2014 will be a wild World Series for Major League Baseball

2014 has been a wonderful season for Major League Baseball. This year, we have seen everything from no-hitters to walk-offs to history being made and it all ends with the World Series.
The Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Royals took different routes to the World Series in 2014.
The Royals were one of baseball’s most successful franchises during the 1970s and 1980s. According to royals.mlb.com, they won their division seven times from 1976-1985, reaching the World Series twice in that span. The Royals fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980 before defeating the St. Louis Cardinals to win their only title in 1985.
In 1985, they made their own baseball history along the way to a title when becoming the only team ever to comeback from a 3-1 deficit to win a series twice in the same postseason.
Since that season, the Royals have not been near as successful of a franchise. The Royals went from 1986-2013 without making a trip to the playoffs and lost at least 100 games each year from 2004-2006.
This year, the Royals have finished with an overall record of 89-73, earning themselves a trip to the American League Wild Card Game. There, they defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in 12 innings to win their first playoff game in 29 years. Following the one-game series victory, the Royals swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Baltimore Orioles to advance to the World Series.
“The way it has all unfolded, I think this was a case where being a wild card ended up working to our advantage,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said in a previous statement. “That win over Oakland in the wild-card game showed our guys that they could win [in the postseason]. If we didn’t win that game in the fashion we won it, I’m not so sure we would have gone on and swept the next two series.”
The San Francisco Giants have been one of baseball’s most successful franchises. They have won 21 NL pennants since the World Series began in 1901 and six of those have been since the move from New York to San Francisco in 1958.
The Giants will be going for their eighth World Series title and third since moving to California in 1958. A win over the Royals could also be a historic one for them, as it would be their third World Series title in the last five years. According to ESPN, no National League team has accomplished this feat since the Cardinals did so back in the 1940s.
The 2014 Giants finished 88-74 to earn themselves a trip to the National League Wild Card Game. There, they shutout the Pittsburgh Pirates one-game series 8-0 before beating the Washington Nationals three games to one in the NLDS and the Cardinals four games to one in the NLCS to advance to the 2014 World Series.
Giant’s outfielder Travis Ishikawa hit a three-run walk-off home run to give the Giants the NL pennant. He began the season with the Pirates before being released after playing just 15 games. Following his release, Ishikawa signed with San Francisco, where he won a ring in 2010.
“It’s gratifying,” Travis Ishikawa said in a previous statement. “If there’s an organization I’d want to do it for, it would be this one.
According to USA Today, the Giants are the second team to make the World Series twice as a wild card. The Miami Marlins have won both of their titles after reaching the postseason in through the wild card game in 1997 and 2003. Those account for two of five championships won out of 10 wild card teams that have made it to the World Series since this format was first introduced in 1995.
Giant’s President Larry Baer, who has been with the club since 1992, said there’s no less merit to winning the championship as a wild card. Even though the Giants lost the NL West to the Dodgers, the main goal was to garner an invite to the playoffs in October.
“The mentality here was get in. Get in the tournament. Anything can happen once you get in,” Baer said in an earlier press conference. “If you win the World Series, nobody says, ‘Oh, but they were the wild card.’ It’s the same.”
Both teams competing in the 2014 World Series are also wild-card teams. The only other time that this happened was in 2002. A series the Giants also took part in facing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim where they lost in seven games.
According to USA Today, this will be the first World series to feature two teams that won less than 90 games during the regular season not counting seasons with a strike.
Following the first game of the 2014 World Series, the Giants defeated the Royals to take an early lead in the series. Game two will take place tonight at 8:07pm in Kansas City.