Pivotal World Series Moments
"Perfect Day for Water Polo"
1925 World Series Game 7: Washington Senators @ Pittsburgh Pirates
This was possibly the weirdest and certainly the most controversial seventh game of any World Series.
Landis Postpones Game 7
Heavy rain in Pittsburgh caused Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis to postpone Game 7 from Wednesday to Thursday. He said, "I hate to call it off knowing that fully 15,000 of this crowd are from out of town and under heavy expense in staying over another day. At the same time, the field's condition is such that the players would be risking injury to go out there."
Senators manager Bucky Harris wouldn't have hesitated to send his ace, Walter John­son, to the hill for the deciding game after just two days off, but now Big Train would enjoy his normal three days rest. After all, he had allowed only one run in two complete game victories. However, he suffered from a charley horse he incurred running out a double in Game 4 and was still walking with a limp.
The extra day allowed Pirates manager Bill McKechnie to start his own two-game Se­ries winner, Vic Aldridge, who got a second day of rest since winning Game 5.
Landis Orders Game Played in Rain
Unfortunately, the weather did not improve by Thursday. Chilly rain again fell before the scheduled first pitch at 2:30. The grounds crew used sawdust to sop up puddles in the in­field even before the teams took the field. Few in the assembled crowd expected the game to be played. But Landis didn't want to disappoint the fans yet again. So he let the game begin and continue even though conditions were worse than the day before.
Any hope that the rain would move out failed to materialize. It got worse as the game continued. With no lights on any major league field in that era and sunset at 5:40 PM, visibility became an issue as the afternoon wore on until you couldn't see the outfielders from home plate. The field became a quagmire. The players were "vague and shadowy figures."
New York Times writer James R. Harrison would call the setting "a perfect day for water polo."
Forbes Field during 1925 World Series
Forbes Field during 1925 World Series
Senators Jump on Aldridge
The Pirates starter got only one out before being sent to the (clubhouse) showers. A sin­gle, three walks with two wild pitches included, and another single forced McKechnie to bring in Johnny Morrison who finally got the last two outs after catcher's interference and an error put the first two men he faced on base. Senators 4 Pirates coming to bat.
Pirates P Vic AldridgeSenators OF Joe HarrisWashington OF Goose Goslin
L-R: Vic Aldridge, Joe Harris, Sam Rice, Goose Goslin
Working slowly and in pain, Johnson held the Pirates scoreless in the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third as some reporters wondered when the game would be call­ed because of darkness. But the home team scored three runs in the third on three singles and a double. Senators 4 Pirates 3
Senators Add to Their Lead
Washington extend their lead to 6-3 in the fourth as RF Joe Harris whacked a double to right-center field to score Sam Rice and Goose Goslin, who both had singled. Senators 6 Pirates 3
The Pirates added another run in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by CF Max Carey and RF Kiki Cuyler. But just when it looked like he needed relief, Johnson avoided further damage by getting a strikeout and two popups. Senators 6 Pirates 4
Pirates OF KiKi CuylerSenators SS Roger Peckinpaugh
L-R: Max Carey, Kiki Cuyler, Eddie Moore, Roger Peckinpaugh
Pirates Tie Score with Help from Peckinpaugh
The crowd put up umbrellas, and the bleacherites covered themselves with newspapers in the pouring rain.
The bottom of the 7th started inauspiciously when 2B Eddie Moore hit a high fly that SS Roger Peckinpaugh, the American League MVP that season, settled under. But with rain pelting his face, he muffed it, and Moore ended up on second base. It was Roger's seventh error of the Series. Unfortunately for Washington, he wasn't finished yet. Harris walked over from second base and patted his shortstop on the back.
Carey made the Senators pay with his third double–and fourth hit–of the day, this one down the left-field line. Moore scored to cut the visitors' lead to 6-5. LF Goslin would swear to his dying day that the ball landed foul and stuck in the mud. He suspected the umps lost track of the ball in the dark­ness.
Cuyler sacrificed Carey to third, 1-4. With the infield in, Barnhart grounded to Harris, who held Carey at third and threw to first. Just when it appeared Johnson would strand the runner on third, 3B Pie Traynor whacked a triple to right but, with mud splashing from his spikes, was thrown out at the plate trying for an inside-the-park homer, 9-4-2.
Senators 6 Pirates 6
Peckinpaugh Makes Amends
In the top of the eighth, Peckinpaugh made amends for his error by smashing a homer into the left-field stands in front of the scoreboard. His mates carried him into the dugout and pummeled him in their glee.

