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This Date in Washington Senators History – ’24 World Series Giants lead 3-2
1924 World Series
Washington at NY Giants, Game 5
Giants 6 Senators 2
Giants lead series 3-2
The good news: Goose Goslin sets a still standing World Series record by hitting safely in six consecutive at bats. Goslin establishes the mark with a 2nd inning, infield hit off Jack Bentley. The bad news: Not only do the Sens lose, but are now on the precipice of elimination. Compounding the gloom is that the Nats best pitcher Walter Johnson gets hammered for 13 hits and 6 runs in 8 innings worked.
Nevertheless, the contest is competitive through the first 7 and a half innings. In the home 3rd, the Giants score first. Travis Jackson, Bentley and Fred Lindstrom all single, with Lindstrom’s hit knocking in Jackson. New York would have had additional runs if not for RF Sam Rice‘s nice grab of a Ross Youngs line drive that started an inning ending double play, Rice to Johnson to C Muddy Ruel to nab the slow footed Bentley at the plate.
The Sens quickly reply with a run of their own. Joe Judge singles to right to start the 4th. Two outs later, Judge trots home on an RBI single from 3B Ralph Miller. Miller is starting his second straight game at 3B in place of Ossie Bluege, who is playing SS in place of Roger Peckinpaugh, still hampered by a charley horse. After four frames, it is 1-1.
A former Senator comes back to haunt his old mates in the 5th. P Jack Bentley, who played parts of 3 seasons with the Nats from 1913 to 1916, towers a home run with a man on that falls just fair to give himself, and his team, a 3-1 lead. A native of Sandy Spring, MD, Bentley had been with Baltimore of the International Association from 1917-1922 before the Giants purchased him for $72,000. A good hitting pitcher, Bentley’s 16-5, 3.78 ERA mark in 1924 was by far the best season of his career and this game would be the highwater mark of his 9 year major league stint.
New York is never headed after Bentley’s home run. After a Goslin home run pulls the Nats to within a run in the 8th, the Giants put the game out of reach of a laboring Johnson in the bottom half. Travis Jackson‘s sacrifice fly, reliever Hugh McQuillan and Fred Lindstrom’s RBI singles cap the Giants scoring for the New York 6-2 win.
Despite being one win away from the championship, Giants fans were pulling for the iconic Johnson to bring home his first World Series win. As the Giants pulled away in the 8th, the Polo Grounds became shockingly silent. As a discouraged Big Train made his journey to the CF clubhouse following the game, the question on Giants fans, and the baseball world’s, mind can be summed up as “Is this the final shot at glory for a hero?”
1925 World Series
Washington at Pittsburgh, Game 2
Pirates 3 Senators 2
Series tied 1-1
Serving notice that this World Series will not be a walk in the park, Pittsburgh evens the series with a hard fought, 3-2 victory. A scary moment occurs in the top of the 6th when 3B Ossie Bluege is beaned in the head from a pitch from Pirates starter Vic Aldridge. Fortunately, Bluege would be alright and will miss only 2 games. Bluege’s replacement is 21 year old rookie Buddy Myer.
The Nats get on the board first. Joe Judge, with only 7 home runs in the regular season, hits one into the temporary bleachers in RF for a Washington, 1-0, lead in the 2nd. The crowd in Forbes Field comes alive in the 4th as SS Glenn Wright answers with a solo homer of his own to the tilt at 1-1.
It remains tied at 1 until the 8th. Leading off, Pirates 2B Eddie Moore hits a routine grounder to SS Roger Peckinpaugh. The ball rolls up Peckinpaugh’s sleeve for his 2nd error of the series. Kiki Cuyler makes Washington pay as he rockets a Stan Coveleski pitch into the RF bleachers for a 3-1 Pittsburgh lead. Later in the inning, Peckinpaugh makes his 3rd error in the series by botching a Pie Traynor ground ball, but Coveleski works his way out of the jam without further damage.
Former Tiger star Bobby Veach, pinch hitting, gets one Senators run back in the 9th by hitting a sacrifice fly. With Buddy Myer at second and one out, pinch hitter Dutch Ruether strikes out and Sam Rice taps out to second to end the ballgame.
