Pivotal World Series Moments
McAleer's Plan for Games 6 and 7 Backfires
1912 World Series Game 6: Boston Red Sox @ New York Giants
After Hugh Bedient outdueled the great Christy Mathewson 2-1 in Game 5 in Boston, the Red Sox held a three-to-one lead in games. (Game 2 ended in a tie.) They could clinch the Series by beating the Giants in Game 6 in New York.
Boston's ace Smoky Joe Wood had beaten the Giants 3-1 in Game 4. With a day off on Sunday, October 13, he would surely be manager Jake Stahl's choice for Game 6 in New York. (The Series games alternated between cities.)

L-R: Hugh Bedient, Smoky Joe Wood, Jake Stahl and Jim McAleer
But Red Sox owner Jim McAleer had another idea. As his confident team traveled by train to New York on Sunday with visions of banking the money they would earn as World Series champions, McAleer visited his manager's stateroom and asked, "Who are you going to pitch tomorrow, Jake?"
Surprised by the question, Stahl replied, "Who else but Joe Wood?"
"Well, let's talk that over a bit," said McAleer. "Remember that Bucky O'Brien pitched real well in the third game (a 2-1 loss). If he holds them to two runs again, I think we can win. And should he lose, it would give Joe another day's rest, and he could finish it for us in Boston."
Stahl replied, "All the boys are expecting Wood to pitch. Joe told me he's ready and wants to pitch."
But McAleer added, "Think it over, but I think O'Brien deserves another chance. And remember, we always would have Wood available if we have to return to Boston." With that, McAleer left Stahl's stateroom.
The Red Sox felt a lot of "bitterness and recrimination" when word spread that O'Brien, not Wood, would pitch the Monday game in New York. The players suspected that McAleer had an ulterior motive for pushing O'Brien. If the Red Sox lost Game 6 with Wood on the bench, McAleer would have one more huge gate in Boston for Game 7.

L-R: Bucky O'Brien, Ray Collins, Fred Snodgrass, Rube Marquard
Game 6 could not have gone worse for O'Brien. After the Red Sox failed to score in the top of the first, the Giants erupted for five runs in the bottom of the inning. After Buck retired the leadoff batter, 2B Larry Doyle got an infield hit, then stole second. When CF Fred Snodgrass struck out, it looked like O'Brien had a good chance to get out of the inning with no damage. But RF Red Murray beat out an infield hit to put runners on first and third. O'Brien then balked home the runner on third. 1B Fred Merkle doubled home Murray, and 3B Buck Herzog followed with another double to make it 3-0. C Jack Mey­ers grounded an infield single between short and third. With runners on the corners, the Giants executed a double steal to make it 4-0. SS Art Fletcher knocked home Meyers, then ended the inning by being caught stealing. 5-0 Giants
Ray Collins took the hill for Boston in the bottom of the second and held the Giants scoreless the rest of the game, but the damage had been done. Giants P Rube Marquard allowed only two unearned runs, and the Giants stayed alive, 5-2.
The owner's pitching plan had a trap door built into it. Wood would now pitch Game 7 back in Boston the next day. But that part of his scheme backfired too, both at the gate and on the field.
The Red Sox had a unique cheering section known as the Royal Rooters going back to the previous century. The leader of the well-organized 300-man club was Michael T. "Nuf Ced" McGreevy, who owned a saloon called "3rd Base." The mayor of Boston, John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald (grandfather of president John Fitzgerald Kennedy) served as chairman for awhile.
The club reserved seats for the Rooters in the left field bleachers so that the gang could intimidate or distract the opposition. Because of the tie game, Game Seven became an ex­tra game for which the Royal Rooters had not reserved tickets. So when the Rooters arrived at the park, they found that most of their seats had been sold to "rich, new Johnny-come-lately VIP fans." The Rooters would have to be content with standing along the left field line.
The enraged Rooters stormed the field, delaying the game until mounted police drove them back. But they broke down the fence and had to be forced back again before order was restored. Those who pushed their way into the bleachers rooted openly for the visitors.

Police battle the Royal Rooters before Game 7.
Meanwhile, Joe Wood was warming up to start for the Red Sox. But the long delay in starting the game caused his arm to tighten up and, like O'Brien the day before, he lasted only one inning in which he gave up six runs. The Giants coasted to an 11-4 victory.
After the game, the Rooters marched onto the field in celebration of the Red Sox defeat. Along the way, they enlisted other fans to join them in boycotting Game Eight. In addition, some fans were upset over reports that Stahl, with a 3-1 lead in games, was ordered by club President McAleer to send O'Brien to the hill to assure a Giant victory and extend the Series in order to increase revenue.
McAleer got one victory when he won the coin toss after Game 7 to determine the loca­tion of the final game. So he anticipated another large crowd for the final game the next day.
His hopes did not materialize. The long lines for each of the first four games played at Fenway were nowhere to be found. Nary a soul was in line when the ticket office opened at 8 AM. "Maybe they didn't get the message," wondered the Sox owner. But the fans knew the game would be played that day and were sending a message of their own to register their disgust at the performance of their club and its management the last two days. One Bostonian voiced a typical view. "If he can treat the Rooters that way, then what kind of a chance do the rest of us have? The Rooters spend their own money to go to ... New York, and they get spit on? This McAleer is a fool, and I won't support any fool with my hard-earned money, no sir." Word spread to New York after Game 7 that plenty of good seats would be available for the finale. So a number of New Yorkers booked train tickets to Boston.