Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1916 WS Video Play-By-Play

I figured out the plays shown in the 1916 World Series video I wrote about earlier. (As of this writing, that site is still calling it a 1917 WS from Chicago--I have informed them it is actually Game 1, 1916 WS, Brooklyn vs. Red Sox, Braves Field. [Update: They've fixed it, though now they've got the Boston team listed as the Robins, but, hey, at least the game is right now.] Box score/play-by-play is here; NYT article from 1916 here.) Here we go:

0:04 Top of the 2nd. This is the 4-6-3 double play hit into by Brooklyn's George Cutshaw. You can see the runner slide into second, then start walking off the field toward the first-base dugout, as does the hitter after he's run through first. The home dugout at Braves Field was on the third-base side, as shown in this picture from years later. Then again, the hitter does turn back toward the right, and honestly, it doesn't look like the second baseman does anything, but I'm banking on the fact that he threw to second before the clip begins, or that it was a 6-6-3 that was reported as a 4-6-3. (But I looked at the original putouts and assists from the newspaper box score and everything matches up.) Anyway, by process of elimination, and shadow study, it has to be this play. It's also cool to see them throw the ball around the infield after the play as is done today. Look closely and you'll see the ball go from 1st to 3rd to 2nd after the play.

0:11 Bottom of the 2nd. This is the bunt single by Boston's Larry Gardner moving Lewis to second. You can see the right fielder backing up the play, catcher and third baseman going for ball as shortstop realizes no one's covering third and runs over there. "Conferences were held in and about the pitcher's box" after this play according to the New York Times, and you can see the beginnings of that too.

0:25 This is the very next play--another bunt to the same spot, a sacrifice by Everett Scott. Runners move "a sack ahead" to second and third. The Sox would leave the bases loaded after a walk.

0:31 We see the written text that describes Duffy Lewis' 3rd-inning RBI double, and then we see said double. Hoblitzell (referred to as Hoblitzel in both the film and the NYT article), who tripled, is seen scoring just as Lewis reaches first. The guy running second to third is actually the shortstop. He ends up receiving the throw.

0:40 We are taken to a new camera angle, from the other side of the ballpark. It took me a while, but I figured out that the first play we see from this new angle is the SAME double we just saw. Watch any one guy and you'll see he does the same thing in both shots. Runner scores as hitter reaches first, shortstop runs toward third and receives throw, etc.

0:52 This next play also took me a while--I finally realized that this triple (there were four in the game) had to be Hoblitzell's triple that came BEFORE the previous play. It's a triple with no one on base, and the shadows are just about in the same spot. If you go back to the beginning of the video you'll see the roof shadow start between the plate and the mound, and slowly creep toward the mound. At this point it's cutting through the outfield side of the mound. Besides, the next play shown takes place in the top of the fourth, and it has the shadow at its farthest-out point which means this play here is BEFORE that one--and the only other triple with no one on base is AFTER top 4.

1:05 Top of the 4th. This is the defensive play of the game. Cutshaw hits a shallow fly to right with the go-ahead run on third. Harry Hooper, with "a bit of sheer piracy," makes the catch and guns down Zack Wheat at the plate. A different paper (Telegraph-Herald) noted that Hooper actually slipped down and got up again quickly to throw home. This is feasible as it also says he was "just back of first base" when he caught the ball. And it described the runner sliding into home as you see in the clip.

And there's your 1916 WS video. So it is all from Game One, and goes roughly in order, with one play repeated.

As for the New York Times article, it is an incredible piece of writing, and I recommend you take the time to read the whole thing. You have to click the button on this page to see the pdf. It describes the crazy ninth inning in which the Sox nearly blew a 6-1 lead, and then goes back to the beginning to set the pre-game scene, before describing almost every inning of the game. Gems include:

Then something went wrong with the grand machine which boasts the world's title. Entering the final inning the score was 6 to 1 in favor of the Superbas' inhospitable hosts, and the game appeared to be won, in the choice Bostonese which one picks up even in a brief stay in the Hub, reposing safely on the chill surface of nature's refrigerating substance.

and

It was a typical world's series scene that greeted the eye of the late comer. Packed stands, or nearly packed, formed its setting, and its background, as envisaged from the crags and cliffs of the press box, away up, at least four laps on the journey Elijah made, was a mingled scene of switch engines just beyond the fence, the Charles River, ruffled in spots by spurting scullers or eight-oared crews, and on the nether bank a whirling succession of automobiles, whose occupants, bound and far afield, wotted little and cared less about anything so serious as a world's series ball game.

and

The Royal Rooters and their band--oh, yes, they were all there--kept warm, however, by means of parades, shouting, arm waving, and the other approved methods of expressing world's series enthusiasm.

Thanks to Allan at Joy of Sox for finding this video and the 1917 one, and whoever it was that posted them to Critical Past.

Comments:
fucking a - great work!
 
Ha, thanks--I see you already linked to it, nice! I look forward to hearing your conclusion as to whether this is the first known footage of the 1916 WS. When I wake up tomorrow!
 
More fun: Duffy Lewis actually appears in one of the 1917 WS videos. In the Comiskey one, at 1:17, you suddenly see a man in a plain uniform, not a Giants or White Sox one. That looks like the Red Sox' Duffy Lewis (though he does swing right handed here). Even if it's not him, it's a Red Sox player, probably at Braves Field from the 1916 WS.

And at 1:53 of Polo Grounds one, when it says "After the Game"--that's actually Braves Field. Compare to this picture. Look at the arches and the two light poles.
 
Oh and RIGHT after they show Lewis swinging the bat, it cuts very briefly to another shot of the 1916 WS (you can tell by the roof--it's the same left field angle from the 1916 video) before going back to 1917 footage.
 

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