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HBWRL Moonlight Tournament Information

Moonlight Tournament VII


Pirates lay down the Law
(2) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 14, (6) 1934 St. Louis Cardinals 1:
Vern Law pitched six shutout innings, and Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski led an offensive onslaught, as Pittsburgh won its first ever Moonlight title. St. Louis starter Burleigh Grimes dueled with Law for three scoreless innings, but the Pirates chased him with four runs in the 4th inning. Then they torched Cardinals reliever Flint Rhem, and ended the competitive portion of the game--and this tournament--by the 6th inning. The '60 Pirates, one of the most underrated teams in MLB history, upset several teams before falling to New York last year. This year, they won more convincingly--and took their rightful place as one of history's great teams.


Final Rankings:
1. Pittsburgh
2. St. Louis
3. New York
4. Philadelphia
5. Cincinnati
6. Chicago
7. Washington
8. Brooklyn
9. Boston

Pirates Make Return Trip to Finals
Sun, 19 Mar 2000
(2) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 7, (5) 1929 Philadelphia A's 6
Pittsburgh led 4-0 and 6-2, but Hall-of-Famers Mickey Cocrhane, Al Simmons, and Jimmie Foxx keyed a Philadelphia rally. Elroy Face came in with Pittsburgh leading 7-6 in the 8th inning, and shut down Philly's offense, to put the no-longer-Cindarella-Pirates back in the Finals.

W-Bob Friend
L-Jack Quinn

Medwick's Triple Eliminates Defending Champs
Sat, 18 Mar 2000
(6) 1934 St. Louis Cardinals 7, (1) 1961 New York Yankees 6:
New York rallied from 5-1 down to tie the game at 6-6, but it was not enough, as Joe Medwick's 7th inning triple lifted the Cardinals to a 7-6 win, and their first ever apperance in the Moonlight Finals. The battle of PA is next.

W-Jim Mooney
L-Rollie Sheldon

Wed, 15 Mar 2000
(1) 1961 New York Yankees 1, (8) 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers 0 (10) W-Whitey Ford, L-Carl Erksine Comment: Brooklyn nearly pulls of the greatest upset in Moonlight history, but Erksine can't keep the shutout as Mickey Mantle homers in 10th.

(2) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 5, (7) 1924 Washington Senators 1 W-Harvey Haddix, L-Walter Johnson Comment: Johnson victimized early by Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski.

(6) 1934 St. Louis Cardinals 7, (3) 1975 Cincinnati Reds 3 W-Dizzy Dean, L-Don Gullett Comment: Cincinnati came from 9-0 down to win in last year's first round; they had no such luck this year, thanks to Frankie Firsch, Rogers Hornsby, and Dean.

(5) 1929 Philadelphia A's 9, (4) 1906 Chicago Cubs 3 W-Lefty Grove, L-Mordecai Brown
Comment: Lefty beat Three Finger in this battle of Reps.

Fri, 10 Mar 2000
(8) 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers 6, (9) 1916 Boston Red Sox 2:
In perhaps the fastest game ever played, the Dodgers rallied from a 2-2 tie with four runs in the 4th inning, and Don Newcombe settled down after a rocky start, to give the Dogers a 6-2 win. The Dodgers advance to play the defending champion New York team in the next round--and the next game.

Winning pitcher: Newcombe
Losing pitcher: Babe Ruth

Homerun: Roy Campanella
Double: Pee Wee Reese
Stolen base: Walker

Upcoming game: Moonlight VII Tournament, 1st Round: (8) 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers (Carl Erksine) at (1) 1961 New York Yankees (Whitey Ford)


Seeds for Moonlight VII:
1. 1961 New York Yankees (defending champion)
2. 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates
3. 1975 Cincinnati Reds (Moonlight V champion)
4. 1906 Chicago Cubs
5. 1929 Philadelphia A's (winner of three of first four tournaments)
6. 1934 St. Louis Cardinals
7. 1924 Washington Senators
8. 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers
9. 1916 Boston Red Sox


During what J. Henry Waugh called "the blue season," selected HBWRL players, and other players, play night games--that are also second jobs--hence the term, Moonlight Tournament. In the first four Moonlight tournaments, all-time teams from 8 cities were used. Philadelphia won 3 of those 4 tournaments. In Moonlight V, 12 of the best teams of all-time were used. The 1975 Cincinnati "Big Red Machine" Reds won that tournament, beating the 1961 New York Yankees in the final. This year's tournament follows the format of last year's. Results of the final game of previous tournaments, and the seeds for this year's, are below.

