WORLD SERIES OF BASEBALL 2019
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner’s Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.
Prior to 1969, the team with the best regular season win-loss record in each league automatically advanced to the World Series; since then each league has conducted a championship series (ALCS and NLCS) preceding the World Series to determine which teams will advance. As of 2018, the World Series has been contested 114 times, with the AL winning 66 and the NL winning 48.
The 2018 World Series took place between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox from October 23–28, with the Red Sox winning in five games to earn their ninth title. This was the first World Series meeting between these two teams since 1916. Having previously lost to the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series, the Dodgers became the 11th team to lose the World Series in consecutive seasons.
In the American League, the New York Yankees have played in 40 World Series and won 27, the Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics have played in 14 and won 9, and the Boston Red Sox have played in 13 and won 9, including the first World Series. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have appeared in 19 and won 11, the New York/San Francisco Giants have played in 19 and won 8, the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have appeared in 20 and won 6, and the Cincinnati Reds have appeared in 9 and won 5.
As of 2018, no team has won consecutive World Series championships since the New York Yankees in 1998, 1999, and 2000—the longest such drought in Major League Baseball history.
Until 2002, home-field advantage in the World Series alternated from year to year between the National League and American League. From 2003 to 2016, home-field advantage was given to the league that won that year’s All-Star Game. Starting in 2017, home-field advantage is awarded to the league champion team with the better regular season win-loss record.
MODERN WORLD SERIES (1903–PRESENT)
After two years of bitter competition and player raiding, the National and American Leagues made peace and, as part of the accord, several pairs of teams squared off for interleague exhibition games after the 1903 season. These series were arranged by the participating clubs, as the 1880s World’s Series matches had been. One of them matched the two pennant winners, Pittsburgh Pirates of the NL and Boston Americans (later known as the Red Sox) of the AL; that one is known as the 1903 World Series played at Huntington Avenue Grounds. It had been arranged well in advance by the two owners, as both teams were league leaders by large margins. Boston upset Pittsburgh by five games to three, winning with pitching depth behind Cy Young and Bill Dinneen and with the support of the band of Royal Rooters. The Series brought much civic pride to Boston and proved the new American League could beat the Nationals.
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014 while failing to qualify to play in the postseason in the intervening seasons.
The Texas Rangers were twice only one strike away from winning their first World Series title in 2011, but the St. Louis Cardinals’ David Freese, the eventual Series MVP, drove in both the tying and winning runs late in Game 6 to force a Game 7.
In 2013, the Boston Red Sox won their third world series of the 2000s, this time at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918.
The Kansas City Royals reached the World Series in 2014, which was their first appearance in the postseason since winning the series in 1985. At the time, it was the longest postseason drought in baseball. They lost in seven games to the Giants. The following season, the Royals finished with the American League’s best record, and won a second consecutive American League pennant. They defeated the New York Mets in the World Series 4–1, capturing their first title in 30 years. The 2015 contest was the first time that two expansion clubs met for the Fall Classic.
In 2016, the Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year long drought without a World Series title by defeating the Cleveland Indians, rallying from a 3–1 Series deficit in the process. That extended Cleveland’s World Series title drought to 68 years and counting – the Indians last won the Series in 1948 – now the longest title drought in the majors.
Beginning in 2017, home field advantage in the World Series is awarded to the league champion team with the better regular season win-loss record. If both league champions have the same record, the tie-breaker is head-to-head record, and if that does not resolve it, the second tie-breaker is best divisional record.
The Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series in 7 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers on November 1, 2017, winning their first World Series since their creation in 1962.
The Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in 5 games for their fourth title since 2004.
The 2019 Major League Baseball season began on March 20 and is scheduled to end on September 29. It is the 150th anniversary of professional baseball, dating back to the 1869 foundation of the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The postseason will begin on October 1. The World Series is set to begin on October 22 and a potential Game 7 would be played on October 30. The entire schedule was released on August 22, 2018. The 90th Major League Baseball All-Star Game was held on July 9 at Progressive Field, the home of the Cleveland Indians. The American League won, 4–3, for their seventh straight victory.
As has been the case since 2013, teams were scheduled to play 19 games against each division opponent for a total of 76 games, and six or seven games against each team from the other two divisions for a total of 66 games. The primary inter-league match-ups are to be AL East vs NL West, AL Central vs NL East and AL West vs NL Central.
The International season began on March 20 and 21 with the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners playing in Tokyo, Japan, at the Tokyo Dome.
Excluding international openers, March 28 was the earliest Opening Day in history. The previous earliest was March 29 of the 2018 season.
The second annual Mexico Series of games featured four matchups during the season. The first featured the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds at Monterrey, Mexico’s Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey on April 13 and 14. The other series, also in Monterrey, featured two games between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels on May 4 and 5.
The Kansas City Royals faced the Detroit Tigers at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska on June 13, two days before the College World Series. This was the first MLB game played in the state of Nebraska.
The London Series featured the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at London Stadium in London on June 29 and 30, making it the first ever regular season series played in London under a two-year commitment.
The MLB Little League Classic at BB&T Ballpark in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, coinciding with the Little League World Series, will return to the schedule for the third straight year. It will be played between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirate son August 18.
For more than 75 years, Little League® has partnered with major corporations on a national level to help keep the costs for our local Little Leagues to a minimum and to provide unparalleled benefits and resources to those member leagues.
Sponsors help leagues operate smoothly, provide training resources for coaches, offset expenses for educational initiatives, offer grant programs for leagues in need, assist in supporting tournament costs, and provide opportunities and knowledge in fundraising, operations, nutrition, and safety. In short, sponsors help leagues offer the best programs possible, so players and volunteers can have a fun and rewarding Little League experience.
Today, a select group of companies has earned the right to call themselves “Official Sponsors” of Little League. These companies have displayed a commitment to the children of Little League and to the ideals Little League hopes to instil in children around the world. Little League thanks each of these special companies and congratulates them on their commitment to the world’s youth.