Game 31

May 29, 1934 – Earl Averill Walkoff Double in Extras

Connie Mack’s Athletics were wrapping up a weekend series at League Park on this Monday afternoon. The A’s had some outstanding athletes on the roster in 1934 and some even more outstanding names such as Doc Cramer, Pinky Higgins, and Rabbit Warstler.

Warstler led off the game with a single off Indians starter Oral Hildebrand. Warstler stole second and was driven home when Jimmie Foxx sent Hildebrand’s first pitch over the League Park wall.

With two outs in the bottom of the first, the “Earl of Snohomish” answered with a home run of his own. In the bottom of the second, Hal Trosky tied the game with an RBI double.

The A’s would pull ahead again in the top of the 4th with Rabbit Warstler once again leading off with a double. Jimmie Foxx would once again drive him home with an inside-the-park home run.

Indians right fielder Bob Seeds walked to lead off the bottom of the third. Bill Kickerbocker moved seeds over with a single to right field. Averill grounded to short, scoring Seeds. Knickerbocker was forced out at second. Joe Vosmik and Odell Hale got aboard to load the bases, and then A’s pitcher Johnny Marcum hit Frankie Pytlak, forcing Averill home and tying the game.

Hildebrand would not give up another hit until the top of the 8th–a double by Johnny Marcum that was ultimately harmless.

Monte Pearson replaced Hildebrand on the mound for the Tribe in the 9th. With two outs, Pearson walked Foxx and then gave up the tying run via a triple by A’s shortstop Eric McNair. Pearson got Lou Finney to groundout to end the inning.

The Tribe were unable to score in the bottom of the 9th, stranding Frankie Pytlak on third and forcing extra innings. Pinky Higgins led off the A’s half of the 10th with a double, but Pearson was able to retire the next three A’s without incident.

In the bottom of the 10th, Bill Knickerbocker poked a single to center field. Earl Averill stepped in and knocked a double into left field. Kickerbocker hustled around to score from first and end the game. Averill’s three hits, three RBI, and one intentional walk were key in securing the extra-inning win and the series sweep of the As.

Averill’s career total of 226 homers was a franchise record for 55 years and has only been surpassed by Jim Thome (337), Albert Belle (242), and Manny Ramirez (236).

Jason Pierre-Paul could take a page out of Averill’s book. Just before Fourth of July 1935, Averill was lighting fireworks with his children and one exploded while he was holding it. He suffered burns to his face, chest, and hands. He still hit .288 for the season and made the All-Star team.