"Kid" Kerr Wins World Series Game
"Soliphone - Oct. 15, 1919"
Transcribed and Researched by : Tina Easley
Signed his first League contract with P.C. Ritter in Old Northeast Arkansas League.
Local baseball fans went wild with enthusiasm yesterday when it was learned that Dick (Kid) Kerr , who first entered professional baseball with the Northeast Arkansas League and for two years played on the Paragould team , was to pitch for the Chicago White Sox in the national contest. Lines of fans stood in front of Thompson's Drug Store where the scores were bulletined anxiously watching the outcome of the game until Kerr hurled the Reds back to a crushing defeat. Even the High School boys who at the time of the famous Northeast Arkansas League were only big enough to crawl through cracks in the fence or poise perilously in the tops of trees around the park sit nervously in their seats awaiting news of the game which was phoned into them.
Dick Kerr signed his first contract with P.C. Ritter who was president of the Paragould Baseball Club and played two seasons , 1910 and 1911 . Joseph R. Bertig was at that time president of the N.E. A. League . Even in those days Kerr showed good trim and gave promise of a national player . Today he is the idol of the nation.
Before the game started yesterday the following telegram was sent to Kid Kerr by J. R. Bertig and P.C. Ritter.
"Paragould fans are with you and betting on you. Hope you will be the sensation of the series and win your game."
Just after the game closed a second message was sent: "Best pitcher in the world! Congratulations from all Paragould Fans. "
Mr. Ritter stated that he is going to hunt the old contract signed by Kerr and send it to him as a souvenir.
When Kerr left here he did not play ball for several years, then he signed up with the Texas - Oklahoma League and from there went to the Southern and then to Milwaukee in the American Association and then landed in Chicago.
Damon Runyon , famous baseball writer has the following to say about Kerr " When the fancy are pawing over the litter they always disdain the runt. Too small! Sell him for a lead nickel ! Give him away! Anything to get rid of him!
The littlest of the family always has a mighty perilous existence. Take Dick Kerr now a wee hop o' thumb , not much taller than a walking stick and tiniest of the brood. "Won't weigh 90 pounds sopping wet. " an astute scout once reported to his employer after a look at Dick. "Too small for a pitcher especially a left-handed pitcher, too small for much of anything except perhaps a watch charm.
Most of the baseball astute said much to the the same effect about Kerr , but yesterday afternoon. Little Dick proved too big for the Cincinnati Reds. He grew, in front of them, to the proportions of a baseball Goliath and stopped the rush of the Ohioans toward the world's championship with a sudden shock.
They were shut out in the third game which was the first game played in Chicago, by a score of 3 to 0, after taking the two games in Cinncinnati. Chicago is back in the fight. The littlest of the family is the biggest man on the shores of Lake Michigan tonight.
"Kid" Gleason, manager of the Chicago White Sox, who was once a pitcher and is a small man himself, never agreed to the theory that Kerr was too small. He rather inclined toward little pitchers, probably feeling that the little fellows ought to stick together. He said that Kerr was going to make a good pitcher, because he had "the stuff", which is after all what makes a pitcher and he was vindicated yesterday afternoon when little Dick held the Reds to three hits.
He pitched one of the classiest games ever seen in a world's series. Behind this sort of pitching and on their home grounds before nearly 30,000 of their home people the White Sox were not the White Sox who played before the crowds of Cincinnatians. They were again the White Sox who rushed through the American League to the top.
The information below was found at the Chicago White Sox History of Baseball
1919 World Series
The most infamous World Series in baseball history featured arguably the greatest collection of ballplayers ever on one team. Most of the players on the 1919 White Sox were on the 1917 squad, but the team now had greater depth and more experience. The team unfortunately was also divided into factions.
Facing the Cincinnati Reds in a best-of-nine series (a result of baseball's post-war prosperity), the Sox played uninspired baseball, which they had not done often during an 88-52 regular season. What turned up later is that eight players Jackson, Felsch, Cicotte, third baseman Buck Weaver, shortstop "Swede" Risberg, pitcher Claude "Lefty" Williams and infielder Fred McMullen allegedly grew tired of owner Charles Comiskey's thrifty ways and decided to accept money from gamblers to "fix" the World Series.
