Here, in a wonderfully high-res scan from Robert Edward Auctions, is a panoramic photograph of a 1923 Chicago American Giants-Kansas City Monarchs game at Schorling Park.
(click to enlarge)
You will recognize this photograph from one of my posts a couple of years ago—it appeared, with the same captions and insets (the box with the series scores on the left, the photo of Rube Foster on the right), in a 1925 book edited by John Taitt called Souvenir of Negro Progress: Chicago, 1779-1925, and can be found (in a lower-res version) at the New York Public Library’s Digital Gallery.
Contrary to the description on the auction page, the Negro National League did not hold playoffs between the top two teams from 1920 through 1923. The pennant winner was simply the team with the best record at the end of the season. So this game was not part of a championship series. It was, in fact, a normal regular-season contest, held on Sunday, May 27, 1923, with over 17,000 in attendance. It was so crowded they put up temporary grandstands—one of which, holding 1500 people, collapsed at the end of the seventh inning. Amazingly only 28 people suffered serious injuries, and the game was resumed.
It was a “great game,” as the Defender said; here’s the box score and play-by-play, if you want to check it out.
This was game 2 of a four-game sweep by the American Giants that put them in first place. These were the dates of the games:
May 26: American Giants 3, Monarchs 2
May 27: American Giants 5, Monarchs 4
May 28: American Giants 3 (or 6; see below), Monarchs 2
May 29: American Giants 7, Monarchs 4
The score of game 3 is listed in the box on the left side of the photograph as 3-2 American Giants. The Chicago Defender agreed, printing a box score that showed it finishing 3-2. The Chicago Tribune, however, gave the score as 6-2 Chicago. Which score was correct?
Both, it turns out, depending on which rule you apply about walk-off home runs. With the bases loaded, two out, and the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the tenth, the Giants’ Harry Kenyon smashed a grand slam home run over the center field fence. By the rule that pertained in the major leagues prior to 1920, teams that won in the bottom of the last inning could only win by one run. So a batter who struck a game-winning hit was only awarded the hit necessary to get the winning run over the plate. In Kenyon’s case, the Giants only needed one run to win, so under this rule he would be credited only with a single, enough to get Cristóbal Torriente from third to home.
Even though that rule had been eliminated by the major leagues in 1920, the Chicago Defender applied it to the May 28 game, and credited Kenyon only with the single (and only Torriente with the first run scored in the inning), giving the score as 3 to 2. The Tribune, however, applied the rule in its modern form, and credited Kenyon with his home run, gave runs scored to Jim Brown, John Beckwith, and Kenyon, and put the score at 6 to 2.
(Chicago Daily Tribune, May 29, 1923, page 21)