However, there have been some changes since 1903. For many years, things were simple. Both leagues only had eight or 10 teams each. The team with the best regular season record in the National League will play the team with the best regular season record in the American League for the World Series.
In 1969, the leagues expanded to 12 teams and split into two divisions of six teams. The division champions in each league played each other to see who would move on to the World Series.
As MLB has added more teams (there are now 30), they have added more divisions and wild card teams to the playoffs. Wild-Card teams are the teams that make the playoffs because they have good regular season records but haven’t won their division.
This season, 12 teams have played 34 playoff games before the start of the World Series.
The second big change is that for years, World Series matches were only played during the day. The first World Series game played on night was October 13, 1971, when the Baltimore Orioles played the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 4 of the World Series.
Night games were great for TV ratings and MLB made more money, but they weren’t great for kids. Baseball’s biggest game of the year now starts at 8 p.m. ET and lasts more than three hours. This means that they will end too late for many children to stay awake, especially on a school night.
Maybe MLB should have a World Series game or two during the day so the kids can see all nine innings. And maybe even grow up to be a baseball fan.
Finally, the World Championship was known as the “October Classic”. But now with all the wild games and playoff games, the 2022 World Series will extend into November.
I think people in MLB aren’t worried about what will happen if the Minnesota Twins or Detroit Tigers reach the World Series again. Early November night matches in those northern cities can get chilly for players and fans.
The World Series has changed over the years, but some things have stayed the same. Two teams still play matches for one championship. Games where something exciting and unexpected is sure to happen. So finish your homework early and take a few rounds.