1908 World Series
Game One | Game Two | Game Three | Game Four | Game Five
Chicago Examiner, 12 October 1908
BY HUGH S. FULLERTON
JOE TINKER, with one terrific drive into the right field bleachers, yesterday won himself a niche in the baseball hall of fame and gave Chicago victory in the second game of the world’s championship Sries, 6 to 1.
Tinker’s drive decided one of the greatest pitchers’ duels of the year, and started a terrific assault which practically ended Detroit’s hopes of reclaiming for the American League their lost honors.
The struggle was witnessed by a wonderful crowd, smaller in numbers than was expected, but a crowd of lovers of fair play, which appreciated the brilliantly fought battle it was witnessing and cheered both Cubs and Tigers. While the crowd went wild over the magnificent pitching of “Wild Bill” Donovan and Overall, inning after inning of perfect play was reeled off and the two teams played superb ball, Evers and Tinker, Steinfeldt and Downs and Cobb making plays that brought thunders of applause.
Tinker’s Hit Starts Panic.
And then, when the teams and pitchers had fought each other to a standstill and it looked as if darkness -would come before they could score, Tinker’s drive yielded a victory and the Cubs broke through the Tiger defense aud routed them in panic, scoring six runs before they stopped.
Both teams realized that the championship to a large degree rested in the game. The Tigers had pinned all their hopes and al1 of their hopes of the American. League upon Donovan. If “Wild Bill,” with his now semi-civilized curves, could stop the Cubs there still was hope that the American League might reclaim its lost prestige in the baseball world and wrest the proudest title in tbe sporting world from the Cubs. And Chance and his battle-scarred warriors knew that to lose meant a fierce fight for the honor, and that to win meant all probability they would win four stralght games and finish with their world’s pennant unsullied even by one defeat.
Fans Fear Donovan.
All the Cub rooters feared was Donovan. And “Wild Bill,” premier pitcher of the American League, the man who broke Chicago’s hopes of two pennants only a few days ago, came again to Chicago to break the baseball pride of the West Siders as he did that of the White Sox.
Against him Chance pitted Overall, his giant, in whom faith had been shaken recently, but who came to redeem himself for the showing he made in Detroit the previous day.
The scene around the battlefield where these two led their teams was a beautiful one. The crowd waa immense, enthusiastic, and yet a disappointment, for the clubs had expected the greatest crowd of baseball history to witness tbe struggle. But the lateness of the arrangements, the fear that no seats could be had, and the cold day kept down the attendance until only 17,760 persons paid to see the crucial struggle of the series.
Perhaps the edge it Chicago’s baseball appetite has been taken off by the frantic finishing of the two pennant races, perhaps the Cub admirers thought Detroit was not a worthy foe, or at least not worthy enough for them to brave pneumonia to see.
Crowd One of Sportsmen.
Yet it was a grand crowd, filled with color and life. The day was cold but bright and a cold gale swept the field from the northwest. The white of shirt sleeves and tbe sheen of summer gowns were missing. The purples, the reds and the colors of autumn filled the great stands. It was a wonderful crowd, not the blatant, wild eyed, fanatical masses of humanity with passions rampant and throats sore from howling,not the blaring, horn blowing, earsplitting congregation of rooters, but a great crowd of baseball lovers out to cheer the good plays, no matter by whom made; a crowd of sportsmen and sportswomen.
Perhaps the Summer madness had passed and the sedate and sober Autumn of baseball fervor come. At any rate it was a grand crowd. The great stands were filled but not packed and there were vacant spaces in the field seats, even in the cheaper ones. Out on the field, herded no wooden pens, small masses of the overflow had congested, but the entire field was clear.
The crowd had begun to gather at 10 o’clock in the morning, when the gates were opened, and before noon the stands were slowly filling. The fear that no seats could be had and the fact tbat thousands had tried to buy tickets in advance and could not get them kept thousands way, but there were enough.
At 1 o’clock, when the Cubß ran out from their club bouse, wearing their newly laundered white uniforms, the crowd, then numbering 12,000, arose and gave Chance and his heroes a wild reception. It was the tribute of Chicago to the team which, after two months of desperate endeavor, won its own pennant after a murderous struggle with the desperate Giants, and then, without rest or even a breathing spell, had leaped to Detrolt and wrested victory from defeat in a sensational finish the previous day.
