Remembering Hugh Bedient’s Return Home | News, Sports, Jobs

An estimated 25,000 people took part in a parade in Jamestown to celebrate the heroic exploits of Hugh Bedient in the 1912 World Series. Photo courtesy of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article appeared in The Post-Journal on October 4, 1962, 50 years after Hugh Bedient returned from Falconer after helping the Boston Red Sox win the 1912 World Series. With Falconer dedicating a historic marker on Monday in honor of Bedient’s baseball career, it was deemed appropriate to republish the article.

Fifty years ago, Falconer and area baseball fans honored a young pitcher who had been a hero in the 1912 World Series between the New York Giants and the Boston Red Sox.

Hugh Bedient, then 22, won 20 regular season games for the American League champions Boston. In the playoff classic, he pitched in four games, twice in relief, and decided Giants great Christy Mathewson, 2-1, in Game 5.

Upon arriving at Falconer, via the DAV and P. Railroad, Bedient, accompanied by his wife, was cradled by a group as 3,000 Falconer fans greeted the hometown hero.

“The shops and residences of the Village”, according to a story in the old evening newspaper, “Were appropriately decorated with flags, streamers and streamers while red socks were worn by virtually everyone. “

He arrived at Falconer around 5 p.m. Saturday. Two hours later, the Bedients were driven to Jamestown in a lighted car, part of a large motorcade.

Later that evening, following a parade attended by over 25,000 people, they were guests of the management of the Samuels Opera House.

ELABORATED SHOW

The elaborate and enthusiastic parade diary report said: “The scenes in the streets of this city, while the protest was at its peak, were never matched on the occasion of any citizen of this community.

“The procession literally made its way through the crowd of spectators. The route des Bedients was marked by a thunderous continuous applause.

“One of the motorcade cars, in which was a group of young Falconer men, had the following inscriptions in large print on canvas:

“Bedient, the pride of Falconer.

“Bedient, the giant slayer.”

“18 innings, 10 hits, 2 runs. “

“Bédiant? Who is he? He’s the guy who put the county on the map.

Bedient threw, in addition to his two starts, a non-hitting relief inning in the second game which ended in a 6-6 draw. The game was stopped by darkness after 11 full innings. He also raised an inning in Game 3, allowing a hit and hitting a batter as the Giants won, 2-1, for Rube Marquard.

WON 20 FIRST SEASON

But his most memorable were the fifth and final games of the best-of-seven series. In the current issue of The Sporting News, author Frederick Lieb, who describes the ’12 series as “the most dramatic, controversial and historic”, wrote:

Game 5, played in the fog on Columbus Day Oct. 12, saw the Red Sox take the big 3-1 bulge as young Bedient, a 20-game-winning freshman, said Mathewson , 2-1.

“The Red Sox won the grand final in 10 innings, 3-2, in a game that gave the Giants a lot of heartache. All of the South Boston gremlins worked for the Red Sox. And Mathewson, who had been crippled by low support in previous games, lost another tough one.

“Young Bedient fought Matty well for seven innings but gave way to a pinched hitter and Wood (Smokey Joe Wood), in closing, was given credit for his third win.

BLIND SPEED POSSESSED

The book, “The greatest drama in baseball” provides a verbose description of the games in which Bedient has played. “The fifth game turned out to be the best clash and 34,683 fans attended despite a fog that only lifted when the contest was almost over.

“Boston, with a 2-1 lead, was able to play and manager Jake Stahl named Hugh Bedient to face valiant Giants veteran Christy Mathewson.

“The weather conditions were perfect for the blinding speed of the young Red Sox and he limited the National League champions to three hits, a double from Fred Merkle, which resulted in New York’s lone point in the seventh inning.

“The third round proved the loss of Matty. Harry Hooper and Steve Yerkes tripled and Yerkes scored when Larry Doyle escaped Tris Speaker’s easy ground. Mathewson was supreme thereafter and struck out the next 17 batters in sequence, an exposure that ranked with his stellar performances of 1905 (when he threw three shutouts in the World Series).

DESERVED SHUTOUT

“Bedient deserved a shutout in that first series start, but Larry Gardner’s mistake allowed Merkle to score. It was a nerve-racking competition throughout and a big pitching duel between a regular veteran and a cool kid.

“In the last game, Mathewson joined Bedient and lost a big blow to the home side in 10 innings, 3-2, errors of omission and a commission handing the classic back to Boston.

“The Giants scored in the first inning and Matty held the Sox scoreless for six innings. But in the lucky seventh, Stahl’s flyball fell safely between Fletcher, Devore and Snodgrass. Wagner walked on and Bedient was yanked for pinched hitter Olaf (Swede) Henricksen, who with the two strike tally, one ball, doubled on the left, tying 1-1.

RATING ERROR

“New York gave a green light to Wood in the 10th, but in the bottom half Art Engle hit and hit it safe when Snodgrass missed his flyball in center field. Yerkes walked and Speaker chose to drive to Engle. Matty intentionally made Duffy Lewis walk and Gardner flew to Devore, Yerkes sprinting from third place with the winning run. The loss cost the Giants about $ 1,500 each. There were tears in Mathewson’s eyes as he left the mound.

Today Hugh Bedient lives quietly in his home, 114 North Phetteplace, Falconer.

Hale and hearty, just 10 days away from his 73rd birthday, Hugh is annoyed at the inactivity of retirement.

Bedient came out of baseball on an unusual note in 1925. He was with the Southern Association’s Atlanta and was 2-0 on decoration day when he took the mound against the Chicks in Memphis. Angered by a referee’s decision, Memphis fans flooded the pitch with soft drink bottles, cushions, fruit and programs. The game was lost to Atlanta and Bedient’s professional career ended with a three-game winning streak, his swansong being a 9-0 shutout.

FOR THREE YEARS

Hugh, who joined Buffalo in the old Federal League in 1914, was in Toledo in 17 when he injured his arm. He returned to the Levant, then home, and was absent from baseball for three years.

He joined Toledo from the American Association in 1920, was sold to Portland from the Pacific Coast League, and ended his career amid the noise and crush of Memphis in ’25.

“I was fine and I felt good” Hugh said while watching television as the Dodgers edged the Giants to tie the National League playoffs. “I just can’t explain why I quit, but I felt the tension of trying to produce every four days would be a bit too much, so I came home.”

Hugh, an American League player while he was playing, is now a National League coach. “I don’t care, but it would be nice to see the Giants or the Dodgers win this one” he smiled.

No story on Bedient is complete, of course, without reference to his phenomenal batting feat in 1908 as he pitched for Jamestown against Corry. Hugh fanned 42 men in 23 innings before Jamestown broke the winning point. Semi-pro records are sketchy and poorly kept, but most stat-conscious baseball men agree that it must be a game-strikeout record.

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