Pivotal World Series Plays
Lapp Guns Down Giant Runners
1911 World Series Game 3: Philadelphia Athletics @ New York Giants
The Giants led the major leagues in steals during the 1911 season with 347, 57 more than the next highest team and still the post-1902 major league record. The leaders for John McGraw's club were Josh Devore with 61, Fred Snodgrass (51), Fred Merkle (49), and Red Murray (48).
When asked before the Series about the Giants' vaunted speed game, Philadelphia manager Connie Mack professed not to be worried. "All this talk about the base running of the Giants makes me laugh," he said in an interview. "The Giants' stolen bases are not worrying us a bit. When was a World Series won by base running? Never. World's champion­ships are won in the pitcher's box and that is where we are going to show the advantage."
Mack had two good catchers. He considered veteran Ira Thomas the better defensive backstop but Jack Lapp as more capable with the bat (.353 compared to .273).

L-R: John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, Connie Mack, Jack Coombs
Thomas started the first two games of the Series. In Game 1, Larry Doyle stole second. Snodgrass tried to steal third and should have been out, but Baker dropped the throw as he was cut by Fred's spikes. When Snodgrass tried to steal home, he was caught. In Game 2, the Giants didn't try to steal. However, the A's righthand-hitting catcher went 0-for-6 at the plate in the two games.

1911 World Series Game 3 Polo Grounds; Giants in black uniforms McGraw purchased for the Series.
When Mack started the lefthand-hitting Lapp against Mathewson in Game 3, the Giants licked their chops. But they had to get a runner on base before they could steal, and that didn't happen against Jack Coombs until there was one out in the 3rd when C Chief Meyers singled. P Christy Mathewson followed with another single, sending Chief to third. When the A's couldn't complete a double play on Josh Devore's grounder, Meyers crossed home with the game's first run. Devore, who led the Giants in steals, tried to swipe 2nd only to be gunned down by Lapp to end the inning.

L-R: Ira Thomas, Jack Lapp, Larry Doyle
After Buck Herzog walked with one out in the Giants' 5th, McGraw gave the steal sign. But Lapp was equal to the task again, nailing Buck at 2nd.
The Giants' 1-0 lead held up until the 9th when Frank Baker clouted a home run to tie the game with one out.
The contest went into extra innings. After Matty set down the A's 1-2-3 in the 10th, the Giants mounted a threat that started with Snodgrass drawing a walk. Murray sacrificed the potential winning run to 2nd. With Fred Merkle at bat, Fred set sail for Baker's sack, but this time Frank held onto the throw to send the Giant outfielder to the dugout. After Merkle walked, McGraw tested Mack's backstop again. Umpire Tom Connolly called Fred out on a close play to end the inning and infuriate the Giants. McGraw berated Connolly for several minutes, accusing the American League umpire of favoritism, and was fortunate not to get tossed.

L-R: Chief Meyers, Josh Devore, Buck Herzog, Fred Merkle
Three singles and an error produced two runs for the A's in the 11th. Clearly tiring, Coombs gave up his first hit since the third inning, a double to Herzog to start the bottom of the inning. But Buck stayed at 2nd as Art Fletcher flew out, then moved to 3rd on a groundout. PH Beals Becker hit a grounder that 2B Eddie Collins couldn't handle allow Herzog to score and put the tying run on 1st. But hard-headed to a fault, McGraw gave the steal sign, and Lapp nailed him by a wide margin to make it five-for-five and put the A's ahead two games to one in the Series.
Lapp also started Game 5 and threw out three of the four Giants that tried to steal. The Athletics won the 1911 World Series in six games.