1945 World Series
1945 World Series (4-3)
The 1945 World Series matched the American League Detroit Tigers against the National League Chicago Cubs. The Tigers won the Series, 4 games to 3, giving them their second championship and first since 1935.
The World Series again used the 3-4 wartime setup for home field sites, instead of the normal 2-3-2. Although the major hostilities of World War II had ended, some of the travel restrictions were still in effect. Many of the majors' better players were still in military service. Warren Brown, author of a history of the Cubs in 1946, commented on this by titling one chapter "World's Worst Series". He also cited a famous quote of his, referencing himself anonymously and in the third person. When asked who he liked in the Series, he answered, "I don't think either one of them can win it."
In a similar vein, Frank Graham jokingly called this Series "the fat men versus the tall men at the office picnic."
One player decidedly not fitting that description was the Tigers' slugger Hank Greenberg, who had been discharged from military service early. He hit the only two Tigers homers in the Series, and scored 7 runs overall and also drove in 7.
The Curse of the Billy Goat originated in this Series, as one Cubs fan was prevented from bringing his pet goat into Wrigley Field (other spectators had complained of its smell), and supposedly placed a curse on the team. Until their drought-ending Series win in 2016, this was the last appearance for the Chicago Cubs in the Fall Classic. Having last won the Series in 1908, the Cubs own the dubious record of both the longest league pennant drought and the longest World Series drought in history.
The Series was a rematch between the two opponents of the 1935 World Series. In that Series' final game, Stan Hack had led off the top of the 9th inning of Game 6 with a triple but was stranded, and the Cubs lost the game and the Series. Hack was still with the Cubs in 1945. According to Warren Brown's account, Hack was seen surveying the field before the first Series game. When asked what he was doing, Hack responded, "I just wanted to see if I was still standing there on third base."
In an unknowing foreshadowing of their future, the Cubs would win two of three in relatively spacious Briggs Stadium but would lose three of four in the relatively hitter-friendly confines of Wrigley Field.
The 1945 World Series is referenced in the Steve Goodman song "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" when Goodman says, "The law of averages says, anything will happen that can, but the last time the Cubs won a National League Pennant was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan."
|1||Chicago 9, Detroit 0||October 3||54,637|
|2||Detroit 4, Chicago 1||October 4||53,636|
|3||Chicago 3, Detroit 0||October 5||55,500|
|4||Detroit 4, Chicago 1||October 6||42,923|
|5||Detroit 8, Chicago 4||October 7||43,463|
|6||Chicago 8, Detroit 7 (12 innings)||October 8||41,708|
|7||Detroit 9, Chicago 3||October 10||41,590|
- 1945 World Series at WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)
- 1945 World Series at Baseball-Almanac.com
- 1945 World Series box scores and play-by-play at Retrosheet.org
- Detroit Tigers History
- David S. Neft and Richard M. Cohen: The World Series. 1st ed. St Martins Press, New York, NY, 1990 pp. 201-206.
- Bruce A. Rubenstein: Chicago in the World Series, 1903-2005: The Cubs and White Sox in Championship Play, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2006.
- John C. Skipper: The Cubs Win the Pennant!: Charlie Grimm, the Billy Goat Curse, and the 1945 World Series Run, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2004.
- Burge Carmon Smith: The 1945 Detroit Tigers: Nine Old Men and One Young Left Arm Win It All, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7864-4196-9
|Modern Major League Baseball World Series
Pre-1903 Postseason Series