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Oct, 2020

Autumn Glory, Baseball’s First World Series By Louis P Masur Reviewed October 2020

Autumn Glory, Baseball’s First World Series
By Louis P. Masur 
Reviewed October 2020

My summary – Always changing, always fun

It’s been a very different type of year but at least we had Major League Baseball, albeit for an abbreviated season.  Now it’s time for the World Series.   Play Ball !

Let’s take a brief look back to the very FIRST WORLD SERIES played in 1903 as pictured in the book Autumn Glory

The teams – Boston Americans (now Boston Red Sox) and the favored Pittsburgh Pirates.

Locations – Boston’s Huntington Avenue Base Ball Grounds and  Pittsburgh’s Exposition Park.  Grandstand seats were $1.00 and bleacher seats 50 cents.

Format – best of nine, 3 games at Boston, two days for travel as it was a 23 hour train ride, followed by 3 at Pittsburgh, two days for travel, and then if needed 3 at Boston.  

Famous Players:          

-  Boston’s Cy Young pitched 34 innings in 4 games, 2.15 ERA with2 wins and 1 loss

-  Pittsburgh’s Honus Wagner, short stop;  6 for 24   with 3 stolen bases and 3 RBI’s

-  Pittsburgh’s Deacon Phillippe pitched 44 innings in 5 games, 3.07 ERA with 3 wins and 2 losses

Strange rules – fans stood ten deep on the outfield turf.  Prior to the start of game three, fans filled the infield and had to be pushed back by  over 150 police.  Finally after just getting the crowd about 150 feet beyond the diamond, the umpires and managers decided to play but that any ball hit into the crowd would be counted as a double which many claimed gave Pittsburgh the game due to a couple of outfield flies that undoubtably would have be outs but now were doubles.

Fans were quite  boisterous and betting was common place. Challenges between umpires, fans and players was even more combative in the early days of baseball than depicted in a funny way in the film “Kill The Ump” form the early fifties.

Boston won the series in eight games.

I have to end with the following long quote from the book –

“American baseball stands pre-eminently as the American game because it best embodies in the realm of sport the American ideal of life. It allows individuals to shine, but individual performance alone will not result in success.  Teamwork matters.  By fusing the individual and the group, the solitary and the communal, baseball illustrates what it means to be an American.  Baseball signifies first of all co-operation.. Those nine individuals must be a union of individuals working for the same end.  Each individual must do his own work alone.  In no other way can he effectively serve the union… This live and let live principle constitutes what an American means in liberty… Somewhere between standing alone and joining others lies the balance that makes for an American Life”

 

Autumn’s Glory is a very enjoyable read that I highly recommend to all baseball fans

Sit back and enjoy the 2020 Series.  Don’t complain about the rule changes for 2020, just remember they always evolve to suit the times.

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AZPlayBall PONY Baseball

13835 N Tatum Blvd, Ste 9-449
Phoenix, Arizona 85032

Phone: 602-494-1455
Email: [email protected]
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