Posts Tagged ‘Leon Cadore’

Opening Day, 1919

March 28, 2019

Ollie O’Mara at bat for Brooklyn

It’s Opening Day for the 2019 season (I don’t count the 2 games in Tokyo). As I normally do, I take the occasion to look back 100 years. This year it’s 1919, a year of infamy.

Opening Day in 1919 was 19 April, a Saturday. The only games played on that date were a double-header between the Brooklyn Robins (now the Los Angeles Dodgers) and the Boston Braves (now setting up shop in Atlanta). Brooklyn won both, 5-2 and 3-2. Leon Cadore and Jeff Pfeffer were the winnings pitchers (in order) with Dick Rudolph and Pat Ragan taking the losses (again in that order). All but Ragan pitched complete games. In game one Ivy Olson hit the season’s first double and Hall of Famer Zack Wheat had the season’s first triple. Boston left fielder Joe Kelly had the year’s first stolen base. Boston’s first sacker Jimmy Johnston was the first batter of the season. Brooklyn third baseman Ollie O’Mara went 0 for 3 in game one, 0 for 4 in game two, reached base on a sacrifice and scored a run in game two. It was his last game in the Major Leagues. Over six years he hit .231/.280/.279/.559 with two home runs, 46 stolen bases, 77 RBIs, 166 runs scored, and more strikeouts than walks, and OPS+ of 68 and -0.8 WAR.

There were no games in the American League. They began play on the 23rd with the big news being a 13-4 rout by the White Sox over the Browns. Lefty Williams of Black Sox infamy got the win with six of the Black Sox (including Williams) playing (Fred McMullin and Eddie Cicotte sat it out). Buck Weaver was the hitting star with four hits and three runs scored. Back east, Boston shut out the Yankees 10-0 with left fielder Babe Ruth slugging the league’s first home run of the season in the first with a man on (yep, he hit it against the Yanks).

At this point the eventual National League champion Reds were in second place with the White Sox tied (with Boston ) for first in the American League. No one yet knew they would meet in the World Series and change baseball forever.

Boston Marathon

February 25, 2010

The longest game in Major League Baseball history, in terms of innings is 26. It occurred on the 1st of May 1920. The kicker? Well, both pitchers hurled complete games.

The Boston Braves squared off against the Brooklyn Robins (later the Dodgers) on 1 May 1920. They sent 28 year old righthander Joe Osescher to the mound against Brooklyn’s 29 year old righty Leon Cadore. The game remained scoreless into the 5th inning when Robins catcher Ernie Krueger singled. Two batters later, second baseman Ivy Olsen singled driving home Krueger with the Robins’ run. In the bottom of the 6th right fielder Walt Cruise tripled and came home on an RBI single by third baseman Tony Boeckel. The score was tied. It remained that way for the rest of the day. For 20 innings the two pitchers managed to throw shut out baseball. There were baserunners all over the place, the Robins leaving 11 men on base and the Braves leaving 19, but nobody scored after the bottom of the 6th. It was the era before lights in stadiums, so finally after three hours and 50 minutes, 26 innings, and 25 hits the umpire called the game on account of darkness. It ended a 1-1 tie. For the game Oeschger had ptiched 26 innings, given up one earned run, 10 hits, three walks, and four strike outs . Cadore’s line read 26 innings, one earned run, 15 hits, five walks, eight strikeouts, and the Major League Baseball record of facing 96 batters in a single game.

Among the batters there were some awful box score numbers. Robins shortstop Chuck Ward went 0 for 10, as did Cadore. Braves second baseman Charlie Pick had an even worse day. He was 0 for 11 with two errors. There are slumps that have better numbers.

For the season Oeschger went 15-13 for the Braves who finished 7th in an eight team league, 30 games out of first. The Robins won the pennant (and lost the World Series to Cleveland 5 games to 2 in a best of nine series) with Cadore posting 15 wins and 14 losses. In the series he pitched in two games, taking the loss in game five.

Oeschger pitched until 1925, ironically finishing his career with Brooklyn. He was 82-116 for the career with an ERA of 3.81. walking 651 and striking out 535. He died in 1986.

Cadore pitched into 1924 winning 68 and losing 72. His ERA was 3.14 and he had 289 walks with 445 strikeouts. He died in 1958.

For the year of 1920 Oeschger pitched 299 innings. Cadore in 1920 managed 254 innings pitched. For both, 26 came on the same day. That’s 9.7% of Oeschger’s innings and 10.2 % of Cadore’s. No one, pitching more than a handful of innings, has ever topped that total for a single game. My guess is that no one ever will.