THE AMERICAN LEAGUE has the overall lead in the World Series, 59-41, capturing five of the last seven fall classics beginning 1998 and six of nine since 1996. Looking back even further, the American League has been victorious in nine of 13 World Series starting 1991 and 14 of 21 times beginning 1983.
Since 1996, the only National League teams to be crowned World Champions are the Florida Marlins in 1997 and 2003 and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. The last N.L. team who began play prior to 1993 to win a World Series was the Atlanta Braves in 1995.
The two leagues have won the fall classic in alternate years each of the last four seasons following three straight world titles for the New York Yankees from 1998-2000. The National League has been victorious in the odd years (Arizona in 2001; Florida in 2003) with the American League winning in the even campaigns (Anaheim in 2002; Boston in 2004).
NO REPEAT: This will mark the sixth consecutive year that a different team will be crowned World Champion since the Yankees won the last of three straight titles in 2000. That is the longest such streak since nine different teams captured the World Series from 1982-90.
CENTRAL DIVISION SERIES: The winner of the 2005 World Series will come from the Central Division for the first time since the realignment to six divisions in 1994. In ten series since that time prior to 2005, a Central Division Team had advanced to the fall classic just three times: Cleveland from the A.L. in 1995 and 1997 and St. Louis from the N.L. in 2004. All three went down to defeat.
The representation of each division in the World Series since 1995 (Winners in Bold):
|A.L. East||7||(New York: '96, '98, '99, '00, '01, '03; Boston: '04)|
|A.L. Central||3||(Cleveland: '95, '97; Chicago: '05)|
|A.L. West||1||(Anaheim: '02)|
|N.L. East||6||(Atlanta: '95, '96, '99; Florida: '97, '03; New York: '00)|
|N.L. Central||2||(St. Louis: '04; Houston: '05)|
|N.L. West||3||(San Diego: '98; Arizona: '01; San Francisco: '02)|
THE ASTROS won their first National League pennant in their 44th year of existence since joining the league in 1962. That is the longest period of time ever for a franchise to make its first appearance in the fall classic, beginning with the first series in 1903. The previous longest drought was 42 years, by the St. Louis Browns (1903-43) before playing the Cardinals in 1944, and the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels (1961-2001) before facing the Giants in 2002. The Browns were actually in their 44th year of existence in 1944 as a 1901 charter member of the American League.
Houston is the ninth expansion team (beginning 1961) to appear in a World Series:
|Years To First Appearance||Team||1st Year||1st WS Appearance|
|8||New York Mets||1962||1969|
|12||Kansas City Royals||1969||1980|
|14||Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers||1969||1982|
|16||San Diego Padres||1969||1984|
|16||Toronto Blue Jays||1977||1992|
|44||Houston Colt 45's/Astros||1962||2005|
|Has Not Appeared||Washington Senators/Texas Rangers||1961|
|Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals||1969|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays||1998|
THE WHITE SOX have advanced to the World Series for the fifth time, the first since 1959, when the Pale Hose lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. The 45 years that elapsed from 1960-2004 is the longest span ever for a team between appearances in the fall classic. The top five all-time Series droughts:
|Years Between WS||Team||Previous Series||Next Series|
|45||Chicago White Sox||1959||2005|
|39||Chicago White Sox||1919||1959|
MORE CHISOX AND THE SERIES: The White Sox were victorious in their first two trips to the fall classic, defeating the Cubs in 1906 and the Giants in 1917, both in six games. Chicago lost in eight games to the Reds in the scandal plagued 1919 Series and to the Dodgers in six games in 1959.
Of the original 16 major league franchises, the White Sox' 87 years since a World Series victory ranks as the second longest streak all-time. The Cubs last won in 1908. The Boston Red Sox ended an 85-year drought (1919-2003) with their victory in 2004.
