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Random Game Callback, April 19, 1900
2006-04-19 03:59
by Bob Timmermann
Note: Although I covered these teams earlier, this game had to be the choice for this day.

In the last year of the National League monopoly of major league baseball (the American League was playing in 1900, but wasn't claiming "major league" status), Philadelphia and Boston opened the season at the South End Grounds and rolled around for nearly three hours over 10 innings of baseball before the Phillies prevailed by a 19-17 margin in front of 10,000 spectators.

Vic Willis started for Boston and Al Orth for Philadelphia. And it was quickly apparent that it wasn't Willis's day. The first batter, Roy Thomas, reached on a fly ball to right that Billy Hamilton couldn't get to (or run for) and reached second. Jimmy Slaigle followed with a single to right to score Thomas. Ed Delahanty got hit by a pitch and Nap Lajoie singled to load the bases. A wild pitch scored the second run of the inning. Two more walks by Orth led to three more runs scoring and Philadelphia was quickly ahead 5-0. Boston got a run back in the bottom half of the inning on consecutive two-out singles by Herman Long, Chick Stahl, and Jimmy Collins.

Orth's second inning was much like the first. With one out, Slaigle walked and Lajoie and Elmer Flick followed with singles to score Slaigle. Flick tried to go to second, but was thrown out with Lajoie scoring. Catcher Ed McFarland walked and third baseman Bert Myers singled. Shortstop Monte Cross then slammed a three-run homer to make it 10-1 Philadelphia.

But Boston was not deterred as RBI singles from Willis and Hamilton cut the lead to 10-3 after two innings. And Willis managed not to give up any more runs in the third.

In the fourth, the Phillies resumed their scoring. Myers singled and Herman Long made two errors and Willis had a wild pitch and two runs had scored. With the score, 12-3 Philadelphia after three and a half, Boston manager Frank Selee decided to get a new pitcher warming, 24-year old Harvey Bailey. Bailey managed to retire Philadelphia without anyone scoring in the fifth and Boston added a run to make it 12-4. Bailey was not lucky in the sixth.

With two outs, McFarland and Cross singled. Then Bailey walked Orth and Bobby Lowe then muffed a grounder off the bat of Thomas to let two runs in and Philadelphia led 14- 4. Philadelphia added two more in the seventh on a fielders choice RBI by Cross and an RBI single from Orth.

Boston made a faint murmur of protest in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Lowe doubled and scored on a single by Boileryard Clarke. Bailey was allowed to bat for himself down 16-5 and tripled in Clarke to make it 16-6. Hamilton singled home Bailey and it was 16-7 Philadelphia. The teams traded runs in the bottom of the eighth and the top of the ninth and it was 17-8 going to the bottom of the ninth.

Selee sent Buck Freeman up to pinch hit for Clarke to lead off the bottom of the ninth and he put a jolt in to the crowd with a home run to right field and it was 17-9. Then Boston kept hitting and hitting (the Boston Globe's account here gets confusing) and by the time Freeman's spot came up again it was 17-13. But Freeman flied out to Delahanty for the second out of the inning. Pinch hitter Shad Barry batted for the second time and singled home Duffy and Collins to make it 17-15.

Hamilton was due up, but he had thought the game was over and was about to change to go home and Jack Clements was approaching home to pinch hit. But someone got word to Hamilton and he came back out and he slapped a single to score Lowe and Barry to tie the game at 17-17. Hamilton advanced to second on the throw home. Tenney came up with a chance to win the game, but flied out to Delahanty to send the game to extra innings.

Kid Nichols came in as the third Boston pitcher of the game and he might not have been warmed up. He walked Delahanty to lead off the inning. Lajoie hit a potential double play ball to Lowe at second, but it rolled through his legs and Delahanty went to third with Lajoie at second. Flick hit a grounder to Long who threw out Delahanty at the plate. But McFarland followed with a double to plate two runs and give the Phillies a 19-17 lead. Phillies manager Bill Shettsline put in Bill Bernhard to pitch the tenth and he set Boston down in order to give the Phillies the bizarre win.

The Phillies scored 19 runs on 19 hits, but only three were for extra bases. Boston pitchers did walk eight and hit a batter. Also Boston committed six errors and had two passed balls. Boston ended up with 17 runs on 26 hits, four of them for extra bases.

Philadelphia's big offensive attack would net them just third place in the National League for 1900, finishing eight games behind Brooklyn. Boston would finish fourth, 17 games out.

Philadephia's opening day lineup in 1900 featured three Hall of Famers in Delahanty, Lajoie and Flick. Boston had five in Collins, Duffy, Nichols, Willis and Hamilton.

Eric Enders wrote about this game for the New York Times in a piece about "The first baseball game of the 20th Century." (I'm a 1901 guy personally.) You can read his full-length piece here.

Sources: Boston Globe, Retrosheet.

2006-04-19 12:50:50
1.   das411
Billy Hamilton is still a bum.
2006-04-19 13:07:48
2.   Bob Timmermann
Fortunately, Billy Hamilton won't be showing up in these again for a while.
2006-04-19 13:34:30
3.   das411
Good. But if his modern-day incarnation (and you know who I'm talking about) does then you and I will need to have words Bob.
2006-04-19 14:25:12
4.   Bob Timmermann
There's a modern day incarnation of Sliding Billy Hamilton?

That would be a good player.

2006-04-19 17:02:25
5.   grandcosmo
A modern incarnation of Billy Hamilton would be Rickey Henderson with about 50 points less on his BA.
2006-04-19 18:13:17
6.   das411
You guys don't see the resemblance??


Both bat L, throw R, run up tons of cheap steals, terrible defensive RFers, come up with just enough "clutch" hits to fool all of the SABRites, traded to Boston at the height of their overrated careers...

2006-04-19 18:57:48
7.   Bob Timmermann
Billty Hamilton had an OPS+ of 141 for his career.

He also played on 2 pennant winners...

For Boston.

2006-04-20 09:02:02
8.   grandcosmo
6. How do you know that Hamilton had cheap steals? Although when you steal about 90 a year some are bound to be cheap I guess.

From everything I've read he was a very good outfielder.

2006-04-20 11:31:48
9.   Bob Timmermann
Hamilton played in an era where you got credit for a stolen base if you took an extra base on a single or double.
2006-04-20 14:16:44
10.   grandcosmo
9. He also played in an era where there is no good information on the number of times he was thrown out but all indications are that he was conssidered a very valuable player at the time.

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