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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Extended road trips were a part of baseball in the early 20th century

In 1905 the Tigers had a 20-game road trip that started on May 29 and didn’t conclude until June 23. That trip took the team to Chicago, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and finally New York before turning back for Detroit. In late July they commenced on a 17-game road trip to the east coast. That trip included three doubleheaders, all of which were played during the day, since night games wouldn’t become popular until after World War II. Sometimes the teams changed into their uniforms on the train and went directly to the ballpark when they arrived in a new city.

Wahoo Sam Posted: September 05, 2017 at 04:17 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: travel

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   1. Tim D Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:41 PM (#5526505)
An August DH in St. Louis or DC must have been a joy, heading back the non-air conditioned hotel.
   2. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:47 PM (#5526514)
The 1916 Giants have been discussed in the Dugout several times in the last year. The NL that year was a perfect storm for streakiness: the eastern teams finished first through fourth, just seven games separating them. Seven games also separated the western clubs, in fifth through eighth. 19.5 games separated fourth from fifth. So when an eastern team west, it was facing the whole second division.
   3. Wahoo Sam Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:22 PM (#5526573)
The 1916 Giants have been discussed in the Dugout several times in the last year. The NL that year was a perfect storm for streakiness: the eastern teams finished first through fourth, just seven games separating them. Seven games also separated the western clubs, in fifth through eighth. 19.5 games separated fourth from fifth. So when an eastern team west, it was facing the whole second division.


Had never heard that. It sure explains that streak a bit.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:46 PM (#5526587)
This might explain why the Cardinals and Browns were the last teams in their respective leagues to win pennants.
   5. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:28 PM (#5526619)
This is a great article, as it deals with the era before trains became both faster and air conditioned, and road trips were generally no longer than two weeks. Just savor this paragraph in particular:

Travel by train was as luxurious as it could be. Each first-class passenger had a sleeping berth and there were cars for dining, drinking, and entertainment. Ballplayers had their routines: on the long trips they set up tables in their shared sleeping cars for playing cards. The veteran players got the bottom berths and young, fresh rookies, like Cobb in 1905, would have been required to climb to the upper berth. Whether you slept up or down though, both spots were uncomfortably warm: there was no air conditioning in those days. Train travel in the summer was dreadfully hot and also very dusty: windows were almost always open on the rail cars to provide some relief. Most travelers arrived at their destination with a thick layer of dirt on everything they brought with them....

Sounds like what white shirts used to look like in a late afternoon in mid-century New York City, after a day spent near the manufacturing districts. The Good Old Days were often more Old than Good.

Imagine doing this for three straight weeks, and of course those downtown hotels also weren't air conditioned until Cobb's career was just ending.
   6. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 09:58 PM (#5526694)
I always marvel at 'the way it was' as it relates to travel, and no doubt when you read any Deadball era bio. this is a common topic. I'm reading an Urban Shocker bio now, and I think in 1923 or so The Browns end with a 18 game road trip, while the Senators are finishing the final 17 at home, or something like that. As noted by Andy above, it was mostly miserable.
   7. TR_Sullivan Posted: September 05, 2017 at 10:34 PM (#5526717)
1958 San Francisco Giants played 75 road games.... They had five road trips... and one was a three-game trip to LA.... that was in April.... The Giants opened at home on April 15 and, besides the quick jaunt to LA, they did not play another road game until May 12. From then on, they played 72 road games over four trips... They were 80-74 that year, 44-33 at home and 36-41 on the road. They had a 17-game road trip in September and it looks like two games were rained out in Milwaukee. They went to all seven other cities in the NL... starting in LA and ending in St. Louis...on that trip....

FYI... the Rangers have ten road trips this year


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