World Series

by

Kenneth Matinale

radicalbaseball.blogspot.com

November 6, 2008 (2011 data added 10/23/13)

This material covers series starting in 1903 between the National League and the American League champions.  The purpose is to present data in a different form, which results in new observations.  In other words to find things hidden in plain sight.

Content:

- Sunday in the park

- Nine game series, eight games and tie

- Home sweet home

- Travel

- Best of Seven WS

- Sweeps

- Regular Season

- Yankees

- Yanks 1960

This file contain pertinent data:

Word Series data.

The first tab in this file is in the form of a spreadsheet calendar.  It provides a panoramic view of when games were played and the result.  Home games are in caps, road games have gray background.  The final game is in bold.  Tie games have a pink background.  Four exceptional individual performances have yellow background: three homers in a game (Ruth twice and Jackson) and Larsen's perfect game.  Games that are outlined were attended by the author.

It also contains data sheets with details including regular season stats for the teams.

From 1903 through 2007 there have been 103 WS.  There was no WS in 1904 and 1994.  Four WS were best of nine.  The other 99 WS were best of seven, in which the losing team won this number of games:

3 - 35

2 - 22

1 - 22

0 - 20.

Sunday in the park:

The first four Sunday games were played in Chicago:

- 1906 sixth and final game, White Sox defeat Cubs at home;

- 1908 game two, Cubs defeat Detroit;

- 1910 fifth and final game, Philadelphia Athletics defeat Cubs;

- 1917 game two, White Sox defeat New York Giants.

The next three Sunday games were in New York between the Giants and Yankees 1921, 1922, 1923.  There were Sunday games in 1924 (2)  and 1925 (4), both in Washington and both won by the Senators.

The first WS with two Sunday games (2 & 7): 1926, both in New York at Yankee Stadium and both won by the St. Louis Cardinals.

The final two years before Sunday games became standard when there could have been a Sunday game but there was none both involved Philadelphia:

- 1929, in Philadelphia - Saturday game four, Monday game five;

- 1931, after playing the first two games in St. Louis on Wednesday and Thursday, no games were played Saturday or Sunday; play resumed Monday in Philadelphia.

Nine game series, eight games and ties:

Four WS were best of nine, none of which went nine:

- 1903 Boston Americans beat Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3;

- 1919 Cincinnati Reds beat Chicago White Sox 5-3;

- 1920 Cleveland Indians beat Brooklyn Robins 5-2;

- 1921 New York Giants beat New York Yankees 5-3.

In addition to 1903, 1919 and 1921 one other series went eight games: 

- 1912 Boston Red Sox beat New York Giant 4-3-1.  Game two ended in a tie.

There were two other ties:

- 1907 Chicago Cubs beat Detroit Tigers 4-0-1; game one was a tie;

- 1922 New York Giants beat New York Yankees 4-0-1; game two w as a tie.

Home sweet home:

In three WS both teams had the same home park:

- 1921 New York Giants and New York Yankees: Polo Grounds IV

- 1922 New York Giants and New York Yankees: Polo Grounds IV

- 1944 St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns: Sportsman's Park IV.

The home team won thirteen games in a row:

- the last three in 1986 after the road team won the first four

- all seven in 1987

- the first three in 1988; the road team won the last two.

In 1987, 1991 and 2001 the home team won all seven games.  Minnesota won two WS 4-3: over St. Louis (1987) and Atlanta (1991).  Arizona defeated the New York Yankees in 2001.

Travel:

1933, 1934, 1935: Even though the teams were in different cities, there were no off days.  This may have been to save money on trains, hotels and meals because of the national economic depression.

1943: The first three games were played in Yankee Stadium probably because of World War II travel restrictions.

1945: The first three games were played in Detroit and the final four in Chicago probably because of World War II travel restrictions.

1957: Starting with this WS (Milwaukee v. New York) off days for travel between locations became standard again.


23 WS had no off days.  The most recent was in 1955.  Twelve involved teams in different cities.  Chicago and St.Louis each had one no rest WS.  The other nine were in New York.  Seven were best of seven games, including 1912, which went eight games: 4-3-1.

Best of Seven WS:

36 best of seven WS went the distance, including 1912, which went eight games: 4-3-1.

Most WS won 4-3 (game seven home win in caps) by a team:

St. Louis Cardinals eight:

Year

Loser

7

1926

New York Yankees

sln

1931

Philadelphia Athletics

SLN

1934

Detroit Tigers

sln

1946

Boston Red Sox

SLN

1964

New York Yankees

SLN

1967

Boston Red Sox

sln

1982

Milwaukee Brewers

SLN

 

  

St. Louis also beat Texas 4-3 in 2011.

