5. It's not just for love of the game
Sorry for the sarcasm. But while the thrill of victory is one thing, making money has been a key motivator for players over the years -- in a unique way.
The World Series didn't officially start until 1903, but precursors date back to 1884. It wasn't long after championship games became a draw that players started looking for a little extra scratch.
In 1894, the owner of Pittsburgh's franchise offered a trophy to the winner of a best-of-seven-game series between the National League's first- and second-place teams. Even better, the winning franchise would get 65% of all ticket sales (the losing team was rewarded with a 35% share).
A similar concept continues. Today, the bonus pool for players heading into the World Series is 60% of the gate receipts for the first four games (a move to keep unscrupulous players from conspiring to keep a series running longer). The winner gets 35% of the receipts and the loser 24%. The breakdown of player shares comes via a vote by the roster, and former players, as well as non-player staff, can be rewarded for their service.
6. Glenn Beck is in this Series too
Polarized politics will intrude on even America's pastime this year. A back story to this year's World Series -- although one you can expect Fox (Stock Quote: NWS) commentators to steer clear of during broadcasts -- is a fight between a progressive group and conservative media commentator Glenn Beck.
Beck, a former Fox News host, has struck out on his own with a paid-membership, steaming media site called GBTV. That service is being streamed through a partnership with MLB Advanced Media, the interactive media arm of Major League Baseball.
Last week, in the lead-up to this year's World Series, the group Americans United for Change launched strikeoutbeck.com to protest the business deal. The group is also rallying opposition using paid Facebook ads that will run in about a dozen cities.
In a statement, Tom McMahon, executive director of Americans United for Change, said it was "troubling and disheartening that the good folks behind Major League Baseball would agree to what even Fox News couldn't stomach to do any longer -- providing Beck with a platform to peddle more fear and spew more hate."
Neither Beck nor Major League Baseball have yet to issue an official comment on the protest.