A Historical Tracking of Parity in Baseball

sportspages

A young child’s unparalleled belief in the invincibility of his hometown team, the palpable tension of a fanbase in anticipation of their ace’s next pitch, the thrill of a late-August pennant race…these are the sacrosanct moments etched onto the landscape of America’s favorite pastime.

A century ago, winning the pennant meant a berth in the World Series. Players were paid little and had other careers, and fans used words such as integrity to describe the game. Sometime between that era and this one, the game changed. Free agency, salary jumps, playoff expansion, lucrative media contracts, and instant replay; the modern era of baseball began.

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