• Kirk Jenkins

It’s Washington at New York for a Decisive Game 3 in our (Simulated) 1936 Negro League Playoff


For the decisive Game 3 of the (simulated) opening 1936 playoff series, our scene has shifted to the New York Cubans’ home park, the Dyckman Oval. Candy Jim Taylor is taking an interesting gamble today, putting up Andy Porter, who went an inning and two thirds only two days ago for the Elite Giants, as his Game 3 starter. Cubans’ manager Martin Dihigo is putting up John “Neck” Stanley as his Game 3 starter.


And no, I haven’t been able to discover how he got that nickname . . .


With the series on the line, the Cubans got off to a lightning-fast start. Lazaro Salazar led off the bottom of the first with a walk. Dave Thomas hit a sharp single to right, and Zollie Wright was lucky to hold him to one. But right fielder Clyde Spearman then made the whole debate academic, launching a booming three-run homer over the right field fence to give the Cubans an early 3-0 lead. Following Spearman, Martin Dihigo and Jabbo Andrews had base hits to put men on first and third. Francisco Correa then scored the Cubans’ fourth run by reaching on a one-base error by Elite Giants’ first baseman Jim West.


In the third, the Elite Giants got on the board with a double to right-center by pitcher Neck Williams and a single for Jimmy Binder. The Elite Giants added a second run in the top of the fourth on another sloppy defensive play. Sammy Hughes singled. After Zollie Wright lined out, Biz Mackey walked. Jim West forced Mackey at second. Washington pitcher Neck Williams then reached – and scored a run – on a one-base error by Cubans’ pitcher Andy Porter.


With time winding down, the managers started making moves in the seventh. After Jim West grounded out and pitcher Neck Williams singled to left, Candy Jim Taylor sent up Wild Bill Wright to pinch hit. Wright managed to draw a walk, putting men on first and second. But Hoss Walker then ended the inning by grounding into a 5-4-3 double play.


Neck Stanley retired the Elite Giants quickly in the top of eighth. Goose Curry led off with a single, but Leroy Morney followed by hitting a foul pop up to Martin Dihigo. Sammy Hughes then ended the inning with a ground ball back to Neck, who started a 1-6-3 double play.

For a moment in the ninth, it looked like the Elite Giants might get something going. Zollie Wright led off by getting plunked by an errant breaking pitch from Neck Stanley. Biz Mackey then doubled Wright to third with a booming shot to right. But Neck struck out Jim West on a perfect 3-2 fastball. He then got Nish Williams on a ground ball to third baseman Martin Dihigo. Wild Bill Wright then ended the series with a ground ball to Cubans’ first baseman Dave Thomas.


So in the first series of our (Simulated) 1936 Negro League Playoffs, we have an upset! The New York Cubans have defeated the Washington Elite Giants, two games to one.


Next time, we’ll start a new playoff series – Homestead vs. Newark.


Image courtesy of Pixabay by mpewny (no changes).

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