Saturday, August 3, 2013

1913: Following Milwaukee to the Flag

August 1, 1913: from the Milwaukee Journal

July ended on a down note for Harry “Pep” Clark (pictured above) and his Milwaukee Brewers, who were shut out by the sixth-place St. Paul Saints at Lexington Park in St. Paul, 1-0. But the Brewers, with a record of 64-43, remained in first by a four-game margin over the Louisville Colonels. The Minneapolis Millers were in third, just a half-game behind Louisville, and the Columbus Senators were in the mix with a record of 57-48.

In Milwaukee’s July 31 loss to St. Paul, the Brewers had just three hits, those belonging to second baseman Phil Lewis, shortstop Lena Blackburne, and center fielder Larry “Speedy” Gilbert. Ed “Loose” Karger, St. Paul right-hander, had his way with Milwaukee that day, striking out six. But the Saints had a hard time catching up with the offerings of Milwaukee’s diminutive righty, Ralph Cutting, who stifled the Saints on six hits and did not allow the go-ahead run until the ninth; the winning run scored with no outs in the Saints’ half of the inning.

As reported in the Milwaukee Journal:

“It’s a slip of the foot that really caused the Brewers the loss of the game, and it was Milwaukee Manager Harry Clark’s foot that slipped. In the ninth inning, St. Paul Catcher Charlie Miller opened with a single to left. Ed Karger, the next man up, tried to sacrifice and bunted a slow one to Clark, who fielded the ball cleanly but in such a manner that in turning to throw to second, his spikes failed to hold. He slipped just as he threw and the ball went wild, making an error of what otherwise would have been an easy out. After that, Ralph Cutting purposely passed Queenie O’Rourke to fill the bases in the hopes of a double play at the plate. With the infield pulled in Bill Hinchman shot a hot one just out of Phil Lewis’ reach and the winning run scored.”

Cutting’s nine game winning streak was snapped in the affair.

The Brewers crossed the big river heading west to take on the ever-tough Minneapolis Millers in a big weekend series sure to have an impact on the race for the flag.

The news in the Milwaukee Journal for Friday, Aug. 1, was that the Brewers were after the services of pitcher “Big Bill” Powell. According to the article:

“‘Big Bill’ Powell, who as a member of the Kansas City team, has always proven a hoodoo to the Brewers, may be a member of Clark’s crew before nightfall. Powell is in bad with Manager Charlie Carr and has been offered for sale. As soon as Manager Clark heard of it he traveled across the river for a conference and if the two can get together on the price, Powell will be a Brewer by night.”

On another topic, the Journal reported that:

“A switch will be made in the batting order. Lena Blackburne will bat second, while Phil Lewis, who is hitting well now, will bat third.”

The Journal, in a separate article, provided some insight into how Brewer hitters could improve their position in the batting race. Entitled, “Heavy Hitters Must Hit in Bunches If They Want to Land in .300 Class.” The article stated:

“In order to stay above the .300 mark in batting, a player has got to bunch his hits a number of times during the season, and to make up for the lumps that comes to all players. This is very apparent in the hitting of Larry Chappell (Milwaukee), Fred Osborn (Louisville), Ray Miller (Columbus), Charlie Hemphill (St. Paul) and Tom Jones (Milwaukee).

“The players this year that have made five hits are Ray Miller of Columbus, Duke Reilly of Indianapolis, Tom Jones of Milwaukee, Fred Osborn of Louisville, Carlton Jones of Toledo and Jack Stansbury of Louisville. (given names added)

In addition, the article described how hitting streaks contributed to a batter’s standing. “Not only do the heavy hitters bunch their hits in single games, but almost all the leaders get batting streaks where they hit safely in a number of consecutive games. Tillie Walker of the Blues and Hemphill of St. Paul have hit in twenty consecutive games, but Newt Randall of the Brewers has an even better record, having runs of seventeen and fifteen.”

The listing provided in the Journal showed the top 34 record holders in the area of hitting streaks. Here are the American Association’s top ten:

Tillie Walker, Kansas City       20
Charlie Hemphill, St. Paul      20
Ray Miller, Columbus,            18
Newt Randall, Milwaukee      17
Larry Chappell, Milwaukee    16
Charlie Hemphill, St. Paul      16
Newt Randall, Milwaukee      15
Delos Drake, Kansas City      15
Duke Reilly, Indianapolis       14
Fred Brady, Toledo                 14