The 1906 World Series featured a crosstown matchup between the Chicago Cubs, who had posted the highest regular-season win total (116) and winning percentage (.763) in the major leagues since the advent of the 154-game season; and the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox, known as the "Hitless Wonders" after finishing with the worst team batting average (.230) in the American League, beat the Cubs in six games for one of the greatest upsets in Series history. The teams split the first four games; then the Hitless Wonders exploded for 26 hits in the last two games. True to their nickname, the White Sox hit only .198 as a team in winning the series but it bettered the .196 average produced by the Cubs.
Records: Chicago White Sox (W: 93, L: 58, Pct: .616, GA: 3) - Chicago Cubs (W: 116, L: 36, Pct: .622, GA: 20)
Umpires: Jim Johnstone (NL), Silk O'Loughlin (AL)
Hall of Famers
Tuesday, October 9, 1906 at West Side Grounds in Chicago, Illinois
Cubs hurler Mordecai Brown was sent to continue the dominance against Nick Altrock. Both pitchers pitched a perfect game through three innings. The Cubs had a runner at second, but couldn't score in the fourth. In the top of the fifth, George Rohe tripled to lead off, then scored on an error to homeplate when Patsy Dougherty reached on a fielder's choice. In the sixth, the White Sox sought the add another run. Nick Altrock walked, then was sacrificed to second base by Ed Hahn. When Fielder Jones singled to center field, Altrock was thrown out at home, but Jones moved to second on the throw. When Cubs catcher Johnny Kling allowed a passed ball, Jones moved to third. Frank Isbell singled to make a 2–0 White Sox lead. In the bottom half, the Cubs struck back. Kling walked and Brown singled, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. After Solly Hofman moved the runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt, Altrock threw a wild pitch, allowing Kling to score and Brown to go to third. With one out and a man at third, Altrock pitched with no margin for error. He got Jimmy Sheckard to pop out and Frank Schulte to ground out to end the threat. For the rest of the game Altrock pitched beautifully, allowing only one more Cub to reach second base. The lead would stand as the White Sox won Game 1 by 2–1.
|W: Nick Altrock (1-0) L: Mordecai Brown (0-1)|
Wednesday, October 10, 1906 at South Side Park (III) in Chicago, Illinois
Cubs pitcher Ed Reulbach was called upon to stem the tide against White Sox hurler Doc White. After each pitcher had a 1-2-3 first inning, things started to fall apart for White. After Frank Chance struck out to lead off, Harry Steinfeldt singled to left. Joe Tinker followed with a bunt single. Johnny Evers would then reach on an error by second baseman Frank Isbell, which also allowed Steinfeldt to score (unearned) and move Tinker and Evers to second and third. Johnny Kling was then intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Ed Reulbach was out on a sacrifice bunt which scored Tinker (unearned) and moved Evers to third and Kling to second. Solly Hofman then followed with a single to shortstop Lee Tannehill that scored Evers (unearned), but, when he tried to score, Kling was out at home, ending the threat. The Cubs added another unearned run in the third, ending Doc White's night. Despite giving up four runs, none of them were earned. The White Sox were able to get on the board on the fifth with an unearned run thanks to a wild pitch and an error. The Cubs would score three more runs, all of them earned, in the sixth and eighth innings to take Game 2 by a score of seven to one and tie the Series at one game apiece.
|W: Ed Reulbach (1-0) L: Doc White (0-1)|
Thursday, October 11, 1906 at West Side Grounds in Chicago, Illinois
After allowing two first-inning hits, White Sox pitcher "Big" Ed Walsh didn't give up another and struck out twelve to give the Sox a 2–1 edge in the series. Third baseman George Rohe cracked a two out bases loaded triple to left field in the top of the sixth to account for the only runs of the game.
|W: Ed Walsh (1-0) L: Jack Pfiester (0-1)|
Friday, October 12, 1906 at South Side Park (III) in Chicago, Illinois
"Three-Finger" Mordecai Brown pitched 5-2/3 innings of no hit ball for the Cubs, settling for a two-hitter in evening the series at two games apiece. Nick Altrock was the hard luck loser with Johnny Evers two-out single in the seventh scoring Frank Chance for the only score of the game. The White Sox had the tying run on second base in the ninth, thanks to a two-out walk and a passed ball, but Frank Isbell grounded out to end the game.
|W: Mordecai Brown (1-1) L: Nick Altrock (1-1)|
Saturday, October 13, 1906 at West Side Grounds in Chicago, Illinois
Game 5 saw a wild affair in which there were a total of eighteen hits, ten walks, six errors, two hit batsmen, three wild pitches and a steal of home. The Cubs allowed a first inning run to the Sox, then scored three of their own to take an early lead. The White Sox tied the game in the third on George Davis' theft of home on a double steal and then took the lead for good with a four run rally in the fourth inning and held on for the victory to take a 3–2 lead in the series. A twelve hit attack led by Frank Isbell's four doubles were enough to overcome six errors committed by the porous White Sox defense. Ed Walsh gathered his second win of the series, although he needed three innings of relief help from Doc White.
|W: Ed Walsh (2-0) L: Jack Pfiester (0-2) SV: Doc White (1)|
Sunday, October 14, 1906 at South Side Park (III) in Chicago, Illinois
Mordecai Brown, pitching on only one day of rest, didn't make it out of the second inning as the White Sox stunned the Cubs in the series finale. The White Sox battered Brown for seven runs on eight hits and received a solid pitching performance from Doc White in winning the series over a team that had won 116 games during the regular season.
|W: Doc White (1-1) L: Mordecai Brown (1-2)|
Firsts and lasts
- The 1906 World Series was the first appearance in the World Series for both teams, and the first of three in a row for the Cubs. The White Sox would next reappear in the World Series in 1917.
- The 1906 World Series was the first modern "Subway Series", in a broad sense of the term.
- The 1906 World Series is the last World Series, as of 2010, to feature two franchises that had never before appeared in the Series.
- The 1906 World Series was the first World Series appearance for the Cubs' famous infield trio of Joe Tinker (shortstop), Johnny Evers (second base), and Frank Chance (first base). The trio hit a combined 9-for-59 in the series.
- Two future Hall of Fame pitchers appeared: Mordecai Brown for the Cubs and Ed Walsh for the White Sox. However, this pair did not pitch against each other in any game of the Series. Nor did either of them pitch the most dominant game of the series. Instead, that honor went to the Cubs' 23-year-old Ed Reulbach, who pitched the first one-hitter in World Series history in Game 2.
- The first five games of the Series were won by the road team. This unusual occurrence was duplicated exactly 90 years later in the 1996 World Series.
- Doc White recorded the first ever World Series save in Game 5. Saves were not officially recognized as a statistic until 1969, but the stat has been retrofitted by historians.
- The 1906 World Series was the first Series with a surprise star, an obscure player who for a brief time became a star. Third baseman George Rohe batted .348 and drove in nine runs in the six games of the Series. He had a rather nondescript career prior to and following the 1906 World Series, and was out of the game by 1908.
- Games 1 and 2 were played amid snow flurries in Chicago. This would not happen again in a World Series until 1997.
- Bill O'Neill of the White Sox became the first pinch runner in series history during the sixth inning of Game 3 when he came in to run for Eddie Hahn.
- White Sox outfielder Patsy Dougherty became the first player to both play in and win two World Series. He had previously played for the Boston Americans in the 1903 World Series.