Picking the Best-Ever World Series Winner for Every MLB Franchise

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2020

Picking the Best-Ever World Series Winner for Every MLB Franchise

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    SUE OGROCKI/Associated Press

    The Tampa Bay Rays are hunting for their first World Series title this season in their second-ever trip to the Fall Classic.

    If they end the season as champions, the 2020 team unquestionably would be regarded as the greatest in franchise history.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have not won it all since 1988, but they have six World Series banners to their credit, including a pair during the 1950s when they had a roster loaded with future Hall of Famers. It remains to be seen where the 2020 team would stand in their franchise lore.

    With all of that in mind, we set out to name the greatest World Series winner in the history of all 30 MLB franchises, based on regular-season dominance and postseason performance.

    Six franchises are still searching for their first title, while four others have won just once, so let's start by running through them before diving into the tough decisions.

Never Won a World Series

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    Randy Arozarena
    Randy ArozarenaAshley Landis/Associated Press

    Colorado Rockies

    The Rockies closed out the 2007 season with a 14-1 stretch, including a win over the San Diego Padres in Game 163 to clinch a wild-card berth. They swept their way to the World Series before being upended by the Boston Red Sox in what remains their only trip to the Fall Classic.


    Milwaukee Brewers

    Led by AL MVP Robin Yount and AL Cy Young winner Pete Vuckovich, the 1982 Brewers won 95 games and knocked off the California Angels in the ALCS before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in the World Series. The franchise has reached the Championship Series two other times but failed to advance.


    San Diego Padres

    The Padres have a pair of World Series trips on their resume, falling to the Detroit Tigers in five games in 1984 and suffering a sweep at the hands of a stacked New York Yankees team in 1998. The wait continues after they were knocked out in this year's NLDS, but they are in the process of building something special.


    Seattle Mariners

    The only team never to appear in a World Series, the Mariners are riding a postseason drought that stretches back to the 2001 season. They reached the ALCS in 1995, 2000 and 2001 and have four total postseason appearances in their 44-year franchise history.


    Tampa Bay Rays

    Will 2020 be the year the Rays exit this portion of the list? An expansion team for the 1998 season, the Rays have put together only nine winning seasons. They have made the playoff five times prior to this year, and they fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games in their only other trip to the World Series in 2008.


    Texas Rangers

    The Rangers won back-to-back AL pennants in 2010 and 2011, taking the St. Louis Cardinals to seven games during a thrilling '11 World Series, but they came up short both years. With a rebuild likely forthcoming, the wait continues.

Only 1 World Series Title

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    Randy Johnson
    Randy JohnsonMATT YORK/Associated Press

    Arizona Diamondbacks: 2001

    Led by co-aces Randy Johnson (21-6, 2.49 ERA, 372 K) and Curt Schilling (22-6, 2.98 ERA, 293 K), the D-backs upset a heavily favored New York Yankees team that had won four World Series titles in five years. Not bad for a team in just its fourth year of existence.


    Houston Astros: 2017

    With a high-powered offense that averaged 5.5 runs per game thanks to some *cough* assistance, the Astros won 101 games and upended the Yankees in a hard-fought seven-game ALCS before besting the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.


    Los Angeles Angels: 2002

    Still the Anaheim Angels back in 2002, the Rally Monkey helped lead the Angels from a wild-card berth to a World Series title. Slugger Troy Glaus turned in a 30-homer, 111-RBI regular season and then won World Series MVP honors, while a 20-year-old Francisco Rodriguez took the baseball world by storm in the playoffs.


    Washington Nationals, 2019

    The 1994 Montreal Expos will always be one of the biggest "whaf-ifs" in MLB history after the strike cut short what was shaping up to be a special season. The franchise moved to Washington, D.C., in 2005 and finally reached the Fall Classic in 2019. Stephen Strasburg went 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA during the playoffs, including a pair of wins during the World Series.

Atlanta Braves, 1995

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    Greg Maddux
    Greg MadduxErik S. Lesser/Associated Press

    Record: 90-54, +105 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Greg Maddux (19-2, 1.63 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 181 K, 209.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Fred McGriff (604 PA, .280/.361/.489, 27 HR, 93 RBI)

    In a classic matchup of pitching vs. offense, the Atlanta Braves' vaunted starting rotation came out on top against a Cleveland Indians lineup that many consider to be the best offensive team of the 1990s.

