Giants catcher Buster Posey is the only player to win an MVP Award and play on a World Series championship team in the same year -- 2012 -- in the past 25 seasons.
Voting for the Baseball Writers' Association of America awards is completed before the first game of the postseason, and as the number of teams in the postseason has expanded, the number of MVPs who have even participated in the World Series has dropped.
Posey is the only MVP to play on a World Series champion since the addition of the Division Series in 1995, and there have only been four other MVPs in those 19 years who have even played in the World Series: Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, who lost to the Giants in 2012; Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, who lost to the Giants in 2010; Barry Bonds of the Giants, who lost to the Angels in 2002; and Chipper Jones of the Braves, who lost to the Yankees in 1999.
Here's a look at the breakdown of postseason representation by MVPs in the expanding eras of postseason play:
Three/four rounds (1995-2013) *
1 of 19 World Series champions featured an MVP from that year, 5.3 percent.
5 of 38 World Series participants featured an MVP from that year, 13.2 percent.
15 of 19 World Series did not feature an MVP from that year, 78.9 percent.
1 of 19 World Series featured the MVP of both leagues from that year; 5.3 percent.
3 of 19 World Series featured only one MVP from that year, 15.8 percent.
* Wild Card Games introduced in 2012
Two rounds (1969-93) *
8 of 25 World Series champions featured an MVP from that year, 32 percent.
22 of 50 World Series participants featured an MVP from that year, 44 percent.
8 of 25 World Series did not feature an MVP from that year, 32 percent.
5 of 25 World Series featured the MVP of both leagues from that year; 20 percent.
12 of 25 World Series featured only one MVP from that year, 48 percent.
* no postseason was played in 1994
World Series only (1931-68) *
29 of 38 World Series champions featured an MVP from that year, 76.3 percent.
53 of 76 World Series participants featured an MVP from that year, 69.7 percent.
5 of 38 World Series did not feature an MVP from that year, 13.2 percent.
20 of 38 World Series featured the MVP of both leagues from that year; 52.6 percent.
13 of 38 World Series featured only one MVP from that year, 34.2 percent.
* BBWAA did not institute MVP voting until 1931
Giants right-hander Tim Hudson leads active pitchers with 214 regular-season victories. At the age of 39, however, he will be making his World Series debut in Game 3 against the Royals at AT&T Park tonight (7:30 p.m. ET airtime, 8:07 first pitch on FOX).
Hudson and Bartolo Colon, who is third on the wins list among pitchers who appeared during the 2014 season, are the only pitchers among the top 13 on the list who had never been in a World Series before this year.
The other 11 are a combined 7-10 with a 4.19 ERA in 28 postseason appearances, 21 of which were starts.
Josh Beckett, No. 13 on the list, is 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA in three starts over two World Series -- 2003 with the Marlins and '07 with the Red Sox. Both times he was on the team that won the World Series. In 2003, Beckett was the World Series MVP.
The only other two-game winners among the group are No. 6 John Lackey -- 2-1 in four starts, six appearances with the 2002 Angels and '13 Red Sox, both of which won World Series championships -- and No. 9 Cliff Lee, 2-2. Lee won both his starts with the World Series-champion Phillies in 2009, and was 0-2 for the Rangers against the Giants in '10.
The Royals were 49-50 on July 22. They were in third place in the American League Central, seven games back of the division-leading Tigers, and 1 1/2 games back of the second-place Indians. Kansas City won, 7-1, in Chicago against the White Sox on that day, only the Royals' second victory in nine games.
That, however, was a starting point for a surge that put the Royals in position to become the first team in 50 years to be below .500 that late in a season and win a World Series championship. Kansas City finished out the season 40-23, the second-best record in the AL after July 22 to Baltimore's 42-23.
The last time a team made a later surge to a World Series championship was in 1964, when the Cardinals were 47-48 on July 24, in seventh place in the National League and 10 games out of first. They won 46 of their final 67 regular-season games and then knocked off the Yankees in seven games in the World Series.
Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie will be making only his fourth career appearance against the Giants -- the third at AT&T Park -- when he starts Game 3 of the World Series tonight.
Guthrie's career numbers are limited but not pretty. He is 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA and has allowed a .344 batting average. Guthrie made one start with Baltimore at AT&T Park in 2010, and two starts against the Giants, one at AT&T Park, with the Rockies in '12.
Guthrie worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing just an unearned run, in that 2012 start at AT&T Park. Brandon Crawford is a potential problem for the Royals' starter. He is 4-for-4 with a home run off Guthrie. Pablo Sandoval is 3-for-6 with two doubles.
With the World Series moving to AT&T Park, an NL facility, the designated hitter won't be used.
The DH was introduced in 1973, but was not used in the World Series until 1976, when it was added in even-numbered years. That was adjusted in 1986, and the DH is now used every year, but only in AL parks.
History says there is not much difference between the pitchers hitting for either league.
Since the DH was added, AL pitchers have hit .068 with no home runs, 10 RBIs, seven walks and 113 strikeouts in the World Series, and the NL pitchers have hit .117 with one home run, eight RBIs, 11 walks and 89 strikeouts.
Joe Blanton of the Phillies hit the only home run, off Edwin Jackson in the fifth inning of the Phillies' 10-2 victory against the Rays in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Write 'em Cowboy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.