The "Miracle Braves" were in last place on July 4, then won the National League pennant by 10 1⁄2 games.(p84) The Braves' relatively unknown starting trio of pitchers, with a combined career record of 285–245, outperformed the Athletics vaunted rotation (929–654) in all four games.(p30) Hank Gowdy hit .545 (6 of 11) with five extra-base hits and also drew five walks for Boston in the series and was the difference maker in Games 1 and 3.
Adding to their supposed disadvantages, the Braves arguably lacked a notable home-field advantage. They had abandoned their 43-year-old home field South End Grounds in August 1914, choosing to rent from the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park while awaiting construction of Braves Field (1915). Thus their home games in this Series were also at Fenway.
This was the first four-game sweep in World Series history. The Cubs had defeated the Tigers four games to none in 1907, but Game 1 had ended in a tie before the Cubs won the next four in a row.
At least one publication, To Every Thing A Season by Bruce Kuklick, has suggested other factors that might have contributed to the sweep, noting that some of the A's may have been irritated at the penny-pinching ways of their manager/owner Connie Mack and thus did not play hard, and also noting the heavy wagering against Philadelphia placed by entertainer George M. Cohan through bookmaker Sport Sullivan, who was also implicated in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Chief Bender and Eddie Plank jumped to the rival Federal League for the 1915 season. Mack unloaded most of his other high-priced stars soon after and, within two years, the A's achieved the worst winning percentage in modern history (even worse than the 1962 New York Mets or the 2003 Detroit Tigers).
|1914 World Series|
Boston fans in Philadelphia during the 1914 World Series
|Umpires||Bill Dinneen (AL), Bill Klem (NL), George Hildebrand (AL), Lord Byron (NL)|
|Hall of Famers||Umpire: Bill Klem |
Braves: Johnny Evers, Rabbit Maranville.
Athletics: Connie Mack (mgr.), Frank Baker, Chief Bender, Eddie Collins, Herb Pennock, Eddie Plank.
Because the AL had won the last four World Series, including three in the last four years by the A's, and the fact that the Braves were in last place in July and rose to win the pennant, it was assumed the AL was superior to the NL. The heavily favored A's with all their hall-of-fame talent were assumed to win as they were the better team on paper.
This attitude was reflected in the team's case when the pennant was assured in the A's case, Connie Mack gave star pitcher Chief Bender the week off and told him to scout the Braves personally. Instead Bender took a vacation. When scolded by Mack, he replied: "Why should I check out a bunch of bush league hitters?"
|1||October 9||Boston Braves – 7, Philadelphia Athletics – 1||Shibe Park||1:58||20,562|
|2||October 10||Boston Braves – 1, Philadelphia Athletics – 0||Shibe Park||1:56||20,562|
|3||October 12||Philadelphia Athletics – 4, Boston Braves – 5 (12 innings)||Fenway Park||3:06||35,520|
|4||October 13||Philadelphia Athletics – 1, Boston Braves – 3||Fenway Park||1:49||34,365|
|WP: Dick Rudolph (1–0) LP: Chief Bender (0–1)|
26-game winner Dick Rudolph scattered five hits while striking out eight as the Braves won the opener in convincing fashion against the Athletics ace, Chief Bender. Catcher Hank Gowdy had a single, double and triple as well as a walk in leading Boston's offensive attack. He was also on the back end of a double steal in the eighth inning, with Butch Schmidt's steal of home the Braves' final run.
According to Tom Meany's 1950 book "Baseball's Greatest Teams", with one chapter on each of the then 16 major league teams' one most outstanding season in the author's opinion, the chapter on the Boston Braves was naturally on their one world championship year, 1914. Meany recalled that manager Stallings and the Braves showed utter contempt for Connie Mack's heavily favored A's by spurning the Shibe Park visiting clubhouse for the one in the National League Phillies' deserted home park, Baker Bowl (the NL site of the next World Series, which again featured Boston defeating Philadelphia, but this time Red Sox 4, Phillies 1). Meany may also have been the source for the sensational sidelight that Stallings' motive for this may have been the rumor that the A's may have sabotaged the Shibe Park visiting clubhouse (with war clouds gathering in Europe as World War I was just beginning).
