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Aug 28

The 1901 Cleveland Riot, 20 July

Washington arrives in Cleveland in fifth place; the Blues are in seventh place.

20 July Washington 9 Cleveland 7

A large Saturday crowd is on hand. The Senators played by far a better fielding game, and gave Case Patten superb support, he scattered ten hits. Ed Scott started to pitch for Cleveland but he lasted one inning, and Pete Dowling relieved him. He was hit freely throughout the contest, being touched for a total of twenty bases. The Blues started off as though they would put Patten out of business, but it was not until toward the end of the contest that they were able to bunch their hits off him.

It was a closely fought match; both teams scored one run in the first and three in the third. Cleveland had loaded the bases in the third but Patten pitched out of trouble. Washington took the lead in the fourth inning thanks to an error by Frank Scheibeck-SS. In the fifth Irv Waldron ran in from right field to catch George “Candy” LaChance’s low fly. Cleveland tied the game in the seventh only to lose it on Bill Coughlin’s dramatic two run home run in the ninth. Umpire Tom Connolly. Time 2:10.

The timely intervention of Manager Jimmy McAleer and other members of the Cleveland team saved umpire Tom Connolly for bodily harm from an enraged crowd numbering nearly 3,000 people. The trouble started in the ninth inning. Cleveland needed four runs to tie the score, and two were scored when Bill Bradley came to bat. In trying to dodge an inshoot, the ball struck the handle of the bat and rolled fair. Bradley never stirred from the plate, claiming that the ball touched him. Bill Clarke threw to first, and Umpire Connolly called Bradley out.

When Connolly said “out” the crowd on the uncovered bleachers made a dash for him, and Manager McAleer, with the Cleveland players, hurried to his assistance. As he was nearing the gate between the grandstand and the covered pavilion, someone threw a soda pop bottle at the umpire, striking a boy on the leg, knocking him down.

This was the start of hostilities. Pop bottles and cushions were thrown at Connelly’s head, while the Cleveland players were protecting him in the absence of the police, none of whom was in sight. As Connelly passed through the gate the crowd surged after him and cushions and bottles were thrown from above the stand on the heads of those below. Several took a punch at Connolly from the rear, but did no damage. He finally reached the clubhouse, with hundreds after him. Three special policemen finally arrived and dispersed the crowd.

Several people were injured by the bottles and cushions, and two or three were badly cut, as the blood on the grounds showed. Manager McAleer was cut on the hand with a bottle. Over a hundred people waited for Connolly outside the gate. After a quarter hour he left, accompanied by manager McAleer, President John Kilfoyl, and a newspaper man. He was not molested, although the crowd surrounded him and hurled all sorts of epithets at him.