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Old 04-19-2018, 01:44 AM   #7
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The 1965 American League race is going right down to the wire and could be decided at Fenway as New York and Boston play the final 2 games of the season there. With 5 to play the Yankees are 1 game ahead of the second place Red Sox. The past half a dozen years have seen the two clubs in the thick of the pennant race, but it was certainly not that way for either team in previous decades.

The Yankees of this universe are not the powerhouse they were in real-life. In fact, New York's first pennant did not come until 1942 and the Yankees only have two World Series titles in thier history (1955 and 1961). New York of this world missed out on Gehrig (who was a Washington Senator most of his career) and Joe DiMaggio (a New York Giant) but they did get Mickey Mantle who at the age of 33 in 1965 is the Yankees leader and a lock for the Hall of Fame. This season Mantle is batting .304 with 35 homers and 108 rbi's and the 5 time American League MVP is a lifetime .306 hitter with 534 career homeruns.

In real life the Red Sox and Yankees are linked by the sale of Babe Ruth. Well, in this sim Ruth also moved from Boston to New York in a 1920 deal that saw Austin McHenry and Pat Malone go the other way. There was no curse of the Red Sox in this sim as Boston tasted victory well before and more often than the Bronx Bombers. The Red Sox won 1 pennant with Ruth in 1914, and then won 4 straight World Series titles in the mid-1930s on teams that were led by Cecil Travis, Hal Trosky and Dizzy Dean. Boston also won the 1946 Series at the height of Ted Williams' dominance and claimed the most recent of their 6 World Championships 2 years ago in 1963 after beating Cincinnati.

So the Red Sox have 6 titles compared to just 2 won by the Yankees. New York does have 10 pennants (although 1 came in Baltimore in 1897) compared to the 8 for the Red Sox. New York is not the center of the baseball universe here and the Red Sox and Yankees are not yet bitter rivals as in this universe the teams everyone loves to hate are based in Philadelphia.

The Yankees, Giants and Dodgers combined for 16 pennants and 3 World Series titles while based in New York while the Phillies and Athletics combined for 45 pennants and 27 World Series titles since 1901 while based in Philadelphia. The tide seems to be clearly turning over the past decade but prior to 1955 the game revolved around what happened in Philadelphia.

As I go forward with this I will focus much more on Philadelphia's rich history of success and delve more into the stories of DiMaggio, Williams, Ruth and others but here is a look at the yearly pennant winners going back to the beginning of this replay.
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