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1915 World Series

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1915 World Series
Woodrow Wilson at 1915 World Series.jpeg
Team (Wins) Manager(s) Season
Boston Red Sox (4) Bill Carrigan 101–50, .669, GA: ​2 12
Philadelphia Phillies (1) Pat Moran 90–62, .592, GA: 7
Dates October 8–13
Umpires Bill Klem (NL), Silk O'Loughlin (AL), Cy Rigler (NL), Billy Evans (NL)
Hall of Famers Umpires: Bill Klem, Billy Evans Red Sox: Harry Hooper, Herb Pennock (dnp), Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker.
Phillies: Grover Cleveland Alexander, Dave Bancroft, Eppa Rixey.
← 1914 World Series 1916 →

In the 1915 World Series, the Boston Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies four games to one.

In their only World Series before 1950, the Phillies won Game 1 before being swept the rest of the way. It was 65 years before the Phillies won their next Series game. The Red Sox pitching was so strong in the 1915 series that the young Babe Ruth was not used on the mound and only made a single pinch-hitting appearance.

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January 1915. World War One is just five months old, and already around one million soldiers have fallen. A war that began in the Balkans has engulfed much of the world. The Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire, fight the Allies: Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Belgium, and Japan. In Poland and the Baltic, the Russian army has suffered a string of massive defeats, but continues to battle German and Austro-Hungarian forces. Austro-Hungarian troops have also suffered huge losses, and are humiliated by their failure to defeat Serbia. In the Caucasus Mountains, Russian and Ottoman forces fight each other in freezing winter conditions. While on the Western Front, French, British and Belgian troops are dug in facing the Germans, in trenches stretching from the English Channel to Switzerland. As part of the world’s first strategic bombing campaign, Germany sends two giant airships, known as Zeppelins, to bomb Britain. They hit the ports of King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth, damaging houses and killing 4 civilians. At sea, at the Battle of Dogger Bank, the British navy sinks one German cruiser, but the rest of the German squadron escapes. Command of the seas has allowed Britain to impose a naval blockade of Germany, preventing vital supplies, including food, from reaching the country by sea. Germany now retaliates with its own blockade: it declares the waters around the British Isles to be a war zone, where its U-boats will attack Allied merchant ships without warning. Britain relies on imported food to feed its population. Germany plans to starve her into surrender. On the Eastern Front, German Field Marshal von Hindenburg launches a Winter Offensive, and inflicts another massive defeat on the Russian army at the Second Battle of Masurian Lakes. The Russians lose up to 200,000 men, half of them surrendering amid freezing winter conditions. The Russians have more success against Austria-Hungary: the city of Przemyśl falls after a four month siege, netting the Russians 100,000 prisoners. Austria-Hungary's total losses now reach two million. Meanwhile, the British and French send warships to the Dardanelles, to threaten Constantinople, capital of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. They believe a show of force will quickly cause Turkey to surrender. They bombard Turkish shore-forts in the narrow straits, but three battleships are sunk by mines, and three more damaged. The attack is called off. On the Western Front, the British attack at Neuve Chapelle, but the advance is soon halted by German barbed wire and machineguns. British and Indian units suffer 11,000 casualties – about a quarter of the attacking force. Six weeks later, at the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans attack with poison gas for the first time on the Western Front. A cloud of lethal chlorine gas forces Allied troops to abandon their trenches, but the Germans don't have enough reserves ready to exploit the advantage. Soldiers on both sides are quickly supplied with crude gas-masks, as a chemical weapons arms-race begins. The Allies land ground troops at Gallipoli, including men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, the ANZACs. Their goal is to take out the shore forts that are preventing Allied warships reaching Constantinople. But they immediately meet fierce Turkish resistance, and are pinned down close to the shore. The day before the landings, the Ottoman Empire begins the systematic deportation and murder of ethnic Armenians living within its borders. The Armenians are a long-persecuted ethnic and religious