In the wake of America's entry into World War 1, the U.S. government called for a shortened season (ending on Labor Day) as well as an accelerated Series to take place immediately after. The perennial Fall Classic was temporarily transformed into a "Late-Summer" version and ran from September 5th to the 11th. In the first of many, the 1918 season was the first to show the effects of wartime on baseball. Many of the league's elite players were called up to serve their country and the overall quality of teams suffered as a result. Still, America's national pastime carried on smartly while helping to raise money (and the spirits) of concerned citizens everywhere. More than just a game, baseball would serve this role time and time again for many years to come.
Despite their thinning line-ups, Boston's Beantown Bombers had dominated the American League on the way to their fifth World Series appearance. With an undefeated post-season record of 4-0 (they had won as both the Red Sox and the Americans) they were primed and ready for #5. With an elite pitching staff including Carl Mays, "Sad" Sam Jones and "Bullet" Joe Bush, not to mention the multi-talented Babe Ruth, Ed Barrow's team had won the shortened American League pennant race with a 75-51 record. Ruth split time between the outfield and the mound for the first time in his young career and managed to toss thirteen wins, bat .300 and hit a league leading eleven home runs. Their National League rivals, the Chicago Cubs were returning to the big show with an impressive 84-45 tally and an equally promising group on the mound. "Hippo" Vaughn had led the National League with twenty-two victories and was backed up by Claude Hendrix with tweny wins and Lefty Tyler with nineteen.
The Cubs opened Game 1 at Comiskey Park, home of the cross-town rival White Sox, rather than their own Weeghman Park (later named Wrigley Field) due to it's larger seating capacity. Trading ballparks was not that unusual back in the day, as the Red Sox had chosen Braves Field over their own Fenway Park for their previous two Series appearances. Babe Ruth continued to build on his post-season legacy by extending his consecutive scoreless innings from thirteen to twenty-two against "Hippo" Vaughn in a 1-0 victory. Lefty Tyler managed to even it up the following day by throwing a six hit, 3-1 decision. Vaughn returned for revenge in Game 3 backed by his teams newfound momentum, but fell short after losing a 3-1 heartbreaker to Carl Mays.
A well-rested Ruth returned to the mound for Game 4 and increased his scoreless streak to a record twenty-nine consecutive innings with a 3-2 win that also featured a great performance at the plate. The Babe had delivered the winning hit as well with a huge two run triple in the fourth. Boston was now up three games to one. Vaughn finally had his revenge in Game 5 tossing a five hitter and blanking the Red Sox with a 3-0 triumph, but it would be all the Cubs could muster. Game 6, would be their last stand as Mays buried the hatchet in the form of a three hit 2-1 triumph that ended the Series and crowned his franchise as five-time World Champions. Boston's grand finale almost didn't take place as the game was delayed due to a heated players debate over gate receipts. Series shares would be reduced drastically because, for the first time, all first-division clubs shared in the revenue. Without a doubt, pitching was easily the most notable statistic of the 1918 Series. Boston's pitchers had combined for an impressive 1.70 ERA and Chicago's boasted an even better 1.04. Neither team scored more than three runs in a game and there wasn't a single homerun in all six. The victorious Sox batted a miserable.186 and the losing Cubs swung a lowly .210.