    With future Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz anchoring the starting staff and flame-throwing closer Mark Wohlers slamming the door, the Braves led the NL with a 3.44 ERA.

    Offensively, veterans Fred McGriff, David Justice and Marquis Grissom led the way, while up-and-coming stars Chipper Jones (23), Ryan Klesko (24) and Javy Lopez (24) also made a significant impact.

    With just four hits and two earned runs allowed in 14 innings over two starts, Glavine took home World Series MVP honors in a six-game series.


    Other World Series winners: 1892, 1914, 1957

Baltimore Orioles, 1970

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    Jim Palmer
    Jim PalmerAssociated Press

    Record: 108-54, +218 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Jim Palmer (20-10, 2.71 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 199 K, 305 IP)

    Top Hitter: Boog Powell (643 PA, .297/.412/.549, 35 HR, 114 RBI)

    Led by a trio of 20-game winners in Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar and Dave McNallyall of whom finished in the top five in AL Cy Young voting—the Baltimore Orioles won the AL East title by 15 games during the regular season.

    Slugger Boog Powell won AL MVP honors, while third baseman Brooks Robinson and right fielder Frank Robinson also finished in the top 10 in balloting.

    The end result was an offense that led the AL in runs scored (792) and ERA (3.15), and after sweeping the Minnesota Twins in the ALCS, they took down the Cincinnati Reds in five games in the World Series.


    Other World Series winners: 1966, 1983

Boston Red Sox, 2004

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    David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez
    David Ortiz and Manny RamirezSTEVE NESIUS/Associated Press

    Record: 98-64, +181 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Curt Schilling (21-6, 3.26 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 203 K, 226.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Manny Ramirez (663 PA, .308/.397/.613, 43 HR, 130 RBI)

    With Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez fronting the rotation, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield chewing up innings and Keith Foulke dominating in the ninth inning, the 2004 Red Sox had a terrific pitching staff.

    However, the strength of the team was a stacked offense that led the AL in runs scored (949) and OPS (.832), with David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez combining for 84 home runs and 269 RBI.

    After falling behind 3-0 to the rival Yankees in the ALCS, the Red Sox pulled off the biggest comeback in MLB postseason history. Ortiz delivered back-to-back extra-inning walk-off hits in Games 4 and 5, and that momentum carried through to Game 7.

    That emotionally draining series was followed by an absolute steamrolling of the St. Louis Cardinals in a four-game sweep to break the Curse of the Bambino and an 86-year title drought.


    Other World Series winners: 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2007, 2013, 2018

Chicago Cubs, 2016

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Record: 103-58, +252 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 197 K, 202.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Kris Bryant (699 PA, .292/.385/.554, 39 HR, 102 RBI)

    The 1906 Chicago Cubs posted the best winning percentage in MLB history with a 116-36 record, but they fell in the World Series in six games to the White Sox.

    They followed up that disappointing result with back-to-back World Series titles at the height of the dead-ball era. Although both of those teams were stacked with excellent pitching, it's hard to give either the nod over the 2016 squad.

    The trio of Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta fronted a pitching staff that led the NL with a 3.15 ERA, NL MVP Kris Bryant led a well-balanced offense, and hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman was the missing piece at the deadline.

    After advancing past the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs came out on top in a thrilling seven-game World Series against the Cleveland Indians with one of the most memorable Game 7s in MLB history.


    Other World Series winners: 1907, 1908

Chicago White Sox, 2005

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    Paul Konerko
    Paul KonerkoDARRON CUMMINGS/Associated Press

    Record: 99-63, +96 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Mark Buehrle (16-8, 3.12 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 149 K, 236.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Paul Konerko (664 PA, .283/.375/.534, 40 HR, 100 RBI)

    The 2005 Chicago White Sox are a prime example of the idea that pitching wins championships, as they rode a terrific starting rotation to a World Series title despite a middle-of-the-road offense.

