September 11, 1918 - prior to 2004 this marked the date of the last year that the Boston Red Sox had won the World Series. Whether you are a Red Sox fan or not, as long as you are a fan of the sport you know the weight that this date holds. For Red Sox fans it was a date that would weigh heavily on their hearts and spirit.
The Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs in four games to two in the 1918 World Series. Due to World War I the series was held in September due to a "Work or Fight" order which would cause the early end to the season. This series remains the only World Series to be played entirely in September. Playing their 1915 and 1916 World Series home games at Braves Field, the Red Sox would return to Fenway Park for the 1918 World Series. Losing a number of players to the war left the Cubs pitching staff very thin compared to the strength of the Red Sox staff which included Babe Ruth and Carl Mays. Cubs pitcher Hippo Vaughn would have to face the two best arms the Red Sox had. He would prove to be no match for them losing two of the Cubs four losses.
During game one, in the bottom of the 7th before Chicago came up the game was halted as the band played "The Star Spangled Banner." Though some believed this to be the beginning of what is now a baseball tradition, the song was actually first played eighteen years earlier before a game in Boston. The Red Sox took game one, but another game was beginning to take over in game two. Cubs coach Otto knabe had ridden Ruth with foul language and so mercilessly that Ruth went to look for him after the game. In game two Knabe took to aiming his words at Boston coach Heine Wagner. Wagner was less patient then Ruth and at the end of the inning he went to the Cub's dugout in a fit of rage throwing punches at Knabe. The two fell to the ground and the Red Sox then poured into the Cubs dugout finally realizing what was happening. The rest of the game was played hard trying to inflict pain and cause harm whenever and where ever possible. Chicago would go on to win tying up the series.
Game three was played with cooler heads and was taken by Boston for the lead in the series. The two teams would head to Boston for game four of the series. This would be the first series game played at Fenway park since the 1914 Braves met the Athletics. The Cubs could not score although Ruth was struggling through every pitch as the result of a swollen finger he sustained while traveling back to Boston. Ruth was up to bat and with a full count hit a shot that would rally a crowd of twenty-five thousand and bring two men home to take the lead. In the ninth Ruth gave up a single and a walk to the first two hitters. With Ruth fading Joe Bush was brought into pitch and Ruth was sent to left field. Boston won.
Leading the Series 3-1, the Boston Red Sox were shut out by Hippo Vaughn. Game 5 was played with a grey cloud looming with players going on strike right before the game was to start. Boston ws said to have played as if they were unsure whether they were still on stirke or not. With only a little over fifteen thousand fans in attendance, almost ten thousand less then the previous five games, the Red Sox would pull out what would be the last world championship for the team for a little more then eight decades.