Words were never invented that could fully describe the outburst of insane enthusiasm that went thundering around Fenway Park yesterday afternoon as Steve Yerkes crossed the rubber with the winning run in the 10th inning.
Men hugged each other, women became hysterical, youths threw their caps in the air, one man in the bleachers fell in a dead faint, strong hearts lost a beat and started off again at double time.
Lose at the last trench
John McGraw, the little Napoleon, dashed across the field to offer his congratulations to manager Jake Stahl. The cheering lasted fully five minutes, while the Boston players, all smiles, modestly returned to their dressing rooms.
The great New York fighting machine had lost at the last ditch, and with heads bowed low the Giants pushed through the crowd, practically unnoticed.
Christy Mathewson, the greatest pitcher of all time, had lost, after pitching a remarkable game. It was no fault of his. It was the one game in his 12 years on the ball field that he had set his heart on winning, for it meant the championship of the world and one more thrill before passing out of the limelight as a remarkable performer.
Mathewson, the baseball genius, was heartbroken and tears rolled down his sun-burned cheeks as he was consoled by his fellow-players.
In its frenzy the crowd could only see the victors, and yet the defeated National League champions were no less worth of appreciation, considered the game fight they put up from first to last in the most remarkable series of games ever played.
“Red Sox win!” – what that means
“The Red Sox win!” was the short but telling sentence that went flashing over the wires to the most remote corners of America. This meant that the Boston Speed Boys had taken the deciding game for the greatest honors of the sport, and that each Boston player had made his title clear to $4,024.68.
It means that Boston was in possession, once more, of a real champion team, continuing its record of winning when it came down to cases. It meant that the Boston public had liberally supported a great ball team; a team as modest as it is great, and one that has played the game fair from first to last, as true sportsmen, who could stand defeat, but who dearly loved the laurel wreaths of victory.
Teams never under such a strain
Never before were two teams subjected to such a strain. Players lost control of their nerves, and then came back strong in sheer desperation.
Signals were discovered, even yesterday, but the Red Sox, having new ones, they were being changed to prevent any chance of the McGraw-Robinson combination from passing the news to the batsmen.
Manager McGraw was on the lines every second that his men were at the bat, watching, catlike the movements of the battery and the movements of the infielders and outfielders.
Mathewson pitched to his field, and with the exception of Snodgrass his men responded superbly.
Bedient pitches grand game
The Red Sox made five errors, but no damage was done, as Hugh Bedient tightened up and cut down the next batsmen when trouble threatened.
And what a grand game this young Bedient did pitch. For seven innings he held the Giants to one run. This was developed out of a pass, when, with two down and two strikes on Murray, the real Giant hero of the series, “Red” laced out a fine double, and the visitors were in the lead.
The managers were looking for the first sign of weakness by their pitchers. Marquard and Tesreau of the Giants and Joe Wood and Ray Collins of the Red Sox were kept continually warmed up, and while Bedient could have gone to a finish, he was taken out in the seventh to give young Hendriksen a chance to hit, for the Red Sox must tie the score if they hoped to win.
How Hendriksen bounded into fame
With men at first and second and two down, Henriksen was soon in for two strikes, as “Matty” was working the young man in a most artistic manner. Seeing one coming on the outside corner of the plate, Hendriksen chopped it along the ground directly over the third-base bag for a single, and Stahl came in with the tying run.
Joe Wood takes command
Joe Wood, not in his best form, but with his heart as strong as ever, was now on the job, showing fine speed and good command. The Red Sox had a fine chance to land the game in the ninth when, with one down, Stahl smashed out a double, only to see Wagner and Cady send up high flies.
When the Giants scored in the 10th, on Murray’s double and Merkle’s single, it looked bad for the home team, and the crowd settled down to see the game band of Red Sox take a bitter dose of medicine.
Clyde Engle was sent to bat for Wood, who injured his hand in stopping a hot shot from Meyers, the last man up in the 10th. Engle hit a long fly to left center that Snodgrass tore after, muffed, and allowed to get away, Engle reaching second to the music of a hundred thousand yells.
Up to Harry Hooper
It was up to Hooper to bunt his man to third. “Matty” was now pitching his most skillful ball, never allowing his shoots to raise above the knee, hoping to force the Boston man to send up a fly.
Hooper tried to sacrifice, and the ball rolled foul. Then he cut loose and smashed the ball deep to left center, where Snodgrass made a great running catch, practically saving the game at this stage.
Engle half-expected Snodgrass to lose the ball, and played too far off second. Had he properly judged the play, he could have reached third after the catch.
Yerkes draws a pass
This was heartbreaking, but the home players were not on edge and determined to make “Matty” put them over. Yerkes insisted, and was passed, for Mathewson did not care to grove the ball over for a strike.
It was now up to the Texas cotton planter, Tris Speaker, the hero of a thousand battles. The first ball was sent up for a foul. Merckle should have taken this ball and closed the game with a Giant victory. But he hesitated and allowed Meyers to try for the ball, which dropped less than five yards back of first base.
Speaker’s hit scores Engle
This disturbed Mathewson. He curved one into Speaker about knee high, and saw it shoot out to right field. Engle, with a fine lead, turned third and beat the ball to the plate by two yards.
Yerkes slipped around to third, and Speaker to second and the score was tied once more.
Lewis was now up. The Giant infield was playing close in. A long fly to the outfield would land the money. Mathewson was using his headpiece, and kept the ball less than a foot from the ground, hoping to see it raised for a weak infield fly.
But Lewis doped out “Matty’s” plans, refused to go after the low ones, and was passed, filling the bases.
Gardner’s fly wins game
Gardner realized that he was being worked to hit a very low ball and he allowed two to go by for balls. Then he missed one. “Matty” could not afford to take a chance, for a pass meant forcing in the winning run, and the next ball was over the inside corner, well above his knee.
Gardner had a good toehold and met the ball with a natural sweep, to see it start for Devore in deep right field.
The second the ball was hit a mighty shout went up, for it was plain that Gardner had produced the fly that would send Yerkes over the plate with the winning run.