Biggest Events in Sports The World Series Part 1

About the World Series, history and information about the major sporting event and the biggest baseball games.


This, the annual postseason baseball classic, is rivaled perhaps only by the Super Bowl as America's greatest sports spectacle. But where the Super Bowl games have been largely forgettable despite the hysteria and massive publicity, the World Series has become an enduring feature of the American landscape, producing a brilliant array of legends and legendary moments.

The first World Series was played in 1903, when the Pittsburgh Pirates, champions of the 27-year-old National League, met the Boston Pilgrims, the winners in the fledgling American League, in a best-of-nine series. Led by Cy Young, their 28-game winner, Boston won in eight over the Pirates, who started pitcher Deacon Phillippe a record five times. The two leagues reestablished their postseason rivalry in 1905 with a seven-game series, which has remained the rule except for a three-year experiment with a best-of-nine format beginning in 1919.

That year is notable for another reason, one that cast a momentary shadow over baseball's pristine image. The Chicago White Sox were heavily favored to beat the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series, but the Sox went on to drop three of five games, largely because of errors and faulty pitching. It was later revealed that a prominent New York gambler had bought off seven of the Chicago players in what came to be known as the Black Sox scandal.

But baseball quickly recouped its All-American image, and fans were treated to World Series spectaculars by the likes of Babe Ruth, Pepper Martin, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and, in more recent years, Johnny Bench, Rollie Fingers, and Reggie Jackson. The Yankees' 1977 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers marked the club's 21st world championship, the most of any major league team, and the 44th win in 74 World Series for an American League team.

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