In the 1916 World Series, the Red Sox defeated the Dodgers, who were then based in Brooklyn and were known as the Robins in honor of manager Wilbert Robinson, in five games. Like 1916, the Red Sox will host the World Series opener Tuesday night in Boston, but it will be the first time the Dodgers will play a postseason game at Fenway Park. In 1916, the Red Sox played their World Series at Braves Field, which had a larger capacity than Fenway Park.
The Red Sox won the first two games of the 1916 classic, and then clinched their fourth World Series championship in Game 5, also played at Braves Field.
Game 2 featured the World Series pitching debut of Babe Ruth. Although Ruth was on the roster for the 1915 World Series, when the Red Sox defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in five games, he only appeared as a pinch-hitter in Game 1. The Babe would have a more prominent role in 1916, pitching all 14 innings in Boston’s 2-1 victory.
With two outs in the first inning, Ruth allowed an inside-the-park home run to Brooklyn’s Hi Myers. He shut out Brooklyn for the next 13⅓ innings.
Ruth’s effort began a record 29⅔ shutout innings for Ruth over the next 23 months, a record that would stand until it was broken by Whitey Ford in 1961.
“[F]or 14 innings this Boston defense formed a long, wide wall of steel and stone back of Babe Ruth,” Grantland Rice wrote in the Boston Globe the nt day. “And against this wall Brooklyn rebounded to her second defeat.”
By winning the pennant Saturday night, the Dodgers tied the Giants for the most in National League history with 23. The Dodgers have won six World Series titles -- five while playing in Los Angeles -- but have not won the championship since defeating the Oakland Athletics in 1988.
The New York Yankees own the major-league mark with 40 American League pennants and 27 World Series titles.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, have won 14 AL pennants and eight World Series titles. Boston has gone 3-for-3 in World Series appearances in the 21st century, sweeping St. Louis in 2004 and Colorado in 2007, while defeating the Cardinals in six games in 2013.
That borders on a dynastic run for teams not named the Yankees. But the Red Sox were a dynasty of their own a century ago. Their victory in the 1916 World Series was their second in a row and third in five seasons, and Boston would win again against the Cubs in 1918 before suffering an 86-year World Series title drought.
Interestingly, the Red Sox won the first World Series in 1903, but even though they won the pennant in 1904 they did not play in the Series. That’s because the NL-champion New York Giants refused to participate in the series.
What makes this year’s matchup intriguing is that the two teams haven’t met in the Series. The Red Sox and Dodgers have combined for 42 winning seasons, 25 playoff appearances and six pennants since the wild-card era began, ESPN reported.
In their 19 previous World Series, the Dodgers have gone 7-12 in Game 1, but have won the opener in their last two appearances (1988 and 2017). The Red Sox, meanwhile, are 9-3 in their previous Game 1 appearances.
Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook have installed the Red Sox as slight favorites to win this year's Series, ESPN reported.
Boston is a minus-135 favorite, while the Dodgers are plus-115 to win it all. That means that a $135 bet on the Red Sox will pay $100, while a $100 bet on the Dodgers will pay $115.
About the Author
Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk