August 7, 1894: Jimmy Bannon slugs two 3-run homers for Beaneaters
On a fine weather day, August 7, 1894, Boston met Philadelphia at home for the first game in a three-game series.1 Boston’s Jimmy Bannon had demonstrated a power streak in recent games.2 On August 2 at New York, he hit a home run to left-center.3 At home on August 6, he hit one against Washington.4 The Quakers arrived in Boston as literal survivors. During their practice on August 6, they watched their home grandstand and bleachers burn.5 The Boston club – the reigning champion – was in first place at 56-30.6 Philadelphia was at the bottom of the first division, 43-38. Frank Selee managed the Beaneaters, and Arthur Irwin, the Quakers.7 A crowd of 3,416 was present to watch the league’s best hitting club.8 Tim Murnane of the Boston Globe observed that the pavilion was composed almost entirely of women.9
The game began with the Quakers at bat. Boston pitcher Kid Nichols walked Billy Hamilton, then Jack Boyle bunted to first baseman Tommy Tucker to advance Hamilton. Notably, Nichols covered first base to earn the putout.10 Hamilton scored on Lave Cross’s single to left, and Cross advanced to second base on the play at the plate.11 Third sacker Billy Nash “beautifully stopped” Ed Delahanty’s drive, which trapped Cross between Nash and shortstop Herman Long. Delahanty advanced to second during the play. Nichols walked Sam Thompson. Bill Hallman’s fly dropped into short center between the fielders to score Delahanty and place Thompson at second. Dick Buckley grounded out to shortstop for the third out. Philadelphia was ahead by two runs.
In Boston’s half, Jack Fanning, newly acquired from New Orleans in the Southern Association, faced leadoff hitter Bobby Lowe. With a full count, Lowe “shot” a single past third base, then stole second. Long tripled to left-center to score Lowe. Hugh Duffy walked. Tommy McCarthy singled to left to score Long and move Duffy to second. Tucker went out, second baseman Hallman to Boyle, and Duffy advanced to third and McCarthy to second. Nash singled to left and Duffy scored. Nash took second on a passed ball. When Fanning walked Bannon, manager Irwin “blew his dog whistle” and brought in Kid Carsey.12 Nevertheless, the runs continued. McCarthy and Nash scored on Charlie Ganzel’s single to left. Bannon scored on Carsey’s wild pitch, which advanced Ganzel to third. Nichols singled “in the right place” to score Ganzel.13 Again at the top of the order, Lowe hit to shortstop Joe Sullivan to force out Nichols. To end the inning, Long was forced on a hit to Sullivan. The crowd “howled themselves so hoarse that quietness reigned the remainder of the game.”14 Boston led 7 to 2.
In the second, friends of Charlestown native Joe Sullivan presented him with a gold-headed cane, a large leather suitcase, and a huge floral wreath in the shape of a horseshoe, in which “Good Luck” was inscribed.15 Instead, Sullivan hit to short for a force out. Nichols walked Carsey. Hamilton and Boyle flied out. Duffy led off Boston’s half with a home run over the left-field fence.16 McCarthy hustled out an infield hit to Cross, who made a great stop but a low throw. Carsey walked Tucker. Nash attempted a sacrifice bunt, but bunted out a fly to Carsey. Bannon drove a ball to Cross, forcing Tucker at second but moving McCarthy to third. Carsey threw to Boyle at first to hold Bannon, and McCarthy stole home.17 Ganzel drove a ball long and high into left field where Delahanty dropped the ball to score Bannon.18 Nichols struck out.
Boston was up 10-2. In the top of the third, Nichols covered first base for the putout when Tucker fielded Thompson’s hit. The bottom of the third featured no Boston runs. The Boston Globe noted Duffy’s “falling down badly” in the game the day before and the Boston Herald noted that he had to leave this game in the seventh inning due to a “lame leg.”19 .
In the fourth inning, Hallman doubled to left, where he was stranded. In Boston’s half, Carsey hit Tucker with a pitch and walked Nash. Then Bannon homered and the crowd “went wild.”20 Ganzel flied out to Hallman at second. Nichols grounded out to Sullivan at short. Cross threw poorly to first on Lowe’s hit, but he was then caught in a rundown play by Carsey, Boyle, and Hallman. Boston led, 13-2.
