The 1903 World Series: Game Three

After splitting the first two games of the 1903 World Series with the Pirates winning the opener 7-3 and the Americans taking game two by a 3-0 score the two teams met for game three on Saturday October 3rd in Boston. On that day 18,801 fans showed up at Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds to watch Deacon Phillippe of the Pirates take on Tom Hughes in a matchup of 20 game winners. In fact, all three games in the series so far were two 20 game winners squaring off. Phillippe won game one of the series while Hughes had not pitched since September 25th. The lineups were the same as the ones used in game one except for Hughes in place of Cy Young.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Ginger Beaumont CF
Fred Clarke LF
Tommy Leach 3B
Honus Wagner SS
Kitty Bransfield 1B
Claude Ritchey 2B
Jimmy Sebring RF
Ed Phelps C
Deacon Phillippe P

Boston Americans
Patsy Dougherty LF
Jimmy Collins 3B
Chick Stahl CF
Buck Freeman RF
Freddy Parent SS
Candy LaChance 1B
Hobe Ferris 2B
Lou Criger C
Tom Hughes P

In game one and two the team that ended up winning established themselves in the first inning. The Pirates scored four runs in game one and never looked back while the Americans scored two runs in the first inning of game two which was all they would need to win. In game three however, both teams went 1-2-3 with the first five outs of the game coming on groundballs before Phillippe got Chick Stahl to fly out to the warning track to end the first inning.

Ritchey scored one run and drove in another for the Pirates

In the second inning Hughes extended his streak to five straight groundouts to start the game. It looked like he had good stuff so far against the top of the order but Claude Ritchey got the first hit of the game with a two out double to CF. After a walk to Jimmy Sebring, catcher Eddie Phelps got the Pirates on the board with another well hit double to CF. Phillippe would groundout to end the inning leaving it at 1-0.

Phillippe matched Hughes with five groundball outs in the first two innings and he also gave up a two out double to Candy LaChance but he got out of the second inning without allowing a run.

Hughes had a rough end to the second inning saved only by the fact the pitcher had to bat so Boston manager Jimmy Collins was keeping a close eye on him. Leadoff hitter Ginger Beaumont drew a walk to start the inning. Pirates manager Fred Clarke followed him with a ground rule double to LF, the ball went into the crowd which kept the speedy Beaumont from scoring. By this time, Collins had his ace Cy Young warming up and Hughes needed to keep the Pirates from scoring to stay in the game. When Tommy Leach stepped up and lined a single passed Collins and out into LF, he decided that was enough and went to Young. On the play Beaumont scored to make it 2-0 and the Pirates had runners on the corners with no outs and Honus Wagner stepping to the plate.

Young had not pitched well in game one taking the loss so he had something to prove if Boston was going to compete in this series. In game one he held Wagner to just a single but he also walked him twice. In this matchup of the two legends Wagner sort of won as he ended up taking one off the body for the team which loaded the bases with no outs. After a foul out to 1B, Ritchey grounded out to Collins at 3B, who went home with the play to cut down Fred Clarke trying to score to keep it at 2-0, now with two outs. Sebring then grounded out to SS which looked like it would end the inning but Freddie Parent booted the ball which allowed Leach to score. Honus Wagner tried to score all the way from 2B but he was cut down at the plate to end the inning with the Pirates up 3-0.

In game one Phillippe struck out 10 batters but he had none through the first eight batters he faced although he retired seven of them. That ended with a strikeout to Cy Young followed by another to Boston’s leadoff hitter, Patsy Dougherty, to end the third inning.

In the fourth the Pirates hit their third double of the game, this time Eddie Phelps led off the inning with a two bagger. Phillippe then tried to get him to 3B but some nice fielding by Young cut down Phelps as he tried to advance. Young then retired the next two batters.

In Boston’s half of the inning, manager Collins led off with a single to CF. Phillippe then walked Chick Stahl which brought up Buck Freeman, the AL RBI leader in 1903. The big man played a little small ball as he moved the runners up to second and third, now with one out. Freddie Parent, who allowed the Pirates to get their third run now had a chance to help out his team in a big spot. He lifted a flyball to RF that was deep enough to score Collins with Boston’s first run of the game. Now with two out Phillippe issued his second walk, this time to LaChance. With Hobe Ferris batting and men on the corners Pirates catcher Phelps, picked off LaChance at 1B but Bransfield couldn’t handle the throw and his error gave the Americans another chance. Phillippe would strike out Ferris to end the inning leaving it at 3-1 to end the 4th.

The next three innings went very quietly and very quickly, only Buck Freeman reached base with a two out walk in the 6th inning. In the 8th inning with Young still on the mound, he retired his 13th batter in a row, Tommy Leach, to leadoff the inning. Honus Wagner would then end that streak with a double to RF. With one out Kitty Bransfield, the 5th place hitter in the lineup, bunted in what seemed like an odd play but it worked out as Young couldn’t make the play and runners were now on the corners with one out. Claude Ritchey gave the Pirates a 4-1 lead with an infield single to 3B that scored Wagner and moved Bransfield to 2B. Sebring then hit a flyball to LF and Bransfield made his second odd decision of the inning trying to tag up and go the 3B where he was cut down, tagged out by Collins to end the inning.

Phillippe retired the first two batters of the bottom of the 8th inning, he had now not allowed a hit since Collins led off the 4th inning with a single so it was only fitting that Collins ended that streak with a double. He was brought home by Stahl with a single but the Boston inning stalled there as Freeman grounded out to Wagner to end the inning.

In the top of the 9th the Pirates went down quickly with three groundouts giving Cy Young seven innings in relief in which he allowed just one run on three hits, no walks and two strikeouts. Phillippe came out for the 9th to try to finish it for the Pirates and send his team to Pittsburgh with a 2-1 lead in the series. He got an infield fly for the first out, a groundout to Wagner for the 2nd out and he ended the game with his 6th strikeout, getting Hobe Ferris swinging. The Pirates had emerged victorious by a 4-2 score.

The series now shifted to Pittsburgh, with as many as four games in the steel city although with any luck the Pirates could take the best of nine series by winning the first three games. Tomorrow we will go back to October 6, 1903 as the Boston Americans visit Pittsburgh on a rainy day to play game four of the 1903 World Series.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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