Sunday, October 11, 2015

Awesome night card, pt. 244: it's getting late


We are in the midst of Game 3 of the American League Division Series here on Oct. 11, 2015.

This card addresses Danny Gladden's performance in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, which took place on Oct. 12, 1991. There would not be a Game 4 of the ALCS in 1991 until Oct. 20th.

Eight days difference in a 24-year span may not seem like that much, but there is a temptation to look at the date of this year's Game 7 of the World Series -- Nov. 4 -- and wonder where this is all going. When will MLB be playing in January?

I don't have a big issue with the division series, although you will never get me to fully embrace a second-place team appearing in the postseason. And I've already mentioned the gimmick nature of the winner-take-all wild-card matchup and how it may one day cheapen the product on the field, if it hasn't already.

But mostly I wonder if we're going to be playing baseball at Christmas time, which come to think of it, might be kind of interesting. So, to put my mind at ease, I looked up the history of the postseason.

It turns out that Santa's sleigh won't make a stop at the World Series unless baseball adds another layer or two or three of playoffs. "More games" is the only thing that has pushed back the postseason, particularly the World Series. The 365-day calendar has a regular rotation and the baseball schedule won't spin wildly out of control from that schedule unless more games are added.

This postseason just happens to be in a later year. We went through the same thing in 2009, when the World Series ended on Nov. 4. It was simply a quirk of the calendar.

Here is every season and what baseball was doing on Oct. 11 each year. Just so you can check it out, too:

2015: ALDS Game 3
2014: ALCS Game 2 and NLCS Game 1
2013: NLCS Game 1
2012: ALDS, Game 4 and NLDS Game 4

(Start of wild card game)

2011: ALCS Game 3
2010: No game, travel day between Game 4 and Game 5 of ALDS
2009: ALDS Game 3
2008: ALCS Game 2
2007: NLCS Game 1
2006: ALCS Game 2

2005: ALCS Game 1
2004: No games, break between Division Series and Championship Series
2003: ALCS Game 3, NLCS Game 4
2002: ALCS Game 3
2001: ALDS Game 2
2000: ALCS Game 2 and NLCS Game 1
1999: ALDS Game 5
1998: ALCS Game 5 and NLCS Game 4
1997: ALCS Game 3 and NLCS Game 4
1996: ALCS Game 3
1995: ALCS Game 2 and NLCS Game 2

(Start of Division Series) 

1994: no postseason
1993: NLCS Game 5
1992:  ALCS Game 4 and NLCS Game 5
1991: ALCS Game 3
1990: No game, break between Game 5 and Game 6 for NLCS
1989: No game, break between Championship Series and World Series
1988: NLCS Game 6
1987: ALCS Game 4 and NLCS Game 5
1986: ALCS Game 4 and NLCS Game 3
1985: ALCS Game 3

(Championship Series expanded to 7 games) 

1984: No game, break between Game 2 and Game 3 of World Series
1983: World Series Game 1
1982: No game, break between Championship Series and World Series
1981: Special ALDS Game 5 and special NLDS Game 5
1980: NLCS Game 4
1979: World Series Game 2
1978: World Series Game 2
1977: World Series Game 1
1976: No game, break between Game 2 and Game 3 for ALCS and NLCS
1975: World Series Game 1
1974: No game, break between Championship Series and World Series
1973: ALCS Game 5
1972: ALCS Game 4 and NLCS Game 5
1971: World Series Game 2
1970: World Series Game 2
1969: World Series Game 1

(Start of Championship Series)

1968: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 10)
1967: World Series Game 6
1966: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 9)
1965: World Series Game 5
1964: World Series Game 4
1963: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 6)
1962: No game, break between Game 5 and Game 6 of World Series
1961: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 9)
1960: No game, break between Game 5 and Game 6 of World Series
1959: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 8)

