1903 was a disastrous year for the Beaneaters. It was Al Buckenberger’s second year as manager. They ended the season in sixth place with a 58-80 record. Ouch!
This would be the first year for what would be known as the modern World Series. A Boston team did win it. It was managed by the former Beaneaters third-base great Jimmy Collins.
Only once before in the Braves short history at this point did the franchise finish with a worse percentage or further from first than they did in 1903. That was way back in 1885 when they ended up with a 46-66 record. Under John Morrill’s leadership they were 41 games behind Chicago.
The Boston team that won the World Series was the Boston Pilgrims, an American League team with former Beaneaters Chick Stahl and Bill Dinneen. They beat Pittsburgh in a best of nine match-up.
As a side note, for years many sources have listed “Pilgrims” as the early Boston AL team’s official nickname, but researcher Bill Nowlin has demonstrated that the name was barely used, if at all, during the team’s early years. The origin of the nickname appears to be a poem entitled “The Pilgrims At Home” written by Edwin Fitzwilliam that was sung at the 1907 home opener (“Rory O’More” melody). This nickname was commonly used during that season, perhaps because the team had a new manager and several rookie players. John I. Taylor had said in December 1907 that the Pilgrims “sounded too much like homeless wanderers.” And so … we now know them as the Boston Red Sox.