Chicago Tribune, 11 October 1906
By one excruciatingly timely blow with his bat George Rohe, substitute, won a sensational pitching duel between Ed Walsh and Jack Pfeister yesterday, enabling the White Stockings to carry away to to their south side haunts the third game in the world series with Chicago’s First Nationals. That one blow, a stinging three base hit, scored every one of the three runs made in the game, and Walsh did the rest by holding Chance’s champions absolutely helpless all the way.
Such an opportunity as Rohe’s comes to one man in a thousand in private life—to leap in an instant to the highest pinnacle of fame and popularity. To the champion ball player it may come oftener, or not at all, and, like the man who treads the paths of routine obscurity, he may or may not have the nerve and the ability to take advantage of it.
Walsh Against Pfeister
For five innings Walsh and his deadly spit ball and Pfeister with his perfectly trained south paw curves fought on even terms. Spud and Sox alike were powerless apparently to score a run. Strikeouts were far more frequent than base hits, and the batsman who was able even to hit the ball hard was acclaimed a wonder. Once “Jiggs” Donohue raised high the hopes of the south siders that the one run which every one felt would win the game was to be scored by him. That was when he lifted a long fly into the right field crowd which let him to third, with only one out. But Pfeister merely laughed at this and retired the next two batters without letting in the tally.
Climax in the Sixth
Then came the sixth, with its alternating currents of thrills of intensest joy from the opposing rooters, worked to a white heat of impatience and excitement by the grand struggle they were watching. Tannehill, not a slugger, started the south side noise factories into full blast with a hot single close to third base, which eluded Steinfeldt’s outstretched fingers. Pfeister, eager to foil Walsh’s efforts to bunt, gave him bad balls and Eddie let them alone, working a pass out of his brilliant opponent. Hahn stepped up to sacrifice, but not in the way he did. Instead of bunting the ball with his bat Hahn sacrificed his nose, breaking the bone as if made of clay. A quick rush of players to Hahn’s aid, a hurried call for a physician was made, then the injured player was led to the bench, wrapped in sweaters, and helped from the field to a nearby hospital. But so tense was the situation his departure scarcely made a ripple among the crowd.
Game 3 Ticket
Second Game at West Side Park
Jones and Isbell Fail.
O’Neil, replacing the wounded man, went to first base, and the circuit was filled with none out. White Sox sympathizers hardly could contain their joy, for already they could feel sensation of victory. The Pfeister turned to a mountain of ice in the deepest hole a twirler ever faced. Grimly and steadily he worked Manager Jones without giving him a decent gall to hit until he had two strikes on him. The next swing of Jones’ bat popped a low foul back of Kling. John dashed back and grabbed the ball in the air right off the heads of the first rows of spectators, leaning far over the wire to do it. There was one out and the hole was only two-thirds as deep.
Isbell was a far easier victim, and Pfeister cleverly struck the big second baseman cut on curves he could not gauge. The mass of Nationals rooters, who had been holding on to everything within reach in the awful suspense of the long moments, raised a yell of triumph, for now there were two out and certain defeat seemed averted. Chance’s infield which had drawn close to the plate in its eagerness to eat up a ground hit and cut off the runs, hurried back to the accustomed distance, confident the gaping hole was closed.
Up Comes Rohe.
Up came Rohe, who never would have been in the game if Davis’ doctor had kept his promise who was but a recent graduate from the minors a year ago, and who never had even seen a world’s pennant battle before he was thrust into one. The noise was deafening. White Sox hackers were yelling their lungs out in the desperation of seeing apparently certain victory fading from their sight. Hordes of Chance’s supporters were chanting great shouts of gladness and encouragement. More than 13,000 pairs of eyes were glued upon these two men, Rohe and Pfeister, pitted against each other in a death struggle. All over the city and its vicinity wherever details of the battle were being disseminated, other thousands of fans were hanging breathless over ticker or telegraph clicker, while batsman and pitcher eyed each other and glared defiance.
Sixth inning. Bases loaded. Rohe at bat.
Hits the First Ball
Slowly drawing back his arm Pfeister confidently shot a fast jump ball over the plate, close in. A quick step backward, a quicker swing of his bat, and Rohe met that first ball pitched squarely in the middle and on the end of his bat. Quicker than that the ball started on a line over Steinfeldt’s head, traveling faster and faster, it seemed, as Sheckard tore across left field to head it off. Too late he reached the spot where the ball struck the earth and turned to watch it jump like some animated thing over the seats and the fringe of the watchers.
Even before the ball disappeared the situation had changed from of hopefulness, anxiety, or despair, according to the rooter’s viewpoint, into one of bundles joy or blackest gloom. Not a fan there doubted that Rohe’s drive had won that game, and the scene where White Sox bugs were thickest defied all description. Crazed with the sudden realization of their hopes and the removal of their doubts thousands abandoned themselves to a demonstration of the wildest kind, and it was many minutes before the roaring reached its climax and gradually subsided.
Rohe Made His Three Base Hit, Driving in Tannehill, Walsh, and O’Neil.
(From a photograph taken for The Tribune)
The Tribune photographer climbed to the roof of the grandstand when the bases filled in the sixth and after being fooled by the drive of Isbell which went foul, he snapped the play that did the business. Rohe has driven the ball to left and is on his way to first. Tannehill is on his way home from third, Walsh is between second and third, and O’Neil is between first and second. The ball, a little white speck, may be seen just passing Sheckard far out in left.
Uncertain whether the hit had gone into the crowd fair or foul, O’Neil paused at third base and Rohe at second awaiting the umpire’s decision whether it was a double or triple under the ground rules—whether the Sox had two runs or three. Then Johnstone notioned “Tip” to come on in, and the Sox had their three runs, Rohe moving over to third at the same time. Donohue’s pop fly was seen by few of those gleefully dancing rooters.
