1908: “Iron Man” Reulbach

Ed Reulbach (foreground)

On the 26th of September 1908 the Cubs faced Brooklyn in a late season double-header. Fighting for a pennant, Chicago needed the wins to maintain pace with the Giants. For the Superbas (Now Dodgers), the wins would help keep them out of the National League cellar. What fans got by the end of the day was one of those things that only happened in Deadball Baseball.

In the early game, the Cubs triumphed 5-0. With a couple of doubles, four stolen bases, and a walk, Chicago tallied runs in the fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. The team picked up 11 hits and had no errors.

In the late game the Cubs won again, this time 3-0. On five hits, all singles, they managed a single run in the third and two in the eighth. Again, they went through without an error. At the end of the day, Chicago led the Giants by a half game.

So why, in the midst of all the late season games that might count, pick out these two? The answer lies in the Chicago Cubs pitcher. Ed Reulbach began game one. He shut out Brooklyn on five singles and a walk. Then he got the call for game two. He responded by again shutting out Brooklyn, this time on four singles and another walk. Along the way he struck out 11 Superbas, seven in game one and four in game two. At the beginning of the day his record was 20-7, by the end he was 22-7. He would end the season 23-7 with seven shutouts, two of them on one day. It is, in the long history of Major League Baseball, the only time that a pitcher has thrown two shutouts on the same day. Let’s hear it for Big Ed.

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2 Responses to “1908: “Iron Man” Reulbach”

  1. glenrussellslater Says:

    I’ve read a lot about Ed Reulbach in Bill James’ Historic Baseball Abstract. He was some pitcher, allright!

  2. Precious Sanders Says:

    Impressive. I would’ve been embarrassed to be a part of the Brooklyn team that day.

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