With Monday night’s 6-2 win over the Orioles, the Red Sox broke the franchise record for most wins in a single season with 106. That record of 105 was set in 1912, the first season played at Fenway Park.
The team was led by Hall of Fame center fielder Tris Speaker, who batted .383 with 10 home runs and 90 RBIs en route to being named league MVP. Hall of Fame pitcher Smoky Joe Wood won 34 games for the Red Sox that season, including 16 in a row. He finished 34-5, pitching 35 complete games.
How the Globe covered it:
On the day of the last game of the regular season, the Globe was already looking ahead to the World Series, as the Red Sox had already clinched the pennant and were set to face the New York Giants. T.H. Murnane wrote a story about the two managers — John McGraw for the Giants and Jake Stahl for the Red Sox.
Murnane’s description of McGraw suggests that he could have been the subject of a Dos Equis commercial: “While cool and cunning as a fox, this Napoleon of the game is sure to get out of a ball team all that there is in it when under fire. When his team is defeated, he has no excuses to offer.
“His smile is only for friends. Compromise is a dull tool that he passes up. Extremely considerate of his players in hard luck, he holds on to men that other managers would pass up.’’
Murnane portrays Stahl as a players’ coach.
“He has gained the deep respect of his players, and also their regard, by his everyday consideration of their feelings.
“Stahl has displayed a personal interest in each player’s welfare, trying to show the importance of keeping in good physical condition, with the thought of winning the highest honors in baseball.’’
The final game of the season was against the Philadelphia Athletics. Manager Connie Mack was rolling out Chief Bender, Jack Coombs and Eddie Plank to each pitch three innings. The three hurlers had combined to go 60-16, with 58 complete games.
But Plank, who went 26-6 that season, did not pitch in the game, and Boardwalk Brown got the call instead. The Sox scored once off Brown in the sixth and added two more off Coombs in the eighth. That was more than enough for Buck O’Brien, who pitched nine scoreless innings to improve to 20-13 and give the Red Sox a 3-0 win.
The next day, Murnane’s story previewing the series was headlined “Giants not so good as in 1911,’’ writing that McGraw must have hustled to keep them in first, and that the team had slowed up a lot. He did not, however, call them tomato cans.
Murnane led his story with a note about Mack working with the Red Sox ahead of the World Series.
“When I left Philadelphia this noon, Connie Mack was with the Boston Red Sox. Mr. Mack and his Athletics have coached the Boston men and given them their best advice after having played the Giants six games last Fall. This may help some, but how much it’s hard to say. He at least shows a loyal American spirit, and this is a good thing for baseball.’’
The Globe also promised the “World’s Series from every angle,’’ touting not only its coverage from Murnane and cartoonist Wallace Goldsmith, but also Detroit Tigers coach Hugh A. Jennings, Speaker and Wood, along with Jeff Tesreau and Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson of the Giants.
The Red Sox went on to win the World Series, capturing their second title in eight games. (Game 2 ended in a tie after the game was called for darkness.) Before the series started, both teams were allowed to take an afternoon off to visit the grave of Henry Chadwick, considered to be the “Father of Baseball,’’ in Brooklyn.
Chadwick was credited with creating box scores and coming up with “K’’ as an abbreviation for a strikeout. He had passed away four years earlier in April of 1908, and a tradition had been born where decorations were placed on his birthday (Oct. 5) at his burial spot. That’s one tradition I’d like to see revived.