World Series Program Scores Home Run This Week at LiveAuctionTalk.com Rosemary McKittrick is a storyteller. Her website offers anything and everything about the world of collecting. Visit the site. Sign up for a free weekly subscription.
News-Antique.com - Jan 30,2012 - It was the first modern World Series baseball game played between the American League Boston Americans and the National League Pittsburgh Pirates. Cy Young’s Americans and Honus Wagner’s Pirates were eager to do battle in 1903. Team owners Barney Dreyfuss and Henry Killylea agreed to get the teams together for a best of a nine game series.
In the end the American League Boston Americans were the world champions.
Boston's "Royal Rooters" helped. The fans traveled to Pittsburgh, cheered their team and sang the theme song "Tessie" to distract opposing players (especially Honus Wagner). It seemed to work.
Honus Wagner was a legend in his own right. He joined the Pirate club in 1900 and led the team to NL Championships in 1901, 1902 and 1903.
Wagner was bothered by injuries in the Series and batted only 6 for 27 (.222) and also had six errors. The shortstop was disappointed with his performance. The following spring, Wagner (who led the league in 1903 in batting average) refused to send his portrait to a "Hall of Fame" for batting champions.
"I was too bum last year," he wrote. "I was a joke in that Boston-Pittsburgh 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? I would be ashamed to have my picture up now,” he said.
The original 1903 World Series program for the games played at Pittsburgh’s Exposition Park sold for 5 cents in Pittsburgh. Only one other 1903 Series program is known to exist, and that’s in Cooperstown at the Hall of Fame. Programs are virtually non-existent.
On Nov. 12, Hunt Auctions featured the program described for sale in its Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory auction held in Louisville, Ky. The rare piece of ephemera sold for $241,500.
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