This is our old blog. It hasn't been active since 2011. Please see the link above for our current blog or click the logo above to see all of the great data and content on this site.

A Visual Look at World Series History

Posted by Raphy on October 24, 2010

Just for kicks, I thought it might be interesting to chart the World Series to get a sense of who won and how. To do this I simply used the PI to find all the "Last" WS games each season won by the AL, and all the "Last" WS games won each season by the NL and combined them using Excel. Here is the result. The number refers to the number of games in the WS. Positive numbers mean that the AL won, while negative numbers mean the NL won.

11 Responses to “A Visual Look at World Series History”

  1. BSK Says:

    The 8's refer to the times when it was a 9-game series, I assume. But why are there no 9's? Did those series never get to a 9th game?

  2. Raphy Says:

    There was never a series that was 5-4

  3. Frank Clingenpeel Says:


    Never. Even the infamous "Black Sox" Series of 1919 ended 5-3, and the Best-Of-Nine format was abandoned after 1920.

  4. Raphy Says:

    after 1921

  5. Douglas Says:

    It seems the AL sweeps a lot more often than the NL does.

  6. TheGoof Says:

    It's interesting that the AL won all but two Series from 1910-1920, and those two are such bizarre cases -- the Miracle Braves and the Black Sox. As I read somewhere recently, people forget that the White Sox were in part massive favorites because it was taken for granted that the AL champ would win.

  7. Leatherman Says:

    The last seven World Series have not had the drama of a game 7. Last season was the only one of the last seven where there was even a game 6. Since the Giants and Angels played a game 7 in 2002, there have been three 4-0 sweeps, three 4-1 series, and the 4-2 series last year.

    From 1955-1960, five of the six World Series went to a game 7. The only one that didn't still went to a game 6.

    The current seven year drought of a World Series game 7 is the longest in the history of the game.

  8. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    In World Series that have gone five, seven or eight games, the NL and AL are tied, 32 series wins apiece.

    In World Series that have gone four or six games, the AL leads the NL, 30 series wins to 11.

    The AL has won the last five sweeps going back to 1998. The AL also won all eight of the pre-1940 Series that went exactly six games.

  9. DoubleDiamond Says:

    My first exposure to the World Series was in 1959, when the series went six games. But then it didn't go six games again until 1977. From 1960 through 1976, there were an awful lot of 7-game series, with a handful of sweeps and 5-game series thrown in there.

    1960-1975 World Series lengths:
    7 games - 1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975
    5 games - 1961, 1969, 1970, 1974
    4 games - 1963, 1966, 1976

    Then, four of the next six World Series went six games, and the other two went seven games:
    6 games - 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981
    7 games - 1979, 1982

    Incidentally, of all of the World Series played between 1960 and 2009, the 1982 World Series is the one that I know least about. I was involved in a lot of other things that year and didn't have a chance to follow it closely. The writers Roger Angell and Thomas Boswell have issued collections of articles and columns in book form that cover many of the World Series in the time during which I have followed baseball, but both skipped over that particular World Series. I do know that in a match-up of Midwestern brewery cities, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4 games to 3. Also, I know that despite being on the losing side, Paul Molitor (who would have another great World Series 11 years later) set some kind of hitting record.

  10. Johnny Twisto Says:

    '82 is the first Series I have some recollection of. I actually don't even remember the Series itself, just talking about it months later.

  11. Stu B Says:

    I would like to know how often the same team won games 6 and 7 vs the teams splitting those two seems like it happens more often than not, but I remember doing an analysis of this in 1996 and finding about a 50-50 split, but I'm not sure I'm remembering looks like there have only been 3 7-game series since then, so it probably hasn't changed...has anyone else looked into this?