With many of these eight players seemingly competing at less than full strength, the White Sox lost the first two games in Cincinnati. In Game One, Cicotte gave up six runs in less than four innings in a 9-1 loss. Three walks by Williams in Game Two led to a three-run fourth inning and a 4-2 defeat.
The White Sox rebounded behind southpaw Dickie Kerr in Game Three, shutting out the Reds, 3-0, at Comiskey Park. But the Sox who in 1919 led the AL in batting average, runs scored and stolen bases managed only three hits in each of the next two home games, losing 2-0 in Game Four and 5-0 in Game Five. The highlight of the series for the White Sox was Game Six, when the team rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to stun the Reds, 5-4, in 10 innings. Kerr again was the hero, pitching all 10 frames for the victory. The enthusiasm carried over to Game Six, when Cicotte surprisingly pitched a sparkling seven-hitter and propelled the Sox to a 4-1 win. In Game Eight, however, the Reds scored four first-inning runs and coasted to a 10-5 victory, handing the White Sox their first World Series defeat. Jackson hit .375 and Weaver posted a .324 average in the series, but a host of uncharacteristic errors and extended periods of lackadaisical play proved too much to overcome. Though cleared in a court of law of any wrongdoing, the eight players were banned from baseball for life in 1921 and the 1919 White Sox became forever known as the "Black Sox."
Dickie Kerr, a White Sox rookie in 1919, held out during the 1922 season. He played semi-pro ball and Commissioner Landis deemed him ineligible for the major leagues. He finally returned for 12 games in 1925, but with an 0-1 record never appeared in the majors again.
Dickie Kerr, Chicago's third-best pitcher and not in on the fix, won Game Three with a three-hit shutout. But although Cicotte pitched well in Game Four, Chicago lost a third time as the Reds' Jimmy Ring hurled a three-hit shutout of his own (all three hits coming, ironically, off the bats of Jackson, Felsch, and Gandil).
Chicago exerted itself to win the next two games. In Game Six, Kerr's second win depended on crucial hits by Jackson and Gandil in the tenth inning; and in Game Seven Cicotte held the Reds to one run as Jackson and Felsch drove in all the Sox' four.
THE BREAKDOWN of the 1919 World Series:
GAME 1: The
Reds won 9-1. Cicotte was pulled in the fourth inning
after giving up six runs. Cincinnati's Ruether was
credited with the win.
THE 1921 White Sox featured a pitching lineup that mixed good, bad and worse. The good included Red Faber (25-15, 2.48 ERA) and Dickie Kerr (19-17, 4.72 ERA). From there, the pitching went south. Shovel Hodge finished with a 6-8 record and a 6.54 earned run average. Roy Wilkinson put up a 4-20 record with a 5.14 earned run average. Dickie Kerr was born on Monday, July 3, 1893, and began his Major League baseball career in 1919 with the Chicago White Sox. The 26 year-old played for 4 seasons on one team and ended his big league playing career in 1925.Dick Kerr died in Houston, Texas , May 5 , 1963 .
|1919 Chicago White Sox
|#||Name||Throws||Bats||Date Of Birth|
The New York Times, Sunday, May 5th, 1963
|1919||Chicago White Sox||13||7||2.88||39||17||10||1||0||---||212.1||208||78||68||2||2||64||79|
|1920||Chicago White Sox||21||9||3.37||45||27||19||3||5||---||253.2||266||116||95||7||4||72||72|
|1921||Chicago White Sox||19||17||4.72||44||37||25||3||1||---||308.2||357||182||162||12||11||96||80|
|1925||Chicago White Sox||0||1||5.15||12||2||0||0||0||---||36.2||45||23||21||3||1||18||4|
|1919||Chicago White Sox||P||39||17||212.1||77||7||66||4||0||---||---||---||.948|
|1920||Chicago White Sox||P||45||27||253.2||90||8||81||1||2||---||---||---||.989|
|1921||Chicago White Sox||P||44||37||308.2||98||10||81||7||4||---||---||---||.929|
|1925||Chicago White Sox||P||12||2||36.2||13||1||11||1||3||---||---||---||.923|