I’ve neglected to summarize the best teams of each decade, so let’s catch up.
- We only did four years of the 40s, but two of them were the Yankees defeating the Dodgers.
- Obviously, the 50s were the Yankees’ decade, as they went 6-2. The Dodgers were 2-3. The Giants and Braves were both 1-1, and that’s 17 out of the 20 slots.
- The Yankees had the most appearances in the 60s, going 2-3. The Cards and Dodgers were both 2-1, and Baltimore 1-1.
The first appearance of the Big Red Machine, but they lost 4-1 to yet another Orioles steamroller.
The Orioles meet their match in the Pirates, who outlasted them 4-3 behind the triumvirate of Clemente, Stargell, and Blass. Clemente, alas, had only one more year before his tragic death, and Blass only one more year before he became the eponym for a pitcher completely losing his touch.
The Big Red Machine is complete now, having stolen Joe Morgan from Houston for six wooden nickels and two cans of beer. But it lost an extremely close series 4-3 to the Swingin’ A’s.
The A’s win another close 4-3 series, this time against a Mets team that went barely over .500 to win a weak Eastern division, but dominated an excellent Reds team in the NLCS.
The A’s make it three in a row, defeating the Dodgers 4-1, with 4 of the 5 games decided by one run. This is the last we’ll see of the A’s for a while, as they’ll lose their knack of winning in the postseason, and then be broken up when free agency begins and Charlie Finley refuses to pay to keep his stars.
Possibly the greatest World Series in history. Its most famous image is, of course, Carlton Fisk waving his game-winner fair at the end of game 6:
But once again it was not to be for the Red Sox, as they blew a 3-0 lead to lose game 7 to the Reds.
The Reds win again, this time sweeping the Yankees, where Billy Martin had done his usual magic but hadn’t yet worn out his welcome. The Reds would be a great team for a few more years and then fade.
The Yankees, on the other hand, were on the upswing. Free agency now made it possible to buy a great team, so as fast as the A’s were unloading players like Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter, George Steinbrenner was picking them up. Here they beat the Dodgers 4-2
And beat them 4-2 again in the rematch, this time after falling behind 2-0.
A rematch of 1971, with the same result. This was the “We are Family” Pirates team, led again by Willie Stargell (now “Pops”) and Dave Parker. The Orioles are still a fine team, but almost wholly remade. The only remnant of the old days is an aging Jim Palmer.
The 70s didn’t have a dominant team, but many very good ones. The Reds were 2-2, A’s 3-0, Yankees 2-1, Orioles 1-2, Dodgers 0-3, Pirates 2-0. The only teams to appear only once in the Series were the Mets and Red Sox, both losers.