| The World Series Anniversary
By Sarah Lane
Feb 1, 2006, 06:00 PST
The World Series
Lyrics by Jack Norworth
Take me out to the ball game
Take me out with the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack
I don't care if I ever get back
Let me root, root, root, for the home team
If they don't win it's a shame
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out
At the old ball game!
The history of baseball isn't complete without a look at the exciting World Series. This seven game series is played between the winner of the American League Pennant and the winner of the National League Pennant. It has been played every year since 1905 and has seen 105 shutouts, 57 wins for the American League, and 40 wins for the National League.
The first World Series, also called the Championship of the United States, was on October 1, 1903. It was a best of nine game series between the Boston Pilgrims and the Pittsburg Pirates, with the Pilgrims winning it five games to three. It was played at Bostons Huntington Street Park with 16,242 people in attendance.
On October 9, 1905, the National Commission returned the championship to a best of seven game series. It wasn't until 1919 that the series returned to a nine game affair in order to try and capitalize on the rising popularity of baseball after World War I. It was seen as a greedy move and three years later the idea was abandoned, with the seven game series in place ever since.
On February 10, 1925, a decision was made to alternate the site of future World Series openers by league rather than by coin toss. Other interesting facts include the move made by Commissioner Happy Chandler in August of 1945 to sell World Series advertising rights to Gillette for $150,000. The sport was rapidly gaining in popularity and with it came the chance to advertise, for a price, on a national scale.
On September 29, 1947, a record World Series crowd of 75,365 paid $325,828 to see the opener, and on April 17, 1983 the MLB, ABC, and NBC agreed to a six year $1.2 billion television package. The two networks continued to alternate coverage of the playoffs once again spurring the sport into notoriety. On October 17, 1989, game 3 of the World Series was postponed as an earthquake registering 7.1, with $7 billion in damages, hit the San Francisco Bay area half an hour before game time.
The life of baseball's World Series has seen bribery, betting scandals, strikes, and stand-offs, but the memorable milestones, broken records, and lazy summer afternoons spent at the ballpark more than make up for its trials. The World Series remains a constant in American traditions by kicking off the arrival of Autumn and jump starting a fever that never sees a cure.
Source: The Idea Logical Company, Inc., Baseball Almanac, MBL.com
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