The 1908 World Series matched the defending champion Chicago Cubs against the Detroit Tigers in a rematch of the 1907 Series. In this first-ever rematch of this young event, the Cubs won in five games for their second consecutive World Series title.
The 1908 World Series was significant for being the last World Series championship the Cubs would win until the 2016 World Series (108 years later). Before the 2016 series, the team would go on to appear in seven World Series; in 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, and 1945, losing each time. The Cubs had been one of baseball's most dominant teams in the early 1900s. This was the year of the infamous "Merkle's Boner" play that allowed the Chicago Cubs to reach the World Series after beating the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants) in a one-game "playoff", actually the makeup game for the tie that the Merkle play had caused.
The Series was anti-climactic after tight pennant races in both leagues. Ty Cobb had a much better World Series than in the previous year, as did the rest of his team. The final two games, held in Detroit, were shutouts. This was also the most poorly attended World Series in history, with the final game drawing a record-low 6,210 fans. Attendance in Chicago was harmed by a ticket-scalping scheme that fans accused the club's owner of participating in, and the World Series was boycotted to some degree.
For the first time, four umpires were used in the series, in alternating two-man teams.
|1908 World Series|
|Umpires||Jack Sheridan (AL), Hank O'Day (NL), odd-numbered games; Bill Klem (NL), Tommy Connolly (AL), even-numbered games|
|Hall of Famers||Umpires: Tommy Connolly, Bill Klem, Hank O'Day. |
Cubs: Mordecai Brown, Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker.
Tigers: Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb.
|1||October 10||Chicago Cubs – 10, Detroit Tigers – 6||Bennett Park||2:10||10,812|
|2||October 11||Detroit Tigers – 1, Chicago Cubs – 6||West Side Grounds||1:30||17,760|
|3||October 12||Detroit Tigers – 8, Chicago Cubs – 3||West Side Grounds||2:10||14,543|
|4||October 13||Chicago Cubs – 3, Detroit Tigers – 0||Bennett Park||1:35||12,907|
|5||October 14||Chicago Cubs – 2, Detroit Tigers – 0||Bennett Park||1:25||6,210|
|WP: Mordecai Brown (1–0) LP: Ed Summers (0–1)|
With Detroit leading 6–5 in the top of the ninth after finally coming from behind with two runs in the bottom of the eighth, the Cubs broke out with six straight one-out singles against Ed Summers, scoring five times and winning the first game just as they had forced a tie in the first game of the 1907 Series by coming from behind with two runs in the ninth.
|WP: Orval Overall (1–0) LP: Wild Bill Donovan (0–1)|
CHC: Joe Tinker (1)
Monday, October 12, 1908, at West Side Grounds in Chicago, Illinois
|WP: George Mullin (1–0) LP: Jack Pfiester (0–1)|
It was in this game that Ty Cobb enjoyed the finest World Series outing he ever had. The 21-year-old Georgian rapped three singles and a double in five at-bats, and stole two bases. In the top of the ninth, he singled and promptly stole second and third, but then the hyped-up boy wonder pressed his luck and was thrown out trying to steal home. This was the only Tiger win in their back-to-back first two World Series losses to the Cubs.
Tuesday, October 13, 1908, at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan
|WP: Mordecai Brown (2–0) LP: Ed Summers (0–2)|
Wednesday, October 14, 1908, at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan
|WP: Orval Overall (2–0) LP: Wild Bill Donovan (0–2)|
The attendance during this last game of the 1908 World Series (6,210) was the smallest crowd in Series history.
Overall allowed only three hits, walking four and striking out 10 for his second win of the series. In 18.1 innings, he allowed only seven hits and two runs for an ERA of 0.98.
Boss Schmidt, who made the last out of the 1907 Series with a popup to short, also made the last out of this Series with a feeble catcher-to-first groundout.
This was also the first World Series game in which neither team committed an error.
The Cubs would not win another World Series title until finally reclaiming the crown in 2016.
|Total attendance: 62,232 Average attendance: 12,446|
Winning player's share: $1,318 Losing player's share: $870
The 1908 Chicago Cubs season was the 37th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 33rd in the National League and the 16th at West Side Park. It involved the Cubs winning their third consecutive National League pennant, as well as the World Series.
