New York and Philadelphia… World Series rivals BEFORE 1950

If you read or listened to World Series coverage this year, you’d think this was the second time New York and Philadelphia squared off in the World Series.

And it is true, the Phillies and the Yankees only played each other one other time… the 1950 World Series.

But well before the Phillies became THE team in Philadelphia and the Yankees became the dominating force in baseball, Philadelphia and New York squared off three different times with great teams that were the class of the American and National Leagues.

When the World Series was formed in the beginning of the 20th century, John McGraw’s Giants were a powerhouse in the National League. And Connie Mack’s Athletics were quickly becoming the best team in the American League.

Now of course that would be a Bay Area rivalry, but back then the Giants were the best team in New York and the Athletics ruled Philadelphia baseball.

The Yankees were known as the Highlanders and were inconsistent in the standings.
The Phillies were mediocre non contenders.

But New York and Philadelphia would meet in the 1905, 1911 and 1913 World Series.

Along with their larger than life manager, McGraw, the Giants featured Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson, Roger Bresnahan, Joe McGinnity and Rube Marquand.

Connie Mack, who was the very symbol of Philadelphia baseball for half a century, played future Hall of Famers Chief Bender, Eddie Plank, Rube Waddell, Frank “Home Run Baker” and Eddie Collins.

A pretty impressive array of talent in the pre-Babe Ruth era.

The Giants won the 1905 World Series, 4 games to 1. Christy Mathewson threw three complete game shutouts in six days. Safe to say he wasn’t on a pitch count.

In 1911, the Athletics finally got to Mathewson in a dramatic Game 3. Frank “Home Run” Baker earned his nickname with a game tying homer with one out in the 9th inning off of Matty. The Athletics would score the eventual winning run on an error in the 11th.

The Giants would have some late inning heroics of their own in Game 5. One out from elimination, Doc Crandall hit an RBI double and Josh Devore singled him home to tie the game. Fred Merkle would drive in the winning run in the 10th.

But the Athletics would win big in Game 6 behind Chief Bender, 13-2.

Two years later, it would again be New York versus Philadelphia. In Game 2, Mathewson faced another future Hall of Famer, Eddie Plank.

Mathewson threw a 10 inning complete game shutout, driving in the winning run himself in the 10th.

But the Athletics won every other game and took the series in 5. Hall of Famer Eddie Plank out pitched Mathewson in the Game 5 finale.

So taking those three series and the 1950 World Series, Philadelphia and New York are now tied 2 series apiece.

They are playing the rubber match.

Hey look at that! I found a little MORE drama for the Philadelphia/New York match up!

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Yeah Pedro is going to be dramatic but…

As one of the biggest Pedro Martinez fans that you will ever meet in your life, I am nervous about tonight’s game.

Yankee bats aren’t going to stay quiet two games in a row.

And the Dodger bats that Pedro quieted were not nearly as intimidating as the Yankee edition.

Plus there is the whole Daddy thing.

Besides, I think another left hander against this Yankee lineup would go a long way.

They have J. A. Happ waiting in the wings, and he pitched well in his lone start at Yankee Stadium (before *SURPRISE* Brad Lidge coughed it up.)

And besides, wouldn’t there be a wonderful symmetry for Happ to go up against Burnett?

J. A. vs. A. J.!!!

It would be like a Sesame Street game!

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The Remote Won’t Thwart Me THIS Year!!!!

I hate my remote control.

It is unnecessarily complex with more buttons and options than the cockpit of a plane.

And last year the insane construction of the remote caused me to miss the end of a Red Sox/Angels playoff game.

Well last night I had another run in with my remote that seems to have a chip on its shoulder, a la the HAL 9000.

I came home last night and watched an inning or two of the game before putting the boys in their bath. I had the radio on during the bath and was able to listen to Jon Miller instead of Joe Buck which is better anyway.

And my guys were able to wear themselves out splashing away in the bath and I got to hear the Phillies rally in the 8th inning.

It was time to go to put the boys to bed and I rushed over to the TV where my wife was watching Top Chef… a great show and tonight Natalie Portman was inexplicably one of the hosts this week.

I turn the channel to record the end of the ballgame. I see the game has spilled over to the next time slot on channel 11 in Los Angeles and the cable TV guide had “The Simpsons” on at this time spot.

I record the time slot and add the provision of an hour extra in case the game goes into extra innings.

Up we go to bed. I read the boys some Winnie the Pooh and Pamela Camel and then they were sound asleep.

I come back downstairs and listen to Queen Amidala tell some poor shmuck chef that leeks don’t have enough protein.

And some cocky New York looking chef gets voted out even though all show he was saying “Hey… I’m not getting voted off! FUGEDDABOUTIT!”

And I wasn’t antsy because I knew the 9th inning was being recorded and I was going to see the end of the game.

Then I looked at the cable box.
No red light.

It wasn’t recording.

The extra hour I programmed didn’t register. Maybe I didn’t hit the right button. Why would I have? I mean I just hit “OK” when it asked me to confirm with enough strength to make blood shoot out of my thumb.

Clearly my remote wanted blood.

Now I was pissed.

Top Chef was over and I flipped on what the DVR had recorded.
It had recorded 15 minutes and it was starting at the top of the 9th with a runner on base.

If the game lasted for 16 minutes more, I would miss the end of it.

Ryan Howard hit an RBI double to make the score 6-0 and I thought “Oh man, this top of the 9th will last 15 minutes!” But then Shane Victorino tried to score and was tagged out by at least 348 feet. Going to the bottom of the 9th…

13 minutes to go.

And OF COURSE the Yankees started to rally.

They put a few men on… they score on an error… I know if Charlie Manuel goes to the pen, the warm up pitches and the commercial break would eat up the rest of the time!

He stays with Lee.

A-Rod strike outs… Lee faces Posada… only a few minutes left until the recording runs out.

Lee strikes out Posada… I get to see the end of the game.

And just as Carlos Ruiz runs up to shake Cliff Lee’s hand, the screen goes blue and it asks “WOULD YOU LIKE TO DELETE THE SIMPSONS?”

If the game went on for another 5 seconds I would have missed the ending.

And I’ve seen enough Yankee games this year to know it is never over until that last out is made! Especially if Brad Lidge was coming out of the pen.

I exhaled and then looked at my remote… and laughed.

Not this year, overly complicated remote control… not this year!

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