1913 – Melbourne’s magnificent seven, Carlton “Chicagoed”

The final game of 1913 was shortened as rain prevented play for some time and there was a football game to follow. With only 4 minutes to go, and only 4 innings completed, the game was close to being declared a no result. However, the first 3 Carlton batters in the fifth innings were retired in order and the game was completed without Melbourne needing to bat in the bottom half of the inning. This gave Melbourne a 6-0 win and the culmination of an amazing streak of seven consecutive VBL A Grade pennants.


From the Argus, 1st September 1913:



Saturday saw the end of a successful pennant season in the three grades, Melbourne, Northcote, and Collingwood A being returned the winners in A, B, and C grades respectively.

The Victorian Baseball League would do well next season to arrange for all semi-final and final games to run nine innings. Imagine an A grade (or any grade, for the matter of that) pennant being won by a team completing four innings! That certainly was not the fault of MCC. The rain prevented play for some time, and Carlton, who have been noted for their sportsmanship, delayed it still further by their puerile efforts to waste time, and thus make it a no game. It was an inglorious ending to a fine season. It is hoped that the League will keep this in view next season.

MCC have a remarkable record in A grade finals. For seven consecutive seasons they have annexed the pennant, while in the last nine years they have failed on one occasion only, being defeated by East Melbourne. It is a wonderful achievement.





S. Stephens was the first batsman for Carlton, and he fanned, such an unusual occurrence for him that the dark blue stocks fell immediately. Carlton and Bowes singled, Binney struck out, and Wyndham was thrown out from short stop. This was a disastrous beginning, and the runners-up never recovered. The second and third bags were occupied with only one out! MCC's attack was strong, six out of the seven batsmen securing hits. Bell smashing a home run, which McLean at left field made a very poor attempt to reach. His return from the fence was too slow to be effective and Melbourne had four runs up in their first innings.

In Carlton's second innings Kemp reached first on A. Johnston's error, and fell asleep between first and second on Cohen's fly to centrefield. He made not the slightest effort to recover first, which he could have done. Ballantyne, for MCC, reached first on McLean's error, and remained there, Vaughan and the Johnston brothers failing.

The only bright feature of Carlton's third innings was S. Stephens's stealing of second and third. Rain interfered with the play, and on resuming MCC filled the bases - Ingleton on third, Allan on second, and Ransford on first. Bell hit a hard fly to Carlton, who caught Ingleton off third, and Bowes cleverly caught Taylor on a foul fly, the dark blues thus getting out of a difficult situation.

Carlton's fourth time at bat saw Binney make a sorrowful attempt to reach third and Vaughan take a beautiful foul fly at left field from Kemp's bat. MCC scored 2 runs in their last time (the fourth) at bat, although foolish tactics on their opponents part. Vaughan was allowed to run the bases without the slightest genuine attempt being made to retire him. When Sinclair came to bat for the losers in the fifth and last innings there was only four minutes to play. He returned one to Ransford, S. Stephens struck out, and Carlton was thrown out from short stop.

Ransford has seldom been seen to better advantage in the pitchers box. He "worked" the corners of the plate admirably, but his constant appealing to the umpire for strikes is not conducive to harmony. Ingleton led the batting, others to do well being Allan, Bell, Taylor, Ballantyne, Vaughan and the two Johnston’s. At the conclusion of the game the Melbourne players made a presentation to the veteran baseballer C. Over, in recognition of his services to the team.

Most of the Carlton players appeared to be overcome with the importance of the occasion, the exceptions being Carlton, Bowes and Wyndham. Binney's deliveries did not have much sting, and he hardly used the outcurve. What became of it? S. Stephens was faultless in the field. Bowes received an ugly smack from a foul tip, which broke a finger. Messrs. Myers and Lanigan umpired.  Scores:-


                                                        R.  H.  E.


Melbourne  ..  ..  ..  ..  4, 0, 0, 2, *       6    8    2

Carlton   ..  ..  .. .. .. ..  0, 0, 0, 0, 0       0    2    7


* Did not bat.