- #1. World War I Was The Main Story
- #2. The First Four Games Were A Seesaw
- #3. A Rally Saved The White Sox In Game 5
- #4. There Was A Famous Rundown In Game 6
- #5. First Time The Giants Appeared In A World Series Without Christy Mathewson
- #6. The American League Won...Again
- #7. Jim Thorpe Made A Short Appearance
#1. World War I Was The Main Story
The 1917 World Series was a distraction from the real world.
World War I would result in many Baseball players taking up arms and heading overseas. This would include men such as Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Casey Stengel, and Red Faber, who played in this World Series, and many more.
America would take a timeout during the World Series to distract itself with the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants.
#2. The First Four Games Were A Seesaw
The first two games belonged to the White Sox. Eddie Cicotte and Red Faber pitched complete games and received the necessary offense to jump out to a two-game lead over the Giants.
John McGraw's Giants would come back in games 3 and 4. Rube Benton and Ferdie Schupp would each throw shutouts, and the Giant's offense would come alive in Game 4 with two home runs hit by Benny Kauff.
The Giants had tied the series heading into Game 5.
#3. A Rally Saved The White Sox In Game 5
The Giants had taken a commanding lead, 4 -1, late in Game 5. The White Sox wasted no time in pulling the start and replace him with Red Faber.
In The 6th inning, the White Sox were able to get back one of those runs only to see the Giants score another in the top of the 7th.
However, a rally ensued in the 7th that scored 3 runs and would tie the game 5 - 5. In the bottom of the 8th, the White Sox would score another 3, and that would be enough to seal the victory and take a 3-2 series lead.
#4. There Was A Famous Rundown In Game 6
The decisive game underscored the Giants' post-season frustrations, featuring a famous rundown in which Giants' third baseman Heinie Zimmerman futilely chased the speedy Eddie Collins toward home plate with what would be the Series-winning run.
Catcher Bill Rariden had run up the third-base line to start a rundown, expecting pitcher Rube Benton or first baseman Walter Holke to cover the plate. However, neither of them budged, forcing Zimmerman to chase Collins while pawing helplessly in the air with the ball in an attempt to tag him.
Two years before the issue of baseball betting reached its peak, Zimmerman found himself having to publicly deny purposely allowing the run to score, i.e. to deny that he had "thrown" the game. In truth, McGraw blamed Benton and Holke for failing to cover the plate.
A quote often attributed to Zim, but actually invented by writer Ring Lardner some years later, was that when asked about the incident, Zim replied, "Who the hell was I supposed to throw to, Klem (umpire Bill Klem, who was working the plate)?"
Conventional wisdom has it that Collins was much faster than Zimmerman, but existing photos of the play show that Zimmerman was only a step or two behind Collins, who actually slid across the plate while Zim jumped over him to avoid trampling him.
Zimmerman would eventually be banned for life due to various accusations of corruption.
#5. First Time The Giants Appeared In A World Series Without Christy Mathewson
The once-dominant pitcher and John McGraw's favorite player did not play for the New York Giants during the 1917 World Series. Christy Mathewson had moved on from the Giants since their last appearance in the 1913 World Series.
He would go on to fight in World War I, where he would serve in a chemical unit. He suffered a tragic accident when he was accidentally gassed and developed tuberculosis.
He would return to the Giants in 1919 as a manager and be present for their next World Series victory. However, he would never recover from his injuries and would die in 1925.
#6. The American League Won...Again
The first decade of the World Series belonged to the National League as the Cubs, Giants, and Pirates all won a World Series.
However, at the turn of the decade, the American League emerged as the dominant league. From 1910 to 1917, they had won all but one World Series, which was the upset in the 1914 World Series.
The winning streak would continue as well until the National League was able to snag a victory late in the decade.
#7. Jim Thorpe Made A Short Appearance
The great athlete Jim Thorpe, better known for football in general, made his only World Series "appearance" during Game 5, where he was listed in the lineup card as starting in right field, but for his turn at-bat in the top of the first inning, he was replaced by a left-handed hitting Dave Robertson.
Thorpe played 6 seasons for the New York Giants and, at the same time playing football for the Canton Bulldogs. This was after he had set records as an Olympian.