The Last Time Every Major League Baseball Team Won a World Series
The last few years in baseball have seen some historic World Series droughts end, and the 21st century as a whole has been very kind to long-suffering fanbases.
Who can forget the Boston Red Sox ending the "Curse of the Bambino" and winning the 2004 World Series, their first since 1918 and the trade of the great Babe Ruth?
The year after that saw another long-running World Series drought end with the Chicago White Sox sweeping the Houston Astros to win their first championship since 1917. Their curse was connected to the "Black Sox" scandal of 1919.
But no curse was as long or as significant as the "Curse of the Billy Goat" that plagued the Chicago Cubs for over a century. The "Lovable Losers" of Wrigley Field toiled in mediocrity, or just downright awfulness, for most of the previous 108 years. The 1908 World Series title was the last one that the Cubs had won before finally breaking the curse and winning the 2016 World Series title against the Cleveland Indians (more on them later) in seven games.
Who doesn’t love seeing a curse broken? So check out this list to see who your new favorite teams should be.
Boston Red Sox (0 Years)
World Series titles: 9 (1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2018)
Sufferers of perhaps the most famous curse in baseball history (only in competition with the Cubs), the Red Sox got the "Curse of the Bambino" off their backs with one of the most famous playoff runs in history in 2004. Down 3-0 to the hated rival New York Yankees, the Red Sox became the first team in baseball history to reverse a three-game deficit.
They did it behind the heroics of "Big Papi" David Ortiz, the "Bloody Sock Game" of Curt Schilling, and many other iconic moments and players. That playoff run was one for the ages, but it was not the last time the Red Sox would win the World Series.
Since 2004, they have been a near-perennial contender for the crown. The team returned to the World Series in 2007, 2013 and 2018, winning it all three times. They are in the playoffs almost every season and have taken the upper hand in the recent history between themselves and their historic rival Yankees, winning four titles in the 21st century, compared to two for New York.
Houston Astros (1 Year)
World Series titles: 1 (2017)
The Houston Astros would have been at the very opposite end of this list before the 2017 World Series. Founded in 1962, they were mired in the third-longest World Series drought in baseball, having played 55 seasons without a title.
While the Astros didn’t have a well-known curse related to their franchise, they did have to deal with the famous Sports Illustrated Cover Curse, having been featured on the cover in 2014 with the headline "Your 2017 World Series Champs."
Through the years, SI has been blamed for ruining many seasons and careers, but the pressure didn't faze the Astros team of young, dynamic talent. Houston beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in one of the most exciting World Series matchups ever.
Chicago Cubs (2 Years)
World Series titles: 3 (1907, 1908, 2016)
For over a century, the Cubs and their fans suffered through losing season after losing season. Every once in a while, the Cubbies would come up with a good team and fans would get their hopes up, only to have them crushed. The team didn’t even make the World Series from 1948 to 2016, but they certainly got close a few times.
The most famous time was the "Steve Bartman Incident" in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS when a foul pop was touched by Bartman, a fan in the stands, before Cubs outfielder Moises Alou had a chance to make the catch. Alou was livid. The catch would have been the second out in the eighth inning against the Flordia Marlins, and the Cubs would have been four outs from a National League pennant. Instead, the Cubs choked the game away via an egregious error by shortstop Alex Gonzalez, several walks, misplays and Marlins hits. Eight runs were scored in the inning, and the Cubs wouldn’t get another shot at an NL pennant for over a decade.
All is forgiven and forgotten now, as the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series in a seven-game series for the ages. The "Curse of the Billy Goat," as the Cubs’ curse was known, almost reared its ugly head again, as the Cubs got down 3-1 in the series. They came back to make it 3-3, but in Game 7 in Cleveland, they blew a 6-3 in the eighth inning.
The game was tied going into extra innings when Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double to give the Cubs the lead. They held on to that lead in the bottom of the 10th, ending the longest championship drought in baseball history.
