Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy architected the 2010 champs
The Giants moved from New York to San Francisco in 1958 and it took them until 2010 to win a World Series championship. Prior to their move west, the Giants had last won a world championship in 1954, when the New York Giants defeated the Cleveland Indians.
In their entire San Francisco history, the Giants have had some of the greatest stars in the history of the game. The list of all-time greats who have worn a San Francisco Giants uniform includes Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Barry Bonds, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry. None of these great players were able to bring a championship to San Francisco.
Let's take a fun look at 10 other franchises that have history and a link to greatness on their side and are now deserving of a World Series title.
The only criterion I have for these 10 teams is that they cannot have won the World Series in the past 15 years.
Craig Biggio says goodbye to the fans of Houston in 2007.
The Houston Astros make our list because this franchise has never won a World Series title. They joined the National League in 1962 as the Colt .45s, and were renamed the Astros in 1965. The Astros played in one World Series in 2005, losing to the Chicago White Sox in four straight games.
The 2005 team had the "Killer Bs," stars Craig Biggio, Lance Berkman and Jeff Bagwell. Houston has also had some other colorful players over the years, such as Jim Wynn, Cesar Cedeno, Joe Morgan, James Rodney Richard, Mike Scott, Nolan Ryan, Roy Oswalt and Larry Dierker.
In just six short years, the Astros have gone from a contender to the worst team in baseball. Houston has a roster that looks like a minor-league team and it is a long way from contending.
The Astros have also featured some of the most gaudy uniforms in the history of baseball. Any team willing to wear those jerseys deserves to have some success.
The Astros also moved out of the Astrodome and now play in Minute Maid Park. The Astrodome—which was like a big, sterile mausoleum—was a horrible place to watch and play baseball. The simple fact that the Astros now play in a more fan-friendly ballpark helps to solidify their spot in our top 10.
George Brett was the greatest Royals player in history
The Kansas City Royals joined the American League in 1969 and have made two World Series appearances, winning in 1985 and losing in 1980.
The Royals are the epitome of a small-market team, fighting an uphill battle against the likes of the big-spending Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Angels. The fact that the Royals' payroll is dwarfed by these other clubs make it extremely difficult for this franchise to field a contender.
The Royals had some of the most entertaining players of their time, including Fred Patek, Cookie Rojas, John Mayberry, Amos Otis, George Brett, Willie Wilson, Frank White, Kevin Appier, David Cone, Bret Saberhagen and Dan Quisenberry.
As a kid, I liked the cool powder-blue uniforms and the waterfall at Royals Stadium. When the stadium was unveiled in 1973, it was a state-of-the-art ballpark. The waterfall behind the outfield fence made it a beautiful venue.
Stephen Strasburg is a big part of the future for the Nats
The Montreal Expos were formed in 1969 and moved to Washington D.C. in 2005, where they became the Nationals. The franchise has always seemed to struggle with attendance and financial stability. They are one of only two that have never been to the World Series. (The Seattle Mariners are the other.)
The Expos and Nationals developed excellent young talent, but were always forced to trade them off due to budgetary issues. Some of the top players this franchise has had include Andre Dawson, Warren Cromartie, Moises Alou, Tim Wallach, Delino DeShields, Gary Carter, Larry Walker, Andres Galarraga, Tim Raines, Marquis Grissom, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.
The Nationals have some of the better young players in baseball and there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for this franchise. Their wealth of talent in the organization includes Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Bryce Harper, Drew Storen, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg.
This is finally a team that's on the rise and could contend in the coming years.
Ken Griffey Jr. was a superstar for the Mariners
The Seattle Mariners came into existence in 1977 and, like the Nationals, have never made a World Series appearance.
The Mariners originally played in the Kingdome, a multipurpose stadium that was not conducive to a fun baseball experience. They moved to a much better baseball venue, Safeco Field, in 1999.
The Mariners have had some of the greatest players of their day on their roster, but just not enough of them. These stars include Randy Johnson, Felix Hernandez, Ken Griffey, Jr., Edgar Martinez, Alex Rodriguez and Ichiro Suzuki.
Located in the Pacific Northwest, the Mariners are often an afterthought in the national media. Seattle is a beautiful area and deserves some positive national exposure.
Josh Hamilton leads a potent Ranger offense
The Texas Rangers made their first World Series appearance in 2010. They were out-managed and outplayed by Bruce Bochy and the San Francisco Giants.
The Rangers were founded in 1961, have been consistently mediocre and rarely challenged for the playoffs.
