Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Hundred Years From Then, It Still Makes A Difference

A lot is being made of the Rockies' eight-day wait before the World Series starts. It's the longest a team has ever gone between winning the championship series and starting the World Series.

But it's not the longest a team has gone without playing while waiting for the World Series to start. In 1910, the Philadelphia A's played their last regular season game on October 6th. 11 days later, they played World Series game one. They would go on to win the series in five games.

The next year, Philly also had a long wait, playing their last regular season game on October 6th, and waiting until the 14th to play game one of the World Series. Again, they won the series, this time in six games.

In both 1910 and 1911, Philadelphia's opponent had just one day off.

These years were odd, as usually both leagues wrap up their season at the same time. But, for some reason, in '10 and '11, the National League took extra time to finish up, despite that both leagues started their schedules on the same date in both years. (1909 was also a little screwy at the end, with four solid days of AL-only action before the World Series could start on October 8th.)

I thought maybe this was because the NL had more ties they had to make up, but it seems the AL was the tie-heavy league in 1910, while the NL was in '11.

In '10, the NL's St. Louis and Chicago clubs seemed hell-bent on playing a six-game series to close out the year, despite that the Cubs had long since clinched the pennant, and the Cards were 30 games out. But the nation waited them out, as they were the only game on the schedule on October 13th, then there was an off day(!), and then again they played the only game on October 15th. (Note, as this point, the AL's schedule had been complete for about a week.) Only then could the World Series get started up on the 17th, way later than usual.

A similar thing occurred in 1911. I still can't figure out exactly why this happened. Except maybe that the NL had more days off throughout the season. Sometimes the entire league would take a Sunday or a Thursday off. Over a four-day stretch in September 1911, there were no American League games. Maybe at that point they were trying to let the NL catch up or something. Or maybe it had to do with teams replaying games that were ties. But I'm just not seeing it.

From 1903 until the leagues were divided up into divisions in 1969, the World Series almost always started on a single-digit October day, or the last few days of September. (Or early September, as was the case only in 1918 due to the Great War.) Twice it started as late as October 10th, leaving 1910 and 1911, with their 17th and 14th starting dates, alone in their extreme lateness.

Torre gone!
Thanks for the update!

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