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World Series

In baseball, the World Series is the championship series of the North American Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions, after the end of the regular season in October.

The "World" appellation has stuck despite the fact that only teams in the United States and Canada participate. Attempts to pit the North American champions against champions in the Japanese or Latin American leagues have, so far, not succeeded.

A persistent myth is that the "World" in "World Series" came about because the New York World[?] newspaper sponsored it. Baseball researcher Doug Pappas refutes that claim, demonstrating a linear progression from the phrase "World's Championship Series" (used to describe the 1903 series) to "World's Series" to "World Series". (For details, see Mr. Pappas's web page on the subject: http://roadsidephotos.com/baseball/name.htm ).

Baseball tournaments between international teams do occur, notably at the world championships and at the Olympic Games. At the 2000 Summer Olympics, the US sent a team of minor-league players, they won the gold medal, suggesting that a major league team could defeat any non-American national team. Of course major league teams do not consist entirely of US nationals, and the famed Cuban team (which was beaten by the Americans in 2000) has defeated Major League teams in some confrontations.

Table of contents

Early World Series

During the 1880s, the National League and American Association champions met on occasion, to determine the Championship of the United States. The series were not well-planned and the clubs in them organized things themselves. The series varied from six to 15 games.

1884[?]: Providence NL defeated New York AA, 3 games to none.
1885[?]: Chicago NL defeated St. Louis AA, 3 games to none (one tie)
1886[?]: St. Louis AA defeated Chicago NL, 4 games to 2
1887[?]: Detroit NL defeated St. Louis AA, 10 games to 5.
1888[?]: New York NL (1) defeated St. Louis AA, 6 games to 4.
1889[?]: New York NL (1) defeated Brooklyn AA, 6 games to 3
1890[?]: Brooklyn AA and Louisville NL tied, 3 games to 3 (one tie).
1891[?]: No series held; the American Association folded after the season ended.

In 1892, the National League (expanded to twelve teams after taking in four of the American Association clubs) played a split season, with the first-half and second-half champions meeting in a postseason series. The split-season experiment was not repeated.

1892[?]: Boston defeated Cleveland, 5 games to none (one tie)
1893[?]: no series held

In 1894, the first-place and second-place National League teams met in postseason play. The games became known as the Temple Cup games, after Pittsburgh sportsman William C. Temple donated a cup to serve as the trophy. The games did not draw the interest people had hoped for.

1894[?]: New York NL (1) defeated Baltimore, 4 games to none
1895[?]: Cleveland defeated Baltimore, 4 games to 1
1896[?]: Baltimore defeated Cleveland, 4 games to none
1897[?]: Baltimore defeated Boston, 4 games to 1
1898[?]: no series played due to the unprofitability of the 1897 series
1899[?]: no series played
1900[?]: Brooklyn defeated Pittsburgh, 3 games to 1

The Modern 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, agreed to a postseason series between the league pennant winners.

1903: Boston AL defeats Pittsburgh NL, 5 games to 3.

The Boycott of 1904

The 1904 Series[?] was supposed to be between the AL's Boston Pilgrims and the NL's New York Giants. The Giants' owner, John Brush, refused to allow his team to play, citing the inferiority of the upstart American League. Brush also cited the lack of rules under which the games would be played and the money would be split. During the winter of 1904/05, however, Brush proposed what came to be known as the "Brush Rules", under which the series would be played over subsequent years.

One rule was that player shares would come from gate receipts from the first four games only. This was to discourage teams from throwing early games in order to prolong the series and make more money. Receipts for later games were split among the two teams and the National Commission (the new governing body for the sport, which was able to cover much of its annual operating expenses from World Series revenue).

The list evolved over time. In 1925, Brooklyn owner Charles Ebbets convinced owners to adopt the current 2-3-2 system of scheduling World Series games (one team would host the first two games, the other team would host the next three, and the first team would host the last two if necessary; the leagues alternated which representative would host the first games).

List of World Series after 1904 The World Series has been a best-of-seven series except in the years 1903, 1919, 1920 and 1921, when it was best-of-nine.

1905-1919: the "Deadball Era"

1905: New York NL (1) defeats Philadelphia AL, 4 games to 1.
Every game was a shutout. Christy Mathewson hurled three of these, over a span of just six days, in one of the most dominant pitching performances in history.
1906[?]: Chicago AL defeats Chicago NL, 4 games to 2.
Some consider this the greatest World Series upset. The Chicago Cubs record was 116-36, setting a regular-season winning percentage record which still stands. The White Sox had a strong pitching staff but were the worst-hitting team in the American League. The "Hitless Wonders" got all the hitting they needed to shock their crosstown rivals.
1907[?]: Chicago NL defeats Detroit AL, 4 games to 0 (one tie).
1908[?]: Chicago NL defeats Detroit AL, 4 games to 1.
1909[?]: Pittsburgh NL defeats Detroit AL, 4 games to 3.
The Tigers might have finally won the Fall Classic in their third try had it not been for Babe Adams. A rookie pitcher for Pittsburgh that year, manager Fred Clarke[?] started him, on a hunch, in game 1. Adams won that game and two more.
1910[?]: Philadelphia AL defeats Chicago NL, 4 games to 1.
Jack Coombs of Philadelphia won three games, and Eddie Collins[?] supplied timely hitting as the Athletics won their first Fall Classic.
1911[?]: Philadelphia AL defeats New York NL (1), 4 games to 2.
Philadelphia third baseman Frank "Home Run" Baker[?] earned his nickname during this series. His home run in Game 2 was the margin of victory for the Athletics, and his blast in Game 3 off Christy Mathewson tied that game, which the Athletics subsequently won. The Giants never recovered.
1912[?]: Boston AL defeats New York NL (1), 4 games to 3 (one tie).
This dramatic Series involved great pitching from Christy Mathewson and from Boston fireballer Smoky Joe Wood, who won two of his three starts and pitched in relief in the final game, won when Boston rallied for two runs in the ninth inning thanks to two costly Giant fielding misplays.
1913[?]: Philadelphia AL defeats New York NL (1), 4 games to 1.
1914[?]: Boston NL defeats Philadelphia AL, 4 games to none.
Another contender for greatest upset of all time. The "Miracle Braves", in last place on July 4th, roared on to win the NL pennant and sweep the stunned Athletics.
1915[?]: Boston AL defeats Philadelphia NL, 4 games to 1.
1916[?]: Boston AL defeats Brooklyn NL, 4 games to 1.
1917[?]: Chicago AL defeats New York NL (1), 4 games to 2.
1918[?]: Boston AL defeats Chicago NL, 4 games to 2.
1919[?]: Cincinnati NL defeats Chicago AL , 5 games to 3.
The Black Sox scandal. Eight Chicago players are later implicated for taking money from gamblers to lose the Series, despite being heavy favorites.

