1918 September

1st  The Browns and Tigers finish the season with a doubleheader split in St. Louis as the Cleveland Indians refuse to make the trip for the Labor Day doubleheader. In Game 2, Ty Cobb pitches 2 innings against the Browns while the Browns’ George Sisler pitches one scoreless inning. The Browns win, 6–2, and Sisler hits a double off of Cobb. Detroit wins the opener, 7-2.

2nd Brooklyn ends the abbreviated season by splitting a doubleheader with the Phils, losing the first game 4–2 before taking the nitecap, 5–3.

In Washington, the Senators end the year on a light note, by splitting with the A’s. Philadelphia wins the opener and the Nats take the nitecap, 8–3. The 2nd game is Washington’s traditional year-end laugher, and 43-year-old coach Nick Altrock finishes in relief, one of his 5 appearances in 1918. Altrock bats in the bottom of the 8th and Wickey McAvoy, a catcher playing first for the day, comes in to throw. Altrock finally lines one of his lobs into the outfield, rambles around the bases and—according to Al Kermisch’s description—neglects 2B and 3B. Ump Billy Evans calls Altrock safe at the plate for the only homer by a Senator hit at home this season. For Altrock, it’s been 14 years since his last round tripper. The game ends with General March throwing out the last ball; he’ll toss out the first next year.

The Tigers host the White Sox in a pair at Navin Field, winning both. For the second time this season, Buck Weaver is 5-for-5 in a game 1 Sox loss, 11–5. Art Griggs has 3 doubles and 4 RBIs for the Tigers, and Bobby Veach has 2 hits and 4 RBIs. Griggs adds another 4 RBIs in game 2 when he collects 2 doubles and 2 singles. In between games, ex-Tiger Davey Jones visits with both teams. When Tiger manager Hugh Jennings suggests that Bill Donovan start game 2 (Donovan last won a ML game in 1912), “Wild Bill” agrees, but asks that Jones also play. As noted by historian Trent McCotter, the game is played like an exhibition. The Tigers collect 21 hits off Eddie Cicotte and strands 12. Ty Cobb has 3 hits, including 2 bunt singles, then pitches the 6thand 7th innings (2 walks, 3 hits) before giving way to outfielder Oscar Veach, who finishes up. With 3 hits in game 1, Cobb finishes with an AL-high .382. Hugh Jennings, who last played in 1912, finishes up at 1B. Davey Jones’ appearance here has been credited to Deacon Jones, but it was Davey going 0-for-2, who made the last putout in the 7–3 win.

The Reds end their season with 6–3 and 1–0 sweep of the Cardinals. Cuban rookie Dolf Luque, purchased in July, twirls the shutout, beating fellow Cuban Oscar Tuero. Tuero allows just 2 hits.

4th Rain delays the start of Wednesday’s World Series opener.

Pirate minor league pitcher Marcus Milligan is killed in a fall from an Army airplane in Ft. Worth, Texas. Milligan had enlisted last December.

5th  In order to cut down on the use of trains, the first 3 games of the WS are played in Chicago, the next 3 in Boston. The Cubs switch their home games to Comiskey Park with its larger seating capacity. Babe Ruth, having completed 13 scoreless innings in his first WS 2 years ago, adds 9 more in edging Hippo Vaughn, 1–,0 in the opener. Also, when 2B Dave Shean bats for Boston, he becomes the oldest player (40 years, 3 months, 18 days) to play in the WS, a mark other graybeards will top.

During the 7th-inning stretch, a military band plays “The Star Spangled Banner” and Red Sox player Fred Thomas, on leave from the Navy, snaps to attention in a military salute. The other players on the field followed suit, in “civilian” fashion, meaning they stood and put their right hands over their hearts. The crowd, already standing, showed its first real signs of life all day, joining in a spontaneous sing-along, haltingly at first, then finishing with flair. The scene made such an impression that The New York Times opened its recap of the game not with a description of the action on the field but with an account of the impromptu singing: “First the song was taken up by a few, then others joined, and when the final notes came, a great volume of melody rolled across the field. It was at the very end that the onlookers exploded into thunderous applause and rent the air with a cheer that marked the highest point of the day’s enthusiasm.” From then on, the song is played at every WS game, every season opener, and whenever a band is present to play it, though it is not yet adopted as the national anthem. The custom of playing it before every game will begin during WW II, when the installation of public address systems makes it practical. The first time it is recorded that the song was played at a ball game was on May 15, 1862, at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. The base ball game was led off by a band concert.

6th  In game 2, Lefty Tyler drives in 2 runs in the Cubs’ 3-run second. The Red Sox get one in the 9th and that’s all the scoring for the day, with George Tyler beating Joe Bush. The game also features fights between Heinie Wagner and Hippo Vaughn and another involving Lester Mann and Joe Bush.

7th  On one day’s rest, Hippo Vaughn gives up only 7 hits, but Carl Mays wins a 2–1 duel. Wally Schang has 2 hits for Boston. Game 3 ends with the Cubs’ Charlie Pick caught in a rundown between 3B and home while trying to score on a passed ball.

9th  In game 4, Ruth bats in 2 runs on a triple in the 4th and pitches 7 scoreless innings before the Cubs tie it in the 8th, ending Ruth’s WS record of 29 2/3 scoreless innings. Shufflin’ Phil Douglas relieves Lefty Tyler for Chicago in the last of the 8thand throws away the game, first by a wild pitch, then with an error. Ruth is the winning pitcher, but Mays relieves with 2 on and no out in the 9th.

Finners Quinlan, an OF who last played in 1915, is wounded fighting in a battle at Argonne Wood, France. He loses an eye and his right leg.

10th  Players on both sides threaten to strike unless they are guaranteed $2,500 to the winners and $1,000 each for the losers. After an hour’s delay on the start they back off, however, when told they will appear greedy while their countrymen are fighting a war. There are no fines, but no WS rings or mementos are given out this year. On the field, Hippo Vaughn comes back with 2 days of rest and blanks the Red Sox 3–0 on 5 hits in game 5.

11th  The Red Sox win the WS in game 6 on Carl Mays’s 2ndvictory, a 2–1 three–hitter. With 2 on and 2 out in the 3rd, utility OF George Whiteman lines a hard drive to RF. Max Flack drops it, allowing the only runs off Lefty Tyler. Righty Claude Hendrix, 20–7 during the year, finally makes an appearance, tossing a final inning for the Cubs. Cubs pitchers compile a 1.04 ERA, while Boston’s .186 BA is the lowest ever for a WS winner, but they compensate by making just one error, a record not beaten this century in a 6-game WS. The Red Sox will realize $1,102 each, the Cubs $671, the smallest winner’s share since 1906. The inning-by-inning results of the game were relayed to Fort Devans, 58 miles away, via homing nine pigeons.

15th  In the third of a 3-game exhibition series in Hartford, Babe Ruth outpitches Dutch Leonard to win, 1-0, and take the rubber game. Catcher Sam Agnew singles in the winning run in the 9th.