While the peace between the American and National Leagues was a turning point in baseball history, not everyone was pleased to see that come about. On this day in 1904, Giants manager John McGraw and owner John Brush stated that they will not play a postseason series against the American League.
Labor peace between the American League and the National League proved to be one of the more important happenings in baseball history. Prior to that time, the leagues would raid one another, with players jumping from one team to another for better pay. Labor peace, and the two leagues coexisting as a combined major league, changed that practice.
The new found peace also brought into existence the idea of a World Series. The winner of the AL and NL faced off in a best of nine series, with the winner being declared the champions of baseball. That first series, won by the Boston Red Sox in eight games over the Pittsburgh Pirates, proved to be incredibly successful. Fans embraced the concept, and the World Series was a financial boon for the game.
Unfortunately, the World Series would not come back for 1904. With the New York Giants holding a comfortable lead in the National League, both manager John McGraw and owner John Brush stated their intent to refuse to play in the series. Both McGraw and Brush had problems with AL president Ban Johnson, referring to the ownership in the league, and Johnson himself, as crooked.
More from Call to the Pen
- Philadelphia Phillies, ready for a stretch run, bomb St. Louis Cardinals
- Philadelphia Phillies: The 4 players on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore
- Boston Red Sox fans should be upset over Mookie Betts’ comment
- Analyzing the Boston Red Sox trade for Dave Henderson and Spike Owen
- 2023 MLB postseason likely to have a strange look without Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals
Johnson, meanwhile, fired back as well. He referred to McGraw as a “discredited player” who had been fired from the league. Obviously, the bad blood between the two remained, even though McGraw had found his place with the Giants.
As the crosstown Highlanders were playing well at the time, the announcement was met with dismay. Public pressure mounted to have the Giants face off against the eventual AL champions. However, McGraw, who referred to the NL as the one true major league and detested Johnson, refused. Brush, who was equally angered by the new labor peace, backed this decision.
In the end, the Giants held true to that decision, as the World Series was not played that year. This decision forced several changes, including how revenue would be divided, the scheduling of the series, and and the official sanctioning of the World Series as an annual event. The games would be played every year from then on, excluding 1994 when the Player’s Strike cancelled the postseason.
Peace between the American League and the National League was not considered a positive by all members. On this day in 1904, the New York Giants announced their decision to not participate in the World Series, and helped change baseball history.