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May 5, 2008

Wikipedia: World Series

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The 2004 World Series Trophy

The 2004 World Series Trophy

MLB Postseason
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American League
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World Series
For other events named “World Series”, see World Series (disambiguation).
Further information: List of World Series#The modern World Series

The World Series is the championship series of Major League Baseball and the culmination of the sport’s postseason each October. Since the Series takes place in mid-autumn, sportswriters many years ago dubbed the event the Fall Classic; it is also sometimes known as the October Classic and, more facetiously, the World Serious. “The Series” is also used.

The World Series is played between the American League and National League, which currently includes 29 clubs based in the United States and 1 club from Canada. The modern World Series has been an annual event since 1903, with the exceptions of 1904 and 1994. Baseball has employed various championship formulas since the 1860s. When the term “World Series” is used by itself, it is usually understood to refer to the “modern” World Series exclusively.

The World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff. Best-of-seven has been the format of all the modern World Series except in 1903, 1919, 1920 and 1921 when the winner was determined through a best-of-nine playoff. The Series winner is awarded the World Series Trophy, as well as individual World Series rings.

The New York Yankees, of the American League, have played in 39 of the 103 Series through 2007 and have won 26 World Series championships, which is far more than any other Major League franchise. For the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers have appeared in the Series the most at 18 times, but have won the Series only 6 times. The St. Louis Cardinals have represented the National League 17 times and have won 10 championships, which is the most for any National League team.[1]



The first modern World Series was held between the Boston Americans (now the Red Sox) of the American League and the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League in 1903. Boston won the Series 5 games to 3, helping to establish the new league’s credibility. However, the next year, the National League champion New York Giants refused to play the American League champions (Boston again) because of the alleged inferiority of the American League, along with the legitimate claim that there were no formal or standard rules for this championship (a factor which had helped kill the 1880s version of the Series). In response, the World Series was instituted in 1905 as a permanent institution, through which the leagues would “meet annually in a series of games for the Professional Base Ball Championship of the World.”[2]

Until 1969, teams reached the Fall classic merely by having the best records in their respective leagues. If two teams were tied for the best record at the end of the scheduled season, the winner of a head-to-head “pennant playoff” game between the two teams was declared winner of the “pennant” (league championship), and thus represented the league in the Series.

The reorganization of each league into two divisions for the 1969 season changed the road to the Series. The winners of the East and West divisions of each league would meet in a best-of-five (later best-of-seven) League Championship Series to determine the winner of the pennant. The split into two divisions was partially based on the premise that there were too many teams in the league to have one division (“you can’t sell a twelfth place team”[citation needed]). It also ensured more “pennant races” to generate more regular-season attendance, along with more post-season revenue.

A further change occurred in 1994 with the expansion of the Major Leagues and the establishment of the Central Divisions. This created an odd number of teams in each league’s playoff tournament, so a fourth playoff team was added. It was called the “wild card”, patterned after the National Football League’s playoff system of including the best non-divisional winner (by win-loss record) in the playoffs. This created additional regular-season races as well as further augmenting post-season income. It also had the inevitable effect of playing the game’s prime event in the latter part of October, with weather often much colder and harsher than in the early part of the month, especially in the Midwest and Northeast.

Under the current format, normally the division winner with the highest winning percentage in the league faces the wildcard in the best-of-five first round, or Division Series, and the two remaining teams face each other in the first round. However, if both the wildcard qualifier and the best divisional win-loss record come from the same division (which has happened frequently), the wildcard instead plays the division winner with the second-best record in the first round while the remaining two teams face each other. The winners of the two Division Series play in the League Championship Series for the right to play in the World Series.

In case two teams tie for the fourth playoff spot in a league, a single-game “wild-card playoff” is required to determine the final qualifier.

Although the current structure was established in 1994, the players’ strike canceled the post-season events that year. Playoffs with the current structure were first played in 1995.


Home-field advantage is determined by the results of the All-Star Game. By virtue of the American League winning the 2007 All-Star Game, it gave home-field advantage to the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 World Series. The Series follows what is called a 2-3-2 format with the first two and last two games being played in the stadium of the club with home-field advantage. The other three games are played in the opponent’s stadium.

