American League Championship Series

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The American League Championship Series (ALCS) is a best-of-seven series played in October in the Major League Baseball postseason that determines the winner of the American League (AL) pennant. The winner of the series advances to play the winner of the National League (NL) Championship Series (NLCS) in the World Series, Major League Baseball's championship series.

History[edit]

It started in 1969, when the AL reorganized into two divisions, East and West. The winners of each division played each other in a best-of-five series to determine who would advance to the World Series. In 1985, the format changed to best-of-seven. In 1994, the league was restructured into three divisions, with the three division winners and a wild-card team advancing to a best-of-five postseason round, known as the American League Division Series (ALDS). The winners of that round then advanced to the best-of-seven ALCS. In 2012, the playoffs were expanded again so that two wild card teams face off in a one-game wild card round to determine which team advances to the division series, with the playoffs then continuing as it had before 2012 (though with the possibility of a fifth seed being in the playoffs and a fourth seed being out) after the end of the wild card round. This is the system currently in use.

The ALCS and NLCS, since the expansion to best-of-seven, are always played in a 2–3–2 format: Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 are played in the stadium of the team that has home field advantage, and Games 3, 4, and 5 are played in the stadium of the team that does not. The series concludes when one team records its fourth win. Since 1998, home field advantage has been given to the team that has the better regular season record, unless that team happens to be the Wild Card team. In that case, the other team gets home field advantage, because by rule the Wild Card team is never allowed home field advantage in a Division Series or LCS. In the event that both teams have identical records in the regular season, home field advantage goes to the team that has the winning head-to-head record. From 1969 to 1993, home field advantage alternated between the two divisions, and from 1995 to 1997 home field advantage was determined before the season.

The Milwaukee Brewers, an American League team between 1969 and 1997, and the Houston Astros are the only franchises to play in the ALCS and NLCS. The Astros are the only team to have won both the National and American League Championship Series.

Championship Trophy[edit]

The William Harridge Trophy is awarded to the ALCS champion. The trophy's namesake comes from the American League president from 1931 to 1959.[1]

Most Valuable Player Award[edit]

See: League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award#American League winners

The Lee MacPhail Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given to the outstanding player in the ALCS. No MVP award is given for Division Series play.

Although the National League began its LCS MVP award in 1977, the American League did not begin its LCS MVP award till 1980. The winners are listed (1) below in the section on "ALCS results (1969–present)", in the "Series MVP" column, (2) at League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award, and (3) on the MLB website.[2]

ALCS results (1969–present)[edit]

Click the link on the far left for detailed information on that series.

Key
wc
Wild-card team (since 1995)
*
MVP did not play for winning team
Year Winner Manager Loser Manager Record Series MVP TV
Network
1969 Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver Minnesota Twins Billy Martin 3–0 NBC
1970 Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver Minnesota Twins Bill Rigney 3–0   NBC
1971 Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver Oakland Athletics Dick Williams 3–0   NBC
1972 Oakland Athletics Dick Williams Detroit Tigers Billy Martin 3–2   NBC
1973 Oakland Athletics Dick Williams Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver 3–2   NBC
1974 Oakland Athletics Alvin Dark Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver 3–1   NBC
1975 Boston Red Sox Darrell Johnson Oakland Athletics Alvin Dark 3–0   NBC
1976 New York Yankees Billy Martin Kansas City Royals Whitey Herzog 3–2   ABC
1977 New York Yankees Billy Martin Kansas City Royals Whitey Herzog 3–2   NBC
1978 New York Yankees Bob Lemon Kansas City Royals Whitey Herzog 3–1   ABC
1979 Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver California Angels Jim Fregosi 3–1   NBC
1980 Kansas City Royals Jim Frey New York Yankees Dick Howser 3–0 Frank White, Kansas City ABC
1981 New York Yankees Bob Lemon Oakland Athletics Billy Martin 3–0 Graig Nettles, New York NBC
1982 Milwaukee Brewers Harvey Kuenn California Angels Gene Mauch 3–2 Fred Lynn, California* ABC
1983 Baltimore Orioles Joe Altobelli Chicago White Sox Tony La Russa 3–1 Mike Boddicker, Baltimore NBC
1984 Detroit Tigers Sparky Anderson Kansas City Royals Dick Howser 3–0 Kirk Gibson, Detroit ABC
1985 Kansas City Royals Dick Howser Toronto Blue Jays Bobby Cox 4–3 George Brett, Kansas City NBC
1986 Boston Red Sox John McNamara California Angels Gene Mauch 4–3 Marty Barrett, Boston ABC
1987 Minnesota Twins Tom Kelly Detroit Tigers Sparky Anderson 4–1 Gary Gaetti, Minnesota NBC
1988 Oakland Athletics Tony La Russa Boston Red Sox Joe Morgan 4–0 Dennis Eckersley, Oakland ABC
1989 Oakland Athletics Tony La Russa Toronto Blue Jays Cito Gaston 4–1 Rickey Henderson, Oakland NBC
1990 Oakland Athletics Tony La Russa Boston Red Sox Joe Morgan 4–0 Dave Stewart, Oakland CBS
1991 Minnesota Twins Tom Kelly Toronto Blue Jays Cito Gaston 4–1 Kirby Puckett, Minnesota CBS
1992 Toronto Blue Jays Cito Gaston Oakland Athletics Tony La Russa 4–2 Roberto Alomar, Toronto CBS
1993 Toronto Blue Jays Cito Gaston Chicago White Sox Gene Lamont 4–2 Dave Stewart, Toronto CBS
1994 Series cancelled[3]
1995 Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove Seattle Mariners Lou Piniella 4–2 Orel Hershiser, Cleveland ABC/NBC
1996 New York Yankees Joe Torre Baltimore Orioles wc Davey Johnson 4–1 Bernie Williams, New York NBC
1997 Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove Baltimore Orioles Davey Johnson 4–2 Marquis Grissom, Cleveland Fox
1998 New York Yankees Joe Torre Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove 4–2 David Wells, New York NBC
1999 New York Yankees Joe Torre Boston Red Sox wc Grady Little 4–1 Orlando Hernández, New York Fox
2000 New York Yankees Joe Torre Seattle Mariners wc Jimy Williams 4–2 David Justice, New York NBC
2001 New York Yankees Joe Torre Seattle Mariners Lou Piniella 4–1 Andy Pettitte, New York Fox
2002 Anaheim Angels wc Mike Scioscia Minnesota Twins Ron Gardenhire 4–1 Adam Kennedy, Anaheim Fox
2003 New York Yankees Joe Torre Boston Red Sox wc Grady Little 4–3 Mariano Rivera, New York Fox
2004 Boston Red Sox wc Terry Francona New York Yankees Joe Torre 4–3 David Ortiz, Boston Fox
2005 Chicago White Sox Ozzie Guillén Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Ron Gardenhire 4–1 Paul Konerko, Chicago Fox
2006 Detroit Tigers wc Jim Leyland Oakland Athletics Ken Macha 4–0 Plácido Polanco, Detroit Fox
2007 Boston Red Sox Terry Francona Cleveland Indians Eric Wedge 4–3 Josh Beckett, Boston Fox
2008 Tampa Bay Rays Joe Maddon Boston Red Sox wc Terry Francona 4–3 Matt Garza, Tampa Bay TBS
2009 New York Yankees Joe Girardi Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Mike Scioscia 4–2 CC Sabathia, New York Fox
2010 Texas Rangers Ron Washington New York Yankees wc Joe Girardi 4–2 Josh Hamilton, Texas TBS
2011 Texas Rangers Ron Washington Detroit Tigers Jim Leyland 4–2 Nelson Cruz, Texas Fox
2012 Detroit Tigers Jim Leyland New York Yankees Joe Girardi 4–0 Delmon Young, Detroit TBS
2013 Boston Red Sox John Farrell Detroit Tigers Jim Leyland 4–2 Koji Uehara, Boston Fox
2014 Kansas City Royals wc Ned Yost Baltimore Orioles Buck Showalter 4–0 Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City TBS
2015 Kansas City Royals Ned Yost Toronto Blue Jays John Gibbons 4–2 Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Fox/FS1
2016 Cleveland Indians Terry Francona Toronto Blue Jays wc John Gibbons 4–1 Andrew Miller, Cleveland TBS
2017 Houston Astros A. J. Hinch New York Yankees wc Joe Girardi 4–3 Justin Verlander, Houston FS1/Fox

