The Father of the World Series

As the 2013 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals begins, I felt it would be appropriate to discuss how the World Series started. Before 1903, many attempts were made by baseball to declare a champion between existing leagues. Leagues were made and disappeared throughout the 19th Century. In 1894, Pittsburgh’s owner William Temple offered a championship trophy to the winner of a best-of-seven-game series between the first and second-place teams in the National League. This experiment lasted three years and its popularity became the forerunner of the World Series as we know it today. In 1900, The Pittsburg Pirates were sold to a man named Barney Dreyfuss.


Barney Dreyfuss was born in Freiburg, Germany in 1865. He came to this country as a young man of age 18. Due to his poor health, he was encouraged by his doctor to play the game of baseball. In 1890, Dreyfuss obtained part ownership of the Louisville Colonels, a Major League team in the American Association League. Upon purchasing the Pirates, a team in the National League, he brought with him from the Louisville team future Hall-of-Famers Honus Wagner, Rube Waddell, and Fred Clarke.


With the founding of the American League in 1901, a rivalry between the two leagues was created. The two leagues fought over getting fans and getting players. In 1903, a truce between the two leagues was established. Dreyfuss led the successful battle to obtain a commissioner over both leagues. Dreyfuss was the leading force in establishing a document between the two leagues establishing player procurement and player salaries. Also, the document established the World Series to be played between the top team in each league. Because of his efforts, Barney Dreyfuss was called the “Father of the World Series.


The first World Series was between the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League and the Boston Americans of the American League. The first series was a best of nine-game series. The Boston Americans won the series 5 to 3. Even though the first official World Series was a success, the 1904 series was cancelled. John Brush, president of the National League champion New York Giants, refused to play the Boston Americans. The reason he gave was that the American League was an inferior league. However, through negotiations the series was resumed in 1905 as a best-of-seven series. The New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 4 to 1. The World Series has remained a best-of-seven series. The exception is for the years 1919 to 1921. For those years, it was a best-of-nine game series. There was no 1994 World Series due to a player’s strike.


The contributions of Barney Dreyfuss to baseball led to his induction into the baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He owned the Pittsburg Pirates from 1900 to 1932. He built the first modern steel-frame stadium, Forbes Field, in 1909. His Pirates won the World Series in 1909 and 1925.


If you read my previous blog you saw my new formula for predicting a team’s winning percentage. The formula states a team’s winning percentage is equal to .000683*(runs scored by a team – runs allowed by a team) +.50. Using my formula for this year, the Red Sox were number one with a predicted winning percentage of .6346 and the Cardinals were second with a predicted winning percentage of .6277. I will go with my formula and predict the team that won the first World Series will win the 2013 World Series. Yes, Boston will be the champions.

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