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Baseball World Series Begins Saturday - 2003-10-18

The 100th anniversary World Series gets under way Saturday night in New York where the Yankees host the Florida Marlins in the opening game of U.S. major-league baseball's October classic.

The Yankees have dominated the last century of baseball, and are looking for their 27th world title. New York had the best record in the American League this season, and has baseball's highest payroll by far, at $157 million.

By contrast, the Marlins are in the 11th year of their existence, and have earned one championship in 1997. Florida won the National League championship this year as the wildcard entry, and is ranked 20th of the 30 teams in total annual salaries at $53 million.

Forty-year-old veteran David Wells will be on the mound for the Yankees in the opening game of the best-of-seven series, while 25-year-old Brad Penny will pitch for the Marlins. Florida's Jack McKeon, at the age of 72, is the oldest manager to lead his team into a World Series.

The Marlins won the National League championship Wednesday, finishing off the Chicago Cubs with their third straight win to take the league series, four games to three.

The Yankees' series with the Boston Red Sox also went to the limit (seven games). The New Yorkers were four runs down but rallied to tie the game in the eighth inning, and they hung on to end Boston's hopes with a home run in the 11th. The Yankees were the first team since 1925 to win a post-season series by coming back from such a large deficit in the final game.

The Marlins also came from behind in their final game. They and the Yankees both turned their games around when they were just five outs away from losing the league championship.