1908: The End of September

Detroit’s Ty Cobb

Back in 1908, the last day of September didn’t end the baseball regular season. There were still games to play, a couple of them important, a couple of them famous. So where did the leagues stand at the end of the ninth month?

In the American League, which is frequently, and unjustly, overshadowed by the National League in 1908 the pennant was undecided. Detroit, the defending champions, had five games remaining and a half game lead on Cleveland, who had only three to go. Third place Chicago was a game and a half back also with three games to play. With five games to go, the Browns were four and a half games out and technically still alive for a tie (they were four games back in the loss column). Any of the four had a chance to claim at least a share of the pennant. Key remaining games sent Chicago against Cleveland and Detroit went to St. Louis.

The National League was equally muddled. The New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates were tied (the Giants were percentage points ahead) with the Chicago Cubs a half game back. New York had five games remaining, the Pirates three, and the Cubs five. The Cubs games were against Cincinnati and then a season closing game against the Pirates. Pittsburgh had the one game against Chicago after games with St. Louis. The Giants finished up against Philadelphia, Boston (today’s Braves), and Brooklyn. Hovering over it all was the tied game of 23 September between the Giants and Cubs. If it mattered for the standings, it would be replayed in the Polo Grounds in New York 8 October.

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2 Responses to “1908: The End of September”

  1. glenrussellslater Says:

    I’m rooting for the Pirates in this one, V! My grandfather, my mother’s father who was growing up in the tiny town of Conway, Pennsylvania (in Beaver County, northwest of Pittsburgh), was, no doubt, a Pirate fan by then, or was gonna be pretty soon. The thing about my grandfather, Louis Caplan, was that he was born in Lithuania, and his parents and the kids escaped there and settled in Conway. Records were poorly kept in Lithuania, and he didn’t know the actual year he was born, so it’s impossible to know if he was old enough to be a Pirates fan in 1908. No regrets, though. They were just happy to be away from the Czar’s goons, and all the crap they had to go through in Lithuania.


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