Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies face each other in the best of 7 to see who will be crowned this season’s World Series Champions.
It’s the oldest American sports competition, which pits the winners of the American League (Houston Astros) and National League (Philadelphia Phillies) and has been since 1903 (except for 1904 and 1994).
This will also be the 118th edition of the World Series with the American League holding the most wins (66), while the National League have generated a winner only 51 times.
And, that means that by next Sunday we’ll have a new World Series winner and a new name etched on the Commissioner’s Trophy!
Who are our teams?
Represents the American League (Since 2013 after spending the previous 51 seasons as a member of the National League.)
Previous winner 2017
Runner up 3 times (2005 / 2019 / 2021). Lost to Atlanta Braves in 2021 season.
Bob Watson – Watson delivered the historic one millionth run of Major League Baseball. He did it in 1975.
Willie Mays – Mays made his 500th solo home run of his career, in the 4th inning of the Astros game against San Francisco Giants. That was back in September 1965.
Colt .45s – Prior to changing their name to the Houston Astros in 1965, they were the Colt .45s.
Represents the National League.
Previous winners 1980 and 2008
Runner up 5 times (1915 / 1950 / 1983 / 1993 / 2009)
Quakers – That’s what the Phillies were called before they became the Phillies. It came when Philadelphia was awarded an expansion to the National League back in 1883. Interestingly, they had a .173 winning percentage, considered to the worst in the MLB franchise history.
Pete Rose – the highest paid Phillies player of 1979. He was signed on a 4 year free agent contract worth $3.2m. While the Phillies didn’t make it to the post-season, the Phillies gained 3 division titles, 2 World Series titles and their very first World Series title in 1980.
77 – that’s the number of consecutive seasons that the Phillies played before got to win their first World Series. That’s longer than any of the 16 remaining teams which made up the Major Leagues in the early 20th century.
Head to head
Astros are going to be a challenge for the Philadelphia Phillies. When they played their series games in October, the Astros won 2 of those 3 games. Phillies took Game 1 with 3 Runs, while the Astros dominated Game 2 with 10 Runs and more a challenging Game 3 with 3 Runs.
Phillies Advantage –
Catching / First Base / Left Field / Designated Hitter / Bullpen
Astros Advantage –
Second Base / Shortstop / Third Base / Centerfield / Starting Pitching
But what is all this talk of a World Series… it’s in the US right?
So the Series is not just another playoff round, it was created as a kind of peaceful resolution to cool the disputes between the two warring baseball leagues.
The National League was the first league baseball outfit to emerge in 1876 but no more than a generation later in 1901, the American League formed. The American League called itself a Major League.
A two-year period of open war erupted between the NL and AL, poaching top players in order to gain legitimacy as the baseball league representing the US.
A peace was formed in 1903 both to end the roster raiding of players but also to help the beleaguered and bankrupt Baltimore baseball outfit to move to New York and form today’s New York Yankees. On a positive note, it did create the structure for what we know as the modern baseball league featuring both leagues working together if playing separately until the World Series.
The Boston Americans (Boston Red Sox) and the Pittsburgh Pirates went on to play the first post-season championship game which became known as the ‘World Championship Series’.
Initially the series would feature a best of 9 games in 1903, which by 1905 had moved to a best of 7. Only between 1919 – 1921 did the series re-run the best of 9.
So, who will be the next World Series Champions? Let’s find out Sunday!