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10 Best World Series Rivalries

by: Esteban On  Tuesday, October 22, 2013

world series rematches (world series rivalries)

The 2013 World Series gets underway tomorrow, and it won’t just be any old matchup. This year’s Fall Classic will feature two of Major League Baseball’s most iconic and historic franchises: the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.

Now, any baseball fan over the age of 18 certainly remembers the last time these two teams squared off in the Fall Classic. It was 2004, the year the Sox came back after being down 3-0 against the Yankees in the ALCS. They then swept the Cards to break the Curse of the Bambino. However, what many people may not realize is that the World Series rivalry between these two teams actually goes back a little further than that—like, all the way back to 1946.

Today, in light of the history behind this year’s World Series matchup, we thought it would be fun to take a look at all the championship rematches and rivalries we’ve seen over the years.

Where does the Sox-Cards World Series rivalry rank? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

10. Ten-Way Tie

8-1938-world-series-yankees-vs.-cubs-world-series-rematches

There are actually ten different pairs of teams that have met in the World Series two times. And since we thought it would be silly to choose one of these ten rematches as somehow superior to the others, we decided to call it a ten-way tie. 

That being said, there are a couple of World Series rivalries from among the two-timers that jumped out. One was Braves-Indians, who played All-Ethnic-Stereotype World Series in 1948 and 1995. The other was Cubs-Yankees because, you know, the Cubs in the World Series? That just sounds funny.

In any case, here is the complete rundown of teams that have met in the World Series on two separate occasions:

Athletics-Dodgers

Athletics-Cardinals

Athletics-Cubs

Athletics-Reds

Braves-Indians

Pirates-Orioles

Pirates-Yankees

Phillies-Yankes

Giants-Senators

Cubs-Yankees

An observation: yes, the Athletics have been in a lot World Series. Now, let’s move on to the really good rivalries.

 

9. Reds vs. Yankees

10 1976 world series - reds vs yankees - world series rematches

Meetings: 3

Years: 1939, 1961, 1976

This rivalry features the oldest professional baseball team in the world. And no, it’s not the Yankees. The Reds can trace their origins to 1869. The Yankees were founded in 1901. And while the Yankees may hold the record for most championships won, Cincinnati actually won the World Series first in 1919, two years before the Yankees made their first World Series appearance and four years before they actually won it.

Of course, probably the most famous of the three meetings between these historic ball clubs came in 1976, when Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Tony Pérez, Ken Griffey, and the rest of the “Big Red Machine” defeated the Bronx Bombers to win their second consecutive World Series title.

Score: Yankees 2, Reds 1

 

8. TIgers vs. Cardinals

9 2006 world series - cardinals vs tigers - world series rematches

Meetings: 3

Years: 1934, 1968, 2006

The 2006 World Series between the Cardinals and Tigers might just be the worst of the modern era. (The Tigers pitchers and infielders, you may recall, forgot how to throw the ball in straight lines in a timely fashion.) However, the 1968 World Series is absolutely one of the best. The Cardinals were the defending champs, and they jumped out to a 3-1 series lead. But Detroit’s Mickey Lolitch pitched three complete games—including Game 2, Game 5 and, on only two days rest, Game 7—and Detroit won it’s first title since 1945.

Score: Cardinals 2, Tigers 1

 

7. Braves vs. Yankees

7 1996 world series - braves vs yankees - world series rematches

Meetings: 4

Years: 1957, 1958, 1996, 1999

The Braves and Yankees have two rematches from two different eras. The first pair came in ’57 and ’58, when the Milwaukee Braves, who featured some guy named Henry Aaron, played the Yankees in back-to-back Fall Classics and came away with one championship. The second pair came in ’96 and ’99, when the Braves were on their ridiculous 14-year run of NL East dominance, and the Derek Jeter/Mariano Rivera Yankees were just getting started.

Score: Yankees 3, Braves 1

 

6. Cardinals vs. Red Sox

6 1967 world series - cardinals vs red sox - world series rematches

Meetings: 4

Years: 1946, 1967, 2004, 2013

For a while, the Cardinals were the main obstacle to the Red Sox breaking “The Curse.” The World Series between these two teams in 1946 was Boston’s first appearance in the Fall Classic since 1918, and of course they lost. Their next appearance after that was 1967, also against the Redbirds, and they lost that, too.

