The World Series is the annual championship series of North American-based Major League Baseball (MLB), played since 1903 between the American League (AL) and National League (NL) team champions. 109 Series have been contested, with the AL winning 63 and the NL winning 46. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played in October, which is one of the fall (autumn) months in North America, MLB also refers to it as the Fall Classic. The most recent World Series was won by the Boston Red Sox, who defeated the St. Louis Cardinals four games to two in 2013. In the American League, the New York Yankees have played in 40 World Series and won 27, the Oakland/Philadelphia Athletics have played in 14 and won 9, and the Boston Red Sox have played in 12 and won 8, including the first World Series. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have appeared in 19 and won 11, the San Francisco/New York Giants have played in 19 World Series and won 7, and the Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers have appeared in 18 and won 6.
Extra innings is the extension of a baseball or softball game in order to break a tie, often referred to as "free baseball" by fans.
Ordinarily, a baseball game consists of nine innings (in softball games and high school baseball games there are typically seven innings; in Little League, six innings), each of which is divided into halves: the visiting team bats first, after which the home team takes its turn at bat. However, if the score remains tied at the end of the regulation number of complete innings, the rules provide that "play shall continue until (1) the visiting team has scored more total runs than the home team at the end of a completed inning; or (2) the home team scores the winning run in an uncompleted inning."
In Major League Baseball, the National League Championship Series (NLCS) is a round in the postseason that determines who wins the National League pennant and advances to Major League Baseball's championship, the World Series, facing the winner of the American League Championship Series. The reigning National League Champions are the St. Louis Cardinals.
Prior to 1969, the National League champion (the "pennant winner") was determined by the best win-loss record at the end of the regular season. There were four ad hoc three-game playoff series due to ties under this formulation (in 1946, 1951, 1959 and 1962). (The American League had to resolve a tie in 1948, but used a single-game playoff for that.)
The Houston Astros are a professional baseball team located in Houston, Texas. The team is a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, having moved in 2013 after spending their first 51 seasons in the National League. The Astros have played their home games at Minute Maid Park since 2000.
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in the south side of Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since 1991, the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed "The Cell" by local fans. The White Sox are one of two major league clubs based in Chicago, the other being the Chicago Cubs of the National League. The White Sox last won the World Series in 2005.