minority, suspected of supporting Turkey's enemies. Tens of thousands of men, women and children are transported to the Syrian desert and left to die. In all, more than a million Armenians perish. The Allies condemn the events as 'a crime against humanity and civilisation', and promise to hold the perpetrators criminally responsible. To this day, the Turkish government disputes the death toll, and that these events constituted a 'genocide'. On the Eastern Front, a joint German / Austro-Hungarian offensive in Galicia breaks through Russian defences, recapturing Przemyśl and taking 100,000 prisoners. It is the beginning of a steady advance against Russian forces. At sea, the British passenger-liner Lusitania, sailing from New York to Liverpool, is torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland without warning. 1,198 passengers and crew perish, including 128 Americans. US President Woodrow Wilson and the American public are outraged. But Germany insists the liner was a fair target, as the British used her to carry military supplies. In May, the Allies launch the Second Battle of Artois, in another effort to break through the German lines. The French make the main attack at Vimy Ridge, while the British launch supporting attacks at Aubers Ridge and Festubert. The Allies sustain 130,000 casualties, and advance just a few thousand yards. That summer, above the Western Front, the Fokker Eindecker helps Germany win control of the air. It's one of the first aircraft with a machinegun able to fire forward through its propeller, thanks to a new invention known as interruptor gear. Allied aircraft losses mount rapidly, in what becomes known as the 'Fokker Scourge'. Italy, swayed by British and French promises of territorial gains at Austro-Hungarian expense, joins the Allies, declaring war on Austria-Hungary, and later the Ottoman Empire and Germany. The Italian army makes its first assault against Austro-Hungarian positions along the Isonzo river, but is repulsed with heavy losses. Meanwhile the Allies face a crisis on the Eastern Front. The Russians have begun a general retreat, abandoning Poland. German troops enter Warsaw on 5th August. Tsar Nicholas II dismisses the army's commander-in-chief, Grand Duke Nicholas, and takes personal command. It will prove disastrous for the Tsar, as he becomes more and more closely tied to Russian military defeat. At Gallipoli, the Allies land reinforcements at Suvla Bay, but neither they nor a series of fresh attacks by the ANZACs can break the deadlock. Conditions for both sides are terrible; troops are tormented not only by the enemy, but by heat, flies, and sickness. In the Atlantic, a German U-boat sinks the liner SS Arabic: 44 are lost, including three Americans. In response to further US warnings, Germany ends all attacks on passenger ships. On the Western Front, the Allies mount their biggest offensive of the war so far, designed to smash through the front, and take pressure off their beleaguered Russian ally. The French attack in the Third Battle of Artois and Second Battle of Champagne; The British, with the help of poison gas, attack at Loos. Despite initial gains, the attacks soon get bogged down, with enormous losses on all sides. Allied troops land at Salonika in Greece, to open a new front against the Central Powers, and bring aid to Serbia. But the Allies are too late. Bulgaria joins the Central Powers, and their joint offensive overruns Serbia in two months. That winter the remnants of the Serbian Army escape through the Albanian mountains. Their losses are horrific – by the end of the war a third of Serbia's army has been killed – the highest proportion of any nation. Fierce fighting continues on the Italian front, as Italian troops launch the Third and Fourth Battles of the Isonzo. Austro-Hungarian forces, though outnumbered, are dug in on the high ground, and impossible to dislodge. In the Middle East, a British advance on Baghdad is blocked by Turkish forces at the Battle of Ctesiphon, 25 miles south of the city. The British withdraw to Kut, where they are besieged. The Allies abandon the Gallipoli campaign. 83,000 troops are secretly evacuated without alerting Turkish forces. Not a man is lost. It's one of the best executed plans of the war. The campaign has cost both sides quarter of a million casualties. 1915 is a bad year for the Allies – enormous losses, for no tangible gains. But there is no talk of peace – instead all sides prepare for even bigger offensives in 1916, with new tactics developed from earlier failures. All sides still believe a decisive battlefield victory is within grasp. Epic History TV relies on the support of viewers like you – please visit our Patreon page, and consider pledging as little as $1 per video to help us keep making them.


