1914 World Series
|1914 World Series|
94 - 59 in the NL
|4 - 0
99 - 53 in the AL
A contender for greatest upset of all time, the "Miracle Braves" were in last place on July 4th, then roared on to win the National League pennant by 10-1/2 games and sweep the stunned Athletics. The Braves' relatively unknown starting trio of pitchers, who would post a combined career record of 285-245, outperformed the Athletics vaunted rotation (929-654 career record) in all 4 games. Hank Gowdy hit .545 (6-11) with 5 extra-base hits and also drew 5 walks for Boston in the series, and was the difference maker in Games 1 and 3.
Adding to their supposed disadvantages, the Braves arguably lacked a notable home-field advantage. They had abandoned their 43-year-old home field South End Grounds in late summer, choosing to rent from the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park while awaiting construction of Braves Field. Thus their home games in this Series were at Fenway.
This was the first four-game sweep in World Series history. The Cubs had defeated the Tigers 4 games to 0 in 1907, but Game 1 had ended in a tie before the Cubs won the next four in a row.
In some circles, it was alleged that the A's were irritated at the penny-pinching ways of their manager/owner Connie Mack, and did not play hard. Hall of Famer's Chief Bender and Eddie Plank would jump to the rival Federal League for the 1915 season. Mack unloaded most of his other high-priced stars soon after and, within two years, the A's achieved the worst winning percentage since 1900 (even worse than the 1962 New York Mets or the 2003 Detroit Tigers).
|1||Braves - 7, Athletics - 1||October 9||Shibe Park||20,562|
|2||Braves - 1, Athletics - 0||October 10||Shibe Park||20,562|
|3||Athletics - 4, Braves - 5 (12 innings)||October 12||Fenway Park||35,520|
|4||Athletics - 1, Braves - 3||October 13||Fenway Park||34,365|
26 game winner Dick Rudolph scattered 5 hits while striking out 8 as the Braves won the opener in convincing fashion against the Athletics ace, Chief Bender. Catcher Hank Gowdy had a single, double and triple as well as a walk in leading Boston's offensive attack. Gowdy was also involved in a double steal with Butch Schmidt in the eighth inning, with Schmidt's theft of home accounting for the Braves' final run.
|W: Dick Rudolph (1-0) L: Chief Bender (0-1)|
Bill James, Boston's other 26 game winner, hooked up against Philadelphia's future Hall of Famer Eddie Plank in a classic pitcher's duel. James allowed only 3 base runners in the first 8 innings, picking off two of them in holding Philadelphia scoreless. Plank matched him until the 9th when Charlie Deal's fly ball was lost by Amos Strunk in the sun for a double. Deal then stole third and scored on a two-out single by Les Mann. James walked two batters in the ninth, but got Eddie Murphy to ground into a game-ending double play to give Boston a 2-0 advantage in the series.
|W: Bill James (1-0) L: Eddie Plank (0-1)|
Lefty Tyler of the Braves went up against Bullet Joe Bush in a 12 inning thriller. Frank "Home Run" Baker's two out single in the 10th plated two runs to give the Athletics a 4-2 lead and a seeming victory to get them back in the series. But Hank Gowdy led off the bottom of the 10th with a home run and the Braves then tied the game on Joe Connolly's sacrifice fly later in the inning. Game 2 winner Bill James, coming on in relief for Boston in the 11th, would get the win after Gowdy led off the bottom of the 12th with a double and pinch-runner Les Mann scored when Bush threw wildly to third on a bunt by Herbie Moran, giving the Braves a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.
|W: Bill James (2-0) L: Bullet Joe Bush (0-1)|
|HR: BOS – Hank Gowdy (1)|
Johnny Evers' two out, two run single in the bottom of the fifth broke a 1-1 tie and the collective backs of the heavily favored Athletics as Boston completed the improbable sweep. Game 1 winner Dick Rudolph allowed only 1 base runner after Evers' tie-breaking hit and struck out 7 in notching his second win of the series.
|W: Dick Rudolph (2-0) L: Bob Shawkey (0-1)|
|Total Attendance: 111,009 Average Attendance: 27,752|
|Winning Player’s Share: – $2,812 Losing Player’s Share – $2,032|
- Charles C. Alexander: The Miracle Braves, 1914–1916, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2015. ISBN 978-0-7864-7424-0
- J. Brian Ross: Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2014. ISBN 978-1442236066
- Mark Sternman: "The 1914 World Series", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: The Miracle Braves of 1914: Boston's Original Worst-to-First World Series Champions, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 260-276. ISBN 978-1-933599-69-4
|Modern Major League Baseball World Series
Pre-1903 Postseason Series