Jim Bagby

Games 12 and 13, Sunday, April 20, 1924

On Sunday, April 20, 1924, the Seattle Indians dropped both ends of a double header, further dropping their record to 3-10. Seattle gave up 68 runs in the 6 game series, but scored 49. You know what they say, if you give up an average of 11.33 runs per game, you won’t win too many of them. But, the signs were there that Seattle would turn things around. Well, not with the pitching staff.  But, the Indians finished up the second week of the season having put up an average of 8.1 runs per game. It was a sign. Once the pitching would fall into place, the Indians would have the makings of something special. Umpire Joe Becker sounds like a real character. I think he's the same one who has a field named for him in Missouri. From the tone of the article, he was somewhat well known. As reported in The Seattle Daily Times:

Seattle Winds Up Series With Double Defeat
Tobin, Killefer, Then All-Indian Substitutes Chased Off Bench by Umpire Becker
Special to The Times.
SALT LAKE CITY, Monday, April 21.- If the law of averages, as everybody says, is bound to prevail, then the Seattle Indians are about to put on a long streak of luck. If they don’t-then heave help poor Red Killefer and his crew. If any gang has had a string of hard luck it is the Indians.
            The gang left this evening for Seattle to open the season there. They left with five losses and but one victory chalked up on the board.
            Yesterday they lost a pair of games, bringing to an end a most disastrous week. The scores were 15 to 10 for the Bees in the first game, and 11 to 4 in the second.
            The first game was just one of those things.
            The second, however, was real class, and the Bees deserved to win. In the second, Dick McCabe pitched a real game of ball and the Bees played some real baseball.

No Breaks for Indians
            Everything, however, has gone against the Indians. If the breaks had been with them during the week, they would at least have split even. If they had received an even break, the count couldn’t have been more than four to two.
            But everything just went wrong. All this came, by the way, after a disastrous week with Los Angeles, conceded by all to be one of the weakest teams in the league.
            In the first game all that can be said is that Dell and Pigg just pitched worse than Hulvey and Ponder. The Bees rolled up fifteen runs on sixteen hits, bunching these hits where they did the most good. At the same time, the Indians played errorless ball and did everything they should.
            In the second game, Bagby started but was hit so hard and often that eight runs were piled up before Red could stutter the name of another pitcher, and it was an easy one, Jones.
            Jones pitched a great game, striking out eight Bees in seven innings. Jim Welsh, Seattle first sacker, was the star of the day. He fielded his position faultlessly and secured a couple of home runs. Frederick, the Portland boy in the outfield for Salt Lake City, was also a star of the game.

Indians Sent to Showers
           Probably the most conspicuous figure was Umpire Joe Becker. He was in hot water all of the time. Joe told the writer a day ago that umpires must get into condition like ball players. If that is the case, Joe is in his prime. He is missing them in midseason form. He did Salt Lake a lot of dirt, and Seattle more.
In the second game he got so bad that Tobin was kicked out of the game and immediately followed by Red Killefer. The boys on the bench then took up the battle and the bench was cleared, fourteen all sent to the bull pen. The Salt Lake fans, strong as they were for Salt Lake, were up in arms at the injustice of the thing-which goes to show that the baseball fan, as rabid as he is, is a mighty fine sportsmen-else baseball wouldn't be the national pastime.
           Leslie, Bee first sacker, was hurt during the first game and was replaced by Coumbe. Coumbe was hurt during the second game.
          Altogether, it was a hectic afternoon in which the great game of baseball was only a secondary affair.

Game 5, Saturday, April 12, 1924

In their 5th game of 1924, the Seattle Indians dropped to a 1-4 start after losing to 37-year old former Major Leaguer James Otis 'Doc' Crandall.  For his biggest career win, take a look at the box score for game 5 of the 1911 World Series between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Athletics. Jim Bagby started the game for the Indians. Bagby, a former Cleveland Indian, achieved the rare distinction of winning more than 30 games in a season for a 1920 Cleveland team managed by Tris Speaker (the infield featured Bill Wambsganss and Ray Chapman). Unlike Crandall who won one game but lost every Series despite getting three separate trips with the Giants, Bagby's Cleveland team won in 1920, and he went 1-1. However, Bagby was done after pitching 30 complete games that year. He would win 21 games between 1921 and 1923, his Major League career over. He spent 1923 in Pittsburgh and Seattle, and then 1924 with Seattle. He would pitch in the minors until 1930, retiring at the age of 40 after spending parts of the that year pitching for the Monroe, LA Drillers and the York, PA White Roses. His son, Jim Bagby, would pitch for 10 years in the majors, including being on the losing Red Sox side of the 1946 World Series.