With the Tampa Bay Rays now headed for the World Series, they continue one of the most improbable worst-to-first turnarounds in the history of baseball. They are not the first team, however, to pull off the the remarkable feat in American sports.
Below is a list of the top 10 most improbable and impressive sports turnarounds from the last 30 years. When ranking these teams, we looked not only at the quality and accomplishments of the team from the turnaround year, but also at how impressive was the turnaround itself.
For example, the 1979 Buccaneers were hardly the best team in the NFL in 1979, however, given the futility of the franchise up to that point, the turnaround was quite remarkable.
So here is the list:
Honorable Mentions: 1981 Cincinnati Bengals (lost Super Bowl); 1988 Cincinnati Bengals (lost Super Bowl); 1998 San Diego Padres (lost World Series); 2007-2008 Philadelphia Flyers (lost Conference Finals) and 2008 Fresno State Baseball (lowest seeded team to ever win an NCAA Title).