28: Kansas City Royals (3 years)
World Series titles: 2 (1985, 2015)
The Kansas City Royals have a somewhat strange franchise history. They have two World Series titles exactly 30 years apart, in 1985 and 2015. But in between those winning periods, they were a pretty terrible franchise. As a whole they only have six division titles in team history, dating back to 1969.
Between 1985 and 2014, they claimed no division titles or playoff berths. And even now, the team is one of the worst in baseball and in the midst of a rebuild.
But for a brief two-year period in 2014 and 2015, they were the best team in the sport. In 2014, they made the World Series and lost in seven games to the San Francisco Giants, leaving the tying run on third base in the ninth.
But the Royals didn’t let that disappointment get them down. They returned to the World Series in 2015 with the best record in the American League. This time, they didn’t mess around, trouncing the Mets four games to one.
If Kansas City follows the pattern they’ve set, Royals fans can get excited for the 2045 World Series.
San Francisco Giants (4 Years)
World Series titles: 8 (1905, 1921, 1922, 1933, 1954, 2010, 2012, 2014)
Fans in San Francisco had to wait over 50 years for a World Series title. The Giants, who moved to the West Coast in 1958, last won a World Series in 1954 before the San Francisco Giants took home the 2010 title. The wait was an agonizing one for the fans, but the Giants decided they liked winning so much that they’d just do it every other year for a while.
Never the favorite to start the season, the Giants went on to win the 2012 and 2014 seasons with what was deemed "Even-Year Magic." Between World Series wins, the team didn’t even make the playoffs in the odd-numbered years. But they were somehow able to put everything together in just the right way to win the World Series three times in six seasons. The first World Series win pitted them against the Texas Rangers, who were seeking their first title in franchise history.
The Giants made quick work of the Rangers, beating them in five games. The 2012 edition of the Fall Classic was even easier for the Giants as they dispatched the Detroit Tigers in four games. It was much more difficult to take down the Kansas City Royals in 2014, but the Giants were able to pull out a seven-game victory with ace Madison Bumgarner coming on to get the save in the 3-2 clincher.
St. Louis Cardinals (5 Years)
World Series titles: 11 (1926, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1982, 2006, 2011)
Though it pales in comparison to the New York Yankees’ 27 rings, the St. Louis Cardinals do claim the second-most World Series titles in baseball history with 11. Since their first win in 1926, there have been only three decades in which the Cardinals didn’t win at least one title. Most recently, the Cardinals won one of the most dramatic World Series of all time.
In 2011, the Cardinals took on the Texas Rangers. In Game 6 of the hotly contested series, with Texas up three games to two, St. Louis was down to its final strike with the tying run on second base when third baseman David Freese sent a deep fly ball toward right field. Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz reached for the ball but just missed it, resulting in a game-tying triple for Freese.
The Rangers took a two-run lead in the top of the 10th on a home run by Josh Hamilton, but once again, the Cardinals came back. With two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the 10th, Lance Berkman delivered a game-tying single.
When Freese came up again in the 11th inning, it was almost fait accompli that he would be the man for the moment once again. He sent a mammoth shot to deep center field, winning the game and eliciting an iconic Joe Buck call, "We will see you tomorrow night!" The call was an homage to the famous 1991 call from Jack Buck, Joe's father, of Kirby Puckett’s Game 6 walk-off home run for the Minnesota Twins in that World Series. The Cardinals would win Game 7, meaning you will see the Texas Rangers way further down this list.
New York Yankees (9 Years)
World Series titles: 27 (1923, 1927, 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)
"Twenty-seven rings!" All you have to do is be in the presence of a Yankees fan for mere minutes to hear that statement. It’s an astonishing amount of World Series titles for one franchise to have, more than double the amount of the second-best team.
So for the Yankees, being so far down this list represents a relative dry spell. Their last World Series title was in 2009, and before that, it was 2000. Typically, they are perennial contenders, but the last decade wasn’t as kind to the team as most have been.
