Oct 15

This Date in Washington Senators History – Pirates win World Series 4-3

October 15

1925 World Series

Washington at Pittsburgh, Game 7

Pirates 9 Senators 7

Pirates win World Series 4-3

Reporter James R. Harrison of the New York Times would opine that it was “a perfect day for water polo”. WashingtonSenators1227The field at Forbes Field is a muddy mess and it is still drizzling as game time approaches. From Washington’s perspective, perhaps postponing the game again would be to their advantage. It would further stall the Pirates momentum and permit game 7 starter Walter Johnson one more day to rest his sore leg. And one more day for the Senators to regroup from the previous 2 losses that put them in this do or die contest in the first place. Despite the playing conditions and drizzle that will only intensify, Commissioner Landis orders the game to be played.

Amidst the soggy and cold conditions, home plate umpire Barry McCormick yells “Play ball”. Facing World Series nemesis Vic Aldridge, the Nats jump from the blocks like gangbusters. Leadoff hitter Sam Rice singles up the box. After a Harris fly out and a Goose Goslin walk, an Aldridge pitch slips from his hand for a wild pitch that sends Goslin and Rice into scoring position. Aldridge loads the bases by walking Joe Harris and issues another free pass to Joe Judge that scores Rice. Following an RBI single from Ossie Bluege that gives the Nats a 2-0 lead, Pirates skipper Bill McKechnie pulls Aldridge and summons Johnny Morrison to the hill. The first batter to face Morrison, Roger Peckinpaugh, is awarded first base via catcher’s interference, which scores Joe Harris for the 3rd run. With the bases still loaded and still only one out, Muddy Ruel‘s soft roller to Bucs 2B Johnny Moore is booted for another Senators run and a 4-0 lead. Looking for more runs with runners at all stations, Walter Johnson goes down on strikes for the second out and Rice flies out to end the inning.

Far from dead, the Pirates get 3 runs back in the third. Reliever Morrison singles off Johnson to start things off and sloshes home on a RBI double from Johnny Moore. Moore comes around for run number 2 on speedy Max Carey‘s single. Kiki Cuyler grounds to Peckinpaugh for the inning’s first out, while Carey advances to second. Carey, who could probably steal bases if the infield were made of quicksand, swipes third. Carey walks home on Clyde Barnhardt’s RBI single to cut Washington’s lead to 4-3. Johnson puts out Pie Traynor and Glenn Wright to avoid further damage.

Washington answers right back in the 4th to increase their bulge to 6-3. With the drizzle now becoming a steady rain, Joe Harris knocks in Rice and Goslin on a double to center. Back-to-back doubles from Carey and Cuyler cut Pittsburgh’s deficit to 6-4 in their half of the 5th.

As the 6th inning began, the rain had now evolved into a downpour. Reportedly, Landis came over to Griffith’s box and informed the “Silver Fox” that he was calling the game at the end of the inning. Griffith stated to Landis that the game shouldn’t be called since Landis ordered the game to be played in the first place and he should see it through. On the surface, this ancedote shows Griffith to be a true sportsman who believed in fair play. In reality, if this game was in Washington, Griffith would have kept quiet and took the championship. Since the game was in Pittsburgh, Griffith may have feared an angry mob storming the field upon the announcement of the Senators being crowned world champions after 6 innings and his team getting out of town safely.

Not knowing how close their season was to being abruptly halted, the Bucs storm back in the 7th. Peckinpaugh’s drop of a Moore pop up opens the floodgates. Carey bloops a ball down the left field line that Peckinpaugh, Bluege and Goslin converge upon. Somehow, the ball drops fair between the fielders and Moore races home. Instead of two outs and nobody on, it is no outs and Carey on second with the score now 6-5 Senators. Johnson retires Cuyler on a sacrifice bunt and Barnhardt on a ground ball to second, which Bucky Harris looks Carey back to third. Seeing his way out of the inning with a slim lead intact, Johnson allows Traynor to crush a game tying triple to rightcenter. With the ball rolling to the fence, Traynor dashes toward home for the lead. 2B Bucky Harris retrieves RF Joe Harris’ relay and fires a strike to C Ruel to nab Trayor for the third out. Nonetheless, the score is now tied at 6-6.