But the greeting given the Cubs was mild compared with that which came at 1:10, Schaefer led the Tigers through the grandstand and onto the field, wher they were strangers since last Fall.
Coffee Vendors Grow Rich
During the practice the crowd gathered and shivered, and hot coffee vendors throve and waxed rich. When, at 2:05 the cal! for battle came, the crowd arose and cheered wildly and then settled down into blankets, wraps and overcoats to watch the struggle.
And down on that whitewash-lined field. by living masses of color and noise—one of the greatest battles in baseball history was fought out.
For seven and a half Innings the teams raced side hy side— and neither could gain an inch. The pitchers were giving a wonderful exhibition Overall, using his terrific speed, pitching underhand, overhand, breaking Hls curve like a flash across the outside corner of the plate— was striving desperately to hold the clawing, fighting Tigers.
Ee-Yahs Don’t Bother Overall.
Three times, in different innings, the Tigers managed to get men to first—and each time, as soon as the runner landed at the starting point of the long journey around the buses Hughle Jennings went wild. Tip and down the coaching lines he raced and tore, leaping, kicking, pulling up grass— and each time his famous “Ee-yah” yell went up tbe crowd feared. But Overall was master. All the “Ee-yahs” in the world would not bave shaken him. Only three hits would he allow and one a scratch during those innings— and yet he was out-pitched.
Donovan, upon whom the hopes of the American League, of Detroit and the whole state of Michigan were pinned, was giving one of the greatest exhibitions of pitching ever seen. He had speed which was amazing—and during five rounds als fast sidearm curve looked like a flash of light and that high underhand curve broke in maddening fashion around the plate. Batter after batter he mowed down, and for seven rounds only one hit did he allow- that a line drive by Overall.
Cubs Retired With Great Rapidity.
Inning after inning the pitch of excitement in tbe stands arose as the crowd be to realize that they were watching a marvelous exhibition of pitching. Inning after inning the Cubs trotted quietly back to the bench and said to each other,
We’ll get him. He’s working too fast. He never can hold that gait.
But he held it— and working like a rapid fire gun he shot the ball back again and again into Schmidt’s mitt. It did not seem that a human arm could stand the strain. No matter how fast the hall came back to him, he pitched back faster, straight, sidearm, underarm, and then that dazzling curve—and the Cubs were helpless.
When Donovan came to bat in the eighth inning his famous smile was broader than ever— and the crowd— a crowd that was hoping and praying for victory for the Cubs— arose and cheered him with a frantic outburst of applause compelled by admiration for hls great work.
THE statistics on the second game between the Cubs and Tigers for the baseball championship of the world show that the Chicago team won because it outplayed Detroit at all points of the game. The Tigers were outhit, outrun and outflelded. Following is the full score of the game, together with the batting.and fielding averages for the game and the series to date
Donovan and Tigers Break.
And then—suddenly Donovan, the hero—broke and the Cubs got him.
The game had reached its psychologies’ crisis— something had to break— and it was Wild Bill, and with him the hopes of Detroit and the hearts of the Tigers broke.
One slow bounder down toward third base, a frantic race for flrst— and then Tinker made himself the hero of Chicago.
With a terrific drive into the field seats over under the right field fence Tinker put an end to doubt. And as long as baseball endures that home-run hit of Tinker’s will remain.
Tinker Dispels Donovan’s Smile.
Tinker’s drive turned the cheers for “Wild Bill” Into a mad demonstration for himself— and tore the laurel wreath off Ddiosnpoevllaend’s head, to place upon his own, the smile from “Wild Bill’s” face —and transformed the great assemblage into a babel.
For five minutes, while Jennings raved and Donovan pawed, while Schmidt argued, and Schaefer lapsed into Weber & Fields dialect, tbe crowd stood up and howled over Tinker’s drive.
