More Than Merkle: A History of the Best and Most Exciting Baseball Season in Human History

By David W. Anderson | Go to book overview

9 August The Storm Clouds Gather

As August came around, Giants manager John McGraw was feeling unusually charitable. His charges were competing for the pennant, an undreamed of status during spring training. The players obtained in the trade with the Boston Doves had exceeded reasonable expectations, and none of his opponents had been able to run away and hide. His thoughts turned to former Orioles teammate Hughie Jennings and the American League race. McGraw's Orioles blood line ran stronger than his hatred for the American League. "I think the Detroit Tigers will play us for the world's pennant," said McGraw, "I would like to see Hugh Jennings win again, as we played together ten years ago in Baltimore." In a Sporting Life story McGraw admitted that he'd like to see St. Louis win the American League flag, though he believed they lacked the talent. He gave Chicago no chance to win due to a lack of offense and Cleveland a slight chance if injured players could return to the lineup. 1

Detroit seemed poised to run away from the rest of the league in August. The July streak shows the Tigers' potential and Jennings's players were 100 percent behind him. First baseman Claude Rossman was a true believer. He told everyone who would listen, "It's the college spirit instilled by Hugh Jennings that makes the Tigers play and win." 2

There was one Tiger who marched to a different drummer, Ty Cobb. Cobb had a key role in Detroit's dominant play in July. The twenty-one‐

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More Than Merkle: A History of the Best and Most Exciting Baseball Season in Human History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • More Than Merkle *
  • Contents *
  • Illustrations *
  • Tables *
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction xvii
  • 1 - Baseball Turned Upside Down the 1906 World Series 1
  • 2 - The Game in 1908 Dead Ball Era Baseball 10
  • 3 - The Teams of 1908 a Look at the Players 35
  • 4 - The Men in Blue the Umpires of 1908 87
  • 5 - April the Best Hopes of Fans 105
  • 6 - May the Makings of a Pennant Race 115
  • 7 - June the Race is On 127
  • 8 - July Gain the Edge 137
  • 9 - August the Storm Clouds Gather 150
  • 10 - September All Hell Breaks Loose 164
  • 11 - October Down to the Wire 184
  • 12 - Scandals of 1908 Delayed Reckoning 210
  • Appendixes - The Record of 1908 225
  • Notes 241
  • Bibliographic Essay 251
  • Index 255
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