Baseball is America’s past time, and whether you love it or hate it, you can’t miss hearing about it this week. The World Series is all over the news, because the two teams competing for the title have the longest running drought since their last World Series victories. The Chicago Cubs last won the series in 1908; they haven’t even played in the series since 1945. The Cleveland Indians last won the World Series in 1948. The matchup between these two teams is the longest combined championship drought, 174 years, in World Series history. Regardless of which team you are rooting for, there are some fun facts about the Cubs, the Indians and the World Series.
- When the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series in 1945 there were only 46 states and neither TV nor radio had yet been invented.
- The best pitcher on the 1908 Cubs was Mordecai “Three Fingers” Brown. He was paid $3500, which is roughly the equivalent of $50,000 to $75,000 today.
- While tickets are topping the $7,000 mark for this weeks games at Wrigley Field, the first World Series tickets, played in 1903, cost $1.
- The second World Series should have been played in 1904, however, the two competing teams refused to play each other due to a bitter rivalry. The New York Giants, now the San Francisco Giants, would not play the Boston Americans, who later became the Boston Red Sox.
- From 1969 to 1989, the Cleveland Indians finished last or second to last in 16 of 21 seasons. They were in 3rd to last place for the remaining five seasons.
- The New York Yankees have played in 153 World Series games since the Chicago Cubs have played in one.
- It wasn’t until 1971 that the World Series held its first night game. It became apparent to someone in baseball that people could not watch TV at work or at school and finally played a weekday game in the evening. It was so popular that by 1973 all weekday World Series games were played at night.
- The most expensive World Series rings were those given to the 2003 Marlins. They were appraised for approximately $40,000.
- The shortest game was in 1908; the Chicago Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers in one hour and 25 minutes. The longest was in 2005 when the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros in a game that ran over five hours and 41 minutes.
- When the first World Series was played in 1903 between Boston and Pittsburgh, a train ride between the two cities took 23 hours.
So, cheer on your favorite team. In a week one team will no longer be in one of the two longest World Series droughts.