ALCS appearances by team[edit]

Series
appearances
Team Wins Losses Win % Most recent
win
Most recent
appearance
Games
won
Games
lost
Game
win %
Most recent
game win
16 New York Yankees 11 5 .688 2009 2017 48 36 .571 2017
11 Oakland Athletics 6 5 .545 1990 2006 23 23 .500 1992
10 Boston Red Sox 5 5 .500 2013 2013 26 31 .456 2013
10 Baltimore Orioles 5 5 .500 1983 2014 21 20 .512 1997
8 Kansas City Royals 4 4 .500 2015 2015 20 17 .541 2015
7 Detroit Tigers 3 4 .429 2012 2013 18 15 .545 2013
7 Toronto Blue Jays 2 5 .286 1993 2016 16 24 .400 2016
6 Los Angeles Angels 1 5 .167 2002 2009 13 19 .406 2009
5 Cleveland Indians 3 2 .600 2016 2016 17 13 .567 2016
5 Minnesota Twins 2 3 .400 1991 2002 9 12 .429 2002
3 Chicago White Sox 1 2 .333 2005 2005 7 8 .467 2005
3 Seattle Mariners 0 3 .000 - 2001 5 12 .294 2001
2 Texas Rangers 2 0 1.000 2011 2011 8 4 .667 2011
1 Tampa Bay Rays 1 0 1.000 2008 2008 4 3 .571 2008
1 Houston Astros 1 0 1.000 2017 2017 4 3 .571 2017
1 Milwaukee Brewers 1 0 1.000 1982 1982 3 2 .600 1982

Recurring matchups[edit]

Count Matchup Record Years
4 Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees Yankees, 3–1 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980
3 Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees Yankees, 2–1 1999, 2003, 2004
3 Baltimore Orioles vs. Oakland Athletics Athletics, 2–1 1971, 1973, 1974
3 Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland Athletics Athletics, 2–1 1975, 1988, 1990
2 Baltimore Orioles vs. Minnesota Twins Orioles, 2–0 1969, 1970
2 Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics Tied, 1–1 1972, 2006
2 Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays Royals, 2–0 1985, 2015
2 New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners Yankees, 2–0 2000, 2001
2 Oakland Athletics vs. Toronto Blue Jays Tied, 1–1 1989, 1992

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ winner.http://fielderschoice.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/overjoyed/ Dave (Tampa Bay Rays fan), "Overjoyed!", Fielder's Choice Baseball Card Blog, April 10, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009 (including photo of trophy).
  2. ^ League Championship Series Most Valuable Players (MLB.com/News/Awards/History/ ). MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  3. ^ "Baseball-Reference Playoff and World Series Index". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 

External links[edit]