This team included four future Hall of Famers: manager / first baseman Frank Chance, second baseman Johnny Evers, shortstop Joe Tinker, and pitcher Mordecai Brown. In 1908, Brown finished second in the NL in wins and ERA. This would be the last World Series victory for the Cubs until the 2016 World Series.1908 Detroit Tigers season
The 1908 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team won the American League championship by means of a scheduling quirk, finishing just one-half game ahead of the Cleveland Naps. The two teams won the same number of games, but the Tigers completed and lost one fewer. They then lost to the Chicago Cubs in the 1908 World Series.1908 Major League Baseball season
The 1908 Major League Baseball season. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers 4–1 to win the World Series.Del Howard
George Elmer "Del" Howard (December 24, 1877 in Kenney, Illinois – December 24, 1956 in Seattle, Washington) was a Major League Baseball player from 1905 to 1909. He would play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Beaneaters/Doves, and Chicago Cubs. Howard appeared in 536 games and retired with six home runs and a lifetime .263 batting average.He had a career-high 142 hits for Boston during the 1906 season. Howard then played for the Cubs in both the 1907 and 1908 World Series, winning two championships.Doc Marshall (catcher)
William Riddle Marshall (September 22, 1875 in Butler, Pennsylvania – December 11, 1959 in Clinton, Illinois), was a professional baseball player who played catcher from 1904 to 1909. He briefly managed the Chicago Whales during the inaugural Federal League season.
In 1907, while playing for the Cardinals he led all catchers in assists and errors.
Marshall was purchased by the Chicago Cubs on May 29, 1908 and made a number of appearances that season, but did not play in the 1908 World Series for the champion Cubs.
He also played with the Des Moines Undertakers of the Western League and the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Paul Saints of the American Association.
After retiring from baseball, he became a doctor and practiced medicine for 45 years in Clinton.
He attended college at Grove City College, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania.Ed Reulbach
Edward Marvin "Big Ed" Reulbach (December 1, 1882 – July 17, 1961) was a major league baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs during their glory years of the early 1900s.Frank Chance
Frank Leroy Chance (September 9, 1877 – September 15, 1924) was an American professional baseball player. A first baseman, Chance played in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs (initially named the "Orphans") and New York Yankees from 1898 through 1914. He also served as manager of the Cubs, Yankees, and Boston Red Sox.
Discovered by the Cubs as he played semi-professional baseball while attending college, Chance debuted with the Cubs in 1898, serving as a part-time player. In 1903, Chance became the Cubs' regular first baseman, and in 1905, he succeeded Frank Selee as the team's manager. Chance led the Cubs to four National League championships in the span of five years (1906–1910) and won the World Series in 1907 and 1908. With Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers, Chance formed a strong double play combination, which was immortalized as "Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance" in "Baseball's Sad Lexicon".
Let go by the Cubs after the 1912 season, Chance signed with the Yankees, serving as a player–manager for two seasons. He joined the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League as a player–manager, returning to MLB in 1923 as manager of the Red Sox. Chance was named the manager of the Chicago White Sox in 1924, but never took control of the team as he became ill. He died later that year.
Noted for his leadership abilities, Chance earned the nickname "Peerless Leader." He is the all-time leader in managerial winning percentage in Cubs history. Chance was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in the 1946 balloting by the Veterans Committee, along with Tinker and Evers. He was inducted into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame's first class, in 1959.Go, Cubs, Go
"Go Cubs Go", "Go, Cubs, Go" or "Go, Cubs, Go!" is a song written by Steve Goodman in 1984. At various times the Goodman version of the song has been the official Chicago Cubs team song and the official Cubs victory song. The Goodman version of the song is now referred to as the official Chicago Cubs victory song. The Goodman version has been included in both a 1994 Steve Goodman anthology album and a 2008 Cubs songs and sounds album. Following the team's 2016 World Series victory, the song peaked at number 3 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. An alternate 2008 version by Manic Sewing Circle has also been released.Harry Steinfeldt
Harry M. Steinfeldt (September 29, 1875 – August 17, 1914) was an American professional baseball player. A third baseman, Steinfeldt played in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, and Boston Rustlers. He batted and threw right-handed.
Steinfeldt was the starting third baseman for the Cubs in the final game of the 1908 World Series, the team's last championship until their victory in 2016. He was the fourth infielder on a team that gained fame for a double-play combination of "Tinker to Evers to Chance."Ira Thomas
Ira Felix Thomas (January 22, 1881 – October 11, 1958) was an American professional baseball player. He played all or part of ten seasons of Major League Baseball, all in the American League, with the New York Highlanders (1906–07), Detroit Tigers (1908), and Philadelphia Athletics (1909–15), primarily as a catcher.
Thomas was born in Ballston Spa, New York, and began his playing career in the minor Connecticut League in 1902. After playing two seasons with the Highlanders in the major leagues, Thomas moved to the Tigers in 1908 and served as backup catcher to Boss Schmidt. In Game 1 of the 1908 World Series, he pinch hit for shortstop Charley O'Leary in the ninth inning and singled for the first pinch base hit in World Series play. 
