World Series championships
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
• Seattle Mariners
• Tampa Bay Devil Rays
• Texas Rangers
• 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
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
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
"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
$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.
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.
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