Pittsburgh Pirates five:

Year

Loser

7

1909

Detroit Tigers

pit

1925

Washington Senators

PIT

1960

New York Yankees

PIT

1971

Baltimore Orioles

pit

1979

Baltimore Orioles

pit

 

New York Yankees five:

Year

Loser

7

1947

Brooklyn Dodgers

NYA

1952

Brooklyn Dodgers

nya

1956

Brooklyn Dodgers

nya

1958

Milwaukee Braves

nya

1962

San Francisco Giants

nya

 

Most WS lost 4-3 (game seven home win in caps) by a team:

New York Yankees six:

Year

Winner

7

1926

St. Louis Cardinals

sln

1955

Brooklyn Dodgers

bro

1957

Milwaukee Braves

ml1

1960

Pittsburgh Pirates

PIT

1964

St. Louis Cardinals

SLN

2001

Arizona Diamondbacks

ARI

 

Boston Red Sox four:

Year

Winner

7

1946

St. Louis Cardinals

SLN

1967

St. Louis Cardinals

sln

1975

Cincinnati Reds

cin

1986

New York Mets

NYN

 

Giants four:

Year

Winner

7

8

1912

Boston Red Sox

ny1

BOS

1924

Washington Senators

WS1

1962

New York Yankees

nya

2002

Anaheim Angels

ANA

 

These teams lost WS 4-3 three times each:

Detroit Tigers

Brooklyn Dodgers

St. Louis Cardinals.

Eighteen of the thirty-five 4-3 WS were won by the home team, including the most recent 8, the longest such streak: 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2002.

There were two streaks of five consecutive 4-3 WS won by the road team:

- 1952, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958

- 1965, 1967, 1968, 1971, 1972.

In three 4-3 WS the home team won the first six games but lost the seventh:

Year

Winner

Loser

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

1955

Brooklyn Dodgers

New York Yankees

NYA

NYA

BRO

BRO

BRO

NYA

bro

1956

New York Yankees

Brooklyn Dodgers

BRO

BRO

NYA

NYA

NYA

BRO

nya

1965

Los Angeles Dodgers

Minnesota Twins

MIN

MIN

LAN

LAN

LAN

MIN

lan

 

In three 4-3 WS the home team won all seven games:

Year

Winner

Loser

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

1987

Minnesota Twins

St. Louis Cardinals

MIN

MIN

SLN

SLN

SLN

MIN

MIN

1991

Minnesota Twins

Atlanta Braves

MIN

MIN

ATL

ATL

ATL

MIN

MIN

2001

Arizona Diamondbacks

New York Yankees

ARI

ARI

NYA

NYA

NYA

ARI

ARI

 

Five teams were down 1-3 but won the last three games:

Year

Winner

Loser

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

1925

Pittsburgh Pirates

Washington Senators

ws1

PIT

WS1

WS1

pit

PIT

PIT

1958

New York Yankees

Milwaukee Braves

ML1

ML1

NYA

ml1

NYA

nya

nya

1968

Detroit Tigers

St. Louis Cardinals

SLN

det

sln

sln

DET

det

det

1979

Pittsburgh Pirates

Baltimore Orioles

BAL

pit

bal

bal

PIT

pit

pit

1985

Kansas City Royals

St. Louis Cardinals

sln

sln

kca

SLN

kca

KCA

KCA

 

Sweeps:

No best of nine WS loser had fewer than two wins.

There have been 20 WS in which the losing team did not win a game.  Two of those WS had a tie game (1907 & 1922):

