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Valentine's trivial goose chase

ESPN Radio broadcaster -- and rumored future Marlins manager -- Bobby Valentine mentioned an interesting bit of trivia Tuesday night during game five of the ALDS between the Rangers and the Marlins.

Valentine, an avid collector of Fall Classic programs, claims that the Cardinals get the credit for coining the name "World Series" for baseball's championship.

According to Valentine, the Cardinals printed the term for the first time on their 1944 World Series programs against the cross-town St. Louis Browns. The Brownies, Valentine said, used the then traditional "World's Championship Games" title on programs for games they hosted.

I love a good story. But, unfortunately, this one just isn't true. I collect World Series ticket stubs, not programs. And while looking through my collection i discovered that the Yankees used the name "World Series" during the 1942 Fall Classic, so the Cardinals couldn't have coined the name in 1944.

blog post photo

A ticket stub from the deciding game five of the 1942 World Series in which the Cardinals defeated the Yankees.

My curiosity on the subject was piqued when Valentine said he had programs "from both parks" during the 1944 series between the Cardinals and Browns. While they may have had different program printers, the two St. Louis teams didn't have two ballparks. They shared Sportsmans Park on North Grand Avenue. And a quick check of programs online reveals that the Browns also called the championship the "World Series" on their programs in 1944.

The words "World's Series" actually appeared on Fall Classic programs at least as early as 1932 when the Yankees beat the Cubs.