They are back and looking as dangerous as ever, so don’t expect this drought to last as long as, say, the Cubs’ drought lasted. But with so many great teams throughout the sport, it doesn’t appear that the Yankees will replicate their success from decades past like, oh, every single decade since 1920 (except the ‘80s) in which they won multiple titles. In fact, if the Yankees don’t win the 2018 and 2019 World Series, this will mark the first decade besides the ‘80s that the Yankees didn’t win multiple titles.
It’s doubtful anyone will feel sorry for Yankees fans if that doesn't happen.
Philadelphia Phillies (10 Years)
World Series titles: 2 (1980, 2008)
While the Phillies aren’t currently in an epic World Series drought, they used to be the gold standard of futility. Founded in 1883, the Phils didn’t win their first World Series until almost 100 years later in 1980. And then, after that, they waited another 28 years to take home their second title in 2008. So, when it comes to teams at the unfortunate end of this list, Phillies fans can relate.
The 2008 World Series wasn’t a very memorable one for the average baseball fan, with the Phillies besting the Tampa Bay Rays four games to one behind the stellar pitching of Cole Hamels and the slugging of players like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
This was the Rays' only World Series to date, but it’s doubtful Phillies fans felt too bad for them. The Rays reached a World Series in their 11th season. The Phillies didn’t reach one until their 33rd.
Chicago White Sox (13 Years)
World Series titles: 3 (1906, 1917, 2005)
It’s somewhat unfortunate for the White Sox that their monkey-off-the-back, curse-breaking World Series title came the season after the Red Sox did the same thing. They had to wait two more years than Boston, but the White Sox curse just didn’t have the same appeal as the Red Sox one.
Maybe it’s because their streak was so wrapped up in one of the worst controversies in baseball history. The "Black Sox" scandal involved eight White Sox players who were accused of conspiring to lose the 1919 World Series to the benefit of gamblers. It was a major black eye for baseball, and all the accused players were banned for life.
In the time between 1919 and 2005, the White Sox rarely contended, winning only one AL pennant (1959). Along with the "Lovable Losers" at Wrigley Field, Chicago was a town that loved baseball but had no good team to root for. However, 2005 changed that forever. The White Sox swept the Houston Astros in four hotly contested games, finally putting to rest the demons of 1919.
Miami Marlins (15 Years)
World Series titles: 2 (1997, 2003)
Long-suffering fanbases must be extremely jealous of the Marlins. Founded in 1993, the Marlins have enjoyed two World Series titles in their short history. They took home the 1997 World Series in a dramatic seven-game series over the Indians, prolonging the misery of Indians fans to this day. Game 7 went into extra-innings with the Marlins winning it on an Edgar Renteria walk-off single.
But the history of the Marlins is one of extreme ups and downs. After the World Series, the Marlins had the first of their now infamous "fire sales" in which they traded almost every star away from the team to save money.
Somehow, this worked, and by 2003, they were back in the World Series with a whole new batch of talent. This time, there was less drama, defeating the New York Yankees in six games.
The Marlins haven’t even made the postseason since then, hosting two more fire sales of top-tier talent in the ensuing seasons.
Los Angeles Angels (16 Years)
World Series titles: 1 (2002)
The Angels are another team that was saddled with a rough history before finally winning the World Series. The team was founded in 1961, and they only had three playoff appearances before the 2002 season.
A wild-card berth in 2002 put them on the path to victory. In a matchup against their in-state rival who was also looking to end a long period without a World Series, the Angels defeated Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants in seven games.
One of the iconic and lasting images from the Angels playoff run in 2002 was their use of the "Rally Monkey," which helped inspire the team to come back and win games. This was most evident in Game 6 of the World Series, down three games to two and trailing 5-0 going into the seventh inning.
The Angels rallied to win that game and the series, thus cementing the Rally Monkey forever in baseball lore.
Arizona Diamondbacks (17 Years)
World Series titles: 1 (2001)
The Diamondbacks were the fastest team to ever win a World Series, winning it in their fourth season of existence behind the dominant pitching duo of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. The D-Backs defeated the New York Yankees, who were seeking their fourth straight World Series title, in an epic seven game series that came down to the final at- bat.
