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How the World Series Works

Notable World Series Moments and Records

Despite more than 100 World Series to date, some teams have gotten there far more than others. The New York Yankees have appeared 40 times, winning 27 of them. From the 18-year period of 1947 to 1964, the Yankees appeared a whopping 15 times, winning 10, of which there were five wins in a row. Only two other times has a team won even three in a row: the 1972-74 Oakland Athletics and the 1998-2000 New York Yankees. Other, lesser dynasties include 18 appearances by the St. Louis Cardinals (11-7), 18 by the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (6-12), and 18 by the New York/San Francisco Giants (also 6-12).

Some of the most important and dramatic moments in baseball history have happened during the World Series. For example, only 22 "perfect games" have been pitched in Major League Baseball history. That means that a single pitcher plays all nine innings and doesn't give up any hits, walks or runs -- nobody gets on base or scores. In Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series play. There's only even ever been one other no-hitter in baseball's postseason, a 2010 National League Divisional Series no-hit, one-walk game by the Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Halladay against the Cincinnati Reds.

There probably isn't a more dramatic possibility in sports than winning the entire World Series with a home run. It's happened twice. In Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, Pittsburgh Pirates second-baseman Bill Mazeroski hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth -- Pirates win, game over (Yankees lose). In 1993, Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays gave his team a four-games-to-two World Series win with a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth in Game 6 over Philadelphia.

And then there's the "Curse of the Bambino." The Boston Red Sox are said to have been cursed for trading away one of the game's greats, Babe Ruth, in 1919 to the New York Yankees, with whom he won seven World Series. The Red Sox, meanwhile, hadn't won one since 1918, but they had a lead in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets, with a 3-2 series lead. And then the Mets' Mookie Wilson hit a routine ground ball to Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner -- but the ball went through his legs. A run scored, the Mets won the game, and then Game 7, as well. The Red Sox "curse" continued -- until 2004, that is, when the team came back from a three-games-to-none deficit against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series to win. The Red Sox then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games to win the World Series and finally break the supposed curse.

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