World Series

2006 MLB World Series

Congratulations to all the participants in the 2006 World Series and especially to the players and fans of the St. Louis Cardinals, who won the national championship by defeating the Detroit Tigers four games to one.

Major League Baseball's World Series of 2006 matched the American League's Detroit Tigers against the National League's St. Louis Cardinals. If you were a Tigers fan, you may have been [happiliy] stunned with disbelief to see your team even make the playoffs; after all, only three years earlier, Detroit had recorded an excruciating 43 wins and 119 losses. If you were rooting for the Cardinals, you just knew you were due for a “Red October,” having been overrun by the Boston Red Sox in 2004, and just squeezed out of your shot at the Series by the Houston Astros in 2005. This despite the fact that, in 2006, the Cardinals’ streaky regular season had included a mere 83 wins, the lowest win total of any team to go all the way in the World Series.

The Tigers had some powerful batters like Sean Casey, who had a Series average of .529, but other hot bats went cold, and Placido Polanco, hero of the ASCS, was hitless in 17 tries. Tiger pitchers posted a collective 3.00 ERA with their excellent throws to the plate; on the other hand, they set a record for errors, with a costly one in every game. So, the St. Louis Cardinals, considered a 12-to-1 shot by oddsmakers, ended up with the winning it all in front of ecstatic fans in the brand new Busch Stadium. In Game 5, following eight innings of solid pitching by Jeff Weaver, rookie closer Adam Wainwright struck out Brandon Inge for a save – and a World Series ring. Shortstop David Eckstein batted his way to the Most Valuable Player trophy.

Whenever the entire season comes down to two competitors hungry for victory, fans can expect dramatic battles in every game. So come October of 2007 you'll want get your tickets for the thrill of being right in the park and witnessing the piece of history that is the World Series!

How did all this World Series history begin? The first World Series between the AL and NL was in 1903. The World Series began when Pittsburgh of the older National League (founded in 1876) invited Boston of the American League (founded in 1901) to play a best-of-9 game series to determine which of the two league champions was the best.

Boston was the surprise winner, 5 games to 3. The 1904 NL champion New York Giants refused to play Boston the following year, so there was no Series. Giants' owner John T. Brush and his manager John McGraw both despised AL president Ban Johnson and considered the junior circuit to be a minor league. By the following year, however, Brush and Johnson had smoothed out their differences and the Giants agreed to play Philadelphia in a best-of-7 game series. Since then the World Series has been a best-of-7 format, except from 1919-21 when it returned to best-of-9.

The 1904 NL champion New York Giants refused to play Boston the following year, so there was no Series.

In 1922 the World Series was broadcast over the radio for the first time. In 1947 the first World Series was televised locally for the first time.

The 1951 World Series was broadcast coast to coast for the first time. The World Series was played between the two New York teams. The New York Giants lost to the Yankees 4-2. Willie Mays had only four hits in the loss.

The World Series was cancelled for only the second time in 1994 due to the players' strike.

Going into the 2005 post season, the New York Yankees have won the World Series 26 times. With their win in 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals have now surpassed the Philadelphia-Oakland A's nine World Series triumphs. The Brooklyn-Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox each have six under their belt, while the Cincinnati Reds, New York-San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates have five to their credit.

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