1908 American League
|1908 in baseball|
|1908 American League|
|<< 1907 1909 >>|
While the pennant race in the National League is more famous, the 1908 American League had an even closer pennant race, as four clubs were neck-and-neck coming into September: the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Naps, Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Browns, who also happened to be the league's four western teams, with the east coasters being all also-rans. On September 17th, all four teams were within five games of each other, and over the next two weeks, the four eastern teams toured the four western cities, facing all four contenders. By October 1st, the Browns had dropped off the pace, but Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago were only separated by a game and a half, as the eastern teams headed home. The White Sox went to Cleveland to play two, while the Tigers hosted the Browns. On October 2nd, Addie Joss pitched the second perfect game in American League history, defeating the White Sox and 39-game winner Ed Walsh, 1-0, the only run being unearned. Meanwhile, Detroit came back from a run down in the 9th to win, 7-6, and won again the next day. The White Sox avoided elimination when Walsh saved a 3-2 win over Cleveland. That set up a three-game series between Detroit and Chicago, with Cleveland hosting St. Louis. Detroit was in the driver's seat, as the only way they could fail to win the pennant was to be swept, or to lose at least two of three to Chicago, with the Naps sweeping the Browns. Cleveland dropped out when, after a tie with St. Louis on October 4th, it lost the opener of a doubleheader the next day. But the White Sox won their first two against the Tigers, setting up a showdown game for the pennant on October 6th. Walsh had just won his 40th game of the season and was unavailable to pitch for Chicago, so Doc White faced Wild Bill Donovan. But the game was never in doubt: the Tigers scored four runs in the top of the 1st, then added another in the 2nd, and cruised to an anti-climatic 7-0 win to clinch the pennant.
- Bold indicates league champion, Italics indicates World Series champion
|Rank||Team||G||W||L||T||WPCT||GB||RS (RS/G)||RA (RA/G)||AVG||OBP||SLG||ERA||FPCT|
|1||Detroit Tigers||154||90||63||1||.584||-.-||647 (4.20)||547 (3.55)||0.263||0.307||0.347||2.40||0.953|
|2||Cleveland Naps||157||90||64||3||.573||0.5||568 (3.62)||457 (2.91)||0.239||0.290||0.309||2.02||0.962|
|3||Chicago White Sox||156||88||64||4||.564||1.5||537 (3.44)||470 (3.01)||0.224||0.290||0.271||2.22||0.966|
|4||St. Louis Browns||155||83||69||3||.535||6.5||544 (3.51)||483 (3.12)||0.245||0.292||0.310||2.15||0.964|
|5||Boston Red Sox||155||75||79||1||.484||15.5||564 (3.64)||513 (3.31)||0.245||0.286||0.312||2.28||0.954|
|6||Philadelphia Athletics||157||68||85||4||.433||22.0||486 (3.10)||562 (3.58)||0.223||0.276||0.292||2.56||0.957|
|7||Washington Senators||155||67||85||3||.432||22.5||479 (3.09)||539 (3.48)||0.235||0.287||0.296||2.34||0.958|
|8||New York Highlanders||155||51||103||1||.329||39.5||459 (2.96)||713 (4.60)||0.236||0.277||0.292||3.16||0.947|
- Bold indicates league record, Italics indicate all-time record
* Denotes a fill-in umpire
- Charles C. Alexander: The Half-Game Pennant of 1908: Four Teams Chase Victory in the American League, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2018. ISBN 978-1-4766-6506-1
- Cait Murphy: Crazy '08: How a cast of cranks, rogues, boneheads and magnates created the greatest year in baseball history, Smithsonian Books, Washington, DC, 2007.
- Tom Ruane: "A Retro-Review of the 1900s (the 1908 edition)", Retrosheet.org 
- Stew Thornley: "Regular Season Showdowns", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 47, Nr. 1 (spring 2018), pp. 85-90.