The World Series That Never Was

The history of the modern World Series has two benchmarks that are both cemented in egos. The cancellation of the 1994 World Series became the victim of a management-labor dispute — a casualty of a lack of common sense and mutual remediation, but the first hint of ego-driven baseball events happened in 1904. In fact, the 1904 World Series was never played. There was a business dispute between the established National League and the upstart American League. However, the primary reason was a petty feud between New York Giants manager John McGraw and American League president Ban Johnson. In 1903, the Boston Americans beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series. In the off-season, both league's agreed that their respective champions would again meet in October. Despite the agreement, Giants owner John T. Brush publicly stated as early as July 5, 1904, that his team wouldn't play any champion from the American League. At the time, the New York Highlanders led the Americans by one game. Boston won, but McGraw said that his team was already the world champion because they won "the only real Major League." The Giants also deemed the World Series an exhibition with no real value. The Giants were mercilessly criticized in the newspapers for "chickening out" on facing the Americans that they agreed to play the World Series in 1905, where they beat the Philadelphia A's in five games. Not long after, an agreement was made and the World Series became a permanent event. The World Series has been played every year since, with the exception, of course, of the aforementioned 1994 season.