Monday, August 05, 2002

Ask A Stupid Question

It's the World Series and always has been

By Mike Pulfer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Question: “At the end of the regular baseball season, the best team from the National League plays the best team from the American League. My stupid question is: "Why do they call it the World Series?' They're not the best teams in the world, are they? They are the best teams in the United States. Why not call it the USA series?”

        One more time, from one more reader:

        “Why do they call it a World Series when it is two teams from America? Why isn't it called the American Series?”

        Answer: First, let us just say, that question is outahere.

        Still, there was little scurrying in the outfield in New York when we repeated the question.

        “It's a tradition thing,” says Edwin, a public relations spokesman who prefers to be known as Major League Baseball.

        “Ours was the only nation playing baseball” when the World Series surfaced in 1903, he says.

        So, we're guessing, Boston and Pittsburgh must have been the best teams in the world at that time.

        Since then, “There have been no discussions about changing the name,” Major League Baseball informs us. Baseball, a game rich with traditions, apparently is intent on hanging on to this one.

        Baseball fans, who have expressed their own appreciation for traditional aspects of the game, are not likely to push the issue, regardless of the exaggeration that comes with the title.

        So it appears the bottom line is this: Baseball calls the World Series the World Series because it can.

        If you have a stupid question, send it to Ask a Stupid Question, Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202; fax: 768-8330; e-mail


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