October means one thing to sports fans: the World Series. Every fall the World Series creates new heroes in baseball history and new blemishes that clubs will try to erase from their records forever — sorry, Bill Buckner, no one will ever forget the 1986 “ground ball through the legs” mishap. Whether your team is the eventual champion or missed the playoffs entirely, World Series history is legendary, indulging fans since 1903. Here is some trivia that even the most knowledgeable baseball fans might find surprising.
1. Mr. October’s Magic 3 in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series
Most fans know that Reggie Jackson is a postseason legend, hitting three home runs in one game to lift the Yankees over the Dodgers for the title. But did you know that each home run was hit off of the first pitch, or that Jackson faced three different pitchers to achieve his trifecta? And as a bonus fact, Jackson actually hit another home run his final at-bat of Game 5, which means that Jackson hit four home runs off of four consecutive pitches — Mr. October, indeed.
2. Baseball “Strikes” 1904, 1994
While a strike is horrible for the fans, the good news is that the World Series has only been missed twice. In 1904, the New York Giants boycotted the World Series because they felt the American League was an embarrassment. The 1994 issue was a players’ strike that occurred due to arguments over the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In other words, the World Series has continued in spite of World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks (though notably, 2001’s World Series ended in November for the first time in history).
3. Darold Knowles, Pitching Machine
There are plenty of memorable World Series stats, like the most home runs or appearances. But Darold Knowles holds one record that is not even fathomable to most pitchers. Knowles is the only pitcher to appear in all seven games of a World Series, earning a save in Game 1 and Game 7 (1973).
4. The Scores Do Lie, Sometimes
The Pittsburgh Pirates won the 1960 World Series 4-3 over the New York Yankees. However, the Yankees scored TWICE as many runs as the Pirates, outscoring them 55-27. The Pirates won 10-9 in Game 7 to take the crown.
5. It Pays to Play
In 1903, the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series. Each player on the team received $1,316 as a bonus for the victory. According to the Associated Press, the 2012 World Series champion San Francisco Giants received a record-breaking $377,003 each for their victory. The players’ bonus money is based on a percentage of income from World Series ticket sales.