The World Series is the championship series of Major League Baseball. It is also known as the "Fall Classic." The playoffs follow the regular season, culminating in the World Series in late October each year. The event is a series of seven games played between the champions of the American League and National League.
Television ratings for the World Series peaked in 1978 and has declined to only about a third of that level today. The biggest drop in ratings—roughly a third of the audience—occurred in 2005, when the scandal of performance-enhancing drugs and a congressional hearing rocked the sport, and the World Series television audience has never recovered since. Television ratings for the World Series have declined from 50.34 million viewers for Game 7 of the 1991 World Series to an average of only 12.02 million viewers on television and streaming for the 6-game Astros-Braves World Series in 2021.
The World Series has taken place annually since 1903, with the exception of 1904 and 1994. The first World Series was the culmination of a bitter dispute between the new American League and the older National League. (The clubs went so far as to challenge each other to a game of football at the end of the 1902 season). The two leagues organized a series of post-season exhibition games between each other, with the two pennant winners (The Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League and the Boston Red Sox of the American League) squaring off. That series of games is considered the first World Series. Boston beat Pittsburgh five games to three. The win gave credibility to the American League and brought pride to Boston.
In the 2010 World Series, the San Francisco Giants beat the Texas Rangers four games to one. The game-by-game scores were (Giants first): 11-7, 9-0, 2-4, 4-0, 3-1. Edgar Rentería, the Giants shortstop, was named Most Valuable Player. The S.F. Giants were also the winners of the 2012 World series. In 2016, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908.