    Behind the foursome of Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland and Jose Contreras in the starting rotation, along with burly rookie closer Bobby Jenks, they stifled the opposition throughout the postseason.

    As a team, they went 11-1 with a 2.55 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 12 postseason games, sweeping the Houston Astros in the World Series behind stellar pitching and some timely hitting from Scott Podsednik, Paul Konerko and World Series MVP Jermaine Dye.

    The bubble burst quickly, as they finished third in the division the following year and 18 games under .500 two years later. But at their peak, they were an easy choice for the best team in franchise history.


    Other World Series winners: 1906, 1917

Cincinnati Reds, 1975

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    Johnny Bench
    Johnny BenchAssociated Press

    Record: 108-54, +254 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Gary Nolan (15-9, 3.16 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 74K, 210.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Joe Morgan (639 PA, .327/.466/.508, 17 HR, 94 RBI)

    The Cincinnati Reds swept their way to a World Series title in 1976, but the team 1975 squad was the better overall team, winning a franchise-record 108 games and showing more pitching balance than in any other year of the Big Red Machine.

    Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, George Foster and Tony Perez all produced at a high level offensively, while Joe Morgan hit .327/.466/.508 with 17 home runs, 94 RBI, 107 runs scored and 67 steals to win his first of two straight NL MVP awards.

    On the pitching side, Gary Nolan was a legitimate ace, and the relief corps of Rawly Eastwick, Pedro Borbon, Clay Carroll and Will McEnaney was also an underrated part of the team's success.

    They swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS before coming out on top in a memorable seven-game series with the Boston Red Sox that included Carlton Fisk's famous home run inside the foul pole in Game 6.


    Other World Series winners: 1919, 1940, 1976, 1990

Cleveland Indians, 1948

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    JOHN LINDSAY/Associated Press

    Record: 97-58, +272 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Bob Lemon (20-14, 2.82 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 147 K, 293.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Lou Boudreau (676 PA, .355/.453/.534, 18 HR, 106 RBI)

    The 1954 and 1995 Cleveland Indians stand as two of the greatest teams in MLB history not to win the World Series, leaving us with the 1948 Indians squad as the best choice for this list.

    Hall of Famers Bob Lemon and Bob Feller led the pitching staff, Joe Gordon (32 HR, 124 RBI) and Ken Keltner (31 HR, 119 RBI) provided the power offensively, Larry Doby was a star in his first full season in the majors, and shortstop Lou Boudreau won AL MVP honors over Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams.

    Facing off against a Boston Braves team lead by Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain atop the starting rotation, the Indians built a 3-1 series lead and closed things out with a 4-3 victory in Game 6.

    Lemon was the winning pitcher in the clinching game, throwing 7.1 strong innings to pick up his second victory of the series.


    Other World Series winners: 1920

Detroit Tigers, 1984

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    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    Record: 104-58, +186 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Willie Hernandez (80 G, 32/33 SV, 1.92 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 140.1 IP)

    Top Hitter: Kirk Gibson (611 PA, .282/.363/.516, 27 HR, 91 RBI, 29 SB)

    The 1984 Detroit Tigers claimed first place in the AL East with an 8-1 victory on Opening Day and never relinquished that spot, going 16-1 in their first 17 games and 35-5 in their first 40 en route to a 104-win season.

    They swept the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS, outscoring them 14-4, then made quick work of the San Diego Padres in a five-game World Series.

    Fireman Willie Hernandez appeared in 80 games out of the bullpen and posted a 1.92 ERA with 32 saves in 33 chances over 140.1 innings to win AL Cy Young and AL MVP honors.

    Jack Morris (19-11, 3.60 ERA) and Dan Petry (18-8, 3.24 ERA) fronted the starting rotation, and longtime core members Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Lance Parrish and Kirk Gibson paced an offense that led the AL in runs scored.


    Other World Series winners: 1935, 1945, 1968

Kansas City Royals, 2015

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Record: 95-67, +83 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Wade Davis (69 G, 17 SV, 18 HLD, 8-1, 0.94 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 10.4 K/9)

    Top Hitter: Kendrys Morales (639 PA, .290/.362/.485, 22 HR, 106 RBI)

    The 2015 Kansas City Royals launched the bullpen revolution, leaning heavily on stellar relief pitching, strong defense and aggressive baserunning to rise to the top of the MLB heap.

