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Thu October 31, 2013
Big Papi, Worst-To-First, 1918: Your World Series Must-Knows
Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 9:19 am
OK, by now you've hopefully heard that the Boston Red Sox are Major League Baseball's champions thanks to a 6-1 win Wednesday night over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Sox won the best-of-seven World Series in six games.
With the headline out of the way, here's a cheat sheet for those of us who need to be ready with something to say about this year's Fall Classic:
-- Big Papi Was Amazing. Boston's David Ortiz (known as "Big Papi") was named the Series' most valuable player. His batting average over the six games was .688 — the second-highest ever in a World Series. Only Oakland's Billy Hatcher, in 1990, hit higher (.750) according to Baseball-Reference.com.
As NPR's Mike Pesca says, fans might have to start calling Ortiz "Huge Papi" after his heroics.
-- From Worst To First. CNN notes that the Red Sox are only the second team "to win a World Series one year after finishing in last place in its division. The Minnesota Twins first accomplished the feat in 1991." The American and National leagues split into divisions in 1969.
-- 1918 And The Bambino: The Red Sox have now won the World Series three times in the past 10 years. But the last time the team clinched a championship when it was playing at home was in 1918 — when a guy named Babe Ruth was pitching for Boston.
In 1919, the Sox traded Ruth to the New York Yankees. The "Curse of the Bambino" was born. With the win Wednesday at Fenway Park, has it now truly been dispatched?
-- The St. Louis Fizzle. "Their bats went missing over the final three games of the World Series," writes St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz of the Cardinals, "the same way they inexplicably vanished during their staggering collapse over the final three games of the 2012 NL championship series. ... In this World Series, the Cardinals fur-balled a 2-1 series lead by scoring only four total runs and batting .194 over three consecutive feckless defeats."
-- Boston Strong. The city's year began with tragedy — the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. "There are no perfect endings after life and limb are lost," MLB.com writes, "but this was the best thing this great American city could hope for Wednesday night. The Red Sox won the 109th World Series, beating the Cardinals in six games, and [the city] took the next step in a healing process that followed the Patriots' Day bombings at the Boston Marathon."
Our friends at WBUR have gathered together photos of the celebrations. We'll embed their Storify collection.