On October 5, 1922, the New York Giants and Yankees played to a 3-3 tie over 10 innings in the second game of the World Series. The Giants would go on to win in five games for the club’s second straight Series triumph over the Yankees.
The second game of the 1922 World Series began at the Polo Grounds—home to both the Yankees and Giants—on a sweltering fall afternoon at 2 o’clock. It was a day after Game 1 borne a fantastic conclusion where the Giants, trailing 2-0, rallied with three runs in the eighth inning to win 3-2.
Perhaps bolstered by the strong finish, the Giants repeated their tally in the top of the opening inning of Game 2 when Irish Meusel smashed a high, inside pitch over the wall in deep left, driving in Heinie Groh and Frankie Frisch.
Those three scores would be the only runs the Giants generated against Bob Shawkey, the Yankees starting pitcher who lasted all 10 innings. The National League club put up eight hits total on Shawkey while he walked two and struck out four.
The American Leaguers rebounded quickly; in bottom half of the first frame, Wally Pipp scored Joe Dugan off a “wicked” grounder to right field. Giants starting ace Jesse Barnes was not charged with the run because Dugan reached base after shortstop Dave Bancroft tossed a wild one over the head of first baseman High Pockets Kelly. By the conflict’s end, the hurler had surrendered eight hits with a pair of walks and six whiffs.
Barnes kept the Yanks from completing another trip around the bases until the fourth frame. That’s when second baseman Aaron Ward connected for a two-out, solo homer to deep left field, trimming Giants’ lead in half.
Once again, the Yankees failed to flip the scoreboard for several innings. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, Babe Ruth reached base via a double. Two batters later, Bob Meusel (the younger brother of Irish) would score Ruth and the tying run with a double of his own.
After that final bout of scoring, the dueling pitchers tightened ship the rest of the way, although the AL’s representatives threatened in the bottom of the ninth when Shawkey reached second.
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The game would eventually be called at around 4:40 pm after the Yanks limped out of the 10th inning by going three-up, three-down. Reports of the time indicated that umpire George Hildebrand ended the game on account of darkness and a “heavy haze” that apparently obscured the plate. Hildebrand also claimed that several Yankees complained they couldn’t see the ball because “the light was so bad”.
However, the spectators were having none of it. Many in attendance felt that there was enough daylight left to keep playing. Grantland Rice, a famous sports scribe who wrote for the New York Tribune at the time, noted that a haze lingered over the diamond, but the sky itself was cloudless.
Once Hildebrand’s ruling circulated among the 38,000 strong, the fans let their protest be known; Rice reported that the “boos” were prolonged and that “the Raspberry chorus [was] working at full blast.” According to The New York Times, a mass of several hundred chased baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis from his box above the Yankee dugout all the way to his car. While the commissioner had little to do with the outcome, demands to continue the game followed Landis and folded newspapers were heaved in his direction.
Despite the angry horde, Hildebrand’s decision was law and the game remained called. Because the rules of the day meant that the game wouldn’t be finished on a later date, the 3-3 score stood as a tied ballgame.
The 3-3 finish was the third time a World Series game ended level. In 1907, the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs deadlocked their opener 3-3 after 12 innings (Chicago won the next four to clinch the Series). And then, in the second outing of an eight-game thriller, the Boston Red Sox and the Giants tied 6-6 through 11 innings of play in 1912. Boston later claimed that series 4-3, eking out the decider 3-2 in a 10-inning nail-biter.
I know baseball fans, and I was never for a moment in fear of physical harm. In fact, I asked the police not to try to pick a path for me across the field. I was perfectly able to make my own way without assistance.
Kenesaw Mountain Landis
The first commissioner of baseball
The baseball world was currently reeling from fallout of the Black Sox betting scandal in 1919. Landis, a former federal judge, was chosen by owners of both NL and AL clubs as baseball’s commissioner in 1920 to help clean up the sport’s image. The drawn game did little to help Landis’ effort.
Some in the post-game mob told reporters that they would never attend another baseball game. Others cried robbery. Still others lamented that baseball was a “crooked game”.
The players weren’t happy, either. In contrast to the umpire’s claims, The New York Times reported that Yankee players were actually “enraged” over the decision to call the game. Ruth himself popped out of the clubhouse and said “Well, I don’t blame them” when he learned the crowd was upset at Landis.
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Members of the Giants also voiced their disappointment at the game’s ending. The Giants manager John McGraw suggested to The New York Herald that the game could’ve gone on another inning.
In an attempt to rebuild the public’s trust, Landis ordered that the entirety of the game’s gate be donated to charities for disabled soldiers. The hefty sum garnered from tickets totaled $120,554 (roughly $1.8 million in today’s money). The commissioner hoped the donation might pacify those who felt the tie was a farce intended to steal spectators’ money by lengthening the series. Landis perhaps wasn’t wrong (or perhaps the people just loved baseball)—38,000 turned out again the next day.
Because both clubs played ball at the Polo Grounds in 1922, the remaining games took place at the once-hallowed ground beneath Coogan’s Bluff. Game 3 saw the Giants win 3-0, and the National League team took Game 4, too, although by a closer 4-3 score. In Game 5, the Giants nabbed the clincher 5-3, once again winning via a three-run rally in the eighth inning.
The New York clubs met up a third time in the 1923 Series. This go-round, however, the Yankees went home with the crown after six games. Ruth was particularly on form—his three home runs paced all batters.
As mentioned above, the Yankees-Giants tie was the third World Series stalemate. It was also the last.
In the 2008 World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays saw their 2-2 deadlocked Game 5 suspended in the top of the sixth inning. However, because modern rules allow for suspended games to resume later, the game was not ruled a tie. Due to rain, the contest didn’t restart until two days later; Philadelphia went on to win 4-3, which ultimately clinched the title for the ballclub.
There would have been no extra inning, no calling off of the game, if only we had received our share of baseball luck.
The New York Giants manager
New York newspapers of the day shared several images from the second game. Perhaps the best images come from the New York Daily News, which is a tabloid format paper still published today.
While the paper didn’t specify which inning this image came from, it likely occurred in the eighth, when Bob Meusel drove in Babe Ruth with a double. It’s the best in-action photo I could find:
This next image is pretty impressive. It shows the mob that surrounded Landis after the game. The arrow (put in by the paper) points to where Landis was:
I am confident we would have won had the game progressed. I think the majority of the spectators are of the same belief.
The New York Yankees manager
- In October 1922, the New York Giants and Yankees played to a 3-3 tie in Game 2 of the World Series after the 10-inning game was called due to darkness.
- Spectators were enraged at the decision; many felt the tie was a farce meant to lengthen the series and fill the owners’ wallets. A riot ensued after the game’s conclusion.
- In attempt to pacify critics, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis ordered the game’s gate—$120,554 in all—be donated to charities for disabled soldiers.
- The Giants, winners of Game 1, won the next three games and their second straight World Series.
- New York Daily News, October 6, 1922 via Newspapers.com
- The New York Herald, October 6, 1922 via Newspapers.com
- The New York Times, October 6, 1922 via TimesMachine
- New York Tribune, October 6, 1922 via Newspapers.com
- “1922 World Series – New York Giants over New York Yankees (4-0-1)”, Baseball-Reference.com
- “World Series delayed until Wednesday”, Reuters