clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Washington Senators' CF Fred Schulte And Mel Ott's 1933 World Series Home Run

Washington Senators' center fielder Fred Schulte put together a strong 1933 campaign and continued to hit in the World Series, but he couldn't bring a tenth inning home run by the NY Giants' Mel Ott back off the top of the wall in Griffith Stadium and the homer ended up winning the 1933 Series.

1933 Goudey baseball card of Fred Schulte of the Washington Senators #112
1933 Goudey baseball card of Fred Schulte of the Washington Senators #112
via Wikicommons

Washington Senators' center fielder Fred William "Fritz" Schulte, whose three-run home run tied Game 5 of the 1933 World Series up at 3-3 after seven innings, tracked New York Giants' outfielder Mel Ott's tenth inning, two-out fly to center in Griffith Stadium to the wall and reportedly got a glove on the ball, but didn't catch it. Schulte's momentum carried him into the bleachers for what ended up being ruled a home run by Ott. There was a bit of controversy about the call, as recounted in Ted Leavengood's book, "Clark Griffith: The Old Fox of Washington Baseball":

"The game remained a tie until the top of the tenth inning, when Jack Russell allowed a two-out fly ball to Mel Ott that carried to the wall. Fred Schulte leapt to the top of the temporary wall and got his glove on the ball, but his forward motion carried him into the crowd without the ball. It was unclear whether the call was a home run or a double.

"Mel Ott stood on second while Washington favorites, Umpires [Charlie] Moran and [George] Moriarty, debated the decision. Finally, Moriarty signaled a home run."

• VIDEO: Schulte and Ott's 1933 World Series Home Runs:

• via jazzgirl1920s on YouTube.

"The Nats, pride of the American League, the team that won the pennant by one-run victories, were met, in the World Series, by a foe using the same steel." - Shirley Povich, Washington Post - October 9, 1933

The Senators got a chance to tie it up in the home-half of the tenth, but came up empty against Giants' reliever Dolph Luque. Schulte, who posted a .295/.366/.422 that season, which was his first in the nation's capital after he was acquired in a December 1932 trade with the St. Louis Browns, was 7 for 22 with a double and a home in the 1933 World Series. He walked with two down in the bottom of the tenth in what would be the final postseason at bat of his major league career, but his pinch runner was one of two base runners stranded when Luque struck Senators' first baseman Joe Kuhel out to give the Giants the game and a 4-1 Series win over the Senators.

It was Washington's third trip to the World Series in ten seasons. It would be another 79 years before a D.C.-based team would return to the postseason. Schulte played another season and a half for the Senators, putting up a combined .291/.361/.392 line with 68 doubles, 17 triples and 10 HRs in 356 games and 1,466 plate appearances for Washington before he was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Schulte played his final major league game four years after his only World Series appearance, on October 3, 1937, finishing his career with a .291/.362/.408 line, but he continued to play in the minors for another five seasons before retiring at the age of 43.

Schulte died in his hometown of Belvidere, Illinois in May 1983, eighty-two years after the one-time Washington Senators was born on January 13, 1901.