Moonlight I: Philadelphia 5, Chicago 4
Moonlight II: Cleveland 4, Philadelphia 1
Moonlight III: Philadelphia 11, Pittsburgh 8
Moonlight IV: Philadelphia 1, Clevleand 0 (10 innings)
Moonlight V: 1975 Cincinnati 12, 1927 New York 9

Moonlight VI seeds:
1. 1975 Cincinnati Reds
2. 1927 New York Yankees
3. 1929 Philadelphia Athletics
4. 1906 Chicago Cubs
5. 1927 New York Yankees
6. 1924 Washington Senators
7. 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers
8. 1916 Boston Red Sox
9. 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates
10. 1919 Chicago "Blacksox"
11. 1934 St. Louis Cardinals
12. 1919 Cincinnati

The top 4 seeds get 1st round byes; after that, it is a single-elimination, 8-team tournament. Results will follow and the tournament should end just as the HBWRL Season 11 begins.

Game in progress: (12) 1919 Cincinnati (Dolph Luque) at (5) 1927 New York (Urban Shocker); Score: Cincinnati 3, New York 3 (2nd inning)


Final standings and seeds for next year:

1. 1961 New York Yankees
2. 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates
3. 1975 Cincinnati Reds
4. 1906 Chicago Cubs
5. 1929 Philadelphia A's
6. 1934 St. Louis Cardinals
7. 1924 Washington Senators
8. 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers
9. 1918 Boston Red Sox

Moonlight VI Championship Result

Thu, 4 Feb 1999

(2) 1961 New York Yankees 2, (9) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 0: In a rare display of Moonlight pitching prowess, starters Rollie Sheldon (New York) and Wil Mizell (Pittsburgh) went toe to toe, with Sheldon outlasting Mizell, and New York getting their 1st ever Moonlight tournament win. Roger Maris' 2 run homer off of Mizell in the 4th inning was all the Yankees needed. Luis Arroyo pitched the 9th, and retired Roberto Clemente for the final out. Even with the loss, Pittsburgh was the biggest surprise of the tournament, and they will be seeded accordingly next year.

Winning pitcher: Sheldon
Losing pitcher: Mizell
Save: Arroyo

Homerun: Maris
Double: Dick Stuart
Caught stealing: Tony Kubeck
Moonlight Semifinal Result

Wed, 3 Feb 1999

(2) 1961 New York Yankees 12, (4) 1906 Chicago Cubs 11 (12 innings): In a classic a the Polo Grounds, and a game truly worth of being a Moonlight VI Semifinal, New York outlasted Chicago, 12-11, when Bucky Richardson's high fly ball sailed over the left field wall with 1 out in the bottom of the 12th. Both teams, at various times, played well enough to win the tournament, and poorly enough to not be invited to the next one.

Mickey Mantle's 2-run triple keyed a 3 run 1st inning and rattled Chicago starter Ed Reulbach, as New York led, 3-0 after 1. Solly Hoffman's 2-run single in the top of the 2nd was answered by Richardson's RBI single in the 2nd, making it 4-2 New York after 2. The fireworks started in the top of the 6th, with New York leading 6-4. Frank Chance's dramatic 3 run homer off of New York starter Bud Daley gave Chicago their first lead of the game, 7-6. Before the crowd could get over the shock, H. Steinfeldt belted another homer to left, for back-to-back Cubs homers and an 8-6 Chicago lead. Chicago added a run in the top of the 7th, to lead 9-6 at the 7th inning stretch.

But Richardson, three times a hero in this game, rallied his team again. With Chicago leading 9-8 in the bottom of the 7th, Richardson's single tied the game at 9-9. That was the score when the game went into extra innings, although it didn't have to be that way. Roger (61 in '61) Maris batted with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, and the winning run at 3rd, as the game seemed destined to be a storybook win for the Yankees. Chicago reliever Fred Beebe struck him out.

With a man on in the top of the 10th, Frank Chance got his 5th RBI of the game, with a 2 run homer that again shocked the crowd, and gave Chicago an 11-9 lead. The blast chased New York reliever Hal Rennif from the game. Beebe now stood to be the winning pitcher. But J. Blanchard's 2-run single tied the game at 11-11 in the 10th, and chased Beebe.

