This Saturday’s Atlanta Braves-Oakland Athletics game will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1914 World Series, in which the Braves and Athletics met in one of the more improbable championship matchups in Major League baseball history.
The game, to be played at Atlanta’s Turner Field, will include a tribute to the 1914 Miracle Braves, who were then based in Boston, and feature both clubs wearing retro 1914 uniforms.
In the 1914 World Series, the Braves shocked the sporting world by sweeping the vaunted Philadelphia Athletics (they wouldn’t land in Oakland until 1968, by way of Kansas City).
By mid-season of that year, however, the Braves appeared en route to a dismal finish. On July 15 they were in last place, 11-1⁄2 games behind the New York Giants. They caught fire as the summer went on, though, and won the National League pennant by 10-1⁄2 games.
The Athletics, on the other hand, were defending champions, having won the World Series in 1913, and also in 1911 and 1910. Philadelphia had four of the last five American League pennants and was heavily favored.
The Braves didn’t even have a home field to call its own; they had forsaken aging South End Grounds in August 1914, instead choosing to rent Fenway Park from the Boston Red Sox while awaiting construction of Braves Field, which would open the next season.
On paper, the Braves would seem to have been no match for the Athletics. The latter had three future Hall of Fame pitchers in Chief Bender, Eddie Plank and Herb Pennock, along with second baseman Eddie Collins, third baseman Frank “Home Run” Baker and Manager Connie Mack.