Anniversary of the 1918 Red Sox
1918 was a year that was host to many pivotal moments in history. In November, World War I ended. It was also the year of the Spanish Flu breakout, that would ended up infecting approximately 500 million people around the world.
On a lighter note, however, 1918 saw the Boston Red Sox win the World Series against the Chicago Cubs in six games. The Red Sox finished the regular season with a 76-50 record, a .603 winning percentage. The 1918 regular season was cut short because of the WWI “Work or Fight” order. This was the only World Series to be played entirely in September, as well as one of three Fall Classics to not feature a home run from either team. This also marked the first time the Star Spangled Banner was performed at a major league baseball game.
Jumping into the actual team itself, the most popular player from this team was obviously Babe Ruth. There was only one other Hall of Famer on this ball club, Harry Hooper. Hooper was a 30 year old right fielder in 1918, in which he batted .298 and had a .796 OPS. Ruth, on the other hand led the league in Slugging (.555) and OPS (.966).
Also, the 23 year old compiled a 2.22 ERA with a 13-7 record and a 1.046 WHIP. He was about as valuable to a team as a player could possibly be. Other noteworthy pitchers include Carl Mays, who pitched in 35 games compiling a 2.21 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, Sam Jones with a 2.25 ERA in 24 games pitched, and “Bullet” Joe Bush who in 36 games compiled a 2.11 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. In fact, as a team, the Sox achieved a 2.31 ERA. This could be attributed to the low scoring qualities teams had in the dead-ball era.
The first three games were played at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Ironically, Comiskey Park was the home of the White Sox for 80 years (1910-1990). It was the better choice of venue over Weeghman Park because it had a second deck for viewers and held twice as many people. The Sox took two out of three in as many consecutive days in Chicago, and then took the series to Fenway Park.
The Red Sox won two out of three in Fenway as well, resulting in a series win. Babe Ruth went 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA between Games 1 and 4. This would be the last time the Sox won a World Series until 2004, when the curse was finally broken. Also, this marked the last time the Sox won a World Series on their own field until 2013. Meanwhile, it took the Cubs another 98 years before they would go on to win their next World Series as well. If history truly repeats itself, this could be the last year the Red Sox could win a World Series before another 86 year drought.
Hopefully one comes sooner than that, of course.