Sherry Smith in the 1916 Brooklyn Superba uniform
In the match itself, Flemington was led offensively by Danny "Batman" Shaw, Dan "Sledge" Hammer and newcomer Brian "Spoons" LoPinto. Going into his last time at the striker's line, "Batman" was flirting with his second consecutive clear score only to be turned away on a fly ball to left field, one of his longest hits of the day. "Sledge" had another multi-hit game and was never retired by the opposition successfully earning his second clear score of the season, after just missing last weekend in the second Elkton match. "Spoons" playing for the second time with Flemington had three hits and scored all three times. Flemington again played solid defense behind the combined pitching of "Batman" and Bobby "Melky" Ritter. Next weekend the Neshanock will head far north for the New England Vintage Base Ball Festival in Cornish, Maine. A good turnout is expected and everyone is looking forward to the trip with matches on both Saturday and Sunday. Pictures and details of the matches will be available right here no later than the following Tuesday.
Dave "Illinois" Harris
After pitching briefly for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1911 and 1912, the left handed Smith joined Brooklyn for the 1915 season winning 14 games both in his initial season and in the pennant winning 1916 campaign. Winning the pennant in 1916 brought Brooklyn into the World's Series against the defending champion and heavy favorite Boston Red Sox. After losing a tough 6-5 decision to Boston in the first game, the two teams took a mandatory Sabbath break before the second game on October 9th. On the mound for Boston was a young left handed pitcher named Babe Ruth, making his first World's Series start. Most writers thought Brooklyn manager Wilbert Robinson would counter with Larry Cheney or Jack Coombs, but supposedly because of the cloudy, overcast weather, the Brooklyn manager opted for Smith believing or hoping his fast ball would be more effective in the almost twilight like conditions.
Hi Myers of Brooklyn homering off of Babe Ruth in Game 2 of the 1916 World's Series
After Ruth retired the first two batters in the first, Brooklyn center fielder Hi Myers hit one that got in between Harry Hooper and Tilly Walker rolling all the way to the wall in spacious Braves Field, allowing Myers to circle the basis and give Smith a 1-0 lead. The Red Sox's home games during the series were played at Braves Field because of the greater seating capacity. Interestingly, the supposedly money obsessed Charles Ebbets was urged to make a similar arrangement for the Polo Grounds, but declined. The 1-0 lead lasted until the third when Boston matched the Brooklyn tally aided and abetted by some sloppy fielding by the Superbas second baseman George Cutshaw. That was all the scoring in regulation although Boston threatened in the ninth, putting 1st and 3rd with none out, only to be denied when Myers again played the hero, throwing out Hugh Janvrin at the plate attempting to score on a sacrifice fly.
Hi Myers throws out Hugh Janvrin at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning to save the game, for the moment.
As a result the game headed to extra innings with neither team able to score as the game went into the bottom of the 14th. By this point even though the game had taken less than three hours, it was getting dark and this would clearly be the last inning. Since a tie game would be replayed the next day, all those who had checked out of their hotels preparatory to an overnight train trip to New York were getting more than a little nervous. Fortunately for them, but not for Smith and Brooklyn, Boston pushed across the winning run in what is still tied for the longest series games in terms of innings played, but took only 2 hours and 32 minutes. All Smith had to show for his day's work was a loss even though he pitched 14 innings against the best team in baseball, allowing only seven hits and two runs while striking out Babe Ruth twice. It has to be one of the hard luck losses of all time, but Smith was just getting warmed up in that regard.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle - October 10, 1916
Fast forward to 1920 when Brooklyn again won the National League pennant with Smith winning 11 games with an ERA of 1.85. 1920 was the second of three consecutive World's Series which were best of nine affairs. After the teams split the first two games in Brooklyn, Smith took the mound for the third contest at Ebbets Field. After his 1916 experience, Smith probably felt he had to pitch a shut out to win, a feeling strengthened earlier that season when he pitched 19 innings against Boston and lost 2-1. Smith didn't quite get a shut out against the opposing Indians, but he did limit the American League champion to three hits and one unearned run, just good enough to win when his teammates produced two runs, both in the very first inning. At that point, Cleveland manager Tris Speaker pulled his starting pitcher, Ray Caldwell, replacing him with Duster Mails who held Brooklyn scoreless for the next 6 2/3 innings which should have been a warning to Smith and his teammates. At least, however, the Brooklyn left hander had one series win to his credit.
A crucial double play in Smith's only World's Series victory - Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 8, 1920