- #1. There Were Suspicions of Cubs Players Throwing The Series
- #2. The Last Time Babe Ruth Would Play In A World Series As A Red Sox
- #3. The Stat Spangled Banner Was Sang During The Seventh Inning
- #4. The Third World Series To Not Have A Home Run
- #5. The Red Sox Had The Lowest Batting Average For A Winning Team Ever
- #6. They Were Playing The World Series Through A Pandemic
- #7. Boston Won All Of Their Games By 1 Run
#1. There Were Suspicions of Cubs Players Throwing The Series
The following year, the Black Sox Scandal would rock the baseball world and cause many fans to leave the game for good, but that was the year it was exposed, and there were a few other World Series matchups that had shady rumors surrounding it.
The 1918 World Series had its share of controversy, and many baseball historians argue that the Cubs threw the World Series that year.
Players were not making millions of dollars at the time, and it was the owners who made most of the money. The players would receive a cut from the gate as compensation for playing in the series, and often, the owners would not be honest when splitting the gate with the players.
This gave gamblers a way to corrupt players. They could pay players more than they were making at the gate, and the gamblers could make even more money by placing their bets on the correct team.
There was no hard evidence that this occurred in 1918, and with World War I taking up most of the news, there was not a journalist pursuing the story. The most convincing piece of evidence came from Eddie Cicotte of the Chicago White Sox during the investigation of the 1919 World Series.
Eddie said the Chicago Cubs had thrown the 1918 World Series because the owners of both teams were short-changing the players with insufficient shares of the gate receipts.
#2. The Last Time Babe Ruth Would Play In A World Series As A Red Sox
George Herman Ruth had begun to attract fans for his hitting. In 1918, he played outfield on his off days just to keep his bat in the lineup.
During the 1919 season, he set a record for most home runs in a season with 29 and had agreed to a new contract with the Red Sox.
However, The Red Sox owner needed cash quickly (the reason why is still a mystery, although there are theories) and opted to sell Ruth to the Yankees. Thus, the Curse of the Bambino began.
The Boston Red Sox were 5 for 5 in the World Series and had won more championships than any club in either league. They would not win another World Series for the rest of the century, and the Yankees, having never even appeared in a World Series, would become the class of the American League.
#3. The Stat Spangled Banner Was Sang During The Seventh Inning
It is hard to believe that there was a time when Americans were proud to live in the freest country in the world.
During the seventh-inning stretch, the U.S. Navy band began to play "The Star-Spangled Banner." Red Sox infielder Fred Thomas, who was in the Navy and had been granted furlough to play in the World Series, immediately turned toward the American flag and gave it a military salute, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Other players turned to the flag with hands over their hearts, and the already-standing crowd began to sing. At the song's conclusion, the previously quiet fans erupted in thunderous applause. At the time, The New York Times reported that it "marked the highest point of the day's enthusiasm."
The song would be played at each of the Series' remaining games, to increasingly rapturous response. Other baseball parks began to play the song on holidays and special occasions, and Red Sox owner Harry Frazee made it a regular part of Boston home games.
"The Star-Spangled Banner" officially became the U.S. national anthem in 1931, and by the end of World War II, NFL Commissioner Elmer Layden ordered that it be played at every football game.
The tradition quickly spread to other sports, aided by the introduction of large sound systems and post-war patriotism
#4. The Third World Series To Not Have A Home Run
Ironically, the 1918 World Series that featured a young Babe Ruth is one of the few World Series matchups to NOT have a home run hit in it.
Technically, baseball was still in the Deadball era, so home runs did not come as easy as they do today, but they had definitely become more common throughout the decade.
The following season, Babe Ruth would set a new record for home runs.
However, this would be a pitcher's duel.
#5. The Red Sox Had The Lowest Batting Average For A Winning Team Ever
The Red Sox won the series despite a team batting average of .186, the lowest for a winning club in World Series history.
In fact, the Red Sox were outscored and outhit but still managed to win the World Series in 6 games. It is this coincidence that caused some to speculate that the Cubs threw the World Series to the Red Sox.
#6. They Were Playing The World Series Through A Pandemic
Covid-19 pretty much turned the world upside down in 2020 and even into 2021. Folks became extremely fearful, wore masks, and shut themselves indoors to avoid getting sick.
In 1918, America was going through the great Influenza pandemic, which would eventually kill 25 - 50 million people globally.
Baseball did not stop during this time period, and businesses did not close down. Instead, everyone went about their lives, and World War I continued to rage on in Europe.
A second wave of the flu came through, and then another. By 1921, the virus had become less deadly, and death went back to pre-pandemic levels.
#7. Boston Won All Of Their Games By 1 Run
Another irony of the 1918 World Series was the way the Red Sox won their games.
We know that the Cubs outscored and outhit the Red Sox, but another irony is that in every game that the Red Sox won, they won by 1 run.
Game 1 was a shutout despite the Cubs having more hits than the Red Sox. Game 3 was 2 - 1. Game 4 was another win for Ruth despite the Cubs having 3 more hits than the Red Sox, and Game 6 was 2 - 1.