The greatest closer of all-time, Mariano Rivera, was facing Diamondbacks slugger Luis Gonzalez with the winning run on third base. The Yankees infield was playing in to attempt to get the out at home on a ground ball, and Gonzalez was able to hit a blooper just beyond the infield to bring Jay Bell home and win the series. It was an iconic moment in baseball history, effectively ending the Yankees’ stranglehold on the sport
The D-Backs rarely have threatened to repeat the feat since then, but fans of teams with decades-long World Series droughts are fine with Arizona fans waiting another five, 10, or even 50 years.
Tampa Bay Rays (21 Years)
World Series titles: 0
It really shouldn’t be noticeable that a franchise that has been around for only two decades hasn’t won a World Series, but when compared the Diamondback and the Marlins, the Rays seem to be underachievers. They did make the World Series in 2008, the first season after losing the "Devil" part of their nickname.
However, they fell to the Phillies four games to one and haven’t been able to replicate that success since then. They have a few decades to go before they reach the level of some of the other franchises that have never won a World Series, though.
Atlanta Braves (23 Years)
World Series titles: 3 (1914, 1957, 1995)
It feels almost strange that the Braves are this far down the list. Their utter dominance of the National League in the 1990s produced five NL pennants, but only one World Series victory, the 1995 title over the Cleveland Indians.
The 1990s Braves featured one of the greatest rotations of all time, with four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux, two-time Cy Young winner Tom Glavine, and one-time Cy Young winner John Smoltz. All three of those pitchers are Hall of Famers along with third baseman Chipper Jones.
Unfortunately for the Braves, their NL dominance coincided with the Yankees' AL dominance, and the Yankees defeated the Braves in both the 1996 and 1999 World Series.
Toronto Blue Jays (25 Years)
World Series titles: 2 (1992, 1993)
After the Blue Jays’ victory in the 1993 World Series, they would endure not only a two decade-long World Series drought, but also a playoff drought that lasted until 2015. Being in a division with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox tends to make it difficult to get into the playoffs.
The 1993 World Series was the second consecutive title for the Blue Jays and featured a memorable Game 6 walk-off home run by Joe Carter.
It was only the second World Series-winning walk-off home run in baseball history. The moment was made even more iconic by the radio call of Blue Jays play-by-play announcer Tom Cheek, who uttered the famous line "Touch 'em all Joe, you’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life!"
Colorado Rockies (26 Years)
World Series titles: 0
Another one of the 1990s expansion teams, the Rockies, like the Rays, have only made one World Series and didn’t fare too well in it.
They were swept by the Boston Red Sox in 2007, and their introduction to the Fall Classic was an ugly one. Game 1 of the series resulted in a 13-1 loss for the Rockies. They’ve made the playoffs four times since 1993, but their only NL pennant was in 2007.
Despite their lack of a win in the World Series, 2007 is still the best year in Rockies history, and their playoff run through the National League was dominant, going undefeated in the NLDS and NLCS.
Minnesota Twins (27 Years)
World Series titles: 3 (1924, 1987, 1991)
The Twins' last World Series victory was at one time considered the greatest World Series of all time. Minnesota defeated the Atlanta Braves in seven games, and that seventh game was one of the most significant games in baseball history. Following a walk-off home run in Game 6 by Kirby Puckett, Game 7 pitted two future Hall of Fame pitchers against each other with Minnesota’s Jack Morris facing off against Atlanta’s John Smoltz.
It was a battle of old vs young: 36-year-old Morris, a holdover from the olden days of baseball, a hard-nosed ultra-competitor, was pitching in his third game of the World Series. Smoltz — at 24 and part of the incredible rotation including him, Maddux, and Glavine — was starting in his second World Series game. Both men battled for eight innings before Smoltz was pulled.
