Sports Fan Store: History of the World Series
The 2016 MLB World Series champions remains undetermined so far. Tonight, game three begins at the Wrigley Field, complete with a performance by Illinois native Bill Murray himself. Besides football, baseball is one of the most beloved American sports. The World Series remains a classic American sports event beloved by millions of baseball fans. When exactly did the World Series begin? Today, we explore some fun facts as well as the history behind the World Series.
The Beginning of the World Series
The stirrings of the World Series began in the 1890s with the Exhibition Series. The Exhibition Series was a championship event between the National League and American Association. Confusing and disorganized, the series lasted anywhere from three games to fifteen games. Unfortunately, the participating teams organized the event themselves, which was a bad idea.
The First Official World Series
After the American Association folded, the American League formed with an intense rivalry against the National League. Many of the former American Association teams joined the National League, so tensions ran high between teams as well as fans. The first official World Series started in 1903, when the Pittsburgh Pirates played against the Boston Americans. The American League team the Boston Americans won the series, which helped keep the new league alive. Had the Americans lost, the league might have folded like the American Association.
What About the 1904 World Series?
Bitter rivalry and bad sportsmanship canceled the 1904 World Series. National League champions the New York Giants refused to play the Boston Americans. Apparently, the New York Giants refused to recognize the American League as a legit baseball league. Perhaps the New York Giants were afraid of suffering the same defeat as the Pittsburgh Pirates a year earlier. The World Series resumed again in 1905, and no one has questioned the American League’s legitimacy since.
World Series Rings
It’s possible that some baseball players covet their World Series rings more than their wedding rings. World Series winners were first awarded rings starting in 1922, which evolved into a tradition in the 1930s. Before the ring tradition, World Series winners were gifted with medallions or pocket watches. The team that has received the most World Series rings is the New York Yankees.
The Perfect Game in 1956
New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen is the only baseball player in history to ever pitch a perfect game. A perfect game only occurs when a pitcher prevents a single member of the opposing team from getting on a base. Almost impossible to achieve, Larson pitched a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.
The First Night Baseball Game
Prior to 1971, all baseball games occurred during the day, which was a real bummer for students and workers throughout the country. Apparently, teachers and bosses were not so understanding when their students and employees were trying to catch their favorite game on TV during the day. Both baseball leagues began holding night games, and ratings and game attendance soared. By 19973, all World Series games during the week were played in the evening.
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