Today we’re back in New York’s Dyckman Oval for Game 5 of our latest simulated 1936 playoff series. This time, the Kansas City Monarchs are facing a must-win game as they trail the Cubans 3-1 in this best-of-seven series. With the series potentially on the line, it’s a rematch of the Game 1 starters – Floyd Kranson for the Monarchs and Neck Stanley for the Cubans.
After the Monarchs went down in order in the top of the first, the Cubans teed off quickly against Kranson. Dave Thomas pounded a one-out double down the right field line. Clyde Spearman send the next pitch back up the middle for a base hit, scoring Thomas. Five pitches later, New York manager Martin Dihigo singled to right, advancing Spearman around to third. Kranson jumped ahead of next hitter Jabbo Andrews 0-2, but he then hung a breaking pitch and Andrews made him pay, crushing the pitch to dead center for a three-run homer.
Stanley once again retired the Monarchs in order in the top of the second, and in the bottom of the frame, the Cubans scored again, this time on catcher Frank Duncan’s long home run, which left the yard only about twenty-feet to the right of Andrews’ home run.
With the series on the line, Kansas City manager Andy Cooper had seen enough. He sent Hall of Famer Bullet Joe Rogan up to pinch hit for Kranson in the top of the third, and Rogan took Kranson’s place on the mound in the bottom of the inning. Rogan was victimized by a defensive lapse right away, as center fielder Eddie Dwight misplayed Martin Dihigo’s leadoff fly ball into a two-base error. One out later, Francisco Correa scored Dihigo with a solid base hit to left, making New York’s lead after three innings 6-0.
The Monarchs finally got on the board against Neck Stanley in the top of the fifth, putting up a two-spot. Leadoff hitter Curtis Harris reached on a defensive lapse, but Neck Stanley had no one to blame but himself – his throw to first baseman Dave Thomas was low and skipped away from Thomas. Only a lucky ricochet saved the Cubans from having Harris standing on second. A few pitches later, Quincy Trouppe made the Cubans’ lucky break irrelevant, slamming a double down the line, scoring Harris. After Henry Milton was called out on strikes, the Monarchs sent pinch hitter David Mays to the plate. Mays delivered with a single to right, scoring Trouppe with the Monarchs’ second run.
After the power display had given them a commanding lead, the Cubans scratched out one more run in the bottom of the fifth by relying on small ball. Clyde Spearman led off with a base hit to right center. One out later, Jabbo Andrews stroked a base hit to left, with Spearman coming all the way around to third. Francisco Correa then scored the Cubans’ seventh run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center.
Neck Stanley sailed through the sixth and seventh, giving up only a base hit and walking one. But he was tiring as the game entered the eighth. Stanley walked Eddie Dwight, the Monarchs’ leadoff hitter. The Newts were next, and both made solid contact – Newt Allen was out on a sharp line drive speared by second baseman Francisco Correa which looked like trouble if it had gotten past him. Newt Joseph then hit a line drive to right, with Clyde Spearman making a fantastic running catch to cheat Joseph of a potential double. Dihigo (and Stanley) should have quit while they were ahead, but they didn’t; Willard Brown, the next hitter, hit a triple down the left field line, scoring Dwight with the Monarchs’ third run. The next hitter was LeRoy Taylor, and he doubled off the right field fence, scoring Brown and making the score 7-4. Dihigo had finally seen enough and brought in Cocaina Garcia to try and shut the Monarchs did. He did, getting Curtis Harris on a pop up.
After the Cubans went quietly in the bottom of the eighth, the Monarchs came up for the ninth with the series on the line. Garcia got Quincy Trouppe, the lead off hitter, on a routine ground ball to short. The next hitter, Henry Milton, was out on a pop up gloved by manager (and third baseman) Dihigo in foul territory. Cooper sent up Double Duty Webster to pinch hit hoping to extend the inning, but left fielder Jabbo Andrews – also the offensive hero of the game – ended the game and the Series with a diving catch on Webster’s slicing liner.
So yet again, the New York Cubans surprise – three straight series, three straight upsets, as they eliminate the heavily favored Kansas City Monarchs 4-1 and advance to the 1936 final series, where either the New York Black Yankees or the Pittsburgh Crawfords will be waiting.