|WP: Bill James (1–0) LP: Eddie Plank (0–1)|
Bill James, Boston's other 26-game winner, hooked up against Philadelphia's Eddie Plank in a classic pitcher's duel. James allowed only three base runners in the first eight innings, picking off two of them in holding Philadelphia scoreless. Plank matched him until the ninth, when Amos Strunk lost Charlie Deal's fly ball in the sun for a double. Deal then stole third, and scored on a two-out single by Les Mann. James walked two batters in the ninth, but got Eddie Murphy to ground into a game-ending double play to give Boston a 2–0 advantage in the series coming back home to Fenway.
|WP: Bill James (2–0) LP: Bullet Joe Bush (0–1)|
BOS: Hank Gowdy (1)
Lefty Tyler of the Braves went up against Bullet Joe Bush in a twelve-inning thriller. Frank "Home Run" Baker's two-out single in the tenth plated two runs to give the Athletics a 4–2 lead and a seeming victory to get them back in the series. But Hank Gowdy led off the bottom of the tenth with a home run, and the Braves then tied the game on Joe Connolly's sacrifice fly later in the inning. Game 2 winner Bill James, coming on in relief for Boston in the eleventh, earned the win after Gowdy led off the bottom of the twelfth with a double and pinch-runner Les Mann scored when Bush threw wildly to third on Herbie Moran's bunt, giving the Braves a commanding 3–0 lead in the series.
|WP: Dick Rudolph (2–0) LP: Bob Shawkey (0–1)|
Johnny Evers' two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the fifth broke a 1–1 tie and the collective backs of the heavily favored Athletics as the "Miracle Braves" completed their improbable sweep. Game 1 winner Dick Rudolph allowed only one baserunner after Evers' tie-breaking hit and struck out seven in notching his second win of the series. The powerful A's were held to a .172 team batting average and no home runs in the series.
|Total attendance: 111,009 Average attendance: 27,752|
Winning player's share: $2,812 Losing player's share: $2,032
The $100,000 infield was the infield of the Philadelphia Athletics in the early 1910s. The $100,000 infield consisted of first baseman Stuffy McInnis, second baseman Eddie Collins, shortstop Jack Barry and third baseman Frank "Home Run" Baker. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the nickname reflects "the purported combined market value of the foursome," which is equivalent to about $2.7 million in 2018.
Baseball historian Bill James rated the 1914 edition of the $100,000 infield the greatest infield of all time, and also ranked the 1912 and 1913 editions in the top five all time. The $100,000 infield helped the Athletics win four American League championships in five years—1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914—and win the World Series in 1910, 1911 and 1913. The group was broken up after losing the 1914 World Series as a result of the financial pressures resulting from the emergence of the Federal League. Two members—Collins and Baker—have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.1914 Boston Braves season
The 1914 Boston Braves season was the 44th season of the franchise. The team finished first in the National League, winning the pennant by 10½ games over the New York Giants after being in last place in the NL at midseason. The team, which became known as the 1914 Miracle Braves, went on to sweep the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series.1914 Major League Baseball season
The 1914 Major League Baseball season.1914 Philadelphia Athletics season
The 1914 Philadelphia Athletics season was a season in American baseball. It involved the A's finishing first in the American League with a record of 99 wins and 53 losses. They went on to face the Boston Braves in the 1914 World Series, which they lost in four straight games.
After the season, Connie Mack sold his best players off to other teams due to his frustration with the Federal League. The A's would then post seven consecutive last place finishes in the American League and would not win another pennant until 1929.1954 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1954 throughout the world.Baltimore Terrapins
The Baltimore Terrapins were one of the most successful teams in the short-lived Federal League of professional baseball from 1914 to 1915, but their brief existence led to litigation that led to an important legal precedent in baseball. The team played its home games at Terrapin Park.Bill James (pitcher, born 1892)
William Lawrence "Seattle Bill" James (March 12, 1892 – March 10, 1971) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He was given a nickname to differentiate him from his contemporary, "Big" Bill James.
The Braves purchased James in 1912 from the Seattle Giants of the Northwestern League. In 1914, James was an integral member of the Braves team that went from last place to first place in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. In his only full season, James posted a record of 26 wins against 7 losses. The Braves then went on to defeat Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series. James was 2–0 in the World Series as the Braves recorded the first sweep in Series history.
