This article was written by Robert D. Warrington
This article was published in the The National Pastime: From Swampoodle to South Philly (Philadelphia, 2013)
Hall of Fame manager John McGraw had tempestuous relations with all league opponents, but it was particularly fractious with the Philadelphia Phillies. After a game in 1913, Phillies pitcher Addison Brennan took a swing at the Little Napoleon — and connected.
The Phillies and their fans hated New York Giants manager John McGraw. This fact must be clearly understood if readers are to truly appreciate the story that follows.
Nicknamed “Muggsy” and “Little Napoleon,” John McGraw was an easy man to detest. Sportswriter Grantland Rice observed, “There were many who hated John McGraw and to many of these he gave reason … He was the leader with the rasping, cutting voice that so often poured sarcasm and invective upon umpires, the enemy and his own players.”[fn]Richard Adler, Mack, McGraw and the 1913 Baseball Season (Jefferson: McFarland & Co., 2008), 39.[/fn] Others agree. “His personality was indeed that of a ‘Little Napoleon:’ arrogant, abrasive and pugnacious. He outgeneraled his opponents while abusing them verbally and, sometimes, with his fists.”[fn]“John McGraw,” Baseball Library, accessed November 3, 2012, http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=john_mcgraw_1873.[/fn]
A man who ruled his New York Giants with an iron hand, McGraw was quoted as saying, “With my team I am an absolute czar. My men know it. I order plays and they obey. If they don’t I fine them.”[fn]“John McGraw Quotes: Quotes From & About John McGraw,” Baseball Almanac, accessed November 3, 2012, http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quomcg2.shtml.[/fn] His rationale for such a tyrannical approach to managing was simple, “Nine mediocre players pulling together under one competent head will do better work than nine individuals of greater ability without unified control.”[fn]“John McGraw,” How Stuff Works, accessed November 3, 2012, http://howstuffworks.com/John-McGraw-hof.h.[/fn]
FEUDING WITH THE PHILLIES
McGraw had tempestuous relations with all league opponents, but it was particularly fractious with the Philadelphia Phillies.[fn]David Jordan explained the pronounced enmity McGraw and the Phillies shared: “Propinquity often breeds animosity, and there was an ill-concealed bitter edge to relations between the two cities, a bare hundred miles apart, with nothing separating them but New Jersey. The swaggering, bullying tactics of John McGraw and the arrogant attitude of his players irritated many in Philadelphia.” David Jordan, Occasional Glory: A History of the Philadelphia Phillies (Jefferson: McFarland & Co., 2002), 32.[/fn] In his book Mack, McGraw and the 1913 Baseball Season, Richard Adler acknowledges, “No love was ever lost between McGraw and the Phillies.”[fn]Adler, 1913 Baseball Season, 171.[/fn] Multiple violent encounters punctuated Giants-Phillies games, most of them involving McGraw. During a 1906 game in Philadelphia, for example, McGraw and Phillies infielder Paul Sentell began fighting on the field.[fn]Feuding between McGraw and Sentelle was not an isolated event. After a June 1906 game in New York, McGraw ordered six men to assault Sentelle as he exited the ballpark. “No sooner had he (Sentelle) got outside the gate than Manager John McGraw set a half-dozen others, players and employees, on him. In spite of the tremendous odds, the young infielder put up a plucky fight, and had one of his assailants down and pummeling him hard when Kid Gleason appeared on the scene. The Phillies’ captain succeeded in stopping hostilities, although he had a hard time getting Sentelle away, as the latter was very anxious to get at McGraw, who, as usual, kept well in the background.” Frances C. Richter, “Sentelle Assaulted in New York,” Sporting Life 47, June 30, 1906.[/fn] Both were ejected but resumed fisticuffs under the stands.[fn]The mutual loathing of McGraw and Sentelle persisted for years. In 1917, McGraw took his Giants to Texas to play an exhibition game against the Galveston club managed by Sentelle. According to one account, “An outbreak of the ancient feud between John J. McGraw and Paul Sentelle, manager of the Galveston club, almost resulted in a St. Patrick’s Day shindy instead of a baseball game here today. The reversal of a decision by a local umpire precipitated the argument in the third inning.” Despite heated remarks exchanged by the two men, a fight was avoided when the owner of the Galveston club intervened to settle the dispute. The origins of the “ancient feud” remain obscure. “Jawn M’Graw Gets Into Warm Debate,” New York Times, March 18, 1917.[/fn] So enraged were fans that they tried to attack Giants players leaving the ballpark to return to their hotel. Punches were thrown and some minor injuries sustained, with one player—Roger Bresnahan—having to barricade himself inside a grocery store until rescued by police.[fn]Rich Westcott, Philadelphia’s Old Ballparks (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996), 57-58.[/fn]
Mutual ill will continued to smolder over the years. In 1913, the Giants and Phillies were scheduled to play 22 times—11 games in each other’s city. Opportunities abounded for barely suppressed hostility to erupt into a riot, causing violence on the field, in the stands, and beyond the ballpark. Only a spark was needed.
