by Frank Hyde
October 16, 1964
Series Ended For Bedient, Boston 52 Years Ago Today
The World Series ended for High Bedient 52 years ago today - October 16, 1912 - with Boston beating the New York Giants, 3-2, in the eighth game. The second contest was a darkness called tie.
Hugh had started against Christy Matthewson and for seven innings they had waged a carbon copy of their great fifth game duel, won by Bedient, 2-1. Hugh was lifted in the eighth with the score tied, 1-1, for a pinch hitter and Smokey Joe Wood came in to get the victory when Boston scored twice in the tenth.
After the usual victory fanfare in Boston, Hugh and his wife hurried home to Levant, a short throw from Falconer (they still live in the latter village) and their arrival on the late afternoon train touched off a series of noisy demonstrations, dinners and testimonials that went on for several days.
Climax of those gala days was the "reception and banquet" at IOOF Hall in Falconer, termed in press accounts as "the greatest event of its kind ever held in the village."
Column after column of news copy was devoted to the event and the preceding parade and other programs.
The IOOF Hall was decorated in the red and white colors of the Boston team and the tables were arranged in the form of a diamond. Hugh and Mrs. Bedient were seated at the main table, which ran from "home plate" to the "pitching mound." With them were Hugh's parents, Mr. and Mrs. O.D. Bedient; Mr. and Mrs. C.Q. Crotty, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hartson and Mrs. Glenna Crick and Hal Palmer, relatives from Cleveland.
Hugh, a man of much action and few words, stood up to make his speech to a mighty roar of acclaim. Thirty seconds later he sat down to a standing ovation that lasted five minutes.
Here's the text of Hugh's talk and, like a minor version of the Gettysburg Address, its simplicity is its forte: "We have had a pleasant time since coming home. We thank you for the interest you have shown. That is all I can say."
Then the lights were turned off and the 250 guests roared again as a spotlight came on, framing a huge picture of Bedient in baseball uniform, outlined by American flags.
The event had an "insect" theme. The "feature game" was the "Bedient Baseball Bugs vs. All Other Insects."
The "Ump" (emcee) was Walter H. Edson, who stood in the spotlight glare and read telegrams of congratulations for many minutes, including one from Manager Jake Stahl of the Red Sox.
Batting order for the "Bugs" and the things they talked about:
George Bohman - How it began and which is the hub, Levant or Falconer. (Ed. Note - Bedient resided in Levant at the time but in later years moved to Falconer.)
Howard Dailey - A bug on the hub; Me 'an Hugh, we did it.
Mrs. Ira H. Johnson - A lady bug chirps from the grandstand.
Emil Jacobson - The right dope, from a bug on the inside.
George R. Raynor - A world record and the boy who made it.
Dr. G. F. Smith - The home run of the year.
Judge Harley N. Crosby - A croak from the has-beens.
Dr. William O. Smith - Who apparently spoke off the cuff for no subject was listed for him on the program.
The Big Bug, Bedient, was the last speaker.
Many highlights of Bedient's career were listed in the program - how he pitched his first high school game against Jamestown Business College on April 26, 1905; gave Falconer its first ever victory over Jamestown High School on May 27, 1905, then the following year struck out 60 batsmen in 10 games. There followed the account of his 1907 season with The Drydocks of Buffalo, where he hurled the team to the city championship.
The Bedient feat they still talk about came on July 25, 1908, when he set what was claimed to be a world record by fanning 42 men in 23 innings as Falconer defeated Corry, 3-1. This was an adult contest, of course, and not a high school game as some historians, depending on memory alone, will contend today.
In later years, this writer tried to ascertain if there has ever been a comparable strikeout feat. Records, however, are maintained closely on professional baseball only. The National Baseball Congress (Semi-Pro) has listed a 36 strikeout caper by a pitcher during a state tournament competition in Oklahoma. The game went 20 innings. Thus, as far as can be learned, Bedient's 42 whiffs is indeed a record.
Bedient hurled a perfect no-hitter against Youngsville, also in 1908, and that fall Falconer beat Buffalo of the Eastern League in an exhibition as Bedient pitched a seven-hitter.
Turned Pro in 1910
In 1910 he joined the ranks of the pros, signing with Fall River of the New England League. He shut out Lynn, Mass., 2-0, in his first start. After a fine 1911 season with Providence of the Eastern League, he was purchased by Boston.
Hugh had a 20-10 record with Boston in 1912 as the Red Sox won the pennant, appearing in 34 games. He won 15 and lost 14 in 1913, working in 38 contests and was 8-12 in 1914. In 1915 he jumped to Buffalo of the Federal League, usually referred to as "The Outlaw League" because the National and American Leagues refused to recognize it as part of organized baseball. He won 16 and lost 18 with Buffalo, then tapered his career off with tenure in the minors before finally calling it quits because of a lame arm and coming home to settle down.
Although the "bugs" reception was on Tuesday, the whoopla started the moment Hugh and his wife stepped off the train in Falconer. A parade through Falconer and Jamestown was held on the preceding Saturday and even earlier for when the couple changed trains in Dunkirk en route to Jamestown, a huge crowd gathered at the depot.
News reports of the local parade (through Falconer and Jamestown) read in part: "When the celebration was at its height with thousands jammed in the downtown section, it was unequalled by any previous welcome for a homecoming citizen of this community."
Bedient and his wife were seated in a gaily decorated auto owned by B.F. Merriman, second in the line of parade. The line was led by Morgan B. Kent's "big, beautiful car" as it was written.
A huge baseball was suspended over the heads of the pitcher and his wife.
News accounts stated: "The cars forced their way slowly through the throngs along East Second and East Third Streets."
Marchers strung out behind the few cars available during that period, the line profusely decorated with banners proclaiming: "Bedient, The Giant Killer... Bedient, who's he? - He's the guy that put the county on the map... 18 innings, 2 runs... Bedient, the pride of Falconer" and other similar placards of esteem.
After the parade, Hugh and his party were guests of Manager Lawford at the Hotel Samuels, where they watched the stage comedy, "Spring Maid."
Many parade banners referred to Bedient as a "hometown boy" and they were correct in every way. Hugh Carpenter Bedient was born at Gerry, October 23, 1889, and resided there, at Levant, and now in Falconer, during his 75 years - well, it will be 75 just a week from today.
The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.