It’s baseball fan’s annual dream: for his or her team make it to the World Series, and then, perhaps, . . . to win it all. In 2019, fans in Washington D.C. saw their Major League team (in this case the Nationals) upset the Houston Astros and win the World Series, the first title for a D.C. baseball team since 1924 (in that case the Senators).

The tensions and drama of October baseball have been a staple of American life for so many decades. History remembers the winners most especially, but before any celebrating happens, fans need to watch the games and sweat the outcome. These days fans can follow the game on a variety of devices, but it wasn’t always so. In 1957, these Milwaukee fans collected in a department store to watch their Braves on television. The effort to see the game, and their rapt faces, tells you how much they had invested in the moment.

World Series Celebrations

Fans watch the 1957 World Series on a department store television.

Photo by Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Milwaukee did defeat the Yankees in seven games, behind the arm of Series MVP Lew Burdette and the bat of the great Hank Aaron. So the party was on. Look at all these nurses who ran from the hospital with a serious case of Braves fever.

World Series celebrations

Nurses join the celebration after Milwaukee’s win in 1957.

Photo by Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

It’s a scene that has played out in some form or another in every year, although with perhaps fewer nurses from and center.

In 1955 after the Brooklyn Dodgers at long last downed the Yankees—after so many years of losing in the Series to their luminous crosstown rivals—LIFE photographer Martha Holmes saw a car piled high with celebrants. Holmes described the moment in the book LIFE Photographers: What They Saw:

“I saw them and I went running,” Holmes said. I felt like Ginger Rogers—I was running backwards on heels. But it was fun; I was a Dodger fan. Of course, they loved it. They were screaming and waving their arms. And with me there, they did it even more so.”

World Series

Brooklyn went wild after the Dodgers’ win in 1955.

Photo by Martha Holmes/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The extraordinary photo at the top of this story was taken by George Silk during the 1960 World Series in Pittsburgh. This was a World Series for the ages, as the Pirates defeated the Yankees in seven games behind one of the most memorable hits in baseball history, a series-ending home run from Bill Mazeroski.

Pittsburgh went wild with joy. See below, and especially note the kid. arm raised, being hoisted above the jubilant crowd. Feel his exhilaration. Who wouldn’t want to know that?

World Series pirates

Pittsburgh celebrates the 1960 World Series.

Photo by George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

World Series celebrations Pirates

Pittsburgh celebrates the 1960 World Series.

Photo by George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Fans in Pittsburgh celebrate the Pirates winning the World Series, 1960.

Photo by George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

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