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Oct 07

This Date in Washington Senators History – The Goslin Game

October 7

1924 World Series

Washington at NY Giants, Game 4

Senators 7 Giants 4

Series tied 2-2

In baseball lore, this contest became known as the “Goslin Game”. A Polo Grounds record crowd of WashingtonSenators122749,243 witness Goslin’s 4-for-4, 4 RBI day that leads the Senators to a 7-4 win to deadlock the series. With Bucky Harris giving Walter Johnson an extra days rest, George Mogridge picks up the win. Firpo Marberry, following his subpar start in game 3, gets the save.

The Giants tally once in the 1st, but Goslin replies with a bang in the 3rd. With Earl McNeely at third and Harris at second with two down, Goslin nails a Virgil Barnes pitch to right for a 3-run home run and a 3-1 Nats lead. In the 5th, McNeely punches a single to left. Harris follows with a single of his own that moves McNeely to third. Barnes, facing Sam Rice, throws a wild pitch, scoring McNeely for Washington’s 4th run. One out later, Goslin continues to torment Barnes, a 16 game winner in 1924, with a RBI single for his 3rd hit and 4th RBI of the game.

In the top half of the 8th, the Sens put New York away. Goslin picks up his 4th hit, a single, to lead off. Joe Judge singles sharply to left. When Giants LF Irish Meusel errors attempting to field the ball, Goslin scampers to third and Judge head to second. Ossie Bluege singles, bringing in Goslin and Judge for a 7-2 lead, on the way to an eventual 7-4 Senators win.

1925 World Series

Washington at Pittsburgh, Game 1

Senators 4 Pirates 1

Senators lead series 1-0

Oddsmakers label the veteran laden Nats as the favorites to win this year’s World Series. And why not? The Sens had surpassed their 1924 regular season record by 5.5 games and handily won the 1925 AL pennant by 8.5 games. Regulars Muddy Ruel, Joe Judge, Goose Goslin and Sam Rice all have batting averages of well over .300, with Rice’s .350 clip leading the team. New addition Stan Coveleski led the AL with a 2.84 ERA, while recording a 20-5 W/L mark. Walter Johnson, while not as dominating as 10 years ago, still notched a 20-7 mark. Washington can also boast of having the premier relief pitcher in the AL, if not the majors, in Firpo Marberry.

To overlook Pittsburgh, in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1909, as a walkover to the Senators second straight world championship would be foolish. Much like their American League counterparts, the Pirates lapped the senior circuit by 8.5 games. Four regulars, 3B Pie Traynor, SS Glenn Wright, LF Clyde Barnhardt, and RF Kiki Cuyler, each drove in 100 or more RBI. Every starting position player, sans 2B Eddie Moore, hit over .300. And, in CF Max Carey, the Bucs have the NL stolen base king. Pittsburgh may not have a star in the pitching department, but 5 pitchers won 15 or more, led by Lee “Spec” Meadows 19.

With the Big Train’s fastball blazing, this game would belong to the Nats. Washington LF Joe “Moon” Harris pops a solo HR to right in the 2nd to spot the Sens a 1-0 margin. In the 5th, Sam Rice 2-run single extends the Washington lead to 3-0.

Johnson surrenders a run in the bottom half of the 5th, when Traynor goes deep to shave the lead to 3-1. But that would all the Pirates would get off the dominant Johnson. The Big Train strikes out 10, allows 5 hits and smothers the powerful Pittsburgh offense in Washington’s 4-1 win. Rice, Moon Harris and Ossie Bluege are the hitting stars, each collecting 2 hits each.

1933 World Series

NY Giants at Washington, Game 5

Giants 4 Senators 3 (10)

Giants win World Series 4-1

Facing elimination and with their backs against the wall, the Nats come out lifeless in a do or die contest. The Giants plate 2 in the 2nd on starting pitcher Hal Schumacher‘s 2-run single off Alvin Crowder. Another New York run in the 6th pads the Giant lead to 3-0.

The Senators appear dead in the water when Heinie Manush singles with two outs in the 6th. The quiet Griffith Stadium crowd stirs after Joe Cronin follows Manush with another single. With two on and two out, it is reasonable to suggest that quite a few Nats fans were pessimistic about their team’s chances of scoring. Hadn’t the Senators consistently failed in situations like this during the whole series? The pessimism fades when Fred Schulte crashes a liner into the right field pavilion for a game-tying, home run. Suddenly, the score is now 3-3.

