History of the World Series

By George Garza
Info Guru,

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Dirty baseball
The World Series is the oldest national sports contest
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Do you know these World Series facts?

Baseball World Series is the oldest national sports contest. There have been other contests football, golf and boxing but many of those were regional at best and did not capture the imagination of the country. That was what the World Series did. Let's review the history of the World Series. Many stars played in a mediocre way, and ordinary players rose to the occasion.

Highlights in the History of the World Series

1903 - The Pittsburg Pirates vs. the Boston Red Sox.
  • First official World Series.
  • Winner: Boston Red Sox.
  • In this World Series, there were nine games not seven, like today. It was not outstanding in play, but it was the first.
1904 - The year of the boycott it didn't take long.
  • The New York Giants didn't want to play the inferior Boston Red Sox. The team presidents hated each other. That was probably why there was no series.

1905 - The New York Giants vs. the Boston Red Sox, again.
  • This game was known for memorable pitching: Christy Mathewson's of the Giants pitched three shutouts and two other pitchers combined for another two shutouts. There were five shutouts in five games.
  • Victory: The Giants.

1906 - The Chicago White Sox vs. The Chicago Cubs.
  • Unquestionably, all of Chicago was excited over the World Series pairing. The South Side Sox played against the West Side Cubs.
  • Sox win the series despite a very poor offense.

1919 - The fix.
  • The most notorious and infamous of all of the World Series was the one in which the Chicago White Sox players conspired with gamblers to throw the series. The Cincinnati Reds win by the fix.
  • The Office of Commissioner was created as a result of the scandal.
  • The White Sox became known as the Black Sox.

1989 - The year of the earthquake.
  • The San Francisco Giants vs. the Oakland Athletics. Two teams from the Bay Area.
  • Approximately 30 minutes before the 3rd game started, on October 17, an earthquake of 6.9 magnitude occurred.
  • Game 3 was postponed until Oct. 27. The Athletics win in a four-game sweep.

1994 - The year of the strike.
  • After the 1904 protest, the series was played faithfully during the First World War, the Depression and the Second World War.
  • But alas, money was the reason to stop the series. There was no independent commissioner.

Memorable Notes

  • The New York Yankees have appeared in more World Series than any other team. They have won at least one World Series title in every decade except in 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 1920s.

  • The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. No other team has had such a long drought.

Getting to the World Series

With two leagues, the best team from each league was traditionally sent to the World Series, but in 1969 divisions were introduced. There was an Eastern and Western division. A league championship series was established with a five-game series playoff.

In 1994, the leagues added a Central Division. This meant that there was a need for a fourth team to make the playoffs. This became the wildcard. There were now playoff games occurring between the division winners and the wild card winner. The team with the best won/lost record plays against the wild card winner.

Great Games

1946: Slaughter's Mad Dash.
Game 7 - St. Louis Cardinals vs. The Boston Red Sox.
  • The Series is tied 3-3. It was the bottom of the eighth with 2 outs. The game was tied 3-3. Slaughter is on 1st. There is a hit to left center field, and Slaughter takes off, rounding second then third and the throw to the plate is not in time. The Cardinals take the lead 4-3, and then win the series.
  • The 1946 World Series loss was just one of many infamous Red Sox post-season seven game failures, including losses in the 1967, 1975 and 1986 World Series. The Red Sox finally win in 2004 and 2007. The curse of the Bambino (Babe Ruth who was traded from Boston to New York) was finally exorcised.

1960: The Wild One.
New York Yankees vs. Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • In the seven-game series, the Yankees were phenomenal. They outscored the Pirates 55-26. They also out-homered the Bucs 10 to 4.
  • In Game 7 in the bottom of the ninth, Bill Mazeroski's walk-off blast broke a 9-9 tie and gave the Pirates their first World Series title since 1925.

1975: One of the Greatest.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Boston Red Sox.
  • This series is considered by many the greatest series of all time. The Cincinnati's Big Red Machine won 107 games in 1975 and were the dominant club in the 1970s.
  • The series was close. Five of the contests were decided by just one run.
  • The most famous and riveting game was Game 6. It featured Carlton Fisk's legendary walk-off blast in the bottom of the twelfth inning to win that game.
  • The Big Red Machine (Cincinnati) won the World Series the next night when Joe Morgan singled home the winning run in the ninth inning of Game 7.

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