September 19, 1917 – Stan Coveleski, Ace of the Deadball Era, Throws a One-Hitter
The Indians were visiting the Yankees at the Polo grounds as the end of the 1917 campaign was approaching. Sophomore spitballer Stan Coveleski took the hill against Slim Love and the Yankees.
The play-by-play details of this game have been lost to history, but Coveleski mowed through the Yankee lineup. The pinstripes managed only one hit–a single by third baseman Fritz Maisel. He walked two and struck out five on the way to a league-leading ninth shutout of the season.
Tris speaker drove in Ray Chapman with a double and catcher Steve O’Neill drove in Bill Wambsganss to score the only two runs that the Indians would need.
He once explained, “I wouldn’t throw all spitballs. I’d go maybe two or three innings without throwing a spitter, but I always had them looking for it.” Sounds familiar to a another doctored-ball Indians great–Gaylord Perry.
Coveleski was an anchor of the Indians rotation throughout the late teens and twenties. His biggest moment came in the 1920 World Series. He recorded three wins in the best-of-nine format, including a complete game shutout in Game 7 that earned the Indians the title. His ERA for the World Series was 0.67.