City Series by Frederick Ivor-Campbell: Sanctioned 20th Century series

Article reprinted with permission from Total Baseball, First Edition, copyright Sport Media Enterprises Inc.

You can click on the series title to see a summary of the games with the line scores, pitchers of record, and home runs. These are the same series summary pages reached from the first regional series page. There are links on the summary pages to well over half of the games played in the sanctioned series in 1905-42. Due to the difficulty of obtaining consistent and reliable information about these games, the accuracy of the data shown in the series summary pages cannot be guaranteed.

1905 Chicago: Cubs (NL), 4; White Sox (AL), 1

The Cubs and White Sox, after a year off, resumed their Chicago championship series in 1905, this time with a more modest best-of-seven series. Only five of the games were needed as the Cubs, after splitting the first two games, won the final three. Both clubs had enjoyed strong seasons, with 92 wins apiece, and the White Sox had barely lost the AL pennant to Philadelphia, so there was considerable excitement in Chicago about the series, and (despite cold weather) strong attendance that grew with each of the first four games before falling off by a few hundred persons in Game Five.

The Cubs' first two wins came by only one run: 5-4 in the opener and 3-2 in Game Three. The latter game was especially frustrating for the Sox, whose pitcher Doc White held the Cubs to three hits, but saw them score all three of their runs in the third inning on a walk, wild pitch, triple, and two errors. The Cubs showed more authority at the bat in their final pair of wins, overcoming a 2-5 deficit in Game Four with three runs in the sixth and three more an inning later, and attacking in the final contest with five first-inning runs on their way to a 10-5 victory.

1909 Chicago: Cubs (NL), 4; White Sox (AL), 1

No clubs at all played city series in 1908, but the next year the Chicago Cubs, after three straight pennants and World Series involvement, were once again free to resume their rivalry with the White Sox for the championship of the Windy City. The Cubs, who finished second to Pittsburgh in the NL pennant race, possessed the league's best pitching and dispatched the fourth-place Sox for the city title with only one loss. Orval Overall and Mordecai Brown, the Cubs' top hurlers, won two games apiece in the series. Overall shut out the Sox in the opener, and Brown took the second game as the Cubs came from behind with four runs in the final two innings for a 5-2 win. The next day the Sox won their only game. The large crowd of over 24,000, which stayed to the end despite a persistent rain, saw a 1-1 tie broken in the ninth inning when Cub pitcher Ed Reulbach balked in the tie-breaking run to hand the Sox's Ed Walsh the victory.

The final two Cub victories were just as close. In Game Four—played after three days of postponement for wet grounds and cold weather—Overall and Walsh matched five-hitters, but two of Walsh's four walks led to Cub scoring, and Overall emerged a 2-1 winner. The Cubs bunched four of their six hits in Game Five into the fourth inning for their only run as the Sox's Doc White pitched shutout ball over the other eight innings. But the Cubs' Brown hurled the series masterpiece, yielding only one hit, a single, in the fifth inning and a pair of harmless walks in the ninth for a series-ending shutout.

1910 New York: Giants (NL), 4; Yankees (AL), 2; one tie

The Cubs won another pennant in 1910, so there was no city series in Chicago. But Cleveland and Cincinnati resurrected the Ohio championship after a six-year hiatus, and New York's AL Yankees and NL Giants competed for the first time against each other in postseason play. The two New York teams had finished second in their leagues, and their series opener drew an overflow crowd to the Polo Grounds to see the matchup between Giant great Christy Mathewson (27-9 that season) and the Yankees' rookie sensation Russ Ford (26-6). For 7-1/2 innings it was a tight game, but in the last of the eighth, two costly Yankee errors and a hit batsman, plus four Giant hits, broke open a 1-1 tie with four runs for a Giant victory. Mathewson struck out fourteen. The Yankees came from behind the next day with four runs in the final two innings to even the series with a 5-4 win, but a day later the Giants took the lead for good as Mathewson won his second game 6-4.