THE FIRST SKIRMISH
The Giants came to Philadelphia for a four-game series starting June 30, 1913, with the Phillies holding a precarious half-game lead over New York in the standings. The first game was hotly contested as the Phillies jumped on top early, but the Giants came back to take the lead 10–6 after batting in the top of the seventh inning. The Phillies scored three runs in the bottom of that frame and then tied the score in the bottom of the eighth. The Giants, however, managed to squeeze out an 11–10 victory in the 10th.[fn]“Attack M’Graw After Giants Win,” New York Times, July 1, 1913.[/fn] As exciting as the game was, what followed would be far more memorable.
“A feeling of bitterness was noticeable during the game today,” wrote one sportswriter who witnessed the affair. “The Philadelphia players and fans say that all the time the New York manager was on the coaching line he was chiding the players on the bench.”[fn]Ibid.[/fn] Another account similarly notes, “McGraw, in the coaches’ box at third, lost no opportunity to exchange ‘greetings’ with the Phillies’ players on the bench.”[fn]“Addie Brennan Knocked Down Muggsy M’Graw,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 1, 1913.[/fn]
When the game ended, McGraw walked to the clubhouse, which was located in center field at National League Park, with Phillies captain Mike Doolan.[fn]National League Park later became informally known as Baker Bowl, named after Phillies president William F. Baker. The ballpark’s name was never officially changed, however.[/fn] Just ahead of them was Phillies pitcher Addison “Addie” Brennan, who “took an active part in the stream of repartee with the New York manager” during the game.[fn]New York Times, July 1, 1913.[/fn] Differing accounts appeared the next day in New York and Philadelphia newspapers as to what then occurred. From the Philadelphia perspective, McGraw pointed at Brennan and said in a loud voice, “That’s the fellow I am after and I am going to get him.”[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer, July 1, 1913. It was also reported that McGraw called Brennan “yellow” and abused him in “alleged unprintable language.” “Philadelphia Scene of Latest Slugging Match,” Sporting Life 61, July 12, 1913.[/fn] Quickening his pace, he approached Brennan and:
Addie, hearing the talk of McGraw, turned around, and seeing Muggsy’s warlike attitude wasted no time, but just waded in and cuffed the Giants’ battlelike leader a smash on the jaw that sent him down on the soft sod. It is likely that McGraw figured that Brennan would pitch today and picked on him with the purpose of getting him rattled ahead of time. But in picking Brennan for his pecking McGraw picked the wrong man and had to take the count.[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer, July 1, 1913.[/fn]
The fracas was over in an instant with McGraw on the ground and Phillies player Otto Knabe virtually dragging Brennan toward the clubhouse.[fn]Brennan claimed to have landed two punches, a left and a right, that dropped McGraw. “Brennan Was Only Phil Who Cuffed McGraw,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 1913.[/fn] Fans that saw what happened were eager to join in the fisticuffs and gathered on the street around the clubhouse exit waiting for McGraw and his players to emerge. But police shooed the incensed fans away, and the New Yorkers were able to leave the ballpark without incident.[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer, July 1, 1913.[/fn]
Once in the Majestic Hotel where the team was quartered, Giants Road Secretary John B. Foster told the press that McGraw had been knocked unconscious and had a severe cut on the back of his ear. The manager was in his room and under the care of a physician.[fn]McGraw was not seriously injured and was reported as saying he wanted the incident to be dropped without an investigation. At the start of the next day’s game, McGraw and Doolan “were smiling and chattering like two old college chums” when they handed their batting orders to umpire Bill Klem. Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 1913.[/fn] Foster continued:
