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  • Writer's pictureKirk Jenkins

It’s a Deciding Game 3 for the Second (Simulated) 1936 Wild Card – Homestead at Newark

Just like in our first series, our two teams in the second wild card series have split the first two games, so we’re heading to a deciding game in this best-of-three series. The scene has shifted to Newark’s Ruppert Stadium. Homestead manager Vic Harris is sending Roy Welmaker to the mound for the Grays, and Newark manager Abe Manley is countering with Bob Evans.

Newark began the scoring in the bottom of the second. With one out, Ed Stone lined a solid single to right. Welmaker got Harry Williams on a fly ball, but Paul Dixon stroked a line drive in the right center field gap which went for a double, scoring Stone.

The Eagles added another run in the bottom of the third. Ray Dandridge reached on a one-base error by pitcher Bob Evans. He advanced to second on a wild pitch to Willie Wells, but Wells and Suttles were then walked back-to-back by Evans. Dandridge scored on a one-base error by Homestead shortstop Jelly Jackson.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Eagles threatened to break the game open. Clint Thomas led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Willie Wells then scored the Eagles’ third run with a solid single. After Welmaker got the first out of the inning with Mule Suttles at the plate, he then brought Wells all the way around to third on back-to-back wild pitches to right fielder Ed Stone. Welmaker was so rattled by his sudden wildness that he then grooved a fast ball to Stone, who hit a booming homer over the right field fence to give Newark a 5-0 lead.

The Grays mounted a mild threat in the top of the sixth when Fred Spearman led off with a double and Fox Blivens drew a two-out walk. But Evans closed out the Grays on a ground ball by Jerry Benjamin.

Evans retired six of his next seven to bring the game to the top of the ninth – the Grays’ last chance. Pepper Bassett led off for the Grays with a solid single. Jerry Benjamin singled on the next pitch, with the speedy Bassett advancing all the way to third. Matt Carlisle lofted a fly ball to shallow center, but center fielder Clint Thomas “dissuaded” Bassett from trying to score by throwing a strike to catcher catcher Leon Ruffin. But Grays’ manager Vic Harris then mooted the great throw by singling in Bassett anyway for the Grays’ first run of the game.

With Evans having given up three singles in the top of the ninth, Newark manager Abe Manley sprung a surprise, bringing in Game 2 winner William Bell in hopes of saving the win. Bell didn’t disappoint, getting Hall of Famer Buck Leonard on a swinging third strike and Rap Dixon on an easy fly ball to right.

So after two wild card series, we have two upsets! This time, it’s the Newark Eagles coming back from a Game 1 loss to advance over the Homestead Grays. Next week, we’ll begin our first round 2 series – the Chicago American Giants versus Martin Dihigo’s New York Cubans, who advanced by upsetting the Washington Elite Giants. Newark’s next opponent in the other round 2 bracket will be the New York Black Yankees. The winners of those two series will then play the Kansas City Monarchs and the Pittsburgh Crawfords.

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