Series arrangements

Arrangements for the Series were made on October 2, 1915, in a meeting of the team owners, league presidents and the National Commission at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in midtown Manhattan, New York City. Red Sox owner Joseph Lannin lost the coin toss for home field advantage, and Phillies owner William F. Baker chose to have the first two games of the Series in Philadelphia. The league presidents selected the umpires, and it was announced that J. G. Taylor Spink would be one of the official scorers.

One controversy surrounded the allocation of tickets to the Red Sox' Royal Rooters fan club. Each visiting team was allocated 200 tickets, but the Red Sox requested an additional 400 on behalf of their supporters. The Phillies' Baker Bowl sat only 20,000, and their above-cited owner, William Baker, refused to allocate additional tickets for visiting fans. The matter was resolved by National Commission chairman Garry Herrmann, who gave the Red Sox tickets from the Commission's own Series allocation.[1]

Series summary

The Phillies won Game 1, 3–1, although The New York Times reporter Hugh Fullerton wrote of the future 300+ game-winning Hall of Famer, "[Grover Cleveland] Alexander pitched a bad game of ball. He had little or nothing" in his review of the game, headed "Nothing but luck saved the Phillies." The Times also reported that a crowd of 10,000 gathered in Manhattan's Times Square to view a real-time mechanical recreation of the game on a giant scoreboard sponsored by the newspaper.[2]

The Phillies were not to win another postseason game until 1977, nor another World Series game until 1980. The Red Sox swept Games 2–5, all by one run, and by identical scores of 2–1 in Games 2–4.

In Game 2, Woodrow Wilson became the first U.S. President to attend a World Series game.

This was the second straight year that a Boston team beat a Philadelphia team in the World Series after the Braves had swept the Athletics the year before.

Unlike the 1913 Series, where the home team won only one of the five games, home field was often very much an advantage in the 1915 October classic. Fenway Park, paradoxically the Braves' home field in their 1914 Series sweep of the A's while Braves Field was still being built, had been the home of the Red Sox for four seasons and was fully functional in 1915; yet the Red Sox played their 1915 Series "home" games in the brand-new Braves Field to take advantage of its larger seating capacity. Beyond the added revenue, the long ball was affected by this arrangement, as follows:

  • In the top of the third inning of Game 3 at Boston, with two out, one run in and two runners in scoring position, Phillies' slugger "Cactus" Gavvy Cravath hit a line drive to deep left field which was caught for a harmless inning-ending out in the spacious Braves Field outfield. In Fenway or Philadelphia's Baker Bowl, it might have been a home run or at least an extra-base hit which might have turned the Series around.
  • The Phillies had packed some extra outfield seats into their already-small bandbox of a ballfield, shortening the distance from home to the outfield wall even more. This proved crucial in the decisive Game 5, in which Boston's Harry Hooper twice homered over the moved-in center field fence and Duffy Lewis followed suit. In Braves Field, those would have been extra-base hits at best. Both of Hooper's hits, including the eventual game-winner in the top of the ninth, actually bounced over the fence and were home runs by the rules of that era although they would have been only ground-rule doubles by present-day rules.


Philadelphia team photo taken on October 4, 1915.
Philadelphia team photo taken on October 4, 1915.

