Suds Sutherland

Game 36, In Which The Indians are Best'd by Peaches Kunz

Earl Dewey Kunz, born Christmas Day in 1898, played for Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, and Seattle in a PCL career that spanned 1920-1930. His time with Seattle was still a couple years away when he beat them on a May day in 1924. Wikipedia identifies his nickname as Pinches, so maybe the columnist is yanking his chain in calling him Peaches. But, Peaches is a more familiar nickname of the time, so maybe Peaches is correct. In this game, Peaches beat Suds Sutherland.

Games 10 and 11, Saturday, April 19, 1924

Circuit Clout In Ninth Inning Gives Tribe an Even Break

Two Wild Ball Games Divided by Seattle and Salt Lake-Fans Kept at Park for Four Hours

Special to The Times.

SALT LAKE CITY, Saturday, April 19-The Seattle Indians and the Salt Lake Bees broke even in a double bill here this afternoon, the Indians dropping the first game by a 9 to 8 score, but copping the second by a score of 13 to 11. [ed note: looking for a team that was both Bees and Indians?]

                The first game was a thrilling and sensational battle, won in the last half of the ninth, with Fritz Coumbe and Suds Sutherland pitching good ball most of the distance. The second was just one of those things that happen at Bonneville Park, where the fences are close in and the atmosphere is rare. There were hits, runs and boots galore and the fans were kept at the park until after 6 o’clock.

                Vean Gregg and Elmer Ponder started to the hurling in the second game. They were bumped hard and often and both had to be removed. Plummer took up the burden for Seattle, while Harry O’Neill did the work for the Bees. O’Neill was removed for a pinch hitter and Phil Mulcahy, who started the first game, went in. Singleton went into the game in the ninth.

                Seattle started off with a pair and was not headed until the eighth inning when the Bees scored three on Lazerre’s homer after two men got on the bags. The Bees were put within reaching distance of Seattle in the fifth when a bevy of base hits brought them six runs.”

These results were printed in the Sunday, April 20, edition of the Seattle Times. Due to the rain and snow earlier in the week, Seattle would wind up its second series of the season with two double headers in two days. Games 10 and 11 of the year were games 3 and 4 of the Salt Lake series. As usual at Bonneville Park, the games were a high scoring affair, with 41 runs being put on the board for the day, bringing the series total to 77 runs. One thing to pay attention to, and I will calculate the numbers eventually, is to look at the box scores for the importance of the sacrifice hit.

Reading the description and looking over the box score, the first game looks like it would have been fantastic. Phil Mulcahy started the game for SLC, but was out after pitching one inning and then walking the first two batters in the second. Fritz Coumbe came in to calm down the Indians until the ninth. At that point, Rudy Kallio came in to get the final out, and then with SLC coming back in the bottom of the ninth, Kallio picked up the win.

John Philip Mulcahy was born in San Francisco on February 28, 1906 (and died sometime in 1946). He was signed by SLC as an 18-year old "off the sandlots of Oakland". He would pitch five years in the PCL, and one last season at the age of 23 with the 1929 Little Rock Travelers of the Southern Association.  Back on March 9, Mulcahy had pitched for the Bees in their loss to the Fresno Athletic Club, a Nisei semi-pro club.

Fritz Coumbe had been a teammate of Seattle captain Sam Crane with the 1920 (and 21) Cincinnati Reds on October 2 of that year when they played against  and Pittsburgh (and future Indians 2B George Cutshaw) in the last triple-header in MLB history. Coumbe played centerfield in one game and right field in another that day. Coumbe was tall and lanky, and had ended up in SLC after 8 seasons in the majors. Seattle captain Sam Crane would have a much more tragic end to his career, including a long prison sentence for the murder of his girlfriend and her lover. He served just under 15 years in prison, getting out at the age of 50. His parole was vouched for by Connie Mack, who had signed Crane as a 19 year old. Over 7 seasons he only played 124 games, but logged in over 1,200 in the minors. A defensive whiz, his career batting average was just 8 points over the Mendoza line. Coumbe was a Pittsburgh teammate that year of the SLC starter of game 2 in this double header, Elmer Ponder, Seattle back-up second baseman George Cutshaw, and the typically nicknamed "Chief" Moses Yellow Horse, a Pawnee and the first full-blooded Native American to play in the majors. In 1924, Yellow Horse was pitching for the Sacramento Solons. I will have an expanded posting on Mose Yellow Horse when the Indians play the Solons in their home opening series.

