These facts could…go…all…the…WAY!
- World Series showdowns between crosstown rivals were common in the early 20th century, when many of the big East Coast cities had one or more teams in the National and American Leagues. For example, the New York Yankees played the Brooklyn Dodgers or New York Giants 13 times before the Dodgers and Giants moved to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, in 1960. Still, crosstown rivalries have only happened a few other times. In 1906, the Chicago White Sox played the Cubs, in 1944 the St. Louis Cardinals faced the St. Louis Browns, and in 2000 the Yankees defeated the New York Mets.
- Only one team has won the World Series from three different home cities: the Braves. Once as the Boston Braves (1914), once as the Milwaukee Braves (1957), and once as the Atlanta Braves (1995).
- By 1995, Major League Baseball had expanded to 28 teams, splitting the AL and NL into three division each. The winner of each division then advanced to the playoffs, as did a fourth “wild card” team. Since the eight-team playoff format was introduced, the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves have been nearly a constant presence. Atlanta reached the postseason every year from 1995 to 2005; New York did it from 1995 to 2010, missing only in 2008.
- What distinction is shared by the Miami Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays? Both have made it to the World Series exactly twice and won it all both times.
- The MVP of the 1988 World Series was Los Angeles Dodgers power hitter Kirk Gibson. He gave the briefest performance ever for a World Series most valuable player, but he made his single at-bat really count. Injured and barely able to walk, he pinch-hit in the ninth inning of Game 1, with his team down by one run with a man on base. He hit a home run; the Dodgers went on to win the Series in five games.
- It’s a baseball fantasy that’s become cliché because so many kids (okay, and adults) have imagined it: It’s game 7 of the World Series, bottom of the ninth inning tie game, and a home run wins it all. This actually happened in 1960. In game 7, bottom of the ninth inning, Bill Mazeroski game to bat for the Pittsburgh Pirates with the score tied, 9-9. And he hit a home run to win it all.
For more baseball trivia read Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Sports Spectacular.