How To Understand World Series History

Major League Baseball has been an all-American sport for over 100 years. The World Series has been happening nearly every year since the early 1900's and the fan base has never dwindled.  With so much history to the sport of baseball, you'll appreciate this information that will help you understand World Series history.

Step 1

Understand what the World Series is. The World Series marks the end of the annual major league baseball season. Officially, it is the championship tournament between the best players in the league (the major league teams). It involves games with both American and Canadian teams.

Step 2

Know when it all began. The World Series of baseball has been played by the American League and National League teams since 1903. Only twice (1904 and 1994) did the series not take place because of a boycott and a player's strike. The title, ‘World Series' was derived from ‘World's Championship Series', which first came into use in the 1880's. Eventually, it was shortened to ‘World's Series' and then, finally, ‘World Series'. Even though it is not technically an international event, the winners of this tournament have been termed ‘the World Champions' since 1903.

Step 3

Understand the concept of the tournament. Unlike regular season games, the World Series has almost always consisted of a best-of-seven playoff series. Only in 1903, 1919, 1920 and 1921 was this different. A best-of-nine series was played in these years. The first team to win 4 games in the baseball World Series is then awarded the World Series Trophy. And each player on the team is given personalized World Series rings. In addition, the winner of the World Series receives a monstrous banner denoting them as the World Series Champions that year. This banner is proudly displayed at the winning team's home stadium. (If you are ever at a baseball stadium, look up! You'll see the banners from all of the past World Series hanging high above the field.)

Step 4

Only the best make it to the playoffs. Those teams that will be involved in the World Series are determined by their scores earned throughout the regular season. While every team vies for a spot in the World Series, only the best teams make it there. Interestingly enough, the New York Yankees have accomplished this in 39 of the 104 World Series (up to 2008), winning an astonishing 26 World Series championships, more than any other team in the American and National league. On the flip side of that, the Chicago Cubs have only ever won one World Series - one of the first in 1908.

Step 5

Know where it stands today. Major League baseball continues to grow in popularity. From the earliest record of the World Series, when just barely 10 teams attempted to win the World Series trophy, the number of major league baseball teams continues to rise. Currently (2009), there are 30 MLB teams in both the American and National league. They are:

  • New York Yankees
  • New York Mets
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Seattle Mariners
  • Atlanta Braves
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Toronto Blue Jays
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Houston Astros
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Cleveland Indians
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • San Diego Padres
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Texas Rangers
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Minnesota Twins
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Washington Nationals
  • Pittsburg Pirates
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Florida Marlins

While it started as a sport for fun, these teams now have salaries of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Yankees top the charts with a 2008 total team salary of $209, 081, 579, while the Florida Marlins pale in comparison with a total 2008 team salary of $21, 836, 500. Obviously, the better a team has played historically in the World Series, the higher their salary will be.


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