Old Rivalries Resurrected for 2021 MLB Playoffs

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Old Yankee Stadium

On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at approximately 5:08 pm, the American League Wild Card game will be aired on TBS for all fans of Major League Baseball to watch and enjoy. This will mark not only the start of the playoffs for MLB, but it will also signify the 5th time that the oldest rivalry in the sport gets to be shown off on the highest stage.

The New York Yankees and The Boston Red Sox have been rivals for a very long time. In 1919, the Red Sox traded pitcher turned slugger George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe Ruth, to the Yankees in exchange for $125,000 in cash (equivalent to around 2,000,000 in today’s money).

This is widely considered the beginning of the Sox/Yanks rivalry, one that is very heavily lopsided towards the Yankees.

Since the trade, the Red Sox have won 4 World Series, while the Yankees have won 27 of them. If that doesn’t astonish you, there have been 116 World Series games, meaning the Yanks have won 23.3% of all the championship games in baseball history.

The playoff drought that the Red Sox lived through during what has been affectionately called the “Bambino Curse” (The 85 years in between 1919 and 2004), the Sox only won the American League pennant 4 total times. This created a generation of Red Sox fans who did not get to know what it feels like to win a championship, even after coming so painfully close those 4 times.

Not only did these fans have to live through an era of mediocrity and disappointment after coming so close, but they also had to watch one of the greatest players in baseball history, Ted Williams, waste his career on a losing franchise.

This year, Red Sox and Yankees fans will get to watch a thrilling one-game matchup of two teams who have seen a lot of each other in the 120+ years of professional baseball.

Although, that isn’t the only rivalry that we may get to see this year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants represent the largest rivalry that we have here on the West coast, ever since both teams moved from Brooklyn and Manhattan, respectively. These teams have a similar scenario as the others, but in this case, the Dodgers reigned supreme over the Giants ever since the 60’s when the teams moved, up until the 2010s when the Giants won 3 World Series in 5 years.

I wouldn’t get too excited about this idea though, this matchup is not guaranteed due to the Dodgers needing to win the National League Wild Card game on Wednesday, October 6.

Baseball is a storied game, with legends and mythologies to rival even some of the oldest religions and cultures in the world. The 2021 playoffs come at a time in this country where many have forgotten these tales of heroism and exciting rivalries, but it is never too late to make new stories for a new generation of people, and maybe even make some remember why it is called our national game.