- #1. It Was The First Time The St. Louis Cardinals Appeared In The World Series
- #2. Babe Ruth Helped Heal A Little Boy With Home Runs
- #3. Grover Cleveland Alexander Helped Secure The Series For The Cardinals
- #4. The 1926 World Series Would Be The First Of Five Meetings Between The Two Clubs
- #5. Game 7 Would Be The Last Postseason Loss For The Yankees In A Decade
- #6. The World Series Was Part Of Main Stream Culture Due To The Popularity Of The Yankees
- #7. The Series Ended When Babe Ruth Was Caught Stealing
#1. It Was The First Time The St. Louis Cardinals Appeared In The World Series
The 1926 World Series would be the first of 11 championships in Cardinal's history.
With the dominant New York Giants beginning to fade a bit in the National League, other teams began to emerge.
One of those clubs, the St. Louis Cardinals, would begin to become one of the more competitive and innovative clubs in the National League.
The series would go seven games, with the Cardinals delivering the Yankees their third loss in a World Series within the decade, the previous two being against the Giants in the 1921 and 1922 World Series.
#2. Babe Ruth Helped Heal A Little Boy With Home Runs
In the Yankees' 10–5 Game 4 win, Babe Ruth hit three home runs, a World Series record equaled only four times since.
According to newspaper reports, Ruth had promised a sickly boy named Johnny Sylvester to hit a home run for him in Game 4.
After Ruth's three-homer game, the boy's condition miraculously improved.
The newspaper's account of the story is disputed by contemporary baseball historians, but it remains one of the most famous anecdotes in baseball history.
#3. Grover Cleveland Alexander Helped Secure The Series For The Cardinals
Grover Cleveland Alexander had pitched for the Phillies during the 1915 World Series. He would go on to have many successful seasons throughout his career and become a Hall of Famer.
Alexander was drafted into the military during World War 1 and, while in France, was hit with German gas that would cause him to develop epilepsy.
At the time, he played for the Chicago Cubs and continued to deliver excellent seasons for his team. However, he developed a drinking problem, and by the 1926 season, the Cubs sold him to the Cardinals.
The Cardinals won the National League pennant that year and met the New York Yankees in the World Series, where Alexander pitched complete-game victories in Games 2 and 6.
According to teammate Bob O'Farrell in The Glory of Their Times, after the game six victory, Alexander got drunk that night and was still feeling the effects when he was sent out to pitch the next day in Game 7.
Alexander came to the game in the seventh inning after starter Jesse Haines developed a blister, with the Cardinals ahead 3–2, the bases loaded and two out.
Facing Yankee slugger Tony Lazzeri, Alexander struck him out and then held the Yankees scoreless for two more innings to preserve the win and give St. Louis the championship.
#4. The 1926 World Series Would Be The First Of Five Meetings Between The Two Clubs
After their initial meeting in the 1926 World Series, the teams would go on to see each other often at the fall classic.
They would play an additional 4 more times in 1928, 1942, 1943, and 1964.
The Cardinals would routinely become a thorn in the side of upcoming Yankee dynasties and would develop an excellent farm system to keep replenishing their team.
The Cardinals would be second to only the Yankees in World Series appearances. They would lead the National League.
#5. Game 7 Would Be The Last Postseason Loss For The Yankees In A Decade
The Yankees had emerged as the dominant team in baseball, but it had not translated into championships. They had only won one World Series when they defeated the Giants in 1923.
That would change after this World Series.
Game 7 of the 1926 series marked the last postseason loss for the team in a decade. The Bronx Bombers would go on to sweep their next three World Series, 1927, 1928, and 1932.
Their next World Series loss would be Game 1 of the 1936 World Series, which the Yankees would eventually win 4 games to 2.
#6. The World Series Was Part Of Main Stream Culture Due To The Popularity Of The Yankees
Baseball had been growing in popularity since the start of the World Series in 1903. However, despite its growth, it had to survive scandals of cheating, which included the 1919 World Series and the Black Sox Scandal.
With the emergence of Babe Ruth, a new style of play, and the roaring 20s in full tilt, baseball began to become popular throughout the culture and became America's favorite pastime.
Yankee Stadium was filled with 61,658 fans on October 2 for Game 1.
Those without tickets gathered at City Hall to watch the game's progress as charted on two large scoreboards. Before the start of the game, New York Supreme Court judge Robert F. Wagner, then a candidate for the United States Senate, threw out the ceremonial first pitch and took his position in the VIP box next to New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker.
Commissioner Landis and former heavyweight champion of the world, Jack Dempsey, were also in attendance.
#7. The Series Ended When Babe Ruth Was Caught Stealing
With two outs and Ruth at first base, left fielder Bob Meusel came up to the plate, with Lou Gehrig waiting in the batting circle after him. Meusel was a .315 hitter that year and had batted in 81 runs in just over 100 regular-season games.
Meusel also had success in Game 6 against Alexander, with a double and triple. Just as Meusel was about to take his first pitch, Ruth made the bold move of trying to steal second base.
Ruth was known as a good but overly aggressive baserunner, with about a 50% success rate at stealing bases in his career, and his attempt surprised many people throughout the stadium.
Meusel swung and missed, and Cardinals catcher Bob O'Farrell immediately threw the ball to second baseman Hornsby.
Hornsby reached for the ball and laid the tag immediately on Ruth. As the game announcer described it, "Ruth has walked again for the fourth time today.
One strike on Bob Meusel. Going down to second! The game is over! Babe tried to steal second and is put out catcher to second!"
As Hornsby recalled later, Ruth "didn't say a word. He didn't even look around or up at me. He just picked himself up and walked away".
Ruth's failed attempt to steal second base ended the 1926 World Series; it is the only time a World Series has ended with a runner being caught stealing.
Ruth explained later that he attempted to steal second base because he thought no one would expect it.
He hoped that by getting to second base, he could have an easier chance at scoring if Meusel hit a single into the outfield