When Bannon took his position in right, fans provided him with a great reception. The Boston Journal noted that Bannon was the “idol of the 25 cent bleachers in far right field,” and added, “It was a novel sight to see the receptions the ‘little old man’ got from his henchmen in right.”21 Furthermore, “Bannon was the hero of the game, and was busy tipping his cap to liberal applause every time he made a good catch, and after each of his timely home runs.”22
Philadelphia scored two more in the fifth. Hamilton ran out an infield grounder.23 On Boyle’s grounder, Long touched second base to force Hamilton and threw to Tucker to complete the double play. With two out, Cross doubled and Delahanty singled. Thompson doubled to center to score Cross and Delahanty.24 Hallman was forced out, Nichols to Tucker.
In Boston’s fifth, Long flied out to Hamilton. Then Carsey loaded the bases when he walked Duffy, threw a wild pitch to move him to second, walked McCarthy, and watched as Hallman “fumbled” the ball on Tucker’s hit.25 Nash sacrificed to Delahanty to score Duffy and move McCarthy to third. Bannon homered to left again. Ganzel flied out to center. It was 17-4, Boston.
In the top of the seventh, Frank Connaughton replaced Duffy in center and Philadelphia scored two runs. Hamilton singled, then was forced out at second on Boyle’s grounder.26 Delahanty got on base. With two outs and two men on, Connaughton misplayed Thompson’s triple, a long fly to center and the longest hit of the game.27 Hallman recorded an out on a foul ball hit to the catcher, Ganzel. Boston’s lead narrowed to 17-6. In the Philadelphia eighth, Buckley made first when Long threw wide from short. Sullivan hit to Nash and forced out Buckley, but Sullivan hustled to make first on the throw. Carsey drove a ball into Nichols’ pitching hand, sending Sullivan to second. Nichols continued to pitch with a hurt hand.28 Tuck Turner, who substituted for Hamilton, hit a hard grounder to Long, who threw to Nash at third to tag out Sullivan. Boyle flied out to Bannon.
In the Boston half, Ganzel singled on a long hit to center field and advanced to second on Carsey’s wild pitch. Nichols and Lowe went out. Long hit a home run over the left-field fence to score two more runs.29 Connaughton flied out to Delahanty in left. Boston’s lead increased to 19-6. In the ninth, Philadelphia scored twice more. Delahanty and Thompson singled and Buckley walked. Sullivan singled to score two runs. Pitching with an injured hand, Nichols struck out the next two batters, including Carsey, for the last out.30
The game lasted 2 hours 5 minutes, Boston scored 19 runs on 14 hits, and made one error, and Philadelphia scored eight runs on 15 hits, but made seven errors. The game featured four home runs, the pitcher covering first for two putouts, a steal of home, and excited spectators. Notably, Jimmy Bannon provided the game’s highlights with two three-run homers and good fielding. The Boston club hit Philadelphia’s pitchers hard, as Fanning walked two and Carsey, “ragged” and “wild,” walked four. The Boston Journal said Philadelphia played “dazed” and “in a trance.” Cross made four of their six errors. The Beaneaters “were full of ginger, and never played a better game in their lives,” wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The fielding was brilliant and strong, often times reaching the height of phenomenal. … Everyone used their gray matter and the base running was never excelled.”31 Ganzel praised Nichols as the finest fielding pitcher, who covered first base for two putouts.32
The game summary is primarily from “Champions Lost No Time,” Boston Herald, August 8, 1894: 2. Where the game summary differs from the Boston Herald, the source is identified.
1 In the 10th game of their 12-game season series, the Beaneaters trailed the series four wins to five losses. This was Philadelphia’s first visit to Boston for the 1894 season.
2 After spending his rookie campaign with the 1893 St. Louis Browns, the 22-year-old Bannon signed with Boston for 1894, to play mostly in right field alongside future Hall of Famers Hugh Duffy and Tommy McCarthy. Bannon had a very good sophomore season. He played in 128 games, scored 130 runs, hit 29 doubles, 10 triples, and 13 home runs, drove in 114 runs, and stole 47 bases. He had a .336 batting average, .414 on-base percentage, and .514 slugging percentage. In right field, he led the majors with 43 assists, while recording 41 errors, one off the leader. Standing only 5-feet-5 but listed at 160 pounds, Bannon had nicknames including “Little,” “Old Man,” “Kid,” and “Foxy Grandpa.” The Boston Post described him as “swarthy and rosy-cheeked and gray-locked.” After his release in 1896, Bannon continued to play in the minors until 1910. Bannon died on March 24, 1948, at the age of 76. “Fun With Philly,” Boston Post, August 8, 1894: 3.
