Did anyone of you realize that the 2015 World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals will be the first in the history of the Fall Classic in which expansion teams will face each other?
There have been World Series in which expansion teams played (and even won) like the 1997 edition in which the Florida Marlins took on the Cleveland Indians and won it all in seven games. The 2001 World Series were won by the Arizona Diamondbacks who beat the Yankees in seven.
The first World Series in which an expansion team played was the 1969 edition. The Miracle Mets took on the Baltimore Orioles. After the Giants and the Dodgers left for California in 1958, New York was left without National League baseball.
In 1959 attorney William Shea announced that he wanted to start a third Major League, the Continental League. Eventually the upstart league was cancelled after MLB promised a new New York National League franchise. This would be the Mets. The Mets started playing in 1962.
After trailing the Chicago Cubs by 9.5 games on August 13 but with winning 38 of their last 49 games they overtook the Cubs and finished eight games ahead of the lovable losers. The Mets went on to beat the Atlanta Braves to advance to the World Series and to take on the Baltimore Orioles and to win in five games. How about the Orioles? The Orioles used to be the St.Louis Browns before the owner Bill Veeck was forced to sell the club in 1953 to a Baltimore business interests led by Clarence Miles, who moved the team to Baltimore and named them after the club that eventually would become the New York Yankees.
And even the St. Louis Browns were one of the charter members of the American League as they played the 1901 season as the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Kansas City Royals on their turn saw the light in 1969 as they started to play in the American League East as expansion team. The other expansion team, the Seattle Pilots lasted only one season in that city before they were acquired by a certain Bud Selig and moved to Milwaukee to become the Brewers in 1970.
The name of the Royals originates from the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, rodeo, and championship barbeque competition held annually in Kansas City since 1899. The club was founded by business man Ewing Kauffman. The club was founded after Missouri politics demanded a replacement for the Kansas City Athletics who had moved to Oakland. The story about that part of the history can be found in the link of the Seattle Pilots.
The Royals quickly became a force to be reckoned with as they were play off contenders seven times from 1976 to 1985. They even won it all in seven games in 1985 vs their cross state rivals St. Louis Cardinals.
But for the first time since the very first expansion of Major League in 1961 (when the Angels and the (new) Washington Senators) were added to the American League), two former expansion teams will decide who will be America’s champion.
And even though many, including myself, had hoped for the Cubs to end their 107 year old WS drought, it will be a very unique World Series instead.