- #1 There Was Not A World Series
- #2 John McGraw and Ban Johnson Did Not Like Each Other
- #3 The Teams Did Not Have To Participate
- #4 Media and Fan Pressure Forced Another World Series
- #5 The Giants Had 2 30 Game Winners
- #6 The Boston Americans Were Well Balanced
- #7 The World Series Would Be Played Every Year Until 1994
#1 There Was Not A World Series
The National League champs were the New York Giants, led by Manager John McGraw and owned by John T. Bush.
The Giants easily won the National League pennant on the backs of their excellent pitching. At the time, it looked as if the Giants would be playing the New York Highlanders, who seemed to be the team most likely to win the American League Pennant.
This possibility caused the Giants owner to say they would not participate in a World Series because the American League was not a legitimate league.
The Boston Americans would go on to win the American League pennant, but the Giants still refused to participate.
#2 John McGraw and Ban Johnson Did Not Like Each Other
Just a couple of years prior to the 1904 World Series, John McGraw screwed Ban Johnson.
McGraw had once partnered with Johnson, and after the National League lost two of their franchises, one of which was in Baltimore, the American League came in and took over the club.
Johnson recruited McGraw, but the two never got along. McGraw was rough and always seemed to be in trouble with the league. Then, believing that Ban Johnson was going to replace him, McGraw acted decisively by secretly meeting with the Giants, demanding his release from the Orioles, and taking with him many players in the process.
This move crippled the Orioles, but Ban Johnson acted quickly, and his move would save the franchise and the league.
The two never spoke again. This rivalry undoubtedly caused there to not be a World Series in 1904.
#3 The Teams Did Not Have To Participate
The problem with the 1904 World Series is that the series was voluntary. There was not a contract or any governing body to force the teams to play a championship game at the end.
One of the benefits of the 1904 World Series not happening is that it forced them to create this governing body to make the event mandatory. There were many technicalities that had to be worked out, which included various rules.
John T. Brush drafted the rules for this game in February of 1905. Once it was agreed on by both leagues, the game became mandatory.
#4 Media and Fan Pressure Forced Another World Series
Without the fans, there is no money for the owners and players.
A consequence for not having a World Series is that it upset all of the fans who wanted to see a championship game. Fans enjoyed both leagues and wanted to see their teams battle it out to see who was the best.
The cancellation of the World Series left many unsatisfied. The media also did not like it because it meant that they could not cover the series, and that caused them to lose money.
Petty rivalries did not matter to the media or fans, and immediately, the National League drafted rules to mandate participation in the World Series.
#5 The Giants Had 2 30 Game Winners
The New York Giants were not known for their offensive firepower but instead for their dominant pitching.
Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity both won over 30 games, with McGinnity leading the league in Wins and ERA. It remains one of the most dominant pitching seasons in MLB history.
These two were so dominant it is easy to forget that Dummy Taylor had 21 wins. It is hard to believe that a pitcher can win over 20 games and never be talked about!
#6 The Boston Americans Were Well Balanced
The New York Giants played small ball to score and depended on their great pitching. However, Boston seemed to be a bit more balanced.
They had three pitchers that won over 20 games, including the 37-year-old Cy Young. They also had a better offense than the Giants and played in a more competitive league.
If the World Series would have happened, it is unclear who had the advantage. Although McGraw's brand of baseball did do well against good pitching, the experience of the Americans would have been tough to beat.
#7 The World Series Would Be Played Every Year Until 1994
The World Series would bounce back and be played for 90 consecutive years until the player's strike of 1994, which hurt the game.
It would endure during World War I, World War 2, The Roaring 20s, The Great Depression, and The Civil Rights Movement. However, it would be canceled in 1994 when players and owners could not come to an agreement about money.
The 94 strikes hurt baseball tremendously. American Football was on the rise, Michael Jordan ruled the NBA, and even Hockey had increased its market share. In 1904, there was no competition, and baseball was on the rise in popularity.
Due to not having the competition, the sport survived and would go on to thrive for the rest of the century.