Thursday, October 3, 2013

Today in 1913 - the Brewers Beat the Bucs

After two straight nights of being celebrated and toasted, the Brewers returned to the diamond for the second of their post-season exhibition games at Athletic Park.

This time they were facing the Pittsburg Pirates (the city had temporarily discarded its "h") and their star player Honus Wagner.

Cy Slapnicka took the mound for the Brews. The prose of Manning Vaughan in the Milwaukee Sentinel has to be read to be believed:
C. Slapnicka, who wishes to announce that he is a Bohemian and not a Russian, had the guys from the big tent standing on their heads, rolling over and then falling down. He pitched a grand game and with stonewall support would probably had slipped the Pirates a whitewash. Only six hits were registered off Slap and of the lot only three were honest to goodness wallops. His control was miraculous and but for a pass handed the peerless Wagner not a Pirate would have walked the plank to first. He fanned seven, whiffing every man on the club but Wagner, Miller and Kelly, the mick, who looks like something else.
Three of those seven strikeouts came in the eighth inning, when Slapnicka struck out the side. The Pirates managed to make the most out of their hits, scoring five runs. Four Brewer errors helped as well. Fortunately for the hometown fans, the Brewers managed to hit as well as Slap threw. Joe Berg at second base was the offensive hero. He had three hits and a walk in his four plate appearances, driving in a run in the fourth inning and two in the sixth. Berg's runs were the difference as the Brews took the game from their National League guests.

Wagner was reportedly won over by the Milwaukee crowd, perhaps by the ancestry he shared. "Gee, what a lot of Germans live here," he was quoted as saying. Milwaukee is some place."

Next up, the Brewers would face two local semi-pro teams before heading out to Denver to face the Grizzlies for a series to decide the minor league championship.

In the pages of the Sentinel, Cad Brand put a bow on the Brews' success against the big leaguers:

"Py Golly - I tied der Sox and licked der Pirates - now I tink I go und get a Denver sandwich"

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