The 2010 World Series is intriguing on a number of levels. One interesting quirk is that neither the San Francisco Giants nor the Texas Rangers have won a World Series. That means we'll get a city winning its first World Series. I say city instead of franchise for a very specific reason. Both franchises actually ended up in their current city after moving from an East Coast location. The San Francisco Giants moved from New York where they had played at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan. The Texas Rangers moved from Washington, DC where they had been the second incarnation of the Washington Senators (that's right, Washington, DC is on its THIRD Major League Baseball team).
While the second Senators never won a World Series, the New York Giants actually had greater postseason success, winning five World Series titles through 1954. Originally I was going to take a look at the San Francisco Giants and New York GIants World Series history. However, given how far back those dates, I'll include a rundown of those World Series at the end, but we'll focus primarily on the Giants World Series appearance since moving to San Francisco, starting with the most recent.
2002 MLB World Series - San Francisco Giants vs. Anaheim Angels
This series marked the last time a World Series went seven games as the Angels road an eighth inning comeback in Game Six all the way to victory. This was a drama filled series with four separate games decided by one run. The most remembered moment is probably Troy Glaus' double to give the Angels the lead in the eighth inning of Game Six. However, this series included games that appealed to offensive enthusiasts, as well as fans of great pitching.
The wildest game had to be Game Two. The Angels jumped out to a 5-0 lead off Russ Ortiz in the first. However, the Giants added four of their own in the second inning thanks in part to a Reggie Sanders three-run homerun. The Giants eventually grabbed a 9-7 lead but saw their bullpen blow the lead and the game in an 11-10 Angels victory.
The Bay Bridge Series was one of the crazier series of all time primarily because of off-the-field issues. After the A's grabbed a 2-0 lead in the series, Game Three was about to begin on October 17 when the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake hit the Bay Area. Due to the damage from the earthquake, the series was delayed ten days. The Giants were swept in this series as the A's potent offensive attack was simply too much to handle for the Giants pitching.
The Yankees were at the end of their dynastic run as this would be their last World Series appearance until 1976. Although I don't have the odds in front of me, I have to imagine the Giants were favorites heading into this World Series. They were coming off a season in which they finished 103-62, scored a league-leading 878 runs, and put together some very solid pitching with a team ERA of 3.79.
A look at the World Series would indicate a fairly balanced matchup as the Giants actually outscored the Yankees 21-20 in the series and on paper outperformed the defending champions. Unfortunately the games aren't played on paper and the Giants could not take the series. Willie Mays, fresh off a 49-homer regular season, was held to a .250 batting average with a single RBI. The Giants had a chance to win the series in the ninth inning of Game Seven as they got Felipe Alou to third on a Willie Mays two-out double. However, Willie McCovey hit a hard liner to second that was caught by Bobby Richardson to end the game and the series.
New York Giants World Series Appearances (all links to baseball reference)
1954 - New York Giants def Cleveland Indians (4-0)