The Post-Journal

Only Three Tie Games in World Series History Falconer Man Pitched in One

Sometimes a man takes part in something pretty distinctive and it becomes lost in the crush of onrushing events, seldom to be mentioned again. That's sort of the way it is with Hugh Bedient, the last of the local World Series colony now that Ray Caldwell has moved to California. Ask any oldtimer about Hugh and he'll remember that he pitched for the Boston Red Sox and beat the New York Giants with three hits in the fifth game of the 1912 World Series.

But few know or remember that there have been only three tie games in World Series history and Hugh pitched in one of those games. And few will recall Bedient's feat of giving up only two runs in 18 innings of series toil, an earned run average of 0.50, for one of those runs was unearned.

Bedient, now 75, sits quietly before his television set in his neat home at 14 North Phetteplace in Falconer and watches the World Series drama unfold. "This," he said in his usual soft gentlemanly manner yesterday, "has got to be one of the greatest World Series of all time." To set the record straight here, Hugh, an old American Leaguer, is rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals in this one.

Ten years after the 1912 autumn classic, the last World Series tie game was played between the New York teams. There can never, of course, be another recorded tie game in World Series play because the lights would be turned on and the contest finished. And if the lights failed, the activity would be resumed the next day or as soon as possible from the point of interruption, so the tie would never get into the record books.

Bedient was Boston's workhouse in the 1912 series, another fact generally overlooked as oldtimers recall only his great performance in the fifth game when he outdueled Christy Matthewson to win 2-1, allowing two singles and a double. Hugh pitched in four games, winning one and losing none. He replaced Charley Hall in the 11th inning in a 6-6 tied second game at Boston; replaced John O'Brien in the ninth of the third game; worked the nine inning route against Matthewson in the fifth; and pitched seven innings as a starter, also against Matthewson, in the eighth and last contest. Bedient was lifted for a pinch hitter in the final game and Smokey Joe Wood came on to become the winner as the Sox took the series, four games to three.

Many historians contend that Matthewson was the greatest pitcher to ever toe the rubber. How can one possibly argue the point in view of Christy's record up to the time he locked up with Bedient in the '12 series?

To illustrate, Matthewson pitched 11 World Series games, (101-2/3 innings, and had an overall earned run average of 1.15. Christy's career also included: Record 37 victories in 1980... Record 68 innings without issuing a base on balls... Won 30 or more games three consecutive years... Pitched record three shutouts in 1905 World Series... Set the then National League record for strikeouts with 267 in 1903. It is small wonder the meeting of Matthewson and Bedient produced a World Series classic.

Hugh, his mind still sharp as his curveball of half a century ago, remembers many things about that fifth game. Things like walking Josh Devore, first man up, with four pitches, but getting away from any trouble when Laughing Larry Doyle flew to left and Fred Snodgrass hit into a double play. Then he walked Red Murray to open the second but again got the next three men.

Matthewson, the opposing pitcher, got the first Boston hit, a line single to center to open the third. Devore walked again, but two outfield flies and an infield pop ended the inning.

An Associated Press account of the game, written in the usual flowery script of the times as it appeared in the Jamestown Journal, related: "The Boston fans were simply delirious with joy at this stage, for Bedient was burning 'em over the plate with bewildering speed, his drop curve working nicely."

In the fifth, Chief Meyers singled to left and Bedient continued to have trouble with the leadoff man. But Art Fletcher flew to Harry Hooper in the outfield as did Devore and Mathewson fanned.

The only man to reach third, Fred Merkle, was the man who scored to ruin Bedient's shutout bid. He led off with a double in the seventh and went to third after Meyers flew to Tris Speaker. Moose McCormick batted for Fletcher and Merkle scored when Larry Gardner bobbled an infield roller.

Boston got Bedient his two runs in the third, bursting forth with an unusual display of power against Matthewson, who had allowed just one previous hit. Hooper tripled to left and Steve Yerkes tripled to right center. Press accounts of the day termed the crowd as "in a complete turmoil." Yerkes scored when Doyle mishandled Speaker's infield hopper.

Like the 1964 series, the 1912 playoff was a close thriller, replete with rallies and counter rallies. The eighth and final game at Boston went 10 innings and the Giants had it, 2-1, going into the last of the tenth. But Snodgrass dropped pitcher Clyde Engle's lazy fly ball with none down. Snodgrass, however, made a great play a moment later, spearing Hooper's hard smash. Yerkes walked. Then Speaker lofted a high fly ball off first that Merkle, playing first, and catcher Meyers, went after. The men were close enough to shake hands when they stopped and the ball fell between them. Speaker then singled to score Engle with the tying run. Duffy Lewis was passed intentionally and Gardner flew to Devore in deep right, Yerkes scoring the winning run after the catch.

Hugh came home a few days after the series and the celebration local fandom tossed for him was a real old-fashioned whipperoo. It was held on Tuesday evening, October 22, 1912. The official program, still clear and white as the day it was printed, lies before me. We'll get into that tomorrow.

Next: Series Ended For Bedient, Boston 52 Years Ago Today

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