We intend to investigate this matter fully and demand that the man who attacked Manager McGraw be punished. It is one of the dirtiest things ever pulled … McGraw was walking with Doolan and discussing the game. It certainly looked like a frame-up, for without any warning Brennan rushed at him and hit him.[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer, July 1, 1913.[/fn]
McGraw himself declared he had said nothing to justify being attacked. While acknowledging there was a lot “loose talk” between the two teams during the series, McGraw asserted, “I cannot recall a thing that I said to Brennan, except to ask him how many times he was knocked out of the box this season.”[fn]Sporting Life, July 12, 1913.[/fn]
New York newspapers portrayed McGraw as the innocent victim of an unprovoked attack, noting that the manager was talking with Doolan when he was attacked from behind by multiple assailants who punched and kicked him repeatedly.[fn]New York Times, July 1, 1913.[/fn] The New York Times initially reported that a mob of fans and Phillies players attacked McGraw, but quickly revised its rendition of the incident by naming Brennan as the only offender.[fn]“To Investigate Fight,” New York Times, July 2, 1913. Philadelphia newspapers, in subsequent reporting, also confirmed that only Brennan struck McGraw. Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 1913.[/fn]
The McGraw-Brennan dust-up was a front-page story the next day in Philadelphia and New York newspapers. Although umpires made no mention of the altercation in their report of the game—they probably left the field before it happened—National League President Thomas J. Lynch learned of the matter through newspaper accounts and announced an investigation would be initiated.[fn]“Umpires Didn’t Report Scrap,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 1913.[/fn]
Lynch visited Philadelphia on July 2 and interviewed McGraw, Foster, Doolan, Brennan, and Phillies manager Charlie Dooin.[fn]“Lynch Holds Ax Over Addie’s Head,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 3, 1913.[/fn] Later that same day he announced his decision: McGraw and Brennan would each be suspended five days and Brennan would pay a fine of $100. Lynch reasoned that both men “indulged in personalities during the game, and that the feeling aroused thereby was the direct cause of the happenings when the players were leaving the field.” The suspension would commence on July 4, and both men would be eligible to return on July 9.[fn]“McGraw Is Suspended,” New York Times, July 4, 1913.[/fn]
The Phillies and Giants howled over the punishment. Giants President Harry Hempstead telegraphed Lynch to protest McGraw’s suspension, stating that the club’s manager was “the object of an attack by a Philadelphia player, not even being given an opportunity to defend himself.”[fn]“President Lynch Suspends McGraw and Brennan for Five Days and Also Fines Phillies’ Pitcher $100,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 4, 1913.[/fn] The Phillies’ ire was directed at the fact that Brennan was suspended and fined while McGraw was only suspended. Dooin stated that his pitcher had been provoked and that McGraw was as much to blame for the rumpus as Brennan. Punishment should be the same for both men.[fn]Ibid.[/fn] These objections notwithstanding, McGraw and Brennan served their suspensions and the fine was paid.[fn]Sporting Life, July 12, 1913. Brennan’s fine was paid by Phillies management. The pugilistic pitcher received over 500 letters, most of them congratulating him for cuffing McGraw. Robert P. Wiggins, The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs: The History of an Outlaw Major League, 1914-1915 (Jefferson: McFarland & Co., 2009), 58. McGraw served his suspension sitting in a box next to the Giants’ dugout during games. “‘Matty’ Totters But Does Not Fall,” New York Times, July 6, 1913.[/fn]
Phillies fans were not prepared to let bygones be bygones, however, and the Giants would return to Philadelphia.
AN UMPIRE’S CONTROVERSIAL DECISION
The race between the Phillies and Giants for the 1913 NL pennant was close early in the season. But the Giants had established a considerable lead by the time they returned to Philadelphia in late August. New York’s record stood at 82–36 and the Phillies at 67–45 when the two clubs met for a three-game series beginning on August 28. The Phillies staked their claim as pennant contenders by winning the first two games, 7–2 and 3–2, in 10 innings. Only the third game was left to be played on August 30.[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer, August 28-29, 1913.[/fn]
The Giants jumped out to an early 6–0 lead, pummeling Grover Cleveland Alexander—a rare occurrence in his otherwise brilliant season.[fn]Alexander ended up with a 22–8 record in 1913.[/fn] George Chalmers came on in relief in the fourth inning and held McGraw’s crew scoreless through the eighth. Meanwhile, the Phillies got to Giants starter Christy Mathewson, chipping away at the lead by scoring five runs in the sixth inning, two more in the seventh, and adding one more tally in the eighth to give the hometown crew an 8–6 lead.[fn]Jim Nasium, “Phils’ Great Rally Went Into Discard,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1913. Jim Nasium was the pen name of Edgar Forrest Wolfe—a Philadelphia sportswriter and cartoonist. The mirthful Wolfe derived his nom de plume from the word “Gymnasium.”[/fn]
Then, the Giants came to bat in the top of the ninth inning and all hell broke loose.
With Chalmers still pitching for the Phillies, Moose McCormick came up to the plate as a pinch hitter for first baseman Fred Merkle. He grounded a ball to second baseman Otto Knabe who flipped it to first baseman Fred Luderus for the first out. As he was going back to the dugout, McCormick shouted at home plate umpire Bill Brennan (not to be confused with Phillies pitcher “Addie” Brennan) that spectators in the center-field seats had blinded him at the plate while he was batting.[fn]“Phila. Rooters Mob Umpire Who Gives N.Y. Game,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1913.[/fn] (As noted earlier, the clubhouse at National League Park was located in center field. Seats were placed in front and on top of the clubhouse, and they were opened to the public only when the rest of the ballpark was sold out. On this day, it was filled to capacity with 22,000 fans.)[fn]Nasium, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1913.[/fn]
The following sequence of events then took place, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Umpire Brennan walked out to the center-field bleachers and ordered the fans sitting there to vacate the section.[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer. August 31, 1913. It is not clear from reporting whether Brennan’s order applied to patrons sitting in front of the clubhouse, on top of it, or both.[/fn] He was met with a thundering chorus of jeers and catcalls. Brennan walked back to the infield, approached Mickey Doolan, and ordered him to have the fans removed. The Phillies captain laughed and said there was nothing he could do.[fn]Nasium, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1913. Fans entered the center-field stands during the sixth inning of the game. The crowd had become so dense that ropes used to keep that section free of patrons were removed—a common occurrence when the ballpark was packed to capacity. Brennan could not talk directly to Phillies Manager Charlie Dooin because he had been ejected from the game in the sixth inning.[/fn]
Growing exasperated, Brennan walked over to the Giants’ dugout and conferred with McGraw. The umpire yet again walked to center field and confronted a Philadelphia police officer who was stationed along the outfield wall. Brennan demanded that the officer remove the spectators sitting in center field. He refused and Brennan then asserted, “You are under my orders.” The officer replied, “I’m under no orders except from my sergeant or captain.”[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1913.[/fn]
With the crowd growing increasingly unruly, Brennan’s officiating partner, Mal Eason, suggested to Brennan that the remainder of the game be played under protest. Brennan again journeyed to the Giants’ dugout to confer with McGraw. The New York manager rejected Eason’s suggestion. Brennan walked over to the grandstand area and announced in a loud voice, “The game is forfeited to New York, nine to zero.”[fn]Ibid.[/fn]
