SABR

Pomrenke: 1912 White Sox had a comeback for the ages

From SABR member Jacob Pomrenke at The National Pastime Museum on September 30, 2013:

After the 2004 Boston Red Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit in games against the New York Yankees to clinch a World Series berth, Red Sox owner John Henry called it “the greatest comeback in baseball history.” Most fans believed it was the first time any major league team had won a best-of-7 postseason series that way, but there was an obscure precedent.

In October 1912, the Chicago White Sox climbed out of a similar hole to win a postseason City Series against the Chicago Cubs. Like the Red Sox, the White Sox’s triumph included dramatic victories in their last at-bat and a laughable blowout in the decisive final game.

Those City Series are forgotten now, but they were officially sanctioned by the National Commission, then the ruling body of professional baseball. Beginning in 1903, regional postseason series were scheduled between interleague rivals — Cubs-White Sox in Chicago, Cardinals-Browns in St. Louis, Phillies-Athletics in Philadelphia, Giants-Yankees in New York, Red Sox-Braves in Boston and Reds-Indians in Ohio — when neither team qualified for the World Series.

These exhibition games, held under the same format and financial incentives as the World Series, were a way for owners and players to make a little extra money and give fans one last chance to see top-flight baseball before the long winter. Nowhere were they more popular or more fiercely contested than in Chicago, which continued holding a City Series until 1942. (No other city held one after 1917.)

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/comeback-ages

This page was last updated September 30, 2013 at 11:10 am MST.

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