July 12, 1932: Senators erase 7-run deficit thanks to 8 White Sox errors

This article was written by Ken Carrano

Joe Cronin (TRADING CARD DB)The Washington Senators had a good year in 1932 – their final season tally shows them with 93 wins, good enough for third place in a New York Yankees-dominated American League. The Senators got to their 93 wins in the traditional way – playing OK against the better teams in the league and beating the bottom-dwellers. They were the only team not to have a losing record against the Yankees in 1932, going 11-11 against New York. And if there was the term “Sox” in your name, the Senators would have your number. They went a combined 35-9 against the Boston Red Sox (17-5) and Chicago White Sox (18-4). The White Sox should have done one better than that but couldn’t get out of their own way on July 12 at Griffith Stadium.

The game couldn’t have started any better for the struggling White Sox. Bob Seeds led off the game against Senators hurler Bobby Burke with a triple and scored on an infield grounder off the bat of Billy Sullivan. Burke survived the first inning but didn’t record an out in the second. Lu Blue started the White Sox’ big inning with a single, which was followed by another single by Luke Appling, who had an interesting day. Frank Grube followed with a grounder to first base, but Joe Kuhel slipped and couldn’t get to the bag for the putout, loading the bases. Sad Sam Jones helped his own cause by singling home Blue and Appling. Seeds followed with his second extra-base hit in as many innings, a double that scored Grube and Jones. At this point Senators manager Walter Johnson, a man who knew something about pitching, knew enough to replace the ineffective Burke with Dick Coffman. Coffman was just marginally better: Jackie Hayes beat out a bunt, then was forced at second on a Sullivan grounder with Seeds scoring. Red Kress brought Sullivan home with a triple, but was stranded at third, leaving the White Sox with a 7-0 advantage after an inning and a half.

The Senators started chipping away at the lead immediately, as the White Sox decided to keep their gloves in the dugout for safekeeping the balance of the game. Joe Cronin led off the Senators’ second with a clean single. Dave Harris followed with a bouncer to third baseman Sullivan, who bobbled it. (The official scorer credited Harris with a hit.) After Sam West struck out, Grube tried to pick Harris off first, but Blue could not hold the throw. The mistake seemed to rattle Jones, who proceeded to walk Ossie Bluege, Roy Spencer, and pinch-hitter Sam Rice, plating two runs. Kuhel followed with a fly ball that scored Bluege, and the Senators now trailed 7-3.

The Senators got two more across in the third, thanks to more White Sox blunders. Heinie Manush bunted for a hit as Sullivan watched the ball roll, hoping it would go foul. Sullivan then bobbled Cronin’s grounder that would have probably been a double-play ball. After a fly out, West walked to load the bases. Another potential double play was lost when Appling dropped a flip from Hayes on Bluege’s grounder and Manush scored. Cronin followed him home on Spencer’s fly, and the deficit was cut to two runs.

The White Sox tried to right the ship in the fifth when Blue’s single, two infield outs, and another RBI single by Jones stretched the lead back to three runs, and it became four after another double by Seeds scored Jones. But the White Sox couldn’t clean up their fielding – again. Doubles by Cronin and West in the bottom of the inning brought the score to 9-6, and after Jones walked Roy Spencer, White Sox manager Lew Fonseca replaced him with Urban “Red” Faber. Faber did his job, getting the Nats’ third pitcher, Firpo Marberry, to pop up, but shortstop Appling collided with left fielder Seeds and dropped the ball, allowing West to score: 9-7, White Sox.

The roller-coaster game moved back in favor of the White Sox in the sixth when singles by Sullivan and Blue and a triple by Appling restored their four-run advantage at 11-7, but in the bottom of the sixth, Buddy Myer beat out a bunt, got to third when catcher Grube’s wild pickoff throw to first sailed into right field for Chicago’s fifth error of the game, and scored on Cronin’s fly ball. The sixth White Sox error, in the seventh inning, reduced the Senators deficit to one run. Spencer scratched out a hit, Hayes made a wild throw on Marberry’s grounder, and Kuhel’s single drove in both runners, and the Senators trailed 11-10.

The White Sox added a run in the eighth to make their lead 12-10, but Hayes’ second error (and the White Sox’ seventh) was responsible for the Senators tying the game in the ninth. With the Senators down to their last out and Bluege on second after a walk, Kuhel’s sharp single scored Bluege and brought the score to 12-11. On Myer’s potential game-ending grounder, Hayes made a nice stop but threw wild to first. Cronin then lashed a single off new third baseman Carey Selph’s glove (no error), and the game was tied.

The Senators finished off the defensively challenged White Sox in the 10th, again with two out. Spencer singled, bringing up General Crowder, who had come in to pitch in the top of the inning. Crowder’s grounder went to Appling, who attempted to force Spencer at second. His aim was off, however, and the throw went to right field. Spencer never stopped running and easily scored the winning run. Crowder picked up the win, one of his league-leading 26 for the season.

Appling’s game on this day was decidedly uneven. He went 4-for-4 (for the first time in his career)1 with a triple and two RBIs, but his three errors resulted in three runs for the Senators, including the game-winner. For the White Sox, it was the second time in 1932 that they had 18 hits in a game and lost.2 The Senators gave up 18 or more hits four times in 1932, but this was the only game they won, thanks to nine unearned runs, easily their highest total of the season.



In addition to the sources listed in the Notes, the author accessed mlb.com, Retrosheet.org, Baseball-Reference.com, The Sporting News via Paper of Record, the Chicago Tribune via newspapers.com, the Washington Post via ProQuest, and the Washington Evening Star via geneaologybank.com.





1 Appling had 34 career four-hit games, second to Nellie Fox, who leads the team with 41.

2 The White Sox had 18 hits against the Philadelphia A’s on June 20 and lost 18-11, and had 18 against the Boston Red Sox on August 26 and lost 11-8.

Additional Stats

Washington Senators 13
Chicago White Sox 12
10 innings

Griffith Stadium 
Washington, DC


Box Score + PBP:

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