100 Years Ago
On August 26, 1914, Babe Ruth returned to Buffalo, NY with the Providence Grays to pitch against the Buffalo Bisons of the International League.
The Buffalo Bisons defeated 19 year old Babe Ruth and the Grays, 8 to 2. (see “Babe Ruth Hoodoo Rudely Shattered by Hitting Herd” Buffalo Courier, 27 August 1914.)
Buffalo faced Ruth earlier in the season, including their home opener, when he was a pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles before he was sold to the Boston Red Sox. Ruth was sent down to the minor league Providence Grays on August 18, 1914.
Future Yankees manager Joe McCarthy, 27 years old and playing second base for the Bisons, hit a triple off of Babe Ruth who he would manage 17 years later with New York.
For more information on baseball in Buffalo, consult the Buffalo Evening News and visit the UB Sports History Collection website.
BABE RUTH HOODOO RUDELY SHATTERED
BY HITTING HERD
“Flash” Gilhooley Leads Onslaught and Clams Help by Tossing Ball Around – In His Best Form.
GIL SHOWS REAL BASE-RUNNING: SKEETERS OPEN SERIES TODAY
Down from the lofty pedestal upon which he has roosted majestically all summer long, the puissant Bambino Ruth, Oriole and Red Sox that was, Providence Clamdigger that is, and Lord knows what that will be, toppled and fell yesterday when Gilhooley, Vaughn et al. slammed aforesaid pedestal out from under him with their bats. Score, 8 to 2.
This made it three out of four for the Bisons in the “serious” with Wild Wilyum Donovan’s first place inhabitants. Apparently the pennant bee in Bill Clymer’s bonnet is making honey.
It stands in the books that for a long, long time. Bambino Ruth, big for his size, and young for his age, has been one terrible hoodoo for the herd. In fact, any time Jack Dunn in the days when he had a ball team, wanted to beat the Bisons on festive occasions like opening day, he just sent Babe Ruth into pitch. When Dunn while converting his valuable assets into cash sold the Bambino to the Boston Americans, there was joy in the Bison camp. When J. J. Lannin, owner of the Red Sox bought the Grays and sent Babe Ruth to help Wild Wilyum Donovan cop the pennant, the Bisons made up their minds to break the hoodoo or bust and they did—break the hoodoo.
‘Twas Not Babe’s Day.
Eleven times they tapped the pill safely on Big Babe, starting in at the third inning with four in a row, including a double by Flash Gilhooley and a triple by Joe McCarthy, that settled the spell the name of Babe Ruth held for the Ferry Streeters. From then on they treated him like an ordinary pitcher, until the one run lead of the Grays faded into innocuous nothingness.
The Clamdiggers proved to be a different brand of teammates for Babe than the Orioles were. To add to the worries of Babe’s young life they threw the ball in untamed fashion until the Big Bambino got the fever himself and contribute in a wild heave that cost a run when he allowed Gilhooley to get to first on a walk, deciding that a base on balls was cheaper than a two or three-bagger. In trying to catch the Flash off first the Big Bambino heaved through Ed Onslow’s legs toward the cash customers, and Gil scrambled to third. Vaughn worked the Big Bambino for a pass and as everyone fully expected and anticipated started to steal second. Likewise Gil started for home. Jack Onslow, foolish youth that he sometimes be, pegged the ball to Dave Shean to head off Bobby, and Shean threw back to stop Gilhooley. It looked as if Flash were caught, but he bobbed around and finally as Patrick Bauman threw the ball to Onslow, Gil made a dive over the catcher’s hip and landed safely on the plate before he could be tagged.
Clean Hitting Wins it.
But long before the wild heaving started the Bisons had sewed the game up on clean, unpolluted walloping begun by that famous beginner of things doing, Frank Gilhooley. He slammed for two bags. Bobby Vaughn followed with a bunt too difficult for the Big Bambino to handle and Gil of course went to third. Channell sent a grounder to Shean, and the great shrimp started for home, but the ball go there first and here Gil displayed an abundant, supply of that rare commodity known as baseball brains (plural). Instead of rushing in and being tagged he checked himself and went back. Then with the whole Providence infield lined up fore and aft he bobbed back and forth twixt third and home until Vaughn was safely on third and Channell on second. Then, he submitted to being tagged.
And then along came Lehr – King Lehr, recently sent out of Ann Arbor, Mich., with a helpmeet and the degree of bachelor of laws from the venerable Prexy Angell’s knowledge shop located one mile from Joe Parker’s and the Orient. King popped up in a Bison uniform without warning, which is just like Bill Clymer. Some day he’ll get Walter Johnson, Larry Cheney, Dave Robertson and Maranville in exchange for Gilhooley and Vaughn and say nothing about it. King hasn’t been seen in a Bison uniform this year. He was sold to the Skeeters while getting measured for his cap and gown in a deal that brought Jimmy Eschen and Verbout to Buffalo. The Bisons came home from the last trip without Eschen and Verbout, who have been sent back to the Skeeters.
When Roxey Beach was given a rest for his share in Monday’s mixup, a hurry call was sent for King Lehr and here he is with us. He started to play first base but when Carlstrom was taken ill, he was shifted to third and Long George McConnell was pressed into service as a first-sacker.
Beebe Good All the Way
Anyway, King came along at this stage of the proceedings and showed what a highly useful member of the bunch he could be by uncorking a single that brought the Great Shrimp and Vaughn home. Joe McCarthy’s triple scored Lehr.
So things went on with Babe Ruth’s greatness’ dwindling steadily as the game progressed. By the time it was over there wasn’t much left of the Big Bambino’s bigness.
Throughout the bombardment Fred Beebe pitched a steady article that gave the Gray’s little chance of staging any thing like a comeback. Three of the eight hits they got off Fred came in the fifth inning and totaled only one run. The support was with him all the time. Vaughn starring with red hot stops and throws.
— Buffalo Courier, August 27, 1914