3 New York Clipper, August 11, 1894: 361.
4 New York Clipper, August 11, 1894: 362.
5 The source of the fire was believed to be a lighted cigarette discarded carelessly by an “urchin” who had snuck into the park to watch his heroes practice. The recent weather had been very hot and dry. A pile of rubbish served as tinder so the wooden stands were quickly engulfed in flames. The fire leapt across the street to the railway stables. The more than 1,000 horses in the stables were safely evacuated. The loss to the club owners was $80,000, with $60,000 covered by insurance. The home season schedule was to end on September 8, and the Quakers would play out their home games at the University of Pennsylvania grounds. “Ball Field Again,” Boston Post, August 7, 1894: 6.
6 Baltimore and New York finished a close 1-2. Boston was third, eight games behind, at 83-49, then Philadelphia.
7 The Boston Post noted that Irwin “prances and dances on the coaching lines.” “Fun With Philly,” Boston Post, August 8, 1894: 3. However, it was not to be. “Irwin sat on the players’ bench, and was very quiet. It was not his coaching day, and the crowd lost the fun they anticipated.” Tim Murnane, “Each Have Five,” Boston Globe, August 8, 1894: 5.
8 For the Quakers, three players were hitting over .400 and six others batted better than .300. “Heady Ball,” Boston Journal, August 8, 1894: 3.
9 The Boston Herald noted a “small forest of umbrellas” in the 25-cent section.
10 Murnane, “Each Have Five.”
11 The Boston Journal credited Cross with a double. “Heady Ball,” Boston Journal.
12 Murnane, “Each Have Five”; The Boston Post recorded a more colorful account, “And thereat, Arthur Irwin, who is actually getting fat, swore terribly, until there was an azure hue, and, beckoning to a small youth, who answered to the family name of Carsey, bade him to supplant the tall young man, he of the anguished countenance.” “Fun With Philly,” Boston Post, August 8, 1894: 3. Baseball-reference lists 31-year old Fanning at 5-feet-9, and 22-year-old Carsey at 5-feet-7.
13 “Heady Ball,” Boston Journal.
16 The Boston Herald noted, “How a hard hit over the fence, foul or fair, does arouse the spectators!”
17 The Boston Journal declared, “McCarthy’s theft of home was the most daring piece of base running of the season, and was justly applauded,” and recorded that Bannon stole second base. “Heady Ball,” Boston Journal.
18 Murnane in the Boston Globe did not mention McCarthy’s theft of home and recorded that McCarthy and Bannon scored on Ganzel’s double. Murnane, “Each Have Five.”
19 Murnane, “Feel Easy Now,” Boston Globe, August 7, 1894: 5; “Champions Lost No Time,” Boston Herald, August 8, 1894: 2.
20 “Heady Ball,” Boston Journal.
22 Murnane, “Each Have Five.”
23 The Boston Journal stated that Hamilton bunted, then Tucker caught Boyle’s fly and Hamilton was caught off the bag on the throw. “Heady Ball,” Boston Journal.
24 Murnane recorded that Thompson singled.
25 The Boston Journal and the Boston Globe record Hallman’s action at second base a “fumble.”
26 Murnane, “Each Have Five.”
27 “Heady Ball,” Boston Journal. The Globe’s Murnane mentioned that both men reached on singles and scored on the triple. Murnane, “Each Have Five.”
29 Long’s home run hit “was one of the longest hits seen this year.” “Heady Ball,” Boston Journal.
30 Murnane, “Each Have Five.”
31 “Beaten by the Hubites,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 8, 1894: 3.
32 The game summaries made special note of Nichols covering first base for Tucker, when Tucker was drawn away from the base to field the ball hit by the batters. “Heady Ball,” Boston Journal.
Boston Beaneaters 19
Philadelphia Quakers 8
South End Grounds
If you can help us improve this game story, contact us.