1909 World Series

The 1909 World Series featured the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers. The Pirates won the Series in seven games to capture their first championship of the modern Major League Baseball era, but their second championship in the club's history.

The Tigers might have finally won the Fall Classic in their third try had it not been for Babe Adams. A rookie pitcher for Pittsburgh that year, manager Fred Clarke started him, on a hunch, in Game 1. Adams won that game and two more.

The Detroit Tigers thus became the first American League team to win three consecutive pennants, and the first team to lose three straight World Series (the New York Giants would lose three straight Series during 1911-1913).

Ty Cobb had a fairly quiet Series, going 6 for 26 with 2 stolen bases and 1 caught stealing. There is a long-standing legend that Cobb, standing on first base, called the German-ancestored Honus Wagner "Krauthead", told him he was going to steal second, and was not only thrown out but that Wagner tagged him in the mouth, ball in hand, drawing blood from the Georgia Peach's lip. However, an examination of the play-by-play does not indicate that such a play occurred. In the one "caught stealing" charged to Cobb, during the first inning of Game 4, he was actually safe at second due to a throwing error by first baseman Bill Abstein.

The Pirates, meanwhile, ran at will against the weak catching corps of the Tigers, stealing 18 bases overall.

For the first time, four umpires were used at the same time, with the standard plate umpire and base umpire along with two outfield umpires.


NL Pittsburgh Pirates (4) vs. AL Detroit Tigers (3)
Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Detroit Tigers - 1, Pittsburgh Pirates - 4 October 8 Forbes Field 29,264
2 Detroit Tigers - 7, Pittsburgh Pirates - 2 October 9 Forbes Field 30,915
3 Pittsburgh Pirates - 8, Detroit Tigers - 6 October 11 Bennett Park 18,277
4 Pittsburgh Pirates - 0, Detroit Tigers - 5 October 12 Bennett Park 17,036
5 Detroit Tigers - 4, Pittsburgh Pirates - 8 October 13 Forbes Field 21,706
6 Pittsburgh Pirates - 4, Detroit Tigers - 5 October 14 Bennett Park 10,535
7 Pittsburgh Pirates - 8, Detroit Tigers - 0 October 16 Bennett Park 17,562


Game 1

Friday, October 8, 1909 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Game 2

Saturday, October 9, 1909 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Game 3

Monday, October 11, 1909 at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan

Game 4

Tuesday, October 12, 1909 at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan

Game 5

Wednesday, October 13, 1909 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Game 6

Thursday, October 14, 1909 at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan

Game 7

Saturday, October 16, 1909 at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan

Composite Box

1909 World Series (4-3): Pittsburgh Pirates (N.L.) over Detroit Tigers (A.L.)



  • Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins, 1990. (Neft and Cohen 27-31)
  • Reichler, Joseph, ed. (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.), p. 2117. MacMillian Publishing. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.
  • Forman, Sean L. 1909 World Series. - Major League Statistics and Information.. Retrieved on 2007-12-07..

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