ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO

With many people, including me, predicting a comeback year for the Red Sox this year and a possible pennant, I thought it would be a good time to look back 100 years to 1916 when the Sox won the pennant and faced the Brooklyn Robins in the World Series. The Sox had won 91 and lost 63 to edge the Chicago White Sox by two games for the American League crown. The Robins at 94-60 had beaten the Philadelphia Phillies by 2 ½ games in the National. This was the Red Sox third trip to the Series in five years.

In Game 1, played at Braves Field before 36,117 fans, Ernie Shore started for the Red Sox and had a 6-1 lead going into the ninth inning. Robins first baseman Jake Daubert walked to lead off the inning and right fielder Casey Stengel singled to right. Left fielder Zach Wheat then bounced back to Shore who got the force at third for the first out. Shore then hit second baseman George Cutshaw with a pitch to load the bases. Third baseman Mike Mowrey then grounded to second and, when the ball was misplayed by second baseman Hal Janvrin, Stengel and Wheat both scored making it
6-3.

Short stop Ivy Olson got an infield single to load the bases and catcher Chief Meyers popped to first for the second out. Fred Merkle, batting for the pitcher, walked to force in Olson and make it 6-4. Carl Mays was brought in to relieve Shore and gave up a single to center fielder Hi Myers scoring Mowrey. Mays then got Daubert to ground out to short for the final out and the Sox had held on and won Game 1, 6-5.

Game 2, at Braves Field, featured Babe Ruth pitching for the Red Sox against Sherry Smith for the Robins with 47,373 fans on hand. The game went into the 14th inning tied 1-1. In the first, with two outs Hi Myers hit an inside the park homer for the Robins and the Sox came back with one in the third when short stop Everett Scott tripled and scored when Ruth grounded to second.

In the fourteenth, Sox first baseman Dick Hoblizell walked and left fielder Duffy Lewis sacrificed him to second. Mike McNally ran for Hoblitzell and scored when pinch hitter Del Gainer singled to left for the win. After giving up the run in the first, Ruth threw 13 1/3 scoreless innings to start his streak of 29 2/3 consecutive scoreless World Series innings which he completed two years later against the Cubs. That record stood until the Yankees Whitey Ford broke it in 1961.

In Game 3, Colby Jack Coombs, from Waterville, Maine, and Colby College, started on the mound for the Robins. The Robins got one run in the third on an RBI single by Cutshaw and the pitcher Coombs singled another in in the fourth. In the fifth, Olson got a two run triple and the Robins were up 4-0.

The Sox came back with two runs in the sixth when pinch hitter Olaf Henricksen walked and scored on right fielder Harry Hooper’s triple to right. Center fielder Chick Shorter then singled in Hooper to make it 4-2. Gardner homered for the Sox in the seventh but then Jeff Pfeffer shut out the Sox the last two innings and the final was 4-2, Robins, and the Series was 2-1, Boston. Coombs got the win for the Robins. A crowd of just 21,087 were on hand in little Ebbets Field.

Dutch Leonard started Game 4 for the Sox and gave up two runs in the first when right fielder Jimmy Johnston led off with a triple and scored when Hi Myers singled to right. Myers scored on an error and the Robins were up, 2-0. In the Sox second Hoblizell walked, Lewis doubled to right and Gardner hit a long homer to left center and the Red Sox were up 3-2.

Boston added single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh and Leonard shut the Robins off after the two in the first as the Sox took Game 4, 6-2. Leonard pitched a complete game five hitter for the win while Rube Marquard, who went just four innings, for the Robins, giving up four runs, got the loss. A crowd of 21,662 was on hand for the game as the Sox went up three games to one.

The Robins got out to a quick lead in the second inning of Game 5, scoring against starter Ernie Shore when Cutshaw walked, was sacrificed to second, went to third on a ground out and scored on a passed ball to make it 1-0, Robins. The Sox came right back to tie it at 1-1 in their half of the second when Lewis tripled to left and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gardner.

In the Sox half of the third, catcher Hick Cady singled to right and Hooper walked. Janvrin then reached on a ground ball error and Cady scored. Shorten then singled to center to score Hooper and the Sox were up, 3-1. They added a run in the fifth when Hooper singled to right and scored on Janvrin’s long double to center. That was to be the end of the scoring for the day.

Meantime, Shore was shutting the Robins down, going the route and giving up just the one unearned run on three hits for his second win of the series.

The Sox had won their third World Series in five years, winning in 1912, 1915 and 1916 and would win again in 1918, defeating the Chicago Cubs four games to two. The Boston Braves had won the World Series in 1914, giving Boston the World Series winner in four of five seasons.

After 1918, as all Red Sox fans know, whether due to the Curse of the Bambino or not, the Sox did not win the World Series again until 2004, 86 years later. Sox fans are hoping that this will be the year they get their fourth title of this century to match the four in the last century. I, for one, am holding out hope that this will be the year the Series is played in the two classic ballparks, Fenway and Wrigley Field.

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