Photo Credit: Charles M. Conlon

By Zane Miller

The 1904 World Series was a series that would have been played between the New York (now San Francisco) Giants and the Boston Americans (now Boston Red Sox). If the series had been played, it would have been the first out of two times that the Giants and Red Sox franchises had faced each other in the World Series, with the other occasion coming in 1912.

The Giants finished with the best record in the National League, claiming a 106-47 record, while the Americans topped the American League standings with a 95-59 record, fresh off their victory in the first-ever World Series in 1903. Without an intraleague playoff system to determine the World Series opponents like there is today, the league champs were set to face each other in what would have been the second World Series.

However, the hang up comes in as Giants manager John McGraw and American League president Ban Johnson had an ongoing personal feud, as well as the Giants’ rivalry with the American League’s New York Highlanders (now New York Yankees).

As the Giants clearly did not like sharing their city with a neighboring baseball team, McGraw attempted to belittle the Highlanders and the American League as a whole by calling them a ‘minor league’ organization. Prior to the 1904 season, the Giants’ owner, John T. Brush, stood by McGraw, stating that there would never be a World Series played between the two New York-based teams.

At the end of the season, the Giants stood by their word and refused to participate in the World Series, stating that they had already won the world championship because they felt that the American League was just a minor league. They also added that there were no rules that specified that they had to play in the World Series, and thus could decline if they chose to do so.

With the Giants not budging on their stance, the 1904 World Series was called off with no winner. The Americans fans were upset with the Giants at not getting the opportunity at back-to-back championships, while the Americans players were also mad at the Giants as not playing the World Series caused them to lose out on a significant salary bonus.

Prior to the 1905 season, both leagues changed their rules regarding the series, specifying that participation in the World Series would be mandatory going forward.


If you enjoyed this article, please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon! For just $1/month, you can help support articles like these and get great benefits as well:

Follow me on Twitter: