Cleveland Indians in 1920 : Yankees 4, Indians 3

NY Times (edited) - Box Score

NEW YORK – Wednesday - July 21, 1920. An epidemic of high blood pressure, high nervous tension and several other disorders swept over the Polo Grounds today about 5:15 P.M., overlooking none of the 25,000 fans who had gathered to see the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians grapple for honors in the seething fight for league leadership. It was the ninth inning of a battle that was in every way worthy of pennant contenders, one striving to protect a one-run lead while the other was rushing along fast to overcome the deficit.

But to begin at the beginning.....Cleveland pitcher Ray Caldwell was hit hard in the early innings, and player-manager Tris Speaker had Elmer Myers warming up in the bullpen for relief duty, as it did not appear that Caldwell could weather the storm. He eventually settled down, however, and pitched good ball the rest of the way.

The Yankees started the scoring in the second inning when Bob Meusel slapped the first pitched ball for one of the longest home runs ever hit to left field at the Polo Grounds. The ball landed high on the fence behind the bleachers, about two feet from going over into the railroad yards.

In the next inning the Yanks finished their scoring for the day. Wally Pipp opened by bounding a ball off the upper deck of the grandstand for a home run. Del Pratt's single, Meusel's double and Aaron Ward's triple off the right field wall pushed across two more runs. [Yankees 4, Indians 0]

Yankee pitcher Carl Mays had been breezing along in his best form, his underhand fling baffling the Indians to such an extent that only one runner had reached third and only two had seen second. When the ninth opened, the affair seemed to be all over for the Indians. Then the cyclone that shattered so many nerves got underway. Tris Speaker opened with a double to center and reached third on an infield out. Even this threat of a run caused no uneasiness, but the fans began to take notice when Larry Gardner bounced a double to right out of Meusel's hands, scoring Speaker. The ball went from Meusel's hand to the wall and the big outfielder caught it off the bounce, but the catch was not allowed. Bill Wambsganss hit to short and Roger Peckinpaugh, after a fine stop, heaved the ball over Wally Pipp's head, allowing Wambsganss to reach second and enabling Gardner to cross the plate with Cleveland's second run. The affair was picking up interest by the minute. Doc Johnston drove a single to center which sent Wambsganss over the dish and put the tying run on first base. Real excitement by this time and more uneasiness. When Steve O'Neill slapped a bullet single past Peckinpaugh, Johnston moved along to second and Yankee manager Miller Huggins flashed the sign for Carl Mays to leave the pitcher's mound.

In came Rip Collins, the Texas ranger. Collins slipped two strikes over on Ray Caldwell and then Ray cut loose with a line single to center. As the ball shot from the bat, Doc Johnston, bearing the tying run, cut loose from second. Ping Bodie raced over, made a clean pickup and followed with a throw that was a marvel for accuracy. Straight to catcher Muddy Ruel the ball hopped on its way, and as Doc started his slide at home plate, Ruel grabbed the ball and threw himself in the path of the Cleveland runner. It was a thriller that turned the crowd into a frenzy. Umpire Ollie Chill's right hand shot up to denote that Ping had killed his quarry.

But the task was far from ended. Smoky Joe Wood, who ran for O'Neill, had gone to third on the previous play. Collins walked Charlie Jamieson, which moved Caldwell down to second, filling the bases. Ray Chapman loomed up at the plate, with the formidable Tris Speaker, waving a pair of threatening sticks, due up next. It was a case of do or die for Rip Collins. He worked Chapman to a count of three balls and two strikes. Collins put everything he had into his next pitch, the three Cleveland runners took off, Chapman took a good swing.....but he missed, and the game was over. [Final: Yankees 4, Indians 3]



Indians vs Yankees - 21 July 1920 Cleveland AB R H PO A
New York AB R H PO A

Cleveland..…... 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 - 0 0 3.…3 Jamieson, lf 3 0 0 1 0
Peckinpaugh, ss 4 0 0 5 2
New York…...…0 1 3 - 0 0 0 - 0 0 x.…4 Chapman, ss 5 0 0 4 3
Pipp, 1b 4 1 2 9 1

Speaker, cf 3 1 2 5 1
Pratt, 2b 4 1 3 1 3
ERRORS - Peckinpaugh, Wambsganss Smith, rf 4 0 0 4 0
Ruth, lf 3 0 0 3 0
TWO-BASE HITS - Gardner (2), Meusel, Speaker Gardner, 3b 4 1 2 1 2
Meusel, rf 4 2 2 3 0
THREE-BASE HIT - Ward Wambsganss, 2b 4 1 1 3 1
Bodie, cf 4 0 1 1 1
HOME RUNS - Meusel, Pipp Johnston, 1b 4 0 2 6 0
Ward, 3b 3 0 1 0 3
SACRIFICE - Ward O'Neill, c 4 0 1 0 1
Ruel, c 4 0 0 4 2
DOUBLE PLAY - Speaker-Chapman Caldwell, p 4 0 2 0 2
Mays, p 2 0 1 1 1
LEFT ON BASES - Cleveland 8, New York 7 Wood 0 0 0 0 0
Collins, p 0 0 0 0 0
BASES ON BALLS - Off Mays 1, Collins 1, Caldwell 2

HITS - Off Mays 9 in 8 1/3 innings, Collins 1 in 2/3. Totals 35 3 10 24 10
Totals 32 4 10 27 13
HIT BY PITCHER - By Mays (Jamieson)

STRUCK OUT - By Mays 1, Collins 1


UMPIRES - Messrs. Chill and Moriarty.

TIME OF GAME - Two hours and fifteen minutes.