He had lost to his rival in the 10th inning of Game 2 of the 1913 World Series and Eddie Plank was determined not to let Christy Mathewson get the better of him again. On Saturday, October 11, Matty and Eddie—two future Hall of Famers—locked up in Game 5. A newly uncovered photo of the final pitch of that Series is our Photo of the Day from RMY Auctions.
The 7 3/4’” x 10” image shows Plank’s final follow through as Larry Doyle flies out to right field, preserving Gettysburg Eddie’s 3-1 victory and a third straight World Series defeat for John McGraw’s Giants. Donning the famous pillbox cap seen on so many of his baseball cards, Plank gave up just one run on two hits in what is considered his greatest game.
The back of the Underwood & Underwood photo includes the original caption referencing “Pitcher Plank pitching the last ball.” It’s one of more than 400 original, vintage photographs that will be sold Sunday night at RMYAuctions.com.
Action photography was still fairly rare 103 years ago and RMY officials call it “one of the most significant deadball era World Series images ever taken.”
A sellout crowd of over 36,000 fans watched the Mathewson-Plank duel, with fans waiting under the stands, hoping to sneak in.
While the visiting team won that day at the Polo Grounds, hundreds of A’s fans made the train trip from Philadelphia and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that Plank was “carried away on the shoulders of as many as could get under him.”
Plank vowed to retire afterward but went on to pitch for four more seasons. Sadly, he died of a stroke at age 50 just 13 years later. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1946.