Metro

Red Sox faced Dodgers’ ancestor in 1916 World Series; Babe Ruth was pitching

The front page of the Oct. 13, 1916, Boston Daily Globe.
The front page of the Oct. 13, 1916, Boston Daily Globe.

The Boston Red Sox will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night, but it’s not the first time the two teams have played on baseball’s biggest stage.

In a five-game series in October of 1916, the Red Sox beat the Brooklyn Robins, an ancestor of the modern day Dodgers, to claim their second baseball championship in as many years.

The series began Oct. 7 at Braves Field on Commonwealth Avenue, now home to Boston University’s Nickerson Field. The Red Sox beat the Robins, nicknamed so for their manager, Wilbert Robinson, in a game that the Red Sox dominated, until the ninth inning.

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“The Champion Boston team played a remarkable all-around game, outpointing its Brooklyn rivals at every stage of the way,” according to a Globe article about Game 1 from the Oct. 8, 1916 issue of the Boston Globe. “In the ninth was displayed the glorious uncertainty of the great game, for Brooklyn rallied at the last ditch and the finish was one of the most sensational ever witnessed in a game for the championship.”

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Babe Ruth was the leading pitcher on the championship Boston Red Sox team until his ability at the bat forced managers to put him in the lineup full-time.

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The Robins scored four runs in the ninth before the Red Sox secured the last out of the game on a throw from the shortstop to first base with the bases loaded, according to the Globe article.

The Red Sox won Game 2 at Braves Field as well, this time thanks to a 14-inning outing from starting left-handed pitcher Babe Ruth and some “extremely brilliant” fielding from the Red Sox. The winning run was scored on a pinch hit single that scored a pinch runner, according to a Globe article from Oct. 10.

“Clink your glasses, boys, to the classiest of ball teams, which was forced to travel 14 innings before it could down the aggressive boys from old Brooklyn town,” one reporter wrote in the Oct. 10 issue of the Globe.

Games 3 and 4 were played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn on Oct. 10 and 11. The Robins won Game 3 four runs to three and the Red Sox won Game 4 six runs to two, putting them one game away from the 1916 baseball title, according to Globe articles published during the series.

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The Red Sox beat the Robins four runs to one in Game 5 to win their fourth baseball championship on Oct. 12 in front of a record crowd of 42,620 Boston fans, according to a Globe article from the following day.

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William Joseph "Lefty" Glennon, mascot of the Boston Red Sox baseball team and "Red" Monahan, mascot of the Brooklyn Dodgers at the 1916 World Series.

Tickets for Game 1 seats in the third base bleachers cost $1, and tickets for seats in the center field bleachers were 50 cents. Similar tickets for Tuesday’s Game 1 in Fenway Park were selling on StubHub for about $640 and $530 respectively Monday morning.

Robinson coached the Robins until 1931, after which the team reclaimed the Dodgers name. The team moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958. The last time the Dodgers won the World Series was in 1988, according to the Dodgers website. The Red Sox last won in 2013.

Red Sox ace Chris Sale is expected to start Game 1. The Dodgers are expected to start either Clayton Kershaw or Rich Hill. The game starts at 8:09 p.m.


Andres Picon can be reached at andres.picon@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andpicon.