The Dodgers and Red Sox are two of Major League Baseball’s oldest teams, dating to 1883 and 1901, respectively. But the World Series that begins Tuesday night in Boston will be only the second between the two storied franchises.
The last time they met in the Fall Classic? The year was 1916 – and the Dodgers weren’t even called the Dodgers. They were the Brooklyn Robins, named after their manager, Wilbert Robinson.
And while Boston’s Fenway Park was just five seasons old, the Series games hosted by the American League champs were played at Braves Field, home of the city’s National League entry, because it had a larger seating capacity. (The Braves fled Boston long ago, for Milwaukee and later Atlanta, but portions of Braves Field remain as part of Nickerson Field on the campus of Boston University.)
Savvy fans in 1916 had their eyes on one particular member of the Red Sox – a 21-year-old left-handed pitcher by the name of George Herman “Babe” Ruth, who won 23 games that season, including nine by shutout.
The Brooklyn side featured a scrappy 26-year-old outfielder named Casey Stengel.
Both Ruth and Stengel would go on to greater fame with the New York Yankees – Ruth as a slugging outfielder and Stengel as a manager.
But in 1916, Ruth’s Red Sox bested Stengel’s Robins, four games to one, to take the title. Highlights included two home runs and six RBI by Boston’s Larry Gardner, and Ruth allowing just one earned run in a 14-inning complete game victory in Game 2, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
It’s been more than a century since the two clubs met to decide baseball’s championship – and most fans are hoping this year’s Series will be worth the wait.