“A Heart-Breaking Play, Engineered by Wagner”

29 Mar

The defending World Series Champion New York Giants had gotten off to a fast start in 1906; on May 15 they were 19-7, the Chicago Cubs were 21-9, when they arrived in Pittsburgh for a four game series.

The Giants were shut out by the Pirates in the first two games.  In the third game of the series Christy Mathewson blew a three-run lead and the Giants trailed 7-5 heading into the top of the eighth inning..

Outfielder Sam Mertes walked, moved to second on Bill Dahlen’s single and scored on a two-out single by second baseman Billy Gilbert.  The Giants were behind 7-6 with runners on first and second; manager John McGraw was about to send Sammy Strang to pinch hit for Mathewson, when, according to The New York Times:

“A heart-breaking play, engineered by (Honus) Wagner in the last second of the eighth inning, beat the Champion New Yorks…It was a hard game to lose, and might not have been lost had Dahlen not fallen a victim to the wiles of Wagner.  The big Dutchman was guilty of the trick of hiding the ball, and when Bill stepped off second base, thinking (pitcher Albert “Lefty”) Leifield had the ball, Wagner, who had concealed it, touched Dahlen, which made the third out.”

Bill Dahlen

Bill Dahlen

The Pirates held on to win 7-6; The Times said of Dahlen:

“The New York shortstop felt so bad that he fairly wept.  McGraw, too, was angry, and it was said tonight he fined Dahlen heavily for his bit of carelessness.”

The Giants were unable to keep pace with the Cubs who finished 20 games ahead of New York for National League Pennant.

The Box Score

The Box Score

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6 Responses to ““A Heart-Breaking Play, Engineered by Wagner””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lost Advertisements–I Shave with Gillette | Baseball History Daily - April 2, 2013

    […] 1908 advertisement for Gillette–featuring John H. Wagner (Honus Wagner’s actual full name was John Peter […]

  2. “The Cleverest bit of Quick Thinking I ever Witnessed” | Baseball History Daily - November 26, 2013

    […] ball disappeared.  (Bill) Dahlen, who was on second, never saw it.  He thought the ball had hit Bid.  The umpire, crouching to see […]

  3. Baseball’s “Fountain of Youth” | Baseball History Daily - April 16, 2014

    […] as a training resort, and the Pirates always fitted in there when Clarke was manager.  That took (Honus) Wagner, another long liver, there […]

  4. “What Right has Hanlon to Show me How to Hit?” | Baseball History Daily - June 23, 2014

    […] “Sam Mertes of the Giants invariably pulls his left foot back as he swings at the ball.  Mertes also crouches with somewhat of a forward lean and keeps his feet wide apart. […]

  5. Life on the Road, 1914 | Baseball History Daily - February 6, 2015

    […] “(Albert “Lefty”) Leifield is a very interesting talker and he was a running-mate with Mundorff in amusing the gang.” […]

  6. Nick Maddox | Baseball History Daily - February 9, 2015

    […] season 13-8 with a 2.21 ERA—overshadowed by teammates Howie Camnitz (25-6), Vic Willis (22-11), Albert “Lefty” Leifield (19-8) and rookie Charles “Babe” Adams (13-3 as a reliever and spot […]

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