The White Sox are 13-13 in 26 lifetime Series games,. In home games, the Pale Hose are 7-6, 1-2 at South Side Park in 1906 and 6-4 in three Series at Old Comiskey Park. Chicago has dropped its last two Series home contests since Early Wynn defeated the Dodgers on October 1, 1959.
TWO GOOD ROUNDS: The White Sox have lost just one game in this postseason in sweeping Boston in the Division Series and defeating Los Angeles in five games in the ALCS. Since the advent of the Division Series in 1995, only two other teams have entered a World Series with a 7-1 record in that postseason, Atlanta in 1995 and the Yankees in 1999. Both went on to win the World Championship.
SERIES IN CHICAGO: Saturday's game will be the 41st World Series game played in the city of Chicago, third highest behind New York (188) and St. Louis (52). In addition to the White Sox' 26 game games, the Cubs are 7-19-1 in 27 home Series contests.
WILD CARD ENTRY: The Astros are the seventh World Series participant after qualifying for the playoffs as a Wild Card team, the fifth in the last four years. The others are the Florida Marlins in 1997 and 2003, the New York Mets in 2000, both the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants in 2002, and the Boston Red Sox in 2004. After Florida won in 1997, Wild Cards have captured the last three World Series, the Angels in 2002, the Marlins again in 2003, and the Red Sox in 2004.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: The team with the home field advantage (hosting 4 of possible 7 games) has been victorious in 16 of the last 19 World Series beginning in 1985. The exceptions were 1992 (Toronto over Atlanta), 1999 (New York over Atlanta), and 2003 (Florida over New York). The A.L. has won the World Series on 11 of the last 12 occasions with the home field advantage, the exception being the Yankees in 2003.
THE AMERICAN LEAGUE owns the home field advantage in the World Series for the fourth straight season after defeating the National League in the All-Star Game in Detroit. The series opened in Anaheim in the last year of the regular rotation in 2002 and American League wins in the All-Star Games in 2003, 2004, and 2005 have given the Junior Circuit weekend Series dates each year.
NO LEAGUE HAD THE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE in more than two straight World Series prior to this since the National League hosted Game One in five straight fall classics from 1918-22. The Cubs had the home field advantage on regular rotation in 1918, and a coin flip was used to determine home field advantage for the next several years. In 1919, Cincinnati won the flip to give the N.L. the first two games. In 1920, the Cleveland Indians won the flip, but the team's ownership gave the first three home games to the Brooklyn Dodgers, determining their home field was nit ready. In 1921 and 1922, entire World Series was played at the Polo Grounds with the Giants and Yankees alternating games as the home team.
PHIL GARNER has guided the Astros to their first World Series appearance in his first full season at the helm. It is also Garner's first managerial appearance in the fall classic.
OZZIE GUILLEN makes his first World Series appearance as a manager in his second season with the White Sox. He was the third base coach for the World Champion Florida Marlins in 2003. Guillen, born in Ocumare del Tuy, Venezuela, is also just the second World Series manager born outside the United States. Bruce Bochy, who took San Diego to the fall classic in 1998, was born in France.
YOUNG SERIES MANAGER: Guillen is 41 years, 9 months, 1 day old tonight, the youngest World Series manager since Minnesota's Tom Kelly was 41 years, 2 months, 12 days on October, 27, 1991, Game 7 vs. Atlanta.
SERIES PLAYERS AND MANAGERS Garner and Guillen are the 40th and 41st individuals to play and manage in a World Series. Garner was the starting second baseman on the 1979 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Guillen appeared in three games for the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 Series against New York.
FIRST GAME WINNERS: The winner of the first game of the World Series has gone on to win the fall classic 60 times (60%). That has been the case in seven of the last eight World Series beginning 1997 with 2002 (San Francisco defeating Anaheim) the lone exception. It has also occurred in nine of the last 11 and 14 of the last 17 series. In addition to San Francisco, the only other exceptions in the last 17 fall classics were both by Atlanta, first game winners vs. Toronto in 1992 and New York in 1996 but losers of each Series in six games.
