Back to the Dead Ball Era We Go! 1918 Cubs!

Back to the Dead Ball Era We Go! 1918 Cubs!

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Back to the Dead Ball Era We Go!

Here’s one of my favorite Dead Ball Era photos. It’s a beautiful photo of the 1918 pennant-winning Cubs. Our friend Jay Gauthreaux posted it recently on his Facebook page.

I did the player ID’s a few years ago for the Baseball Fever web site. I got most of them; but we always strive for accuracy, so any corrections are welcome.  

Top Row: Phil Douglas, Hippo Vaughn, Rollie Zeider, Bob O’Farrell, Lefty Tyler, Fred Merkle, Dode Passert, Paul Carter, Claude Hendrix, Roy Walker. Bottom Row: Unknown, Charlie Pick, Unknown (1), Max Flack, Chuck Workman, maybe Rowdy Elliott, Clarence Mitchell, Les Mann, Turner Barber, Charlie Deal, Charlie Hollocher, Tommy Clarke. Team mascot in front. Unknown (1) may be Speed Martin

Here’s excerpts from my review of the book “The Original Curse,” by Sean Deveney, which asserted that the 1918 World Series might not have been completely on the up-and-up:

1918 was one of the strangest, most dysfunctional years in all of major league baseball history. Yes, the Red Sox did win the World Series that year, but it was anything but a competition between the best, most talented teams and players. Because of the ramp-up of the United States’ participation in World War I, the war cast a huge cloud over the entire season, continually pulling (or threatening to pull) players out of the game, shortening the season, and almost cancelling the Series itself.

Fans lost interest, players did too, and due to severe financial shortcomings, and the threat of never earning another decent baseball paycheck, some players likely were tempted to take money from gamblers to throw one or more World Series games.

The first three games were poorly attended in Chicago and the quality of play slipped afterwards when the players found out they would be receiving considerably less money. When the players were informed that the winners would receive $1,200 per man and the losers would receive $800, they were understandably angry. The players threatened to strike before Game 5, demanding more money.

“The Original Curse” dives deep into the 1918 baseball season, the year before the Black Sox World Series-throwing scandal, and poses the provocative question: is it possible that the White Sox were not the first and only team to throw a World Series – and could their crosstown rivals, the Cubs, have done so the previous year?

Gary Livacari

Photo Credits: From the book “The Original Curse”, by Sean Deveney; and public domain. 

Information: Excerpts edited from my review of “The Original Curse.”

Check out my new book, now available on Amazon in paperback: “Memorable World Series Moments!” All profits go to the Illinois Veterans Foundation

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I'm a baseball historian who also loves to write. My forte is identifying ballplayers in old photos, and my specail interest is the Dead Ball Era.

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