Economic Despair: Sincerely, Philadelphia Baseball


The Phillies celebrate their 2008 World Series win by dog-piling on the mound. Shane Victorino is jumping on the top.

There have been 2 teams in baseball history to win the World Series in Philadelphia. The Athletics did it in 1929 and the Phillies in 1980 and 2008. After each of these 3 World Series wins, there has been massive economic crises. 1929 had the Great Depression, 1980 had their worst recession since WWII, and 2008 had the Great Recession.

In their first World Series win, there were only 16 teams in the entire league and Herbert Hoover was president. This was the only World Series where the Philadelphia team was not the Phillies. This one had the Athletics as the Philadelphia representative. Their competition in the World Series was the Chicago Cubs, who won 98 games in the 150 game regular season.

The Athletics won the series in 5 games, 4 games to 1. The same year, the stock market crashed which caused the Great Depression. The Great Depression marked the end of the Roaring 20s which saw a rise in wealth and investing in the stock market.

Their second World Series title was in 1980. The regular season had 24 teams, missing 6 that the MLB currently has. The World Series was between the Kansas City Royals and the Phillies and the Phillies won in 6 games. This was the first time 2 teams that have never won a World Series had faced off. It was also the first time the World Series would be played entirely on a turf field.

In the same year, the US faced one of the worst recessions they had ever seen. Ronald Reagan and his tight monetary policies triggered the recession. He was a Republican president who believed in slowing the growth of government spending, tightening the money supply to try to combat inflation, and reducing the income tax. His economic policy was called Reagnomics. Reaganomics caused the recession because the policymakers of the 1960s and 1970s tried to combat unemployment through inflation.

Their third and most recent title was in 2008. This World Series had all 30 MLB teams competing for the title in the regular season because the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks were both instituted in 1998. This World Series was between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Phillies, which Philadelphia won in 5 games, 4 games to 1, like in 1929.

In 2008, the US saw the Great Recession, which was caused by increasing house prices, banks going into crisis, and a plummeting stock market. Many houses were foreclosed upon and many Americans were not only left homeless, but jobless too. There was an unemployment rate of 10%.

The current World Series picture is the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros. The Phillies are coming into this series having been the 6th seed in the NL and beating the 93 win Cardinals in the Wild Card round, the 101 win Braves in the Divisional Series, and the 89 win Padres, who beat the 111 win Dodgers, in the Championship Series. The Astros are coming in as the 1st seed of the AL in the regular season and they won 106 games. They have not lost a single game in the playoffs this year, having swept the Seattle Mariners in 3 games and the New York Yankees in 4 games.

Statistically, the US is in for another big recession because we have a high inflation rate and skyrocketing housing prices.

According to CNBC,, and US Inflation Calculator, the stocks are down close to 20% and some have dropped as far as 60% of their value. The inflation rate for this year is 8.2% and this last month alone was .2%. In 2008, the inflation rate was just 3.8%, which is less than half of what the inflation rate is right now.

Historically, these are the signs of a massive recession, so this being said… go Astros?

Are Philadelphia baseball teams causing these crises with their wins or is it just a coincidence? If they are causing the economic despair, then lets hope they do not win too many World Series in the future.