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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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1909 City Series

Posted 02-21-2012 at 07:07 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 02-21-2012 at 07:18 AM by TommyJohn


The Cubs and White Sox would renew hostilities in 1909 after a two year hiatus. The Cubs were still smarting over their 1906 World Series defeat at the hands of the underdog Sox. In 1907-08 they had to settle for pounding lumps on the Tigers, thrashing them twice and running up a postseason count of 8-1-1.

White Sox 78-74, 4th, 20 GB

The White Sox slumped a bit from the previous year, falling back to 4th place and winning 10 fewer games than the previous year. Gone was Fielder Jones, in his place was catcher Billy Sullivan, appointed player/manager at the last minute when it became apparent that Jones was gone and wasn't coming back. The only constant was the hitting, or lack thereof. The Sox batted .221, the lowest average ever for a first division team and hit four home runs. Ed Walsh won 25 fewer games than the previous year, going 15-11 with a 1.41 ERA. Frank Smith was the big winner this year with a 25-17 mark.

Team Leaders

HR: Ed Hahn, Dave Alitzer,
Patsy Dougherty, Gavvy Cravath 1
RBI: Patsy Dougherty 55
Avg.: Patsy Dougherty .285

Wins: Frank Smith 25
ERA: Ed Walsh 1.41
Strikeouts: Frank Smith 177

Cubs 104-49, 2nd, 6.5 GB

The Cubs, meantime, had to be wondering what a team had to do to get to the postseason in 1909. The team rang up one of the best records in its history (behind 1906 and 1907) at 104-49, and found itself 6.5 games in back of the pennant-winning Pirates, who rang up a 110-42 record. And so, the Cubs have a dual distinction-they have the best record ever for a team not to win the World Series (116-36). Also, no team in baseball history had a better record than the Cubs' 104-49 mark in 1909, only to fail to make the postseason.

Team Leaders

HR: Joe Tinker, Frank Schulte 4
RBI: Frank Schulte 60
Avg.: Solly Hofman .285

Wins: Mordecai Brown 27
ERA: Mordecai Brown 1.31
Strikeouts: Orval Overall 205

The Series

The Cubs went at the Sox with relish, slapping Ed Walsh around in Game 1, gaining revenge for Walsh's two wins in 1906. The Cubs won the first two, then lost Game 3 on a fluky play-with the score tied at one in the 9th and the sacks full of Sox, Cub pitcher Ed Reulbach went into his wind up, then paused to brush a rain drop from his nose, thus balking home the go-ahead run in the Sox' 2-1 win.

The next two games were one run affairs-the Cubs winning Game 4 2-1. The next day Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown twirled a masterful one-hitter to stifle the Sox. Brown himself scored the only run he needed on Jimmy Sheckard's 3rd inning basehit. In the bottom of the 9th, Frank Isbell came up with two out and a runner on, representing the Sox' last hope. He grounded out, Brown-to-Chance, and the Cubs had their revenge and bragging rights for 1910.

Game 1 October 8, 1909 at West Side Park

White Sox...000 000 000 0 4 4
Cubs..........200 100 01x 4 6 2

W-Overall L-Walsh

Game 2 October 9, 1909 at South Side Grounds

Cubs..........100 000 022 5 5 2
White Sox...001 100 000 2 6 1


W-Brown L-Smith

Game 3 October 10, 1909 at West Side Park

White Sox...010 000 001 2 9 0
Cubs..........000 100 010 1 6 2

W-Walsh L-Reulbach

Game 4 October 14, 1909 at South Side Grounds
Cubs..........101 000 000 2 5 2
White Sox...000 100 000 1 5 2

W-Overall L-Walsh

Game 5 October 15, 1909 at West Side Park

White Sox...000 000 000 0 1 1
Cubs..........001 000 00x 1 6 0

W-Brown L-White

MVP: Mordecai Brown (2-0, 1-hitter in Game 5, scored only run of game)

Booby Prize: Billy Sullivan-Sox catcher hits .100, Cubs steal 10 bases on him.
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