The Pittsburgh Pirates are up during game four of the first World Series in 1903. Although the Pirates won this game, they ultimately fell to the Boston Americans—who later changed their name to the Boston Red Sox.

Photograph by R.W. Johnston, courtesy Boston Public Library. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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    On October 1, 1903, the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates began the first game of Major League Baseball’s first World Series. The Boston Americans, who later changed their name to the Boston Red Sox, won the best-of-nine series.
    Six future Hall of Famers played in the first World Series, the most famous being Americans pitcher Cy Young and Pirates slugger Honus Wagner. Today, the Cy Young Award honors the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. Wagner, often considered the greatest shortstop in baseball history, was actually injured and did not play to his potential during the World Series. He refused any accolades regarding the series: “What does it profit a man to hammer along and make a few hits when they are not needed only to fall down when it comes to a pinch?”
    Baseball fanaticism was no stranger to the first World Series. Boston’s “Royal Rooters” traveled to Pittsburgh to taunt the Pirates—and Boston won three out of the four games held in Pittsburgh.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    accolade Noun

    award or honor.

    competition Noun

    contest between organisms for resources, recognition, or group or social status.

    fanaticism Noun

    irrational, obsessive, or out-of-proportion devotion to something.

    injure Verb

    to hurt or cause harm.

    Major League Baseball Noun

    organization that regulates the sport of baseball in the United States and Canada.

    potential Noun


    profit Noun

    money earned after production costs and taxes are subtracted.

    shortstop Noun

    baseball position covering the infield between second and third base.

    slugger Noun

    person who is a strong hitter.

    taunt Verb

    to mock or provoke by teasing.

    travel Noun

    movement from one place to another.