• The Giants share one World Series record with the rival Dodgers. Both franchises have lost 12 World Series. The Dodgers have won six, the Giants five. The Yankees, winners of 27, have also lost the most, 13.
• One of the four longest current World Series droughts will be broken. The Giants haven’t won a World Series since 1954, the year of Willie Mays’ famous catch, (when the team was still in New York). The Texas Rangers’ string of 49 seasons without a World Series win is the fourth longest current streak behind the Cubs and Indians. Going into the season, the Cubs had played 101 seasons without a World Series win.
• It could be argued that Bengie Molina of the Rangers will be the biggest winner no matter what. Having played with the Giants until a trade to Texas at the end of June, Molina is assured of a full players’ share for both the winners and losers. Not bad, a double share. Last year’s shares were a little more than $365,000 for the winners and just north of $265,000 for the losers. That’s about $630,000 for Molina — win or lose.
• Now that the Rangers are making their first appearance in the World Series, just two franchises — the Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals — have never appeared in the Fall Classic. Now, 27 of the 28 franchises will have played in the World Series since 1979. The other franchise shut out since before then is the Chicago Cubs. Their last appearance was in 1945.
• There are six franchises that have hosted World Series games in more than one city. The Giants, A’s, Dodgers, Twins and Orioles have each played in the Series representing two different cities. Do you know the only franchise to represent three different cities in the World Series? (Answer below)
• In 1993 the Giants won 103 games, the most regular season wins for the franchise since moving to San Francisco in 1958. But that was a year before leagues were split into three divisions and wild-card teams were included in the postseason. Atlanta won 104 games that season to win the NL West. In a streaky final month, the Giants held a 3.5-game lead on Sept. 6. But eight consecutive losses were devastating prior to winning 14 of 17 to end the season. Going into the final weekend the teams were tied. The Braves swept the Rockies in Atlanta, while the Dodgers defeated the Giants in L.A. on the final day of the season.
• At age 25, Matt Cain is the longest tenured Giant. As a 20-year-old in 2005, Cain made seven starts posting a 2.33 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP. Jonathan Sanchez, Brian Wilson and Travis Ishikawa joined the club the following year.
• The longest continual tenured Ranger is third baseman Michael Young. Arriving as a second baseman, Young played in two games for Texas in 2000. He was 0-2 with a strikeout at the plate and played a total of three innings at second base without a ball hit his way. Reliever Darren Oliver came to the majors as a Ranger in 1993 was dealt to St. Louis in 1998, then rejoined the Rangers for 2000-01 and returned yet again prior to this season. He’s made 256 of his 593 career appearances while in a Texas uniform; 137 of his 229 lifetime starts were made with the Rangers.
• Speaking of Young, he now tops the Rangers’ career lists in at-bats, hits and triples. By the end of next season he will likely add games, doubles and times on base to that list as well. He’s currently fourth in total bases and RBIs, with his sights set on third next season. The former Toronto farm hand is signed through 2013.
• The Rangers acquired Young from the Blue Jays with another player for pitcher Esteban Loaiza. But that may not have been the best deal the Rangers made in building their AL pennant-winning club. Josh Hamilton was acquired from the Reds for Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera. Elvis Andrus and Netali Feliz came from the Braves in the Mark Teixeira deal. Bengie Molina was acquired from the Giants for Michael Main and Chris Ray. Ian Kinsler was a 17th round draft pick. Derek Holland was a 25th round pick. All good deals, but the best one: Nelson Cruz was acquired WITH Carlos Lee from the Brewers for Julian Cordero, Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix. What are the Brewers doing with those guys these days?
• The Giants, on the other hand, were built much differently. All good deals though. Matt Cain (drafted #25 overall in 2005), Tim Lincecum (#10 in 2006), Madison Bumgarner (#10 in2007) and Buster Posey (#5 in 2008) were all drafted in the first round by the Giants. Jonathan Sanchez was also originally signed by San Francisco. Brian Wilson (24th round) is really the only player drafted in late rounds. Prominent free agent signings (Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand) haven’t contributed much in the playoffs. Then there were the scrap heap guys: Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff, Cody Ross and Juan Uribe.
The Braves’ franchise has won three World Series titles, in three separate cities. 1914 as the Boston Braves, 1957 in Milwaukee and 1995 in Atlanta.