The first official World Series occurred in 1903 between the American League Champion Boston Americans and the National League's Pittsburgh Pirates, won by the AL Champions in 8 games (5-3). This new league, called the American League, had just started in 1901 but had already been given credibility as a Major League. The "Senior Circuit" got its nickname because it could trace its history back to 1876. In fact, all 8 teams in the National League had started playing in the year of 1883 or earlier. After the first World Series was played, it was expected to become a tradition to have a Fall Classic featuring the two respective League Champions.
To make a long story short, many state the reason there was no 1904 World Series was because of John McGraw. But, of course, there is two sides of the story. McGraw's feud with AL President Ban Johnson was over McGraw jumping to the New York Giants of the National League. Originally a Baltimore Orioles infielder of the American Association, he played and managed the National League's Orioles through the 1899 season. After spending one season with the NL's St Louis Cardinals, McGraw joined the new American League for the 1901 season; his team- the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles had financial problems. Part owner John Mahon had purchased the shares of both McGraw and OF Joe Kelley so he could become the majority shareholder (he now owned 201 of the 400 shares of the team). He then sold his interest to New York Giants owner Andrew Friedman and Cincinnati Reds owner John Brush. This created an unfair conflict of interest as the Giants and Reds began raiding the Orioles roster with McGraw himself leaving to join the Giants as player/ manager. Ban Johnson used a rule to seize control of the Orioles and prevented more players from jumping. That caused the rift with McGraw and would lead to the bad blood that poured over through the 1904 season.
After the Pirates won the NL Pennant in 1903, McGraw stated that his team would not recognize the World Series if they would won the NL Pennant in the future. Though the Giants finished in last place in the NL in 1903, the were expected to be very good in 1904 and beyond. As the season went on, Brush, who by then had become the majority owner of the Giants, and McGraw seemed like they had their line drawn in the sand and were not backing down.
The 1904 Giants, as expected, were a very good baseball team. They would win 106 games, finishing 13 games ahead of the 2nd place Chicago Cubs. The Giants would lead the National League in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed. McGraw's offensive team was big on speed and because of that, they had three of the top five base stealers in the National League- Bill Dahlen, Sam Mertes and Dan McGann. In addition, the pitching staff featured two Hall of Fame pitchers- Joe McGinnity and Christi Mathewson- both of whom had arguably the best seasons of their careers. Their combined 68 wins was the most in the 1900s for two pitchers on the same team. A third pitcher, Dummy Taylor, won 21 games as well.
On the AL side, the Boston Americans were locked in a closer Pennant Race with the New York Highlanders (they were the Baltimore Orioles in 1901 and 1902). The Americans would win 95 games, taking the AL Pennant by 3 games over the Highlanders. The stage was set for what could have been a good World Series putting the dominant Giants team against the defending World Series Champions.
The fact that there was no World Series in 1904 was probably not a big story. Obviously, no where near the attention was given to the no 1904 WS as was given to the strike shortened 1994 season that had no postseason. The World Series was not proven to be a draw, as similar Championship Series such as the Temple Cup, World Series and the Series had been played and were eliminated after a limited trial. Perhaps the bigger story was the fact the Giants wore a uniform that said, "World's Champions" on the front of it after winning the 1905 World Series Championship. The Giants themselves agreed to play in the World Series a year later, beating the Philadelphia Athletics 4 games to 1.