In the top of the 8th, Peckinpaugh temporarily redeems himself by connecting for a home run off Pirates hurler Ray Kremer for a 7-6 Washington advantage. The beleaguered Peckinpaugh, with 7 errors in this series, looks like the hero of Series after Johnson easily records the first two outs of the Pirates 8th. But, it is not to be. Earl Smith‘s double begins the trouble. Bucs P Emil Yde pinch runs and scampers home to knot the game once again on pinch hitter Carson Bigbee‘s double, Bigbee’s only hit in the series. Johnson walks Moore and induces Carey to ground to Peckinpaugh. You can guess what happened. Peckinpaugh’s relay to 2B Bucky Harris pulls Harris off the bag for Peckinpaugh’s World Series record 8th error, a record that still stands today.

Bases now loaded, Cuyler works a 2-2 count on Johnson. Johnson’s next offering looks like strike three and he and C Ruel begin to walk off the field. Umpire Barry McCormick disagrees and calls ball 3. Cuyler sinks the hearts of Senators fans by belting a 2-run, ground rule double to right that gives the Bucs the lead for the first time today, 9-7. Goslin would argue for years that Cuyler’s double was foul. Because of fog and darkness, Goslin believed, the umpires were not able to see the ball at all.

Now trailing 9-7, with 3 outs left, the Nats go down quietly in the 9th. When Goslin is called out on strikes for the last out, Washington becomes the first team ever to cough up a 3-1 games lead in World Series history, allowing the Pirates to celebrate as the World Champions. The Big Train refuses to point fingers and blames himself for the loss, not using his sore leg or the weather as an excuse. Nor does Johnson blame Peckinpaugh, who is embraced by Johnson following the game.

Other Senator news from October 15:

1928 The prodigal son returns home. Walter Johnson returns to the Nats as manager, replacing former teammate and his own former manager Bucky Harris. Johnson signs a 3 year pact worth $25,000 to skipper the Senators.The Big Train had managed Newark of the International League in 1928 following his retirement.

Senators Birthdays

Louis Stephen Klimchock B Oct. 15, 1939 Still Living

Signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1957, utility man Lou Klimchock would play for 5 major league teams over the course of 12 seasons from 1958 through 1970, although he wouldn’t appear in a major league uniform in 1967.

Making his major league debut in 1958 with KC, Klimchock would remain with the Athletics through 1961, his most active season with the A’s, when he’d appear in 57 games.

Traded to the Milwaukee Braves after the 1961 campaign ended, Klimchock would play in 8 games for the Braves in 1962.

Sent to the expansion Senators as part of a conditional deal prior to the start of the 1963 season, Klimchock would play in only 9 games at 2nd base as a Senator, going 2 for 14 at bat. Returned to the Braves in early May, Klimchock would remain in a Milwaukee uniform through 1965.

Traded to the New York Mets, Klimchock would play in just 5 games for the Mets in 1966.
After the 1966 season, Klimchock was traded one last time, going to the Cleveland Indians.

Klimchock would return to the majors in 1968, playing for 3 years in Cleveland. The most active season of his career would be 1969 when he’d play in 90 games and hit .287. He’d be released in mid-August of 1970, after making his last major league appearance on August 2nd.

Overall, Klimchock played in 318 games, averaging approximately 26.5 games per season in his 12 years in the big leagues.

Lou Klimchock career record

Richard Stanley Such B Oct. 15, 1944 Still Living

Single Season Senator Dick Such was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the amateur draft of 1965 but did not sign. He’d be drafted by the Senators in 1966.

Spending the next few seasons in the Senators farm system, Such would make his major league debut in early April of 1970. He’d appear in 21 games, posting a 1-5 record with a 7.56 ERA. Sent down to Denver in mid-July, Such would not return to the majors as a player.

He’d remain in baseball, serving as the Minnesota Twins pitching coach under Tom Kelly and most recently (2008) was the pitching coach for the Camden (NJ) Riversharks of the (Independent) Atlantic League.

More on Dick Such in this thread: Dick Such thread

Dick Such career record