Game One of the 107th World Series kicks off on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium in St Louis, when the Cardinals take on the red hot Texas Rangers with Chris Carpenter taking to the hill against C.J. Wilson.
St. Louis, no stranger to the post-season, has won 10 Series titles, second to the New York Yankees who have 27 world championships tucked under their belt.
This will be the Rangers second straight World Series appearance; the outstanding pitching of the San Francisco Giants, especially from the likes of the lanky Tim Lincecum last year, frustrated the Texas bats as the Giants easily won the Series in 5 games.
This year, gargantuan hitting from both the Cardinals and Rangers is expected to be the order of the day, which will feature sluggers like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and David Freese swinging for the fences.
So as we prepare for the first pitch, here are a few feats, facts, and historic firsts about the Fall Classic to chew over.
• The St Louis Cardinals, who defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games in 1967, were the first team to receive the original World Series trophy, the Commissioner’s Trophy.
• In 1908, Billy Murray introduced "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," a catchy melody that became baseball's anthem. It featured music by Albert Von Tilzer and lyrics by Jack Norworth.
• The championship has been won by the home team 51 of 106 times or 48. 1 percent of the time.
• The winner of Game One has won the championship 65 times or 61.3 percent of the time.
• Among the 35 seven-game World Series, the home club has won Game Seven 20 times.
• Only three teams — the 1985 Royals, 1986 Mets and 1996 Yankees — have lost the first two games at home and then have gone on to win the World Series.
• Only four teams in World Series history have won Game One and been swept in the next four. They are: the 1915 Phillies, 1942 Yankees, 1969 Orioles and 1983 Phillies.
• Eleven teams have lost consecutive World Series.
• The first time lights were used during a World Series Game came on October 9, 1949 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, in the top of the ninth inning (4:50 p.m.EST) in the fifth and final game.
• The first night game in World Series history came on October 13, 1971 when the Baltimore Orioles played at Pittsburgh in Game Four at Three Rivers Stadium.
• The first time all-games were played at night for a World Series was in 1985 when the Kansas City Royals squared off against the St Louis Cardinals.
• There have been 55 extra-inning games in World Series history. All together, American League clubs have won 28; the National League 24, with three games ending in a tie. Home teams have been won in 34 of the 55 extra-inning games.
• The largest attendance for single game in World Series history was 92,706 on October 6, 1959 in Game Five played between the Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
• The shortest World Series game was 1:25 on October 14, 1908 when the Chicago Cubs blanked the Detroit Tigers, 2-0 in Detroit
• The longest 9 inning night game in World Series history was 4:19 when the Boston Red Sox beat the Colorado Rockies, 10-5 in Colorado.
• The longest extra-inning World Series night game (14 innings) was on October 25, 2005 when the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros 7-5 in Houston.
• In 1960, Bobby Richardson of the New York Yankees became the only World Series MVP from a losing team.
• Only two players have won the World Series MVP as rookies: Larry Sherry in 1959 and Livan Hernandez in 1997.
• Jack Quinn of the Philadelphia Athletics, who was 47 years old when he played in the 1930 World Series, was the oldest player to have played in the Fall Classic, followed by Jamie Moyer of the Philadelphia Phillies who was 45 during the 2008 World Series.
• The youngest player on a World Series roster was Fred Lindstrom of the New York Giants who in 1924 was 18 years/10 months.
• In 1903, there was only 1 foreign born player on a World Series roster; 2 in 1912; 3 in 1916; 9 in 1972 and 1975; 15 in 1995; and 16 in 2003, 2007, and 2010.
• The first designated hitter to bat in World Series play was Lou Piniella of the New York Yankees in the second inning of Game One in 1976. He doubled to right field and later scored on a sacrifice by Graig Nettles.
• In 4 World Series appearances, Christy Mathewson tossed 10 complete games, and 4 shutouts, a major league record, while posting a 1.06 ERA in 101.2 innings pitched.
• In 11 World Series appearances Whitey Ford had a record 94 strikeouts.
• There have been a total of 840 home runs in World Series history (472 by American League clubs and 368 by National League clubs).
• There have been 10 inside-the-park home runs in World Series history. The first was slapped by Patsy Dougherty of the Boston Americans on October 2, 1903, when leading off in the bottom of the first against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The last was recorded by George “Mule” Haas of the Philadelphia Athletics during the seventh inning on October 12, 1929 of Game Four in the 1929 World Series against the Chicago Cubs.
• There have been 54 walk-off wins in World Series history. Overall, the American League has won 32; the National League, 22.
• Detroit’s Goose Goslin was the only player to have two game-ending hits in a World Series game with RBI singles in 1934 and 1935.
• The first radio broadcast of the World Series was in 1921. Grantland Rice provided telephone play-by-play over a special three station hookup on KDKA (Pittsburgh), WJZ (Newark) and WBZ (East Spring field, MA).
• NBC provided the first telecast of a World Series in 1947. Commentators Bob Stanton, Bill Slater and Bob Edge called the action. NBC’s telecast was beamed to New York City, Washington, Philadelphia and Schenectady.
• In 1951 NBC presented the first coast-to-coast telecast. Jim Britt and Russ Hodges handled the commentary.
• FOX Sports with play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and analyst Tim McCarver enters its 16th season as the official network broadcaster of Major League Baseball.
• Major League Baseball game telecasts of the 2011 World Series will be re-transmitted in 20 different languages and broadcast in more than 220 countries and territories.
October 18, 2011
Source: Major League Baseball Press Office