Morris, though, continued. The game was tied 0-0 after nine innings, yet Morris stayed in game. He held the Braves scoreless through 10 innings, and his teammates finally came through in the bottom of the 10th on a game-winning single from Gene Larkin. It would go down as one of the most impressive pitching performances in baseball history and would play a major role in Jack Morris’ eventual induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Twins have returned to the playoffs numerous times in the ensuing years, but haven’t made it back to the World Series since that fateful night.
Cincinnati Reds (28 Years)
World Series titles: 5 (1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, 1990)
The Reds are one of the oldest franchises in baseball, playing in Cincinnati since their founding in 1890. That long history has been dotted with success, claiming five World Series titles. The greatest period of sustained success was the "Big Red Machine" period in the 1970s when they won four NL pennants and two World Series.
The 1980s were less kind to the Reds, but they opened the 1990s with a title behind the heroics of pitcher Jose Rijo, who won both Game 1 and Game 4 and took home the MVP award. It’s rare to say a series sweep is an upset, but the Reds were taking on the Oakland A’s, who sported one of the most dangerous lineups in history, led by the "Bash Brothers" Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.
Still, the Reds won the series with little trouble, a great memory in the mind of Reds fans, but one that happened almost three decades ago.
Oakland Athletics (29 Years)
World Series titles: 9 (1910, 1911, 1913, 1929, 1930, 1972, 1973. 1974, 1989)
The A’s last World Series title is remembered for reasons unrelated to the play on the field. Oakland took on their neighbors across the bay, the San Francisco Giants, in what was known as the "Bay Bridge Series." The series was marked by the major earthquake that struck the Bay Area before the third game and caused damage to the whole area.
When the series resumed, the A’s continued their dominance of the Giants and won it in four games. That Oakland team was full of superstars like the "Bash Brothers" Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, and future Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley and Rickey Henderson.
Since that era, the A’s have become known for the "Moneyball" tactics, in which general manager Billy Beane has figured out how to produce winning teams on small budgets. However, those teams have failed to win an AL pennant despite being in the playoffs off and on over the last two decades.
Los Angeles Dodgers (30 Years)
World Series titles: 6 (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988)
Despite being one of the most popular, biggest-spending, and recognizable teams in baseball, the Dodgers are in danger of entering three decades without a World Series title. They were very close in 2017, taking the Houston Astros to seven games before losing 5-1 in the last game.
That was their first pennant since the 1988 World Series, which they won 4-1 over the Oakland Athletics. That series is known for one of the greatest moments in World Series history with the pinch-hit, walk-off home run in Game 1 by an injured Kirk Gibson, who fist-pumped around the bases in one of the memorable images from any World Series game ever.
It was accompanied by two of the most well-known play-by-play calls of all-time, with the legendary Vin Scully saying, "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!" Jack Buck provided the other piece of commentary that has gone down in history by declaring, "I don’t believe what I just saw!"
Dodgers fans would love another moment like Gibson's heroic hit, as that at-bat has now become a part of distant baseball history, further amplifying the length of time it’s been since they won a title.
New York Mets (32 Years)
World Series titles: 2 (1969, 1986)
As we enter the Top 10, the suffering begins to become real for the fanbases involved, but the Mets’ last World Series title inflicted so much pain on another fanbase that it’s almost as if the baseball gods decided the Mets would have to wait for a while before getting another one.
The 1986 World Series pitted the Mets against the Boston Red Sox, who were trying to finally shake the "Curse of the Bambino" and win their first World Series since 1918. The Red Sox were leading the series three games to two and were up in Game 6 by two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning. The Mets had no runners on base when they got three straight singles to put the winning run on base. Mookie Wilson stepped to the plate and changed the lives of all involved forever. He pulled an easy ground ball directly to Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner. The ball slipped right through Buckner's legs and allowed the winning runs to score for the Mets.
The devastation of the Game 6 loss would haunt the Red Sox and Buckner until the team finally overturned the curse in 2004. The Mets went on to win Game 7, their last World Series win to date. They also won the 1969 World Series with a team known as the :"Miracle Mets."
