Why Some Yankees World Series Wins Are More Valuable Than Others

Harold FriendChief Writer IApril 10, 2012

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21:  A view of the Yankee Stadium at sunset prior to the start of the last game at Yankee Stadium between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees on September 21, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankee Stadium held it's inaugural game on April 18, 1923 against the Boston Red Sox and tonight's match will be the final game to be played at the historic stadium. During it's 85 years as 'The Home of Champions,' the stadium has also been known as 'The House that Ruth Built' and 'The Cathedral.' The stadium has been host to 33 World Series, three Papal visits and has been visited by legends such as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Bera, Mickey Mantle and boxing great Muhummad Ali. In 2009 the Yankees will move across the street to a newly constructed stadium estimated to cost $1.3 billion.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

In 1968, the New York Yankees won 83 games and lost 79, which is a .512 winning percentage. They finished in fifth place, 20 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers and 17 ½  game ahead of the 10th place Washington Senators.

In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals won 83 games and lost 78, which is a .516 winning percentage. They won the National League Central Division title, the pennant and the World Series.

The 1968 Yankees were considered a mediocre team, which was an accurate assessment. They had won only 72 games in 1967 and followed their 83 wins in 1967 with 80 in 1969.

The 2006 Cardinals were considered a mediocre team. The New York Mets (97), Philadelphia Phillies (85), San Diego Padres (88) and Los Angeles Dodgers (88) all won more games than the Cards.

Expansion occurred in 1969. Each league was broken into a pair of six-team divisions. To win the division and get into the best-of-five playoff series, a team had to finish ahead of five teams.

Following the 1993 season, each league consisted of three divisions. The division winners and one wild card would meet in the playoffs, which had expanded to a best-of-five series followed by a best-of -seven series to determine the pennant winner.

What is the point of the above? Well, I am a “sneaky” Yankees fan that claims that not all world championships are equal.

Don’t get me wrong. Each of the Yankees world championships is equally “sacred,” but when the Yankees won the World Series in 1923,1927, 1928, 1932, 1936-38, 1941, 1943, 1947, 1949-53, 1956, 1958 and 1961-62, they had the league’s best record. Only in 1943, 1952, 1953, 1955 and 1962 did they beat a team in the World Series that had a better record.

Divisional play has put excellence in jeopardy. No, it has virtually eliminated it.

The 1973 Mets were 82-79 and they came within a game of winning the World Series. The 1987 Minnesota Twins won 87 games and they were world champions as were the 87-win 2000 Yankees.

In 2001, the Seattle Mariners won 116 games. The Mariners didn't make it through the playoffs and the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team that won 92 games, won the World Series. Now that there are two wild cards for each league, there will be a greater chance that a team like the 2006 Cardinals or the 1968 Yankees will win the World Series.

One disclaimer to the position that the Yankees first 20 world championships were worth more than those that followed.

To most Yankees fans, no World Series win is worth more than the one in 2000. The Yankees team with only 87 wins won the World Series they couldn’t afford to lose