When both teams went quitely in the 11th, and Chicago went 1-2-3 in the 12th, we looked to be settling in for an extra-innings marathon. That was when Richardson took Jack Harper deep, to end a classic game, and put his team in the finals for the 2nd straight year. This time, however, they will have home field advantage, over heavy underdog Pittsburgh. The teams should know each other well--they are World Series champions of consecutive seasons.

1 out when winning run scored
Game Winning RBI: Richardson

Winning pitcher: Jim Coates
Losing pitcher: Harper
Blown Saves: Rennif, Beebe

Homeruns: Chance 2, Steinfeldt, Richardson, Elston Howard
Triple: Mantle
Error: Jimmy Sheckard

Upcoming game: Moonlight VI Championship: (9) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Wil Mizell) at (2) 1961 New York Yankees (Rollie Sheldon)

Sat, 30 Jan 1999
(4) 1906 Chicago Cubs 6, (5) 1927 New York Yankees 5: In an entertaining and evenly played game, Chicago capitalized on an error by Bob Meusal to overcome a 4-2 deficit and score 4 unearned runs in the 7th, to lead 6-4. As reliever Jack Taylor fatigued, the Cubs hung on to win, 6-5, with the tying run at 3rd base in the top of the 9th.
In this bizzare game, neither starting pitcher (Mordecai Brown, Waite Hoyt) figured in the decision, and the losing pitcher did not allow an earned run. Moreover, the 1927 New York team was disqualified from all future Moonlight tournaments for unsportsmanlike conduct. That event occurred when Meusal, having dropped the fly ball to open the door to Chicago's rally, dumped an Outback Steak House (R) Bloomin' Onion (R), grease and all, over the head of the 2nd base umpire. The umpire, whose conduct is also under review, added that both 1919 teams (Cincinnati and the Chicago Black Sox) are also disqualified "just because I hate that year."
Thus the new moonlight format will feature only 9 teams, with the number 8 and 9 seeds playing a play-in game to start, then a standard, 8 team, single elimination tournament. The affected HBWRL players (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Eddie Collins, etc.) all play for the Reps, except for the Powers' Joe Jackson. Collins and Jackson could not be reached for comment, but Ruth and Gehrig, rather than lashing out at teammate Meusal, simply said: "Well we play enough as it is." The semifinals for this year's tournament are now set. It will be "Cindarella" Pittsburgh at defending champion Cincinnati, and the winners of this game take on the "other" New York team: the 1961 Yankees.

Winning pitcher: Jack Taylor
Losing pitcher: Myles Thomas

Upcoming games (Seminfinals): (9) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Harvey Haddix) at (1) 1975 Cincinnati Reds (J. Billingham) (4) 1906 Chicago Cubs (Ed Reulbach) at (2) 1961 New York Yankees (Bud Daley)

Sat, 30 Jan 1999

(9) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 4, (3) 1929 Philadelphia A's 2: In the most significant upset of the tournament so far, Philadelphia, which had won 3 of the previous 5 tournaments and had made the semifinals in all 5, was upset by Pittsburgh, 4-2. Jimmie Foxx's homer keyed an early 2-0 Philly lead, but Pirates starter Bob Friend settled down, and closer Elroy Face recorded his 2nd save in as many games. After Dick Stuart's solo homer made it 2-1 Philly in the 5th, Don Hoak's 2-run triple in the 6th put the Pirates ahead to stay. This underrated team, known only for its upset in the 1960 World Series, has done it again--and now will play the top seed and defending champion 1975 Cincinnati Reds in the semifinals.

Winning pitcher: Friend
Losing pitcher: Lefty Grove
Save: Face

Homeruns: Foxx, Stuart

Upcoming game (final game of 2nd round): (5) 1927 New York Yankees (Waite Hoyt) at (4) 1906 Chicago Cubs (Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown)

Friday, 29 January, 1999

(2) 1961 New York Yankees 10, (10) 1919 Chicago "Black Sox" 7: New York rallied from 6-2 down, as Elston Howard's 2-run homer in the 5th made it 6-4, Chicago. Bill Skowron then homered on the next at-bat, making it 6-5 Chicago, and chasing starter Red Faber from the game. With Chicago leading 7-5 in the 7th, Clete Bowyer's solo homer made it 7-6. And trailing 7-6 in the 8th, Skowron struck again--his 2 run double keyed a 4 run, 8th inning rally as New York advanced to the semifinals with a dramatic, 10-7 comeback win.

