1998 32¢ First World Series
Celebrate the Century – 1900s
Issue Date: February 3, 1998
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 ½
The game of baseball was born in the eastern United States during the mid-1800s, and quickly spread throughout the country. At first all baseball players were amateurs, but soon the best players were being lured to teams by money. Over time, entire teams turned professional.
By 1900, baseball had entered its modern era. The sport had become such an important part of American life that it was often referred to as the “national pastime.” In 1900, eight teams formed the first major league, called the National League. A rival league, the American League, was founded in 1901.
The first World Series was held in 1903. It began when National League champion Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss challenged American League champion Boston Pilgrims owner Henry Killilea to a best-of-nine-games series. Thousands of fans attended each game – the first attracted more than 16,000 viewers. The Pilgrims, led by legendary pitcher Cy Young, lost that first game, but came back to win the series five games to three.
Although quarreling prevented a 1904 World Series, by 1905 the two leagues had signed an agreement providing for a post-season championship, and the World Series has been the highlight of the baseball season ever since.