It’s a lot of fun at this time of year to reminisce about the great World Series. The great games, the great players, the upsets…
But not every World Series lives up to the expectations.
Sometimes, one team totally overpowers the other, and the Series is done in four or five games. In the era of divisional play, a team with a poor regular season record can get hot at the right time and sneak into the Series. Sometimes, you just have two uninspiring teams with no one to root for. And sometimes, the games themselves are devoid of any interest or excitement.
Here are some (in chronological order) that were the opposite of a “Fall Classic”.
1928: Yankees 4, Cardinals 0
Unless you liked watching Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the equivalent of batting practice, there wasn’t much excitement here as the Yankees won all four games without any difficulty.
1938: Yankees 4, Cubs 0
1939: Yankees 4, Reds 0
A pair of sweeps by another Yankee dynasty, who had won the Series in 1936 and 1937. Though some games were close, the NL teams really didn’t have much of a chance.
1961: Yankees 4, Reds 1
The first three games were acceptable. But after Whitey Ford shut out the Reds in Game 4, and the Bronx Bombers scored five runs in the top of the first in Game 5…. A aching Mickey Mantle left that final game early, and Roger Maris didn’t stick around for the celebration.
1987: Twins 4, Cardinals 3
It may have gone the full seven games, but the games were all rather dull affairs with little excitement. The Twins set a dubious record for having the worst regular-season record for any World Champion at 85-77 and during the season, they actually gave up more runs in total than they scored. Other than Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, the Cardinals had a bunch of mediocrities on the roster. Jack Clark, their top offensive player, got injured in September and missed much of the playoffs. None of their starters won more than 11 games in the regular season.
1989: A’s 4, Giants 0
If it weren’t for the Loma Prieta Earthquake, no one would remember this World Series. The A’s never trailed for a single inning during the four games, and only even allowed their cross-bay rivals to tie them for just one inning.
2003: Marlins 4, Yankees 2
The Series was a huge letdown after the league championship series, where both the Cubs and the Red Sox collapsed with just five outs to go in their seventh games. The Yankees had won their sixth pennant in eight years; the Marlins won only 91 games in the regular season. Pretty much the definition of a “meh” series.
2006: Cardinals 4, Tigers 1
The Tigers snuck into the playoffs thanks to the Wild Card; the Cardinals finished up the season with a record of 83-78 (the worst ever for an eventual WS winner). You couldn’t have a pair of less-deserving teams in the World Series.
2007: Red Sox 4, Rockies 0
The Rockies got white hot in September, winning 14 of their last 15 games to earn a tie for the one Wild Card game. There, they squeaked by the Padres in extra innings for the right to face the Diamondbacks in the NL Division Series. They swept the “Snakes”, and then the Phillies in the NLCS. But their luck ran out in the World Series, where they were completely overwhelmed by Boston.