Friday, July 06, 2012

Nats Will Use 1924 Baseball Before Turn Back the Clock Night

(Photo Courtesy Washington Nationals
Baseball On Loan from The Phil Wood Collection)
By Dan Steinberg
Washington Post
July 5, 2012

I’ve mentioned several times that Thursday night is turn-back-the-clock night at Nats Park, complete with organ music, 1924 concession prices (after you buy one, restrictions apply) and sweet throwback uniforms.

Now here are some nuggets about the baseball that will be used for the night’s first pitch, which will be tossed by Walter Johnson’s grandson, Hank Thomas. The first pitch “will be thrown from behind the Nationals dugout, similar to how it was traditionally performed,” according to the Nats.

The ball is an actual game-used ball from the 1924 World Series, on loan from Phil Wood. The D.C. baseball historian wrote a brief summary on the ball, which the Nats passed along:

--This ball was last used on October 9, 1924 in game 6 of the 1924 World Series. Senators first baseman Joe Judge fouled this ball into the stands at Griffith Stadium off of New York starting pitcher Art Nehf. Washington starting pitcher Tom Zachary allowed 7 hits and pitched a complete game that day in a 2-1 victory over the Giants that tied the series at 3 games apiece.

--The next day — Friday, October 10 — Washington came from behind to tie the game with 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. In the bottom of the 12th, catcher Muddy Ruel doubled to left off of Giants’ reliever Jack Bentley. Two batters later, outfielder Earl McNeely hit a ground ball that some say hit a pebble in front of New York third baseman Freddie Lindstrom and bounced over his head, allowing Ruel to score the game — and Series — winning run in a 4-3 victory, Washington’s only World Series championship. The winning pitcher that day was Walter Johnson.

Other features from the night, via press release:

--“Both teams will wear 1924 replica jerseys, while the grounds crew will be dressed in full 1920’s attire and gameday staff will don newsie caps and skimmer hats.”

--The first 10,000 fans who enter through the center field gate will receive a commemorative replica of a 1924 World Series scorecard, seen here.

--A 1920s-themed jazz orchestra will perform on the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk from 5:30 to 7:00.

--The Racing Presidents and Screech will wear 1924 Senators jerseys.

--The big screen’s Nats HD graphics “will reflect how the scoreboard would have appeared in 1924.”

--“Video tributes of the 1924 Senators will be highlighted throughout the game.”

--“Traditional organ music will be played between innings.”

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