World Series Fallacy

MLBAs a kid, I was always enamoured with baseball trivia. I specialized in Blue Jays team trivia and overall record holders. I was very, very good.

In some trivia book I read that the World Series got its name because it was originally sponsored by the New York World newspaper. Trivia books were how I got my information. You kids and your World Wide Web wouldn't understand.

I believed this fact about the New York World newspaper until this past weekend when I read on Wikipedia that this simply isn't true. World Series is a shortened form of the phrase "world's championship series," nothing more.

I've carried that false factoid around for 25 years.


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anonymous

I guess that's why the NY Yankees have won most World Championship Series than any other team for THEIR NY newspaper.

April 27, 2010 @ 7:40 PM

Claire

My husband believed the same fact. As long as I've known him, he would tell people about the World newspaper, and how they sponsored the series. We realised it was wrong when we watched the Ken Burns Baseball DVD. I wonder if Jim read the same trivia book as you growing up - he's also in his mid-30's.

April 27, 2010 @ 7:53 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Claire

It's very possible. I had a bunch, with titles as simple as "Baseball Facts" and such. The early to mid 80s is when I ate 'em up like candy.

I watched Ken Burns' series on PBS and I don't remember that part - must have been when I went to make popcorn.

April 27, 2010 @ 8:01 PM

Army

Mike,

Also guilty of the same misconception for many years. Even Mike Wilner of Fan590 was a "believer" until last year. Wonderful misconception.....I wonder who started it?

April 27, 2010 @ 8:20 PM

Mark

Baseball history shows that, beginning as far back as 1884, there were several years where post-season championship games took place. However, they were "hit or miss" until 1903. That year, the National League and the recently-established American League signed a "peace treaty" designed to end the raiding of players by each league's member clubs. Although no mention of a post-season championship series was mentioned, the presidents of the winning Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Pilgrims (known to us as the Red Sox), respectively, came up with the idea of a nine-game, post-season series to show off their teams, establishing the annual event eagerly awaited by baseball fans everywhere.

The 1904 Reach Guide reported on this first official "World's Championship Series," (played in 1903) using a name first coined in 1886 by the Spalding (of athletic equipment fame) Base Ball Guide in reference to the post-season game between Chicago and St. Louis. Spalding's editor noted that since both teams were already "champions of the United States" in their respective leagues, the winner of the post-season games would be "world" champions, hence the "World's Championship Series." Spalding's continued to refer to post-season games by this name, adding that as other nations embraced baseball, their winning teams would participate in the playoffs, turning the "World's Championship Series" into a reality.

April 27, 2010 @ 10:17 PM

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