On this day 88 years ago Cardinals hurler Bill "Wee Willie" Sherdel preserved a wild Cardinals win by inducing the Phillies to hit into a spectacular triple play.
With no outs in the eighth inning and men on first and second, Sherdel threw a high heater to Philadelphia's Johnny Mokan as the Phillies batsman tried to sacrifice the runners to second and third. Mokan's bunt was in the air and it was caught by St. Louis first baseman "Sunny" Jim Bottomley as he rushed in to make the play. Bottomley then wheeled and threw to shortstop Jimmy Cooney to catch the runner trying to return to second base. Cooney relayed the ball to second baseman Rogers Hornsby covering first to complete the triple play.
The Cardinals trailed 4-0 after one inning but cut their deficit to 4-3 after the top of the third. Philadelphia plated a pair in the bottom of the inning to pull away by a 6-3 margin. Runs in the top of the fourth and sixth once again cut the Phillies lead to one. But the Phightin Phils scored two more in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 8-5.
In the seventh the Cardinals plated one run to make the game 8-6. Then in the top of the eighth they scored three tallies to go ahead by the final 9-8 score.
Sherdel entered the game in the second inning in relief of Leo Dickerman who allowed four runs, two of them earned on five hits. Sherdel gave up six hits in eight innings to improve his record to 4-6 on the season.
Jimmy Ring, who would later play for St. Louis, going 0-4 for the Cardinals in 1927, started the game for Philadelphia and was cuffed for eight hits and four runs over 3 1/3 innings. His battery mate was Jimmie Wilson who starred as the Cardinals catcher from 1928-1933.
On this day, however, current St. Louis catcher -- and future coach -- Mike Gonzalez was the hitting star. He had three safeties in four at-bats including a homer. Hornsby had only one hit in five at-bats, which didn't help the .408 batting average he carried into the game. But his lone hit was a homer and he drove in three runs.
Hornby hit .464 in July 1924. But the Rajah was just getting warmed up. He batted .509 with eight homers in 106 August at-bats en-route to a .424 batting average at season's end. It was was the greatest batting performance by a right handed hitter in MLB history.
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