Tuesday, October 11, 2016

World Series Did You Know?

Rosy Ryan of the Giants is the only relief pitcher to hit a home run. And you have to go all the way back the New York Giants of 1924. While he hit it against Washington in that year's Fall Classic, it was not off Walter Johnson. The Cubs' Travis Wood is the only reliever to go yard is the postseason, in fact.

The Washington Senators of '24 were still looking for their first World Series title, even though they had Johnson. But Walter unable to win the first game, which was decided in extras. The Senators had to pull it out in the bottom of the ninth inning in game two, sending this thing to the Polo Grounds for games three, four and five.

And in game three, it was the home team winning to take a 2-1 Series lead. The big blow was a home run from a relief pitcher.

New York was batting in the bottom of the fourth, and ahead 3-2. The pitcher was Allen Russell. With one out, it was the pitcher's spot due up. The Senators had driven out starter Hugh McQuillan with a two-run uprising in the top of the frame.

But Ryan surprised everyone. He'd gotten the last two in the top half of the fourth. Now, in the bottom half, he took Washington's Allen Russell out of the park to right. 4-2, Giants. Ryan's heroics didn't stop there, as he stopped the Nats cold until they finally scored off him in the top of the eighth. But it was 5-2 for the home side when that happened. Ryan grounded out in the bottom of the frame to restore the three-run cushion.

The Sens still had some surprising fight in them, as they scored a run in the top of the ninth to close to 6-4. Rosy was knocked out of the game, and the rallied continued until Mule Watson got the last two outs, leaving the bases loaded,

Ryan had given up 7 hits over just 4 2/3 innings. Under today's rules, he would have been the winning pitcher. McQuillan got the win despite lasting just 3 2/3 innings. Ryan made just one more appearance in the 1924 World Series. He didn't get a decision in that, either.

Rosy won just 51 games over the course of his short 10 year career. He was not a good pitcher, despite leading the league in ERA in 1922. He's one of many obscure players to accomplish a rare, never duplicated feat in the Fall Classic. But that's what make the World Series so much fun to watch; Even the no-so-good players get a chance to do something truly amazing.


Boeck, Scott. "Cubs Reliever Travis Wood Makes History With Playoff Home Run." USA TODAY: Latest World And US News - USATODAY.com. N.p., 9 Oct. 2016. Web. 11 Oct. 2016. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2016/10/09/cubs-reliever-travis-wood-makes-history-playoff-home-run/91815888/>

Neft, David S., Richard M. Cohen, and Michael L. Neft. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, 1992. 12th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. Print.

Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series: Complete Play-by-play of Every Game, 1903-1989. 4th ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1990. Print.

Retrosheet. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.  <www.retrosheet.org>

Sports Reference LLC. Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information. http://www.baseball-reference.com/. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.

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