Why do we call the final baseball series, the World Series? Fred asked: We play the World Series in the USA but no teams we play are outside the United States. Also how did the World Series get it\’s name? Rick answered: Fred, thank you for your question. The following information is provided by: In 1904, Reach Guide reported on the first official \”World Championship Series\”, played in 1903, using a name first coined in 1886 by the Spalding(of athletic equipment fame) Baseball Guide, in reference to the post-season game between Chicago and St. Louis. Spaldings editor noted that since both teams were already \”Champions of the United States\” in their respective leagues, the winner of the post-season games would be \”world\” champions, hence the \”World Championship Series\”. Spalding continued to refer to post-season games by this name, adding that as other nations embraced baseball, their winning teams would participate in the playoffs, turing the \”World\’s Championship Series\” into a reality. Although this never happened, the name remained in use, becoming shorter as time passed. This was most evident in the Reach and Spalding Guides, both of which referred, over the years, to the \”World\’s Series\” and eventually the \”World Series\”.
In the 1930\’s, these guides merged, ceasing publication in 1941, when they were replaced by The Sporting News Guide, who used \”World\’s Series\” from 1942 through 1963, switching to the \”World Series\” in 1964. Yours in baseball,
So, first, a little history of Major League Baseball that will help you understand. The rules of the modern game were first codified by a club of New Yorkers in 1845, the Knickerbockers. Their rules made the game faster than base-ball games had been up to that point (the three strikes rule and the fair/foul rule were significant improvements), and the popularity of the game spread rapidly, and was solidified as a national game when soldiers during the Civil War taught it to each other and to prisoners. Even before the war, organized baseball clubs were being formed around the country and became a popular spectator sport. Fans started being charged admission for the more popular teams, and once money was in the mix, it wasn t long before team organizers saw the value in getting better players on their teams, and started paying the best players salaries (under the table, of course).
It wasn t until 1869 that the Cincinnati Reds became openly professional (and went on to win every game until finally losing in 1870. which basically wrecked the popularity of the team). But the Reds had shown that people would pay to see an openly professional team, and soon other teams became openly professional, and formed the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. The National Association existed from 1871-1875, and was dominated by the Boston Red Stockings (who were basically the same team as the 1869 Cincinnati Reds, and would ultimately become the Boston, then Milwaukee, and now Atlanta Braves). The league was plagued by inconsistent scheduling, players hopping from team to team, and questionable competitive integrity (professional ball players made good money, but not so much that they wouldn t take money from gamblers to intentionally lose a game). In 1876 several team owners came together and decided to change the power structure by forming the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, which had strict rules for admission, mandated that teams play a complete schedule (and in the early years they expelled teams that didn t complete their schedule), imposed harsh rules restricting player movement (that would remain in place until after the 1975 season), and banished for all time any player found to have intentionally lost a game.
It was so successful that before a decade had passed a competitor league, the American Association had formed, and quickly became popular due to their lower ticket prices, willingness to play on Sundays, and sale of alcohol to fans. By 1884 they were a legitimate challenge to the superiority of the National League, and the two leagues agreed to have their respective champions play each other at the end of the season. So, at this point baseball was only played professional in the United States, so the series was legitimately considered the world championship of professional baseball, and thus called the World s Championship Series, later colloquially shorted to World s Series and ultimately World Series. This continued until 1890, when the players rebelled against management s restrictive practices and formed their own league, the Players League.
Unfortunately, three leagues were too many for the country, and the Players League folded after one season, while the American Association collapsed a year later. The National League absorbed the best teams from two leagues, and for a few years in the 1890s the top two teams in the league played each other for the Temple Cup. In 1901 Ban Johnson converted the minor league Western League into the major league American League, and after two years of war with each other, the AL and NL agreed to cooperate and play a postseason series against each other, which again incorporated the World Series name, though that wasn t official at first. So, the TL,DR version is: it was the World s Championship Series when it was first established, and at the time it was an appropriate name because nobody else played professional baseball. By the time other countries (most notably Japan) started playing high level professional baseball, the World Series name was already established as the name of the Major League Baseball championship, and is only thought of as that.