This Date in Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball – August 15, 1907 Bunnies win 2-1 in 18 Innings, Monty Pfyl makes CR debut
On August 15, 1907, The Cedar Rapids Bunnies defeated the Peoria Distillers 2-1 in 18 innings. Zorah Clevinger opened the bottom of the 18th with a single. he moved to second on a sacrifice by Patsy O’Conner. Ben Davis drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly to center field. It was the longest game ever played at Athletic Park up to that point. Each team’s starting pitcher went the distance. Malicot struck out seven while walking four and allowing 11 Peoria hits to earn the win for Cedar Rapids. Paul Moore, who had played for Cedar Rapids in 1903 and 1904, took the loss for Peoria. He struck out 10 batters while allowing six walks and three hits. Ivan Howard hit a RBI double in the sixth inning to drive in the Bunnies first run in the game scoring Ben Davis who had broke up Moore’s no-hitter earlier in the inning.
The game also marked the Cedar Rapids debut of Monty Pfyl. Pfyl had made his MLB debut earlier in the season on July 30 for John McGraw (1891) and the New York Giants. Monty Pfyl is Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball’s version of Moonlight Graham from the movie Field of Dreams. Pfyl laid down a sacrifice bunt in his only MLB plate appearance and never had the chance to face major league pitching again. He was sent to Springfield in the Three-I League and then was traded to Cedar Rapids along with Bill Fox in exchange for Rusty Owens. Pfyl went on to play five more seasons on minor league ball playing for the Altoona Mountaineers – Tri State League (1908), Baltimore Orioles – Eastern League (1908), Stockton Millers – California League (1909), Oakland Oaks – Pacific Coast League (1910-11), and the Jersey City Skeeters – International League (1914).
The article talks a bit about the umpire and press becoming impatient due to the length of the game. It was completed in 2 hours and 45 minutes which would be considered a fairly short game by today’s standards.
The following article was published in the August 16, 1907 edition of the Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette. It contained coverage of a Three-I League contest against the held on August 15, 1907. The 1907 Cedar Rapids Bunnies featured seven players who played in Major League baseball before or after their time in Cedar Rapids (Doc Crandall, Ivan Howard, Rebel Oakes, Monty Pfyl, Roy Radebaugh, Al Shaw and Mike Simon). The 1907 Cedar Rapids Bunnies finished fifth in the Three-I League with a record of 72-61 under manager Beldin Hill’s guidance.