Nineteen-twenty-one was a pivotal year for baseball, and the fading of the deadball era, while significant, was only part of it. In 1921: The Yankees, the Giants, & the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York, veteran baseball researchers Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg place the season in the context of both a nation emerging from World War I and a sport emerging from disgrace (Black Sox scandal) and tragedy (Ray Chapman's death).
Babe Ruth's home-run heroics and taut pennant races in both leagues helped the game maintain, and even gain, favor with its fan base. As Ruth's Yankees tussled with the Indians in the AL, John McGraw's Giants jockeyed with the Pirates in the NL. All the while the two clubs fought for the hearts of New Yorkers, which was something the Giants had taken for granted for many years.