The 2015 World Series between the Phillies’ NL East division rivals, the National League champion New York Mets, and the American League champion Kansas City Royals, is scheduled to begin tonight at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Our staffers here at TBOH were polled prior to the Fall Classic beginning as to their pick of which team would win the World Series, how many games the Series would last, and who would be named as the Most Valuable Player.
Before we get to those picks, a little history of the World Series as it is accepted by most involved with Major League Baseball. The game has been played in organized fashion since the early decades of the 19th century. However, during that century, for the most part, there was only one league, and no established national governing body over the game.
The National League had been in existence since 1876, with our own Philadelphia Phillies joining in 1883. When the American League was formed in 1901, talks began towards bringing the two league champions together in a postseason playoff series to determine a final champion of the sport.
In 1903, the American League champion Boston Americans, now known as the Boston Red Sox, defeated the National League champion Pittsburgh Pirates by 5 games to 3 in a best-of-9 format. No series was played in 1904, as the NL champion New York Giants refused to play the AL champion Americans, stating that the NL was a far superior league, and that they were already the best team in the game.
For 1905, an agreement was in place to ensure a postseason series between the two league’s champions, and thus a “World Series’ would take place every year thereafter, with the exception of the strike-shortened 1994 campaign.
Through the 1968 season, the team who finished in first place in each league during the regular season was considered the winner of that league “Pennant”, and would automatically advance to the World Series.
Beginning with divisional play in 1969, a postseason League Championship Series was developed, with each division winner facing one another in competition for that Pennant and the right to advance as the league representative into the World Series.
Since 1924, the “2-3-2” pattern of games has been in place, with the exceptions of the 1943-45 Series. In both ’43 and ’45, travel restrictions during World War II required a “3-4” pattern. In 1944, all games were played at Sportsman’s Park in Saint Louis, which was home to both the NL champion Cardinals and AL champion Browns.
Oct 26, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Our TBOH site editor, Matt Veasey, picks the Mets to take the World Series, and team leaderDavid Wright
as the MVP. Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Yankees franchise of the American League has both appeared in (40) and won (27) the most World Series championships. The San Francisco Giants franchise has appeared in the most World Series among NL teams (20), one more than the NL team which has actually won the most World Series titles, which would be the 11 won by the Saint Louis Cardinals.
To the present, there have been 111 officially recognized World Series championships contested, with the American League holding a 63-47 advantage. The NL has been on a bit of a run recently, having won four of the last five titles, and six of the last nine championships.
The Philadelphia Phillies franchise has won the World Series twice, in 1980 and 2008. The Series winner has come from Philadelphia on five other occasions, when Connie Mack‘s AL Philadelphia Athletics (now in Oakland) took the crown in 1910-11, 1913, and 1929-30.
Participating in their 2nd consecutive World Series this year are the AL’s Royals. Formed in the 1969 expansion, this will be Kansas City’s 4th appearance in the Fall Classic. They lost to the Phillies in their first-ever shot in 1980 in six games, defeated the Saint Louis Cardinals in a controversial seven game 1985 Series, and then lost a dramatic seven gamer to the San Francisco Giants a year ago.
For the Mets, this will be the franchise’ 5th trip to the World Series since their founding in the 1962 expansion. They won in both 1969 and 1986, and lost in both 1973 and 2000. This also marks some baseball history: the first World Series ever contested between two expansion teams.
So on with our TBOH staff selections. Six staffers gave the Royals a 4-2 edge, so that will be the official site pick: Kansas City in six games. Our staffers selected six different players as the Most Valuable Player. [table id=62 /]