1929 World Series Champion Philadelphia Athletics
These are the 1929 World Series champion Philadelphia Athletics. Sitting in the front row (left to right) are Sammy Hale, Mickey Cochrane, Walt French, Jimmy Dykes, Joe Boley, Cy Perkins, and Earle Mack. Middle row: Homer Summa, "Rube" Walberg, Carroll Yerkes, manager Connie Mack, George Burns, George Earnshaw, and Jim Cronin.
Back row: "Bing" Miller, Bill Breckenridge, "Mule" Haas, Eddie Collins, Bill Gleason, Jimmy Foxx, Lefty Grove, Howard Ehmke, and Al Simmons. Ehmke was a surprise starter in the first game of the postseason showcase and set a World Series record with 13 strikeouts
From the Cumberland Sunday Times-News story of J. Suter Kegg, October 27, 1996
Grove a hero in erasing top World Series deficit
When the New York Yankees overcame the 6-0 lead enjoyed by the Braves in Atlanta last Wednesday to win the fourth game of the World Series, they turned back the hands of time 67 years, to the fourth game of 1929's diamond showcase.
The National League champion Chicago Cubs were breezing along on an 8 to 0 advantage over Philadelphia's Athletics, kingpins of the American, when the A's "came back from the dead" in the bottom of the seventh at Shibe Park, their home grounds. With the venerable Connie Mack as their manager, the A's tallied ten times to win that game and set the stage for their world title in the next contest which they took by a 3 to 2 score.
Allegany County, in general, and Lonaconing, in particular, were full of ecstasy — as they should have been, one of the heroes having been Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove, the Lonaconing native who went on to pitch his way into the Baseball Hall of Fame with a sizzling major-league career record of 300 victories and just 141 defeats.
Television was just a dream back then and radio had not yet entered its golden years. I was ten days away from my 13th birthday when the A's posted that exciting 10-8 "miracle victory" and stood behind the Evening and Sunday Times plant on South Mechanic Street to watch the game.
Watch it? Not the game itself but a reproduction of the live action on a huge electronic board that had been constructed for this newspaper to provide "instant coverage" for area sports fans. A baseball diamond was painted on the green board and progress of the games was produced through the use of green, amber, and red lights.
The board was operated from the editorial room, where play-by-play information was received by a special Western Union wire from the press boxes of the stadia in which the games were being played. Highlights that could not be put on the board electronically were announced by megaphone. No one in the tri-state area is better acquainted with the life history of Lefty Grove than Judge James S. Getty, also a Lonaconing native. Retired from the Maryland Court of Special Appeals but still called upon to sit in on cases when one of the jurists is ill or on vacation, Judge Getty and Lefty's son, the late Bob Grove, were classmates and teammates at 'Coney's old Central High School.
Lefty, who died in 1975 at the age of 75, spent many hours conversing with Getty. Whereas Getty hardly ever brought up chats about his baseball past, Grove made it a point to tell Jim the things he wanted to hear.
I, too, was privileged to have spent much time talking baseball with Lefty after his retirement on Dec. 7,1941 (does that date ring a World War II bell?). I don't recall of any conversations we might have had about that record ten-run rally in the 1929 World Series. Judge Getty, though, discussed it with Grove.
Let's set the stage, then for the events that led up to Saturday, Oct. 12,1929, the day the earth stood still for the Chicago Cubs at Shibe Park.
The Cubs had dug a hole of massive proportions for themselves by dropping the first two games of the Series at Wrigley Field, their home grounds, but rebounded with a 3-1 triumph in Game 3 at Shibe Park. And, with that big 8-0 lead in Game 4, they appeared ready to take Philadelphia's Bull Elephants to the full seven. Then, however, came the explosion.
Al Simmons, the American League's runs-batted-in champ in 1929 with 157, led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run. Jimmy Foxx, Bing Miller, and Jimmy Dykes followed with singles. With the score now 8-2 and two A's on base, Joe Boley delivered another run-scoring single, the fifth straight hit off Charley Root, and now the deficit was five runs. And still no one was out.
Pinch-hitter George Burns popped out but Max Bishop kept things going with a one-bagger making it 8-4 with Mule Haas strolling to the plate. Art Nehf, a 37-year-old southpaw who had won games for the New York Giants in four consecutive World Series earlier in the decade, replaced Root but Haas hoisted a fly ball to center field which Hack Wilson lost in the sun, and the misplay resulted in a three-run homer.
With the bewildered Cubs clinging to a one-run lead, Mickey Cochrane walked, and Foxx smacked the A's seventh single of the inning, Cochrane racing home to tie the score. Dykes followed with a double and the A's had ten runs when the seventh inning ended.
That's when Grove entered the picture for the "rest of the story." The lefthanded reliever not only retired the Cubs in order during the eighth and ninth frames but struck out four consecutive batters in the process.
The Chicago "swatlesssmiths" saw nothing but blazing pitches from Grove. "I was determined that was all they'd see from me," Grove told Judge Getty. "I fired every pitch for the outside corner of the plate," he stated, adding "I kept saying to myself, 'Here it is, now hit it if you can.'"
The A's compiled a 104-46 regular-season record in 1929 and won the American League pennant by 18 games over the New York Yankees who had swept the World Series in 1927 and 1928.
Grove a hero in erasing top World Series deficit
story - J. Suter Kegg
Cumberland Times-News, used with permission
From newspaper cutting in scrapbook of Lefty stories created by Mary Meyers.
George's Creek Regional Library
Baseball; Grove, Lefty, 1900-1975; Pitchers (Baseball); Philadelphia Athletics (Baseball team)
Philadelphia (Pa.), 1929.