The Boston Red Sox or Boston Braves were World Series champions five times within a seven year period from 1912 - 1918. The Red Sox won in 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 while the Braves won in 1914. Back in those days there was no such thing as the New York Yankees winning a World Series. In fact, the first year the Yankees appeared in the World Series was in 1921.
I've never had the pleasure of viewing this movie. I would presume that it is lost, or so badly decomposed in poor storage that we can only guess what it contained. However, we can piece together this particular World Series by looking at the record; the Boston Red Sox defeated the Philadelphia Phillies four games to one.
This World Series took place in newly built Braves Field. Braves Field was the last of the concrete and steel stadiums built during this time period. Designed by Osborne Engineering, it was the largest ballpark ever built (seating around 41,000) with outfield distances stretching about 410 feet to left and right fields and a monstrous 550 feet to direct center. Ty Cobb surveyed the field when it opened in August, 1915 and commented "One thing is sure. Nobody will ever hit a home run out of here." Braves owner, Thomas Gaffney, was a big fan of the inside-the-park home run, therefore the tremendous distances. Therefore, Braves field was, in essence, a pitcher's paradise.
The previous year, the Boston Red Sox lent out Fenway Park (built in 1912) to the Braves when they played the Philadelphia Athletics because it was larger than the old Southend Grounds where the Braves played until Braves Field opened late during the 1915 season. Incidentally, the first regular game attracted around 56,000 fans. Because of the generosity of the Red Sox, the Braves reciprocated by lending out Braves Field to the Red Sox for the 1915 World Series against the Phillies.
The first two games were played at Baker Bowl in Philadelphia with the Phils and Red Sox splitting, Philadelphia winning the first game. The series then shifted to Boston for the next two games with Boston winning both and finally the championship in game five at Baker Bowl.
Apart from the players, Babe Ruth and Grover Cleveland Alexander being the best known, this film is priceless just for the views the camera gave of both ballparks. Baker Bowl is long gone, being abandoned by the Phillies after the 1937 season and razed in 1950. Braves Field last hosted a major league ballgame in September, 1952 and is now part of Boston University. A little known fact about Braves Field was that there were special compartments located next to each dugout solely for the purpose of employing motion picture cameras. It's a sure bet that these spaces chronicled some great games both in the 1915 and 1916 World Series as well as some splendid views of this beautiful ballpark.
Notwithstanding, the camera work at Baker Bowl would have been extremely valuable today for posterity. I certainly hope that a copy of this film still exists so that historians and baseball fans alike can enjoy it.
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