    After an unlikely run to the Fall Classic the previous season as an 89-win wild-card team, the Royals returned to the World Series in 2015 and finished the job in five games against the New York Mets.

    Wade Davis turned in one of the best seasons by a reliever in MLB history, teaming with Kelvin Herrera, Ryan Madson and Luke Hochevar to slam the door throughout their postseason run.

    The front office brought in Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist at the trade deadline to shore up the roster, and both of those players came up big throughout the second half and into October.


    Other World Series winners: 1985

Los Angeles Dodgers, 1955

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    Duke Snider and Roy Campanella
    Duke Snider and Roy CampanellaJohn Rooney/Associated Press

    Record: 98-55, +207 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Don Newcombe (20-5, 3.20 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 143 K, 233.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Duke Snider (653 PA, .309/.418/.628, 42 HR, 136 RBI)

    After losing in the World Series four times in the eight-year span, the Brooklyn Dodgers finally hoisted the trophy in 1955, knocking off a New York Yankees team that went on to win six titles during the decade.

    Duke Snider was in the middle of a five-year run of 40-homer seasons, Gil Hodges and Carl Furillo provided secondary run production, Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese were still solid contributors in their age-36 seasons, and Roy Campanella won his third career MVP award by hitting .318/.395/.583 with 32 home runs and 107 RBI.

    Don Newcombe was the ace of the staff a year before winning Cy Young and MVP honors, and a 19-year-old rookie named Sandy Koufax threw a pair of shutouts among his five starts.

    Meanwhile, Johnny Podres was the star in the World Series, tossing a complete game in Game 3 before twirling an eight-hit shutout in the decisive Game 7 to win MVP honors.


    Other World Series winners: 1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988

Miami Marlins, 1997

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    HANS DERYK/Associated Press

    Record: 92-70, +71 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Kevin Brown (16-8, 2.69 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 205 K, 237.1 IP)

    Top Hitter: Gary Sheffield (582 PA, .250/.424/.446, 21 HR, 71 RBI)

    Prior to 2020, the Marlins had only made the postseason twice in their franchise's history, winning the World Series both times as a wild-card team.

    While the 2003 team led by Josh Beckett turned in plenty of memorable moments, coming from behind in the NLCS to stun the Chicago Cubs before knocking off the Yankees in the World Series, the 1997 roster was better top-to-bottom.

    A store-bought title team assembled for a short-term run, the '97 Marlins were led by Kevin Brown, Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Alex Fernandez, Moises Alou, Al Leiter and Devon White. All of them were outside additions acquired via trade and free agency.

    Homegrown pieces like Charles Johnson, Edgar Renteria and Cuban defector Livan Hernandez made their mark in October, and the Marlins were dismantled in a fire sale for the ages shortly after they knocked off a heavily favored Indians team in the World Series.


    Other World Series winners: 2003

Minnesota Twins, 1991

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    Jack Morris
    Jack MorrisJim Mone/Associated Press

    Record: 95-67, +124 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Jack Morris (18-12, 3.43 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 163 K, 246.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Chili Davis (634 PA, .277/.385/.507, 29 HR, 93 RBI)

    On the heels of a 91-loss season, the 1987 Minnesota Twins stand as one of the most surprising World Series winners of all-time. They won only 85 games during the regular season and posted a minus-20 run differential, but they managed to get hot at the right time.

    Four years later, the 1991 squad performed much more like a traditional title contender.

    With Chili Davis, Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek leading the offense and catcher Brian Harper anchoring a pitching staff headlined by starters Jack Morris, Kevin Tapani and Scott Erickson along with 42-save closer Rick Aguilera, there was no glaring weakness on the roster.

    After beating a Toronto Blue Jays team that would go on to win back-to-back titles in the ALCS, the Twins pulled out a seven-game nail-biter over the Atlanta Braves. Morris delivered one of the greatest performances in postseason history with his 10-inning shutout in Game 7.


