Thursday, October 29, 2009

New York and Philadelphia... World Series rivals BEFORE 1950

If you read or listened to World Series coverage this year, you'd think this was the second time New York and Philadelphia squared off in the World Series.

And it is true, the Phillies and the Yankees only played each other one other time... the 1950 World Series.

But well before the Phillies became THE team in Philadelphia and the Yankees became the dominating force in baseball, Philadelphia and New York squared off three different times with great teams that were the class of the American and National Leagues.

When the World Series was formed in the beginning of the 20th century, John McGraw's Giants were a powerhouse in the National League. And Connie Mack's Athletics were quickly becoming the best team in the American League.

Now of course that would be a Bay Area rivalry, but back then the Giants were the best team in New York and the Athletics ruled Philadelphia baseball.

The Yankees were known as the Highlanders and were inconsistent in the standings.
The Phillies were mediocre non contenders.

But New York and Philadelphia would meet in the 1905, 1911 and 1913 World Series.

Along with their larger than life manager, McGraw, the Giants featured Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson, Roger Bresnahan, Joe McGinnity and Rube Marquand.

Connie Mack, who was the very symbol of Philadelphia baseball for half a century, played future Hall of Famers Chief Bender, Eddie Plank, Rube Waddell, Frank "Home Run Baker" and Eddie Collins.

A pretty impressive array of talent in the pre-Babe Ruth era.

The Giants won the 1905 World Series, 4 games to 1. Christy Mathewson threw three complete game shutouts in six days. Safe to say he wasn't on a pitch count.

In 1911, the Athletics finally got to Mathewson in a dramatic Game 3. Frank "Home Run" Baker earned his nickname with a game tying homer with one out in the 9th inning off of Matty. The Athletics would score the eventual winning run on an error in the 11th.

The Giants would have some late inning heroics of their own in Game 5. One out from elimination, Doc Crandall hit an RBI double and Josh Devore singled him home to tie the game. Fred Merkle would drive in the winning run in the 10th.

But the Athletics would win big in Game 6 behind Chief Bender, 13-2.

Two years later, it would again be New York versus Philadelphia. In Game 2, Mathewson faced another future Hall of Famer, Eddie Plank.

Mathewson threw a 10 inning complete game shutout, driving in the winning run himself in the 10th.

But the Athletics won every other game and took the series in 5. Hall of Famer Eddie Plank out pitched Mathewson in the Game 5 finale.

So taking those three series and the 1950 World Series, Philadelphia and New York are now tied 2 series apiece.

They are playing the rubber match.

Hey look at that! I found a little MORE drama for the Philadelphia/New York match up!

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