The Best World Series Ever?

Kris Bryant helped the Cubs win the World Series (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Kris Bryant helped the Cubs win the World Series (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

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By Peter Valentino

Kris Bryant helped the Cubs win the World Series (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Kris Bryant helped the Cubs win the World Series (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Last Wednesday, 40 million people tuned in to watch what many are describing as the greatest baseball game ever, as the Chicago Cubs ended their 108 year championship drought to the Cleveland Indians in Game 7. The game had everything that a baseball fan could ask for, as the Cubs prevailed in 10 innings, 8-7. Game 7 was the most watched baseball game since Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, a finale that many baseball writers consider the greatest World Series ever played. When it comes to the greatest fall classics in history, this year not only puts itself among the best, but it also may be considered one of the more important.

This year’s World Series vies for the top spot of Fall Classics because of its storylines. Both teams had a combined 176 years without a championship before Wednesday, and people knew before the series that either the longest or second-longest drought was going to end after this year, which was the series’ main lure. The World Series also had a great managerial match-up, with future Hall of Fame skipper Terry Francona facing off against Joe Maddon, who was looking for his first ring as a manager. There were many times in the series where one could see their managerial abilities of their great managerial abilities, including not overworking the bullpen and putting in pinch hitters and runners for certain players. The two showed  what it takes to be a capable strategist in the World Series. The series had star players on both sides, with the Indians’ Corey Kluber, Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis. The Cubs were also stacked, with potential MVP Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. Many see this as the birth of a dynasty in Chicago, as the players are young and there is still money to spend.

As far as its place on the list of greatest World Series of all time, it’s got to be in the top five, probably only after 1986 and 1991. While it didn’t really have one stellar play, it was every bit entertaining, star-studded and nail-biting. More importantly, it can be seen as the most successful World Series of all time. Forty million people tuned in, not to watch the World Series, but to watch what should be viewed as a historical event, and it lived up to all the hype. The last time the ratings for a World Series were this high were in 2004, when the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918. It wasn’t long ago when in 2012, the Giants and the Tigers produced the worst viewership for a World Series since it started tracking ratings in 1984. While it is unknown whether or not next year’s World Series will produce the same ratings, one thing is certain: with the number of people who watched Game 7, the sport may have gained some new viewers for next October. No matter where this World Series is ranked in history, moving the sport into the future may be just as important.