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Major League Baseball quotes, notes, and random facts

A World Series Moment: Rockies and Sox captured in numbers.

By Compiled by Ross Atkin / October 24, 2007



World Series championships

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New York Yankees, 26

St. Louis Cardinals, 10

Boston Red Sox, 6

New York Giants, 5

Philadelphia Athletics, 5

Pittsburgh Pirates, 5

Los Angeles Dodgers, 5

Cincinnati Reds, 5

Detroit Tigers, 4

Oakland Athletics, 4

Teams yet to make it to the World Series

American League

• Seattle Mariners

• Tampa Bay Devil Rays

• Texas Rangers

National League

• Milwaukee Brewers

• Washington Nationals (formerly Montreal Expos)

Length of the series

Historically, the series is twice as likely to go a full seven games than end in a 4-0 sweep. The breakdown:

• 4 games: 17 percent

• 5 games: 25 percent

• 6 games: 22 percent

• 7 games: 35 percent

Inconsistent rule

Because only the American League adopted the designated hitter rule in 1973, the DH is only used in AL parks during the series. For games in National League parks, pitchers must bat.

TV highs and lows

High: 1971 (NBC)

59 percent of households with TVs on watched the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Baltimore Orioles 4 games to 3.

Low: 2006 (Fox)

17 percent of households watched the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Detroit Tigers 4 games to 1.

Then and now

Fifty years ago, the Braves beat the Yankees in seven games for the team's only championship in Milwaukee. In 1957 there were:

– no series night games

– no free agency

– no divisional or league playoffs

no teams west of Kansas City, Mo.

no earflaps on batting helmets

Coldest game

38 degrees F. in Cleveland for Game 4 of the 1997 series between the Indians and Florida Marlins. [Editor's note: The original version gave the wrong date for this game.]

Five things you may not know

1. Only three players have ever been MVPs of the Series twice: Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, and Reggie Jackson.

2. No team that lost the first three series games ever came back to win.

3. Pirate Bill Mazeroski's ninth-inning solo home run in 1960 is still the only "walk-off" homer to end a seventh game in the series.

4. The first televised series was in 1947, Jackie Robinson's rookie season.

5. The World Series has not always used a best-of-seven format. It was best-of-nine in 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921.

Balance of power

American League: 60 championships

National League: 42 championships

Classic quotes

"When we played, World Series checks meant something. Now all they do is screw up your taxes."

– Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale

"If the World Series runs until election day, the networks will run the first one-half inning and project the winner."

– Lindsey Nelson, broadcaster

"We hit the ball right where they could show off their defensive ability."

– Baltimore manager Earl Weaver after the Orioles lost the 1969 World Series to the Mets

Payoff

$362,173 is how much additional money each member of the St. Louis Cardinals made last year for winning the World Series.

$291,667 is the amount each of the losing Detroit Tigers pocketed.

game crowds

92,706 is the largest attendance ever recorded for a single matchup – Game 5 played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the temporary home of the Dodgers, in 1959.

6,210 was the smallest, for Game 5 in 1908 at Bennett Park in Detroit, home of the Tigers.

Shaky series

When a 6.9-magnitude earthquake shook the Bay Area in 1989, Game 3 of the World Series was postponed for 10 days. It made no sense to switch ballparks, since the all-Bay series pitted San Francisco against Oakland, which won 4-0.

SOURCE: Baseball-almanac.com; mlb.com; baseball-reference.com; worldseries.com; quotegarden.com; geocities.com; and team websites National League/Colorado Rockies

National League/Colorado Rockies 

First season: 1993

2007 regular season record: 90-73

Best ...

Hitter: Matt Holliday, .340

Pitcher: Jeff Francis, 17-9

Basestealer: Willy Taveras, 33

Random facts:

• The Colorado Avalanche hockey team was the last Denver franchise to win a major pro championship (2001).

• The Rockies were 6 1/2 games out of first place in their division in mid-September, but have won 21 of their last 22 games in one of the most amazing baseball stretches ever.

• In their inaugural 1993 season at Mile High Stadium, the Rockies drew 1 million in attendance after 17 home games, a new record.

• The Rockies are the only major pro franchise named for a major geological formation.

• In 1995, the Rockies recorded a ML record 658 runs at home.

• In 2002, the Rockies pioneered baseball storage in a temperature-controlled "humidor." Before then, home-run balls sailed out of high-altitude Coors Field at an abnormally high rate.

• Colorado met Boston in a three-game, interleague series in June, and came away with two road victories.

American League/Boston Red Sox

First season: 1901

2007 record: 96-66

Best...

Hitter: David Ortiz, .332

Pitcher: Josh Beckett, 20-7

Basestealer: Julio Lugo, 33

Random facts:

• Boston played in the first World Series in 1903. The team, known then as the Boston Americans, beat Pittsburgh in 8 games behind the pitching of Cy Young.

• Babe Ruth first made his mark in the World Series as a Boston pitcher, tossing 29 consecutive, scoreless innings during the 1916 and 1918 World Series.

• To land pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox first paid his Japanese team, the Seibu Lions, more than $50 million just for exclusive negotiating rights.

• The Sox were a wild-card team when their 86-year title drought ended in 2004.

• Participants in a Boston furniture chain promotion will be reimbursed for purchases made in the season's first two weeks ... if the Sox win.

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