Games of Note: It's a day of Boston vs. New York throughout history. The first occurrence is 100 years ago today, in the 1912 World Series. Christy Mathewson threw nine innings of one-run ball, while Red Sox starter Hugh Bedient gave up the same in his seven frames. Smoky Joe Wood, who had already tossed 19 innings in the series, and was removed early from a start the day before thanks to being hit hard, is working in relief. Wood allowed the go-ahead run to the Giants in the top of the 10th. It's 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning, Boston at the plate, and Mathewson still on the mound.
Clyde Engle pinch-hits for Wood, and hits a routine fly ball to Giants center fielder Fred Snodgrass. Snodgrass drops the ball, though, in what would be nicknamed "the $30,000 muff" due to the difference in shares for the winners and losers, and Engle winds up at second. The next batter, Harry Hooper, flies out to center, advancing Engle to third, 90 feet from tying things up. Mathewson then walked Steve Yerkes, and the Giants' infield failed to secure a foul pop-up of Tris Speaker.
This mistake wasn't made independently by him, but Fred Merkle -- he of "Merkle's Boner" -- was one of the Giants who failed to catch the foul ball that allowed Speaker to continue his at-bat. On the next pitch, Speaker singled home Engle, and Larry Gardner eventually sent the winning run in with a sac fly to secure game eight and the World Series for Boston.
Jumping ahead all the way to 1999, it's Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox taking on the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Boston is down two games to none, until the combination of Pedro's arm and Boston bats derail the Yanks temporarily, 13-1. The Red Sox scored five runs in two innings off of former Boston ace Roger Clemens, while Martinez went seven, striking out a dozen Yanks while shutting out their powerful lineup. John Valentin continued his strong postseason, scoring two runs while collecting three hits and driving in five runs of his own. Nomar Garciaparra did his part, too, picking up four hits and three RBI, while Brian Daubach went deep for the second time in the playoffs.
In 2003, Pedro is still on the Red Sox, and Clemens the Yankees. Clemens is knocked out in the fourth inning after giving up four runs, and Pedro is once again dominant... until he isn't. Pedro was left in for the eighth inning, when it was clear to everyone watching the game except manager Grady Little that he was running out of gas. Martinez had been struggling as of late if he had been left in past 100 pitches, while Little's bullpen featured plenty of arms that could get the job done in Scott Williamson, Mike Timlin, and Alan Embree. Instead, Pedro was left in, the Yankees tied the game, and Mariano Rivera came in to shut the Red Sox down the rest of the way in extras.
Rivera's performance gave the lineup a chance to strike again, and it did in the bottom of the 11th, when Aaron Boone hit a game-winning home run against Tim Wakefield. This would all be worth it a year later, but Grady Little was the least-popular man in the Commonwealth throughout the duration of that year.
Birthdays: Mike Menosky, who played with the Red Sox from 1920 through the end of his major-league career in 1923, was born on this day in 1894. Menosky came to Boston seemingly coming into his own as a hitter, but was out of the game in his 20s after failing to be even average for three-straight seasons. Dave Sisler, who debuted with the Red Sox in 1956 following two years of military service, was born on October 16, 1931. Sisler was a below-average hurler with the Red Sox, but pitched well for the Tigers, Senators, and the Reds.
Death Days: Red Sox starter Ellis Kinder, who pitched eight seasons for Boston, died on this date in 1968. Kinder was just 54 years old, and had only been out of baseball for 11 years. Kinder suffered complications from heart surgery a few weeks following the procedure.
Kinder didn't debut in the majors until his age-31 season, and joined the Sox two years later. With the Red Sox, Kinder threw 1,142 innings, and posted a 135 ERA+. He switched to relief full-time in 1951, and set the then-record for the most appearances in a season with 69 two years later. Kinder received MVP votes in three different seasons, two of those coming when he was a reliever, and tossed over 100 innings in relief on three separation occasions, just missing a fourth with a 97-inning campaign in between the others.