Major League Baseball World Series: History, Winners, Fun Facts, and More
Baseball is one of the most exciting sports in North America. Like every other sport’s championship, fans look towards the final match that crowns a champion. But all true baseball fans will always retain their enthusiasm for the sport – whether or not their favourite team reaches the final.
The Major League Baseball World Series sees a showdown between winners of American and National leagues in a best-of-seven series. The major sportsbooks will ideally release World Series betting odds ahead of the games, and punters can make good money wagering on the odds.
In the following paragraphs, we will take you on a rundown of history, winners, and fun facts about the MLB World Series ahead of the 2023 edition.
The First World Series
The first contemporary MLB World Series happened in 1903 as a best-of-nine series between the Red Sox, a team that was known as Boston Americans back then, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Boston Americans, the American League champion, won the final four games to lift the trophy.
New York Yankees are Regular Favourites
Interestingly, the New York Yankees have retained a status as a regular favourite to win the games for decades that almost everyone (except Yankee fans, of course) wishes they would lose. So here’s what the Yankees’ dominance in American baseball looks like.
The Yankees have won 27 World Series championships, more than any other team. The St. Louis Cardinals, their closest rivals based on won titles, have 11 Series to their name. They lifted the trophy for the first time in 1923 with Babe Ruth. But they also dominated the next three decades, winning five, four, and six titles in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, respectively.
They’ve also appeared in more World Series (40) than any other side. There’s no arguing that they’re good at pitching, hitting, fielding, and base-running to win matches. But the fact that they seem to get all the media’s attention and the support of an immense New York City media makes them tiring to many MLB fans.
Why is it Called the World Series?
Why call it the World Series if teams from other continents don’t play in the championship? There are at least two stories explaining why it’s called the World Series.
A famous legend attaches the league’s name to its first sponsor, the New York World newspaper. While that story appears true, other historians have debunked the explanation as a myth. Here’s another viable explanation. America’s climate during the late 18th Century or early 19th Century had an ambience that made it easy to consider America the World of baseball. Although Cuba already ran professional leagues by the 1870s, naming America’s baseball champion as World Champion didn’t look far from the truth.
However, regardless of the story behind the name, the World Series has grown to sustain international acclaim, with players from South America, Japan, and Europe featuring in and winning the title.
1919 Black Sox World Series Scandal
The 1919 World Series scandal indicted eight players from the Chicago White Sox. The league accused them of throwing the 1919 World Series at the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for proceeds from a gambling organization. Cincinnati won the match by 5-3.
All players involved in the accusation were banned from the sport by the authorities, although the court acquitted all athletes involved in the bribery scandal. Shoeless’ Joe Jackson was the most famous player involved in the accusation.
He was a renowned MLB hitter with a .356 career and a batting average that beats most players in the game’s history. However, despite his remarkable achievements, the MLB refuses to include Jackson in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1989 Earthquake World Series
A 6.9 earthquake magnitude hit northern California during a World Series match between Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park. The disaster forced the management to postpone the match.
The disaster, which had been the strongest in the state for years, killed 67, injured over 3,700, and damaged property valued at $5 billion. The quake rocked the Park less than thirty minutes before the game’s scheduled start time. Oakland Athletics won the World Series by four games.
The 120-year-old MLB World Series is replete with fun facts, intriguing stories, scandals, and joys rivalled by few other modern championships. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the most intriguing and exciting facts about the MLB World Series. Hopefully, you’ve learned a few more interesting facts about the World Series and the game of baseball.
Photo by Joshua Peacock on Unsplash
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