Following a ten-inning 5-5 tie in Game Four, Mathewson returned to record his (and the Giants') third victory. But the Yankees, down one game to three, staved off defeat in Game Six with the series' most overwhelming win. Capitalizing on two walks and an error in the second inning, they contributed six hits (four of them doubles) to score eight runs in the inning and take a 10-2 victory. But after a day of rain the Giants (and Mathewson) came back to capture the city championship with their fourth win. The Yankees tagged Matty for ten hits, but he walked none and fanned eight, and the Yankees' porous defense let in three runs in the 6-3 Giant victory.

1910 Ohio: Cincinnati Reds (NL), 4; Cleveland Naps (AL). 3

Both Ohio clubs finished fifth in 1910 and showed themselves evenly matched in their series, which went the full seven games before Cincinnati captured the crown. Curiously, though, none of the games involved a close finish, and only twice did the lead change hands after the third inning. In Game Five (shortened to seven innings by darkness) Cleveland led 2-0 after five innings, but Cincinnati exploded in the sixth with six hits. These, combined with a pair of Cleveland errors, gave the Reds five runs and the game. And in the finale, with the series tied at three-all, Cleveland opened the scoring with four runs in the fourth inning, only to see Cincinnati top them with five runs two innings later. The Naps tied the game with a run in the top of the seventh, but Cincinnati scored two in their half of the inning to regain the lead and added an insurance run in the eighth to make the final score 8-5. As it turned out, the home team won every game.

1911 Ohio: Cincinnati Reds (NL), 4; Cleveland Naps (AL), 2

Cincinnati needed only six games to win the 1911 Ohio series, although in regular-season play they had finished sixth while Cleveland's Naps took third in the AL. Also the Reds were handicapped by a home-field disadvantage. Because of the upcoming construction of new stands at their Palace of the Fans, only the series' first two games were scheduled for Cincinnati; the rest would be played in Cleveland. But Cincinnati's rain-soaked grounds held up only for the opening game, so the Reds enjoyed the home advantage only that once. It didn't seem to matter. They won the first three games: the first two handily, and the third with four runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game, then two more in the eleventh to win it. Cleveland took the next two, but then Red ace George Suggs, who had blanked Cleveland in the opener, repeated the feat in Game Six with a four-hitter to clinch the title for Cincinnati.

Financially the series was a failure. Fewer than five hundred fans attended the opener, and the final four games were rescheduled as doubleheaders in an effort to attract larger crowds. It was six years before the two clubs met again for a fall Ohio series.

1911 Chicago: White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 0

Chicago's second-place Cubs and fourth-place White Sox resumed their city series in 1911 after a year's gap in which the Cubs played in another World Series. If the Ohio series was a financial bust, Chicago's was just the opposite, with the third-game attendance of 36,608 setting a new record for baseball in the city. The White Sox fans rejoiced in the outcome of the series: a four-game sweep of the heavily favored Cubs.

The opener was especially rewarding for Sox fans. For seven innings Cub ace Mordecai Brown pitched shutout ball, as his club built a three-run lead. But the Sox scored once in the eighth when their pitching ace Ed Walsh scored on a single after tripling with two outs and three more times in the ninth when four straight singles drove in the runs needed to win the game.

Game Two was a slugfest, with a triple and nine doubles among the game's twenty-nine hits. But the result was as close as in Game One, with the Sox coming from behind with two runs in the eighth for an 8-7 win. The final two victories came easier for the American Leaguers, as they scored first in both games and held their lead all the way for wins of 4-2 and 7-2.

1912 Chicago: White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 3; two ties

The Chicago series of 1912 took a while to show any results. The first game was delayed a day because of rain, and then the teams endured a nine-inning scoreless tie. (Cub rookie Jimmy Lavender held the White Sox to six hits, but the star of the game was the Sox's Ed Walsh, who gave up only one hit—a double to Cub shortstop Joe Tinker—while fanning seven and walking none.) Another day of rain delayed Game Two, and although both teams finally put some runs on the board, they ended up after twelve innings tied again, at 3-3. (Walsh pitched the final three innings of shutout relief for the Sox.)

