This championship is a potential dual antidote for the depression Red Sox and Braves fans face in the aftermath of their teams’ collapses and abandonment of wild-card berths in the 2011 playoffs. The pictures below come from the Boston Globe covering the Braves wrapping up a four-game sweep of the World Series on October 13, 1914, by beating the Philadelphia A’s, 3-1, at Fenway Park. The Braves played at Fenway to take advantage of its 27,000 seats, greater capacity than their home park, South End Grounds. (In 1915, after the Braves opened their Braves Field, the Red Sox played the World Series there, because it held about 40,000 vs. Fenway’s 27,000.)
(An aside that this level of attention to the gate and money shows up in coverage of the 1917 World Series as well.) The box score for game 4:
The Globe’s description of game 4 is not especially memorable. It wrote that the performance “closed a remarkable series of games, in which men practically unknown to fame a couple of months ago have become heroes, and in which high-class and high-priced stars failed to show the skill and nerve that made them famous in former series.” Words that apply very adequately to Tampa Bay and Boston in 2011.
Nonetheless, the 1914 Braves team is probably the most anonymous to make a great comeback, with no all-time greats, and from a time so far removed just about no one has even secondhand memories of its accomplishment. In summary, the 1914 Braves were 12-28, in 8th (last) place in the N.L. as of June 8, and remained in last for all but one day up until July 19. In fact, from April 25 through July 19, they were out of last on only two days. The Braves were 12 games out of first on July 25, at 40-45, tied for first on August 25, at 60-49, and wound up at 94-59, in first place by 10.5 games. In the interval from July 15 to season’s end, they had 6 winning streaks of at least 5 games, going from 33-43 to 94-59, or 61-16.