A “Subway Series” is a term that refers to a series of baseball games played by Major League teams that are both based in the boroughs of New York City. Traditionally, the term "Subway Series" was used to describe World Series games that were played by two New York City teams. Since 1997, however, it has become common to apply the term “Subway Series” to any set of games played between two New York City teams during the regular baseball season.
The two current New York City teams are the Yankees and the Mets. The Yankees are members of the American League of baseball, while the Mets are part of the National League. The New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers both left New York in 1957.
The modern subway system is a very important part of urban life in many cities. In New York City, the subway is important both historically and in terms of every day convenience. The subway had become an important part of city travel by the 1920's and was regularly used to commute to baseball fields. At the time, subway rails carried sports fans to all three city ballparks. The main ballparks then were the Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium, and Ebbets Field. The major baseball venues today are Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium.
It is unknown who coined the term “Subway Series”. It is known, however, that the term “Nickel Series” was used in 1927 because it appeared in newspapers that year. “Nickel Series” is akin to “Subway Series” because, in 1927, it cost one nickel to ride the subway and, thus, travel to see one of the games. By the 1930's, however, the term “Subway Series” had taken over and was most commonly used.
The term “Subway Series” is still used regularly today. It now refers to series that are played between the two current New York City teams, the Mets and the Yankees. However, there are other cities, such as Los Angeles that relies on subway systems and is home to more than one team. When the home teams of these cities play a series of games against one another, the term "Subway Series" can technically be applied. However, the term which was coined in New York City and still thrives in New York City is generally understood to refer to a series of games played between the Big Apple teams.