Thursday, February 24, 2005


February 24rd, 1926

Eddie Plank Dies

Eddie Plank pitched for Connie Mack and the Philadelphia A's for fourteen years, winning an average of twenty games a year. When Mack broke up the team after the 1914 season (the same break-up that would eventually send "Home Run" Baker to the Yankees) Plank jumped to the short-lived Federal League where he won twenty-one games for the St. Louis Terriers. He returned to the American League at the age of forty in 1916, playing two more seasons for the St. Louis Browns.

Plank is also notable for the 1905 World Series, one in which he was an all-time hard luck loser. He started Game One of the World Series for the A's against the New York Giants and Christy Mathewson. Plank surrendered ten hits but allowed just three runs in a complete game. It was not good enough as Mathewson pitched a shutout, allowing just four hits. The A's tied the series the next day when Chief Bender pitched a shutout of his own. Giants' manager John McGraw sent Mathewson out to pitch Game Three on two days' rest, and "Big Six" pitched another four hit shutout.

For Game Four, McGraw called on his other ace "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity to pitch on two days' rest. Mack responded with Plank on three days' rest. Plank allowed just a single unearned run in the fourth inning, but lost the game 1-0 as McGinnity pitched a shutout, the Giants' third in as many victories. Mathewson would pitch the fourth shutout the next day, ending the series and any hopes Plank had for redemption. His final series record was 0-2 despite a 1.59 ERA in seventeen innings pitched. He would get some measure of revenge in the 1911 World Series when the A's would defeat McGraw, Mathewson and the Giants in six games. But Eddie Plank's 1905 World Series will remain among the gold standards for tough luck.

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