Posts Tagged ‘World Series Tie Game of 1922 Arouses Suspicion’

World Series Tie Game of 1922 Arouses Suspicion

November 9, 2017

Don’t look for any baseball ties at any future World Series game.

… unless you run into Bill Gilbert and he’s wearing one of these kind of baseball ties.

Over the past week, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time going over the Wikipedia List of Previous World Series Winners. My compulsion seems highly influenced by the joy that comes each time I reach the year 2017 and find our wonderful Houston Astros sitting on the throne as the current – and our forever – Champions of Baseball.
It also fine tunes attention to the fact that there have been three tie games played in the separate World Series years of 1907, 1912, and 1922. A closer look at what happened in 1922 also explains why it has not – and will not – happen again. Let’s take a look at what we’ve easily learned from Wikipedia – with some excellent research assistance from good friend and staunch SABR colleague Sam Quintero.
We know there’s more, but what we’ve got short term is all in the Wikipedia notes – and in the knowledge of the fragile public distrust in baseball that existed in 1922 on the heels of the 1919 scandal.

Wikipedia notes: In the 1922 World Series, the New York Giants beat the New York Yankees in five games (four games to none with one tie; starting this year the World Series was again best-of-seven.) By now, the term “World Series” was being used frequently, as opposed to “World’s Series”.

As with the 1921 World Series, every game was played at the Polo Grounds since it housed both teams, with the home team alternating with each game.

The Giants pitched around Babe Ruth and scored just enough runs to win each of the games outside of the controversial Game 2 tie. That game was called on account of darkness, but many thought there was sufficient light to have played some more innings (the sun was still in the sky), and there were some suspicions that one or both teams might have “allowed” the tie to happen to increase the overall gate receipts. Commissioner Landis was among those who was dissatisfied with the result. One story is that Landis asked Umpire Hildebrand, “Why the Sam Hill did you call the game?” The umpire answered, “There was a temporary haze on the field.” The game decision was in the hands of the umpires, but the Commissioner’s Office controlled the gate receipts. Landis ordered the money, more than $120,000, turned over to World War I charities, thus nullifying any impropriety. The tied game would turn out to be the third (and final) tied game in the history of the World Series. The other two tied games occurred in 1907 and 1912. No ties are possible under the modern rules, which allows for suspension of a tied game and resumption of it at a later date, as with Game 5 of the 2008 World Series.

This 1922 appearance would prove to be Giants’ manager John McGraw’s third and final World Series win. Although McGraw would return as the losing manager for the Giants against the Yankees the very next season as AL New York club celebrated its first of now 27 Yankee World Series wins in their brand new 1923 Yankee Stadium. McGraw’s Giants would also lose in 1924 to the Washington Senators in his final World Series run as a manager.

The List of World Series Winners

The Propriety Concern Makes Sense. Baseball was still seeking its way back into trust by the baseball-ticket-buying public in the early 1920s. The 1919 Black Sox Scandal had stung the sport hard and the still new first solitary Commissioner of Baseball, Judge Kenesaw Landis had every reason in the world to suspect the umpires for calling Game 2 at 3-3 with an arguable amount of daylight remaining for clear crooked number and honest decisive settlement of the game’s winner.

A called tie would otherwise presumably allow the clubs to keep the gate from a settled tie game – and also make up for the lost income potential that came with the fact that 1922 represented a return to a “best 4 of 7” format after three consecutive years (1919-21) of play in a “best 5 of 9” plan.

The umpire’s direct defense to eye-witness Landis held no water of credibility. There was no case for a “temporary haze” – unless the old arbiter was making reference to twilight – and we all know what happens to twilight if you wait long enough for it to clear.

Since his office controlled the disbursal of receipts, Landis had the power to act here. He turned the gate receipts from the Game 2 tie over to charity, thus clearing the way for the elimination of tie games in the future by the removal of ties as bonus money sources,

Seeking Input from Knowledgeable Source. We don’t have time to do credible research on another point this morning, but, if any of you know the answer, please leave your information here as a comment on this post and we will make sure it’s brought up top with credit to you as an important contribution to this topic.

The question is simply this: Were the individual player game statistics for each of the three World Series tie games (1907, 1912, 1922) all included in the World Series Player Record Books? Or were they simply dismissed? Or handled differently in different years?

Bill Hickman to the Rescue (Within an Hour of Our Request)

“Individual game stats were included for the tie games in 1907, 1912, and 1922. An old copy of the Neft and Cohen Baseball Sports Encyclopedia confirmed that the World Series records for players on each of the teams in those three world series amounted to a sufficient number of games to have included the tied games. Then I selected three players — one from each of those years who played the maximum number of games in that WS, and checked his Retrosheet record to confirm that an identical number of World Series games showed up for him in the given year. It did.” – Bill Hickman, SABR Colleague, Baseball Friend, and Pecan Park Eagle Reader

Thanks, Bill Hickman!



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle