1918 World Series
The Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs 4-2 in the 1918 World Series. Starting pitchers Babe Ruth and Carl Mays accounted for all the Red Sox wins in the series, winning two games each. The Cubs played their home games in Comiskey Park. Ruth pitched a complete game shutout in Game 1.
The series was played earlier than any other in history, as the 1918 season was ended early because of World War I. It was also played as the country was reeling from an influenza pandemic that would claim millions of lives around the world.
Drastic reductions in the World Series shares for both winning and losing teams were announced just prior to the series, causing both teams to threaten to go on strike before Game 5 if they were not paid larger shares. After the series, the Red Sox's championship emblems (similar to World Series rings today) were withheld as retribution for the players' actions. Notably American League President Ban Johnson held Harry Frazee accountable for the dispute as he felt the Red Sox owner was disloyal to the other AL owners and their efforts to lower player salaries during World War I. The War also caused the 1918 season to end early, and thus the starting date for the World Series was the earliest in history: September 5th.
Today, the 1918 World Series is chiefly remembered as the last won by the Red Sox until 2004. It is also the last World Series in which no home runs were hit.
|1||Red Sox – 1, Cubs – 0||September 5||Comiskey Park||19,274|
|2||Red Sox – 1, Cubs – 3||September 6||Comiskey Park||20,040|
|3||Red Sox – 2, Cubs – 1||September 7||Comiskey Park||27,054|
|4||Cubs – 2, Red Sox – 3||September 9||Fenway Park||22,183|
|5||Cubs – 3, Red Sox – 0||September 10||Fenway Park||24,694|
|6||Cubs – 1, Red Sox – 2||September 11||Fenway Park||15,238|
Game 1 went to the Red Sox, 1-0, with Babe Ruth pitching the shutout before 19,274 fans. Stuffy McInnis knocked in the game's only run, driving in Dave Shean with a fourth-inning single off Hippo Vaughn.
During the seventh-inning stretch, the Star-Spangled Banner was played by a band, its first performance at a World Series game. It would only be played at every major league game during World War II, but the tradition of playing it at every World Series game began with that game.
|W: Babe Ruth (1-0) L: Hippo Vaughn (0-1)|
The Cubs rebounded to knot the Series with a 3-1 victory in Game 2 the next day, behind Lefty Tyler's six-hit pitching. Tyler himself had a two-run single in the second inning to make the score 3-0, and he carried a shutout into the ninth inning.
|W: Lefty Tyler (1-0) L: Bullet Joe Bush (0-1)|
The series remained in Chicago for Game 3 due to wartime restrictions on travel. On September 7, the Red Sox emerged victorious, 2-1, as Carl Mays scattered seven hits. Wally Schang and Everett Scott had back-to-back RBI singles in the fourth inning. Vaughn lost his second game of the series.
|W: Carl Mays (1-0) L: Hippo Vaughn (0-2)|
Sunday the 8th was a travel day. The teams arrived in Boston on September 9, and the Cubs tied Game 4 in the eighth inning, breaking Ruth's World Series scoreless inning streak (going back to 1916) at 29 2/3 on hits by Charlie Hollocher and Les Mann. But the Red Sox won it in the home half of the inning on a passed ball by Killefer and a wild throw by relief pitcher Phil Douglas scoring Schang for a 3-2 victory and a 3-1 series lead.
|W: Babe Ruth (2-0), S: Bullet Joe Bush, L: Phil Douglas (0-1), Chicago starting pitcher: Lefty Tyler|
Vaughn finally earned a Series victory on Tuesday in Game 5, tossing a five-hit shutout as the Cubs rallied back for a 3-0 victory. Dode Paskert's two-run double in the eighth sealed the matter for the Chicagoans, after Mann had knocked in a first-inning run.
|W: Hippo Vaughn (1-2) L: Sam Jones (0-1)|
Attendance for Game 6 at Fenway on Wednesday, September 11, was down from over 24,000 on Tuesday to a mere 15,238, but the Red Sox went home happy. Max Flack committed a third-inning error that allowed two Sox runs to score, and the Red Sox held on for a 2-1 victory and the World's Championship of 1918, as Carl Mays won his second game of the series.
|W: Carl Mays (2-0) L: Lefty Tyler (1-1)|
- The 1918 Boston Red Sox team included Sam Agnew, Stuffy McInnis, Dave Shean, Fred Thomas, Everett Scott, Harry Hooper, Amos Strunk, George Whiteman, Babe Ruth, Wally Schang, Dick Hoblitzel, George Cochran, Wally Mayer, Jack Stansbury, Jack Coffey, Frank Truesdale, Walter Barbare, Hack Miller, Heinie Wagner, Eusebio Gonzalez, Red Bluhm, Carl Mays, Bullet Joe Bush, Sam Jones, Dutch Leonard, Lore Bader, Jean Dubuc, Walt Kinney, Dick McCabe, Vince Molyneaux, Bill Pertica, and Weldon Wyckoff.
- The 1918 Chicago Cubs team included Bill Killefer, Fred Merkle, Rollie Zeider, Charlie Deal Charlie Hollocher, Les Mann, Max Flack, Dode Paskert, Turner Barber, Bob O'Farrell, Pete Kilduff, Charlie Pick, Bill McCabe, Chuck Wortman, Rowdy Elliott, Tom Daly, Fred Lear, Tommy Clarke, Lefty Tyler, Hippo Vaughn, Claude Hendrix, Phil Douglas, Paul Carter, Speed Martin, Roy Walker, Pete Alexander, Harry Weaver, Vic Aldridge, and Buddy Napier.
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||2||5||0||0||0||1||1||9||32||1|
|Total Attendance: 128,483 Average Attendance: 21,414|
|Winning Player’s Share: – $1,103 Losing Player’s Share – $671|
Firsts and unique records
- Lefty Tyler was the first hurler in World Series history to allow eleven (11) bases on balls in a six-game Series; a record that has since been tied twice (Lefty Gomez in the 1936 World Series and Allie Reynolds in the 1951 World Series), but never surpassed.
- During the 1911 World Series Giants ace Christy Mathewson (1-2) pitched 27.0 innings. Six years later Red Faber (3-1) tied the six-game Series record in the 1917 World Series and in this series Hippo Vaughn (1-2) tied the mark as well.
- The 1906 World Series, 1907 World Series, and 1918 World Series are the only three Fall Classics where neither team hit a home run.
- The Red Sox scored only 9 runs in the entire Series. This total is the fewest runs by the winning team in World Series history.
- Skip Desjardin: September 1918: War, Plague, and the World Series, Regnery History, Washington, DC, 2018. ISBN 978-1-62157-620-4
- David S. Neft and Richard M. Cohen: The World Series, 1st ed., St. Martins Press, New York, NY, 1990, pp. 71-75.
- Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: From the Babe to the Beards: The Boston Red Sox in the World Series, Sports Publishing LLC, New York, NY, 2014. ISBN 978-1-6132-1727-6
- Jim Reineking: "It's been 100 years since start of World Series with far-reaching historical impact", USA Today, September 5, 2018. 
- Bruce A. Rubenstein: Chicago in the World Series, 1903-2005: The Cubs and White Sox in Championship Play, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2006.
- Tom Verducci: "Letters From the Hub: A story from the Great Beyond", Sports Illustrated, June 22, 2020. Part one, Part two, and Part three
- Thomas J. Whalen: When the Red Sox Ruled: Baseball's First Dynasty, 1912-1918, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2011. ISBN 978-1-56663-745-9
- Allan Wood: Babe Ruth and the 1918 Red Sox, Writers Club Press, iUniverse Publishing, Lincoln, NE, 2001.
- 1918 World Series at Baseball-Reference.com
- 1918 World Series at WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)
- 1918 World Series at Baseball-Almanac.com
- 1918 World Series box scores and play-by-play at Retrosheet.org
- Chicago Tribune's coverage of the final game of the series
- The World Championship That Almost Wasn't by Doug Pappas
|Modern Major League Baseball World Series
Pre-1903 Postseason Series