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  • Writer's pictureKirk Jenkins

Brooklyn Visits Pittsburgh for Game 1 of the (Simulated) 1902 National League Championship Series

Today in Game 1 of our Simulated 1902 NLCS, Hall of Famer Jack Chesbro pitches for Pittsburgh while Wild Bill Donovan goes for Brooklyn. And speaking of which – is it really such a great idea for a pitcher to go by the name “Wild Bill”?

Spoiler alert – he may have been the Superbas’ “ace,” but we’re all about to learn where he got the nickname.

The Pirates broke through with two in the bottom of the second on Bill Dahlen’s two base error, Chief Zimmer’s double and Ginger Beaumont’s run-scoring two out base hit. The Superbas answered back in the top of the next frame, scoring twice on an error by Chief Zimmer which put Wild Bill Donovan on first, followed by a walk to Bill Dahlen and a base hit by Jimmy Sheckard.

The Pirates took a 4-2 lead with two in the bottom of the fifth. Claude Ritchey started things with a one-out base hit. After Hall of Famer Honus Wagner flew out, Pirates manager Fred Clarke scored one with a double and Tommy Leach brought in Clarke with a base hit. The Pirates added a fifth run in the bottom of the sixth when Wild Bill Donovan issued a based loaded walk to Claude Ritchey.

The Superbas made it 5-4 in the top of the seventh when the Pirates’ fielding fell apart. Duke Farrell led off with a base hit and Wild Bill Donovan reached on Chief Zimmer’s second error of the game. After Cozy Dolan flew out, Bill Dahlen loaded the bases on a one base error by Pirates’ shortstop Wid Conroy and two runs then scored when, with Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler up, Conroy made his second error in five minutes – this time costing two bases.

But once again, Wild Bill Donovan couldn’t hold the Pirates. In the bottom of the seventh, Kitty Bransfield led off with a base hit and Wid Conroy followed with a walk. Both runners moved into scoring position on Chief Zimmer’s ground out, but then Donovan made the mistake of trying to pick Conroy off second, throwing it over Tim Flood’s head to score Bransfield. After pitcher Jack Chesbro struck out, Ginger Beaumont scored another run with his RBI single.

So heading into the top of the ninth, the score was 7-4 Pirates. But once again, the Pirates’ fielding collapsed. Pinch hitter Pat Diesel led off with a base hit. Bill Dahlen got a one-out walk. Wee Willie Keeler then scored two runs on a double and a one base error by center fielder Ginger Beaumont. Jimmy Sheckard brought in Keeler with a base hit. Tom McCreery then sent Sheckard around to third with a two-out base hit. McCreery followed that by stealing second. Tim Flood then scored both runs with a base hit and one base error by Pirates manager Fred Clarke. So suddenly a seemingly secure 7-4 lead was 9-7 Superbas.

As the bottom of the ninth opened, Ned Hanlon had finally seen enough of Wild Bill Donovan and his six walks and brought in Lave Winham to try to wrap up the game. Chief Zimmer and pinch hitter Mike Hopkins started off the inning with back to back base hits, but Winham then shut the Pirates down – force out, line out, line out.

So Game 1 brings a surprise as the visiting Superbas take a 9-7 win and a 1-0 lead in the Series.

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