This All-Star Game determination of home-field was instituted in 2003, following significant criticism after the 2002 All-Star Game ended in a tie. In order to prevent a future repeat of that situation, Commissioner Bud Selig decided to give the All-Star Game a more competitive element by making its result tangibly meaningful. For subsequent events Major League Baseball adopted the slogan “This one counts“. Prior to 2003, home-field advantage had alternated between the leagues from year to year. The American League held the home-field edge in 2002, the last year of the “alternating” approach, and has won every All-Star Game through the 2007 season. Thus the 2007 season marks the sixth consecutive year of American League home field advantage. (The National League, winless in the All-Star game since the 1997 season, has yet to take advantage of the current format.)

Since 1986, the designated hitter rule has been applied according to the rules normally in effect at the home ballpark. In an American League ballpark, both teams may use a designated hitter, a player who bats in place of the pitcher and does not play in the field himself. In a National League ballpark, all nine position players must hit. From 1976 through 1985, the designated hitter was used for all games in even-numbered years and no games in odd-numbered years. The designated hitter was not used at all prior to the 1976 Series, although the DH rule had been adopted by the AL in 1973.

A portion of the gate receipts from the World Series — and, from 1969 onward, the other rounds of postseason play preceding it — is used to fund a Players’ Pool, from which descending shares are distributed to the World Series winner, the World Series loser, all the other teams qualifying for the playoffs but not reaching the World Series, and certain other teams not qualifying for the playoffs. Prior to 1969, teams finishing in the first division, or top half of the leagues’ standings, received such shares; today, only the teams finishing second in their divisions but not earning a wild card receive them. The shares for the actual participants are limited to the gate receipts of the minimum number of games (4) necessary to decide the Series; that rule has been in place from the beginning, to keep the games “honest” by taking away any financial incentive for conspiring to extend the number of games.

The Series has run to eight games four times: 1903, 1912, 1921, and the ill-fated 1919 Series. The 1912 Series was best-of-seven but included one tie game; the other three were best-of-nine. (The other tie games in the modern Series were in 1907 and 1922, both of which ran for five games.)

Apart from the period between 1947 and 1956 (when all the Series games were scheduled to be played on consecutive days), there has been a scheduled off day between the second and third games and another (if necessary) between the fifth and sixth games.

International impact, and explanation of the term “World” Series

The title of this championship may be confusing to some readers from countries where baseball is not a major sport (or even where it is), because the “World” Series is confined to the champions of two baseball leagues that currently operate only in the United States and Canada.

The explanation is that when the term “World’s Championship Series” was first used in the 1880s, baseball at a highly-skilled level was almost exclusively confined to North America, especially the United States. Thus it was understood that the winner of the major league championship was the best baseball team in the world. The title of this event was soon shortened to “World’s Series” and later to “World Series”. “The Series”, by itself, capitalized, is understood to mean “The World Series”, in the appropriate context.

The United States continued to be the only professional baseball country until some decades into the 20th century. The first Japanese professional baseball efforts began in 1920. The current Japanese leagues date from the late 1940s. Various Latin American leagues also formed around that time.

By the 1990s, baseball was played at a highly skilled level in many countries, resulting in a strong international flavor to the Series, as many of the best players from the Pacific Rim, Latin America, the Caribbean, and elsewhere now play on Major League rosters. The notable exception is Cuban nationals, due to the political situation between the USA and Cuba (despite that barrier, over the years a number of Cuba’s finest ballplayers have defected to the United States to play in the American professional leagues). Players from the Japanese Leagues also have a more difficult time coming to the Major Leagues because they must first play 10 years in Japan before becoming free agents. Reaching the high-income Major Leagues tends to be the goal of many of the best players around the world.

Early in 2006, Major League Baseball conducted the inaugural World Baseball Classic, to establish a “true” world’s championship in the way the term is normally used for other international sports. Teams of professional players from 16 nations participated, and Japan won the first World Baseball Classic championship. Olympic baseball was instituted as a medal sport in 1992, but in 2005 the International Olympic Committee voted to eliminate baseball, and it will be off the Olympic program in 2012.

The World Series itself retains a US-oriented atmosphere. The title of the event is often presented on television as merely a “brand name” in the same sense as the “Super Bowl”, and thus the term “World Series Championship” is sometimes used. However, the origin of the term lives on, as with these words of Frank Thomas in the Chicago White Sox victory celebration in 2005: “We’re world’s champions, baby!” At the close of the 2006 Series, Commissioner Bud Selig pronounced the St. Louis Cardinals “champions of the world”. Likewise, the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine for November 6, 2006, features Series MVP David Eckstein and is subtitled “World Champions”.

Champions prior to and precursors to the modern World Series (1857-1902)

Further information: List of World Series#The original World Series

The original World Series

Until the formation of the American Association in 1882 as a second major league, the National Association and then the National League represented the top level of organized baseball in the United States. All championships went to whoever had the best record at the end of the season, without a postseason series being played. In 1882, the champions of the American Association and National League played a series of exhibition games at the end of the season, but the winner of the series was not recognized as the champion of both leagues. Starting in 1884 and going through 1890, the National League and the American Association played an official series of games at the end of the season to determine an overall champion.

Although these series were promoted and referred to as the “The Championship of the United States”,[3] “World’s Championship Series”, or “World’s Series” for short, they are not officially recognized as part of World Series history by Major League Baseball.[4] Major League Baseball, in general, regards 19th century events as a prologue to the Modern Era of baseball, which is defined by the two current major leagues.

It is worth pointing out, however, that until about the 1960s, the 19th century Series were often considered to have equal merit with the modern Series, particularly in encyclopedias such as Ernest Lanigan’s Baseball Cyclopedia from 1922, and Turkin and Thompson’s Encyclopedia of Baseball series throughout the 1950s. The Sporting News Record Book, by contrast, which began publishing in the 1930s, only listed the modern Series, although the TSN record books then and now do include regular-season achievements for all the 19th century leagues.

1892–1900: “The Monopoly Years”

Further information: List of World Series#1892-1900: “The Monopoly Years”

Following the collapse of the American Association after the 1891 season, four of its clubs were admitted to the National League. The league championship was awarded in 1892 by a playoff between half-season champions. This scheme was abandoned after one season. Beginning in 1893 — and continuing until divisional play was introduced in 1969 — the pennant was awarded to the first-place club in the standings at the end of the season. For four seasons, 1894-97, the league champions played the runners-up in the post season championship series called the Temple Cup. A second attempt at this format was the Chronicle-Telegraph Cup series, which was played only once, in 1900.

In 1901 the American League was formed as a second major league. No championship series would be played in 1901 or 1902 as the National and American Leagues fought each other for business supremacy.

The modern World Series (1903-present)

Crowd outside Huntington Avenue Grounds before a game during the 1903 World Series

Crowd outside Huntington Avenue Grounds before a game during the 1903 World Series

The first attempt

After two years of bitter competition and player raiding, the National and American Leagues made peace and, as part of the accord, several pairs of teams squared off for interleague exhibition games after the 1903 season. These series were arranged by the participating clubs, as the 1880s World’s Series matches had been. One of them matched the two pennant winners, Pittsburgh Pirates of the NL and Boston of the AL (later known as the Red Sox); that one is known as the 1903 World Series. It had been arranged well in advance by the two owners, as both teams were league leaders by large margins. Boston upset Pittsburgh by 5 games to 3, winning with pitching depth behind Cy Young and Bill Dinneen and with the support of the band of Royal Rooters. The Series brought much civic pride to Boston and proved the new American League could beat the Nationals on the field.

The boycott of 1904

The 1904 Series would have been between the AL’s Boston Americans (Boston Red Sox) and the NL’s New York Giants (San Francisco Giants). The Giants’ owner, John T. Brush, refused to allow his team to play, citing the “inferiority” of the upstart American League. John McGraw, the Giants’ manager, even went so far as to say that his Giants were already world champions since they were the champions of the “only real major league”. At the time of the announcement, their new cross-town rivals, the New York Highlanders (previously known as the Baltimore Orioles and eventually NY Yankees), were leading the AL, and the prospect of facing the Highlanders did not please Giants management. Boston won on the last day of the season, and the leagues had previously agreed to hold a World’s Championship Series in 1904, but it was not binding, and Brush stuck to his original decision. In addition to political reasons, Brush also factually cited the lack of rules under which money would be split, where games would be played, and how they would be operated and staffed. During the winter of 1904/05, however, feeling the sting of press criticism, Brush had a change of heart and proposed what came to be known as the “Brush Rules”, under which the series would be played subsequently.

One rule was that player shares would come from a portion of the gate receipts for the first four games only. This was to discourage teams from “fixing” early games in order to prolong the series and make more money. Receipts for later games would be split among the two clubs and the National Commission, the governing body for the sport, which was able to cover much of its annual operating expense from World Series revenue.

