The entire baseball world is captivated by the finale of every Major League Baseball (MLB) season, the World Series. This best-of-seven series has witnessed hall-of-fame performances and the building of dynasties in its historic past. As the 109th baseball classic approaches, it’s interesting to reflect back on some of its facts that the average fan may not know.
Bomb Squad – As a centerfielder for the New York Yankees, Mickey Mantle set the World Series record for home runs in a career. He hit 18 home runs in a total of 77 World Series games.
“Pitcher” Perfect – In the 1956 World Series, Don Larsen pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees- the only perfect game or no-hitter ever thrown in a World Series game. Four pitchers, however, have pitched one-hitters: Ed Reulback (Chicago Cubs, 1906), Claude Passeau (Chicago Cubs, 1945), Bill Bevens (New York Yankees, 1947) and Jim Lonborg (Boston Red Sox, 1967).
Get Out the Brooms – In the history of the World Series, there have been 21 teams to complete a sweep, or four game World Series win. The New York Yankees have accomplished this feat six times.
Against the Odds – The Chicago Cubs have the lowest winning percentage in a World Series of any franchise in the history of baseball. They’ve won twice in 10 appearances for a success rate of 20 percent. Their last win was in 1908. Their last appearance came in 1945.
Still Waiting – The Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos and the Seattle Mariners have never won or appeared in a World Series.
Making the Most – Four teams in the MLB have won 100 percent of their World Series appearances. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels have each won once in one appearance, while the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins/Florida Marlins have each won twice in two appearances.
Most Valuable Player – The most valuable player (MVP) award for a World Series was first given in the 1955 World Series. Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Johnny Podres was the first recipient. The most MVP awards won by a single player is two. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson was awarded the distinction in 1964 and 1967. Right fielder Reggie Jackson is the only player in World Series history to win the MVP award for two different teams. Jackson won the prize in 1973 with the Oakland Athletics and 1977 with the New York Yankees.
Baseball Almanac – World Series History