Staggering from the swift change in momentum, Schumacher allows a Joe Kuhel single and a rocket from Ossie Bluege that 3B Travis Jackson knocks down. Jackson hurries a wild throw to first that pulls Bill Terry off the bag for an error. Running aggressively, Kuhel makes it to third. Having given up 5 straight hits, Terry removes Schumacher in favor of 43 year old Dolf Luque. Luque, “The Pride of Havana”, cleans up the mess by getting Luke Sewell on a ground ball to end the inning.

Neither club threatens for runs in the ensuing three innings. In the top of 10th, with two away and nobody on, Mel Ott skys a fly ball to CF that carries. CF Shulte gets his glove on the ball, but when he collides with the wall, the ball pops out and lands in the stands. Umpire Charles Pfirman initially rules it a ground rule double, believing the ball hit the ground before going into the stands. When Terry explodes out of the dugout protesting, Pfirman confers with crew chief Charley Moran. Pfirman reverses his original call and awards Ott with a home run. Now, the Senators find themselves 3 outs away from elimination.

Goose Goslin taps out to Loque for out number one. Manush hits a laser, but 2B Howie Critz snags it for the second out. Down to their last hope to keep their season alive, Cronin pumps a single to left. Former hero, and now goat, Schulte walks on four straight pitches. Up next is Kuhel, who drove in 107 RBI in the regular season, who needs desperately to drive in another one. Instead, Kuhel will go down as the last Washington hitter in a postseason game when he strikes out. The 4-3 New York victory makes the Giants the World Series champion for the 4th time in their history.

Senators Birthdays

Charles Elmer (Punch) Knoll B Oct. 7, 1881 D Feb. 8, 1960

Single Season Senator Punch Knoll was an outfielder who could also fill in as a catcher and 1st baseman. Playing in 79 games for the 1905 Senators, Knoll would go 52 for 244 including 10 doubles and 5 triples with 29 RBI.

“Punch” Knoll career record

Filomeno Coronada (Phil) Ortega B Oct. 7, 1939 Still Living

Signed by the LA Dodgers in 1959, pitcher Phil Ortega would make his major league debut in September of 1960. Making brief appearances in 1960 and 1961, Ortega would pitch in 24 games with the Dodgers in 1962, posting an 0-2 record with a 6.88 ERA.

Ortega would see action in only 1 major league game in 1963 but would have a much more active season in 1964, pitching in 34 games, posting a 7-9 record with a 4.00 ERA.

After the 1964 season, Ortega was a part of the famous trade that sent Frank Howard, Ken McMullen, Pete Richert (and later Dick Nen) along with Ortega to the expansion Senators in exchange for Claude Osteen, John Kennedy and $100,000.

Ortega would have some active, if not entirely successful seasons with the Senators from 1965 through 1968, going 12-15 in ’65, 12-12 in ’66, 10-10 in ’67 and 5-12 in 1968, when after a couple of years of slow improvement, the Senators crashed back to last place in the 10-team league.

Purchased by the California Angels at the start of the 1969 season, Ortega would pitch in just 5 games, his ERA swelling to 10.13, and he’d play in his final major league game in early May of ’69.

“Phil” Ortega career record

Albert Sima B Oct. 7, 1921 D Aug. 17, 1993

Originally signed by the New York Giants in 1942, pitcher Al Sima would spend 8 years in the Giants organization before being purchased by the Washington Senators.

Making his major league debut with the Senators in late June of 1950, Sima would post a 4-5 record in 17 games that season with a 4.79 ERA. 1951 would see Sima go 3-7 in 18 games with an identical ERA of 4.79.

Sima would not make an appearance in the majors in 1952 but would return to the Senators in 1953 when he’d go 2-6 in 34 games, his most active season.

Sima would be drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the off-season. He’d pitch in just 5 games for the White Sox in 1954, posting an 0-1 record, before he was traded in mid-June to the Philadelphia Athletics.

29 games with the Athletics, where he’d go 2-5, would mark the end of Sima’s major league experience, his last game coming in mid-September of ’54.

Al Sima career record

  • Mark Pelesh

    Auspicious history for this October 7! As I get ready to head to Nationals Park for game 1 against the Dodgers, here is some more good karma — a piece that I did on the heroes of DC’s last World Series victory.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/away-flies-the-boy/

  • mhornbaker905

    Mark, Nice story, thank you for sharing it. You should join our D.C. Baseball Yesterday and Today group and our D.C. Baseball History group page on Facebook and share your story with the groups.