November 5, 2021

1904 New England League Triple Play Involved All Nine Fielders

On August 23, 1904, the visiting Manchester Textiles of the New England League turned a triple play against the New Bedford Whalers, in which all nine fielders took part. The above recap does not mention the inning in which the triple play was turned.

With [Fred] Valdois on third and [Buster] Burrill on second, [Win] Clark hit a grounder to [Billy] Page at shortstop. Valdois was run down between third and home, Page, [third baseman Wally] Warren, [catcher Henry] Cote and [pitcher Bill] Leith handling the ball, and Warren made the putout. While Valdois was dancing back and forth Burrill went to third and back to second and finally was put out at third base by Warren after the ball had been handled at second base by [left fielder Harry] Armbruster, [center fielder Archie] Graham and [second baseman Wally] Taylor, and Clark was the third out trying to get back to first base, [first baseman Charles] Chapman making an assist in this play, and [right fielder Frank] Morrissey having the putout.

The box score lists the fielders involved as 6-5-2-1-4-3-8-7-9, but since the recap credits the third baseman with recording the first two outs, he obviously handled the ball more than once. My first guess was that the box score mentioned the players involved in the play in the order they first handled the ball. However, it seems more likely that the play began 6-2-5 rather than 6-5-2.

Following the recap, I could imagine the play going (at a minimum): 6-2-5-2-1-5-7-8-5-4-5-3-9. It's impossible to know without reading another account of the game. The clip above is from the Fall River Daily Evening News of August 24. I looked at the Fall River Globe and Boston Globe, but those papers, while they mentioned the triple play, did not include a description. Some baseball tidbits in the Daily Evening News were cited as coming from the New Bedford Mercury, but that paper is apparently not part of

Note: Archie Graham, Manchester's center fielder, is better known as Moonlight Graham, who would play in his only major league game the following year (June 29, 1905) for the Giants.

Fall River Daily Evening News
, August 26, 1904:

There was dust in Umpire Kerns' eyes in the third and he let Murphy walk, refusing to call at least two strikes.

The first item in an accompanying "Notes" column gripes that the umpire "made Day split the plate for every strike called". . . .The umpire was referred to as "Kerns" (game story), "Kerins" (Notes column), and "Kerin" (box score).


allan said...

For example:
"A bag full of mascots arrived on the New Bedford bench during yesterday's game. They were three Boston terrier puppies which have been living on condensed milk in Fall River for the last seven weeks. Manager Doe owns their mother and he expects to gather an assortment of ribbons at the dog shows this winter." From the New Bedford Mercury.

Jere said...

That umpire was John Kerin, who eventually made the majors. (There was another player/umpire just before him named John Kerins which explains some of their confusion.) Kerin was once punched in the nose by a fan at a Red Sox-White Sox game after making a supposedly bad call in Boston's favor.

betterthanthealternative said...

Somehow, NESN managed to miss the entire thing through bad camera angles and choices.

Paul Hickman said...

Are you kidding ..... NESN were still in the "commercial break" !

Jere said...

NESN was using footage from 1879 between plays.

Paul Hickman said...

Don't give them ideas Jere !