The Cubs won the next three games. In Game Three they carried a 5-3 lead into the last of the ninth. With two away, the Sox scored one run and loaded the bases, but Cub pitcher Lavender struck out the next man to preserve his victory. The Cubs' Ed Reulbach dueled scorelessly with Ed Walsh through five innings of Game Four. Both clubs scored a run in the sixth (ending Walsh's consecutive scoreless innings pitched at 17). The Sox regained the lead with another run in the seventh, but the Cubs tagged Walsh for three in their half of the inning. Reulbach held the Sox scoreless over the final two innings for the win. After the two close games, the Cubs blew the Sox away in Game Five, 8-1.

Lavender and Walsh faced each other in Game Six as they had in the opener. There was some scoring this time, but at the end of nine innings the game was again tied, at 4-4. In the eleventh the Sox broke the tie to give Walsh (after thirty-one total innings pitched) and the club their first win of the series. The Cubs still had three chances to eliminate the Sox; each time they failed. In Game Seven the Sox overcame a 3-4 deficit with four runs in the eighth inning. A ninth-inning Cub rally fell two runs short, and the Sox had kept themselves alive. In Game Eight the Sox overcame a Cub lead with three runs in the fifth inning (on home runs by Shano Collins and Buck Weaver), but two Cub runs in the eighth put them on top again, 5-4. In the top of the ninth, though, the Sox put together two walks, a single, a triple, and a ground out for four runs. Walsh, coming on in relief, held the Cubs scoreless in the last of the ninth, and the series was evened at three wins apiece.

Although he had already pitched three complete games and relieved twice in nine days, Walsh was named to start the series finale. He was in top form, but the Sox made it easy for him, running through four Cub pitchers for sixteen runs in the first five innings, including a nine-hit, eight-run third. Fred Toney, the Cubs' fifth pitcher, held the Sox scoreless the rest of the way, but it was wasted effort, for Walsh was hurling his second shutout of the series, a five-hitter for his fourth complete game.

Walsh, who had won twenty-seven games during the regular season, won only eight the next year, and only thirteen in his final five seasons of major league ball. Some fault the White Sox for using him so heavily in what was only an exhibition series in the fall of 1912. But he had been used heavily throughout his career, leading the league in innings pitched in four of his final six good seasons. His city series work was little more intensive than what he was normally accustomed to. Furthermore, in Chicago the city series was viewed more seriously than anywhere else. The crowds rivaled, and often exceeded, those for World Series games held in the city. The fans saw the city series as a genuine championship event, and the clubs responded by playing all out. To have rested their ace at crucial moments of the series would have been out of the question for the Sox management, and probably also for Walsh himself.

1913 Chicago: White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 2

Both Chicago clubs enjoyed winning records in 1913, but the stronger Cubs were, as ever, favored in the city series. And, as so often happened in the long history of the series, the White Sox proved the pundits wrong. In the opener the Sox took the lead in the first inning and held it all the way, but the Cubs came back the next day to score a tie-breaking sixth run in the top of the thirteenth inning, and take the win as Jim "Hippo" Vaughn (who pitched the whole game) held the Sox scoreless for the fifth straight inning since yielding their tying run in the eighth. Bert Humphries hurled a four-hit shutout for the Cubs in Game Three to put them ahead in the series 2-1, but they won no more that year.

In Game Four the Sox took the lead for the first time with three runs in the seventh inning for an ultimate 5-2 win. Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte helped his own cause with three hits (two of them doubles), and scored two of his team's runs. No one scored at all through the first ten innings of Game Five as Cub ace Larry Cheney dueled the Sox's Joe Benz. Benz allowed the Cubs only three hits in the game. Cheney permitted ten, but only the final three—plus a steal of home by Shano Collins—hurt him, as the Sox scored two runs in the top of the eleventh to win it. The Cubs scored the first run in the fourth inning of Game Six, but the Sox retaliated with three in that inning and two more in the next, and held on for another 5-2 victory—and, once more, the city title.