Philadelphia sportswriters claimed the Giants protested that white shirted-spectators in the stands had prevented them from seeing the ball clearly. They belittled the charge and wondered out loud why New York hadn’t complained about the problem earlier in the game—choosing to do so only after the Phillies had taken the lead.[fn]Nasium. Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1913.[/fn]
McGraw, however, attributed the forfeit to the disruptive conduct of unruly patrons. He claimed, “I took advantage of the occasion to ask to have the crowd removed from the seats in center field because the crowd there was in direct line with the batters, waving their hats and coats and using glasses to reflect the sun’s rays in the eyes of my men.” He put blame for the incident squarely on the Phillies’ shoulders, stating that had the seats been cleared the game could have continued.[fn]“McGraw Says Local Club Should Have Cleared Bleachers as Umpire Brennan Ordered,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 1, 1913.[/fn]
Brennan also attributed the forfeit to the antics of center field fans—not their attire—and wrote in a report to NL President Lynch explaining his decision, “All started to wave papers and coats and it was impossible for me to see a ball that was pitched.[fn]“Brennan’s Official Statement,” Sporting Life 62, September 13, 1913.[/fn]
A RIOT ERUPTS IN THE STANDS …
While differences exist over what prompted the forfeit, there is no dispute over what happened once it was announced. The lead story on the front page of the next day’s Inquirer offered a vivid description of what took place:
Bedlam cut loose at that instant. Screaming in rage the bleacherites by thousands poured over the low rail into the playing field. In the grand stand men rose in wild excitement and hoarsely shouted “robber. thief.”
A second later a cushion struck the arbitrator in the face as he was walking toward the exit under the grand stand leading to his dressing room. His walk turned into an undignified run. The bleacher crowd had first tried to stop the New York players who butted their way to safety. Then they turned toward Brennan. He was near the exit then, but they were coming rapidly. The line of police stationed round the bleachers threatened with drawn revolvers in vain.
Over the exit hundreds of grandstand spectators were crowded with any missile they could lay their hands upon. As Brennan got below they cut loose. A cushion seat struck his shoulder; a pop bottle grazed his head.
“Help, they’re killing me,” Brennan shouted, bending low and dodging under the stand.
“Outside to the player’s exit,” came the shout in the crowd. “We’ll head him off there.” A few minutes later the ball park was deserted while a mob raged along Fifteenth Street, Lehigh Avenue, and Broad Street.[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1913.[/fn]
… AND SPILLS OUT INTO THE STREETS
McGraw, his players, and the umpires faced the daunting challenge of traversing the four blocks between National League Park and the North Philadelphia Station of the Pennsylvania Railroad to catch a train back to New York. The Giants manager and his men were the first to emerge from the ballpark, and as they started their journey, Phillies fans converged upon them hurling objects of various sorts. Philadelphia police officers managed to insert themselves between the ballplayers and the crowd and escorted the Giants to the railroad station. McGraw, however, somehow got ahead of his players during the ruckus, and the crowd got between them and started chasing the manager with vengeance on its mind. “A wild chase” to the railroad station ensued as McGraw sought to evade his pursuers.[fn]Ibid. The number of fans milling outside the ballpark and participating in attacks against Brennan, McGraw, and his players was put at 5,000.[/fn]
But the fans had not forgotten Brennan. The greatly despised umpire and his partner, Eason, emerged from the ballpark and were immediately set upon by angry fans. A cordon of police escorted them toward the station, but as they crossed the railroad bridge waiting fans unleashed a volley of missiles and spikes; fortunately, none found their mark. But just as Brennan, Eason, and their escort reached the railroad station, police saw McGraw and his players being chased by the angry mob. The officers abandoned the umpires to rescue the manager and his men, which gave fans the opportunity to attack Brennan. “They jumped upon him by the dozens. He was beaten to the ground, rose, was beaten down again, and finally rose again, breaking away and fleeing into the station.”[fn]Ibid. As he ran, Brennan cried “Murder!” at the top of his lungs.[/fn]
