Once again, the World Series is upon us! Soon, we’ll have another Major League Baseball championship team for 2023. But did you know that some special things have happened over the years since the World Series began? Let’s dive into baseball history and take a look at some fun facts about baseball’s greatest contest: the World Series.
The World Series is a series of baseball games (a maximum of seven) played out over the course of a week or two. It is contested between the champion teams of the two major leagues, the American League and the National League, to determine the best baseball team of the year. The year 2023 will mark the 119th World Series, which began all the way back in 1903. The games have been held every year since—except for two times—once in 1904 due to a personal dispute between managers (and thus new rules were implemented for 1905), and once in 1994 when the players went on strike.
Up to seven games are determined to break any ties there may be between the two teams for winning the previous six games. The World Series has held seven full games only thirty-nine times out of 119 years. Winners are usually determined before game seven is needed. The last World Series that went all seven games was held in 2017, between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros. At the end of the Series, the Astros won the championship.
The first World Series of 1903 was played between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Americans. Instead of the seven games we know today, the original Series held a whopping nine games!
The longest game of the World Series was in 2018, played between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and lasted approximately seven hours and twenty minutes. The Dodgers won 3–2. The New York Yankees have been to the World Series forty times and have won twenty-seven titles, which is head and shoulders above all other teams in either league with the most wins. Second place for most championships belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals with eleven titles, and the Boston Red Sox in third place with nine titles.
In 2016, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians squared off. This game proved particularly exciting for the simple fact that neither team had won any championship in recent years. The Cleveland Indians hadn’t won since 1948, and the Chicago Cubs hadn’t won since 1908! Between the two of them, that adds up to a 176-year dry spell! Of the two teams, the underdog won, and the Chicago Cubs claimed their coveted championship to much excitement and fanfare.
Several teams in the league have never won a World Series championship, and those would include the San Diego Padres, the Texas Rangers, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Seattle Mariners, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Colorado Rockies.
Whether or not you’re a fan of baseball, you cannot deny this game is distinctly American and well-ingrained within our country’s culture. Excitement is in the air whenever the old pipe organ plays, and the stands are eager for their hot dogs and Cracker Jack.
Are you ready to go out to the ballgame?