Thursday, October 22, 2015


We are not going to have an "all Midwestern World Series" this year, thanks to the New York Mets. (Which, from one perspective, is regrettable, as we tend to think that the Chicago Cubs, with math-meth-"magician" Joe Maddon at the helm, would have made a better story had they wound up doing in the World Series what they just did in the NLCS. (All the better for Theo Epstein's self-burnishing "legacy," don't you know.)

But snark is just a side dish here--the question that we are asking here (though the title of the post isn't quite in sync with it...) is how many World Series have there been with all-Midwestern teams facing off against each other?

When, for example, was the last "all-Midwestern" World Series?

Answer: 2006, when the St. Louis Cardinals swept the Detroit Tigers (thanks, in part, to some wild throwing--to first base--by Tigers relief pitchers).

We'll have some charts on this tomorrow, but let's at least answer the basic question here. First, however, let's anatomize the categories that exist for a geographic rendering of the World Series.

For many years, there were only two such categories--East and Midwest. Franchise movement altered that configuration in the fifties, with the West coming into the MLB picture in 1958 (Dodgers and Giants to the coast). The first expansion added the South, with Houston (particularly with their original "south-western" nickname, the Colt .45's). The South added more teams via franchise movement in the sixties (Braves) and seventies (Rangers), and would later on colonize Florida.

The West would add teams via expansion (Angels, Padres, Pilots--later replaced by the Mariners), eventually adding Arizona and Colorado. The A's would move to Oakland.

So, from the original possible categories of East-East (EE), East-Midwest (EM) and Midwest-Midwest (MM) that still operated by themselves as late as 1957, we have further categories of East-West (EW), Midwest-West (MW), West-West (WW), East-South (ES), Midwest-South (MS) and West-South (WS) that came into existence as MLB expanded.

The answer to the basic question--how many "all-Midwestern" (MM) World Series have there been--is fifteen. There have been five since the first year of expansion (1961):

2006 STL-DET
1987 STL-MIN
1985 STL-KCR
1982 STL-MIL
1968 STL-DET

That's rather monolithic for the NL representative, come to think of it....

More tomorrow...stay tuned.