When/Why Did MLB Change From Pennant Races To Championship Series?

OK, so I’m watching the games leading up to this year’s world series.

OK, so I don’t watch major league baseball that much.

So when did division pennant races and league pennant races become championship series?

Why? Winning your division, even your league, now means a team gets to hang their 8 1/2 X 11 computer-generated certificate on the wall in the corporate washroom? No more pennants hanging from stadium walls or roofs?

The leagues were split into divisions for the 1969 season I believe. With that season more teams were added that meant each league would have 12 teams. 12 being too many, and seeking extra revenue from another round of playoffs MLB split each league into 2 divisions of 6 teams each. Originally the LCS was 5 games but in 1985 (IIRC) it was expanded to a full 7 games.

In the 90s with further expansion the leagues were divided into 3 divisions and a wild card team was admitted to the playoffs.

The divisional series is held to 5 games still. While there’s been talk of expanding that to a seven game series there appears to be little interest from FOX in potentially televising two more divisional games. Until that changes I feel certain that it’ll stay where it is.

It must have been sometime after 1945, because FOX said that the last post-season series the Cubs won was in 1908, even though the Cubs were in the 1945 World Series.

If the Cubs had competed in a National League playoff series to get into the 1945 World Series, that would have been the last post-season win for the Cubs.

When baseball added four teams in 1969 that made for 12 team leagues. It’s pretty hard to sell baseball when you’ve got a 10th place team taking on an 8th place team.

At first the AL decided to switch to two 6-team divisions. The NL was hesitant at first. However, the NL eventually went along and adopted the same format.

The three division winner + wild card format was adopted in 1994, although there were no playoffs that year.

Since the Cubs last won the National League in 1945, they had made three postseason appearances: 1984, when they lost to the Padres 3-2 in the NLCS, 1989, when they lost to the Giants 4-1 in the NLCS, and in 1998, when they lost to the Braves 3-0 in the Division Series (aka the first round of the playoffs).

The Cubs did win a playoff tiebreaker in 1998 to make the playoffs, but tiebreakers are considered part of the regular season, not the postseason.

The pennant race still happens every season- it’s the race to the championship. AFAIK, “winning the pennant” still means winning your league. That has not changed.

Win the pennant, and you get to go to the World Series.

Winning your division is nice, but not a requirement with the addition of the wild card slot.

Dave, FOX misspoke. 1908 was the last year the Cubs won the World Series. They also won in 1907, beating the Detroit Tigers both times BTW.

They lost it in 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 & 1945.

Actually, EJsGirl, the 1908 World Series actually was the last time the Cubs won a post-season series before this year. World Series = Post-season. Hence, FOX (or whoever the announcer was who said that) did not mis-speak, they just cooked up a way to exaggerate the significance of the Divisional Series win.

Yup. There are still pennant races.

Win your division, and you “win the pennant” for your division.

Win your league, and you “win the pennant” for your league.

Win the World Series, and you win a trophy, not a pennant.

There is still a pennant winner in the NL and the AL, but as far as I am concerned, there is no “pennant race,” per se. That ended with the advent of divisions and playoffs.