Brennan managed to reach the station just as McGraw did. With police, guns drawn, covering their escape, luck was on the side of McGraw and Brennan. An extra-fare express train from Pittsburgh to New York was just leaving the station as the two men entered, and both jumped aboard with the angry mob closing in. The train departed, much to the disappointment of those fans seeking to settle a score with the manager and the umpire.[fn]Ibid.[/fn]
What of the Giants players? McGraw, in his ignominious flight to safety, left them behind. They had to huddle in a corner on the platform at the station protected by police for 15 minutes until the regularly scheduled train to New York arrived. The crowd jeered and hurled insults but did not harm them in any way. The players boarded the train and left. Phillies fans milled around for a while, denouncing Brennan’s decision and demanding justice, but they eventually dispersed peacefully.[fn]Ibid. Only one person was arrested in the riot. George Young was taken into custody for inciting to riot and resisting an officer. Young had attempted to trip an officer who was protecting McGraw and his Giants.[/fn] Despite the multitude of objects and fists thrown, casualties were slight. Tillie Shafer was struck on the head with a brick but not seriously injured, while fellow infielder Buck Herzog sported a large scratch on his face. Someone snatched catcher Larry McLean’s straw hat off his head and absconded with it.[fn]“Dooin May Carry Protest To Court,” New York Times, September 1, 1913. Philadelphia Inquirer, September 1, 1913.[/fn]
THE BLAME GAME
Yet again, Philadelphia and New York newspapers reflected sharply differing perspectives on fixing blame for the melee. Philadelphia sportswriter James Nasium held Brennan and McGraw responsible, accusing them of conspiring to steal a game the Phillies had justly won. He commented caustically, “It marked the most disgraceful feature of a season of disgraceful umpiring and the second time (the June confrontation with Phillies pitcher Brennan being the first) in as many visits to Philadelphia that John McGraw has been a party to initiating a riot on the Broad and Huntingdon streets grounds.”[fn]Nasium, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1913.[/fn]
Repeating his earlier accusation that center-field fans only became a problem once the Giants fell behind, Nasium castigated Brennan as “a mongrel in the guise of an umpire,” and condemned McGraw for refusing to continue the game under protest (Eason’s suggestion). He concluded his diatribe against the men by asserting:
The mere throwing out of this game or playing it over will not suffice. The game belongs to the Phillies. And even if the game is ultimately decided in favor of the Phillies, nothing can now remove the smirch that Brennan and McGraw’s action has made upon the national sport save the removal of the former and the disciplining of the latter. If this game is to be kept clean, let it be kept clean by those who are at the head of it. You can’t expect a clean house from a filthy tenant.[fn]Ibid.[/fn]
New York newspapers were contemptuous of Philadelphia’s outrage, noting glibly, “Naturally, Philadelphia is excited. They get stirred up every so often about baseball, anyway.”[fn]New York Times, September 1, 1913.[/fn] Phillies fans, furthermore, were accountable for starting the trouble.
The fans made a lot of noise and began to wave handkerchiefs and papers. Most of the men and boys were in their shirtsleeves and they stood up and also waved their arms trying to disconcert the attention of the New York batsmen.[fn]“Philadelphia Fans Spoil A Victory,” New York Times, August 31, 1913.[/fn]
It was the Phillies’ unwillingness to clear fans from the center-field seats, moreover, that led to the forfeit, not any demands by McGraw or his Giants. “Umpire Brennan forfeited the game to New York after the Philadelphia Club had failed to move from a section in the centre field bleachers spectators who, the New York players claimed, interfered with the vision of the batsmen.”[fn]“Revolver Saves Players,” New York Times, August 31, 1913.[/fn]
PRESIDENT OVERRULES UMPIRE
Phillies Manager Charlie Dooin announced following the game that he would protest Brennan’s forfeit decision and aid every effort to have the umpire driven out of organized baseball. Dooin was quoted as saying:
I do not know whether a protest will avail us anything, but we will certainly protest the forfeited game and protest it bitterly. It was sheer robbery and of the rankest sort. I cannot understand how the National League magnates will permit such arbitration of their game.[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1913.[/fn]
