“Greatest Baseball Game Ever Contested”

13 Feb

The Philadelphia Record headline called it the “Greatest Baseball Game Ever Contested, “ the September 1, 1906 game at Boston’s Huntington Avenue Grounds between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Americans:

“What will go down in history as the most remarkable ball game ever played in a major league lasted 4 hours and 47 minutes to-day, and the champion Athletics beat the Bostons 4 to 1 in 24 innings.  It was a heart-breaking struggle all through, and to the astonishment of 18,000 people who saw the contest, the pitchers hung on until the last gun was fired.”

Rookie Jack Coombs pitched for Philadelphia, Joe Harris was on the mound for Boston.

Philadelphia scored a run in the third inning; Boston tied the game in the sixth:

“After that plenty of opportunities were offered, but owing to fast fielding and good pitching neither side could cross the plate.

“In the twenty-fourth, when darkness was fast covering the field, (Topsy) Hartsell led off with a single.  (Bris) Lord struck out, but Hartsell stole second…Shreck (Ossee Schrecongost) sent him home with a single over second.”

The Athletics added two more Runs as “The immense crowd filled out around the field.”

Coombs closed the Americans out in the twenty-fourth and “was cheered to an echo, some of the fans wanting to carry him on their shoulders from the field.”

The box score:

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“It was well that the game was concluded as it was, for it was too dark to go another inning, and the crowd began to murmur that the light was too dim when the last round began.  But the players themselves interposed no objection, for they were all deeply anxious to fight it out.”

Jack Coombs, 1906

Jack Coombs, 1906

Coombs would go on to a long career, highlighted by a 31-9 record, and three more wins over the Chicago Cubs in the World Series for the champion Athletics in 1910; overall he was 5-0 in World Series play.  He also pitched for the Brooklyn Robins and Detroit Tigers.

Harris is one of the ultimate hard-luck pitchers in the history of baseball.  He ended the 1906 season with a 2-21 record (the Americans were shut out 8 times when he pitched).  His Major League career was over after he went 0-7 in 1907; Harris ended his career with a 3-30 record.

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5 Responses to ““Greatest Baseball Game Ever Contested””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] was best known for pitching a 24-inning complete game for the Philadelphia Athletics against the Boston Americans as a rookie in 1906, and for beating […]

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    […] In a 1911 article in The Pittsburgh Press, Thomas, who in addition to Bender who also caught Jack Coombs (31-9, 1.30 ERA), Cy Morgan (18-12, 1.55 ERA), and Eddie Plank (16-10, 2.01 ERA) in 1910, said of […]

  3. Lost Advertisements–Athletics/Cubs 1910 World Series | Baseball History Daily - September 13, 2013

    […] Leonard “King” Cole in the ninth and got the decision over Bender.  The following day Jack Coombs beat the Cubs and Brown 7 to 2 to take the series four games to […]

  4. The Tribune’s First All-Star Team | Baseball History Daily - February 21, 2014

    […] of the Chicago White Sox and Lou Criger of the Boston Americans received three votes each;  Freeman Ossee Schrecongost who played 18 games with Cleveland and 79 with the Philadelphia Athletics, and William […]

  5. Rube and Ossee | Baseball History Daily - March 10, 2014

    […] personal catcher, Ossee Schrecongost—Schreck—was also blamed for the collapse.  Schreck was sent home by Mack for the remainder of […]

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