Baseball was the last of the three interrupted leagues to figure out a plan and this time many will be watching to see if sports can avoid the disastrous impact of the 1918 … The "Work or Fight" rule exempted theatrical performers such as actors, singers and musicians because they provided "essential recreation" but baseball players got no such exemption. Many thanks to him. With World War I lurking in the background, it’s not surprising the 1918 was the most dysfunctional year in baseball history. Many historical player head shots courtesy of David Davis. Full-year historical Major League statistics provided by Pete Palmer and Gary Gillette of Hidden Game Sports. Standings. Or write about sports? May 14 – Sunday baseball was officially legalized in Washington, D.C. after district commissioners finally rescinded the ban in response to the large increase in the city's wartime population and the need for more recreational activities. May 23 - General Enoch Crowder, provost marshal of the Army who constructed the Selective Service Act, commonly known as “the draft," issued an order that stated young men should get into essential work by July 1st or face induction into the armed services. The 1919 season was tentatively canceled, the 1918 season shortened and the World Series between the Red Sox and Cubs was moved up. Baseball asked for an extension of the exemption through October 15 so it could complete the full season. Pearl Webster. Explanation of Simple Rating System (SRS). The following are the baseball events of the year 1918 throughout the world. 1918 would be the last Red Sox World Series Championship until 2004. Top Pitcher John Donaldson. Watch our How-To Videos to Become a Stathead, Subscribe to Stathead and get access to more data than you can imagine. July 19 - Newton Baker, Secretary of War, re-affirmed the position that baseball was not essential following an appeal by Washington Senators catcher Eddie Ainsmith and that players must take an essential job or be drafted. But the 1918 baseball season was played, in part, and was impacted by the flu epidemic. The original cause of the H1N1 virus is unknown, but it’s believed to have started in Europe before spreading across Asia and hitting the United States. The influenza pandemic of 1918 was a highly contagious strain that viciously attacked the respiratory system. Because the curtain closed the 1918 regular season on Labor Day, reducing the number of games played by some teams to as few as 124, Hippo Vaughn of the Cubs was the lone National League hurler to win in excess of 20 games (22 victories). We continue our short excursion through the Dead Ball Era today with a brief stop in 1918. Site Last Updated: Saturday, January 30, 10:48PM Question, Comment, Feedback, or … On April 18th, Cleveland Indian's centerfielder Tris Speaker turned an unassisted double play against the Detroit Tigers. Win Expectancy, Run Expectancy, and Leverage Index calculations provided by Tom Tango of InsideTheBook.com, and co-author of The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball. May 19 - Babe Ruth fell ill. His temperature climbed to 104 degrees, his body ached, he shivered with chills, and his throat throbbed. Baseball-Reference.com indicates that between 23 and 27 games were removed from every team's 1918 schedule. While the Armistice was reached on November 11, 1918, the 1919 season was also shortened to 140 games as teams waited for players to return from military service. In 1918, the so-called Spanish flu started to appear in the U.S. by March but Major League Baseball opened without delay on April 15. But beneath the surface, another deadly battle was brewing. The major-league regular season was cut short by the US government’s “work or fight” order, requiring all able-bodied men to enlist in … As the season continued – and as Boston Red Sox ace Babe Ruth began his metamorphosis from pitcher to slugger – a new virus emerged. Do you have a blog? The 1918 baseball season opened April 15. • March 23 - The Boston Red Sox played an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers at the Army cantonment at Camp Pike in Arkansas featuring Babe Ruth hitting five home runs and spawning the Boston American headline: “Babe Ruth Puts Five Over Fence, Heretofore Unknown to Baseball Fans.” Slugging % # Player Team SLG; 1 . Check out the 1918 MLB Season History, featuring league standings, postseason results, no-hitters, and baseball's leaders in Home Runs, ERA, and more. All rights reserved. A regular season shortened by World War I ended at Labor Day, but resumed for the World Series. The American League season opened with Boston Red Sox ace Babe Ruth pitching a four-hit, 7-1 victory over the Philadelphia Athletics. 2 . The 1918 season begins, and the killer arrives. With the United States involved in World War I, the government ordered Major League Baseball to finish its regular season by Labor Day, which meant the 1918 … In fact, Ruth himself became gravely ill, though it’s not known for certain if he suffered from the Spanish Flu. The 1918 baseball season opened April 15. And baseball was not immune. Leaders. Read highlights of the 1918 baseball season below. Are you a Stathead, too? Bill Pettus ... All-1918 Team Wins Above Replacement . The “war to end all wars” had caused an existential crisis throughout the baseball world. On November 11, 1918, minor-league owners from 40 teams, representing seven leagues, were preparing for a somber discussion about whether baseball would even be played in the 1919 season 1 when word came down that the World War had ended. — The 1918 season was shortened because of World War I, and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs in six games in the World Series, which ended Sept. 11. Find out more. The memorable 1918 Major League Baseball season was not immune to the flu epidemic. We present them here for purely educational purposes. 1918 Season 1917-18 / 1918-19. R/G RA/G Managers Ballpark; The shortened season ended in apropos fashion with a slog of a World Series. ... Mass. They called it the "Spanish flu." Unless noted, stats are batting & fielding. An estimated 500 million people were infected worldwide— that was one-third of the world’s population at the time — including a death toll of at least 50 million people globally. 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