Detroit Tigers (34 Years)
World Series titles: 4 (1935, 1945, 1968, 1984)
The Tigers are a historic franchise with 11 AL Pennants, most from before 1945, and four World Series titles. More than 20 Hall of Famers have played for the Tigers in their 100-plus year history, and the team is deeply ingrained in baseball history.
But the 1984 World Series was the last title for the Tigers, led by the pitching of Jack Morris and the hitting of Alan Trammell. The Tigers defeated the San Diego Padres in five games, further prolonging the misery of Padres fans, which continues to this day. Morris and teammate Kirk Gibson would go on to even more memorable World Series performances for other teams later in their careers. However, both Morris and Gibson are in the baseball Hall of Fame as members of the Tigers.
Since 1984, the Tigers have made two World Series, in 2006 and 2012, but they were swept in 2012 and lost in five games in 2006. They were a consistent contender in the early part of the 2010s, winning four-straight division titles, but only reached the World Series once in that period.
Baltimore Orioles (35 Years)
World Series titles: 3 (1966, 1970, 1983)
It certainly seemed like the Orioles would end this drought at some point in the last decade, making the playoffs three times (no easy feat in the AL East), but each time, they fell before the World Series. The closest they got was the 2014 ALCS in which they were swept by the Kansas City Royals.
The 1983 O’s featured players who would span two eras of baseball history. Jim Palmer, the Orioles' Hall of Fame ace, debuted in 1965 and retired in 1984. Meanwhile, Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. was in his third season and would play until 2001. There are still players in the majors today who played in 2001.
The 1983 World Series was a five-game victory for the Orioles over the Philadelphia Phillies. Ripken Jr. would never return to the World Series despite playing 18 more seasons.
Pittsburgh Pirates (39 Years)
World Series titles: 5 (1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979)
Besides the team at the very bottom, the Pirates are the last team to have won a World Series left on the list. The 1960s and 1970s were good to the Pirates, only equaled in team history by the early 20th century. The Pirates had one of the most legendary players and men in baseball history in Roberto Clemente. Led by Clemente, the Pirates won the 1960 World Series in the most dramatic possible fashion. Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski hit the only Game 7 walk-off home run in baseball history to win the series.
A late-career Clemente also led the Pirates to a seven-game victory in the 1971 World Series. It would turn out to be Clemente’s second-to-last season. He would finish the 1972 campaign by getting his 3,000th hit but tragically died in a plane crash as he attempted to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Clemente’s successor as superstar and leader, Willie Stargell, was the MVP of the 1979 World Series, yet another seven-game series. The Pirates were contenders again in the early 1990s, but after losing a seven-game series to the Atlanta Braves in the 1992 NLCS, they fell into obscurity.
It wasn’t until 2013 that the Pirates had another winning season. They made the playoffs for three straight seasons between 2013 to 2015 but failed to make any noise in the postseason.
Seattle Mariners (42 Years)
World Series titles: 0
Unfortunately for the Mariners, their history may be one of the most futile in all of baseball. Not only have they never won a World Series. They have never even won an American League pennant. They’ve only made the playoffs four times in 41 seasons. They are currently mired in the longest playoff drought of the four American major sports.
The last time they made the playoffs was with one of the best teams in baseball history, though. The 2001 Mariners won 116 games, the modern record, and featured rookie phenom Ichiro Suzuki along with Edgar Martinez and others. But they lost to the Yankees in the playoffs.
The Mariners have had only 13 winning seasons in their 41-season history. It’s not for a lack of legendary players. They’ve been home to Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson as well as Alex Rodriguez and Ichiro.
Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals (50 Years)
World Series titles: 0
To be completely fair, Washington Nationals fans are some of the least tortured on this list. Montreal Expos fans waited 36 seasons for a World Series title, but it never came, and in 2004, they moved down to Washington, D.C. The Expos were consistently bad, only winning one division title in their time in Montreal. But the move to D.C. has brought some better fortune.
With superstar outfielder Bryce Harper and ace pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals have been a consistent contender over the last decade. They’ve won four division titles since 2012, but have failed to win the NL pennant each time.
