In Major League Baseball, the American League Championship Series (ALCS), played in October, is a playoff round that determines the winner of the American League pennant. The winner of the series advances to play the winner of the National League Championship Series in baseball's championship, the World Series. It began in 1969, when the American League was 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 playoff round, known as the American League Division Series or ALDS. The winners of that round then advanced to the best-of-seven ALCS. 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. Home field advantage is given to the team that has the better 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.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Texas Rangers are the only American League teams to never appear in an ALCS. The other 12 teams and the Milwaukee Brewers (members of the AL from 1969-1997) have each appeared at least once.
A Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given to the outstanding player in the ALCS. No MVP award is given for Division Series play. The William Harridge Trophy is awarded to the ALCS winner.
ALCS results (1969-present) Edit
Click the link on the far left for detailed information on that series.
|1969||Baltimore Orioles||Minnesota Twins||3-0|
|1970||Baltimore Orioles||Minnesota Twins||3-0|
|1971||Baltimore Orioles||Oakland Athletics||3-0|
|1972||Oakland Athletics||Detroit Tigers||3-2|
|1973||Oakland Athletics||Baltimore Orioles||3-2|
|1974||Oakland Athletics||Baltimore Orioles||3-1|
|1975||Boston Red Sox||Oakland Athletics||3-0|
|1976||New York Yankees||Kansas City Royals||3-2||Chris Chambliss hits a walk-off home run in Game 5.|
|1977||New York Yankees||Kansas City Royals||3-2||The visiting Yankees scored three runs in the top of the 9th inning on their way to a second of three straight World Series'.|
|1978||New York Yankees||Kansas City Royals||3-1||George Brett set an A.L.C.S. single-game record with three home runs in Game 4 and set the full series record with two triples (a mark since equaled by Kenny Lofton)|
|1979||Baltimore Orioles||California Angels||3-1|
|1980||Kansas City Royals||New York Yankees||3-0||Frank White, Kansas City|
|1981||New York Yankees||Oakland Athletics||3-0||Graig Nettles, New York|
|1982||Milwaukee Brewers||California Angels||3-2||Fred Lynn, California|
|1983||Baltimore Orioles||Chicago White Sox||3-1||Mike Boddicker, Baltimore|
|1984||Detroit Tigers||Kansas City Royals||3-0||Kirk Gibson, Detroit||Paced by Gibson's hitting, the Tigers swept the Royals en route to a World Championship.|
|1985||Kansas City Royals||Toronto Blue Jays||4-3||George Brett, Kansas City||The first best-of-seven ALCS. Down 3 games to 1, Kansas City comes back, including two road wins. Jim Sundberg broke Game 7 wide open with a 3-RBI triple.|
|1986||Boston Red Sox||4-1||Ruppert Jones, California||Ruppert Jones was intentionally walked to load the bases, a fatal mistake, as two batters later, Downing was hit by a pitch, bringing in the tying run. Jerry Narron, then, scored on Bobby Grich's one-out single, giving California a 4–3 win and went to their first world series ever.|
|1987||Minnesota Twins||Detroit Tigers||4-1||Gary Gaetti, Minnesota||The Twins advanced to their first World Series since 1965 despite having the weakest record of any of the 4 division champions in 1987.|
|1988||Oakland Athletics||Boston Red Sox||4-0||Dennis Eckersley, Oakland||Eckersley sets an unbreakable record with 4 saves in the series.|
|1989||Oakland Athletics||Toronto Blue Jays||4-1||Rickey Henderson, Oakland||Henderson's 8 steals (in just 5 games) are an ALCS record, but the big story is the mammoth home run José Canseco blasts at the SkyDome into the highest deck.|
|1990||Oakland Athletics||Boston Red Sox||4-0||Dave Stewart, Oakland||Roger Clemens gets ejected in Game 4, putting the nail in Boston's coffin.|
|1991||Minnesota Twins||Toronto Blue Jays||4-1||Kirby Puckett, Minnesota|
|1992||Toronto Blue Jays||Oakland Athletics||4-2||Roberto Alomar, Toronto||MVP Alomar hits a crucial 9th-inning home run off Dennis Eckersley in Game 4.|
|1993||Toronto Blue Jays||Chicago White Sox||4-2||Dave Stewart, Toronto||The Blue Jays knocked off the White Sox in 6 games en route to their second consecutive World Championship.|
|1994||Not held due to player strike.|
|1995||Cleveland Indians||Seattle Mariners||4-2||Orel Hershiser, Cleveland||Hershiser became the first player to win LCS MVP awards in both leagues as Cleveland won their first AL Pennant since 1954.|
|1996||New York Yankees||Baltimore Orioles†||4-1||Bernie Williams, New York||Aided by fan Jeffrey Maier, who reached over the right field wall to pull a fly ball into the stands and out of the reach of Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco, Derek Jeter hit a game-tying home run in Game 1, then Williams hit the walk-off shot in extra innings.|
|1997||Cleveland Indians||Baltimore Orioles||4-2||Marquis Grissom, Cleveland||An 11th inning Home Run by Tony Fernandez in game 6 propelled Cleveland to its second pennant in three years.|
|1998||New York Yankees||Cleveland Indians||4-2||David Wells, New York||The Yankees defeat of the Indians in 6 games would be the first of four consecutive AL Pennants for the Yankees.|
|1999||New York Yankees||Boston Red Sox†||4-1||Orlando Hernández, New York||Bernie Williams' walk-off Home Run in the 11th inning of game 1 sent the Yankees on their way to their second consecutive AL Pennant.|
|2000||New York Yankees||Seattle Mariners†||4-2||David Justice, New York||Justice's towering homer off Arthur Rhodes in Game 6 ensured the first Subway Series since 1956. Roger Clemens one-hit Seattle in Game 4.|
|2001||New York Yankees||Seattle Mariners||4-1||Andy Pettitte, New York||Although the Mariners boasted a record 116 wins in the regular season, the Yankees wiped them out in 5 games. Alfonso Soriano hit a walk-off home run in Game 4.|
|2002||Anaheim Angels†||Minnesota Twins||4-1||Adam Kennedy, Anaheim||The series MVP hit three home runs in the deciding Game 5 despite swatting just 7 in the regular season.|
|2003||New York Yankees||Boston Red Sox†||4-3||Mariano Rivera, New York||Aaron Boone hit an 11th-inning blast off Tim Wakefield to cap off an exciting Game 7. Often called the best game in the Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry, it may be better known for Grady Little refusing to pull ace Pedro Martínez from the game. Another highlight was the Game 3 brawl.This was remembered by Pedro's push of Yankees' bench coach Don Zimmer. It was showed that Zimmer was actually yelling at Martínez during his run toward him. Pedro and Don then apologized for the memorable meeting.|
|2004||Boston Red Sox†||New York Yankees||4-3||David Ortiz, Boston||Boston becomes the first baseball team in history to win a series after losing the first three games.|
|2005||Chicago White Sox||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||4-1||Paul Konerko, Chicago||After Neal Cotts worked ⅔ of an inning in a Game 1 loss, the Sox, aided by a controversial Doug Eddings call, pitched 4 complete games in a row.|
|2006||Detroit Tigers†||Oakland Athletics||4-0||Plácido Polanco, Detroit||Magglio Ordóñez hit a three run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth of Game 4 to complete the sweep.|
†Denotes wild-card team (since 1995).
|American League Championship Series|