DEMOCRATS COME FROM BEHIND TO BEAT REPUBLICANS IN BENEFIT GAME
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, June 30, 1917, House Democrats defeated House Republicans, not in a vote on the floor of Congress, but on the baseball diamond in their annual benefit game for the American Red Cross.
In what was definitely not a pitchers' duel, the 9 inning game ended with the Democrats winning by a score of 22 to 21. In a game that lasted 3 hours and 23 minutes, $3000 was raised for charity.
While the 45 total errors were really bad, it did not come close to the record of 56 errors and since no balls were reportedly caught in the outfield during the game, either the players were really bad or the batters couldn't hit it past the infield.
Representative Warren Gard Of Ohio led a sixth inning rally for the Democrats that turned a 6 to 13 deficit into a 16 to 13 lead, but by the 9th inning the GOP had a 5 run lead. That obviously didn't hold. The Democrats pushed across six runs in the 9th and claimed the victory.
The umpire for the benefit game was Clark Griffith*, manager of the Washington Americans. President Woodrow Wilson and members of his cabinet attended the game along with other high officials of the federal government.
*Clark Calvin Griffith (1869-1955) was born in Clear Creek, Missouri & played Major League Baseball from 1891 to 1907. CCG managed the Cincinnati Reds 1909-1911 & the Washington Senators 1912-1920. He was owner of the Senators from 1920 until his death. CCG was elected to the BB Hall of Fame in 1946.
Note: Griffith Stadium, home of the Washington Senators, was named for Clark Griffith in 1923. JFK threw out the first pitch of the 1961 MLB season here on April 10, 1961. The site of the stadium is now occupied by Howard University Hospital.
"Demon Dems Win House Ball Game, Gard Pinch Hits", The Chicago Daily Tribune, July 1, 1917.