Astros-Brewers: World Series Odd Couple

Cartoon by Bill McCurdy

 

They owe their common ground to Bud Selig. As such, they are the only two clubs in modern 1903 forward baseball history to have been members of both the American and National Leagues, leaving both of them with World Series possibilities that are only available to their two-club shared potentials.

The Houston Astros are the only American League club to have made a previous World Series appearance as a National League member. They did it, as all of you know, when they lost, 4-0, to the Chicago White Sox of the AL in 2005.

The Houston Astros were later coerced by the then active baseball commissioner, Bud Selig, into transferring from the NL to the AL as a condition for gaining his office’s approval of their franchise sale to new club owner Jim Crane.

The Houston franchise, one that had been an NL club since their 1962 first season as an expansion team, then moved to the AL in 2013. As such, they became the first and only formerly based NL club to make that major change in league affiliations.

The Astros NL-to-AL league change in 2013 set up a baseball first when the club then won their first World Series in 2017. In so doing, the Houston Astros became the first and only MLB former NL club to have returned to the World Series as an American League team. As we all know too, this one happened last year, when the 2017 Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 4-3 first victory in the World Series.

It is a record the Astros hold that will never be tied, unless some other NL club is bamboozled into change in the future by the political needs of some other future baseball czar and then manages to become the second NL-to-AL franchise transfer to win  World Series as an AL representative.

One team exists in 2018 with a still on-the-table possibility of matching the Astros accomplishment in reverse, at least, prior to Game One of the 2018 NLDS playoffs. That team, ironically, is the Milwaukee Brewers, the former property of Bud Selig, the even later former commish who forced Houston to the AL.

Brief Brewers History. The Brewers started out as a 1969 AL expansion club known as the Seattle Pilots. After a failed first year out west, the franchise was purchased by Bud Selig and backers and moved to a midwest city, where they played the next 28 years (1970-1997) as the Milwaukee Brewers, a continuing member of the AL.

When the Brewers opened shop in 1970, the fans of Milwaukee were no rube strangers to the World Series. During the (1953-1965) period in which the city served as home to the Milwaukee Braves, that club had won in 1957 and lost in 1958, facing the New York Yankees each time.

The AL Milwaukee Brewers finally reached the World Series in 1982, losing 4-3 to the AL representative, the St. Louis Cardinals. In do doing, the Brewers had lost the World Series in their only time there as an AL club. It was the same pattern in reverse for the Astros when they later lost their one shot at a World Series win as an NL club in 2005.

The Brewers moved to the NL in 1998 in another schedule-balancing move, but have yet to reach the World Series as an AL club. Prior to their 2018 NLDS series with Colorado, their chances for this year are alive and well. And that’s important to their Astros tie as one of the two living two-league franchises.

Only the Brewers have the ability to repeat in reverse what the Astros have done. ~ That is, lose your first shot at the World Series in one league and later win your first World Series as a member of the other.

Speaking as an Astros fan, let’s hope it doesn’t happen in 2018

Another Interesting Relevant Thought: In 1997, Milwaukee owner Bud Selig seems to have volunteered the Brewers as the club to move from the American to the National League as a solution to MLB’s schedule balancing problems. In 2012, and in search of another scheduling balance solution, he seems to have used his power to force an imminent move from the National to the American League by the Houston franchise as a condition for getting his approval for the sale of the Houston Astros to the Jim Crane group. ~ A few ticks of the clock later, we’re watching Bud Selig getting inducted into the Hall of Fame.

I don’t get it. ~ No, that’s not it. ~ I don’t want to get it. It makes The Hall of Fame sound like it may be located in Cooperstown, DC.

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

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One Response to “Astros-Brewers: World Series Odd Couple”

  1. Mark W. Says:

    Astros – Brewers, the marketers biggest nightmare. The games probably would be scheduled and aired in the morning, opposite the weather.

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