My British husband likes to poke fun at the “World” Series that’s played mainly in the U.S. and a wee bit of Canada, but when it was first called World Series in 1903, the two teams were really the best teams in the world.
Since then, the World Series has captivated baseball fans across America. It has become more of an international pastime, too, with many players and teams in countries around the globe. But right now, the much anticipated championship brings together two storied teams from the heartland of America – the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. [Disclosure: I’m from Ohio and am rooting for the Tribe all the way; although I do have a soft spot for the Cubbies. It’s a great match-up!]
The teams have waited a combined 176 years to take home the title of World Series Champions. As they battle it out for glory in the final games this week, we’d like to honor the teams and the American tradition with a few “did you know” data points:
- The first formal World Series (1903) was intended to be a best of nine series
- The 1908 World Series featured a game with only one home run. The series also included the shortest game in history, with the Chicago Cubs beating the Detroit Tigers in one hour and 25 minutes
- Cleveland Indians’ Stan Coveleski went 3-0 in the 1920 World Series to lead the Indians to their first championship. Coveleski is still one of only nine pitchers to post three complete-game victories in the same Fall Classic
- Only one game in the history of the World Series has been suspended due to weather: Game Five between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays was suspended in 2008 due to rain
- Indians pitcher Corey Kluber set a World Series record with eight strikeouts through the first three innings of Game One
- Attendance of 38,091 for the Cleveland Indians’ Game One victory over the Chicago Cubs marked the smallest World Series crowd in nine years, and the smallest for any World Series game played outside of Boston in more than a half-century
- In Game Four of the 2016 World Series, Cleveland Indians’ first basement Jason Kipnis became the first opposing player to hit a three-run homer in the World Series since Babe Ruth did so in 1932 with the New York Yankees
Of course, this data only scratches the surface when looking at the long history of a championship as stats-rich as the World Series. But we wanted to get you started with some fun facts as you kick back with your favorite snacks (Peanuts and Cracker Jacks® anyone?) to watch the rest of the series. No doubt the announcers will also be throwing down many more stats during Games 6 and 7. We’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below. Go Tribe!