TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD SERIES
By Ronald G. Shafer, author of When the Dodgers Were Bridegrooms
1. Where did the name World Series come from?
2. Who won the first “World’s Series.”?
3. When was the first subway series in New York?
4. What manager got stiffed when players divided their winner shares?
5. When were the first post- season games called the World Series?
6. Who hit the first home run in World Series history?
7. Who pitched the first shutout in World Series history?
8. What was the first National League team to win a World Series?
9. Who was the first African-American to pitch in a World Series game?
10. Who made the final out when the New York Yankees’ Don Larsen pitched the only World Series no-hitter and perfect game in 1956?
1. Back in 1885 when the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals) won the major league American Association pennant, owner Chris Von der Ahe challenged Albert Spalding, the owner of the National League champion Chicago White Stockings (now the Cubs), to a “world championship series.” That name was too long for newspaper headlines, so the papers shortened it to “World’s Series.”
2. That would be Nobody. St. Louis claimed victory 4 games to 3 , but that didn’t count the second game when Browns captain Charley Comiskey (the same guy who later built Chicago’s Comiskey Park) pulled his team off the field in protest to end the game. Chicago counted the same game as a forfeit win. In the end, the two owners agreed to call the series a tie, 4 games to 4.
3. In 1889 the New York Giants beat the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (now the Dodgers) 6 games to 3. It wasn’t really a subway series, though, because subways hadn’t been invented yet. It was more of an elevated train series, because that’s how fans traveled then – or by horse and buggy.
4. In that 1889 series, New York Giants players each got $380.13 from the games but didn’t vote a share to manager Jim Mutrie. Maybe it was because Mutrie was part of management as a co-founder of the team. As a consolation, the night after the Giants won the series all of the bars along Broadway served Mutrie free drinks. Brooklyn players voted a full losers’ share to their manager Bill “Gunner” McGunnigle.
5. The first World Series was in 1903 when the Boston Americans in the new American League defeated the National League champs Pittsburgh Pirates 5 games to 3. The Boston Americans soon after became the Boston Red Sox, thus providing early proof that the Red Sox didn’t always choke down the stretch.
6. In the very first inning of that 1903 game Pittsburgh right fielder Jimmy Sebring, a .277 hitter that year, hit an inside-the-park homer off Boston pitcher Cy Young. Pittsburgh won the game 7 to 3 but Boston won the Series 5 games to 3.
7. Boston right-hander Bill Dineen, in the second game of the 1903 Series, blanked Pittsburgh 3 to 0, giving up 3 hits. In that same game, Boston’s left fielder Patsy Dougherty, a .331 hitter during the season, became the first player to hit 2 home runs in one World Series game.
8. In 1905, the National League New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 4 games to 1. Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson pitched three shutouts. (There was no World Series in 1904.)
9. In 1948, the legendary Satchel Paige pitched two/thirds of an inning for the Cleveland Indians against the Boston Braves, giving up no runs as Boston won 11 to 5. Paige was approaching Social Security age at the time. Cleveland went on to win the series 4 games to 2.
10. Brooklyn Dodgers pinch hitter Dale Mitchell took a third strike called by umpire Babe Pinelli that Mitchell and even many Yankee players thought was high and outside. But, hey, how often does an ump get to umpire a perfect no-hitter in a World Series?