10 Amazing World Series Facts You Can Use to Impress Your Friends
Brushing up on amazing World Series facts might just be the difference between winning bar trivia or scoring a date.
The World Series is an American tradition that has been happening annually since before any of us were born. It is part of our culture in the United States, and it brings the country together in a way that makes us forget our differences for a little while. Every year we sit in suspense, hoping for our team will bring home The Commissioner's Trophy, but also so that maybe we can see a world record or two being broken. Watching live as a record is broken is an awe-inspiring experience, and is one of the few, true joys of being a fan of this storied game. However, if you have never been present during one of these record breaking moments, it’s almost definite that you’ve heard about them at least once. Taking note of the more amazing World Series facts will not only impress your friends, but may just be exactly what you’ll need to start a lifelong relationship with the game of baseball.
The first ever World Series was played in 1903, with the Boston Americans as victors.
The Boston Americans, now known as the Red Socks, beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first Major League World Series game over 100 years ago. The Pittsburgh pitcher was actually injured during the series, so a teammate, Deacon Phillippe, filled in for five out of nine games. During this series, Boston made a famous comeback after having lost the three games in a row, to win the final four. A comeback that impressive would not happen again for more than 20 years, and was an awesome way to ring in a new tradition.
In 1904 the World Series was canceled because the New York Giants refused to play against Boston.
The New York Giants are known as the San Francisco Giants today; however, in 1904, the NY Giants owner McGraw felt that the league teams within the National League made up the real MLB league and it was below his team to play the Boston Americans, the winners of the American League. He argued that his team was already the winner of the real league. The Giants’ owner was upset by the fact that the New York Highlanders were leading the American League until the last minute when the Boston Americans beat them. After this year, the World Series games would be more organized in terms of splitting revenue and which teams would play.
The next time the World Series was canceled took place in 1994 due to a players’ strike. This strike was caused by team owners attempting to put a cap on the player’s salaries. The strike went on for 232 days, which was the longest strike in professional sports history up until that point.
The first World Series rings were given out in 1922.
The first rings were bestowed upon the New York Giants after the last out. It was not until the 1930s that winning players consistently received rings. Today, teams distribute rings to more than just players. They give them out to other, behind the scenes team support members, such as stadiums’ staff if they choose. Over the years, the rings have become more and more elaborate. And since we’re talking about ring facts, Charlie Sheen owned Babe Ruth’s ring for 20 years before selling it for $4 million in 2017. No surprise considering he’s one of the best baseball players of all time, right? Before 1922, the winners were given other mementos, such as pocketwatches.
The most World Series rings won by a player was by Yogi Berra, who won 10 rings.
Lawence Peter Berra, better known as Yogi Berra, won 10 World Series rings as a player. He played 19 seasons of MLB, and all but one were for the Yankees. Frank Crosetti won eight World Series rings as a player and nine more as a coach for the Yankees. Crosetti eventually won so many rings that he requested an engraved shotgun instead, and this wish was granted to him by the organization.
To the surprise of nobody, the Yankees have the most World Series Wins.
The Yankees have won 27 World Series Championships, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals, who have won 11. The Yankee’s first win was in 1923, and the most recent was in 2009 against the Phillies. They have also won the most consecutive games, winning five in a row between 1949 to 1953. They have actually won back to back World Series’ titles six times.
The Chicago Cubs were cursed by the “Curse of the Billy Goat,” until, after 71 years, they finally won a World Series Championship in 2016.
At the 1945 World Series Game Four, William Sianis was insulted when he was asked to leave the stadium because his smelly Goat was bothering nearby fans. Sianis was the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, and his goat was the mascot he enjoyed bringing with him to games to help advertise. He reacted by cursing the Cubs, stating that they would not win any more games. They did not win the World Series for another 108 years, until 2016. But one thing about that Cubs dynasty, there’s no telling if winning it that year has fated or simply meant to be.
In 1956, Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history.
If this was about regular season baseball, we’d be talking about how Dock Ellis pitched a no hitter while high on LSD, but since we’re setting our sights on the World Series, look at none other than Don Larsen for the one of the craziest statistics in sports. Don Larsen, pitching for the New York Yankees, threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers, now and as of 1957 known as the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers, during the game, were not able to get a single player on base, nevermind hit a home run. This has only been done 23 times in MLB history during the regular season, and never again in a World Series. Larsen’s career was 15 years long, in which he pitched for seven different teams. His perfect game in 56 was early on in his career, which spanned from 53 to 67, and would be indicative of his success for years to come.
As of 2018, the American League has won the World Series the most times—66.
Their competitors, the National League, have won the World Series 48 times. Every year, the American League plays the National League to compete for the title of Major League Baseball Champions. The primary difference between the American and National leagues is that the American League uses a designated hitter, as opposed to in the National League where the pitcher steps up to bat himself.
There are two MLB teams that have never played in the World Series: the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals.
Teams that have played in the World Series but never won include the Sandiego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Toronto Blue Jays have actually played in the World Series, even though they are not a US team, and they are the only non-US team to ever appear in the World Series.
There have been four years where the best of seven games was not played.
During 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921 the World Series was played as a best of nine, instead of best of seven games. But today, the NHL, MLB, and NBA leagues play best of seven games.
At the time of writing, the current World Series Champions are the Boston Red Sox, who have won nine World Series Championships and played in 13. This year’s 115th World Series will begin on October 22, and American and National teams alike will begin competing for the title of World Series Champions. Hopefully you learned something new about baseball while reading these amazing World Series facts, but records were made to be broken, and you can bet I’ll be watching to see if any new records will be made.