Here is how the Chicago Tribune of May 3, 1917, described the previous day’s game at Weeghman Park (aka Wrigley Field), which the Reds won, 1-0, in the 10th inning by getting the game’s only two hits:
CUBS HITLESS AS TONEY WINS IN 10TH, 1 TO 0
Two Singles Off Vaughan with Error Score Tally for the Reds
Three thousand or more fans who saw the Cubs-Reds game yesterday witnessed a contest that will stand as one of the most remarkable in history. So far as can be learned, there never was a time in the major leagues when two pitchers went nine innings without a hit being made on either side, as did Jim Vaughan of the Cubs and Fred Toney of the Reds.
By James Crusinberry
Fred Toney and Jim Vaughan both attempted to enter the baseball hall of fame yesterday when the Cubs and Reds fought at Weeghman park, and the result was a pitching duel such as never before has been staged. When nine rounds had been played neither one of the stalwart hurlers had allowed a base hit, but in the tenth the break came, and it went against Vaughn. Two hits were registered with one error, and Cincinnati got a run. Toney went back in the last half and set three Cubs down in a row, thus winning the day and the honor of a no hit no run game.
Many times it has happened that a pitcher on one side has gained the honor of allowing no hits, but none of the old time fans can remember of seeing two pitchers fight for nine innings and neither one allow a hit. There wasn’t even a fluke which might have been called a hit in the first nine rounds. Vaughn passed two batsmen and one Cincinnati man got to first when Rollie Zeider fumbled an easy grounder.
TONEY GIVES TWO WALKS
Toney walked two batsmen, but those two were the only men to reach first base. He was given perfect support by his mates, not a bobble being made behind him. The duel was so desperate that when the ninth inning was over and the honors were even the crowd cheered both men.
Vaughn really was the more brilliant of the two pitchers for nine innings. Only twenty-seven men faced him in that time, because each time he walked a man double plays occurred, clearing off the bases, and the one fellow who reached first on Zeider’s fumble was pegged out trying to steal. Vaughn also fanned ten men in the nine innings, while Toney fanned only three all told, and two of the three strikeouts occurred in the last of the tenth, when the big Tennessee man called upon all the reserve power in his right arm to make sure of the honor of a no hit game.
VAUGHAN’S SUPPORT FAILS HIM
It was a wonderful game for Toney to win and a tough one for Vaughn to lose. Had Vaughn been given the keen support that Toney had the Cubs might have prolonged the battle, and possibly connected with Toney’s curves later on. But when the first hit was made in the tenth there was a general breakdown.
The first fellow to drive the ball to safe ground was Larry Kopf, the young shortstop of the Reds. One was out in the tenth when he came up, and he hit a liner to right field. Fred Merkle made a desperate lunge to his right with one hand stretched out, and perhaps came within a foot of the ball, but it was out of reach, and the terrible suspense was broken.
WILLIAMS DROPS BALL
That blow shouldn’t have lost the ball game. Neale followed with a fly ball to Williams, and then Chase hit a line fly right at Williams. Cy scarcely had to move, but if he had advanced two steps he could have taken it in front of his belt buckle. Instead, he had to catch it at his ankles, and he muffed the ball. Kopf was on third and Chase safe at first.
Jim Thorpe, the athletic red skin, then bounced one into the earth in front of the plate. The ball rolled slowly toward third base, with Vaughn after it. It looked as if Vaughn figured he had lost a chance to get Thorpe at first base, and there seemed little hope of such a play, so in desperation he scooped the ball to Wilson standing on the plate, with Kopf tearing in. The ball hit Wilson on the shoulder about the same time that Kopf crashed into him, and the run was in.
Chase also tried to dash in when he saw the ball roll away, but Wilson recovered it in time to get Hal. There wasn’t any need of Hal’s run anyway, for one run was all that could be used.