I realize it took me three tries to pass calculus, but even I know that 5 + 3 = 8 and 5 + 2 = 7. But those right answers look wrong if you’re talking about the World Series. The National League vs. American league playoff has always been a best-of-seven games battle. First team to win four games is declared the Champion.
In the first World Series, 1903, Boston (American League) beat Pittsburg (National League) five to three in a best-of-nine game format.
Since 1905, the World Series has been a best-of-seven playoff except for the three years after World War One when intense interest expanded the Series to its original nine games.
- 1919: Cincinnati over the Chicago White Sox (5-3) (The year of the Black Sox scandal)
- 1920: Cleveland over Brooklyn (5-2)
- 1921: New York Giants over New York Yankees (5-3)
If you’re keeping score, you’ve noted that the World Series wasn’t played in 1904. The Yankees won the NL championship and refused to play Boston because they considered the new (1901) AL to be the minor leagues.
Don’t believe me? You can look it up. As Eddie Bennett, the Yankee’s batboy from 1921 to 1933, said in my story “Good Luck”—“It’s in all the record books.”