Tris Speaker Reports Game 8 of the 1919 World Series
From the Louisville Courier-Journal, October 10, 1919
Moran’s Men Clinch Baseball Honors of 1919
Moran’s Men Capture Series
Through One-Sided Victory
In Free-Hitting Contest
White Sox Go Down Fighting Hard, But Prove Helpless Behind Poor Pitching – Gleason’s Shortage of Twirlers Fatal, Declares Tris Speaker
Selects Daubert and Weaver as Stars of Games
Chicago, Oct. 9 – With the series ending to-day with the Reds victorious in five games and the White Sox in only three, the best I can say of my own leaguers is that they went down fighting. But there were under a tremendous handicap, as when Claude Williams showed at the outset of the game that he was unequal to the task of holding the Reds in check Gleason apparently had no one to send to the rubber.
They fought, and they fought hard, but what use was it when for every run they gathered off Hod Eller, Cincinnati’s star pitcher, the Reds grabbed two off such pitchers as Gleason sent to the mound? They even had Eller wobbling at the finish, and had it not been for the big lead the Reds piled up at the start and through subsequent innings off pitchers whom Gleason seldom started in game during the regular season, they would have driven Hod from the box.
Eller was lucky. Gleason ran out of pitchers. Had that not been the case he would have suffered the same fate that Ruether and Sallee ran into in the last two games at Cincinnati. Last Monday Hod pitched one of the greatest games in the history of the world’s series. To-day he did not look like the same pitcher, at least, after the first five innings. I believe I said yesterday I did not think Eller could beat the Sox with only two days’ rest. He would not have beaten them to-day had it not been that the pitching opposition to him was ridiculously weak. He was very tired at the finish, and had it not been for that big lead that was piled up as the result of the lack of control and ineffectiveness on the part of the Sox pitchers he probably would have been yanked.
Reds Possess Confidence.
The Reds went into to-day’s game with great confidence. They already had beaten Williams twice and there was not one of them but felt they could make it three straight. They went after him right at the start and kept up the pace set in previous games against Williams, that of scoring a run for every hit made off him, making their total off the left-hander twelve hits and twelve runs. The way they treated him made me regret that Dick Kerr could not have had an additional day’s rest so as to have come back against the team he had beaten twice. Even with only one day’s rest he could not have done any worse than Williams, but Manager Gleason had to figure some one to start in his ninth game if there was a ninth game and Kerr was the logical man for that one. Then again, Gleason though that Williams could do as well as Cicotte, who had won from Cincinnati after losing two games.
Both James and Wilkinson, who were called upon when Williams slipped, were wild and ineffective. Had they been able to hold the Reds down, Chicago might have won despite the four-run lead acquired in the first inning.
I think that is enough about the game to-day which did not lack much of being a runaway contest. I prefer to talk about the series as a whole and that means I want to hand the Reds a few bouquets. They played eight games and they played great ball in all except one and one-half. They had excellent team work. Their fielding was better than I was given to expect. Their batting was timely. They failed to crack except in the two instances I have just referred to during the last two games in Cincinnati, and to back all that up, they had an excellent pitching staff. I don’t know another club in the country that can boast of six first-string pitchers and Cincinnati can.
If the Sox did succeed in hammering a Cincinnati pitcher, Morgan could pick a good relief man without impairing the strength of his staff or using up the man he had selected for the following day. On the other hand, Gleason had only three pitchers, Cicotte, Williams and Kerr. His relief pitchers, James, Wilkinson, Lowdermilk and Mayer, were not effective. They also lacked control and when one of Gleason’s big three was knocked out, Chicago was through as far as pitching was concerned.
Daubert and Weaver.
In picking the stars of the series, I will take Jake Daubert, of the Reds, and Buck Weaver, of the White Sox, with Dick Kerr and Hod Eller carrying off the honors among the pitchers.
My selection of Daubert may occasion some surprise, but I think I am supported by the actual play by play detail of the eight games. Not once when called upon to sacrifice did he fail. He was one of the hitting factors in three of the Red victories, while his fielding around the first sack has never been surpassed in a world’s series. Of course, I cannot but give credit to Eddie Roush for some wonderful work in center field, as Eddie made some of the most sensational catches I ever witnessed. At the same time Eddie had his faults, and when it comes to consistency I think Daubert leads.
Buck Weaver was the White Sox star for the reason that he hustled just the same when the Sox were being beaten as he did when they were ahead. In short, he played the same game during the series that he did all year. Eddie Collins also fielded spectacularly and did his share of hustling, but he was unlucky in hitting the ball right at some Red. But for that misfortune I might have to shift the honors from Weaver to Eddie.
The reason for picking Kerr and Eller is obvious. Kerr was the only Sox hurler to win two games, and he did it in the face of lack of confidence in him by his own team. As for Eller, I pick him because he pitched the most marvelous game of the series and came back with but a brief rest and again beat the champions of the American League.
Without any doubt I take off my hat to him as one of the best pitchers I ever have seen in action. I take off my hat to the Reds as a team composed of hard-working hustlers, who played great ball and deserve the honors they took down today when they trounced the team that beat the one managed by me out of the pennant in the American League. I also take my hat off to Pat Moran, who gave Cincinnati its first pennant in fifty years and molded an aggregation of discards into a smoothly running baseball machine.