During World War I, James was an instructor at bomb-throwing for the US Army. He pitched in the minor leagues until 1925.Butch Schmidt
Charles John "Butch" Schmidt (July 19, 1886 in Baltimore, Maryland – September 4, 1952 in Baltimore, Maryland) was a Major League Baseball infielder who played from 1909–1915 for the Boston Braves and New York Highlanders.
In 1914, Schmidt was a member of the Braves team that went from last place to first place in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. The team then went on to defeat Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series.Charlie Deal
Charles Albert Deal (October 30, 1891 in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania – September 16, 1979 in Covina, California), was a professional baseball player who played third base in the Major Leagues from 1912 to 1921. He would play for the Chicago Cubs, Boston Braves, St. Louis Browns, St. Louis Terriers, and Detroit Tigers.In 1914, Deal was a member of the Braves team that went from last place to first place in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. The team then went on to defeat Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series. When his request for a salary increase for 1915 was rejected, Deal jumped to the Federal League, playing for the St. Louis Terriers. Deal only played 65 games for the Terriers, due to being hospitalised with a bout of typhoid fever.In 1917 Deal led the National League in sacrifice hits with 29. He also proved to be very reliable defensively, leading National League third baseman in fielding three years in a row (1919–1921). Deal then played for several teams in the Pacific Coast League in the mid-1920s, before ending his career at Chattanooga in the Southern Association in 1927.He was the last surviving member of the 1914 World Champion Boston Braves.Dick Rudolph
Richard Rudolph (August 25, 1887, in New York City – October 20, 1949, in Bronx, New York), was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the New York Giants and Boston Braves through 13 seasons spanning 1910–1927. He attended Fordham University.Though he stood only 5' 9.5" and weighed just 160 lbs., Rudolph was a large contributor for the 1914 Miracle Braves that went from last place to first place of the National League in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. The Braves then went on to sweep Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series, becoming the first MLB club ever to win a series in just four games, as Rudolph pitched complete-game victories in Games 1 and 4.Rudolph won 12 straight games during the regular season. In doing this, he turned in a 12-game consecutive winning streak from July 4 through August 24. Overall, he posted a 26-10 record with a 2.37 ERA in 44 games (43 starts), including 30 complete games and six shutouts in 341-plus innings of work. (A team record that stood until Tom Glavine won 13 straight in 1992). Though Rudolph never reached his 1914 peak again, he collected 22 wins in 1915 and 19 in the next season.Rudolph is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.Eddie Murphy (baseball)
John Edward Murphy (October 2, 1891 – February 21, 1969), nicknamed "Honest Eddie", was an American professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates.
He appeared in three World Series. His first two were with the Athletics in 1913 and 1914 World Series. Murphy appeared in the 1919 World Series as a member of the Chicago White Sox, a series best known for the Black Sox Scandal.Herbie Moran
John Herbert "Herbie" Moran (February 16, 1884 – September 21, 1954) was an American professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Doves, Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, and Boston Braves between 1908 and 1915.In 1914, Moran was a member of the Braves team that went from last place to first place in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. The team then went on to defeat Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series.Home Run Baker
John Franklin "Home Run" Baker (March 13, 1886 – June 28, 1963) was an American professional baseball player. A third baseman, Baker played in Major League Baseball from 1908 to 1922, for the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Yankees. Baker has been called the "original home run king of the majors".Baker was a member of the Athletics' $100,000 infield. He helped the Athletics win the 1910, 1911 and 1913 World Series. After a contract dispute, the Athletics sold Baker to the Yankees, where he and Wally Pipp helped the Yankees' offense. Baker appeared with the Yankees in the 1921 and 1922 World Series, though the Yankees lost both series, before retiring.