Year

Winner

Loser

1

2

3

4

wins

losses

ties

Games

1907

Chicago Cubs

Detroit Tigers

tie

CHN

CHN

chn

4

0

1

5

1914

Boston Braves

Philadelphia Athletics

bsn

bsn

BSN

BSN

4

0

0

4

1922

New York Giants

New York Yankees

NY1

tie

NY1

ny1

4

0

1

5

1927

New York Yankees

Pittsburgh Pirates

nya

nya

NYA

NYA

4

0

0

4

1928

New York Yankees

St. Louis Cardinals

NYA

NYA

nya

nya

4

0

0

4

1932

New York Yankees

Chicago Cubs

NYA

NYA

nya

nya

4

0

0

4

1938

New York Yankees

Chicago Cubs

nya

nya

NYA

NYA

4

0

0

4

1939

New York Yankees

Cincinnati Reds

NYA

NYA

nya

nya

4

0

0

4

1950

New York Yankees

Philadelphia Phillies

nya

nya

NYA

NYA

4

0

0

4

1954

New York Giants

Cleveland Indians

NY1

NY1

ny1

ny1

4

0

0

4

1963

Los Angeles Dodgers

New York Yankees

lan

lan

LAN

LAN

4

0

0

4

1966

Baltimore Orioles

Los Angeles Dodgers

bal

bal

BAL

BAL

4

0

0

4

1976

Cincinnati Reds

New York Yankees

CIN

CIN

cin

cin

4

0

0

4

1989

Oakland Athletics

San Francisco Giants

OAK

OAK

oak

oak

4

0

0

4

1990

Cincinnati Reds

Oakland Athletics

CIN

CIN

cin

cin

4

0

0

4

1998

New York Yankees

San Diego Padres

NYA

NYA

nya

nya

4

0

0

4

1999

New York Yankees

Atlanta Braves

nya

nya

NYA

NYA

4

0

0

4

2004

Boston Red Sox

St. Louis Cardinals

BOS

BOS

bos

bos

4

0

0

4

2005

Chicago White Sox

Houston Astros

CHA

CHA

cha

cha

4

0

0

4

2007

Boston Red Sox

Colorado Rockies

BOS

BOS

bos

bos

4

0

0

4

 

New York Yankees are 8-3, leading in both wins and losses.

Second most wins - 2:

Boston Red Sox

Cincinnati Reds

New York Giants.

Second most losses - 2:

Chicago Cubs

Athletics

St. Louis Cardinals.

Regular Season:

Run difference (scored v. allowed) per game:

Biggest advantage (at least one run per game):

Year

Winner

Loser

WinDifPerG

LosDifPerG

DifPerG

wins

losses

WinW

LosW

1939

New York Yankees

Cincinnati Reds

2.703947

1.102564

1.601383

4

0

106

97

1927

New York Yankees

Pittsburgh Pirates

2.425807

1.01282

1.412986

4

0

110

94

1936

New York Yankees

New York Giants

2.154839

0.7857143

1.369124

4

2

102

92

1932

New York Yankees

Chicago Cubs

1.782051

0.5649351

1.217116

4

0

107

90

1998

New York Yankees

San Diego Padres

1.907407

0.7037037

1.203704

4

0

114

98

1944

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Browns

1.796178

0.6298701

1.166308

4

2

105

89

1937

New York Yankees

New York Giants

1.961783

0.8552632

1.10652

4

1

102

95

1975

Cincinnati Reds

Boston Red Sox

1.567901

0.54375

1.024151

4

3

108

95

 

Four of the top five were sweeps.

Biggest disadvantage and therefore the biggest upset - 1906:

Year

Winner

Loser

WinDifPerG

LosDifPerG

DifPerG

wins

losses

WinW

LosW

1987

Minnesota Twins

St. Louis Cardinals

-0.1234568

0.6481481

-0.771605

4

3

85

95

1985

Kansas City Royals

St. Louis Cardinals

0.2962963

1.080247

-0.7839506

4

3

91

101

2006

St. Louis Cardinals

Detroit Tigers

0.1180124

0.9074074

-0.789395

4

1

83

95

1945

Detroit Tigers

Chicago Cubs

0.4387097

1.309677

-0.8709677

4

3

88

98

1995

Atlanta Braves

Cleveland Indians

0.7291667

1.618056

-0.8888889

4

2

90

100

1969

New York Mets

Baltimore Orioles

0.5617284

1.617284

-1.055556

4

1

100

109

1906

Chicago White Sox

Chicago Cubs

0.7142857

2.090322

-1.376037

4

2

93

116

 

1987 Minnesota Twins are the only WS winner to allow more runs than they scored.

Yankees:

The New York Yankees have the most:

- WS played: 39

- wins: 26

- losses: 13.

Teams defeated most often:

- Dodgers: 8 (six in Brooklyn)

- Giants: 5 (four in New York).

Teams winning most often v. Yankees: Cardinals and Dodgers (once in Brooklyn), 3 each.

The Yanks played one best of nine WS, losing 5-3 to the Giants in 1921.

Best of seven WS, in which the losing team won this number of games:

Losses            MLB Yanks        MLB-Yanks Yank % MLB-Yanks % 3                   35         11                        24                  28.95% 39.34% 2                   22          9                   13                  23.68% 21.31% 1                   22          7                   15                  18.42% 24.59% 0                   20   11                         9         28.95% 14.75% Total                   99   38*                    61

* Yanks were involved in one of the four best of nine WS.

The Yankees played in a much lower percentage of WS in which the loser won three games but had twice the percentage of WS in which the loser did not win a game.  In other words the Yanks have been less likely to go the maximum number of games and much more likely to go the minimum number of games.

Yanks 1960:

In 1960 the Yankees lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 despite scoring at least nine runs in each of four games.  It was considered a great upset by Pittsburgh.  However, in the regular season the Yanks won only two more games: 97 to 95.  The Yanks bettered Pittsburgh per regular season game by only 0.1419355 runs scored minus runs allowed.  Among all 103 WS that difference is 44th most, about in the middle.  Among the Yanks 39 WS it ranks 19th, again in the middle.  It was only an upset because the Yankees outscored Pittsburgh 55-27.  Based on regular season data the teams were about even.  This may have been overlooked because of the Yankees reputation and because the Yanks had won their final 15 regular season games.

