Classic 1st: 2 expansion clubs square off
2015 World Series proves unique without original 16 team
No matter how many games and seasons you have witnessed, baseball, it's often said in homage, will offer up something never seen before.
We can add as evidence the 2015 World Series, which opens Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX, 8 p.m. ET game time) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Remarkable as it may seem, the Mets-Royals Fall Classic will be the first ever to not include one of the original 16 franchises. Since MLB's expansion era dates back to 1961, it is stunning to realize none of the 53 World Series since had been between newbie teams.
Especially when you consider the roll call for those Series included 12 of the expansion clubs (all except Seattle and Montreal-Washington) a total of 21 times. However, never before pitted against each other.
Fittingly, the Mets, born in 1962, and Royals, nee 1969, already were the expansion teams with the most Classic credits and will be appearing in their fifth and fourth, respectively.
Interestingly, the Mets had come close to setting this precedent in their previous two World Series appearances.
In 2000, they met the Yankees, who survived a six-game American League Championship Series with the Mariners (born 1977). And in 1986, the Mets' World Series foe would have been the Angels (1961), if not for the Halos' historic ALCS meltdown against Boston.
There have been only five other instances in which a World Series included one expansion team after another expansion team from the other league had lost in the LCS.
Overall, this first-time exclusion of the original 16 is a stunning historical oddity, given that nearly half of MLB's 30 teams wear the expansion tag.
Oh, one other notable aspect of the 111th World Series: It will also be the first between teams that will open the ensuing season against each other. Check that magnet schedule on your fridge: April 4-6; Mets @ Kansas City.