The Philadelphia Phillies in 1919 began paying the price for horrible front office moves almost immediately. Sounds familiar 21st century Philly sports fans? Anyway, the Phillies finished last in the eight-team National League at 47-90, 47.5 games behind the pennant-winning Cincinnati Reds.
But on Wednesday April 30, 1919, the Phillies were involved in their most noteworthy game of the season. The Brooklyn Robins (eventually known as the Dodgers) and the host Phillies battled to a 9-9, 20-inning tie at Baker Bowl. At that time, it was the longest tied game in NL history.
Brooklyn’s Burleigh Grimes and Philadelphia’s Joe Oeschger stepped on the mound for all 20 innings. Grimes permitted 15 hits, nine earned run, and seven walks while strike out eight. Oeschger scattered 24 hits, eight earned runs, and four walks with two punch-outs.
Centerfielder Hi Myers jockeyed Brooklyn’s offense by going five-of-eight with three runs, four runs batted in, and one walk. Three of those RBIs came on his first home run of the season in the top of the 19th. Myers also posted three singles and a double.
First baseman Fred Luderus led the Phillies in runs (three) and hits (four). Philadelphia received two hits apiece from Leo Callahan, Dave Bancroft, and Doug Baird. Outfielder Gavvy Cravath, who took over for the booted Jack Coombs as Philadelphia’s manager during the middle of the season, smacked a two-run pinch-hit double.
The Robins tallied two runs in the second, three in the third, one in the ninth, and three in the 19th. Philadelphia scored one in the first, three in the third, two in the eighth, and three in the 19th to secure the draw.
*Information about the 1919 Phillies can be found in “The Phillies Encyclopedia: Third Edition” by Rich Westcott and Frank Bilovsky.