Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 13, 1922: Oh So Close To A No-No For Bill Doak

     On July 13, 1922, spitballer Bill Doak bid for a no-hitter disappeared against the Phillies at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, after he failed to cover first during the seventh inning. The hurler would have to settle for a one hit victory, as the Cardinals prevailed 1-0 in the contest behind his splendid effort.  Doak's teammates needed that splendid effort because Philadelphia's John Singleton held them in check for most of the day. Singleton allowed just six hits, with three of them coming in the fifth, which led to first baseman Jack Fournier scoring the lone run on an RBI by catcher Harry McCurdy. Nearly untouchable, Doak kept rolling until the gaffe in the seventh. It came when  the Phillies right fielder Curt Walker hit a slow roller toward first. Fournier rushed to get the ball, but looked over to an empty bag when he was ready to throw out the runner. Just like that the no-hit bid was history. It was reported in The St. Louis Post Dispatch that he laughed it off though, when the Phillies pitcher hit an almost identical ball towards first, only this time Doak rushed to the bag and retired the runner, as he led the club to victory.

     If Doak had covered the bag in the seventh he would have joined the list of men that have accomplished the feat as a member of the Cardinals. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. With that said, Doak won 144 games as a member of the club, which ranks fifth on the all time wins list for the franchise and his days on the diamond will not be forgotten.

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