Although professional baseball has held championship series since 1882, the first official “World Series” took place in 1884. The Providence Grays (National League) squared off against the Metropolitan Club (American Association) in three games for “the championship of the United States.” The Grays took the series, three games to none, and were proclaimed “champions of the world” by the New York Clipper. Thus the World Series was born.
The formation and demise of new baseball leagues, as well as the lack of a true commissioner, resulted in almost two decades of unorthodox World Series. Some years had no series, while others featured sets as long as 15 games. The first modern World Series as we know it (between the American and National Leagues) took place in 1903, between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox took five of the nine games to earn the distinction of being the first modern World Series winners.