1924 World Series
In the 1924 World Series, the Washington Senators beat the New York Giants in seven games.
Though the Senators (interchangeably called the Nationals in those days) would reach the World Series twice more during their time in Washington (1925 and 1933), their next World Series victory would not come until 1987, after more than half a century and a relocation from Washington to become the Minnesota Twins.
The Giants became the first team to play in four consecutive World Series, winning in 1921–1922 and losing in 1923–1924. Their long-time manager, John McGraw, made his ninth and final World Series appearance.
Walter Johnson, after pitching his first 20-victory season (23) since 1919, was making his first World Series appearance, at the age of 36, while nearing the end of his storied career with the Senators. He lost his two starts, but the Nats battled back to force a Game 7, giving Johnson a chance to redeem himself when he came on in relief in that game. Johnson held on to get the win and give Washington its first and only championship. The seventh game is widely considered to be one of the most dramatic games in Series history.
Johnson struck out twelve Giants batters in Game 1 in a losing cause. Although that total matched Ed Walsh's number in the 1906 World Series, it came in twelve innings. Johnson only struck out nine in the first nine innings.
In Game 7, with the Senators behind 3–1 in the eighth, Bucky Harris hit a routine ground ball to third which hit a pebble and took a bad hop over Giants third baseman Fred Lindstrom. Two runners scored on the play, tying the score at three. Walter Johnson then came in to pitch the ninth, and held the Giants scoreless into extra innings. With the score still 3–3, Washington came up in the twelfth. With one out, and runners on first and second, Earl McNeely hit another grounder at Lindstrom, and again the ball took a bad hop, scoring Muddy Ruel with the Series-winning run.
This was the second extra-inning World Series-deciding game (1912) and the last before 1991. The winning team of the 1991 World Series was the very same franchise, by then known as the Minnesota Twins.
The term home field advantage took on a whole new meaning in 1923 as baseball's grand cathedral, Yankees Stadium, opened much to the dismay of the Giants. Although the two-time defending champions would finally reclaim the Polo Grounds for themselves, The House That Ruth Built towered over their yard and featured an enormous seating capacity with an architectural beauty that was second to none. With the addition of a third ballpark, New York had established itself as THE premier city for professional sports entertainment. A sports columnist from Philadelphia had written that thousands of years in the future archeologists would uncover ruins in the lower Bronx that would resemble that of ancient Rome's coliseums. The Giants had generously shared their field with the Yankees (and Highlanders) since 1913 but now found themselves standing in the shadow of their cross-town rivals.
Although the Yankees had lost two consecutive World Series to the Giants, they were quickly becoming the more popular of the two. The soon to be penned Bronx Bombers boasted the game's top player, the largest arena, and the best record in baseball after winning their third American League pennant by a sixteen game margin. Once again, the Subway Series was on as the Yankees and the Giants met for the third consecutive year. In a strange twist, Giants' outfielder, Casey Stengel, who would later become one of the most successful and beloved Yankee managers, beat his future team in Game 1 with an inside-the-park home run off of Joe Bush to break a 4-4 tie in the ninth. The Yankees were now winless (eight losses and one tie) in Series games against the Giants, but New York had Babe Ruth and he would have something to say about that. After a disappointing season plagued with suspensions and poor play in 1922, the Babe was back in action, hitting .394 and sharing the home run title with the Phillies' Cy Williams (with forty-one). He was in top form for Game 2, hitting home runs in the fourth and fifth innings on the way to a 4-2 victory at the Polo Grounds.
Game 1 hero Casey Stengel once again stole the spotlight in Game 3. Through six innings, the Yankees' Sam Jones and the Giants' Art Nehf were locked in a scoreless battle. Then, with one out in the seventh, Stengel homered into the right field stands at Yankee Stadium for the win. Not to be outdone, the Yankees dominated the next two outings while totaling sixteen runs with twenty-seven hits resulting in 8-4 and 8-1 victories. New York coasted through Games 4 and 5 on the arm of Joe Bush and the bat of Joe Dugan. Finally, the Yankees had beaten the Giants for their first world championship in their brand new stadium (which featured crowds in excess of 62,000 and over $1million dollars in ticket sales). In addition, Babe Ruth had finally beaten his post-season demons, hitting three home runs, a triple, a double and two singles while batting .368.