The Boston Red Sox may have endured quite the run of futility before their title in 2004, but that was not always the case. One of the stronger teams in the early days of baseball, the Red Sox won the first World Series on this day in 1903.
The first World Series was an interesting experiment. In an attempt to promote peace between the American and the National Leagues, a best of nine series had been created to have the league champions face off against one another. From there, a true champion would be crowned, as they played for the title.
That first World Series took place in 1903, with the Pittsburgh Pirates facing off against the Boston Red Sox. The Pirates took the first game in the best of nine series, and won three of the first four contests, but the Red Sox came storming back. They won the next three games in a row, setting up a potential series clinching Game Eight.
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Toeing the rubber for the Red Sox was Bill Dinneen, who had last pitched in Game Six. Deacon Phillippe took the ball for the Pirates, just a couple of days after throwing his fourth complete game during a loss in Game Seven. However, as Phillippe had been the pitcher in all three of the Pirates victories, manager Fred Clarke felt that the Pirates ace was their best chance to extend the series.
That strategy held up through the first three innings, as the game remained scoreless. Pittsburgh had the first real chance to score in the top of the fourth, with runners on first and third and two outs. However, Tommy Leach was caught off third on a delayed double steal, ending the threat.
Boston would take the lead in the bottom of the inning, as Hobe Ferris connected for a two run single, and he added an insurance run on another base hit in the sixth. That was all the support that Dinneen would need, as he shut the Pirates down on four hits and two walks, with the Red Sox winning the first World Series in eight games.
Although that would be the only championship the Red Sox would win in that decade, they captured four more by the end of the 1918 season. Just as the Yankees would become synonymous with winning baseball, the Red Sox had that same reputation in the early days of the game. That tradition started as they would win the first World Series on this day in 1903.
The Boston Red Sox may have endured years of misery to have their most recent Golden Age, but it is not their first such run. They were also quite the team in the first two decades of the American League.