Most importantly, the now-official and compulsory World’s Series matches would be operated strictly by the National Commission itself, not by the participating clubs.

The list of post-season rules evolved over time. In 1925, Brooklyn owner Charles Ebbets convinced others to adopt as a permanent rule the 2-3-2 pattern used in 1924. Prior to 1924, the pattern had been to alternate by game or to make another arrangement convenient to both clubs.

1919: The fix

Main article: Black Sox Scandal

Gambling and game-fixing had been a problem in baseball from the beginning; star pitcher Jim Devlin was banned for life in 1877, when the National League was just two years old. Baseball’s gambling problems came to a head in 1919, when the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the 1919 World Series.

The Sox had won the Series in 1917 and were heavy favorites to beat the Cincinnati Reds in 1919, but first baseman Chick Gandil had other plans. Gandil, in collaboration with gambler Joseph “Sport” Sullivan, approached his teammates and got six of them to agree to throw the Series: starting pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams, shortstop Swede Risberg, left fielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, center fielder Happy Felsch, and utility infielder Fred McMullin. Third baseman Buck Weaver knew of the fix but declined to participate. The Sox, who were promised $100,000 for cooperating, proceeded to lose the Series in eight games, pitching poorly, hitting poorly and making many errors. Though he took the money, Jackson insisted to his death that he played to the best of his ability in the series. After rumors circulated for nearly a year, the players were suspended in September 1920.

The “Black Sox” were acquitted in a criminal conspiracy trial. However, baseball in the meantime had established the office of Commissioner in an effort to protect the game’s integrity, and the first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, banned all of the players involved, including Weaver, for life. The White Sox would not win a World Series again until 2005.

The events of the 1919 Series, segueing into the “live ball” era, marked a point in time of change of the fortunes of a number of teams. Today’s two most prolific winners, the Yankees and the Cardinals, did not win their first championship until the 1920s; and three of the teams that were highly successful prior to 1920 (the Red Sox, White Sox and Cubs) went the rest of the 20th century without another World Series win. The Red Sox and White Sox finally won again in 2004 and 2005, respectively. The Cubs are still waiting for their next trophy.

The 1989 earthquake

When the 1989 World Series began, it was notable chiefly for being the first ever World Series matchup between the two San Francisco Bay Area teams, the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics. Oakland won the first two games at home, and the two teams crossed the bridge to San Francisco to play Game 3 on Tuesday, October 17. ABC’s broadcast of Game 3 began at 5 p.m. local time, approximately 30 minutes before the first pitch was scheduled. At 5:04, while broadcasters Al Michaels and Tim McCarver were narrating highlights and the teams were warming up, the Loma Prieta earthquake occurred (magnitude 6.9 with an epicenter ten miles (16 km) northeast of Santa Cruz, CA). The earthquake caused a great deal of destruction in the Bay Area and killed 62 people.

Television viewers saw the video signal deteriorate and heard Michaels say “I’ll tell you what, we’re having an earth–” before the feed from Candlestick Park was lost. Fans filing into the stadium saw Candlestick sway visibly during the quake. Television coverage later resumed, using backup generators, with Michaels becoming a news reporter on the unfolding disaster. Commissioner Fay Vincent ordered the game to be postponed approximately 30 minutes after the earthquake, and fans, workers, and the teams evacuated a blacked out Candlestick. Game 3 was finally played on October 27, and Oakland won that day and the next to complete a four-game sweep.

The 1994 strike

Main article: 1994 Major League Baseball strike

After the boycott of 1904, the World Series was played faithfully every year despite World War I, the global influenza pandemic of 1918-19, the Great Depression of the 1930s, America’s involvement in World War II, and even an earthquake in the host city of the 1989 World Series. However, it would not be played in 1994 because of money.

As the labor talks began, baseball franchise owners demanded a salary cap in order to limit payrolls, the elimination of salary arbitration, and the right to retain free agent players by matching a competitor’s best offer. The Major League Baseball Players Association refused to agree to limit payrolls, noting that the responsibility for high payrolls lay with those owners who were voluntarily offering contracts. One difficulty in reaching a settlement was the absence of a commissioner. When Fay Vincent was forced to resign in 1992, owners did not replace him, electing instead to make Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud Selig acting commissioner. Thus the commissioner, responsible for insuring the integrity and protecting the welfare of the game, was an interested party rather than a neutral arbiter, and baseball headed into the 1994 work stoppage without an independent commissioner for the first time since the office was founded in 1920.

