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Now that was cold
2006-10-24 13:00
by Bob Timmermann

The gametime temperature in Detroit Sunday night was listed at 42 degrees, but back on October 12, 1909 Game 4 of the World Series at Detroit's Bennett Park was recording a gametime temperature of 34 degrees according to the New York Times report of the day.

Apparently, cold weather and the Tigers agree with each other as Detroit won that day 5-0 behind a five-hit shutout by George Mullin, who also struck out 10 Pirates.

It was also the first game in the majors to have four umpires. Bill Klem worked the plate, Billy Evans worked the bases, while Silk O'Laughlin and Jim Johnstone worked the outfield lines. Temporary seating used in Game 2 at Forbes Field had made it difficult for a two-man crew to call fair/foul balls down the lines and it was decided that it was best to use the four umpires available to help out.

The Pirates didn't seem to enjoy the frigid weather much, making six errors.

Game 5 was played in Pittsburgh the next day in weather estimated between 35 and 40 degrees. Pittsburgh won that one 8-4 thanks in part to a 3-run homer by player-manager Fred Clarke that bounced over the fence (which counted as a home run at the time).

Game 6 was back in Detroit one day later and Mullin won again for the Tigers 5-4 in temperatures estimated at 40 degrees.

There was one day off before Game 7 in Detroit to let the Tigers try to sell tickets (the site wasn't determined until after Game 5). It was the first time the World Series had reached its limit (the 1903 series went 8 games, but was best of 9), and the Pirates, behind rookie Babe Adams, shut out the Tigers, 8-0. The thermometer managed to hit 50 for the game, but only 17,562 fans paid to get in to Bennett Park.

2006-10-24 13:46:24
1.   Bluebleeder87
cold weather is not good for pitchers
2006-10-24 13:49:49
2.   Chyll Will
People had cool names back then. Silk O'Laughlin is probably my second favorite, right behind the all-time greatest name in baseball, Tony Suck.
2006-10-24 14:12:01
3.   Bob Timmermann
Tony Suck changed his name to Suck too.
2006-10-24 15:41:02
4.   Daniel Zappala
only 17,562 fans paid to get in to Bennett Park

That was an overflowing stadium. According to Baseball Almanac:

With this and the prior seating additions, capacity was increased from 8,500 in 1901 to 14,000 by 1911. These capacity figures were exclusive of many standees as could be squeezed into the OF for big games.

2006-10-24 15:45:23
5.   Daniel Zappala
Great picture from the outfield during the 1907 series:

Imagine being that close to the players today!

2006-10-24 18:17:18
6.   Bob Timmermann
The stories of the time made it seem like the crowd was expected to be bigger.

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