After that, of course, the Sox would go on to lose the World Series to the Reds in ’75 and the Mets in ’86 before finally winning it in 2004—against the Cardinals.

In any case, this is a rivalry which has pitted some of the biggest names in baseball against each other. In ’46 it was Stan Musial vs. Ted Williams, two of the best hitters ever. In ’67 it was Bob Gibson vs. Carl Yastrzemski. In ’04 it was Albert Pujols vs. Manny Ramirez.

Wow.

Score: Cardinals 2, Red Sox 1 (with 2013 undetermined)

 

5. Giants vs. Athletics

5 1989 world series - giants vs athletics - world series rematches

Meetings: 4

Years: 1905, 1911, 1913, 1989

At number five we have our oldest World Series rivalry. Ironically, this one began when neither team was playing in its current location. In 1905, 1011, and 1913, the Athletics were in Philadelphia, while the Giants were still in New York. Then the teams didn’t meet in the Fall Classic again until 1989, long after both teams had positioned themselves on opposite sides of the San Francisco Bay.

Of course, that 1989 World Series is memorable for much more than a meeting between two old-timey rivals. That was the series that was suspended for 10 days after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked the Bay area just before Game 3. (Oakland would eventually go on to sweep the Giants.)

Score: A’s 3, Giants 1

 

4. Cubs vs. Tigers

4 1945 world series - cubs vs tigers - world series rematches

Meetings: 4

Years: 1907, 1908, 1935, 1945

The Detroit Tigers are the answer to a couple of pretty classic Chicago Cubs trivia questions.

Who is the last team the Cubs beat to win the World Series? The Detroit Tigers…in 1908.

Whos is the team to last beat the Cubs in the World Series? The Detroit Tigers…in 1945.

So remember, Tigers fans, that it could always be worse. Sure, it stings to come so close in the last several years only to fail. But at least you’ve won four titles in the last century. The Cubs’ drought is 105 years thanks in part to your team.

Score: Cubs 2, Tigers 2

 

3. Yankees vs. Cardinals

3 1926 world series final out - yankees vs cardinals - world series rematches

Meetings: 5

Years: 1926, 1928, 1942, 1943, 1964

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, seeing as how the Yankees have won the World Series 27 times in 40 trips, but the top three Fall Classic rivalries? Yeah, they all feature the Bombers.

First up it’s the Yankees’ rivalry with the second winningest franchise of all-time, the Cardinals. Sure, St. Louis is still a few championships shy of catching up with the Yanks (16 shy, to be exact), but they can boast that they are the only team with a winning record against the Yankees in the World Series.

Of course, the most fascinating bit of trivia about this rivalry has to do with the first ever meeting between these clubs. That was in 1926, and the Cardinals won Game 7 when Babe Ruth, the Great Bambino, was thrown out trying to steal second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and his team trailing 3-2.

If Steinbrenner had been the Yankees owner at the time, he would have fired the Babe on the spot.

Score: Cardinals 3, Yankees 2

 

2. Yankees vs. Giants

2 1962 world series - giants vs yankees - world series rematches

Meetings: 7

Years: 1921, 1922, 1923, 1936, 1937, 1951, 1962

The Giants, who have made 19 total trips to the Fall Classic, got off to a pretty great start against the team that was, at the time, one of their two local rivals. They beat the Yankees back-to-back in 1921 and 1922. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it a threepeat, as the Yankees struck back in 1923, and it’s been all Yankees ever since.

Score: Yankees 5, Giants 2

 

1. Yankees vs. Dodgers

1 1981 world series - dodgers yankees - world series rematches

Meetings: 11

Years: 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1963, 1977, 1978, 1981

You say you’re sick of seeing the Cardinals and Red Sox in the postseason? Imagine being a baseball fan between 1947 and 1956, a ten-year period during which the Dodgers and Yankees played each other in the World Series six times, with the Yankees winning five of them.  The only other teams to even make a World Series appearance during that stretch were the Indians, Braves, and Giants. That’s it.

So no, don’t go whining about the Cardinals and Red Sox.

Score: Yankees 8, Dodgers 3

 




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