Top Pennant Races

1904 American League
Text: Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
Photo: Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

1904 American League

Before they were the Yankees and the Red Sox, the upstart American League's New York Highlanders and Boston Americans engaged in one of the first great pennant races of the modern era. From July 29 through the end of the season, no more than two games separated the burgeoning rivals, and the season came to a head when the two teams played five games against each other on the final weekend. New York took a half-game lead by winning Friday's contest behind spitballer Jack Chesbro (left), who picked up his record 41st win of the season, but with Hilltop Park rented out for a Columbia University football game, Saturday's doubleheader was relocated to Boston, where a gassed Chesbro lost the opener and Boston's Cy Young won the nightcap. With Sunday baseball verboten, Chesbro was again on the mound back in Manhattan on Monday, but the New York defense booted away a 2-0 lead and put the go-ahead run on third in the ninth, where it was able to score on a wild spitter from Chesbro that handed Boston the pennant.

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