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

By David W. Anderson | Go to book overview

3 The Teams of 1908 A Look at the Players

The teams of 1908 were as colorful and competent as any in the Dead Ball Era. Each team had its characters and eccentrics, key players, troublemakers, leaders, and followers, both on and off the field. Base‐ ball's Hall of Fame, not established until the 1930s, was well represented on the diamond in 1908. Nearly every team boasted at least one immortal during this season, except the Philadelphia Phillies and the truly awful Brooklyn Superbas and St. Louis Cardinals of the National League.

Among the teams of 1908 were some of the best to take the field. As we have seen, this season was the midpoint of the heyday of the great Cubs dynasty. It can be argued that the 1908 Cubs were the best of those great Cubs teams of 1906-10. The Giants and Pirates missed immortality by an eyelash, and both teams would be pennant winners within the next three years with largely the same players who played in 1908.

In the American League, the Detroit Tigers were in the second year of their three-year dynastic run. The second- and third-place teams, the Cleveland Naps and Chicago White Sox, fell painfully short of winning the flag. For both of these squads, the next shot at the golden ring was over a decade away. The White Sox won their next pennant and last World Championship in 1917. With a new nickname, the Indians took

-35-

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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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