GAME ONE STARTERS
ROGER CLEMENS will start the Astros first World Series Game ever tonight, his third start and fourth overall appearance of this postseason. Tonight marks his 33rd career postseason start, tying teammate Andy Pettitte for the most in history. He is 2-1, 4.50 in his three outings in the Division Series and LCS. It will be his eighth career World Series appearance, all starts, and the righthander is 3-0, 1.90 (10 er/47.1 ip) in those contests. Clemens' victories all came in a New York uniform at Yankee Stadium, Game 4 in 1999 vs. Atlanta, Game 2 in 2000 against the Mets; and Game 3 in 2001 vs. Arizona. He is tied for tenth in World Series history with 48 strikeouts, matching Christy Mathewson, one behind Waite Hoyt.
40-SOMETHING STARTER: Clemens will start tonight's game at the age of is 43 years, 2 month, 18 days, becoming the second oldest pitcher to ever start a World Series Game. The list of oldest starters:
|46 yrs., 3 mos., 7 days||Jack Quinn||Philadelphia (AL)||10/12/29-4||ND|
|43 yrs., 2 mos., 18 days||ROGER CLEMENS||Houston (NL)||10/22/05-1||---|
|41 yrs., 7 mos., 13 days||Grover Cleveland Alexander||St. Louis (NL)||10/9/28-4||ND|
|41 yrs., 2 mos., 18 days||Roger Clemens||New York (AL)||10/22/03-4||ND|
|40 yrs., 5 mos., 14 days||Dennis Martinez||Cleveland||10/28/95-6||ND|
|40 yrs., 5 mos., 8 days||Dennis Martinez||Cleveland||10/22/95-2||L|
|40 yrs., 4 mos., 29 days||Rick Reuschel||San Francisco||10/15/89-2||L|
|40 yrs., 4 mos., 28 days||David Wells||New York (AL)||10/18/03-1||L|
WINNING AFTER 40: The only pitchers to win a World Series game after turning 40 are Dolf Luque, 43 years, 2 months, 3 days when he defeated Washington in relief for the Giants in the 5th and deciding game of the 1933 World Series on October 7 and John Franco, 40 years, one month, 7 days when he defeated the Yankees in relief with the Mets on October 24, 2000, Game 3. 40-year pitchers are 2-4, 4.60 (31 er/60.2 ip) in 28 career Series appearances.
THREE HUNDRED GAME WINNER: The Rocket is one of six pitchers to start a World Series game with at least 300 career wins. He joined that list in 2003 with his Game 3 start for the Yankees vs. Florida.
300-GAME WINNERS TO APPEAR IN THE WORLD SERIES
|Pitcher||Team||Date of 300th Win||World Series||Record|
|Cy Young||Boston (AL)||7/6/01||1903||2-1, 1.85, 3 starts/3 cg|
|Christy Mathewson||New York (AL)||7/5/12||1912; 1913||1-3, 1.13, 5 starts/5 cg|
|Walter Johnson||Washington||5/29/20||1924; 1925||3-3, 2.16, 6 games/5 st/5 cg|
|Grover Alexander||St. Louis (NL)||9/20/24||1926; 1928||2-1, 4.97, 3 starts/2 cg|
|Steve Carlton||Philadelphia||9/23/83||1983||0-1, 2.70, 1 start|
|ROGER CLEMENS||New York (AL)||6/13/03||2003||0-0, 3.86, 1 start|
Alexander was the last 300-game winner to win a World Series Game, October 9, 1926, Game 6 for the Cardinals against the Yankees.
STARTS WITH THREE TEAMS: Clemens will be the fifth pitcher to start a World Series game with three different teams tomorrow night:
|Joe Bush||Philadelphia (AL)||1913; 1914|
|New York (AL)||1922; 1923|
|Danny Jackson||Kansas City||1985|
|New York (AL)||1999; 2000; 2001; 2003|
Clemens will be the 18th pitcher to start a Series game in both leagues with Schilling in 2004 being the last to accomplish the feat.