    Other World Series winners: 1924, 1987

New York Mets, 1986

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    Ray Stubblebine/Associated Press

    Record: 108-54, +205 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Dwight Gooden (17-6, 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 200 K, 250 IP)

    Top Hitter: Keith Hernandez (652 PA, .310/.413/.446, 13 HR, 83 RBI)

    Unlike the 1969 "Miracle Mets" who overcame a seemingly insurmountable deficit in the standings, the 1986 Mets were in complete control of the NL East division, finishing with a 21.5-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter provided the necessary offensive firepower, but the strength of the team was one of the best starting rotations in MLB history:

    • Dwight Gooden: 17-6, 2.84 ERA, 250.0 IP
    • Ron Darling: 15-6, 2.81 ERA, 237.0 IP
    • Bob Ojeda: 18-5, 2.57 ERA, 217.1 IP
    • Sid Fernandez: 16-6, 3.52 ERA, 204.1 IP
    • Rick Aguilera: 10-7, 3.88 ERA, 141.2 IP

    That impressive starting staff was backed by the one-two punch of Roger McDowell (75 G, 22 SV, 10 HLD) and Jesse Orosco (58 G, 21 SV, 1 HLD) in the bullpen. The Mets' pitching led them past the Houston Astros in the NLCS and over the Red Sox in a seven-game World Series.


    Other World Series winners: 1969

New York Yankees, 1927

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    Associated Press

    Record: 110-44, +376 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Waite Hoyt (22-7, 2.63 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 86 K, 256.1 IP)

    Top Hitter: Babe Ruth (691 PA, .356/.486/.772, 60 HR, 165 RBI)

    The 1939 Yankees finished with the highest run differential (+411) in MLB history, and there is no shortage of other stacked teams in their franchise's vaunted history, but the 1927 team has become synonymous with dominance.

    Led by Babe Ruth in his record-setting 60-homer season and Lou Gehrig in one of his many fantastic supporting performances, the Yankees averaged 6.3 runs per game and scored 131 more runs than any other team.

    Easily overshadowed by their offensive thunder, the pitching staff also led the AL with a 3.20 ERA, led by Hall of Famers Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock.

    They swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series, with Ruth going 6-for-15 with two home runs to lead the charge.


    Other World Series winners: 1923, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009

Oakland Athletics, 1929

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    Associated Press

    Record: 104-46, +286 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Lefty Grove (20-6, 2.81 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 170 K, 275.1 IP)

    Top Hitter: Al Simmons (629 PA, .365/.398/.642, 34 HR, 157 RBI)

    The Yankees were the big story for much of the 1920s, but there was no stopping the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1929 season.

    Their middle-of-the-order trio that year was arguably the best in MLB history:

    • C Mickey Cochrane: 606 PA, .331/.412/.475, 7 HR, 95 RBI
    • LF Al Simmons: 629 PA, .365/.398/.642, 34 HR, 157 RBI
    • 1B Jimmie Foxx: 638 PA, .354/.463/.625, 33 HR, 118 RBI

    The starting rotation was fronted by all-time great Lefty Grove, and the pitching staff led the AL with a 3.44 ERA.

    They won the AL pennant by 18 games over the Yankees and took down the Chicago Cubs in five games in the World Series.


    Other World Series winners: 1910, 1911, 1913, 1930, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1989

Philadelphia Phillies, 2008

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Record: 92-70, +119 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Cole Hamels (14-10, 3.09 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 196 K, 227.1 IP)

    Top Hitter: Ryan Howard (700 PA, .251/.339/.543, 48 HR, 146 RBI)

    The 1980 Philadelphia Phillies had plenty of star power with Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt and Pete Rose headlining the roster, but the 2008 team was a more complete roster top-to-bottom.

    A starting rotation led by 45-year-old Jamie Moyer and 24-year-old Cole Hamels was the perfect embodiment of how the team seamlessly blended youth and experience.

    Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell led the charge for an offense that paced the NL with 214 home runs, while Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth all provided a dynamic mix of power and speed.

    The postseason proved to be a coming-out party for Hamels, who won NLCS and World Series MVP while going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 35 innings over five starts. The Phillies went 11-3 in the postseason, beating the Tampa Bay Rays in five games in the World Series.


