THE LAST ONE FOR 86 YEARS
1918 WORLD SERIES, GAME #1
Stuffy McInnis' single beats the Cubs in Game #1
September 5, 1918
The Red Sox trimmed the Cubs in the opening game of the World Series by a score of 1 to 0. It was a battle of southpaws. Babe Ruth was pitted against Hippo Jim Vaughn and while the National League champions outhit the Red Sox, Babe, himself proved to be a master workman. Vaughn pitched capably,
holding the Sox hitless after the fourth inning, when they scored their lone run. The Babe passed only one batter, while Hippo passed three. The Red Sox were constantly on their toes.
While it was painfully clear that the Sox were handcuffed, to some extent against a lefty pitcher such as Vaughn, let it be added that a base on balls that he presented to Dave Shean paved the way for the run that decided the game. Harry Hooper was the only left-handed
hitter on the Sox who hit Vaughn. George, Whiteman got two hits while Stuffy McInnis and Shean got in one each. Neither lefties Ruth nor Strunk could do much against the big left-handed pitcher. On his first trip to the plate, Babe smashed the ball to center. Dode Paskert got under it after
looking like he was going to miss it. On the next two times up the Babe fanned and looked silly, chasing after bad balls.
The Babe can thus rest on his pitching laurels. He worked out of a number of tight holes many times. Ruth was also stronger after the third inning. Paskert and Fred Merkle singled in the six with one out, and were marooned after that. It was Babe's second World Series
triumph. Two years ago in Boston, he beat Brooklyn 2 to 1 in 14 innings, the longest World Series game ever played.
The greatest day of the game was made by Everett Scott in the seventh inning. Vaughn smashed one toward left and about everybody was satisfied that he was going to have a base hit, but Scotty raced over and made a spectacular pick up with his bare hand, shooting the
ball swiftly to first, getting Vaughn in the nick of time.
In the opening inning the Cubs were shy on the attack when they had a wonderful opportunity. After two had expired, Les Mann banged one that shot over Shean's head as he was racing in for it. Paskert followed with a single to left. Instead of playing it safe, Whiteman
rushed in to meet the ball and struck him on the foot. Mann took third and Dode rushed to second when the play was made trying to get Mann. Babe walked Merkle to load the bases, but that was it, because Charlie Pick popped out to end the inning.
The Red Sox hit Vaughn safely in each of the first three innings, but Whiteman, who opened the second with a single, was the only one to reach second. In the fourth inning, when the Red Sox scored, Dave Shean, the first hitter collected a free pass. Trying to sacrifice
him, Amos Strunk popped up to Vaughn, but then Whiteman lashed a single to center, putting Shean on second. Stuffy McInnis ripped a single to left-center and Shean came all the way around to score, but Whiteman was held at second. Everett Scott tried to bunt on third baseman Chuck Deal, who
made a wonderful play coming in fast, and taking the ball just as it was about to hit the ground. Fred Thomas ended the scoring by striking out. After the fourth Vaughn held the Sox hitless, putting them down in order until the ninth inning, when he started the inning by passing Shean again.
After Strunk sacrificed him the second Vaughn purposely walked McInnis, and then tossed out Scott at first.
While the game may not have been the best ever staged, it was most assuredly one of the classiest. Both teams played errorless ball and it was a pity that there were so few fans to witness it. War made its hand felt in the attendance and receipts of this first game.
Just over 19,000 fans attended and that was 13,000 less than a year ago. The receipts of $30,000 or less than half the amount taking in the first game last year.
Airplanes soared above the ball yard, getting the minds of the fans off the game occasionally. All the Sox coaching at third was done by Heinie Wagner. Joe Bush and Jack Coffey, spreading the chatter from the first base line.