He played six seasons to finish his career with the Athletics. He was the team captain and shared equal catching duty with Jack Lapp as the Athletics won consecutive World Series in 1910 and 1911. The team also won an American League pennant and a World Series, in 1913 and 1914, respectively, although Thomas did not play in either of the latter two World Series. In the 1911 season, Thomas finished eighth in American League MVP voting, with 17 extra base hits and 101 total bases. In 484 career games, he batted .242 with 327 hits and 155 RBI.
After retiring, Thomas was a scout for the Athletics, remaining with the franchise even as it relocated to Kansas City in 1955. He died in Philadelphia in 1958, aged 77.Jack Pfiester
John Albert Pfiester (May 24, 1878 – September 3, 1953), was a professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1903 to 1911.
Pfiester was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. In his rookie season in 1906, Pfiester finished with a 1.51 ERA (one of the best rookie seasons by any pitcher ever), and he went on to finish with a 1.15 ERA in 1907. His career ERA was 2.02, the 3rd lowest among pitchers with 1,000+ innings thrown, and he had a .617 winning percentage. On September 23, 1908 against the New York Giants he pitched a complete game (which involved Giant first baseman Fred Merkle’s infamous boner, which resulted in the game ending in a tie), allowing five hits, all with a dislocated tendon in his pitching forearm. He had to be assisted off the field a few times after throwing curve balls. As soon as the game ended he went to Ohio to be treated, and his tendon was snapped back into place by trainer Bonesetter Reese.
Although Bonesetter got Pfiester throwing again, it would prove to be only a matter of time before the wear and tear got to Pfiester. In 1909, Pfiester posted 17 wins and a 2.43 ERA in his last full season. Over the next two years he would make 20 more appearances as a major league pitcher, and by the age of 33 he was done.
After Pfiester's playing career ended, he and his wife settled in Ohio with their son, Jack Jr. Pfiester died in Loveland, Ohio, at the age of 75.Pfiester was the starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the 1908 World Series, the team's last championship until 2016. He was also the winning pitcher of Game 2 of the 1907 World Series.Jimmy Sheckard
Samuel James Tilden "Jimmy" Sheckard (November 23, 1878 – January 15, 1947) was an American left fielder and left-handed leadoff hitter in Major League Baseball who played for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms/Superbas (1897–98, 1900–01, 1902–05), Baltimore Orioles (NL) (1899), Baltimore Orioles (AL) (1902), Chicago Cubs (1906–12), St. Louis Cardinals (1913) and Cincinnati Reds (1913).
Sheckard was the Chicago Cubs' leadoff batter for the final game of the 1908 World Series. His team played in four World Series in a five-year span from 1906-1910.Joe S. Jackson
Joseph S. "Joe" Jackson (July 1871 – May 19, 1936) was an American sportswriter and editor for the Detroit Free Press, The Washington Post and The Detroit News. He was the founder and first president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, holding the office from 1908 to 1919.Joe Tinker
Joseph Bert Tinker (July 27, 1880 – July 27, 1948) was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played from 1902 through 1916 for the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Chicago Whales of the Federal League.
Born in Muscotah, Kansas, Tinker began playing semi-professional baseball in Kansas in the late 19th century. He began his professional career in 1900 in minor league baseball and made his MLB debut with the Cubs in 1902. Tinker was a member of the Chicago Cubs dynasty that won four pennants and two World Series championships between 1906 and 1910. After playing one season with Cincinnati in 1913, he became one of the first stars to jump to the upstart Federal League in 1914. After leading the Whales to the pennant in 1915, he returned to the Cubs as their player-manager in 1916, his final season in MLB.
Tinker returned to minor league baseball as a part-owner and manager for the Columbus Senators before moving to Orlando, Florida, to manage the Orlando Tigers. While in Orlando, Tinker developed a real estate firm, which thrived during the Florida land boom of the 1920s. However, the 1926 Miami hurricane and Great Depression cost Tinker most of his fortune, and he returned to professional baseball in the late 1930s.
With the Cubs, Tinker was a part of a great double-play combination with teammates Johnny Evers and Frank Chance that was immortalized as "Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance" in the poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon". However, Evers and Tinker feuded off the field. Tinker was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946, the same year as Evers and Chance. He has also been honored by the Florida State League and the city of Orlando.Johnny Evers
John Joseph Evers (July 21, 1881 – March 28, 1947) was an American professional baseball second baseman and manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1902 through 1917 for the Chicago Cubs, Boston Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies. He also appeared in one game apiece for the Chicago White Sox and Braves while coaching them in 1922 and 1929, respectively.
Evers was born in Troy, New York. After playing for the local minor league baseball team for one season, Frank Selee, manager of the Cubs, purchased Evers's contract and soon made him his starting second baseman. Evers helped lead the Cubs to four National League pennants, including two World Series championships. The Cubs traded Evers to the Braves in 1914; that season, Evers led the Braves to victory in the World Series, and was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Evers continued to play for the Braves and Phillies through 1917. He then became a coach, scout, manager, and general manager in his later career.
