In 1904, John T. Brush, owner of the NL-champion Giants, simply refused to play the Boston Pilgrims, who won the American League pennant on the last day of the regular season. But in 1905 Brush relented, and proposed making the World Series a permanent, best-of-seven affair.
The 1905 World Series matched the New York Giants against the Philadelphia Athletics, with the Giants winning four games to one. Four of the five games featured duels between future Hall of Fame pitchers.
Each of the five games was a shutout. Three of those, over a six-day span, were pitched and won by Christy Mathewson, a 25-year-old Giants hurler who established himself as a first-magnitude star in doing so.
Monday, October 9, 1905 at Columbia Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A pitchers' duel took place between Christy Mathewson and Eddie Plank. Both pitchers got out of jams and were able to shut the offense down. In the Giants top of the fifth, Mathewson singled, but was forced by Roger Bresnahan, who stole second shortly afterwards. After George Browne popped out, Mike Donlin singled to left, scoring Bresnahan and Donlin advanced to second. After Dan McGann walked, Sam Mertes doubled, bringing home Donlin. In the Athletics half of the sixth, Ossee Schreckengost doubled, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. However, he would not score, and remained the lone runner to reach third base against Mathewson in the entire World Series. The Giants added an insurance run in the ninth, when Billy Gilbert scored on a single by Bresnahan. Mathewson pitched the first of three complete game shutouts in this game.
|WP: Christy Mathewson (1–0) LP: Eddie Plank (0–1)|
Tuesday, October 10, 1905 at Polo Grounds (III) in New York, New York
The Athletics called on Chief Bender to turn the tables on the Giants. His opponent was 21 game winner Joe McGinnity. The game was silent until the top of the third. Ossee Schreckengost led off by reaching on an error by Dan McGann. Bender sacrificed, moving Schreckengost to second. After a ground out by Topsy Hartsel moved Schreckengost to third, Bris Lord singled to left and put an unearned run on the board for the A's. The slim margin held until the top of the eighth, where the A's looked to add more crooked numbers to the board. With one out, Schreckengost once again was the catalyst, as he singled to center field. Hartsel's double scored Schreckengost all the way from first, and a single by Lord brought Hartsel home, making it 3–0 in favor of the A's. There was little the Giants could do, as Bender continued to cruise and got out of late inning jams to pitch a complete game shutout and tie the Series at one game a piece.
|WP: Chief Bender (1–0) LP: Joe McGinnity (0–1)|
Thursday, October 12, 1905 at Columbia Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Christy Mathewson once again took the mound for Game 3. Opposing him this time was Andy Coakley. In a Series of so few runs, a turnabout took place. In the top of the first, Roger Bresnahan was hit by the pitch to lead off. A single to right by Mike Donlin moved Bresnahan to third with one out. Dan McGann then singled to right to bring Bresnahan home. An error by Danny Murphy allowed Donlin to score and also allowed Sam Mertes to reach base. After Bill Dahlen walked, Coakley now faced a bases loaded, one out situation down by two with Art Devlin batting. However, Coakley induced the double play, and the A's had a chance to come back. But, in the top of the fifth, the Giants proved the game belonged to them. Bresnahan walked with one out and George Browne singled, but moved to second on the throw to third base. Donlin was walked intentionally, setting up the double play. But things continued to crumble for Coakley and the A's. McGann reached on another error by Danny Murphy, reloading the bases and scoring a run. Mertes singled, reloading the bases and scoring another run. A force by Bill Dahlen at second allowed Donlin to score. After Dahlen stole second, Devlin singled, bringing home McGann. When Devlin stole second, Dahlen took advantage of the situation and scored from third. Obruptly, the outburst came to an end. Even though the Giants led by seven and Mathewson was pitching beautifully for them, they made two more runs happen in the ninth, when McGann doubled home Browne and Donlin. Mathewson pitched his second complete game shutout, giving the Giants a two games to one lead in the Series. This was the first World Series game won by a score of 9–0. Not till October 3, 1945, would there be another World Series game with that score—the Cubs beat the Tigers for that win.
|WP: Christy Mathewson (2–0) LP: Andy Coakley (0–1)|
Friday, October 13, 1905 at Polo Grounds (III) in New York, New York
Eddie Plank returned for the A's to face Joe McGinnity in Game 4. Both pitchers kept men in scoring position from scoring early on, and they held fast to a shutout until the bottom of the fourth. Sam Mertes led off the inning by reaching on an error by Monte Cross. After Bill Dahlen flied to right, Art Devlin grounded out, moving Mertes to second. With two outs, Billy Gilbert singled to left, bringing Mertes home. This one run remained the only run of the game, as McGinnity outdueled Plank 1–0. The Giants now led three games to one.
|WP: Joe McGinnity (1–1) LP: Eddie Plank (0–2)|
Saturday, October 14, 1905 at Polo Grounds (III) in New York, New York
The Giants looked to wrap up the Series behind the perennial Christy Mathewson, who would be facing Chief Bender in this game. The game was locked at 0–0 until the bottom of the fifth, where Sam Mertes scored before a bizarre double play was induced that involved Bill Dahlen and Billy Gilbert. In the eighth, the Giants sought insurance, and received an insurance run when Mathewson scored on a ground out by George Browne after Roger Bresnahan doubled. Mathewson wrapped up the Series by inducing three ground outs in the top of the ninth, thereby completing perhaps the single greatest performance by any player in World Series history. Mathewson pitched his third complete game shutout, which, in modern times, could hardly be duplicated.
|WP: Christy Mathewson (3–0) LP: Chief Bender (1–1)|
1905 World Series (4–1): New York Giants (N.L.) over Philadelphia Athletics (A.L.)
|New York Giants||2||0||0||1||8||0||0||1||3||15||33||6|
|Total attendance: 91,723 Average attendance: 18,345|
|Winning player’s share: $1,142 Losing player’s share: $832|
Firsts and records
- This was the first World Series to be played under a best-of-seven format. The 1903 World Series used a best-of-nine game format.
- The Philadelphia Athletics became the first team to lose a World Series game on an unearned run 1–0.
- It was the first Series which consisted entirely of complete-game shutouts. Only one reliever was used the entire Series: Red Ames came in to relieve Joe McGinnity in the ninth inning of Game 2.
- The New York Giants yielded no earned runs in this Series, and set a mathematically unbreakable record for lowest team ERA of 0.00.
- The first steal of home during the World Series occurred during the fifth inning of Game 3 by New York's Bill Dahlen.
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