1920-1941: the "Lively Ball Era" (sometimes "The Golden Age")

1920[?]: Cleveland AL defeats Brooklyn NL, 5 games to 2.
Cleveland second baseman Bill Wambsganss turned an unassisted triple play -- one of only nine such plays in major-league history, and the only one to happen in a World Series.
1921[?]: New York NL (1) defeats New York AL, 5 games to 3.
1922[?]: New York NL (1) defeats New York AL, 4 games to 0 (one tie).
1923[?]: New York AL defeats New York NL (1), 4 games to 2.
1924[?]: Washington AL defeats New York NL (1), 4 games to 3.
Walter Johnson, making his first World Series appearance toward the end of his storied career, lost his two starts. Washington battled back to force a game seven, giving Johnson a chance to redeem himself when he came on in relief in that game. Johnson held on to get the win and to give Washington its only World Series win.
1925[?]: Pittsburgh NL defeats Washington AL, 4 games to 3.
1926[?]: St. Louis NL defeats New York AL, 4 games to 3.
1927[?]: New York AL defeats Pittsburgh NL, 4 games to none.
1928[?]: New York AL defeats St. Louis NL, 4 games to none.
1929[?]: Philadelphia AL defeats Chicago NL, 4 games to 1.
1930[?]: Philadelphia AL defeats St. Louis NL, 4 games to 2.
1931[?]: St. Louis NL defeats Philadelphia AL, 4 games to 3.
1932[?]: New York AL defeats Chicago NL, 4 games to none.
"Babe" Ruth[?] hits his famous "called shot" home run--which is followed immediately by a Lou Gehrig solo home run--in Game 3 of this dominating New York Yankee performance.
1933[?]: New York NL (1) defeats Washington AL, 4 games to 1.
1934[?]: St. Louis NL defeats Detroit AL, 4 games to 3.
Brothers Dizzy Dean[?] and Paul Dean each won two games for the "Gas House Gang" Cardinals.
1935[?]: Detroit AL, defeats Chicago NL, 4 games to 2.
1936[?]: New York AL defeats New York NL (1), 4 games to 2.
1937[?]: New York AL defeats New York NL (1), 4 games to 1.
1938[?]: New York AL defeats Chicago NL, 4 games to 0.
1939[?]: New York AL defeats Cincinnati NL, 4 games to 0.
1940[?]: Cincinnati NL defeats Detroit AL, 4 games to 3.
1941[?]: New York AL defeats Brooklyn NL, 4 games to 1.

1942-1945: the war years

1942[?]: St. Louis NL defeats New York AL, 4 games to 1.
1943[?]: New York AL defeats St. Louis NL, 4 games to 1.
1944[?]: St. Louis NL defeats St. Louis AL, 4 games to 2.
This year saw perhaps the nadir of 20th-century baseball, as the long-moribund St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles) won their only American League pennant.
1945[?]: Detroit AL, defeats Chicago NL, 4 games to 3.
Frank Graham called this Series jokingly "the fat men versus the tall men at the office picnic." It is the last time to date that the Chicago Cubs have appeared in the World Series.

1946-1960: the postwar years

1946[?]: St. Louis NL defeats Boston AL , 4 games to 3.
1947[?]: New York AL defeats Brooklyn NL, 4 games to 3.
1948[?]: Cleveland AL defeats Boston NL, 4 games to 2.
The Cleveland Indians ruined a possible all-Boston World Series by defeating the Boston Red Sox in a playoff after the two top American League teams were tied at the end of the season.
1949[?]: New York AL defeats Brooklyn NL, 4 games to 1.
1950[?]: New York AL defeats Philadelphia NL, 4 games to 0.
1951[?]: New York AL defeats New York NL (1), 4 games to 2.
1952[?]: New York AL defeats Brooklyn NL, 4 games to 3.
1953[?]: New York AL defeats Brooklyn NL, 4 games to 2.
The New York Yankees won their fifth straight World Series, a feat which has never been accomplished before or since.
1954[?]: New York NL (1) defeats Cleveland AL, 4 games to 0.
In Game 1, Willie Mays makes "The Catch" -- a dramatic over-the-shoulder catch of a line drive to deep center field which would otherwise have given Cleveland the lead. Dusty Rhodes won two games with his bat, pinch-hitting.
1955[?]: Brooklyn NL, defeats New York AL, 4 games to 3. MVP: Johnny Podres, Brooklyn
Brooklyn wins its only World Series title.