The previous collective bargaining agreement expired on Dec. 31, 1993, and baseball began the 1994 season without a new agreement. Owners and players negotiated as the season progressed, but owners refused to give up the idea of a salary cap and players refused to accept one. On August 12, 1994, the players went on strike. After a month passed with no progress in the labor talks, Selig canceled the rest of the 1994 season and the postseason on Sept. 14. The World Series would not be played for the first time in 90 years.

The labor dispute would last into the spring of 1995, with owners beginning spring training with replacement players. However, the MLBPA returned to work on April 2, 1995 after a federal judge ruled that the owners had engaged in unfair labor practices. The season started on April 25 and the 1995 World Series would be played as scheduled, with Atlanta beating Cleveland four games to two.

World Series appearances (modern) by franchise

Further information: List of World Series#World Series (modern) appearances by franchise

“Feast and famine” (frequent success / frequent failure)

This information is up to date through the 2007 World Series:

  • Since their first championship in 1923, the New York Yankees have won at least one World Series title in every decade except the 1980s, and two or more championships in seven different decades – the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and the ’90s. Additionally, they have won at least one pennant in every decade since the 1920’s.
  • The New York Giants’ four consecutive World Series appearances from 1921 to 1924 are the most for any non-Yankees franchise.
  • The Oakland Athletics’ three consecutive World Series victories from 1972 to 1974 are the most for any non-New York franchise.
  • The New York Yankees hold the record for most consecutive World Series titles with five (1949-1953). The Yankees are also in second place for that record, with four (1936-1939).
  • The 1907-1909 Detroit Tigers and the 1911-1913 New York Giants are the only teams to lose three consecutive World Series.
  • Teams from New York (Yankees, New York Giants, Mets, and Brooklyn Dodgers) have accounted for 65 World Series appearances, or 32%, including 13 all-New York Series. They have won 34 Series, or about 1/3. If the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are included, these franchises account for 76 appearances (38%) and 39 wins (38.6%).
  • The St Louis Cardinals lead the National League with ten World Series titles in seventeen appearances: 1926, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1982 and 2006.
  • The Braves have appeared in the World Series representing the most cities: two for Boston (1914, 1948), two representing Milwaukee (1957, 1958) and five for the city of Atlanta (1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999). They’ve brought home one victory from each of the three cities.
  • The Chicago Cubs hold the record for the longest World Series drought (still active heading into 2008), with their last title coming in 1908 (99 years). In fact, they also hold the longest drought without a World Series appearance, having not won the NL pennant since 1945. Even had they won the 1945 World Series, they would still hold the longest World Series championship drought, the second longest being since 1948 by the Cleveland Indians.
  • The American League has won 61 of the 103 World Series played (61-42, 59.2%). Of that number, the New York Yankees, have won 26, 25.2% of all wins or 42.6% of all American League wins. The St. Louis Cardinals have won 10, 9.7% of all wins or 23.8% of all National League wins.
  • The 1907-1908 Cubs, 1921-1922 Giants and 1975-1976 Reds are the only National League teams to win back-to-back World Series.
  • The 1915-1916 Red Sox and 1992-1993 Blue Jays are the only other American League teams besides the Yankees and the A’s to win two straight World Series (The Philadelphia A’s won 1910-1911 and 1929-1930, the Oakland A’s won 1972-1974).
  • From 1949 to 1956, every Series game was won by a team from New York City.
  • From 1949 to 1966, every Series involved the Yankees, Dodgers and/or Giants.
  • From 1978 to 1987, no franchise won the World Series twice, the longest such streak. The second longest streak extends from 1982 to 1990, and the most recent streak of seven straight (2000 to 2006) was the third longest such streak.
  • Since the institution of the Division Series in 1995, three teams have won the World Series more than once: the New York Yankees (1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000); the Florida Marlins (1997, 2003); and the Boston Red Sox (2004, 2007).
  • The team with the better regular season winning percentage has won the World Series 51 times, or 49.5% (51 of 103) of the time. The longest such streak was from 1936 to 1942 (7 years). 1958 and 1949 are included in the percentage, but both of those teams had the same exact record.
  • In the last sixteen World Series match-ups, nine teams with a lower winning percentage than their opponent have emerged as champions.
  • The 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks were the fastest expansion franchise ever to win both a pennant and a World Series (4th season), after being founded in 1998. Second fastest were the 1997 Florida Marlins, after being founded in 1993 (5th season).
  • While the New York Mets were the first expansion team to win or appear in the World Series, the American League would have to wait until 1980 for its first expansion-team World Series appearance, and until 1985 for its first expansion team win. Both were by the Kansas City Royals. They also had two expansion teams appear in the World Series (the Milwaukee Brewers being the second, in 1982) before the National League’s second expansion team to appear–the San Diego Padres in 1984.
  • No two expansion teams have met in the World Series, although ten of them (the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays) have made it there. Expansion teams are 9-7 in the World Series, with three teams (the Mets, Blue Jays and Marlins) winning more than one.
  • The Marlins and the Blue Jays are the only teams with more than one World Series title to have never lost a World Series. Each have two. The Marlins have never even lost a post-season series.
  • The Marlins are the only World Series-winning team that has never won a Division title. While the Angels won their only World Series appearance on a Wild Card berth, they have also won six Division titles in their history. The Marlins are also the only NL Wild Card team to win a World Series.
  • Every non-expansion team has won at least one World Series title. The last to do it were the Philadelphia Phillies, who finally won a title in 1980.