There was little else to the battle except Walsh and Pfeister, and but for that one fateful inning there was little to choose between them. Pfeister had a shade on his big rival at the start. In four innings he allowed two scratch singles and struck out six Sox batters. In the same time Walsh was hit for a clean single and a double, allowed one pass, and struck out six of Chance’s men.
Walsh’s Brilliant Work
But at the finish the honors were all in favor of the eel tamer, even barring Rohe’s bread winning swat and the result. Walsh held Chance’s well respected sluggers down to two safe hits in nine innings. Both were made in the first inning and would have produced a score had not Sullivan nailed Hofman in an attempt to steal second. Never after opener, however, was Walsh hit safely, never was he in danger of losing. The best the Spuds could hope for was a draw. In the last eight innings only two men reached first base. Chance was passed with two out in the fourth, and Gesaler, batting for Pfeister in the ninth, reached first on a fumble by Isbell. An out and a wild pitch let Gesaler to third with one out, but Walsh put a fitting finish on his triumph by striking out Sheckard and Schulte, the last two men to face him. That gave him an even dozen strikeouts for the day.
Pfeister struck out nine Sox and allowed fife safe hits, passing two batsmen and hitting another. But by the last named feat he put an opponent out of the rest of the series, so it was equally disastrous to both teams—the loss of the game to the Spuds and the loss of a player to the Sox. Once Pfeister pitched himself out of a tight pinch with a man on third and one out, and but for Roche’s grit would have lifted himself out of another pinch in the sixth.
Feats by Evers
Great support was given both pitchers, the single fumble chalked down against each side being excusable and figuring not at all in the result. Evers performed two spectacular feats, both of which staved off runs. In the fourth he went over close to the right foul line and caught a Texas league fly by Hahn just an instant before it could fall safely. Hahn was the first man up and a hit would have caused trouble. Again in the fifth Evers robbed Rohe of a clean smash close to second base, and steadying himself in some miraculous manner, made a perfect throw, which beat his man to first. Donohue followed that feat with his three base hit and Johnny had robbed the Sox of a sure run.
Tinker and Tannehill, Kling and Sullivan, Schulte, Hofman, Chance, and Donohue at one time or another shone in the defense, but their brilliancy was dimmed, almost eclipsed, by the sterling slab work of Walsh and Pfeister.
Leaders’ View of the Result.
“Two swallows don’t make a summer, either, nor two games win a world’s championship,” said President Murphy after the game. “We will be out at the south side once more tomorrow to repeat our previous performance there,”
“There’s nothing to it now,” smilingly said President Comiskey as he hurried to his auto to escape the overwhelming congratulations of the Sox rooters.
“It was one of the greatest battles I have ever saw anywhere,” shouted President Johnson of the American league joyfully as he and chairman Hermann of the national commission were leaving the grounds. “There’s more to it now but the shouting.”
“It’s a great series,” said Chairman Hermann and Chicago fans are rewarding two great teams handsomely, despite the weather handicaps. “I’ve nothing to say about the result except that it is not determined yet.”
Game 3 Box Score
Notes and Comment on the Game
Sox, one up and two to get; Spuds, one down and three to get.
Once more the Sox have the advantage, two games to one, and Chance’s men face an uphill battle again.
The fourth game is scheduled for the south side grounds today.
The official attendance was announce as 13,657, and it was approximately as much larger than the precious crowds, as the weather was improved over the two other days.
The total attendance for the three games played is nearly 40,000, the exact figure being 38,955. The players’ share of the receipts of the three games is over $22,000 already, and, if another crowd like the first three attends the today’s game, the players will get a larger purse than Giants and Athletics did last fall, despite the monster crowd of nearly 25,000 in New York. Today will be the last day on which the players will share in the receipts.
Pfeister struck out Isbell three times in succession, and Walsh retaliated vy fanning Schulte the same number of time., the Spud outfielder being the final victim of the game. He struck out on three pitched balls in the seventh.
Before Rohe made his already classic triple, Jones smashed a liner which struck only a few yards outside the right foul line, and then fell a victim on a pop up to Kling. Isbell followed Jones with a line smash, which struck only a few feet outside the right foul line, and then struck out. If either Jones or Isbell had pulled their drives a little less to the right the glory which is Rohe’s would have been theirs, and hard luck Pfeister met in Rohe was offset by his good luck in not having the swats of Jones and Isbell fall on fair ground.
When Johnny Evers came to bat in the fifth, just after he had robbed Rohe of a hit by a grand stop, which also robbed Chicago of a run, a Sox rooter in the stand yelled: “Strike out that highway robber!” and Walsh did.
Hahn’s injury, while it probably will prevent his playing in the series, is not expected to prove serious to the player. His broken nose was reset quickly and put in a cast, so that no permanent disfigurement is feared.
It would not be surprising if Altrock and Brown fought it out again on the south side today, although Manager Jones may decide to give White another try, if it is warmer. It probably will be Walsh and Reulbach for Saturday’;s game.
Even Ald. Badenoch forsook the golf course to watch the fray.
Messrs. Percy Ash and Charles Sykes of London, England, were the guests of Senator A. C. Clark of the Fourteenth district. Having seen one game at New York, they decided to take in the world’s championship series, and wired the senator they would stop off on their way to Winnipeg. “If you are well wnough would you care to see tomorrow’s game?” asked the senator, “We shall be well enough,” responded Mr. Ash.
When the White Sox fans tolled off, “One, two, three,” a group of west side ushers came back with, “One, two, three, twenty-three, Skidoo. Who? White Sox.”