In August 1903 the National League and the American League agreed that each league’s champion would compete for the world’s championship. 

1903 Royal Rooters
The Americans finished 1903 in first place, with a record of 91-47-3, 14 1⁄2 games ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics, which featured three future Hall of Fame pitchers: Eddie Plank, Rube Waddell, and Charles “Chief” Bender. Right fielder Buck Freeman led the American League in home runs, with 13, and led the team in runs batted in, with 104. Freeman also hit 39 doubles and 20 triples. Left fielder Patsy Dougherty led the American League in hits (195) and runs (107), batted .331, and stole 35 bases. Second baseman Hobe Ferris hit nine home runs. Shortstop Fred Parent batted .304. Seven players stole ten or more bases. Jimmy Collins again set the fielding standard among third basemen. Hobe Ferris committed the most errors among all second basemen, with 39.

With the exception of manager Collins, the seven other position players each led the American League in games played at his respective position.

Cy Young led the American League in complete games (34), wins (28), shutouts (7), and saves (2); finished second in earned run average (2.08); and third in strikeouts (176). Bill Dinneen and Long Tom Hughes won 21 and 20 games respectively. Five pitchers pitched all but eight of the team’s innings. For the third consecutive season, pitchers recorded 123 complete games.

World Series
: The Americans faced the heavily favored Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series. Cy Young made the first World Series pitch, but yielded 12 hits, seven runs (three earned), and one home run in a game one loss. Young may have been distracted by having manned a ticket booth before the game. The Americans, led by Patsy Dougherty’s three hits and two home runs, prevailed in game two; and, despite trailing the nine-game series three games to one, the Americans went on to win the World Series five games to three, taking game eight before the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds home crowd. 1903 marked the first time the Boston American League team would win four consecutive games in a post-season series, repeating the feat in 2004.

In the series Bill Dinneen started four games, won three, pitched 35 innings, and pitched two complete-game shutouts. Cy Young started three games and pitched 34 innings. Only two innings were pitched by other than Young and Dinneen. Offensively the Americans were balanced, with six of the eight starters collecting between eight and ten hits. For the Pirates seven of the eight games were started by the Pirates’ two 25-game winners, Deacon Phillippe and Sam Lever. Honus Wagner managed only a .222 batting average. Future Hall of Fame outfielder Fred Clarke fared better, with nine hits and a .265 batting average. The American League victory in the first World Series, in only the league’s third season, added credibility to the upstart, competing American League.

1903 World Series