[Ads-l] antedatings of "world('s) series"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 2 16:50:41 UTC 2019

The New York Mets and the Providence Grays played what we might now 
consider the first "World's Series" in 1884, although not by that name.  
That series was generally billed as the championship of America or the 
United States.  The game was not arranged by the leagues, but was 
personally arranged between the managers of Providence and the Mets, who 
had a long-standing, previous working relationship from their days on 
another team.  They had been planning to play the series in the event 
they both won their respective pennants even before clinching their 
respective pennants.

In 1885, Chicago and St. Louis played a series of games for what was 
widely billed as the "Championship of the World." That series was also 
arranged privately between the managers of the pennant winners, after 
St. Louis clinched their pennant but before Chicago had clinched theirs 
(although they were ahead and expecting to clinch soon).

They couldn't call the series of games for the inter-league championship 
merely a "championship series" because that expression was already in 
vogue as the term for what we now call the "regular season."

At the time, the teams played a number of non-league games throughout 
the playing season in addition to the league games.  Whenever they 
played games against league opponents, they were said to be part of the 
"championship series" of games, in other words the games played that 
counted toward winning the end-of-season pennant or championship of the 
league, as distinguished from non-league games against local 
independents, teams from other leagues, or college teams, which were not 
part of the "championship series."

Coincidentally (?) the first volume of a series of books called the 
"Round World Series" of books was released in early October 1886.

------ Original Message ------
From: "ADSGarson O'Toole" <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
To: ADS-L at listserv.uga.edu
Sent: 8/1/2019 7:11:34 PM
Subject: Re: antedatings of "world('s) series"

>---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject:      Re: antedatings of "world('s) series"
>After reading Ben's note I started to search for a potential precursor
>phrase "world's championship series" in the baseball domain, but I
>found that Peter Reitan had already clipped a pertinent citation two
>days ago.
>Date: 26 Sep 1886
>Newspaper: Chicago Tribune
>Newspaper Location: Chicago, Illinois
>[Begin excerpt]
>The championship season is fast
>approaching an end, and it now seems reasonably
>sure that the Chicago White Stockings and St.
>Louis Browns will win the championship in their
>respective associations. I therefore take this op-
>portunity of challenging your team on behalf of
>the Browns for a series of contests to be known
>as the world's championship series. It is imma-
>terial to me whether the series be composed of
>five, seven, or nine games.
>[End excerpt]
>Here is a match for "world championship series" in the baseball domain.
>Date: 04 Oct 1886,
>Newspaper: The San Francisco Examiner
>Newspaper Location: San Francisco, California
>I noticed there was a "world's chess championship series" match on
>March 18, 1886.
>On Thu, Aug 1, 2019 at 8:45 PM Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  OED3 currently has Nov. 22, 1886 as the earliest citation for "world
>>  series." (This refers to the series played between the St. Louis Browns of
>>  the American Association and the Chicago White Stockings of the National
>>  League.) In Mar. 2014, Fred Shapiro supplied earlier cites from 1886: Oct.
>>  22 for "world's series" and Nov. 21 for "world series."
>>  http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2014-March/131509.html
>>  Here are new dates to beat: Oct. 18 for "world's series" and Oct. 19 for
>>  "world series."
>>  ----
>>  St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 18, 1886, p. 1, col. 3
>>  A meeting was held this morning at 11 o'clock in the office of A.G.
>>  Spalding to make the final arrangements for the world's series.
>>  https://www.newspapers.com/clip/7156791/ansons_pets_down_our_browns_in_the/
>>  ----
>>  St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 19, 1886, p. 7, col. 1
>>  The Chicagoans can certainly have no cause to regret the selection of Mr.
>>  McQuade as an umpire for the world series. ... Among the visitors to
>>  Chicago who have come to witness the world series is O.P. Caylor of
>>  Cincinnati.
>>  https://www.newspapers.com/clip/7156709/docs_dictim_doc_bushong_explains/
>>  ----
>>  I shared these cites with MLB historian John Thorn, who recently wrote
>>  about the 1886 series on his blog.
>>  https://ourgame.mlblogs.com/a-pictorial-chronology-of-baseball-in-the-19th-century-part-13-1886-789b6af61e37
>>  --bgz
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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