamed the headline in the New York Times. Now that's more like it. The A's dispatched the Yankees with ease to take their second series win of the season. But that's a pretty boring and modern way to say it, isn't it? The Times, as usual, was able to summon the proper words:
The Philadelphia Athletics flayed the Yankees into submission on the Hilltop yesterday by a fusillade of hits all over the plateau, until Fisher and Quinn the New York pitchers, were about ready to be rushed to an emergency hospital. The score was 13 to 4, the numerous counts of the Newlyweds coming as a reward for the season's most violent outburst of titanic bat wielding.

It was a rematch of the teams' game 2 starters, but this time Jack Coombs got the best of Ray "Pick" Fisher. In fact, the Yankees only managed four hits off of Coombs, who seems to be recovering nicely from his recent bout with malaria, but his teammates' four errors helped put some runs on the board for New York.

No matter, though. The Macks were able to score seemingly at will and topped their previous season-high for runs scored by two. Moreover, "every mother's son of the world's champions laced the ball safely, a few of them indulging in the diversion so often that after a while it became a habit."

The A's also collected their second and third home runs of the season, one by soon-to-be-regular first baseman Stuffy McInnis (playing short today), and another "a Herculean drive*" by the 3-position's current occupant, Harry Davis.

Davis (left) was a native Philadelphian who bounced around the National League before jumping over to Ban Johnson's brand new American League in 1901, when he was named the first captain of Mack's Philadelphia A's. He was a stalwart and popular presence on the team for its first decade; Davis played a key role in the 1905 pennant campaign and was twice in the top-10 for WAR. Now 37 and having manned first for the A's entire existence, he will soon be stepping aside for the youngster McInnis**.

Incidentally, what does Harry Davis have in common with Babe Ruth, Ralph Kiner and teammate Home Run Baker? They're the only four players to lead their league in home runs for four consecutive seasons. I know, I know...Davis and Baker did it in the deadball era***; it's still cool. Though no one involved knows it, today's will be the last home run for hometown hero and Girard College grad Harry Davis. He hit 75 in his career****.

* During the play, CF Bert Daniels "collid[ed] with the stand and [was] temporarily disabled in his game attempt to reach over the seats and pluck the floating sphere." Would he be a candidate for the new 7-day concussion DL today? He was not removed from the game.

** Can anyone think of any other 37-year old infielders with a distinguished history as team captain whose game succumbed to the ravages of time?

***10, 8, 12, and 8 HR for Davis for 1904-1907 and 11, 10, 12, and 9 for Baker for 1911-1914. The A's were the class of the junior circuit when it came to deadball-era slugging. A member of Connie Mack's team held the league lead in homers for 10 of the league's first 14 seasons.

**** Please take the time to read his page at SABR's bio project. I love that Harry Davis was one of the few players to successfully steal first base from second before it was made illegal.

[Today's Source for box score and game account:; Image of Harry Davis:]

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I just discovered this site today. Awesome idea. I actually have a huge fascination with Chief Bender.

    Keep up the great work,