Other Senator news on this day:
1932 Clark Griffith stuns the baseball world by naming 25 year old SS Joe Cronin as Washington manager. Cronin is the second youngest man to be a major league manager, behind 23 year old Roger Peckinpaugh, who piloted the Yankees for the last 17 games in 1914. The third youngest? Bucky Harris at 27 years old in 1924.
Owen Joseph (Donie) Bush B Oct. 8, 1887 B Mar. 28, 1972
Donie Bush is recognized as one of the greatest defensive shortstops in the early days of the American League.
Bush would arrive on the major league scene in September of 1908 with the Detroit Tigers, when veteran Tigers shortstop Charley O’Leary was out of the lineup due to injury. Bush would remain a regular in the Tigers lineup from 1908 through 1921 and would play in the 1909 World Series when the Tigers lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 7 games.
Although he had the label of a “light hitter”, Bush would lead the American League in a number of catagories during his career including runs scored in 1917, walks in 1909 through 1912 and again in 1914, and sacrifice hits in 1909 and again in 1921.
One of Bush’s best years at the plate came in 1920, his last full season with the Tigers when he’d hit .263 with 18 doubles, 5 triples and 1 homer among his 133 hits.
Released by the Tigers in mid-August of 1921, Bush would be claimed by the Washington Senators where he’d finish the 1921 season. In 1922 he’d appear in just 41 games for Washington.
The 1923 season found Bush in a new role, that of player-manager. Bush would play in just 10 games, hitting .409 and guide the Senators to a 4th place finish with a 75-78 record.
Surprisingly, Bush did not remain in Washington for the 1924 season-he was replaced at the managerial reins by Bucky Harris who guided the Senators to their only World’s Championship.
Bush returned to his hometown of Indianapolis and took over the helm of the Indianapolis club in the American Association, guiding that team to 3 successive 2nd place finishes.
That performance was good enough to return Bush to the major leagues, as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, beginning in 1927. Bush had some immediate success as the ’27 Pirates would finish in 1st place with a 94-60 record. Unfortunately they’d meet the New York Yankees with their famed “Murderer’s Row” in the World Series and be swept in 4 games.
Bush would remain at the helm of the Pirates for 1928 and 1929, the Buccos finishing in 4th and 2nd places respectively.
Bush would manage the Chicago White Sox in 1930 & 1931 and the Cincinnati Reds in 1933.
After his major league terms came to an end, Bush would pilot the Louisville Colonels and the Minneapolis Millers, both of the American Association. In fact, Bush would manage a youngster named Ted Williams in Minneapolis.
A good writeup on Bush at the SABR website can be found here:
Douglas William Neff B Oct. 8, 1891 D May 23, 1932
Infielder Doug Neff qualifies as a Senators Short Timer for playing in just 33 games during the 1914 and 1915 seasons.
Neff debuted with the Senators in late June of 1914, playing in just 3 games, going 0-2 at bat. In 1915 Neff would return, playing in 30 games going 10 for 60 with 1 double and 4 RBI’s, appearing in his last major league game in October of 1915.
Richard Francis Stelmaszek B Oct. 8, 1948 Still Living
Catcher Rick Stelmaszek makes the list of Senators Short Timers for appearing in 6 games with the 1971 version of the Washington team.
Drafted by the Senators in the amateur draft of 1967, Stelmaszek would make his debut with Washington in late June of 1971, going 0-9 in plate appearances.
Moving with the franchise to Texas, Stelmaszek would not appear in the majors in 1972, but would make it into 7 games for the Rangers in 1973 before being traded to the California Angels in late May. He’d appear in 22 games with the Angels, going 4 for 26 with 6 walks.
Traded to the Chicago Cubs, Stelmaszek would play in 25 games for the Cubs in 1974, hitting .227, his final major league game coming in late September of that year.
William Harrel (Hal) Toenes B Oct. 8, 1917 D Jun. 28, 2004
Another Senators Short Timer, pitcher Hal Toenes would appear in 3 games for the 1947 Senators as a 29 year old rookie. He’d post an 0-1 record with a 6.75 ERA.