Longest waits for a World Series rematch

November 6th, 2020

Only nine times in World Series history have the same two teams met in back-to-back World Series.

But sometimes, the wait for a Fall Classic rematch stretches on for much longer before finally ending -- in one case for more than a century.

Here then is a look at the five longest gaps between between World Series matchups involving the same two franchises since the event began back in 1903.

Red Sox vs. Dodgers, 102 years (1916-2018)
Boston won the first two games of the 1916 World Series, with 21-year-old Babe Ruth making his postseason pitching debut in Game 2. The lefty was brilliant, pitching all 14 innings of the Red Sox's 2-1 victory, giving up one run on six hits, walking three and striking out four. At the plate, Ruth went 0-for-5. The game-winning hit came courtesy of Del Gainer, who hit a walk-off single to center field. Brooklyn won Game 3, but Boston came back to win Games 4 and 5, outscoring the Robins, 10-3.

Baseball looked just a little bit different by the time the rematch rolled around in 2018, but the result was the same. Boston once again won in five games, with its only loss in the series coming in a dramatic, 18-inning marathon in Game 3. The Red Sox won the next two to clinch a championship at Dodger Stadium, with World Series MVP Steve Pearce homering twice, David Price throwing seven strong innings and Chris Sale finishing things off out of the bullpen.

A's vs. Giants, 76 years (1913-89)
The A's and Giants met in the 1989 World Series, which was dubbed the "Bay Bridge Series" after the bridge that connects Oakland and San Francisco. The two franchises squared off in the Fall Classic three other times prior to that, in '05 (Giants won in five games), '11 (Giants won in six games) and '13 (Athletics won in five games). All of those, of course, were played while the Giants were in New York and the A's in Philadelphia.

In 1989, the World Series was interrupted by a massive earthquake in the Bay Area. Twelve days after the earthquake, the Series resumed, and the A's swept the Giants, with right-hander Dave Stewart winning the World Series MVP Award.

Phillies vs. Yankees, 59 years (1950-2009)
When the Phillies and Yankees met in the 2009 World Series, it was a rematch 59 years in the making. New York swept Philadelphia in the 1950 Fall Classic, with the Phils losing four games by a combined five runs. Joe DiMaggio was the star, going 4-for-13 with a double and a go-ahead homer in the 10th inning of Game 2 at Shibe Park. Yogi Berra also homered in the Series.

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The result was the same in 2009, with the Yankees winning their 27th World Series championship in six games over the Phillies. Hideki Matsui was the Series MVP, hitting .615 (8-for-15) with a double and three homers.

Braves vs. Indians, 47 years (1948-95)
When the Indians won the American League pennant in 1995, it was the first time the Tribe had advanced to the World Series since '54. Cleveland lost that Series to the Giants, but won its last championship in '48 against the Braves. Atlanta and Cleveland met in the '95 World Series as a battle of the game's best starting rotation against the its most powerful lineup. In six games, the Braves' pitching won out, as they won their first championship in Atlanta with a 1-0 victory behind eight scoreless innings from Series MVP Tom Glavine, and a homer from David Justice.

The 1948 World Series was also decided in six games, but with the Tribe as the winner. Larry Doby hit .318 with a double and a homer, and Bob Lemon starred on the mound, posting a 1.65 ERA in a pair of Cleveland victories.

Cardinals vs. Tigers, 38 years (1968-2006)
The 1968 World Series was a classic, with the Tigers emerging victorious in seven games. Mickey Lolich was the Series MVP, posting a 1.67 ERA in three starts, including a complete game in Detroit's 4-1 victory in Game 7. In 2006, it was St. Louis that won the title, beating Detroit in five games. The unlikely hero, and World Series MVP, was middle infielder David Eckstein, who hit .364 with three doubles and four RBIs. All three doubles came in Game 4, including the go-ahead hit in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 5-4 victory.

Both clubs would return to the World Series one year apart, with the Tigers losing to the Giants in 2012, and the Cardinals beating the Rangers in '11 before losing to the Red Sox in '13.

Braves vs. Yankees, 38 years (1958-96)
A year after the Braves won the 1995 World Series, they returned in '96 to face the Yankees, who had reached the Fall Classic for the first time in 15 years. It marked the beginning of a Yanks dynasty that included four championships over a five-year span. It was also the first time the two franchises faced each other in the World Series since '58, when the Yankees won in seven games. Bob Turley tossed 6 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in Game 7 and posted a 2.76 ERA in four appearances (two starts) to earn Series MVP honors. Hank Bauer hit .323 with four homers, and Mickey Mantle hit two of his World Series-record 18 homers that October.

Thirty-eight years later, the Yankees were again victorious, this time by reeling off four straight victories after falling behind, two games to none. Closer John Wetteland was named Series MVP after picking up a save in each victory and posting a 2.08 ERA.