    Other World Series winners: 1980

Pittsburgh Pirates, 1909

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    Associated Press

    Record: 110-42, +252 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Howie Camnitz (25-6, 1.62 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 133 K, 283 IP)

    Top Hitter: Honus Wagner (591 PA, .339/.420/.489, 5 HR, 100 RBI)

    Led by future Hall of Famers Fred Clarke and Honus Wagner, the latter of whom won his seventh career batting title in his age-35 season, the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates posted the fourth-highest winning percentage in MLB history.

    Interestingly, the three teams ahead of them on that list failed to win the World Series.

    The pitching staff posted a 2.07 ERA and 125 ERA+, providing more than enough support for the NL's highest-scoring offense, and the Pirates won the NL pennant by 6.5 games over the defending champion Chicago Cubs.

    Rookie Babe Adams emerged as the ace of the Pittsburgh staff down the stretch while going 12-3 with a 1.11 ERA in 12 starts and 13 relief appearances. He then went 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in three starts during the World Series, tossing a six-hit shutout in Game 7 to cap off one of the greatest postseasons in MLB history.


    Other World Series winners: 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979

San Francisco Giants. 1905

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    Christy Mathewson
    Christy MathewsonAssociated Press

    Record: 105-48, +275 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Christy Mathewson (31-9, 1.28 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 206 K, 338.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Mike Donlin (676 PA, .356/.413/.495, 7 HR, 80 RBI)

    Sticking with the turn of the century theme, we go all the way back to 1905 to find the greatest World Series winner in San Francisco Giants franchise history.

    A New York-based team at the time, they were led by one of the greatest ever to toe the rubber in right-hander Christy Mathewson, who came as close to single handedly winning a World Series title as one player can.

    • Game 1: W, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    • Game 3: W, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
    • Game 5: W, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

    Three starts in the span of six days and three complete-game shutouts, accounting for 75 percent of the team's success during a five-game series against the Philadelphia Athletics.


    Other World Series winners: 1888, 1889, 1921, 1922, 1933, 1954, 2010, 2012, 2014

St. Louis Cardinals, 1942

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    Mort Cooper
    Mort CooperAnonymous/Associated Press

    Record: 106-48, +275 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Mort Cooper (22-7, 1.78 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 152 K, 278.2 IP)

    Top Hitter: Enos Slaughter (687 PA, .318/.412/.494, 13 HR, 98 RBI)

    Rarely mentioned among the greatest teams of all time, the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals flat-out dominated the competition.

    They led the NL in runs scored (755) and the majors in ERA (2.55), with NL MVP Mort Cooper leading the starting rotation in the best season of his underrated 11-year career.

    Offensively, Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter both had strong seasons, and the entire starting lineup with the exception of second baseman Jimmy Brown had an OPS+ above 100.

    After losing the first game of the World Series, they won four straight over the Yankees to claim the fifth World Series title in franchise history. Johnny Beazley was the star in the Fall Classic, winning both of his starts with a pair of complete games, including the decisive Game 5.


    Other World Series winners: 1886, 1926, 1931, 1934, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1982, 2006, 2011

Toronto Blue Jays, 1993

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    HANS DERYK/Associated Press

    Record: 95-67, +105 run differential

    Top Pitcher: Pat Hentgen (19-9, 3.87 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 122 K, 216.1 IP)

    Top Hitter: John Olerud (679 PA, .363/.473/.599, 24 HR, 107 RBI)

    After winning the first World Series in franchise history in 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays added Paul Molitor and Tony Fernandez to an already stacked roster, then traded for Rickey Henderson at the deadline.

    They won the AL East by a comfortable seven games over the Yankees and knocked off the White Sox in six games in the ALCS to return to the Fall Classic.

    After a wild 15-14 victory in Game 4 of the World Series gave them a 3-1 series lead over the Phillies, they were shut out in Game 5 before Joe Carter delivered his memorable walk-off blast in Game 6 to secure a second straight title.

    Often overlooked on that '93 team is just how good John Olerud was that year. He was hitting .400 entering play on Aug. 3, and he led the AL in doubles (54), on-base percentage (.473) and OPS+ (186) en route to a 7.8 WAR season to finish third in AL MVP voting.


    Other World Series winners: 1992


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.