Comparing Dodgers' Historic Tear to MLB's Greatest All-Time Turnarounds

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2013

The Los Angeles Dodgers' turnaround this season has been nothing short of amazing, as they were 29-40 on June 19 and trailed by eight games in the NL West.

They are the first team since the 1975 Cincinnati Reds to win 40 of 50 games, and their current 39-8 stretch is the best span any team has enjoyed since the 1951 New York Giants.

As a result, they're currently 69-50, leading the Diamondbacks by 7.5 games in the NL West and looking toward a solid postseason run as a result.

With that impressive turnaround in mind, here is a look at some other notable comebacks in MLB history and how those teams' seasons finished up.


Other Notable Late-Season Comebacks

1914 Boston Braves (94-59, World Series Champs)

The Braves were 26-40 and in last place in the National League on July 4 during the 1914 season, but they closed the year on a 68-19 tear to win the pennant by 10.5 games.

Infielders Johnny Evers and Rabbit Maranville, and outfielder Joe Connolly, led the way offensively, while Dick Rudolph and Bill James won 26 games each atop the starting rotation.

The team went on to win the World Series title, sweeping the Philadelphia Athletics in four games.


1951 New York Giants (98-59, NL Pennant)

Though they were in second place with a 61-51 record on August 12, the Giants trailed the Brooklyn Dodgers by 12.5 games.

A late-season tear ended with the two teams tied for first place, and the Giants took a three-game series from the Dodgers that was capped off by Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" to clinch the NL pennant.

They lost to the New York Yankees 4-2 in the World Series, but it remains one of the most memorable late-season runs in baseball history.


1964 St. Louis Cardinals (93-69, World Series Champs)

The Cardinals sat at 47-48 on July 24 of the 1964 season and 10 games back of the first-place Phillies, trailing six teams in the National League standings.

Lou Brock joined the team in a June trade and gave the team a huge boost offensively, while the trio of Bob Gibson, Curt Simmons and Ray Sadecki anchored a very good pitching staff.

They went on to best the Yankees in seven games to take home the World Series title. 


1973 New York Mets (82-79, NL Pennant)

The Mets were in last place with a 48-60 record on August 5, as they trailed the first place Cardinals by 11.5 games and looked like also-rans.

The offense ranked 11th out of 12 NL teams in runs scored, but the pitching staff carried the load led by Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman.

They topped the Reds 3-2 in the NLCS before falling to the Athletics in seven games in the World Series.


2005 Houston Astros (89-73, NL Pennant)

After winning 92 games and reaching the NLCS in 2004, the Astros stumbled out of the gates in 2005. The team opened the season 21-35 and trailed the first place Cardinals by 16 games on June 7.

They went on a run from there, though, and managed to capture the NL Wild Card. Craig Biggio and sluggers Morgan Ensberg and Lance Berkman led the offense, while former Yankees Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte joined Roy Oswalt atop a dynamic staff.

The team managed to best the Braves and Cardinals in the playoffs to reach the World Series, though they were inevitably swept by the Chicago White Sox.


*Hat-tip to for their article ranking the top regular-season comebacks.