The annual championship series to determine the undisputed champion of baseball in the United States of America is popularly known as the World Series of Baseball, also referred to sometimes as the Fall Classic. The World Series of Baseball is played between the champions of the two top baseball leagues of Major League Baseball in the United States, the American League and the National League. The World Series is being played in its present format since 1903 in a seven match series to determine who will have the right to take home the Commissioner’s Trophy. The American League side the New York Yankees is the most successful side in the history of the World Series, having won 27 titles out of the 40 they have played in.
Initially, the very top level of baseball in the United States was represented by the two bodies, the National Association of Professional Baseball Players that was founded in 1871 and the National League that was founded in 1876. However, there was no post season at that time and the team with the most wins in the two leagues was considered as the champions. With the American Association being formed in 1882, the champions of the National League and the American Association faced each other in a year end tournament to determine the national champion. However, unlike today’s competition, these tournaments were extremely disorganized with some series being 3 matches long while some others went on as long as 15 games.
Moreover, this series was also promoted as the World’s Championship Series, sometimes shortened to World’s Series or The Championship of the United States. The World Series does not consider these tournaments played in the 19th century as part of its official history as well. Although, some people did consider these series on an equal level to the post 19th century series and not as a prologue to it, as it is considered now.
Since 1900, there was bitter competition between the teams of the American League and the National League for two years, with teams from the two Leagues poaching each others’ players. Such was the rivalry between the two Leagues that the respective champions challenged each other to a post season football match to determine the superior side. However, a peace accord was reached between the two Leagues in 1903 and as part of the agreement; several pairs of sides from each of the Leagues were pitted against each other in a post season tournament to determine the national champion. The tournament was organized by the teams themselves and in what is now considered as the first World Series Final, the Boston Red Sox of the American League defeated the highly fancied Pittsburg Pirates of the National League by 5 games to 2 to become the inaugural champions of the World Series of Baseball.
Since then, the World Series of Baseball has become a major sporting extravaganza all the world over and attracts huge crowds with the teams fighting for the bragging rights of their respective Leagues.