JOSE CONTRERAS starts his first World Series Game on Saturday night. The righthander is 2-1, 2.88 in three starts of this postseason, winning Game 1 of the Division Series vs. Boston and going 1-1 in the ALCS against Anaheim. Overall, it is Contreras' second appearance in the fall classic. He made four relief appearances for the Yankees in 2003 vs. Florida, posting a 5.68 era and taking the loss in Game 5.
Contreras becomes the 6th native of Cuba to start a World Series game:
|Camilio Pascual||Minnesota||1965||Los Angeles||3|
|Mike Cuellar||Baltimore||1969||New York (NL)||1, 4|
|Luis Tiant||Boston||1975||Cincinnati||1, 4, 6|
|Livan Hernandez||Florida||1997||Cleveland||1, 5|
|San Francisco||2002||Anaheim||3, 7|
|Orlando Hernandez||New York (AL)||1998||San Diego||2|
|2000||New York (NL)||3|
STARTING ALL THREE OPENERS: Contreras, who earned victories in Game 1 of the Division Series vs. Boston and the ALCS opener against Anaheim, will be the fourth pitcher to start three openers in a single postseason since the Division Series started in 1995:
|David Wells||New York (AL)||1998||DS/Texas||W|
|Orlando Hernandez||New York (AL)||1999||DS/Texas|
|NLCS/New York Mets||W|
|WS/New York Yankees||L|
|Jose Contreras||Chicago (AL)||2005||DS/Boston||W|
|WS/Chicago White Sox||--|
GOING THE DISTANCE: The White Sox enter the World Series opener with a string of four consecutive complete game victories in this postseason as Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia, and Jose Contreras each went the route in ALCS Games 2-5, respectively against the Los Angeles Angels. Notes on that accomplishment:
The four complete games are the most by one club in a single postseason since the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 (2 LCS; 2 WS).
It is the first time that a team has recorded four consecutive complete games in a single postseason since the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series, Games 3-6, vs. Brooklyn.
It is the first time that a team has recorded four consecutive complete game victories in a single postseason since the New York Yankees in the 1928 World Series, Games 1-4, vs. St. Louis.
It is the first time that a team has recorded four consecutive complete game victories by four different pitchers in a single postseason since the Chicago Cubs in the 1907 World Series, Games 2-5, vs. Detroit.
The last team with at least five complete games in a single postseason was the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series, Games 1 and 3-6. Prior to that, it had not been accomplished since Detroit pitchers recorded 5 cgs in the 1935 World Series. The record for complete games in a World Series for one team is 7, by the Boston Pilgrims in an 8-game series in 1903. Other than that series, the record is 6, done 3 times, last by the New York Yankees in 1921.
A team has pitched five consecutive complete games in the postseason 4 times beginning in 1905, the last by the Boston Red Sox in the 1915 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Games 1-5.
KILLER B'S IN THE SERIES: The longtime Houston Astros duo of Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell will each make the first World Series appearances of their careers. The pair ranks first and third on the all-time list of most regular season games played before a first World Series appearance:
|Regular Season Games||Player||Team||First WS Appearance|
|2439||Barry Bonds||San Francisco||2002|
|2112||Tim Raines||New York (AL)||1996|
|2105||Lave Cross||Philadelphia (AL)||1905|
HOUSTON AT HOME: The National League awarded the expansion franchise to the City of Houston on October 17, 1960. That action took place at an owners meeting right here in Chicago, at the Sheraton Blackstone Hotel.
