Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 12, 1927: Sunny Jim Wins It In Extras

     On August 12, 1927, Jim Bottomley ended a pitching duel in the bottom of the eleventh with a walk off blast to beat the Pirates by the score of 2-1 at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. The duel had Carmen Hill on the bump for the Bucs, while ole Jesse Haines toed the rubber for the defending World Series Champion Redbirds. Both hurlers were looked at as staff aces, and on that fine day they both fit the bill. Hill ran into trouble in the fifth when player/manager Bob O'Farrell  picked up a one out double, before Haines came through with a huge two out RBI to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. That lead didn't last long, as the Pittsburgh club made the most of an error that brought Lloyd Waner into score the tying run in the sixth. From there the duel was on. Both pitchers worked their way into extras. Haines allowed just four hits in the contest, while Hill allowed six. It was the sixth and final hit off of the Pirates hurler that mattered the most, as Bottomley walked to the dish to lead things off in the eleventh, and with one swing of the stick he sent the Bucco's packin'.

     Sunny Jim led the club with 19 home runs that season, for a club that won 92 games. 24 of those wins were credited to the day's starting pitcher Jesse Haines. Unfortunately, those Pirates who hit a minor skid in early August would go onto win the National League Flag with 94 wins. They would run into the famed Murderer's Row in the 1927 Yankees in the Fall Classic, and quite frankly they were murdered.

     Despite the Cardinals failing to repeat as Champions in the National League the team had turned a corner in the previous season. They were legit contenders and the best was yet to come. A foundation had been laid. The Cardinal Way was born. The farm system grew talent, and the club would be a true contender for the better parts of the next two decades. They did more than contend during that time. They won titles. They became the best of the best in the National League, and at times they were the best club in all of baseball. It was new era in Cardinal Nation.

Check out the box score here:

A special thanks goes out to Retrosheet for putting together a play-by-play from that contest. You can look it over here:

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