The World Series begins in Detroit amid much fanfare, but not a great deal of excitement. The Tigers, led by Ty Cobb, are the prohibitive underdogs and the city of Detroit isn't optimistic that they can win it all.
Big Ed Reulbach, who has been on fire for the past month, is given the ball to start this game and he doesn't quite have it. The Cubs go to the bullpen in the seventh and eighth, calling on their big guns Orval Overall and Mordecai Brown to rescue the win. Neither man pitches that well, but the Cubs come back to score 5 runs in the top of the ninth to win the game 10-6. The bottom of their order, Solly Hofman and Johnny Kling (each with two RBI), are the heroes of this Game 1 victory.
The World Series comes to Chicago for Game 2, but Chicago also isn't nearly as excited as it had been the last few years. There are a couple of good reasons for that.
First of all, many Chicagoans are disappointed the White Sox faltered in the closing days of the season. Another series with the Detroit Tigers isn't nearly as compelling as a rematch of the 1906 crosstown series would have been. But secondly, and most importantly, Cubs owner Charles Murphy (photo) takes this opportunity to gouge his fans. He charges 4 times as much for the tickets and conspires with scalpers to charge even more. This blows up in his face. Already wildly unpopular in Chicago, Murphy becomes a pariah. Cubs fans try to organize a boycott to protest Murphy's actions.
Only 17,700 show up for Game 1. This is a respectable crowd, but the Cubs have drawn more for their games against the Giants and Pirates. On the field, Orval Overall pitches a masterpiece. In the eighth inning he is working on a three hit shutout, when the Cubs explode for six runs. Joe Tinker hits a two run home run and Wildfire Schulte adds a triple. Ty Cobb (photo) knocks in the only Tigers run in the top of the ninth, but it's too little, too late, and the Cubs take a 2-0 lead in the series.
The protest continues before Game 3 at West Side Grounds. This time only 14,543 show up. Jack Pfiester, who doesn't have much left in the tank after an injury prone year, has another bad outing. This time he gives up 8 runs and the Cubs are never in the game. The crowd lets them have it, and after the needless drama caused by their despised owner, the Cubs are happy to return to Detroit for the rest of the series.
Bennett Park is not exactly a palace. It's built on a former haymarket and beneath the thin layer of grass is cobblestone. But the Cubs are in no mood to let this series linger long enough to return to Chicago. They finally pitch their ace, Mordecai Brown, and he throws a three-hit shutout. A third inning Harry Steinfeldt RBI single is all the Cubs need to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.