It might seem cruel to write about the Cubs in the World Series the day after they were eliminated in the NLCS. But there was a time, over a hundred years ago, that the Cubs were a World Series powerhouse. And in 1910, they won a tight game while facing elimination that, for the time, solidified their reputation for being a darling of October.
When the Cubs were on the verge of being swept out of the 1910 World Series, they staged a rally. And the player who sparked the Cubs comeback was right fielder Frank Schulte.
The Cubs of the first decade of the 20th century made their presence felt in the World Series. Between 1906 and 1910, they won 4 out of 5 pennants and winning it all against Detroit in 1907 and 1908.
In 1910, with a team loaded with future Hall of Famers, the Cubs found themselves in the World Series facing off against Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics, who were looking for their first ever title.
Frank Chance, part of the celebrated Evers to Tinker to Chance double play combination, was the player manager and could turn to Orvall Overall and Mordecai Three Finger Brown in his rotation.
But Connie Mack’s squad had a Hall of Famer of their own in the rotation. Chief Bender allowed just 3 hits in a complete game victory for Game 1. In the second game, the Cubs stranded 14 runners and lost 9-3.
The Cubs returned home for Game 3. Then the Cubs called the West Side Grounds home as Wrigley was not yet built. Jack Coombs won his second game of the series and two days later were going to go for the sweep with Bender on the mound.
King Cole, who won 20 games and led the league with a 1.80 ERA over 239 2/3 innings in his rookie year, took the mound for the Cubs. The score was tied after 3 when the A’s took a 3-1 lead on a 2 run double by Danny Murphy.
In the bottom of the 4th, right fielder Frank Schulte came to bat. The 27 year old native of Cochecton New York had led the National League in homers that year. He had 10. The left handed slugger known as Wildfire had been a big offensive hero in the Cubs 1908 World Series victory over Detroit.
This time, he singled to lead off the fourth and came around to score when Frank Chance singled. He singled again in the 6th but was stranded. By the 9th, with Three Finger Brown now pitching out of the bullpen, the A’s were still up 3-2.
Bender was still dealing in the bottom of the 9th, 3 outs from their first every World Series title. They would have to go through Schulte.
Wildfire led off the bottom of the ninth with a double to right field. Two batters later, Chance tripled him home and the game was tied.
The Cubs could not drive home the winning run that inning but the game was tied. The Cubs were a World Series team to be reckoned with.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Cubs rallied again off of Bender with Jimmy Sheckard smacking the walk off hit. The Cubs stayed alive to see another day.
It would be prolonging the inevitable. Schulte got a hit in Game 5 but the Philadelphia squad blew open a tight 2-1 game with a 5 run 8th inning and would clinch in 5 with a 7-2 final.
The Cubs would have to wait to add onto their World Series total. They are still waiting. But Cub fans should salute their players who come up big in the post season, especially the World Series. That is what makes Frank Schulte the Unsung Post Season Hero of October 22.