Nowlin: Why the 1917 season nearly didn’t take place

From SABR member Bill Nowlin at The National Pastime Museum on September 5, 2017:

As the year 1917 opened, there was war in Europe and internal discord within the ranks of Organized Baseball. Since the Great War had broken out in Europe in 1914, the United States had retained a policy of neutrality and maintained it through 1915 and 1916, despite the loss of 128 U.S. citizens when a German submarine torpedoed and sank the Lusitania in May 1915. Over time, though, ongoing German attacks on neutral shipping in the Atlantic built pressure on the U.S. government. Finally, on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson addressed Congress and asked for a declaration of war against Germany. Four days later, on April 6, Congress voted to go to war.

It was five days before Opening Day.

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Originally published: September 5, 2017. Last Updated: September 5, 2017.