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Looking at the World Serious!

Looking at the World Serious!
October 19
03:40 2021

Looking at the World Serious

By John Christian Hopkins

It’s October and that means one thing – World Series time!

So, let’s take a gander back to some of the golden moments of the Fall Classic.

Which team do you think won the first World Series? None other than the Boston Red Sox. That was back in 1903 when the series was a best of nine affair. They beat Honus Wagner and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 1911 World Series was responsible for one of baseball’s most notable nicknames – Frank “Home Run” Baker. The New York Giants had a pair of future Hall of Fame pitchers – Christy Mathewson and “Iron Man” Joe McGinnity and they each had ghost-written columns in rival local newspapers.

It started when McGinnity’s column teased Mathewson for giving up a homer to Philadelphia A’s third-baseman Frank Baker. As fate would have it, Baker also took McGinnity deep the next day and the Mathewson column made note of it.

A nickname was born.

Who made the last out of the 1926 World Series?

None other than Babe Ruth, however he didn’t do it by striking out like Mighty Casey at the bat. He did it trying to steal second base!

With the Yankees down by one and two outs in the ninth against the St. Louis Cardinals, Ruth decided to steal second – with Lou Gehrig at the plate!

Oops.

For a moment Ruth must have forgotten that he was the Sultan of Swat and thought he was the Georgia Peach.

The Peach – one Ty Cobb – was also thrown out trying to steal second base against the Pittsburgh Pirates. But this event – if it really happened – became part of series lore.

As the story goes, the fiery Cobb reached base and yelled to the Pirates’ Honus Wagner, “Look out, krauthead, I’m coming down!” Cobb broke for second on the next pitch and the throw went to Wagner who slammed Cobb in the mouth while tagging him out.

If it really happened, no one made mention of it until a biography of Cobb came out in 1961.

The Fall Classic has filled our imaginations with unforgettable moments from “The Catch” by Willie Mays, Bill Mazeroski’s series-winning homer, Don Larsen’s perfecto, Reggie Jackson’s three dingers in three swings and the gimp-legged heroics by Kirk Gibson.

Then there was the legendary 1926 relief performance by St. Louis Cardinal’s ace Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Though his 373 career wins is tied with Mathewson for most by a National Leaguer, it was a save that cemented Alexander’s fame.

It was Game Seven against the powerful New York Yankees and having pitched a complete game the day before “Old Pete,” as he was known, did not expect to pitch again.

Some stories say he celebrated too hard after Game 6 and was in no shape to pitch the next day. Other’s claimed Alexander’s wobbliness was due to his epilepsy.

The Cards held a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning when the Yankees loaded the bases with slugger Tony Lazzeri at the plate. With the game –and series – at stake the St. Louis manager called on Alexander. Old Pete had been in baseball since 1911, but he summoned up a bit of the old magic and struck out Lazerri. He then shut the Yanks down over the next two innings.

And the final out came – you guessed it! – when The Babe tried to steal second base!

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