Lutzke: Tigers finished 1918 season in shadow of pandemic, war

From SABR member Mitch Lutzke at Tigers History on May 22, 2020:

In 1918, the Spanish flu was ravaging the world. The Center for Disease Control estimated the flu killed 50 million people around the globe, 675,000 of them in the United States. With Covid-19 currently bashing the United States, the sports world has been placed on hold. So how did the Spanish Flu impact major league baseball 102 years ago? Not much, at least not nearly as much as World War I.

America did its best to stay out of the war. However, German torpedoes aimed at American cargo ships, the idea that Germany bullied their Allies into war, and President Woodrow Wilson’s desire to make the United States a world power all sucked the country into fighting in the summer of 1917. The major league baseball season operated as usual with 154 games in 1917 and ended in mid-October with a White Sox World Series win over the New York Giants.

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Originally published: May 22, 2020. Last Updated: May 22, 2020.