Dooin traveled to New York on August 31 “still at white heat with indignation at Umpire Brennan for his asinine decision” to complain personally to the league president.[fn]“Phils Enter Protest,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 1, 1913.[/fn] Lynch listened and on September 2 reversed Brennan’s decision and awarded an 8–6 victory to the Phillies. In his ruling Lynch declared:
The official report of Umpire Brennan covering the game forfeited to New York in Philadelphia August 30 shows that neither club had complained about existing conditions regarding the spectators, and that the umpire plainly went beyond his authority in declaring a forfeiture, for which action he had neither the protection of the regular playing rules nor of any special ground rule. The umpire was clearly at fault in not having the game played to a finish.[fn]“Brennan Exceeded His Authority Says Lynch,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 3, 1913.[/fn]
BOARD OVERRULES PRESIDENT
Lynch’s decision was applauded by most. Sporting Life, for example, called Brennan’s decision “outrageous” and “infamous,” and opined that “President Lynch had base ball law on his side and could not have done anything else.”[fn]“Just Lynch Verdict,” Sporting Life 62, September 6, 1913.[/fn] But most did not include the New York Giants. The New Yorkers appealed Lynch’s decision to the NL Board of Directors, with club President Hempstead stating:
How Lynch can take that game from us I can’t understand … To throw the game out and order it replayed would have been injustice enough after the umpire awarded us the decision. But to declare us defeated without giving us any chance is, in my opinion, unconstitutional.[fn]Philadelphia Inquirer, September 3, 1913.[/fn]
In yet another precedent-setting move, the Board— comprised of Charles H. Ebbets, August Herrmann, and Charles W. Murphy—overruled Lynch on September 15 and ordered that the game be resumed “with the same men on the field and under the same status as existed on the day that Umpire Brennan awarded the game to New York.” Since the Giants would not return to Philadelphia during the season, the Board directed that the game be completed on October 2 when the Phillies were at the Polo Grounds.[fn]“Giants Win Appeal,” Sporting Life 62 September 20, 1913.[/fn]
By early October, however, the game had become nothing more than a curiosity. The Giants had staked out a commanding lead for the NL pennant and would finish the season with a comfortable 12 ½-game lead over the Phillies.[fn]Jordan, Occasional Glory, 43.[/fn] Nevertheless, as instructed by the Board of Directors, the clubs resumed the August 30 game at the exact point at which it had been stopped. With one out, outfielder Red Murray grounded out. Catcher Chief Meyers rapped a single. Eddie Grant came in to run for Meyers. Larry McLean, batting for outfielder Fred Snodgrass, hit a grounder that forced Grant at second. The game was finally officially over with the Phillies victorious by a score of 8–6.[fn]The Phillies and Giants were originally scheduled to play a doubleheader on October 2. By adding the completion of the August 30 game, it became a tripleheader, which also set a precedent. As the Inquirer remarked, “Dooin’s Daisies triumphed over the Champion Giants at the Polo grounds this afternoon in the first real triple-header of major league history … It isn’t the first time that three major league games have been played on one day, but the first time three have ever been played for one admission.” In the doubleheader, the Phillies lost the first game 8–3 but took the second contest 4–3. “Phillies Take Two In Triple-Header,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 3, 1913.[/fn]
REVENGE OF THE PHILADELPHIANS
Though New York had bested the Phillies by winning the NL title and were heading to the World Series, Philadelphia had the last laugh. The Giants’ opponent in the Fall Classic was none other than the Philadelphia Athletics. Connie Mack’s club was in the midst of its first successful run and had already beaten McGraw’s minions in the 1911 World Series, four games to two. The 1913 World Series would be even sweeter for the A’s as they downed the Giants by the more lopsided outcome of four games to one.[fn]David Jordan, The Athletics of Philadelphia: Connie Mack’s White Elephants, 1901-1954 (Jefferson: McFarland & Co.,), 55, 61.[/fn] New York City may have been home of the National League champions in 1913, but Philadelphia was home of the world champions.
ROBERT D. WARRINGTON was born in Philadelphia and works for the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a member of Society for American Baseball Research and the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society.