The Last Shall Be First

A happy blend of whiz kids and free agents help Minnesota and Atlanta vault from the cellar to the World Series

They picked Cinderella for last place too, and she did all right. But even in a fairy tale, no one expects Prince Charming to be that ungainly lad who'd been kept in the cellar for the past three years.

The improbable is for fables; baseball, right now at least, is the art of the impossible. In a century of the sport, no team had vaulted in a single year from worst in its league to best. Last week two teams did. And over the weekend, the Minnesota Twins (last in the American League West in 1990) and the Atlanta Braves (cellar...

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