Malone was brought into the game to face Miller. Trying to brush the batter back, Malone grazed him with the first pitch, loading the bases. All that English remembers of the waning moments of that historic seventh was the ball cracking off Dykes's bat and flying into deep left, and Riggs Stephenson going back and reaching up but fumbling the ball. "He should have made the catch," English says. The ball bounced off the wall. Simmons and Foxx scored.
The A's led 10-8. Malone then fanned Boley and Burns to end the inning.
When Mack called on Grove to pitch the last two innings, not a boy in all of Philly doubted the game's outcome. Grove was a lanky 6'3", and in his windup he looked like an oil rig: His head and hands and torso rose and dipped rhythmically—once, twice, three times—until they rose a final time and he fired. "I can still hear Grove's fastball popping into Cochrane's glove," says former A's fan John McLaughlin, 77. No one in Grove's day threw a baseball harder, and there are those who believe he threw the hardest of all time.
The Washington Post's Povich remembers a day in the mid-1930s when Bob Feller was the phenom of the hour and was to pitch at Washington's Griffith Stadium against the Senators. The retired Walter Johnson, an old friend of Povich's, was living in Maryland, and Povich invited him out to Griffith to see the kid with the heater, once clocked at 103 mph. "Walter was the most modest man you would ever know," Povich says. "And he's looking at Feller for a couple of innings and saying, 'Oh, he's fast!' Then a little while later he says, 'Oh, my! He's fast!' And then I popped the question: 'Does he throw as fast as you did?' And Walter said, 'No. And I don't think he's as fast as Lefty Grove.' "
Grove's best fastball came in at the letters and rose out of the strike zone. "If you took it, it would be a ball," English says. "But if you had two strikes on you, you couldn't take it. It was that close, and he had great control."
Tales of Grove's exploits abound. One afternoon while leading the Yankees 1-0 in the ninth inning, Grove gave up a triple to the leadoff hitter, shortstop Mark Koenig. Throwing nothing but darts, Grove then struck out Ruth, Gehrig and Bob Meusel. On nine pitches.
Grove had a Vesuvian temper that was quite as famous as his fastball, and he left behind him a trail of wrecked watercoolers and ruined lockers. There were many days when players, particularly skittish rookies, dared not speak to him as he observed the world from the long shadows of his bony scowl. One day in 1931, against the woeful St. Louis Browns, Grove was trying to win his 17th straight game without a loss—and thereby set an American League record—when a young outfielder named Jim Moore, substituting for the ailing Simmons, misjudged an easy fly ball and, ultimately, cost Grove the game, 1-0. Grove swept into the clubhouse like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. He picked up a wooden chair and smashed it into splinters. He then tried to rip off his locker door and settled for kicking it in. His rage unappeased, he tore off his uniform, sending buttons flipping like tiddlywinks, and shredded it like a rag. He bellowed, "Where is Simmons? He could have caught that ball in his back pocket!" Grove refused to speak to anyone for a week, and it was years before he forgave Simmons for staying out sick that day.
After his team stormed back to take the lead in Game 4 of the '29 Series, Grove took to the mound for the final two innings. He faced six batters and blew the ball past four of them. Hornsby, swinging late, flied to Miller to end the game.
There were celebrations in the streets of Philadelphia that night. The A's miraculous victory was the biggest story of the day. No wonder Hoover and his wife went north behind the locomotive President Washington to be on hand for Game 5.
Prohibition was still the law, and as Hoover walked across the field to Shibe's presidential box at 1 p.m., the crowd chanted, "Beer! Beer! We want beer!" What the crowd ended up with was something even headier: Simmons standing on second with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth, and Bing Miller, known as Old Reliable, at the plate. Miller was looking for his favorite pitch—"He was the best curveball hitter in the league," old-timer Hayworth says—so Malone whipped two fast-balls past him for strikes.