Rudy Kallio, the final relief pitcher for the Bees in game 1, had a three year career in the Majors, but played off and on in the PCL until the age of 47. Kallio and Seattle starter Suds Sutherland had also opposed each other back in 1914 in the Western Canada League when Kallio played for the Saskatoon Quakers and Sutherland for the Edmonton Eskimos. Both ended their careers hopping back and forth between Pacific Northwest PCL clubs, retiring in Oregon. Kallio (1892-1979) ended up in Newport (I wonder if he visited the sea lion caves or sold taffy?) and Sutherland (1894-1972) in Portland. 

Games 6 and 7, April 13, 1924

Some of the great things about reading the sports pages, or anything, of the past are the language and terms used to describe events. This medium has a different message, so to speak. The syntax is formed by the 19th Century newspapers more so than what we read today. Games 6 and 7 of the 1924 season were played in Los Angeles between the Indians and Angels on Sunday, April 13. Typically, PCL teams of the time played a double header every Sunday to end a series, traveled on a Monday, and started a new series on Tuesday. Often, if games were rained out, which we’ll see as we get into the second week of a season, a team could end up playing two or three double headers in a row to close out the often-times 7-game series played in the PCL. If you examine the box score, you’ll see both games of this double header lasted 1 hour 55 minutes. Depending on the time between games, the whole affair was about 5 hours at the most, giving fans something to do between lunch and dinner. When I take my kids to Safeco Field, we’ll get downtown at around a quarter to five, gates open at 5:10, we'll watch BP, get some hot dogs, hope for an autograph, the game starts at 7:10, typically last 2:30 to 2:45, we'll go back to the car, and we’re out of there by 10 pm. I'd rather start with lunch myself. (NOTE: on August 9, 2011, the Rays beat the Royals 4-0 in a game lasting 1:53, the first game of 2011 to be under 2 hours.)
I’ve transcribed the description of the second game. I did it to show several features of the writing. The prosody is not quite as flowery as sports page poems of the time, but take note of how the story is put together. Note the performance in both games of Cedric Durst. He would hit .342 in the PCL that year, and do better the next year with St. Paul in the American Association. Offensively, these would be his best performances in a 25-year playing career, more as a manager, in professional baseball. However, I’m sure the highlight of that career was probably being the weak-hitting reserve outfielder on the 1927 Yankees along with maybe the greatest backup outfielder in history, Ben Paschal, as well as starters Bob Meusel, Earle Combs and Babe Ruth. A hard lineup to break into. Also, note the starter in the second contest, Suds Sutherland. Follow the link if you think Lou Piniella was hard on rookie pitchers.

Furious Hitting In Second Tussle Gives Tribe 20 to 1 Win
Suds Sutherland Tames Seraphs but Vean Gregg Is Beaten Again – Seattle Scores Ten Runs in Ninth – Brady Provides Thriller.
LOS ANGELES, Cal. Monday, April 14.- Red Killefer and his Seattle ball club left Los Angeles with only two victories in seven games played but they wound up the final game with a barrage of base hits that the 16,000 fans who attended the game will never forget.
            Los Angeles took the first game of the doubleheader by a score of 4 to 1, but the second battle went to the Indians, 20 to 1.
            Ground rules were necessary because of the largest crowd that has attended a local game since the Angeles and Vernon Tigers settled the pennant on the last day of the 1919 season. Seattle’s heavy sluggers sent the ball into the crowd time after time. The limit for a hit into the crowd was for two bases. It was announced that 43,000 fans had witnessed the Seattle and Los Angeles clubs in action this week and Wade Killefer took a large sized check out of this city.
            The final inning of the second game witnessed the Indians making ten runs and eight hits off Arnold Crandall, rookie southpaw and a brother of the veteran Ote Crandall. Ote won two ball games from Seattle during the past week and the Indian batters obtained revenge from the young brother.
            Here is the record inning. Tobin grounded to the pitcher. Sutherland doubled and took third when McAuley fumbled Lane’s grounder. Lane stole second. Brady hit a grounder to Jacobs, who tried to tag the elusive Lane but missed him, Sutherland scoring. Crane singled to right, putting Lane over. Eldred walked and Bowman followed with a slashing double into the crowd in left field, counting Brady and Crane. Rohwer tripled to right, Eldred and Bowman scoring. Ted Baldwin doubled to left and Rohwer came in. Tobin’s single scored Baldwin. Brady’s two-base hit to left scored Tobin and Lane. Crane ended the inning with an easy grounder to Jacobs.
            Sutherland, who pitched the second game, had no trouble in stopping the Angels. He allowed six hits and only one run. Frank Tobin, who worked with Sutherland, also caught the other winning game for Seattle. Oren O’Neal, young right handed pitcher who started for the Angels, was hit hard by the Indians and given poor support by his teammates. Johnny Walters, who succeeded him in the sixth inning, was wild and he was replaced by Arnold Crandall in the eighth inning.