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In U.S. history, the year 1918 is celebrated as the year the war in Europe ended with the November 11 armistice. The good news and wild celebrations were tempered in the minds of Philadelphia players and fans with the report that 35 year-old infantry Captain, “Harvard” Eddie Grant was killed on October 5th by an artillery shell as he led his platoon in search of “The lost battalion” in the Argonne Forest campaign.
When manager Pat Moran gathered his soon-to-be beleagured, if not bedraggled,
1918 Phillies together for the first time, one can only imagine his wail … “Where’s Pete?” Moran was certainly aware that his battery of Alexander and Killefer had been traded to the Cubs, but he might not have known that Alexander was over there with the U.S. 89th infantry in a 10 feet deep trench on a French battlefield. Old Pete survived the artillery attacks, but suffered from shell shock, and loss of hearing in one ear. He also took some gas that may have caused early symptoms of epilepsy.
The depleted Phillies tried, god knows; they got off to an 8-2 start, but from April 29 to May 9 they lost nine in a row at home, then a five game losing streak (hereafter designated, hgls and rgls for home or road losing streaks, and hrgls for mixed home and road streaks) and then a five rgls from May 17 to May 22. Calling upon unknown resources buried deep in their psyches, Pat Moran’s team heroically pulled even at 32-32 on July 4 following a five-game road winning streak (rws) at New York and Boston. But it was too much. A 7grls in August left them gasping in the middle of the pack, and a 6th place finish. The war caught up with the league, and the season was abruptly halted on September 2nd.
The World’s Series was played from September 5-11 in Chicago and Boston with the Red Sox prevailing 4-2 over the Cubs. Boston lefthander Babe Ruth won two games including a 1-0 whitewash in game one.