The Philadelphia Phillies made their first appearance in the World Series in 1915, when they challenged a talented Boston Red Sox squad. The Phillies came in to their first Fall Classic as the clear underdogs as Boston was familiar with post season play.
Featuring pitcher Cleveland%20Alexander">Grover Cleveland Alexander and power hitter Gavy Craveth the Phillies would face a stiff test in the Red Sox, who were loaded with so much talent that young pitcher Babe Ruth made just one appearance in the Series—as a pinch hitter.
We continue our phlashback with a look at game five of the 1915 World Series, played in Philadelphia.
1915 World Series
Philadelphia Phillies (90-62) vs. Boston Red Sox (101-50)
Game Five: Red Sox Win 5-4, Win World Series 4-1
Each game of the 1915 World Series was a tight contest. Neither team truly pulled away from the other. Game Five in Philadelphia was no different, but this game had the biggest offensive outburst from both sides.
Facing elimination, the Phillies sent their Game Two starter, Erskine Mayer, to the mound. After giving up a leadoff hit to Red Sox right fielder Harry Hooper, Mayer shut down the Red Sox, giving the Phillies some early momentum.
Phillies third baseman Milt Stock was hit by a pitch in the leadoff spot and Dave Bancroft followed up with a single. Center fielder Dode Paskert was able to put down a nice bunt for a single to put two runners in scoring position, and have the bases loaded, with zero outs.
This was a situation that came back to haunt the Phillies in Game Four in the third inning. Craveth hit in to what could have been a momentum killing double play in the next at-bat.
Red Sox pitcher Rube Foster fielded the ball, threw home for a tag out of Stock, and catcher Pinch Thomas threw to first base for the force out of Craveth. There were still two runners in scoring position. Fred Luderus came through with a double to left-center to score the two base runners, giving the Phillies a crucial 2-0 lead.
Boston would tie the game up with a pair of single runs in the second and third innings. In the third inning, Hooper hit a controversial home run. Playing in the Baker Bowl, the Phillies brought in extra stands to seat more fans. These imported bleachers were placed in center field and by the rules at the time any ball that bounced in to them was considered a home run. No ground rule double rule was used at the time.
Hooper took advantage of this and tied the game in the third inning with his home run.
Fighting back to regain the lead, Luderus put the Phillies back in front with a solo home run in the fourth inning. The Phillies added another run in the inning when Ed Burns singled and scored Bert Niehoff. The Phillies took a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning.
Then everything fell apart.
The Red Sox' left fielder, Duffy Lewis, took advantage of the home run rule with the imported bleachers, similar to teammate Hooper. The home run was a two-run shot that tied the game up at four runs each. Then in the ninth inning Hooper struck again, hitting one more controversial ground rule home run to give the Red Sox a 5-4 lead.
Foster sealed the deal in the bottom of the ninth inning, retiring the three Phillies batters and clinching the 1915 World Series in the process.
For the Red Sox, this was their third World Series championship, but certainly not their last. Boston would repeat in 1916 by defeating the Brooklyn Robins, who would go on to become the Dodgers.
For the Phillies, it would be a long time until a return trip to the World Series came their way. The Phillies waited 35 years until their next trip, where they faced the New York Yankees in the 1950 World Series.