2005 WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE
|1||Saturday, October 22||U.S. Cellular Field||7:03 p.m. CDT|
|2||Sunday, October 23||U.S. Cellular Field||7:10 p.m. CDT|
|Monday, October 24||OFF DAY|
|3||Tuesday, October 25||Minute Maid Park||7:38 p.m. CDT|
|4||Wednesday, October 26||Minute Maid Park||7:33 p.m. CDT|
|*5||Thursday, October 27||Minute Maid Park||7:28 p.m. CDT|
|Friday, October 28||OFF DAY|
|*6||Saturday, October 29||U.S. Cellular Field||7:58 p.m. CDT|
|*7||Sunday, October 30||U.S. Cellular Field||8:13 p.m. CDT|
2005 WORLD SERIES PROBABLE PITCHERS (Records listed are regular season/postseason)
Game 1 at Chicago-ROGER CLEMENS (13-8, 1.87/2-1, 4.50) vs. JOSE CONTRERAS (15-7, 3.61/2-1, 2.88)
Game 2 at Chicago-ANDY PETTITTE (17-9, 2.39/1-1, 4.66) vs. MARK BUEHRLE (16-8, 3.12/2-0, 2.81)
Game 3 at Houston- JON GARLAND (18-10, 3.50/1-0, 2.00)vs. ROY OSWALT (20-12, 2.94/3-0, 2.11)
Game 4 at Houston- FREDDY GARCIA (14-8, 3.87/2-0, 3.21) vs. BRANDON BACKE (10-8, 4.76/0-0, 4.91)
WORLD SERIES EXPERIENCE: There are nine players in the 2005 World Series with previous experience in the fall classic: Houston-Roger Clemens (Boston-1986; New York Yankees-1998-2001 and 2003); Orlando Palmeiro (Anaheim-2002); Andy Pettitte (New York Yankees-1996; 1998-2001 and 2003); Russ Springer (Atlanta-1999); and Jose Vizcaino (New York Yankees-2000); Chicago-Jose Contreras (New York Yankees-2003); Jermaine Dye (Atlanta-1996); Orlando Hernandez (New York Yankees-1998-2001); and Timo Perez (New York Mets-2000).
WORLD SERIES WITH THREE TEAMS: Roger Clemens is the 32nd player to appear on a World Series roster withy at least three different teams. Lonnie Smith is the only player to be on a World Series roster with four different clubs.
CHARLIE WILLIAMS HONORED: In memory of the late National League umpire Charlie Williams, the six umpires working the 2005 World Series will wear patches with the initials "CW" on their sleeves. Williams, who passed away in September of this year, worked the 1993 fall classic.
RECORD ATTENDANCE: A total of 74,915,268 fans attended Major League Baseball games in the 2005 regular season, representing a 2.6 percent increase over the previous record of 73,022,969 in 2004. The average attendance of 30,970 fans per game is an increase from the figure of 30,401 in 2004.
Six clubs topped the three million mark, 16 teams attracted at least 2.5 million, and 24 drew more than two million. In addition, Minor League Baseball set its total attendance record for the second straight season by attracting 41,333,279 fans, marking a 3.6 percent increase. Major and Minor League Baseball had a total of 116,248,547 fans attending games in 2005.
SATURDAY'S PRE-GAME EVENTS:
FIRST PITCH: Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio, the starting shortstop on the White Sox' last World Series team in 1959 and Venezuelan legend. He will be joined on-field by five other members of the 1959 Go-Go Sox, OF Jim Landis, C J.C. Martin, P Billy Pierce, OF Jim Rivera, and P Bob Shaw.
STAR SPANGLED BANNER: Reprise Recording Artist Josh Groban.
GOD BLESS AMERICA: Recording Artist Liz Phair, a native of Chicago..