There is a conventional wisdom that indicates that if Yankee manager Casey Stengel had started pitcher Whitey Ford in game one instead of waiting until game three that the Yankees would have won the 1960 WS.  Ford won games 3 and 6, pitching complete game shutouts in each, the second coming on three days rest.  This supposes that Ford would pitch and win games 1, 4, 7 with three days rest before games 4 and 7.  He was well rested for game one.  The WS was scheduled to go nine days and this made it possible for a pitcher to start three games.  However, Ford never pitched in a WS game seven in his entire career.  Ford started three games in only two WS:

- 1958: 0-1, 4.11 ERA

- 1962: 1-1, 4.12 ERA.

Pittsburgh's Vern Law did start games 1,4,7 in the 1960 WS.  He won the first two but had no decision in game 7:

Pittsburgh Pirates           IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR
Law                                   5     4   3   3   1           0   1

Ford's 1960 game log.

Ford's game log indicates that he usually (25 of 29 starts) got at least 4 days rest during the 1960 regular season.

Less than two months before his two WS shutouts, Ford had pitched consecutive shutouts.  Pitching on 4 days rest at home against Washington on Aug. 13 Ford threw a complete game 3 hit shutout.  Ford next pitched on TWO days rest against Baltimore and again threw a complete game 3 hit shutout.  His next start was on 4 days rest on Aug. 21 in Washington; he allowed one run (earned) on 4 hits in 5 innings and lost.

Ford's 1960 splits.

Ford's splits indicate that in an equal number of innings home and away he had these ERA: 2.51 Home, 3.66 Road.  If Ford started games 1,4,7 they would have been road, home, road.  In September Ford had his highest ERA in 1960: 4.41; second highest: 3.67 in July.  In his 12 wins Ford's ERA was 1.15; in his other games about 4.75.  When Ford was good he was very good.

Art Ditmar, who started game one, had an even worse home road ERA split: 2.29 v. 3.87.  Ditmar's September ERA of 3.11 was his third best.  Ditmar's ERA in his wins was 2.03, less than half his ERA in his other games.  Ditmar lead the Yanks with 15 wins.

Bob Turley in 1960 had this home road ERA split: 3.63 v. 2.85.  Turley's 1.72 September ERA was his second best.  Turley's ERA in his wins was 1.84, about half his ERA in his other games.  Even though Turley was only 9-3 in 1960, the 1958 Cy Young award winner was a good choice to start one of the first two games in Pittsburgh.

Pirate batter splits in 1960.

Pirate OPS of top righty batters v. lefty pitchers:

Groat .893 (v. righty pitchers .718)

Clemente 1.033 (v. righty pitchers .717)

Stuart .726 (v. righty pitchers .807 - go figure)

Stuart was and always will be inexplicable.  Of the eight starting players catcher Smoky Burgess was the only lefty batter.  The reserves with the most at bats, Gino Cimoli and Hal Smith, were both righty batters.

Pirate record vs. left-handed starters: 31-17 (.646) , vs. right-handed starters: 64-42 (.604).

Obviously the lefty Ford would have been at a disadvantage against the heavily right hand batting Pirates.  Stengel must have known this.

Could Ford have pitched and won games 1, 4, 7?  Probably not.  It was rarely done.

The Yanks real problem was how the scores lined up.  Almost any realignment results in the Yankees winning.  For instance, if Turley and Ditmar had been switched in the first two games, instead of splitting 4-6, 16-3, the Yanks would sweep 4-3, 16-4 and win the WS 4-2.

In 1956 Stengel could have started Ford in game seven on three days rest.  However, Stengel started Johnny Kucks who pitched a shutout in his only WS start, probably because Stengel did not want to pitch Ford in Ebbets Field against the Dodgers righty batters.  In game one in Ebbets Field Ford allowed five runs in three innings.  George Wilson pinch hit for Ford in the top of the fourth with two out, nobody on base Dodgers leading 5-3; Wilson struck out.   Kucks pitched innings 4 and 5, allowing one run.  Two days later Kucks relieved Larsen in the second inning of game 2: Kucks faced one batter, a single to Reese.

In the Yanks previous WS (1958) with the Yanks trailing Milwaukee in games 3-2 Stengel started Ford in Milwaukee in game six on TWO days rest.  Ford was replaced in the second inning by Ditmar trailing 2-1 with bases loaded one out but the Yanks won 4-3 in 10 innings, then won game seven the next day.  Milwaukee started Spahn and Burdette in games 6 and 7 on TWO days rest.  Both lost.

In 1960 Stengel started Ford in game six on three days rest.  It was Turley's turn.  Turley would have had five days rest in game six.  Had Stengel simply started Turley and Ford in their normal rotation, Yanks would have won both games 6 and 7: 12-10, 9-0.

***  Stop   ***