Pivotal World Series Plays
Collins' Bobble, Devlin's Clutch Hit
1911 World Series Game 1: Philadelphia Athletics @ New York Giants
Athletics 2B Eddie Collins stuck out from the rest of his teammates and, indeed, most of the other major league players. A graduate of Columbia University, he had far more education than his contemporaries. As Paul Mittermeyer wrote in his SABR biography of Collins, "Saddled with the nickname 'Cocky' from early in his career, Collins drew the resentment of teammates for his self-confidence and good breeding that at times seemed as though it belonged more in a ballroom than a baseball clubhouse."
But he was tolerated because he helped his team win. He was an excellent hit 'em where they ain't batter, a slick fielder, and a smart baserunner. He was a better basestealer than his speed would have you think because he studied the pitchers and got a good jump to the next base.
In 1911, Collins made only 24 errors in 132 games. But in Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Giants, his bobble proved costly.
The A's drew first blood against Christy Matthewson with a run in the top of the sec­ond. A's hurler Charles "Chief" Bender set down the Giants until the fourth when he hit CF Fred Snodgrass on the wrist to start the inning. RF Red Murray hit a slow hopper to Collins for an out which put Snodgrass on second. Bender bore down and stuck out 1B Fred Merkle.

L-R: Eddie Collins, Christy Mathewson, Fred Snodgrass, Red Murray
That brought up 3B Buck Herzog. He hit a slow roller to Collins, who "made a mess of it. It twisted out of his fingers, but he recovered it quickly ..." Off at the crack of the bat with two out, Snodgrass sped around third and headed for the plate. Collins "made a lightning throw to the plate. Snodgrass was there a fraction of a second ahead of the flying sphere and with McGraw's famous hook slide he touched the corner of the dish with his spiked shoes as (C Ira) Thomas, swinging his arm around to touch him, missed his leg by several inches."
"This run tied the score and up leaped the crowd regardless of partisanship to give vent to pent up feelings. ... No crowd ever cheered so wildly. It was frenzy everywhere and women joined in shrieking until their throats were sore. The saddest looking man on the field was poor Collins. An easier play could not have been set up for him. Always cool in a crisis, he had fallen down in this one with a schoolboy blunder that made him hang his head as he walked to bench a few moments later."

L-R: Jack Meyers and Charles Bender; Buck Herzog, Josh Devore
Mathewson and Bender put goose eggs on the scoreboard until the bottom of the 7th. With one out, Giants C Jack "Chief" Meyers stepped to the plate for an Indian vs Indian battle. Bender threw a curve over the outside corner that Meyer met squarely with his bat. The ball "started on a meteoric flight in the direction of the left field bleachers. Up leaped thousands of spectators who watched the ball as it neared the stand. Under it dashed (LF Bris) Lord at top speed, stretching out his hands and heedless of the fence. Ball and fielder reached the abutment simultaneously. For an instant it seemed as if Lord had caught it, but as he turned and sprinted away from the boards it was seen that the ball had escaped him. ... Meyers with the speed of a runaway elephant managed to get two bases, though a faster runner would have taken three."
Bender took a big step toward getting out of the inning unscathed when he struck out Mathewson. Then he got two quick strikes on LF Josh Devore. But the 5'6" "midget" laced a fast ball over leaping 3B Frank Baker's head. Meyers lumbered across the plate with the go-ahead run.
The A's hurler got out of the inning without further damage, but it was too late. Math­ewson used his famous "fadeaway" to set down the visitors in order in the 8th and 9th to preserve the victory.