Baker led the American League in home runs for four consecutive years, from 1911 through 1914. He had a batting average over .300 in six seasons, had three seasons with more than 100 runs batted in, and two seasons with over 100 runs scored. Baker's legacy has grown over the years, and he is regarded by many as one of the best power hitters of the deadball era. During his 13 years as a major league player, Baker never played a single inning at any position other than third base. Baker was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1955.Joe Connolly (1910s outfielder)
Joseph Aloysius Connolly (February 1, 1884 – September 1, 1943) was a left fielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Boston Braves from 1913 through 1916. Listed at 5 ft 7.5 in (1.71 m), 165 lb., Connolly batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
A native of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, Connolly was a prominent member of the 1914 Boston Braves World Champions. As for his defense at left field, the Boston Sunday Post wrote "he is fairly fast, the possessor of a strong wing (arm) and he covers a good extent of territory."
Connolly made his professional debut as a pitcher in 1906 with the Putnam, Connecticut team of the New England League. From 1908 to 1912, he divided his playing time with Class-A Little Rock and Class-B Zanesville teams, playing some outfield when he was not pitching. In 1909, while in Zanesville, he posted a 23–8 record and hit .308 during the season. The following year, despite he pitched for a sixth-place team that ended 16 games below .500, he went 16–17, including a no-hitter, a one-hitter, a two-hitter, and four three-hitters, but he was beginning to experience arm trouble. In 1911 he played exclusively at left field, but financial problems forced Zanesville to send him to Terre Haute of the Central League, as he led the league hitters with a .355 batting average, adding 27 stolen bases. The Chicago Cubs signed Connolly and then traded him to the Montreal Royals of the International League, where he hit .316 in 1912. Drafted by the Washington Senators of Clark Griffith in 1913, he was sold immediately to the Boston Braves, to become the team's regular left fielder. Thought his rookie Major League season ended prematurely when he broke his ankle, Connolly led the Braves in average (.281), runs (79), RBI (57), triples (11), and slugging percentage (.410), in 126 games played.
In 1914, Connolly was a member of the Braves team that went from last place to first place in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. He was the offensive star of the 1914 Braves, playing predominantly against right-handed pitching and usually batting third in the order at bat. He led his team with a .306 average (the only regular to hit .300), 28 doubles (fourth in the National League), nine home runs (fifth in the league), and a .494 slugging percentage (third in the league). He hit .111 (1-9) with a run and one RBI during the 1914 World Series, as the Braves defeated Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in four games.
The 1915 Braves challenged for the National League and Connolly hit .298, but the following year his production and playing time decreased even more significantly, ending with a .227 average (25-for-110) in just 62 games. Boston's contract offer to Connolly for 1917 slashed his salary in half, and when he refused to sign, the Braves sold him to the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association. Realizing that his combined income from farming and playing semipro ball locally would exceed his salary under his professional contract, he decided to retire.
In a four-season career, Connolly was a .288 hitter (358-for-1241) with 14 home runs and 157 RBI in 412 games, including 202 runs, 65 doubles, 31 triples, and 48 stolen bases.
Following his baseball career, Connelly served in the Rhode Island State Legislature. He died in his home town of North Smithfield, Rhode Island at the age of 59.Larry Gilbert (baseball)
Lawrence William Gilbert (December 3, 1891 – February 17, 1965) was an American right fielder in Major League Baseball and a longtime manager in minor league baseball. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, who broke into baseball as a left-handed pitcher, Gilbert first became famous as a member of the 1914 "Miracle" Boston Braves.
But his Major League career lasted only two seasons (the Braves' breakthrough 1914 campaign and 1915). A left-handed batter, he batted .230 with five homers, 29 runs batted in, ten doubles and seven stolen bases. In 1914, Gilbert was a member of the Braves team that went from last place to first in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. The team then went on to defeat Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series. In the series, he drew an intentional walk in his only appearance.
Gilbert became more famous as a minor league manager in the Southern Association, where he led teams for 25 seasons, including the New Orleans Pelicans from 1923–31 and 1933–38 and the Nashville Vols from 1939–48. He took 1932 off from his dugout duties to serve as president of the Pelicans, then was a part-owner of the Vols from 1939 through 1955. His managing career was bracketed by pennants. His New Orleans club posted 89 wins and a .610 winning percentage in 1923, and his final club, in Nashville, won 95 games but lost the 1948 playoff championship.
Gilbert won eight Southern Association championships during his quarter-century in the league, including six consecutive titles (1939–44) with the Vols. His clubs twice won 101 games (1926 with New Orleans and 1940 with Nashville). Gilbert's career record as a minor league skipper was 2,128 wins and 1,627 defeats (.567).
