Thursday, April 12, 2012

Red Sox Win First Two Games Of '12 Against Yanks

It was a hundred years ago yesterday that the Red Sox opened their world championship season of 1912. On opening day "on the Hilltop" in Upper Manhattan, the Boston team, with their new uniforms reading "RED SOX," beat the Yanks, now sporting black pinstripes and an NY logo on their chests, 5-3. A 4-run, come-from-behind, 9th-inning rally did New York in:

The rally arrived at a time when 12,000 fans were getting their throats in order to sing a few paens of joy over the successful debut of Manager Harry Wolverton as a Yankee chieftan, a few more for the stellar mound work of "Slim" Ray Caldwell and some for the Yankee team. The storm of Boston bingles swept Caldwell from the scene, buried Wolverton and his Yankees in defeat, and drowned out all the bubbling enthusiasm. --NYT, 100 years ago today, 4/12/1912

The Red Sox would remain ahead of the Yanks in the standings for the entire season.

In game two, played exactly 100 years ago today, it was more of the same:

Tris Speaker, the third man up in the opening chapter, sounded the Yankee death knell with a terrific punch to the fence in right centre field for a home run, chasing home Hooper, who had reached first base on a pass. --NYT, 4/13/1912

Then Duffy Lewis hit one that "sailed over Bert Daniel's attic" (!) All those mountain hikes in Arkansas paid off for player/manager Jake Stahl, who went 4-4 with a walk--and a deep foul fly that was impressive enough to make the papers. The 5-2 win had Boston off to a 2-0 start.


Note: As I have said before, the Yankees were known as the Yankees well before it supposedly became their official name in 1913. So in my descriptions on the 1912 season on this blog, I'm gonna go ahead and call them that, just as the papers of the day were doing. "Yankees" is way more common in 1912 game accounts than "Highlanders," even though the team was in its final season at Hilltop Park.
For description/box of the exhibition game played between the Red Sox and Harvard (the first actual game played at Fenway Park) on 4/9/1912, click here.
Hilltop Park was maybe 20 blocks or so south from where I used to live in Manhattan. There is a huge hospital on the site now and a plaque where home plate once was.
People always talk about the Brush staircase (Polo Grounds site)--how come nobody ever talks about Hilltop?

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Location: Rhode Island, United States