Nolan Ryan and his partner Chuck Greenberg purchased the Rangers from Tom Hicks prior to the 2010 season. Ryan is one of the greatest strikeout pitchers in the history of the game and also a class act. Although I am not particularly fond of any of the Rangers players, I would never begrudge Ryan a chance at a world championship.
The Rangers should win the AL West and will have another chance to make a run in the playoffs this year.
Prince Fielder provides power and attitude for the Brewers
Milwaukee was the home of the Braves prior to their move to Atlanta in 1966. The Brewers came into existence in Milwaukee in 1969, having been the Seattle Pilots prior to the move.
The Brewers have played in one World Series in 1982, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals.
They have had some outstanding hitters over the years, including Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas and Prince Fielder.
Bud Selig purchased the Seattle Pilots and moved the team to Milwaukee in 1970. He was elected commissioner of Major League Baseball in 1998 and turned over the daily operation of the Brewers to his daughter Wendy. Unhappy with the direction of the team, Selig sold the Brewers in 2005 to Mark Attanasio.
The Brewers are in control and heading towards the NL Central Division crown. They will have a chance to get back to the World Series again this year. Being that Selig is out of the picture, that's fine with me.
Twins great Harmon Killebrew is in the Hall of Fame
The Minnesota Twins are another small-market team struggling to contend year in and year out. The Twins were originally the Washington Senators and moved to Minnesota in 1960.
The Twins most recently won the World Series in 1991 and 1987. Over the years, they have had some electrifying hitters, including Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Kirby Puckett, Torii Hunter and Joe Mauer.
In memory of Killebrew, the great slugger who passed away earlier this year, I would enjoy seeing the Twins make another run at the title.
Justin Verlander is a leading Cy Young candidate
Detroit is one of the most downtrodden cities in our country. It is economically disadvantaged and rife with unemployment and urban blight. A World Series title would do wonders for the morale of the citizens of Detroit.
The Detroit Tigers were founded in 1901 and have won the World Series four out of 10 times. Their most recent visit to the fall classic was in 2006, where they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Tigers' last championship was in 1984.
Over the years, the Tigers have had some great players, including Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Denny McLain, Mickey Lolich, Larry Doby, Alan Trammel, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris and current star Justin Verlander.
Detroit currently leads the AL Central and it looks like they will win it and make the playoffs. If they can win the World Series, it will shine a bright light over Detroit, at least for a little while.
Andrew McCutchen leads the new breed of Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a long and storied history. They were formed in 1887 and have won five world championships.
The current version of the Pirates has not had any success in recent history. Counting 2011, it will have been 19 years since the team even finished above .500, let alone made the playoffs. The Pirates last went to the World Series in 1979, where they defeated the Baltimore Orioles.
Many great players have played for Pittsburgh, including Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner, Dave Parker, Barry Bonds and Pie Traynor.
Pittsburgh, like Detroit, is struggling economically and the Pirates have had severe seasons of poor attendance. A World Series would re-energize a largely dormant fanbase.
Ernie Banks is Mr. Cub
It was 1908 and the Chicago Cubs were the world champions of baseball. Little did they know at the time that it would be more than 100 years before this would occur again.
Cubs fans sell out Wrigley Field and are the most loyal fans in baseball. The Cubs seem further away than ever from breaking the streak of futility.
The Cubs have had several incredible players over the years, but none of them have been able to bring a championship back to the Windy City. These players include Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Greg Maddux, Sammy Sosa, Rogers Hornsby, Hack Wilson and Gabby Hartnett.
The area around Wrigley Field is the most electric of any ballpark area I have ever witnessed. Getting off the EL train and walking to Wrigley is an experience you will want to have at least once. The bars and pubs are teeming with Cubs fans and memorabilia shops abound.
If the Cubs were to win the World Series, the celebration in Chicago would be incredible.
Earl Weaver managed the Orioles to greatness
There are two other clubs I wanted to mention, though I did not put them in the top 10.
The Baltimore Orioles have not been consistent contenders since the mid-'80s, when they defeated the Phillies to win the 1983 World Series. The glory years when the Orioles had Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell are a distant memory.
Baltimore is also the last team to have four 20-game winners on their staff. Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Pat Dobson accomplished this feat in 1971. The more recent versions of the Orioles, Cal Ripken notwithstanding, get little sympathy as they have wasted money and made poor player evaluations.
Cleveland has had an even longer drought. They lost in 1997, 1995 and 1954, and you have to go back to 1948 for the Indians' last world championship. My personal displeasure at watching Albert Belle and Jose Mesa caused me to put the Indians in the Honorable Mention category.
I hope you have enjoyed this fun look at a few teams that have fans who have not tasted victory in decades.