He died in New Orleans of undisclosed causes at age 73. He was the father of Charlie Gilbert, a National League outfielder from 1940–43 and in 1946–47, and Tookie Gilbert, a minor league slugger with the Vols who had two trials with the New York Giants in the early 1950s.Lefty Tyler
George Albert "Lefty" Tyler (December 14, 1889 – September 29, 1953) was a professional baseball pitcher from 1910 to 1921.
From 1910 to 1917, Tyler played with the Boston Doves/Boston Braves. He performed well, having an earned run average (ERA) under 3 in all but two years. In 1918, Tyler was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Larry Doyle, Art Wilson, and $15,000. Tyler did well in Chicago as well, having ERA's under 4.
Tyler's career earned run average was 2.95. His brother, Fred Tyler, played in the major leagues in 1914 as a catcher.
In 1914, Tyler was a member of the Braves team that went from last place to first place in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. The team then went on to defeat Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series.
In 1916, the New York Giants set the current record of 26 wins without a defeat: Tyler beat them to end the streak on September 30, 1916.
He was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the 1918 World Series for the Cubs, as well as the hard-luck loser of a 2-1 decision in Game 6, the last game of the Series; it was the last win for the opposing Boston Red Sox until 2004.
Tyler was a better than average hitting pitcher in his 12-year major league career, compiling a .217 batting average (189-for-870) with 85 runs, 4 home runs and 73 RBI. He recorded a career-high 20 RBI as a member of the 1916 Boston Braves.Lord Byron (umpire)
William Jeremiah "Lord" Byron (September 18, 1872 - December 27, 1955) was a Major League Baseball umpire.Byron began umpiring in the Michigan State League in 1896. He would then work in the South Atlantic League from 1905 to 1907. From 1908 to 1912, Byron umpired games for the Virginia League, Eastern League, Southern League, and the International League.Byron made his major league umpiring debut on April 10, 1913 for the National League. He would work in the NL from 1913 until 1919, umpiring 1,012 games and the 1914 World Series with Bill Dinneen, Bill Klem, and George Hildebrand.He returned to the minor leagues with the Pacific Coast League from 1920 to 1924, and then retired from umpiring. Byron was known as the "Singing Umpire", because he would occasionally sing his calls.Byron died in Ypsilanti, Michigan.Possum Whitted
George Bostic "Possum" Whitted (February 4, 1890 – October 16, 1962) was an American professional baseball outfielder and third baseman. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1912 to 1922 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Brooklyn Robins.
In 1914, Whitted was a member of the Braves team that went from last place to first place in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. The team then went on to defeat Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series.
He played for the Phillies in 1915, which won the National League Pennant.
He was the first rookie in history to start at every position (except pitcher and catcher) during the season.
In 11 seasons he played in 1,025 games and had 3,630 at bats, 440 runs, 978 hits, 145 doubles, 60 triples, 23 home runs, 451 RBI, 116 stolen bases, 215 walks, .269 batting average, .313 on-base percentage, .361 slugging percentage, 1,312 total bases and 180 sacrifice hits.
He died in Wilmington, North Carolina at the age of 72 due to cardiac complications. As a United States Army Sergeant First Class in the Quartermaster Corps during World War I, he was buried at the Wilmington National Cemetery.There is presently one survivor of George “Possum” Bostic Whitted, Sr.; his granddaughter, Dr. Tracy Whitted Brown, daughter of Possum’s only child, George Bostic Whitted, Jr., of Chapel Hill. George Whitted Sr., and George Whitted, Jr., are buried in the VA Cemetery in Wilmington, NC. Dr. Tracy Whitted Brown, also previously a notable athlete, is a Neuroscientist, previously of the Salk Biological Institute, La Jolla, CA., currently residing in NC.
Possum’s sister, Dr. Bessie Whitted Spence, taught at Duke University, Trinity College of Religion, and was the first female Professor Emeritus.
|World's Championship Series|
|Division titles (18)|
|Wild card berths (2)|
|AL West Division|
|AL Wild Card (3)|
Boston Braves 1914 World Series champions