L-R: Pie Traynor, Earl Smith, Carson Bigbee, Red Oldham
Pirates Start Winning Rally with Two Outs
With two outs and no one on and an 0-2 count on the batter in the bottom of the eighth, the Pirates started their winning rally when C Earl Smith doubled to right-center field. Emil Yde ran for Smith. McKechnie sent up Carson Bigbee to hit for P Roy Kremer. He delivered with a double over Goslin's head to tie the game.
With the crowd in an uproar and Johnson clearly struggling, Moore drew a walk–the Bucs first free pass of the afternoon. Carey then grounded to Peckinpaugh who threw to second for the forceout, but the umpire ruled that Harris was off the bag–Roger's eighth error of the Series, a record that stands to this day.
The game was held up again while more sawdust was spread around the pitcher's mound. Each batter wiped his bat as he came to the plate in the pounding rain.
Cuyler worked the count to 2-2. He then took what C Muddy Ruel and Johnson thought was strike three. But as the Senators started to walk off the diamond, home plate umpire Barry McCormick yelled "ball three." So Johnson delivered again, and Kiki poled the horsehide into the crowd in right field. Everyone thought it was a grand slam, but the umpires ruled it a ground rule double. Still, the Pirates took their first lead, 9-7.
LF Clyde Barnhart popped to 2B Harris to end the inning. Pirates 9 Senators 7
Oldham Closes the Series
Journeyman southpaw Red Oldham had not appeared in the major leagues in three years. He had spent most of the 1925 season with minor league teams. The Pirates called him up in August, mainly to help with doubleheaders down the stretch. He faced 233 bat­ters, striking out only 10, and did not see action in the first six games in the Series. He now ascended the treacherous mound to try to seal the championship with his crossfire delive­ries.
All he had to do to preserve the World Series championship for the Senators was retire three future Hall of Famers.
"Water coursed off the brims of felt hats in gentle rivers," according to one writer.
Oldham described the at-bats to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the next spring.

Sam Rice: "Well, old Sam came up and looked at a fast one on the inside for a strike. The next was a fast one between Sam and the plate for a ball. Rice tried to bunt the next one, which was a swifty on the outside. He fouled it. With two strikes and one ball, I thought I would loosen him up a bit, and I wasted one on him, which might have made him a bit nervous. Then I came through the middle with a fast one, and Sam was called out."

Bucky Harris: "Harris wasn’t up there very long. We slipped two fast pitches over the plate and he looked at both, so we had Bucky in a hole. The next offering was a fastball and Bucky hit it smartly to [second baseman] Eddie Moore on a line. That left nobody but Goose between us and the victory."

Goose Goslin: "Our first shot to Goslin was a hook on the inside. Goose had a country cut at the ball, but he fouled it. The next pitch also was a slowed-up curve. The ball broke over the plate with Goose looking at it. With the count two strikes and no balls, we broke a curve outside, the sphere being beyond the plate far enough to be a ball. The next was another slow hook that broke across the plate, and the battle was over."

The Pirates became the first team to rebound from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series.
The crowd broke from the stands and swarmed onto the field as they did after a college football game. FINAL SCORE: PITTSBURGH 9 WASHINGTON 7
Bucky Harris was as crestfallen as his players but also bitter too. He voiced resentment over the final game being played under such conditions. "It's a tough one to take, but what's the difference. It's over now and Pittsburgh can celebrate as we did last year. I'm not crabbing, but, nevertheless, I'm not ready to admit that Pittsburgh is a better ball club any more than I thought Washington was a better club than the Giants last year. You can't judge a ball club off what happened this afternoon, and this afternoon decided the series.
"We had a tough time out there this afternoon. It was terrible, with the weather and the condition of the field and the darkness. Johnson had plenty of stuff, but what good is stuff with any pitcher on a day like today."
Walter Johnson never appeared in another World Series, having retired by the time the Senators made the Classic again in 1933.
Kepner, Tyler. The Grandest Stage. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.