1914 New York: Giants (NL), 4; Yankees (AL), 1

The New York Giants had won the NL pennant in 1911-1913, but when they slipped to second in 1914 they returned to a city series with the Yankees (who had tied for sixth in the AL). As expected, the Giants won the city title, but not without a struggle in the first three games. A Yankee run in the ninth inning of the opener tied the back and forth contest at 5-5, but a Giant triple and single in the last of the tenth ended it The Giants led 1-0 in Game Two—until Jeff Tesreau's wildness in the last of the ninth allowed two Yankees to score. It proved to be the only Yankee victory. The Giants, in Game Three, recorded their second 6-5 ten-inning win when pitcher Al Demaree singled in the final inning and came all the way around to score as the ball got by the right fielder for a three-base error. They then polished off the Yankees in two final games as pitchers Art Fromme and Demaree hurled matching five-hit wins, 6-1 and 4-1.

1914 Chicago: White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 3

The White Sox experienced considerable difficulty subduing the Cubs in 1914. The Cubs led all the way in Game One, and while the Sox came from behind to even the series with a 5-2 win (on Jim Scott's four-hitter) in Game Two, they lost Games Three and Four in close 2-1 and 4-3 contests. Game Four was particularly frustrating, as the Cubs ruined Eddie Cicotte's shutout bid with two tying runs in the last of the ninth, then overcame a go-ahead tally by the White Sox in the top of the tenth with two more runs to win it in the last half of the inning.

But, as they did so often in their battles with the Cubs, the Sox rallied themselves to victory. Wins of 3-1 and 5-3 evened the series. Then, in the finale, while hitting safely only twice against three Cub pitchers, they bunched both hits with a Cub error and two walks in the fourth inning for three runs. The Cubs had scored twice in the first inning off Jim Scott, but Cicotte then came on to blank them over the final eight and bring the American Leaguers their fourth straight Chicago crown.

1915 Chicago: White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 1

Although New York's Giants and Yankees would in later years engage in several memorable World Series, they never again met solely for the championship of New York. Only Chicago and St. Louis carried on the tradition in 1915. In Chicago, for a change, the White Sox finished the season with the better record and found themselves favored in the local series. Their series victory, though, was nothing new, although they triumphed more easily than they had since their sweep of 1911.

None of the five games was decided by fewer than three runs, although a couple were closer than the scores indicate. The Sox won the opener 9-5, for example, but as late as the seventh inning they trailed 2-5, when a four-run spurt thrust them into the lead to stay. The Cubs enjoyed their only victory in Game Two as Jimmy Lavender hurled a sparkling four-hitter for a 4-0 win, ensured by Heinie Zimmerman's three-run homer in the sixth inning.

Zimmerman's bat remained active the next day as he connected for four of the Cubs five hits, but by the time he doubled home the Cubs' first run in the ninth, the Sox had already scored five times. Zimmerman himself went on to score a second Cub run, but Sox starter Red Faber then closed down the Cubs' offensive threat to record the second Sox win. Sox first baseman Shano Collins hit a grand slam in a five-run third inning in Game Four, more than enough support for Jim Scott, who blanked the Cubs on four hits. The Sox bats exploded for a pair of five-run innings in Game Five as they brought the championship home to the South Side—for the fifth year in a row—by a convincing 11-3 score.

1916 Chicago: White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 0

Only four games comprised Chicago's city series in 1916 as the ascendant second-place White Sox swept the floundering fifth-place Cubs. The National Leaguers overcame a 1-0 White Sox lead in the opener with a pair of sixth-inning runs, but the Sox drove out Cub starter Hippo Vaughn an inning later and continued their assault on reliever Claude Hendrix for a total of seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings and an 8-2 win. The Sox scored in only one inning the next day, but their three runs were two more than their pitcher Red Faber permitted the Cubs.

