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A Whole New Ball Game

After a nearly four-month delay, Major League Baseball begins its abbreviated sixty-game season today. This is not the first time baseball season has been cut short. Players’ strikes in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s led to canceled games, with the longest work stoppage occurring in 1994, resulting in the season being cut short by about fifty games per team and no World Series.

Global events have also caused cancellations. In 1918, MLB ended the regular season a month early on September 2 due to the United States’ participation in World War I, with teams playing 130 games instead of the originally scheduled 154. The 1918 World Series was the first and only Fall Classic to be held entirely in September. Cubs’ pitcher James “Hippo” Vaughn was leading the National League with twenty-two wins at the time the season ended. Vaughn also led the NL in strikeouts and earned run average (ERA), making him a pitching triple crown winner that year—the ninth NL pitcher to do so in the modern era.

Learn more about the history of the Chicago Cubs in the Encyclopedia of Chicago. Read more.

Chicago Cub James Vaughn in street clothes “at war work,” 1918. SDN-061644, Chicago Sun-Times/Chicago Daily News collection, CHM; Chicago Cubs pitcher James Vaughn warms up his arm at Weeghman Park, 1922. SDN-063309, Chicago Sun-Times/Chicago Daily News collection, CHM

“The Encyclopedia of Chicago is no mere collection of fun facts. It is a work of stunning scholarly achievement.” — Tom McNamee, Chicago Sun-Times

Published by the University of Chicago Press, The Encyclopedia of Chicago is the result of a ten-year collaboration between the Newberry Library and the Chicago History Museum. This project brought together hundreds of historians, journalists, and experts on everything from airlines to Zoroastrians to explore all aspects of the rich world of Chicago and its surrounding metropolitan area. Read the Encyclopedia.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories
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