Known as one of the smartest ballplayers in MLB, Evers also had a surly temper that he took out on umpires. Evers was a part of a great double-play combination with Joe Tinker and Frank Chance, which was immortalized as "Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance" in the poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon". Evers was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1946.Johnny Kling
John Gransfield Kling (February 25, 1875 – January 31, 1947) was an American catcher and manager in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs (the Chicago Orphans until 1902), Boston Rustlers and Boston Braves, and Cincinnati Reds.
Kling was the Cubs' starting catcher in the final game of the 1908 World Series, the last championship for the team for 108 years.Orval Overall
Orval Overall (February 2, 1881 – July 14, 1947) was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball. He was a member of the Chicago Cubs dynasty of the early 1900s.Red Downs
Jerome Willis "Red" Downs (August 23, 1883 – October 19, 1939), was a Major League Baseball player, who gained notoriety later in life as an armed robber during the Great Depression.
Downs was born and raised in Neola, Iowa, a small town with a town ball baseball team. Downs played on the Neola team, known as the Neola Erins, as a young man. Between 1903 and 1906, he played minor league baseball on teams in Fort Scott, Arkansas, Guthrie, Oklahoma and Topeka, Kansas. In 1906, he led the Western Association with 8 home runs, leading to his signing with the Detroit Tigers. Downs had a batting average of .227 in 241 major league games. Downs and Germany Schaefer platooned at the second base position for the Tigers in 1907 and 1908. Detroit won the American League pennant in both of Downs' years with the team. He played 2 games in the 1908 World Series, getting one hit (a double) in 6 at-bats for a .167 batting average. Downs also scored a run and had an RBI in the 1908 World Series.
The Chicago White Sox acquired Downs after the 1908 season, but he got off the team train while on the way to spring training and did not reboard. Downs played with the minor-league Minneapolis Millers for most of the 1909, and then got another shot at the major leagues with the Washington Senators, but he declined to take the long trip east to play in only a few games. He played in 1910 and 1911 with Columbus, Ohio's team. The Brooklyn Dodgers drafted Downs after the 1911 season, but he was released after only 9 games in 1912. He was then picked up by the Chicago Cubs, where he took Joe Tinker's spot at shortstop. Sporting Life, in August 1912, reported that "Jerry Downs is proving a good substitute for Johnny Evers. The lad can bat some."From 1913 to 1918, Downs played for the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast League, including the 1915 PCL championship team. Downs also served as the Seals' manager at the end of the 1917 season, leading the team to another PCL pennant. On July 1, 1918, Downs resigned from the Seals and signed with the Los Angeles Angels, helping the Angels win the 1918 PCL pennant.
In 1924, Downs helped organize the Professional Ball Players of America. The organization carried on for a number of years, assisting ill and needy former ballplayers, and Downs served as a Director of the organization through 1925.
As the Great Depression hit, Downs fell on hard times. In March 1932, Downs and another man robbed a jewelry store at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Downs was convicted of first-degree robbery and sentenced to five years to life. He was paroled after 3-1/2 years and returned to Iowa. Downs died of cirrhosis of the liver in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1939 at age 56. He is buried at the Neola Township Cemetery in Neola, Iowa.Solly Hofman
Arthur Frederick "Solly" Hofman (October 29, 1882 – March 10, 1956) was an American Major League Baseball player from 1903 to 1916. He played the majority of his 1,194 games in the outfield.
His nickname was "Circus Solly". Some attribute this name to a comic strip of the era, while others attribute it to spectacular catches while fielding. He is considered by some to be the first great utility player in baseball due to his versatility.In the 1906 World Series, Hofman batted leadoff and played center field for the Chicago Cubs against their crosstown rivals, the Chicago White Sox. He had seven hits and three walks during the Series, batting .304. Hofman was the Cubs' center fielder on October 14, 1908 when they defeated the Detroit Tigers 2-0 to win the 1908 World Series. He hit .316 for the Series. It was the Cubs' last championship until 2016.
In 1,194 games over 14 seasons, Hofman compiled a .269 batting average (1095-for-4072) with 554 runs, 162 doubles, 60 triples, 19 home runs, 498 RBI, 208 stolen bases, 421 base on balls, 323 strikeouts, .340 on-base percentage and .352 slugging percentage. Defensively, he recorded a .966 fielding percentage at all positions except catcher. In three World Series covering 16 games (1906, 1908, 1910), he batted .298 (17-for-57) with 7 runs, 8 RBI and 3 stolen bases.
He was the uncle of Bobby Hofman of the New York Giants.
|Minor league affiliates|
|American League pennants (11)|
|Division titles (7)|
|Wild card berths (1)|
Chicago Cubs 1908 World Series champions