Dodger's rally in opposition to Rays takes its first World Collection title since 1988
The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after beating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in their sixth game and winning the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas.
Tom Pennington | Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled the curtain on the shortest, strangest season in Major League Baseball – ending a three-decade-long franchise curse on Tuesday night.
Los Angeles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Arlington, Texas to finish the World Series in six games and win the Commissioner's Trophy for the first time since 1988.
Tampa Bay led 1-0 and ended up in sixth place behind the dominant starting pitcher Blake Snell. After Snell dropped a one-off single, Rays manager Kevin Cash drew Snell in hopes that his stable of hard-throwing relief pitchers would protect the lead.
Instead, Dodgers star Mookie Betts greeted reliever Nick Anderson with a momentum-shifting double that sparked a two-run rally that finally put Los Angeles at the top. Betts arrived in the eighth inning to add an important insurance run.
The Dodgers celebrated their title not in St. Petersburg or Los Angeles, but in the suburbs of Dallas and on the diamond of Globe Life Field, the brand new home of the Texas Rangers, who don't have to play a game there yet.
This was the first World Series to be played entirely on a neutral field when MLB took a page out of the NHL and NBA game books and created loose bubbles to limit travel and possible exposure to the coronavirus raging across America .
The pandemic that killed more than 227,000 Americans forced MLB to stop spring training in March and no games were played until July 23.
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After months of fierce labor negotiations, MLB returned with a regular miniature season of 60 games, well below the 162 games normally played with no fans and under odd rules.
With the victory on Tuesday night, the Brooklyn-born Dodgers have seven World Series titles, the sixth most in baseball. They only follow the New York / San Francisco Giants with eight, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia / Oakland A, both of which have nine, the St. Louis Cardinals with 11 and the New York Yankees with their 27 world titles.
And in a historical quirk, Los Angeles now has World Series titles from MLB's two shortest seasons.
The Dodgers won the 1981 World Championship after a regular season in which about a third of all games were lost to a player strike. MLB split the 1981 season in half and allocated the playoff spots to the half-year winners.
This unconventional format resulted in the Cincinnati Reds being excluded from the playoffs with the top 61.1 percent win rate in baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals, who won 57.8 percent of their games and were the second best team on the national team, also fell through the playoff rifts.