October is not just for football and hockey – the end of the baseball season is upon us with the World Series.
This year, the Texas Rangers face the St. Louis Cardinals. After one game, the Cards are ahead in the best of 7 series. So, how did we get to playing a “world” series to determine a champion?
According to Baseball Almanac, the first championship occurred in 1884. The National League’s Providence Grays met the American Association’s New York Metropolitan Club (the precursor to the Mets?) in a three-game series. The Grays prevailed in what was known at the time at the “Championship of the United States.”
When newspapers dubbed the Grays “world champions” the name stayed with the series. In 1894, the owner of Pittsburgh’s team, William C. Temple started the National League’s 7-game series and offered the winners 65% of the ticket sales and the losers 35% of the sales.
After some consolidation, rivalry and reorganizations, in 1903, the first “Fall Classic” was played between the two league’s best teams, Boston Americans and Pittsburgh Pirates as the “World Series.”
In 1907, Detroit’s Hughie Jennings was the first person to be ejected from a World Series game after he argued being caught stealing a base.
The most recent ejection was Atlanta’s manager Bobby Cox in 1992 and 1996 for arguing.
The Chicago Cubs (yeah!) were the first team to sweep a series. In 1907, they beat the Detroit Tigers. The last sweep was by our own Colorado Rockies in 2007 against the Boston Red Sox. In the history of the series, it has happened only 20 times. The National League has swept 7 times and the American League has swept 13 times, of which 8 came from the New York Yankees.
The National League has won 43 times as of 2009 and the American League has won 62 times. October 10, 1920 in the 5th inning, Bill Wambsganss had an unassisted triple play, possibly the most difficult feat in all of baseball.
As of 2007, there have been 108 shut outs, 11 times where a team came back from losing the first 2 games to win and only ONE perfect game. What was that game? Please comment below if you know.
Marijo Tinlin is the editor in chief of Family First, one of the oldest family-oriented websites on the internet. She is also the author of the new book “How to Raise an American Patriot, Making it Okay for Our Kids to Be Proud to Be American” available at www.raisinganamericanpatriot.com.