From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on March 27, 2015:
Say what you will about splitting leagues into divisions and having Wild Card teams, but one positive benefit cannot be denied. With 10 postseason berths up for grabs, there are almost always a few teams going right down to the wire before being eliminated. When the World Series was the only postseason game in town, if the two first-place teams opened up a big lead, the tail-end of the season was just a matter of playing out the schedule.
In some cities, playing out the schedule was an annual tradition. Some teams could make their fall vacation plans as early as spring training. One such undistinguished team was the Boston Braves almost every season. Fans could plan on 77 home games, but there was scant hope for any more.
Consequently, Braves Field was usually pretty quiet during the final home stand of the season. Of all the “classic” ballparks that went offline in the second half of the 20th century, Braves Field might have been the least heralded. After opening in 1915, one year too late to house the Miracle Braves, it played host to the 1915 and 1916 World Series with the Red Sox. Then nothing till the Spahn-and-Sain Braves won the 1948 pennant.
Famously, Boston just missed an all-Beantown series in 1948 when the Red Sox lost a one-game playoff to the Indians, but there were earlier possibilities right from the first season of Braves Field. The Braves finished second in 1915 with a record of 83-69, and had a third-place finish in 1916 (89-83).
Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/indian-summer-at-braves-field/
Originally published: March 27, 2015. Last Updated: March 27, 2015.