The 1930 World Series was the twenty-seventh World Series played (and twenty-eighth year overall) of the modern World Series that began in 1903. The Philadelphia Athletics would seek to repeat as World Series Champions. They would do so, and in the process give Connie Mack his last title.
1930 World Series
Philadelphia Athletics (AL) over St. Louis Cardinals (NL), 4-2
Managers: Connie Mack (Philadelphia); Gabby Street (St. Louis)
Hall of Famers
Philadelphia: Connie Mack (manager), Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Al Simmons
St. Louis: Branch Rickey (executive), Jim Bottomley, Dizzy Dean (did not play), Frankie Frisch, Burleigh Grimes, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines
There’s a common maxim in baseball often attributed to Casey Stengel: “Good pitching will beat good hitting, and vice versa.” The former would apply for Philadelphia in this case, as the A’s would go back-to-back. The A’s finished ahead of the Washington Senators by eight games, with the Yankees sixteen games back. It was closer in the NL, with the Cardinals edging out their old rival (and defending NL champion) Chicago Cubs by two games. Philadelphia’s Al Simmons won the batting title, and pitcher Lefty Grove won the pitching Triple Crown – 28 wins, a 2.54 ERA, and 209 strikeouts.
The Series began in Philadelphia’s Shibe Park on October 1. In the second inning, Jimmie “Double X” Foxx tripled, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Bing Miller. The Cardinals scored twice in the third on consecutive sacrifice fly balls. But in the bottom of the fourth, Al Simmons hit a home run to tie the game. It stayed tied into the sixth inning, when Jimmy Dykes doubled in a run. The A’s would score insurance runs in the last two innings and won Game 1, 5-2.
George Earnshaw was dominant for the Athletics in Game 2. Flint Rhem of the Cardinals wasn’t so lucky. Mickey Cochrane homered in the first inning, and consecutive hits scored another run. St. Louis got a run back on a home run by George Watkins, but that would be it for the Cardinals on that day. A costly St. Louis error opened the door for a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Two more runs on a double by Jimmy Dykes gave the A’s a 6-1 lead and a 2-0 Series lead.
The Cardinals were too good to lay down and die, though. Bill Hallahan scattered seven hits in a 5-0 Cardinals victory in Game 3, despite five walks. He wasn’t called “Wild Bill” for nothing. The Athletics had the bases loaded in the first inning but didn’t score, after Hallahan struck out the side. In the bottom of the fourth, Taylor Douthit homered to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead, and one inning later, three straight singles led to a run, capped off by Charlie Gelbert driving in Ray Blades. It could have been more, but Simmons threw out catcher Jimmie Wilson at third base. Still, the Cardinals went up 2-0. Wilson later redeemed himself with a two-run single, and Chick Hafey drove in a run himself. The Cardinals were back in the Series.
Lefty Grove, who had gotten the win in Game 1, started Game 4 for Philadelphia against Jesse Haines for St. Louis. This time, though, Haines was better. After Al Simmons drove in Max Bishop, Haines didn’t allow another run for the rest of the game. Haines helped his own cause in the second inning with an RBI single. The game would be decided in the fourth inning, after two were already out. A ground-rule double by Chick Hafey brought Ray Blades to the plate. He hit a grounder to third base, but Jimmy Dykes threw wide of the bag, allowing Hafey to score and keeping the inning alive. Two more singles gave the Cardinals a second run, and they would tie the Series at two games apiece with a 3-1 win in Game 4.
Game 5 was the best game of this Series. George Earnshaw and Burleigh Grimes went for seven innings matching zeroes. Earnshaw would be relieved by Grove in the top of the eighth. During the inning, Mule Haas singled and was caught stealing, but the ball was dropped by Frankie Frisch. He was singled to third, and a walk loaded the bases with one out. But consecutive fielder’s choice groundouts, the first at home plate, got Grimes out of the inning. After Mickey Cochrane walked to open the top of the ninth, Grimes got Al Simmons to pop up. But on the next at-bat, Jimmie Foxx smashed a two-run homer to give the Athletics a 2-0 ninth inning lead. The Cardinals brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with one out, but Grove got a ground out and struck out Gelbert to end the game and give the A’s a 3-2 Series lead.
The Series went back to Philadelphia with the A’s hoping to close it out. This time, Wild bill Hallahan lived up to his name. Two first-inning runs and an Al Simmons third inning homer gave the A’s a 3-0 lead in the third inning. It was over quickly, as the A’s took a 7-0 lead in the sixth. George Earnshaw had all the runs he needed. The Cardinals scored one last run in the ninth inning on a Chick Hafey double, scoring Andy High. But Wilson made the final out two batters later with a fly ball to Bing Miller in right field. The A’s had won their second consecutive World Series. It was Connie Mack’s fifth and last World Series title.
Chick Hafey was the first Hall of Famer to wear glasses.
Mickey Cochrane’s real name was Gordon. Mickey Mantle – named after Cochrane by his father – would often bring up this point humorously in his post-playing days.
On an off-day, Mack sent his team to watch Philadelphia’s other team, the Phillies, host the Cardinals at Shibe Park. The Cardinals won 19-16. That 1930 Phillies team is considered the worst pitching staff ever. They scored 15 runs in two consecutive games in July, and lost both of them. They had a 6.71 ERA and opponents hit .346 against them. For what it’s worth, those 19 runs scored by the Cardinals were seven more than they scored against the A’s in the Series.
Connie Mack was one of the few managers not to wear a uniform in the dugout, coming to the park in a bowler derby and suit.
The Cardinals hung in for as long as they could, but didn’t have the pitching or hitting to beat the A’s. The two teams would have a re-match a year later, and the outcome would be reversed. The Cardinals had a secret weapon waiting.
References and Sources
100 Years of the World Series (Eric Enders)
Baseball: A Film By Ken Burns