That hit settled the game—and in all probability settled al! Detroit’s hopes for the championship. For not only did it drive two runs—but immediately thereafter “Wild Bill” got into Wright Brothers’ class and tried to break the aeroplane record. He who had held the Cubs hitless so long broke wildly—and the Cubs, scenting victory, began one of those famous assaults thnt have carried them to victory so often in the past. Hitting, running, bunting—they tore Detroit’s defense to ribbons, and before they ceased the attack they had piled up six runs—and made the verdict unanimous.
Detroit Never Had Chance to Win.
Closely analyzed there ls no way to figure that Detroit had a chance to win the game. The best they could have made it was a tie— unless the luck of baseball turned against Overall. Only once was Detroit even a bit dangerous—and that was when, with two men on bases In the fifth inning. Donovan hit up an extremely high fly just inside the diamond. The stiff wind made the ball whirl in spirals and the high and brassy Bky made It hard to see. Two men were running for the plate and would have scored, when Steinfeldt clamped his hands around the ball and ended the danger.
Chicago outplayed Detroit again at every point and fielded in grand style. The outfield work was fast and clean and the ball came back fast and accurately. On the inside, where the Chicago club outclasses Detroit, the infield gave a brilliant exhibition.
Evers Makes Brilliant Play.
Evers made the greatest play, rushing forward and scooping a siow bounder with one hand and then snapping the ball to Chance ahead of the runner, Steinfeldt made, one almost as hard although he had a slower runner to catch. Twice Tinker, by playing his position perfectly was ln the path of base hits.
Against the wonderful assortment of curves served up by Overall and such defense on the inside the Tigers could not hope to win— except by pushing over one lucky run and having Donovan score a clean shutout.
Tinker’s hit was the one thing that turned the game. He had been hitting Donovan hard each time up, but could not drive the hall safe. When he came up in the eighth, with Hofman on flrst, Donovan pitched a fast side-arm ball that appeared to cut the corner of the plate but which Klem called a ball.
The next ball Donovan pitched was four or five inches on the inside of the plate and just above Tinker’s waist. It was the kind of a ball that any right-handed batter ordinarily pulls hard to left field, if he hits it at all, but Tinker in some way swung quickly and drove the ball to right high and on the line. It did not look as if lt was a hard hit ball, but lt cleared Cobb’s head easily and went on over the fence. striking in the third row’of tbe low bleachers.
Kllng’s drive, which followed, was much hardesr, but that didn’t count. it was Tinker who broke up the ball game.
Photo-Diagram Showing How Joe Tinker Knocked the Home Run That Won the Game tor the Cubs.
The large picture shows the playing field on which the game was won and lost. The white line shows the course of the ball from Tinker’s bat into the right field bleacher. The small panel at the left shows Tinker making his great hit, Catcher Schmidt and Umpire Klem also being shown
TINKER’S OWN STORY OF HOW HE HIT HOME RUN.
BY JOE TINKER.
The way I made tbat home run was to walk up to the plate, hit the bali and send lt over the fence. That is about all the ordinary spectator can see in a home run hit anyhow—but really there is a lot more back of it than that.
It was this way: During the flrst five innings of that game Donovan was as fast as any pitcher I ever saw. He was so fast, and that high break curve of his went over so quickly, honestly, we couldn’t see
From the first inning we noticed that Donovan was working extremely fast, and we slowed down Overall and then every man who went up to the plate went there with orders to wait and make Donovan pitch as many balis as possible to him. We didn’t think he could hold the gait he had set for himself. We waited and kept waiting, trying to make Donovan weaken. If a few of us could have made hits and got on the bases we might have tired him quicker. We felt sure we would get to him sometime.
After Hofman went to tbe bat and beat out a hit I studied how Donovan was pitching. He had been pitching fast and inside, and threw fast and outside to me. The first ball he put up was close in and nearer the corner and I thought lt didn’t have the break on lt he had before the sixth Inning. I decided to take a crack at tbe next one.
As Donovan pitched I saw it was coming inside, and pulled back a little and took a quick wallop at the ball. I had expected it to be on the outside corner—and was waiting to hit to right field. How I happened to hit there on one inside is hard to tell— but it went. The bat met the ball squacely and got a good hold and with Donovan’s speed and the wind helping it, the ball cleared the fence.