The Miracle Braves, 1914–1916


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About the Book

The story of the “Miracle” Braves is one of the most memorable in baseball history, but less well known is what the club did after that spectacular season. In 1915, they were strong contenders for the National League pennant, and almost won it again in 1916. This book is the first to look at the team in a larger context.
Under innovative manager George Stallings, the Braves swept the mighty Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series, the National League’s only victory from 1909 to 1919. The Braves under Stallings were a roistering, pugnacious crew that battled the opposition, the umpires, and sometimes each other.

About the Author(s)

Charles C. Alexander, Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus, Ohio University, has written 13 books, eight of which have dealt with American baseball history. He lives in Hamilton, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Charles C. Alexander
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7424-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1964-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Prologue: “Its most romantic episode” 1

1. 1912–1913: “The most interesting achievement in the baseball world” 11

2. 1913–1914: “The fact that Evers will play second” 26

3. 1914: “I feel the pennant fever buzzing” 38

4. 1914 World Series: “What chance do predictors stand against miracles?” 66

5. 1914–1915: “I don’t see how they can beat us” 88

6. 1915: “We’re not going to wait until July this year” 103

7. 1915–1916: “Come on; start the Percycution” 134

8. 1916: “The Miracle Man is set for a big drive” 148

9. 1917 and After: “A shadow of the rapid stuff that won a flag” 179

Epilogue: “Not Stallings baseball” 191

Chapter Notes 201

Bibliography 209

Index 213

Book Reviews & Awards

• Finalist, Larry Ritter Book Award—SABR

• “One of the best current-day writers of baseball history…. [T]his book will have definite value to those with an interest in the Deadball Era or National League history”—Journal of Sport History

• “This book contains ample notes and an impressive bibliography, reflecting the depth of research that characterizes it. It is a very readable, informative, and entertaining story that belongs on every baseball bookshelf.”—David Lee Poremba, SABR Deadball Era Committee Newsletter

• “This is not simply the story of the Miracle Braves but of how manager George Stallings built the club starting in 1913, how the Braves fell just short of the pennant in 1915 and 1916, and how it all came undone in the seasons that followed.”—Steve Steinberg, co-author (with Lyle Spatz) of 1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York

• “Alexander introduces us to the eccentric cast of characters that famously overcame all odds to become the 1914 world champions, then ventures beyond to the much less analyzed but hardly less interesting seasons that followed. A terrific read.”—Rick Huhn, author of The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title That Became a National Obsession

• “A concise, focused study of the meteoric rise and stumbling fall of the Miracle Braves, made vivid by fascinating portraits of players like Rabbit Maranville; the volatile, troubled Johnny Evers; and manager George Stallings, whose talents as a strategist, on and off the field, are brought to light in these pages.”—Gerald C. Wood, Seymour Medal-winning author of Smoky Joe Wood: The Biography of a Baseball Legend

• “Examines in rich, full detail the saga of the 1914 Boston Braves, one of the Deadball era’s most storied teams. The tale of this team and its aftermath provides a fine canvas for Charles Alexander, one of baseball’s foremost historians.”—Daniel R. Levitt, author of The Battle that Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy