chicago cubs

Baseball Fan Robert Harris‘ submission to Baseballisms.com reprinted with permission. We sometimes take our traditions for granted and fail to recognize the originator of the idea.  We thank Robert for reminding us, especially on this special weekend of inter-league play.

Boston Red Sox 1918 World Series Champs | Baseballisms.com

This weekend, an interleague series will recall possibly the most unique World Series ever played, the 1918 meeting between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs.

It’s true that these two teams played each other in Wrigley Field back in 2005. This was actually the first time the Red Sox ever visited Wrigley, since the 1918 Series was played in the old Comiskey Park on Chicago’s South side (how the times have changed!) But the backstory for this particular series is worth revisiting.

The United States had entered into the European war in 1917. The iconic Uncle Sam poster declared “I Want You,” and the patriotic call to arms was “Work, or fight!” It was determined, by the Secretary of War, that playing baseball did not fall into the “work” category. And thus, on Labor Day, 1918, the baseball season came to an end after the teams had played anywhere between 124 and 131 games. It was the shortest season on record in the majors, and would remain so until the strike-shortened 1981 season lasted just 118 games.

The early stoppage in play meant that the World Series was played entirely in September, for the first and only time. It was also a very low-scoring affair, with just 19 runs scored in the six games. The Red Sox used only 4 pitchers for the Series, and the Cubs used a two-man starting rotation. In four of the six games, both starters pitched complete games. Baseball was clearly a different game back then.

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There are many moments in baseball that can be considered “firsts”. It can be a player’s first at bat, home run, save, no-hitter .. or for a fan it can be attending a major league game for the first time.

When it comes to historical moments in the timeline of the game, there are first events related to stadiums as well. Recently there have been a slew of new ballparks opening, so there have been historic first games played on those new fields.

This baseballism is about a “First” at an old ballpark. All Cubs fans will remember that Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs since 1916, had it’s very first game under the lights on the memorable date of August 8, 1988 or 8/8/88.

Or did it?

Thanks Joe for sharing this with us!

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