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Looking Back Oct. 23

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Tonight is the night for the fourth game of the 2011 World Series and baseball fans will once again be glued to the television as this October night’s entertainment begins. Here is a look back at just a few of the many games through the years.

In the books

• The World Series began in 1903 as a nine-game series. Only eight games were needed to declare the Boston Pilgrims champions over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

• In the first game of the first World Series, pitcher Cy Young started for the Pilgrims and Deacon Phillips started for the Pirates.

• The first game of the World Series was played on Oct.1, a Thursday.

• In 1904, the World Series was briefly put on hold as the National League champion New York Giants refused to play the American League’s Pilgrims because the American League was deemed “inferior” by Giants president John T. Brush. Play resumed in 1905 and has taken place every year since except 1994, when it was canceled because of the players’ strike.

• With the scored tied 6-6, the seventh game of the 1912 series was called due to darkness.

• In 1914, the Boston Braves shocked the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Athletics with a 4-0 sweep.

• On Oct. 10, 1920, during the fifth inning, Bill Wambsganss caught a line drive hit by Clarence Mitchell. He then stepped on second to put out Pete Kilduff and tagged Otto Miller, who was coming from first, for an unassisted triple play.

• Waite Hoyt pitched three complete games for the New York Yankees against the New York Giants in 1921 (without allowing an earned run).

• It was in the 12th inning when the Washington Senators finally defeated the New York Giants in Game 7 of the 1924 World Series. The first ever seventh game home run was hit by Bucky Harris against the Giants. Harris was the player-manager of the Senators.

• Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth combined for more RBIs for the New York Yankees than the Pittsburgh Pirates scored runs in the 1927 Series.

• The New York Yankees won the first of four consecutive World Series titles for the decade in 1936. This was their first series triumph without Babe Ruth but also their first with Joe DiMaggio. Lou Gehrig’s final appearance would follow in the 1938 Series.

• In 1944, the St. Louis Browns made it to the World Series for the first time. The Browns were defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the “Streetcar Series.”

• The 1947 World Series was the first to be televised. The audience, however, was limited to those in the New York City area. This was also the first year a black player appeared in the World Series. Jackie Robinson was in his rookie year with the Brooklyn Dodgers as they were defeated by the New York Yankees.

• The first World Series game to be finished under artificial lighting was played in 1949 at Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

• In 1956, New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen became the first and only player to ever toss a perfect game in the World Series. To keep himself relaxed, Larsen smoked cigarettes between innings.

• The first walk-off home run in the World Series was made by Bill Mazeroski of the Pirates to defeat the Yankees in 1960.

• It was the Los Angeles Dodgers that took the World Series crown in 1963. Sandy Koufax won two games for the Dodgers as they swept the Yankees 4-0.

• With the Yankees and Cardinals tied in the bottom of the ninth inning, Bob Gibson gave up two home runs to the Yankees before settling down to finish the game in the ninth inning of the deciding game of 1964. Gibson went the distance for the Cardinals and was named MVP.

• The Boston Red Sox looked to take the World Series title in 1967, their first since 1918. The St. Louis Cardinals spoiled those plans in game seven. Bob Wilson hit a home run and was the winning pitcher.

• St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lou Brock stole a record seven bases in the 1967 World Series against the Boston Red Sox. He tied his own record the following year in a losing effort against the Detroit Tigers.

• The first World Series game played at night was in 1971. It was Game 4 between the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. The last year a World Series game was played during the day was 1987. Since then, all World Series games have been played at night.

• The first brothers to hit home runs on opposing teams in the seventh game of the World Series were Clete (Yankees) and Ken (Cardinals) Boyer. The year was 1964.

• It was 1955 when, considered by many to be the greatest catch in World Series history, Sandy Amoros made a rally-stopping catch. Amoros of the Dodgers caught Yogi Berra’s drive to the left field corner of Yankee Stadium then turned and doubled Gil McDougald off first base in the sixth inning of game seven.

• Darold Knowles is the only pitcher ever to appear in all seven games of a World Series, saving two in Oakland’s victory over the Mets in 1973.

• Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges drove in the only two runs of the seventh game in 1955. It was the Yankees that were defeated.

• On Oc.r 17, 1987, the Minnesota Twins overpowered St. Louis 10-1 in the opening game of the first indoor World Series. Dan Gladden’s grand slam capped a seven-run fourth inning.

• Manager Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves holds the record as the first and only World Series participant ejected twice from World Series games (1992 and again in 1996).

• In 2004, the Boston Red Sox broke a streak of 86 years without a championship when they swept the St. Louis Cardinals for their first title since 1918.

• The American League has won the World Series 66 times, leaving 44 titles for the National League.

• Starting with the first World Series, the following amounts are examples of the dollars paid to the winning team members, rounded to the nearest dollar: 1903 ($1,182), 1913 ($3,246), 1923 ($6,143), 1933 ($4,257); 1943 ($6,139), 1953 ($8,281), 1963 ($12,794), 1973 ($24,618), 1983 ($65,488). 1993 ($127,921) and 2003 ($306,150).