Winning pitcher: Arroyo
Losing pitcher: Erskine Mayer
Save: Coates

Homeruns: Happy Felsch, Howard, Skowron, Bowyer.

Upcoming game: (9) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Bob Friend) at (3) 1929 Philadelphia A's (Lefty Grove)

Thu, 28 Jan 1999

(1) 1975 Cincinnati Reds 14, (11) 1934 St. Louis Cardinals 10: In a game that seem destined to be the greatest upset in Moonlight history, we instead had the greatest comeback in history (Moonlight or HBWRL). St. Louis lit up Cincinnati starter Don Gullett in the first 3 innings, to open a 9-0 lead. Until this game, no team had come back from a deficit of greater than 6 runs to a win a game. But the bullpens told the story, as Cincinnati relievers recorded outs, while St. Louis, who inexplicably pulled starter Burliegh Grimes after 3 shutout innings, could not get an out after the 3rd. Cincinnati rallied to 9-6, and Dan Driesen's dramatic 3-run homer in the 5th, off of Flint Rhem, tied the game at 9-9. The defending Moonlight Champion Big Red Machine went on to win, 14-10. The game will be remembered for many things. The near-greatest upset. The greatest comeback. But not the great pitching, in spite of the outstanding work of the Cincinnati bullpen, which allowed just 1 run in 6 innings. Cincinnati advances to the semi-finals.

Winning pitcher: Pedro Borbon
Losing pitcher: Rhem
Save: Rawley Eastwick

Homerun: Driesen

Upcoming game: (10) 1919 Chicago "Black Sox" (Red Faber) at (2) 1961 New York Yankees (Whitey Ford)
Wed, 27 Jan 1999
(9) 1960 Pittsburgh 5, (8) 1916 Boston 1: The 1916 Boston Red Sox ran into the law--Vern Law, that is. Law pitched 6.2 innings and was charged with one run (an inhertied runner, allowed to score by reliever Elroy Face), as Pittsburgh roled to a 5-1 victory. The game concludes the tournament's first round. Bob Skinner had a 2 run homer and 3 RBI, and Dick Groat had a 2-run single, as Pittsburgh victimized Carl (Beanball!) Mays early. Del Gainor's RBI single accounted for Boston's only run. The next game starts the 2nd round, and features current and former HBWRL players Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, and Pete Rose for Cincinnati; Rogers Hornsby, and (in the bullpen) 1st round stars Dizzy Dean and Dazzy Vance for St. Louis.

Winning pitcher: Law
Losing pitcher: C. Mays
Save: Face

Homerun: Skinner

Upcoming game: (11) 1934 St. Louis Cardinals (Burleigh Grimes) at (1) 1975 Cincinnati Reds (Don Gullett)

Tue, 19 Jan 1999

Chicago 8, Brooklyn 7: The 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers rallied from a 6-1 deficit, scoring 6 in the 8th to lead, 7-6. Don Zimmer provided the tying run, and Pee Wee Reese the go-ahead run, as the Dodgers seem destined for the greatest comeback in moonlight history. But it was not to be: with the game tied 7-7 in the bottom of the 8th, embattled Chicago second baseman Eddie Collins singled, to drive in the decisive run.

Winning pitcher: Dave Danforth
Losing pitcher: Clem Labine
Blown Save: Danforth
Homeruns: Swede Risberg 2, Ray Schalk, Roy Campanella
Game winning RBI: Collins

Upcoming game: (9) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Vern Law) at (8) 1916 Boston Red Sox (Carl Mays); final game of 1st round.

Mon, 18 Jan 1999
(11) St. Louis 5, (6) Washington 2: The 1934 Cardinals scored 3 in the top of the 1st off of slow-starting Walter Johnson, and hung on for a 5-2 win. The 1924 Senators cut the deficit to 3-2, but Frankie Frisch came up with 3 RBIs in the game, including a 2 run single to make it 5-2 and seal the win. Jack Rothrock tripled for St. Louis, and Harry Leibold tripled for Washington. St. Louis will meet defending champion 1975 Cincinnati in the next round.

Winning pitcher: Dizzy Dean
Losing pitcher: Johnson
Save: Dazzy Vance

Upcoming game: (10) 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers (Don Newcombe) at (7) 1919 Chicago "BlackSox" (Eddie Cicotte)