The First World Series

The first World Series was played in 1903 when the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League challenged the Boston Americans of the recently formed American League to a nine game challenge dubbed the World’s Championship Series.  The upstart Boston team took the title with a 5-4 record while winning the last 4 games.  The American League had formed in 1901 after the National League contracted from 12 to 8 teams.  The new league had raided the NL taking away such stars as Cy Young and Jimmy Collins.  In September of 1903, the two clubs decided to play the series.  It was perhaps intended to be a one off event as witnessed by the fact that no series was played in 1904.  But by 1905, the leagues determined it was a good idea and participation by the respective pennant winners became mandatory.

The 1903 games were played at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Park in Boston and Exposition Field in Allegheny.  Game three topped attendance with over 18,000 fans present.  Bill Dinneen of the Pirates pitched four complete games winning three.  The immortal Cy Young had a 2-1 record for the series.   Both paled in comparison to Deacon Phillippe who pitched five games with a 3-2 record.  They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

Patsy Dougherty of the Americans was the only player to ever hit a leadoff inside-the-park World Series home run until 2015, when  Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar did it in Game 1.


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