It was fun, this week, to watch Andy Reid, former lineman at
Glendale Community College, coach his NFL Philadelphia Eagles to a
win over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.
A big sports story, concluded a day before, was baseball's unusual
all-California, all-wild card World Series. Not only did many Jewel
City old-timers make the four trips to Anaheim, others were glued to
Fox's excellent telecasts of the seven games.
Fox statisticians and print writers proclaimed the Angels' six-run
comeback in their victorious (6-5) sixth game to be a World Series
record for a team facing elimination. However, the way they explained
it might have given some the impression that it was, in fact, the
biggest comeback in World Series history.
Many seniors remember the 1929 World Series, in which the
Philadelphia A's came back from an 8-0 deficit.
There were two historically notable series games in 1929. One was
the opener, in which a former Glendale High School student, Howard
Ehmke (Glendale High, class of 1914), was the surprise right-handed
starting pitcher for Philadelphia. He had spent 1929 as a sore-armed
veteran, inactive for most of the season.
His manager, 66-year-old Connie Mack, had asked the 35 year-old
Ehmke to scout the Chicago Cubs hitters for two weeks. Stealthily,
Ehmke was a silent movie era James Bond, operating incognito from
National League grandstands as the Cubs swung through the east.
Ehmke's teammates, on a western trek, assumed he was at home,
nursing his sore arm.
His report was designed to help the A's three-man series pitching
rotation of Lefty Grove (20-6), George Earnshaw (24-8) and Swede
Walberg (18-11) to tame the Cubs' 1929 team batting average of .303.
However, Ehmke's scouting was in such impressive detail that Mack
asked him to use his own notes. When it was time for the pitchers'
pre-game warmup, the fans, press and Cubs were shocked to see Ehmke
as the starter.
With left-handers Grove and Walberg in the bullpen (for the entire
series), the former Glendalian pitched a complete-game 3-1 win over
the Cubs, striking out 13, a World Series record at that time. For