The Scene Shifts for Game 3 of the New York versus Pittsburgh Series
With the series all tied up at a game apiece, today the scene shifts to Municipal Stadium in Freeport, New York, the home field of the New York Black Yankees. For Game 3, our starting pitchers will be Theolic Smith for the visiting Pittsburgh Crawfords and Henry McHenry for the homestanding Black Yankees.
After McHenry retired the side in order in the top of the first, the Crawfords drew first blood in the next frame. Josh Gibson led things off by drawing a walk. After Johnny Washington lofted a fly ball to right, Chester Williams singled to left and Hall of Famer Judy Johnson brought in the first run with a base hit up the middle. Dickie Seay then loaded the bases for the Crawfords, but McHenry managed to get opposing pitcher Smith and Hall of Famer Cool Papa Bell to stifle the threat.
The Black Yankees answered in the bottom of the second in the easiest way possible – after George Scales was out on a line drive to third baseman Chester Williams, Black Yankees’ right fielder Jim Williams crushed a bad breaking pitch for a home run to right.
With both pitchers fairly sharp, it stayed that way till the bottom of the sixth. Shortstop Jake Stephens started things off for the Black Yankees by slamming a triple off the center field fence. Fats Jenkins brought Stephens home with the lead run on a double into the right-center field gap. Rev Cannady singled Fats home and then proceeded to steal second and third on consecutive pitches, but Smith managed to shut down from there.
But in the top of the seventh, the Crawfords answered back with a two-out rally. Sammy Bankhead drew a walk. Josh Gibson hit a seeing-eye ground ball past shortstop Jake Stephens for a single, with Bankhead coming all the way around to third. Johnny Washington made it 3-2, stroking a single to right, and Chester Williams then tied the game with a double to right center.
Theolic Smith came back out for the Crawfords in the bottom of the ninth to try to send the game to extra innings. After he walked leadoff hitter Ameal Brooks, he got manager Bob Clarke on a line drive speared by Oscar Charleston at first. But pinch hitter Clarence Palm hit a clean single to right, as Brooks raced all the way around to third with the potential winning run. Smith then loaded the bases by issuing a walk to George Giles. At that point, Charleston had seen enough and brought in Bill Harvey to try to shut down the inning. But Harvey’s control wasn’t there, and he wound up ending the game in the worst way possible, issuing a five-pitch, bases loaded walk-off walk to Jake Stephens, as the Black Yankees sealed a 4-3 win.
So three games into our series, the New York Black Yankees continue to surprise, going up two games to one on the heavily favored Pittsburgh Crawfords.