The Coming 2003 World Series what ifs!


The Coming 2003 World Series


Richard J. Garfunkel



Yes, I am rooting for the Cubs in the NL, and no matter who wins in the AL; the WS would be a classic. A NY-Chicago fandango would evoke memories of Ruth's called shot at Wrigley in 1932 and their two 4-0 sweeps (1932 and 1938). A Cubbie win would mean their first pennant since 1945 also. Ruth played his last World Series with the Yanks in 1932 and was part of a team that had finished 2nd three years in a row to the Connie Mack led A's powerhouse that was finally running down. The Yanks won 107 games, a great many for the then 154 game schedule. The Mackmen only won 94 and were 13 games out. Over the next few years Mack was forced to sell off many of his stars because of the Depression. The 1932 Yanks featured Gehrig (.349), Lazzari (.300), Ruth (.341), Combs (.321), Dickey (.310) and the great pitching staff of Gomez (24-7), Ruffing, Pipgras, Allen, and Pennock against the Cubs (90-64) managed by Charlie Grimm, after he replaced Rogers Hornsby, that featured Kiki Cuyler, Jo Jo Moore, Gabby Hartnet and pitchers Lon Warneke and Guy Bush.


The 1938 Yanks, in the midst of their 4 World Series in a row streak (unprecedented until 1949-53) won 99 games under the peerless leadership of Joe McCarthy and were led by Gehrig, Joe Gordon, Red Rolfe, Tommy Henrich, Bill Dickey and Joe DiMaggio! Their stalwart pitching led the league by under a half run in era and featured Gomez, Ruffing, Monte Pearson and Spud Chandler. They faced a Cub teamed managed by the famous Gabby Hartnett, who had replaced Charlie Grimm. They only won 89 games, while winning the pennant by 3 games and were led by Billy Herman, Billy Jurges and Stan Hack. The Cubs hit 65 homeruns to the Yanks 174! Both the 1932 and 1938 World Series were sweeps by the McCarthy led Bronx Bombers and the Cubs were crushed in 1932 and out pitched in 1938.


A Red Sox-Cub showdown would also insure that one of the two oldest and most forlorn bridesmaids would finally catch the bouquet. The Cubbies haven't won a WS since 1908 and the Bosox haven't since 1918.


The Cubs beat the Toothless Tigers in 1908 4 games to one. Ty Cobb did hit .368, but his Bengals were out-hit .293 to .203. There was one homerun hit by Joe Tinker of “Tinkers to Evers to Chance” fame. Tinker also led the Cubbies with a .421 batting average.  After losing the first two games, the Tigers rallied to win game three with a five run outburst in the sixth inning, led by Cobb's four hits. But Cobb only had three hits in the other games and the powerful 3-time pennant winning Cubs won their second straight Series over the clawless Tigers (The Cubs won 4-0 in 1907, but had lost to the Miracle Hitless Wonder White Sox in 1906 in Chicago's only subway or trolley World Series.) Such stalwarts as pitchers Babe Ruth, Carl Mays, Bullet Joe Bush and Sam Jones led the Red-Sox powerhouse of 1918. The “Babe” led a lackluster Bosox hitting attack with 11 homeruns out of the club's 15! The league leader only hit 22, the A's came in last! Roth hit .300 with only 317 at bats and the other regular who did any hitting was Harry Hooper an excellent outfielder who hit .289. The Red Sox had won 2 out of the three past World Series, besting the Phillies 4-1 in 1915, and the Dodgers 4-1 in 1916.


In 1918, Ruth's famous 29 2/3 innings of World Series shutout pitching was ended in game 4. But the Sox prevailed beating the aforementioned Cubs, four games to two, led by the infamous Fred Merkle, who batted .389 in the Classic. Ruth won 2 games in his World Series final with the Sox. The Cubs were not a memorable team, but were led, in a war-shortened season, by very strong pitching, featuring; Hippo Vaughn, who led the league with 22 victories and an era of 1.74!


A match-up of the Cubs and Sox would actually be played in the same ballparks from 1918! Wow! Of course the entire aside, history would favor the Yanks who have much better pitching than the Bosox. The Cubs with Prior and Wood and a sense of destiny will probably prevail over the upstart Marlins. But stranger things have happened before.



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