While there may be some who question whether it should really be called the World Series of Baseball as it’s not a global competition, one thing’s for sure.
It’s what every baseball fan in the US, and beyond, looks forward to as the fitting end to the season.
Millions all over the world watch. And, long before the final two teams make it through the playoffs, people are keenly following the World Series odds on leading sportsbooks to see where they can get the best price on their team.
This year it’s going to be no exception. And when the two teams start the best of seven series on Friday October 27 it’s sure to be a humdinger of a contest.
But the big question is whether it will throw up another of the major upsets that have made it such an intriguing contest in the past? As you’ll see from the list below, it’s quite some time since there’s been one so it could be long overdue.
1914 Boston Braves v Philadelphia Athletics
On paper it looked like this was going to be a pretty one-sided contest. All through the season the Braves looked like a team in quite some disarray. But from sitting in last place on the table at the end of July, they rallied to become champions of the National League by a margin of 10.5 games.
The Athletics, under inspirational manager Connie Mack, had won three of the last four World Series so were solid favorites to prevail.
But on the day the Braves certainly brought their A game to the As, overwhelming them by 16-6. An outraged Mack proceeded to offload many of his best players including the year’s MVP Eddie Collins who headed for the White Sox.
1960 Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees
At the time, the Yankees had all the hallmarks of a team of Invincibles with Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roger Maris, Moose Skowron, Elston Howard and Whitey Ford on their books. So, it looked like this was one piece of treasure the Pirates would never claim. However, this back-and-forth series saw them edge their way into superiority by winning all of the closest games to emerge as eventual 4-3 victors.
It was also the World Series that included what many consider to be the greatest single game ever played – all thanks to Bill Mazeroski’s home run that sealed the victory for the plundering Pirates.
1969 New York Mets v Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles had won an incredible 109 games over the season, bolstered by legendary players including Dave McNally, Tome Phoebus and Jim Palmer.
Things went well for the first game of the series with an easy defeat of the Mets. But that was when the luck ran out. The team from the Big Apple went on to win the next four games in a row, allowing the Orioles just five more runs across the whole series.
As this stat demonstrates, it was the Mets pitchers who made all the difference with only Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman conceding the runs. Add the fact that the Mets had at least six amazing plays in the field and that was the complete recipe for success.
1990 Cincinnati Reds v Oakland Athletics
Going into the series you’d have got pretty long odds on the Reds getting anywhere near winning. This was largely because of the sheer strength of the Athletics at the time with a line-up that included names like Canseco, McGwire, the famous Bash brothers.
Their pitchers weren’t too bad either with Dave Stewart or Dennis Eckersley to the fore. However, both were taken apart in the first two games of the series. From then on, the Reds went from strength to strength, closing out the final game 2-1 to record a very famous victory.
2003 Miami Marlins v New York Yankees
For their second appearance in the list, the Yankees were no strangers to the World Series having made it through in six of the eight previous years. The Marlins, however, had only made it through thanks to a wild card entry following a 75-49 record for the season.
But the result was far from being a foregone conclusion despite the Yankees having Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and David Wells on the team.
The Marlins won the first game but lost two and three. Then the big switch happened with them rallying to win the next three games, and the title – all with a team with a $54 million payroll compared with $164 million for the Yankees.
So, we await this year’s World Series with bated breath – and high hopes that it could bring about another upset of these proportions. Whether or not it will, we’re just going to have to wait and see.