Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On This Date: Fargo Players Appear; Millers' Home Finale

Sept. 19, 1897 - Trying to squeeze in just a little more summer, the workers of the Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railroads scheduled a game in St. Paul. Slated to appear for the Northern Pacific team were three players who appeared for Fargo earlier in the season. The most notable of these was Jimmy Banning, the only man to appear on both the 1887 and 1897 Fargo league teams. Banning made a few playing and umpiring appearances in Fargo earlier in the summer of 1897. Also appearing for the NP were Frank Schumansky, who was slated as the starting pitcher, and the unfortunate Hornsby, whose brief appearance for Fargo had been an embarrassment.

An awful weather day greeted the railroad men on the afternoon of Sunday, September 19. The cold conditions made controlling the ball a difficult task for Schumansky, who walked ten Great Northern batters. But he may have survived his wildness if not for the eighth inning. In the eighth frame, Schumansky allowed five consecutive singles as the Great Northern club extended their lead from two runs to six. The Northern Pacific men couldn't make up any of the deficit, and fell 12-6.

Meanwhile, the woeful Minneapolis Millers scored two ninth inning runs to defeat the equally woeful Kansas City Blues in the Millers' home finale. The teams finished sixth and seventh respectively in the standings of the eight team Western League. Minneapolis would lose its season finale 20-3 to Connie Mack's Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 21, the season's final day. Deacon Phillippe pitched poorly for the Millers, though only seven of the runs he surrendered were earned. The St. Paul Saints held onto third place in the standings, just a half game ahead of the Brewers.

The final Western League standings
1) Indianapolis 98-37
2) Columbus 89-47
3) St. Paul 86-51
4) Milwaukee 85-51
5) Detroit 70-66
6) Minneapolis 43-95
7) Kansas City 40-99
8) Grand Rapids 35-100.

St. Paul Globe Sept. 19, 1897 p.8 "Fun for Railway Fans"
St. Paul Globe Sept. 20, 1897 p.5 "Safe on Third" and "Great Northern Won"
St. Paul Globe Sept. 22, 1897 p.5 "It Was Sufficiently Easy"

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