Tuesday, October 22, 2013

2013 World Series notes/oddities

By Rick Morris

^ Boston and St. Louis are meeting for the fourth time in a World Series, with 1946, 1967 and 2004 being the other occasions and only 2004 in the column of the Red Sox.  The cities have other interesting championship interactions as well; the 1970 Stanley Cup, famously won by Boston with Bobby Orr scoring the game-winner in overtime of Game 4 just prior to the famous “Superman” picture, came against the Blues.  And the St. Louis Hawks met the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals in 1957, 1958, 1960 and 1961, with 1958 yielding the only title to St. Louis.

^ This is the “Party like it’s 1999 World Series” – the first one since then to feature the teams with the best records in each league and the first since then to feature two teams with at least three pennants in the last decade.  San Francisco came close last year, but had three pennants in 11 years.

^ This is the second straight World Series to feature two teams from the pre-1961 expansion era (there has never been a World Series matching two teams from the post-1961 expansion), as the Giants and Tigers met in another “legacy” World Series last year.  The last time this happened?  1996, when the Yankees clashed with the Braves a year after the Indians and Braves threw down – so this is the first instance of this since the dawn of the Division Series era in baseball.

^ St. Louis just made it to three consecutive NLCS, with the “donut hole” of no pennant in between the pennants.  The last team to exactly replicate this unusual achievement?  Why, the St. Louis Cardinals, of course: from 2004-06.

^ This is the third World Series to match two teams who met nine years ago in the Fall Classic.  The other two?  The Yankees and Dodgers in 1956 (after 1947, they had also met in 1949, 1952-53 and 1955) and the Giants and Senators in 1933 (who did not meet in between that matchup and their 1924 clash).  The Yankees won in both 1947 and 1956, which would favor Boston in this series, but the Giants avenged their 1924 loss nine years later, which would favor St. Louis.  So we can mark this down as an inconclusive indicator!

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