The New York Times, October 6, 1912 p. S2:|
HISTORY OF WORLD'S SERIES SINCE 1884
First Championship at Old Polo Grounds
Baseball games between rival champion clubs for the championship of the universe began away back in 1884, when Arthur Irwin, now scout of the New York Yankees, was captain of the Providence team, the winners of the National League pennant.
Between Providence and Metropolitans.
Provdence that year played a series of games with the Metropolitan team of this city, the winners of the pennant of the American Association. Irwin was short stop, captain, and coach of the Providence outfit, and his players included the great pitchers Charley Radbourne and Charley Sweeney, also Jerry Denny and several other oldtime stars.
The Metropolitans proved an easy foe in the first World's Series, for they lost the first three games to Providence. The Metropolitans were managed by James Mutrie, and their best pitchers were Tim Keefe and Lynch, who were no match for the Providence stars.
The three games were played at the old Polo Grounds, 110th Street and Lenox Avenue, and the first exhibition presents a glaring contrast in attendance in comparison with the World's Series games of to-day. At the first game at the old Polo Grounds in 1884 the contest was witnesses by a crowd of 2,000. This was the beginning of the baseball contests for the world's title, and interest in these games grew steadily after that year. A baseball title of the world was a new thing then, and did not attract much attention.
In the following year, 1885, the series was a more carefully prepared set of games. The Chicago White Stockings won the National League pennant that year, and the pennant in the American Association was won the the St. Louis Browns.
These clubs played seven games, each team winning three games, and one was a tie. Each club put up a prize of $500, which was to go to winner, in addition to sixty per cent. of the gate receipts.
This series ended in a fizzle, and in 1886, when the same teams won the pennants in the two organizations, the Chicago White Stockings would play only under the condition that the winner should take all the receipts, and to this the St. Louis club consented.
The crack Chicago club, which had such players as Capt. Anson, Pfeffer, Williamson, Billy Sunday, and Clarkson, lost the series to St. Louis, four games to two. The Browns took all the money that year.
In 1887 Detroit won the National League pennant and St. Louis took the American Association title. The number of games was increased so as to include all the large cities on both circuits. Twenty-one games were played in various cities, and St. Louis won fifteen games to six.
New York's first victory of a world's series was in 1888, when the Giants won the National League championship and St. Louis captured the American Association pennant. In that year New York had Ewing, Ward, Tiernan, and Keefe. New York won six out of the ten games.
There was a memorable series in 1889, when the Giants and Brooklyn played for the championship. Hank O'Day, the former umpire annd now manager of the Reds, was the Giants' star pitcher and did much to capture the series from Brooklyn. New York won six games to three.
The following year, 1890, was the year of the brotherhood war, and the Players' League title was won by Boston. Brooklyn and Louisville, the winners of the pennant in the other two leagues, played for the championship that year.
Each team won three games, and the seventh was a tie. Cold weather prevented the playing off the tie, so the championship went undecided.
There was no series in 1891, but in 1892 there was a double season championship of the new twelve-club National League, one season ending in July and the other in October. The Bostons and the Clevelands played for the title in the post-season series, and out of six games Boston won five games and one was a tie.
There was no series in 1893, but in that year W. C. Temple offered his famous to be played for by the winner and the runner-up of the National League. The Temple Cup series lasted four years. New York won the cup from Baltimore in 1894, Cleveland won it from Baltimore in 1895, Baltimore won it back from Cleveland in 1896, and Baltimore won it from Boston in 1897.
It is interesting to note that in the Baltimore club in the years of the Temple Cup were John J. McGraw, now manager of the Giants, who played third base; Hughey Jennings, the Detroit manager, at short stop; Willie Keeler and Joe Kelley in the outfield; Wilbert Robinson, now a Giant coach, was catcher, and one of the pitchers was Joe Corbett.
The Temple Cup series ended in 1897, when the National League returned the trophy to Mr. Temple with thanks. Between the years 1897 and 1903 there were no World's Series games, the struggle of the American League to obtain a foothold preventing any arrangement of games.
The American League was firmly established in 1903, and Boston won the pennant in the new league, while Pittsburgh was the winner in the National. The first World's Series between the organizations as they stand to-day was held in that year.
Pittsburgh easily outclassed their rivals in the first three gamse, but Boston made a finish that will never be forgotten in baseball by winning the last four games straight. On the Bostons that season were Jimmy Collins, Cy Young, Bill Dincen, Ferris, Parent, and Lachance, while in the Pittsburgh end of the battle were the great players Wagner, Clarke, Leever, Phillippe, Beaumont, and Kitty Bransfield.
It was Barney Dreyfuss and his Pittsburgh club playing in the World's Series that gave the American League its first recognition as a major organization. The two clubs in this series took no part of the money, but gave all the money to the players.
The following year, 1904, however, showed that the relations between the two leagues were still strained. New York, under the leadership of John J. McGraw, won the National League pennant, and Boston won the championship in the American League. New York refused to play in the World's Series, although challenged by Boston.
The differences were patched up, and the National Commission took the matter in hand and adopted special rules governing the post-season series. One of the binding regulations of the combat was the posting of $10,000 by each club for the faithful observance of the rules. This rule has held good, and the World's Series games have gone along smoothly since 1905.
In that year New York won the National League pennant and the Athletics won the title in the American League. The Giants won three games out of five, the work of Mathewson standing out prom'nently in the features of the Series. The total attendance at the five games in 1905 was 91,723.
It was in 1906 that the Chicago White Sox, the famous hitless wonders, won the pennant in the American League, and the Chicago Cubs won the National League championship. The series was played in Chicago, and the White Sox carried off a notable victory, winning four games, and the Cubs two. Big Ed Walsh was the shining star for the winners, and Reulbach did the best work of the Cub twirlers. The skill and generalship of Charley Comiskey had much to do with the White Sox victory.
The interest in the games by this time had become country wide, and the event became a bonanza for the contesting players. The total receipts of the Chicago Series jumped to $106,550.
The Cubs had an easy time winning the pennant in 1907, and Detroit won the American League flag only after a bitter struggle with the White Sox, which was carried right up to the end of the season. The victory was easy for the Cubs, and they won four games straight after the first ended in a tie, 3 to 3.
The same clubes played for the title in 1908, Chicago winning four games out of five.
In 1909, the World's Series was played between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit. This series was closely fought, and the games went to the full limit of seven games, Pittsburgh winning four, and Detroit three. It was Babe Adams who blossomed out as the star of this series, and by his great pitching carried the world title to Pittsburgh.
This series proved to be the most successful financially in the history of the game up to that time. The total receipts reached $188,302.50
In 1910. The Cubs again won the National League flag, and the Athletics won in the American League. The Cubs were defeated, the Athletics winning four games out of five. The total receipts were $173,980.
The World's Series of last year is still fresh in the minds of baseball fans and proved to be the greatest spectacle in the history of the great National sport. The Athletics won four games out of six, taking the second, third, fourth, and sixth games. The hero of the series was John Franklin Baker, the Athletic third baseman, whose home runs off Mathewson and Marquand proved important factors in the Athletic victories.
The total receipts reached $342,164.50, and was the richest strike the game has ever known.