Con­nie’s up there smil­ing on his team

Glenside News - - OPINION -

Some­where up in eeaven Con­nie Mack is smil­ing. eis A’sI against all ex­pec­ta­tions (and now planted in lak­landFI have won the AL West and are in the post sea­son. As found­ing pres­i­dent of the Philadel­phia A’s eis­tor­i­cal So­ci­etyI it pleases meI no end to see them there even if my cur­rent fa­voritesI the PhilliesI are not.

Con­nie Mack as­sem­bled some great teams (and some stinkersI tooF dur­ing his 5M years as skip­per of the White Ele­phantsI but his great­est team – and some say the great­est team ever in all of base­ball – was the NVOV Ath­let­ics. Let’s look back 8P years to an in­ning in the World Se­ries thatI some sayI is the most spec­tac­u­lar in post sea­son play.

qhe A’s had a ban­ner year in NVOV win­ning NM4I los­ing 46 DQG fiQLsKLQJ 18 JDPHs DKHDG RI WKH sec­ond place van­kees.

Mary­land farm boy Jim­mie coxx at fiUsW EDsH EDWWHG .354 wLWK 33 KRPHUs and NNT RBfs (he was just ONF; Max Bishop was on sec­ond; Joe Bo­ley played short; and Sammy eale and Jimmy aykes split third. fn the out­fiHOG BuFNHWIRRW AO 6LPPRQs EDWWHG .PS5 with P4 homers and a league­lead­ing N5T RBf’s; joined by Mule eaas (.PNPI NS homersI 8O RBf’sF and Bing Miller (.PP5I 8 homersI VP RBf’sF. Mickey Cochrane caught NP5 gamesI bat­ted .PPN and drove in V5 runs. ln the mound the staff was led by Ge­orge Earn­shaw (O4-8FI Lefty Grove (OM-SF and Rube Wal­berg (N8NNF.

But what made this team even more spe­cial was the way they han­dled the pow­er­ful Chicago Cubs in the NVOV World Se­ries.

rn­der Joe McCarthy the Baby Bru­ins won the Na­tional League crown by NM NLO games over the Pitts­burgh Pi­rates. qhe Cubs were loaded with tal­ented play­ers like Rogers eornsby (.P8MFI KiKi Cuyler (.PSMF and the slug­ging eack Wil­son (.P45I PV homersI N5V RBf’sF. ln the mound they had Pat Malone (OO-NMFI Charley Root (NV-SF and Guy Bush (N8-TF as their top three hurlers.

qhe A’s took game one in Chicago P-N when Mr. Mack fooled ev­ery­one and started P5-year-old eoward Ehmke in­stead of Earn­shaw or Grove. Most peo­ple thought Mack had lost his mindI but in the end he had the last laugh. Ehmke hurled a com­plete game and gave up the only run of the day the Cubs would score in the ninth in­ning.

Game two saw Earn­shaw start against Malone. Earn­sKDw ODsWHG uQWLO WKH fiIWK LQn­ing when Grove came in to re­lieve him. qhe A’s won V-P. MackI to the cha­grin of the ex­perts had de­cided to keep GroveI a OM-game-win­nerI in the bullpen for the se­ries.

Back to Philadel­phia for game threeI the Cubs badly needed a win and they got oneI P-NI with Bush beat­ing Earn­shaw who had started back-to-back games.

cor game fourI Mack went the ge­ri­atric route again and started 45-year-old Jack nuinn. qhe Cubs coun­tered with Root. qhis was a game that has be­come leg­endary.

nuinn did not pos­sess Ehmke’s magic and left the game af­ter six in­nings trail­ing T-M. Rube Wal­berg came in and the Cubs added an­other run in the seventh. qrail­ing 8-M the A’s were be­ing mocked un­mer­ci­fully from the Cubs dugout. Pitcher Guy Bush put a blan­ket over his head and did an fn­dian war dance in the dugout. But things were about to change. Al Simmons led off and smashed Root’s third pitch on to WKH WRS RI WKH OHIW fiHOG SDYLOLRQ DW 6KLEH Park. ft was 8-N.qhe home­run was fol­lowed by four straight sin­gles (coxxI Mil­lerI aykes and Bo­leyF. ft was 8-P.

Pinch-hit­ter Ge­orge Burns made the fiUsW A’s RuW RI WKH sHYHQWK EDWWLQJ IRU pitcher Rube Wal­berg. Bishop then sin­gled to cen­ter and aykes scored. ft was 8-4. Man­ager McCarthy yanked Root and brought in re­liever Art Nehf. 5RRW OHIW WKH fiHOG WR D FKRUus RI ERRs ¬ in Philadel­phia some things never change.

0uOH HDDs wDs WKH fiUsW RQH WR IDFH the new hurler and he hit a low liner to cen­ter where eack Wil­son lost the ball in the sun. Bo­ley and Bishop both scored and eaas raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home­run. ft was now 8-T and no one was do­ing any more dances in the Cub­bies dugout.

Jimmy aykes was so ex­cited that he pounded the man stand­ing next to him in the dugout on the back. qhe man was the man­agerI Con­nie MackI who fell in to the bat rack and spilled many of them. “f’m sor­ryI” aykes saidI and Mr. MackI pick­ing him­self up off the GuJRuW flRRU sDLG, “WKDW’s DOO ULJKW -LPmyI isn’t it won­der­ful?”

Cochrane was the next bat­ter and he walked. McCarthy brought in re­liever Sher­iff Blake from the bullpen – but it wouldn’t have mat­tered if he brought the en­tire Chicago po­lice depart­ment at this pointI the A’s were rolling. qhat guyI “Mo” (as in mo­men­tumF was here.

Simmons greeted the Sher­iff with a sin­gle to leftI coxx then sin­gled up the mid­dle scor­ing Cochrane and the game was tied at 8-8. Again McCarthy went to his bullpenI this time he trot­ted in their aceI MaloneI who was to face Bing Miller. But in­stead of get­ting Miller outI he hit him with a pitch and the bases were loaded. qhe next bat­ter was aykes who ham­mered a pitch in to deep left where Riggs Stephen­son EULHfly KDG LW DQG WKHQ GURSSHG LW, DOlow­ing two more runs to score. qhe A’s were up NM-8.

As an anti-cli­max Malone struck out both Joe Bo­ley and BurnsI bat­ting for the sec­ond time in the in­ning as a pinch-hit­terI to end the frame.

Mack trot­ted out Lefty Grove for WKH fiQDO WwR LQQLQJs DQG LW wDs DOPRsW un­fair. qhe big S foot P inch hurlerI some say the hard­est thrower ever in base­ballI re­tired the Cubs and the A’s had a P-N lead in the se­ries. qhey beat the Cubs P-O the next day and won the se­ries. qhey also won the World’s Cham­pi­onship in NVPM – and then never won an­other one again in Philadel­phia. qhey left town in NV54I set­tled in Kansas City for a few years and then moved again to lak­landI where they did have some suc­cess in the early years.

f’m root­ing for them as far as they go – and Mr. Mack is surely smil­ing.

Ted Tay­lor can be reached at ted@ ted­tay­lor.com.

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