1958: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 9)
1957: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 10)
1956: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 10)
1955: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 4)
1954: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 2)
1953: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 5)
1952: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 7)
1951: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 10)
1950: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 7)
1949: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 9)

1948: World Series Game 6
1947: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 6)
1946: World Series Game 5
1945: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 10)
1944: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 9)
1943: World Series Game 5
1942: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 5)
1941: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 6)
1940: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 8)
1939: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 8)

1938: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 9)
1937: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 10)
1936: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 6)
1935: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 7)
1934: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 9)
1933: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 7)
1932: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 2)
1931: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 10)
1930: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 8)
1929: World Series Game 3

1928: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 9)
1927: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 8)
1926: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 10)
1925: World Series Game 4
1924: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 11)
1923: World Series Game 2
1922: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 8)
1921: World Series Game 6
1920: World Series Game 6
1919: Offseason (World Series ended Oct. 9)

1918: Offseason (World Series ended Sept. 11)
1917: World Series Game 4
1916: World Series Game 4
1915: World Series Game 3
1914: No game, break between Game 2 and Game 3 of World Series
1913: World Series Game 5
1912: World Series Game 4
1911: No game, break between regular season and World Series
1910: No game, break between regular season and World Series
1909: World Series Game 3

1908: World Series Game 2
1907: World Series Game 4
1906: World Series Game 3
1905: No game, break between Game 2 and Game 3 of World Series
1904: No postseason
1903: No game, break between Game 7 and Game 8 of World Series

I found that kind of interesting. It's key to note that the World Series was later in the earlier part of the 20th century than it was in the middle part.

So, although I'm partial to the October Classic and I don't think November goes well at all (especially if there's snow on the ground around here at the time), I'm willing to accept it every five or six years.

But if they start letting fourth-place teams in the playoffs, I'm screaming bloody murder.

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Night Card Binder candidate: Danny Gladden, 1992 Stadium Club Dome, #61
Does it make the binder?: Yup!

7 comments:

  1. 1918: Offseason (World Series ended Sept. 11).

    Man, World War 1 was a beyotch.

    Also this was the last Red Sox series win until 2004, AND it was the first time they sang the Star Spangled Banner at a Major League game. Cool.

    Also, there was rumors that the Cubs players fixed the 1918 World Series (the year before was the Black Sox year) which still linger today. That's pretty nuts, and something I never knew before.

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  2. That's a really interesting list. The lateness does bother me a bit - but not for the reasons you outlined. I love the 1 game playoff. It makes it tougher for the Wild Card, which I think is the right move (I do think the Wild Card is a good thing). Plus, the games are always must-watch baseball, I think moreso than any game until basically the World Series or, if applicable, a game 7 of the Championship Series.

    I wish they could get to the postseason earlier. As understand it, baseball used to have scheduled double headers. I would love to see 4 or so of those a year, get things moved up a week. You could move the start of the season up a bit, too and boom - the playoffs could start in late September. There's probably holes in that idea, but it's just a thought.

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    Replies
    1. The only hole in that idea is the loss of revenue if you have planned doubleheaders. Sure, you can do a day/night doubleheader and charge separately for each game, but that can be difficult logistically if the first game runs long, etc.

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    2. Good point Tony, didn't think of that. Most of the clubs have tiered pricing now; they could tier the double header games to at least partially offset that.

      Another thing - they do not need nearly as many off days in the post season. I understand they need to leave Monday open in case of ties, but they could do a number of things to have fewer days off. The Wild Card game winner doesn't need a day off. The division winners get either 3 or 4 off days, which is a disadvantage.

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    3. They do those off days to avoid having to reschedule due to weather and such. So it's not that the Wild Card winner needs a day off, but that they want to reduce the chances that they'll have to mess around with the existing schedule of the playoffs because of a rainout.

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  3. I just learned today that 1994 actually fits in above the "start of division series" line. Even though there was no postseason, MLB had already switched to a 3-division alignment and were prepared to have a Division Series in the postseason.

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