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Central Series
2005-10-18 22:04
by Mike Carminati

While we have an off day to contemplate just what Albert Pujols did yesterday and what it might mean in this postseason, I was thinking about something much more trivial.

I just realized that this will be the first all-Central Division World Series of all time. I know that the Central Divisions in each league were carved out of the existing East, West, and Clarence C. Campbell Conferences of yesteryear. (How's Conn Smyth doing lately?)

To be precise, it was 1994. So we are not talking about a lot of history.

Besides, some of these teams did face off in their pre-Central personas. The last time was 1987:

1987Minnesota TwinsAL4St. Louis CardinalsNL30
1985Kansas City RoyalsAL4St. Louis CardinalsNL30
1982St. Louis CardinalsNL4Milwaukee BrewersAL30
1968Detroit TigersAL4St. Louis CardinalsNL30
1945Detroit TigersAL4Chicago CubsNL30
1940Cincinnati RedsNL4Detroit TigersAL30
1935Detroit TigersAL4Chicago CubsNL20
1934St. Louis CardinalsNL4Detroit TigersAL30
1925Pittsburgh PiratesNL4Washington SenatorsAL30
1919Cincinnati RedsNL5Chicago White SoxAL30
1909Pittsburgh PiratesNL4Detroit TigersAL30
1908Chicago CubsNL4Detroit TigersAL10
1907Chicago CubsNL4Detroit TigersAL01
1906Chicago White SoxAL4Chicago CubsNL20
1886St. Louis BrownsAA4Chicago White StockingsNL20
1885Chicago White StockingsNL3St. Louis BrownsAA31

Keep in mind that the nineteenth-century St. Louis Browns are the sires of today's Cardinals and that the nineteenth-century Chicago White Stockings have nothing to do with the White Sox, except in an inspirational sense. They are the antecedents to the Cubbies. Oh, and that the pre-expansion Senators are now the Twins.

If the Cardinals come back to win the NLCS, it will be just the 86th time that two of the original 16 teams have faced off in a World Series, the last time being last year (Red Sox-Cards for those who do not have their history books handy). However, it will be the first time since 1991 that two of original 16 that have never faced off before in a Fall Classic meet in the championship round (Twins-Braves).

That made me curious as to how many of the original 16 have faced off. So I made a handy dandy spreadsheet. Guess who's the only team to play every other team in the other league in the Series?…Wait for it:


The Yankees have, of course, faced all of the original eight NL franchises in the World Series. The Dodgers and Red Sox—surprise!—are just one team short and the Cardinals could tie them for second if the win the NLCS. The Indians and the Phils are the lowest—no surprise—at only three.

OK, I know…trivia, but at least I didn't regurgitate the Pujols homer again.

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