Claude Williams's shutout pitching and Joe Jackson's three doubles were the features of the Sox' 3-0 win in Game Three. In the series clincher the next day, the Sox were outhit by Cub batters 10-9, but bunched their hits for three runs in the third and three more in the fifth (while the scattered Cub blows produced only single runs in three separate innings). Cub slugger Cy Williams connected for two doubles and a triple, but the Sox's Joe Jackson countered with a pair of singles and a home run.

1917 St. Louis Cardinals (NL), 4; Browns (AL), 2; one tie

In 1917, for the first time in five years, the Cardinals took the St. Louis title from the Browns. After winning two close games 3-2 and 3-1, they lost a close one in the first game of a doubleheader, 5-4, in ten innings. But when the nightcap was called after five innings for darkness, the Cards enjoyed a 6-1 lead, and entered a second doubleheader the next day with only one win needed for the championship.

But the Cards scored no runs in either game, losing the first 2-0, but holding the Browns scoreless too in the nightcap until darkness ended it after the ninth inning, still tied. The next day, in the seventh game of the series, the Cardinals finally put together the victory they had so long sought—and they did it comfortably, 6-1.

1917 Ohio Cincinnati Reds (NL), 4; Cleveland Indians (AL), 2

Also in 1917 the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians made a last stab at an Ohio series. It was their first in six years and would prove their last. The clubs were fairly evenly matched: Cleveland, an improving team, had finished third in the AL, while Cincinnati had jumped from a last-place tie in 1916 to fourth in the NL. In their postseason series, Cincinnati prevailed. The opener was a blowout for the Reds, 11-2, but they needed thirteen innings in the second game for Pete Schneider, their stingiest pitcher, to edge the Indians' ERA leader, Stan Coveleski, 2-1. The venue shifted to Cleveland for Game Three, but the Reds continued their streak with a 4-2 win in eight innings.

Cleveland awoke with a start to take their first win the next day, pummeling Reds' pitching for sixteen hits to award their hurler Ed Klepfer an easy 8-0 victory. The Indians continued their roll in Game Five with a convincing 6-3 win at Cincinnati. But when the series moved back to Cleveland for Game Six, the Reds retaliated with their own eight-run burst to win the state crown behind Hod Eller's one-run pitching.

From 1917 through 1919 either the White Sox or Cubs played in the World Series, forcing the suspension of the postseason Chicago championship series. In 1920 both clubs were available again, but the White Sox had been shamed and decimated by the exposure of their 1919 World Series fix and the expulsion from baseball of the seven guilty players still on the team. So no city series was held that year either. In fact, no city or regional series had been held anywhere from 1918 through 1920, and when the Chicago clubs resumed their rivalry in 1921 they were all by themselves. They played sixteen series over the next twenty-two years, and although the Cubs were the stronger club most of those years during the season, the White Sox continued to dominate intra-city play.

1921 Chicago White Sox (AL), 5; Cubs (NL), 0

1922 Chicago Cubs (NL), 4; White Sox (AL), 3

1923 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 2

1924 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 2

The Sox swept a best-of-nine series in five games in 1921 to increase to twelve their string of winning games against the Cubs—and to seven their string of city championships. The Cubs revived the next year to capture a best-of-seven series on a seventh-game shutout by veteran great Grover Cleveland Alexander, but the Sox came back for a pair of 4-2 series triumphs in 1923 and 1924.

1925 Chicago Cubs (NL), 4; White Sox (AL), 1; one tie

1926 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL; 3

In 1925 the Cubs won their most convincing city title in years, taking four of five games after an opening-game tie in which both the Cubs' thirty-eight-year-old Alexander and the Sox's Ted Blankenship pitched the entire nineteen innings. The White Sox recovered to take the 1926 series in seven games (four of which were shutouts), but then, after a year without a series because the losing Cubs declined to issue the customary challenge, the Sox lost two series in a row to their North Side competitors--something that had never happened before.

1928 Chicago Cubs (NL), 4; White Sox (AL), 3

1930 Chicago Cubs (NL), 4; White Sox (AL), 2

The Cubs needed the full seven games to win the 1928 series. Most of the games were decided by a margin of two runs or less, but the Cubs didn't dither around in the finale as they unleashed a sixteen-hit attack for a 13-2 victory. After a year off for the World Series (which they lost to the Philadelphia Athletics, four games to one), the Cubs in 1930 captured their second successive Chicago crown, in six games.

They lost the opener, but came back to take the second game on Kiki Cuyler's three-run homer in the eighth. In Game Three they buried the Sox under eighteen hits and twelve runs, but lost a second time, 8-2, the next day. With Cuyler, Hack Wilson (who homered), and Gabby Hartnett driving in two runs each, the Cubs took the series edge with a 6-4 win in Game Five, and clinched the title the next day with a come-from-behind three-run rally in the top of the ninth for another 6-4 victory. Wilson starred again, with a solo homer in the fifth and an RBI single to begin the ninth-inning scoring.

1931 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 3

1933 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 0

The White Sox won all the remaining eight city series. In 1931 the third-place Cubs battled the last-place Sox to Game Seven before falling before Tommy Thomas's four-hitter. The next year the Cubs were swept by the New York Yankees in the World Series, and in 1933 the sixth-place White Sox swept the third-place Cubs for the Chicago championship—twice shutting them out and permitting only three Cub runs over the four games while scoring nineteen.

1936 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 0

When the Cubs faltered at the end of the 1934 pennant race, they decided to go home quietly rather than face a city series. In 1935 they were again back in the World Series (a loss to Detroit). They returned to play a Chicago series in 1936—after finishing tied for second in the NL pennant race—only to be swept in four games by the White Sox for the second city series in a row. At least their loss this time was to a Sox club that had also played well during the season, finishing third.

1937 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 3

The Chicago clubs again finished second and third in their leagues in 1937, and this year in the Chicago championship the Cubs put up a struggle, winning three, games. But so did the Sox, and in the seventh game the Sox won the series with (for Cub fans) discouraging ease, 6-1.

1939 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 3

Nineteen thirty-eight was another World Series year for the Cubs (and another 0-4 loss to the Yankees). This was the last interruption to the Chicago series. Both Chicago clubs finished fourth in 1939 and made a battle of it in the postseason. The Cubs, in fact, came close to winning the series, carrying a 3-1 advantage in games and a favorable 5-0 score into the sixth inning of Game Five. But by the middle of the eighth inning, the Sox had tied the score at five-all, and by the end of the tenth inning the Cubs were looking at an 8-5 loss. They scored only once in each of the two remaining games as the White Sox came back to take yet another Chicago crown with six and seven runs respectively.

1940 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 3

1941 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 0

1942 Chicago White Sox (AL), 4; Cubs (NL), 2

The Cubs dropped to fifth and the White Sox tied for fourth in 1940, then battled each other through another seven games in the Chicago series before the Sox carried off the crown. The next season the Cubs fell one more notch, to sixth, but the Sox rose to third and celebrated with another city series sweep—their sixth. They won the first three postseason games in 1942, too, but the Cubs rose up to take the fourth game 5-3, and the fifth as well, 2-1, in ten innings. But the Cubs won no more. In the sixth game a 4-1 White Sox victory gave the Sox (including their 1906 World Series triumph over the Cubs) their nineteenth Chicago championship in twenty-five tries.

Occasionally thereafter the Cubs played the White Sox at the end of spring training, and for twenty-four years, from 1949 through 1972, the two clubs met in a midseason exhibition. But neither they nor any other major league clubs since 1942 have challenged in October for the championship of their region, state, or city.

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