AL Boston Red Sox (4) vs. NL Philadelphia Phillies (1)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 8 Boston Red Sox – 1, Philadelphia Phillies – 3 Baker Bowl 1:58 19,343[3] 
2 October 9 Boston Red Sox – 2, Philadelphia Phillies – 1 Baker Bowl 2:05 20,306[4] 
3 October 11 Philadelphia Phillies – 1, Boston Red Sox – 2 Braves Field 1:48 42,300[5] 
4 October 12 Philadelphia Phillies – 1, Boston Red Sox – 2 Braves Field 2:05 41,096[6] 
5 October 13 Boston Red Sox – 5, Philadelphia Phillies – 4 Baker Bowl 2:15 20,306[7]


Game 1

Game 1 starting pitchers Ernie Shore (left) and Grover Cleveland Alexander (right).
Game 1 starting pitchers Ernie Shore (left) and Grover Cleveland Alexander (right).
Friday, October 8, 1915 2:00 pm (ET) at Baker Bowl in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 8 1
Philadelphia 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 X 3 5 1
WP: Grover Cleveland Alexander (1–0)   LP: Ernie Shore (0–1)

Alexander scattered eight hits, winning 3-1, in giving the Phillies their only win in the series.

Game 2

Saturday, October 9, 1915 2:00 pm (ET) at Baker Bowl in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 10 0
Philadelphia 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 1
WP: Rube Foster (1–0)   LP: Erskine Mayer (0–1)

Rube Foster pitched a 3-hitter, allowing no walks, helping his own cause with the game-winning RBI single in the top of the ninth.

Game 3

Monday, October 11, 1915 2:00 pm (ET) at Braves Field in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Philadelphia 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
Boston 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 1
WP: Dutch Leonard (1–0)   LP: Grover Cleveland Alexander (1–1)

Dutch Leonard and Grover Cleveland Alexander engaged in a classic pitcher's duel, Leonard retiring the last 20 Phillies to face him, winning 2-1 on an RBI single by Duffy Lewis in the bottom of the 9th.

Game 4

Tuesday, October 12, 1915 2:00 pm (ET) at Braves Field in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Philadelphia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 7 0
Boston 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 X 2 8 1
WP: Ernie Shore (1–1)   LP: George Chalmers (0–1)

Ernie Shore held the Phillies scoreless until the eighth inning, winning 2-1, giving the Red Sox a 3-1 lead in the series.

Game 5

Wednesday, October 13, 1915 2:00 pm (ET) at Baker Bowl in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 5 10 1
Philadelphia 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 1
WP: Rube Foster (2–0)   LP: Eppa Rixey (0–1)
Home runs:
BOS: Harry Hooper 2 (2), Duffy Lewis (1)
PHI: Fred Luderus (1)

The Red Sox won on three home runs by two of their outfielders, two cheapies by Harry Hooper (see above) and one by Duffy Lewis. Those were the only round-trippers in the entire Series, the first four games being pitchers' duels. The Phillies were held to a weak .182 team batting average in the 5-game set.

Composite line score

1915 World Series (4–1): Boston Red Sox (A.L.) over Philadelphia Phillies (N.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 1 1 2 1 0 1 0 3 3 12 42 4
Philadelphia Phillies 2 0 1 3 1 0 0 3 0 10 27 3
Total attendance: 143,351   Average attendance: 28,670
Winning player's share: $3,780   Losing player's share: $2,520[8]


  1. ^ "World's Series Starts on Friday" (PDF). The New York Times. October 3, 1915. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
  2. ^ Fullerton, Hugh S. (October 9, 1915). "Nothing but luck saved the Phillies" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2009.
  3. ^ "1915 World Series Game 1 – Boston Red Sox vs. Philadelphia Phillies". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "1915 World Series Game 2 – Boston Red Sox vs. Philadelphia Phillies". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "1915 World Series Game 3 – Philadelphia Phillies vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "1915 World Series Game 4 – Philadelphia Phillies vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "1915 World Series Game 5 – Boston Red Sox vs. Philadelphia Phillies". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved June 14, 2009.


  • Cohen, Richard M.; Neft, David S. (1990). The World Series: Complete Play-By-Play of Every Game, 1903–1989. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 57–60. ISBN 0-312-03960-3.
  • Reichler, Joseph (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.). Macmillan Publishing. p. 2123. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.

External links

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