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The World Series at 100

<I>Autumn Glory: Baseball's First World Series</I>
Autumn Glory: Baseball's First World Series

Forget the frenzy around this year's baseball league championship games. The crowds attending the very first World Series back in 1903 were so excited they caused a near riot when they ran onto the field. And that was before the start of the game. Boston police and players had to use hoses and bats to beat the fans back, according to the author of a new book about the first Series.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the World Series, NPR's Bob Edwards looks back at memorable moments of the fall classic and talks to Louis Masur, author of Autumn Glory, which recounts the 1903 Series between the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"Everyone at the time was just incredibly excited, and afterwards they commented regularly on the meaning of the series, how important it was," Masur says. But despite that enthusiasm, in 1904 the Series was canceled when John McGraw, manager of the New York Giants, refused to have his team play the Boston Americans, who had again won the American League championship. It was one of only two times no Series was played (the other was in 1994 because of the baseball strike).

The first Series, which Boston won five games to three, "captured the imagination of Americans," with baseball making front-page news for the first time, the author says.

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