  • The last American League non-expansion team to win their first World Series was the Baltimore Orioles, winning in 1966.
  • The Orioles were also the last non-expansion team in the majors to make their first World Series appearance, as the St. Louis Browns in 1944. They have won three World Series, in six appearances, since moving to Baltimore. The last National League non-expansion team to make their modern World Series debut were the St. Louis Cardinals in 1926, which they also won.
  • 22 of the 26 teams to play in the World Series have won it at least once. The Astros, Brewers, Padres, and Rockies are the exceptions. The Padres are the only of these four to have appeared twice (1984, 1998).
  • As of 2007, only four teams (all of them expansion) haven’t won a pennant: the Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays are the only team outside of the U.S. (the Blue Jays are from Toronto, Ontario, Canada) to ever win a World Series, doing so twice, in 1992 and 1993. The other team, the Montreal Expos, from Montreal, Quebec, Canada (now the Washington Nationals) – won one division title (1981), but never won a pennant.
  • Including their existence as the “second” Washington Senators, beginning in 1961, the Texas Rangers are the oldest franchise never to have won a pennant or a World Series. Their neighbors, the Houston Astros (established in 1962 as the Colt .45’s), are the second-oldest franchise–and oldest in the National League–to have never won a World Series. The Washington Nationals (established in 1969 as the Montreal Expos) are the third oldest franchise–and second-oldest in the National League–to have never won a pennant. The Seattle Mariners (established in 1977) are the second-oldest American League franchise to have never won a pennant or a World Series. The Tampa Bay Rays is the only team to have no playoff experience at all.
  • The home team has won the last eight World Series Game 7’s (the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals, 1985 Kansas City Royals, 1986 New York Mets, 1987 and 1991 Minnesota Twins, 1997 Florida Marlins, 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, and 2002 Anaheim Angels). The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates are the last team to win a World Series Game 7 on the road; in contrast to the above, the Pirates’ championship marked the thirteenth time in sixteen series that the road team won Game 7.
  • The National League champion has not held home field advantage in the World Series since 2001, and won’t again until either the National League ends its winless streak in the All-Star game (whose outcome since 2003 has determined World Series home field advantage) or another change in the format takes place in the future. The National League last won the All-Star Game in 1996, making for a current winless streak of 0-10-1, including 0-5 since the extra incentive was added.
  • 2007 marked the sixth consecutive World Series to feature at least one wild card participant: the 2002 Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants, 2003 Florida Marlins, 2004 Boston Red Sox, 2005 Houston Astros, 2006 Detroit Tigers, and the 2007 Colorado Rockies.
  • Since the addition of wild card teams in 1994 (deferred to 1995 due to the strike), only one team in Major League Baseball has swept both the LDS and the LCS on its way to the World Series, the 2007 Colorado Rockies.
  • Of the fourteen different teams to win a National League pennant; only two have never played a World Series against the New York Yankees — the Colorado Rockies and the Houston Astros.
  • The Yankees have defeated all eight non-expansion NL teams in a World Series at some point. Conversely, they have lost at least one World Series to every non-expansion NL team except the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • The Rockies and Astros are also the only two World Series participants that haven’t won a World Series game.
  • To date, the Colorado Rockies are the only World Series opponent of the Boston Red Sox with no Series appearances against the N.Y. Yankees.
  • The Atlanta Braves are the only non-expansion National League team who has never played the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Likewise, the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians are the only non-expansion American League teams who have never played the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
  • All World Series re-matches from 1976 on have been re-matches of original matchups that occurred no later than 1974. No original match-ups from the 1975 World Series on have been re-staged. There have been 44 re-matches in World Series history.
  • The 1990s was the first decade since the 1930s without a Dodgers-Yankees World Series match-up.
  • The 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers are the last team to win a World Series after losing the first two games on the road.
  • There have been 18 World Series 4-game sweeps. Nine different teams have swept a World Series at least once, the Yankees having the most overall (8). The Red Sox and Reds both have done it twice. The Braves, Orioles, White Sox, Dodgers, Athletics and Giants have each swept one. Six of these have also been swept in a World Series at least once, the Orioles, Red Sox and White Sox being the exceptions. The Red Sox’ two World Series sweeps are the most of any team that has never been swept in one.
  • The Athletics, Cardinals, Cubs, Tigers and Yankees are the only teams to be swept twice in a World Series. The Athletics and Yankees are the only two of these with at least one World Series sweep to their credit, the other three being among nine teams overall that have never swept a World Series, but have been swept in one (the Astros, Indians, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Cardinals and Rockies being the others).
  • The Cubs in 1907 and the Giants in 1922 won 4 games to 0, but each of those Series’ included a tied game and are not considered to be true “sweeps”.
  • The Cincinnati Reds are the only National League team who has swept a World Series since 1963, sweeping the series in 1976 and 1990.
  • Three teams that have appeared in the World Series have never experienced the use of the Designated Hitter, the Cubs, Pirates, and Orioles. The last time Pittsburgh and Baltimore appeared in the World Series, 1979 and 1983, the designated hitter was not allowed because it alternated every year from 1976 until 1985, being used in even-numbered years but not odd-numbered years. In 1945, there was no Designated Hitter to speak of in the baseball lexicon when the Cubs last appeared in the World Series.
  • Since 1920, only one World Series, the 1980 World Series, has featured two teams who had never before won a World Series. The last World Series in which both teams were appearing in the Series for the first time was the 1906.

