When fall arrives with its changing leaves, Halloween costume parties, and pumpkin-spiced everything, you know that another thing is coming right around the corner: the World Series.
Although many fans gather each year watching the games together, crowded amongst buffalo dip and Budweisers, lots of them, even the most devoted followers of the sport, may be surprised to discover some things they didn’t know about the World Series.
Impress your friends with these fun facts about baseball’s most beloved competition, maybe even learning a thing or two yourself just in time for the big game.
It’s over 100 years old
As of 2019, there have been 115 World Series games, with the very first being played in the autumn of 1903. While some may be aware of the games’ standing in history, many don’t know that before the World Series was called the World Series, another series took place which determined who was the best team in baseball.
Known as the Championship of the United States or the World’s Championship Series, these games were played over 20 years before the World Series came into being, between the National League and its rival, the American Association. After years of disorganization and hostility between the two Leagues, the Boston Americans (later the Red Sox) and the Pittsburg Pirates decided to come together for a different, more formal type of game, and the World Series was born.
The prize wasn’t always rings
Although nowadays it is common knowledge among baseball lovers that the team who wins a World Series receives the Commissioner’s Trophy and the players and staff each receive a ring, crafted in white and yellow gold, the tradition has not always been this way.
Prior to 1922, teams and players were given dramatically different prizes to commemorate their win, such as pins or pocket watches. The tradition of giving rings, which we now know today as the norm, didn’t begin until 1930, with every team in the League giving rings to their players starting in 1932. Talented player and long-timer Frank Crosetti won so many rings that he asked for a shotgun from his team, The Yankees, in place of the jewelry.
Now encrusted with diamonds, the massive World Series rings are a symbol of success and prestige in the game of baseball.
A perfect game has only happened once in the World Series
The concept of a perfect game is something that touches quite close to magic, a pure dream come true for fans of MLB betting who have put their faith and trust in a sweeping win by their favorite team.
This can be defined as a game in which one pitcher (or several pitchers) delivers balls to a hitter throughout nine innings and not one player of the opposing team makes it to a single base. Although there have been a miraculous 23 “perfect games” played throughout MLB history, only one of those has been in a World Series game.
That game was made possible by Yankee Don Larsen in 1956 when he threw a total of 97 pitches, not allowing a single Brooklyn Dodger to make it to a single base. An absolute spectacle for the winning team and a nightmare for the opposition, this continues to be the only game of its kind in the entire history of the World Series.