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Baseball is the only sport I know that when you're on offense, the other team controls the ball."  Ken Harrelson

Baseball Postseason Playoffs

The World Series was "born" in 1903, but postseason play began as early as the 1884 season. Major League Baseball does not recognize those games as an official part of World Series history, but they did set the foundation for "The Fall Classic." A match-up that remained constant from its start in 1903 through 1968.

In 1969, both the American and National League split into two divisions and the League Championship was created setting the stage for some thrilling postseason moments (outside of the World Series). The best-of-five League Championship Series switched to a best-of-seven series in 1985 to increase revenue and match the length of the World Series.

The 1981 season was a separate case. A mid-season player's strike split the season in half and upset fans - some of which still remain discontent with our national pastime. Major League Baseball hoped to recoup some of the lost revenue and win back the disinterested fans so an extra level of playoff games were played.

Three divisions were created in 1993 to make room for the expansion teams. East, Central, and West divisions are the most recent major alignment changes. Club owners voted on divisional team placements - though nobody truly understands why & how certain decisions were made — and in 1995 the playoffs introduced the Division Series.

A best-of-five series would determine who would play for the pennant and the three division champions would face off with a fourth "wildcard", determined by the second-place team with the best record from any of the three divisions. Baseball Almanac is pleased to present a series of charts meant to easily illustrate the history of postseason baseball.

"The playoffs are the wedge between the season and the World Series. If you lose, it means you won't be going to the greatest sports event in this country. It's the quagmire before the promised land. It's the Red Sea that has to be crossed. If you don't cross in to the World Series, you're a loser. You're forgotten by Thanksgiving." - Tim McCarver in Oh Baby, I Love it (1987)

For all list of the All Time Playoff Leaders

 

 

 

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