Image gallery

See also

  • List of baseball films
  • World Series MVP Award
  • AL Wildcard winners (since 1994)
  • NL Wildcard winners (since 1994)
  • List of Major League Baseball franchise post-season droughts
  • List of most experienced baseball players never to play in a World Series
  • List of World Series won
  • List of World Series starting pitchers
  • MLB Post-Season Representatives
  • Caribbean World Series
  • College World Series
  • Negro League World Series
  • Japan Series
  • Korean Series
  • Asia Series
  • Baseball World Cup
  • World Baseball Classic

Source books

  • Ernest Lanigan, Baseball Cyclopedia, 1922, originally published by Baseball Magazine, available as a reprint from McFarland.
  • Hy Turkin and S.C. Thompson, The Official Encyclopedia of Baseball, 1951, A.S. Barnes and Company.
  • Lamont Buchanan, The World Series and Highlights of Baseball, 1951, E. P. Dutton & Company.
  • Jordan A. Deutsch, Richard M. Cohen, David Neft, Roland T. Johnson, The Scrapbook History of Baseball, 1975, Bobbs-Merrill Company.
  • Richard M. Cohen, David Neft, Roland T. Johnson, Jordan A. Deutsch, The World Series, 1976, Dial Press. Contains play-by-play accounts of all World Series from 1903 onward.
  • The New York Times, The Complete Book of Baseball: A Scrapbook History, 1980, Bobbs_Merrill.
  • Sporting News, Baseball Record Book and Baseball Guide, published annually since ca. 1941.
  • Jerry Lansch, Glory Fades Away: The Nineteenth Century World Series Rediscovered, 1991, Taylor Publishing. ISBN 0-87833-726-1

Other sources

  • 100 Years of the World Series, DVD published by Major League Baseball, 2002.
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