Each fall, Major League Baseball holds the World Series. The feeling is that the best of the best battle it out in a best-of-seven series to determine a champion.
Even though North America is home to all 30 clubs, the World Series moniker has been around for a very long time.
Why It’s Called The World Series
The World Series got its name the very first year it was held in 1903. The Pittsburgh Pirates won the National League, and the Boston Red Sox won the American League.
The owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Barry Dreyfuss, challenged the Red Sox to a best-of-nine games series to determine the ultimate champion of the world. Other than 1903 and 1919-1921, the World Series is a best-of-seven series.
What Is The World Series Format?
The World Series format is a best-of-seven series between the American League and National League champion. Home field advantage alternated between the American and National League every year up until 2002.
From 2002 to 2016, the winning league in the All-Star game received home-field advantage. Starting in 2017, the team with the best regular-season record receives home-field advantage.
Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 take place on the home field of the team with home-field advantage. Games 3, 4, and 5 occur on the home field of the other team. There’s usually an extra travel day when the series moves from one location to the other.
Is the World Series Held Every Year?
The World Series happens every single year, but there have been two instances where it didn’t happen. In 1904, The New York Giants did not want to go up against the Boston Red Sox because their owner John T. Brush thought very little of the American League.
The World Series was still very brand new, but those in baseball knew that something had to be done to make it a more formal yearly tradition. In 1905, the two leagues decided to make the World Series an annual event.
In 1994, a work stoppage caused a World Series cancelation for the first time. The players went on strike on August 12, 1994, and they did not return until April 2, 1995. A lot of teams believed that they had a chance to win a World Series in 1984, but no one had the chance to hoist the trophy.
Many thought that the COVID-19 pandemic would cancel the 2020 World Series. Major League Baseball found a way to put together a 60-game schedule for the regular season, plus a World Series that was held at a neutral site.
Why Do People Consider the Best MLB Team as the Best Baseball Team in the World?
To put it simply, Major League Baseball has the most money to pay the best players. There’s a reason why players come from all over the world to play baseball against the best.
It’s very popular in other countries, but they don’t have the financial resources to bring in top players from all over the world.
Tradition also plays a big role in why Major League Baseball is considered the best. The league has seen virtually every all-time great pass through for more than a century.
Everyone alive knows of Major League Baseball as the best of the best. It’s hard to change those habits, especially if no league consistently puts up a challenge.
Finally, a lot of failed Major Leaguers have found ways to hold onto their career by moving to another league. For example, some of the best American baseball players in Japanese baseball history only ended up there because they couldn’t catch on in the Majors.
If inferior players are moving across the world and having success, how can that league possibly be better?
Which Teams Have Won The Most World Series?
The New York Yankees are far and away the most successful team in MLB history when it comes to World Series championships.
They have 27 World Series championships and 40 total World Series appearances that make them the marquee franchise. Only one other team has double-digit World Series wins, and that’s the St. Louis Cardinals at 11.
The Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox have nine World Series wins each. However, both the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers have more total World Series appearances than those two teams.
They both made the World Series 28 times, but the Giants have only won eight World Series while the Dodgers have won seven.
World Baseball Classic
Olympic baseball never took off because the best players were unable to take a break in the middle of the MLB season to participate.
That’s why the World Baseball Classic was formed in 2006 as a way for countries to go up against each other and determine a winner. This has tried to give a country the title of a truly earned world champion label.
There are still some issues with the tournament, as it’s hard to get players to commit right before the start of a long season. The World Baseball Classic takes place during the same time as Spring Training for MLB players.
Japan won the first two World Baseball Classics in 2006 and 2009. The Dominican Republic won the championship in 2013, while the United States won it all in 2017.
With so many missing players for different countries, the World Baseball Classic can’t work as a way to truly determine where the best players come from.
Is the World Series Label Accurate?
There might be some club teams around the world who feel like they can compete with MLB teams, but the best overall talent on a night-to-night basis plays in the majors.
Anything can happen in a given game in baseball, which is why a Minor League team could beat a Major League team once in a while. However, in the long run, MLB teams are better.
Don’t expect the World Series label to go away anytime soon. Only if a dominant club team makes a huge splash in baseball would the label be challenged in some way. After being around for more than 100 years, making it go away doesn’t seem likely.