SUNDAY'S PRE-GAME EVENTS:
FIRST PITCH: Former Chicago White Sox standout Bo Jackson (1991-93)
STAR SPANGLED BANNER: Grammy award winner Lou Rawls
GOD BLESS AMERICA: Trumpeter Chris Botti
DELIVERING THE FIRST PITCH: Prior to every World Series Game, one youth from a local chapter of Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) in the host city will deliver the game ball to the mound. Tonight the first pitch ball will be delivered by Ruben Cortez, age 14, of the Union League Boys & Girls Club in Chicago. BGCA is the Official Charity of Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball is leveraging the postseason to raise money and awareness to help build housing for the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita through Habitat for Humanity International under the banner "Major League Baseball Rebuilds at the 2005 World Series." Game Three will have a special theme to highlight the second phase of the Major League Baseball overall hurricane relief effort. In addition, the Chicago White Sox will support the hurricane relief efforts through the Chicago White Sox Charities "Sox Split," an in-stadium raffle held every White Sox home game to benefit Chicago White Sox Charities. The White Sox will donate half of the net money collected for its Charities to Habitat for Humanity International. Major League Baseball and the White Sox will honor the winner of the Join the Major Leagues @ your libraryâ contest prior to Game One of the World Series. This year's winner - 10 year-old Lauren Hochstadt from Roselle, Illinois - and her parents will receive tickets to Game One and an in-stadium visit from Sharon Robinson, daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. The Join the Major Leagues @ your library contest is a nationwide, online baseball trivia competition that encourages participants to utilize the resources available at the library to answer a series of baseball-related questions.
OUTER SPACE AND THE BLUES
In honor of the Astros making their maiden voyage to the World Series and the White Sox their first since 1917, the Hall of Fame offers the all "Blues" and "Space Travel" teams...Incidentally, the only Hall of Famer to play for both franchises? Joe Morgan....And a special salute to Denny Harriger who had a cup of coffee (or perhaps space ice cream) with the Tigers in 1998....Harriger was born July 21, 1969, the day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
|Catcher Hal "BB" King||Catcher Joe Astroth|
|First base Andre "Big Mama" Thornton||First base Tyler Houston|
|Second base Steve Sax||Second base George "Mercury" Myatt|
|Shortstop Robert Johnson & Arky "Stevie Ray" Vaughn||Shortstop Craig "Space" Shipley|
|Third base Buddy "Smiley" Lewis||Third base Mike "Moonman" Shannon|
|Outfield Larry T'Bone" Walker||Outfield Steve "Orbit" Hovely|
|Outfield Reggie Bessie" Smith||Outfield Wally Moon|
|Pitcher Randy "Howlin" Wolf||Pitcher Tony "Apollo of the Box" Mullane|
|Pitcher Fred "Muddy" Waters||Pitcher John "Blue Moon" Odom|
|Pitcher Ron "Louisiana Lightning" Guidry||Pitcher Roger "Rocket" Clemens|
|Pitcher Jack "Mississippi Fred" McDowell||Pitcher "Buzz" Capra|
|Pitcher "Little" Walter Johnson||Pitcher Bill "Booster" Greason|
|DH Reggie "Blind Lemon" Jefferson|
2005 OFFICIAL PROGRAM: The 2005 World Series Program sold here in Chicago features White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle on the cover. Features in the program include an historical look at the greatness of Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, and Pedro Martinez and a preview of the inaugural World Baseball Classic. The publication also includes entire sections on both the Astros and White Sox. The program can be purchased on-line at mlb.com.
SHUTTLE BUSES IN CHICAGO: For Games One and Two in Chicago, shuttle buses will run from the World Series hotels to U.S. Cellular Field every 30 minutes beginning six hours before gametime. Shuttles will return to the hotels from U.S. Cellular Field beginning one hour after the game until two hours after the game from Lot A and until four hours after the game from Gate 2. The World Series hotels are the Hilton Chicago, The Palmer House Downtown, and the Chicago Marriott Downtown.
WORLD SERIES SHORTS: Houston's JEFF BAGWELL and injured Chicago 1B FRANK THOMAS were born on the same day, May 27, 1968...ANDY PETTITTE, Houston's starter on Sunday has 14 career wins in the postseason (DS-5; LCS-6; WS-3), one shy of the all-time record held by JOHN SMOLTZ, who has recorded all 15 of his postseason victories with Atlanta...It will be Pettitte's 34th career postseason start, the most ever...ROGER CLEMENS makes his 33rd start tonight.