After a rainout on June 22, 1915, the Yankees and Philadelphia Athletics were set to play a doubleheader the following day at Shibe Park. While the Yankees went into the game over .500 with some hope of doing something in the AL, the A’s were going nowhere fast. They were in last at 21-35, in the midst of a season that would see them win just 43 games.
Looking for some kind of spark, Athletics’ manager Connie Mack gave the ball to Cap Crowell to start the first game of a doubleheader. Crowell had only been signed out of Brown University the month prior and hadn’t appeared in any minor league game prior to his A’s debut. While he ended up taking the loss, Crowell acquitted himself well. He allowed just two hits in 10 innings before allowing the eventual game-winning run in the top of the tenth, as the Yankees won 3-2.
In the aftermath of this youngster performing admirably, Mack decided to try something similar in the second game of the doubleheader. What resulted was a second Yankees’ win and one of the more bizarre box score possible.
In the second game, another debutant, Bruno Hass, was given the start. Like Crowell, Haas had only been signed that May and hadn’t yet appeared in the minors. Haas’ day began well enough as he recorded a scoreless inning in the top of the first. The Yankees then picked up a run in the second, but he bounced back with another scoreless inning in the third. It would be the last time all game he did that, beginning what would be a very long day for him.
Over the remaining six innings of the game, the Yankees scored, in order, three, two, two, four, one, and two runs. Mack left Haas in for all nine innings because it was 1915, and the A’s didn’t exactly have anything else going for them anyway. The rest of the Athletics’ team didn’t exactly help him out, committing seven errors, but in total, the Yankees scored 15 runs in the game, with eight earned ones going on Haas’ tally.
The way the Yankees managed the 15 runs was also pretty bizarre, in ways that go beyond the seven errors. Haas’ final line was nine innings pitched, allowing 13 hits and 16 walks in addition to his 15 runs. Add in three wild pitches and it’s easy to see how the Yankees put up 15 runs and mildly shocking that they didn’t score an even bigger total.
The main reason they didn’t is that while they put up 13 hits, literally none of them were extra-base hits. Thirteen hits without an XBH is not a Yankee record; it’s actually only tied for 11th in franchise history. However, putting up 15 runs without a single XBH is a franchise record. It wasn’t the only record that fell that day either.
As for Hass, you might’ve noted that 16 walks is a pretty large amount. His “performance” broke the record for most walks issued in one game. His record has since been matched by Tommy Byrne, who would pitch for the Yankees both before and after issuing 16 BB in a game as a member of the St. Louis Browns in 1951. It would take a very weird set of circumstances for anyone to come remotely close to that record in today’s game.
Haas went on to appear in a handful of other games in 1915, and somehow managed to be worth -1.7 Baseball Reference WAR in 14.1 innings. He never played in the majors after that season, but did end up playing two years in the NFL seven years after his fateful debut.
New York Times, June 24, 1915