So while Nationals fans may not have decades of losing seasons to deal with, they have had their fair share of playoff disappointments.
San Diego Padres (50 Years)
World Series titles: 0
The Padres are only at No. 4 due to a tiebreaker with the Brewers. Both teams were founded in 1969 and have failed to win the World Series, but the Padres made the World Series most recently so they land at 4 instead of 3.
The Padres have played nine World Series games in their long history as a franchise. Unfortunately, they’ve only won one.
Now mired in their own half-century of World Series-less misery, the Padres once heavily contributed to the Chicago Cubs’ 100-plus years of sadness. In 1984, the Cubs led the Padres two games to none in the best-of-five NLCS. Chicago fans were dreaming of reaching their first World Series since 1945, but the Padres, with their fans rallying behind the "Cub-Busters" motto and song, came back and won the series three games to two. It was a heartbreaker for the Cubs, but for the Padres, it was a dream come true.
The team, featuring the greatest Padre of all time, Tony Gwynn would face the Detroit Tigers in the World Series and lose in five games. The Padres returned to the World Series in 1998, with Tony Gwynn still leading the way. They faced the New York Yankees, who were in the middle of their 1990s dynasty. The Padres were no match for the Yankees in this series and were swept.
Milwaukee Brewers (50 Years)
World Series titles: 0
The Brewers claim the third spot on this list over the Padres due to the length of time that it’s been since they won a pennant. The Padres won it in 1998, while the Brewers haven’t been to the World Series since 1982. The Brewers have never won an NL pennant. They were in the American League when they won it in 1982.
The 1982 World Series was a classic. The Brewers were led by future Hall of Famers Paul Molitor, Don Sutton, and Robin Yount against the St. Louis Cardinals with future Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Bruce Sutter. The series went to seven games, with the teams trading the series lead back-and-forth before the Cardinals won Game 6 and Game 7.
Nowadays, the Brewers play the Cardinals often as the two are both in the NL Central. Brewers fans still have a strong dislike for the Cardinals after this nail-biter of a series.
Texas Rangers (58 Years)
World Series titles: 0
The Rangers are the oldest team to have never won a championship in baseball history, and they are the only team to have gotten as close as they’ve gotten without winning one.
Twice in one game, the Rangers were one strike away from winning the World Series, and both times they blew it. The 2011 World Series was one for the ages, and most baseball fans will remember it for a long time, but Rangers fans do their best to forget it as much as they can.
In a classic series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Rangers were leading the series three games to two and were up by two runs in the bottom of the ninth in Game 6. With two runners on base, Cardinals third baseman David Freese was down in the count 1-2. He shot a deep fly ball to right field, which was barely missed by right fielder Nelson Cruz. The game was tied and headed to the 10th inning. Josh Hamilton hit a two-run home run in the top of the inning and once again it looked like the Rangers would win the World Series.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Cardinals scored a run and had the tying run on with two outs once again, this time with Lance Berkman at the plate with a 2-2 count. Berkman singled up the middle and tied the game. In the bottom of the 11th, the hero from the ninth inning stepped up to the plate and launched the game-winning home run. David Freese’s name still makes Rangers fans shudder to this day.
The Rangers would lose Game 7 and have not returned to the World Series. The 2011 World Series was their second in a row. They had won their first ever AL pennant the year before by defeating the New York Yankees. But they lost the World Series in five games to the San Francisco Giants.
In the previous five decades, they had made the playoffs only three times, winning three division titles in the late 1990s. Their in-state rival Houston Astros were founded one year after the Rangers and also were mired in over a half-century without a World Series. Until last season.
Now, they have the shortest drought.
Cleveland Indians (70 Years)
World Series titles: 2 (1920, 1948)
They were this close to ending this drought in 2016. Facing the team with the longest drought in baseball history, the Indians took the Chicago Cubs to extra innings in the seventh game of the series before succumbing.
It had to be that way, it seemed. The two fanbases facing the longest wait for World Series glory were made to wait just a little bit longer for a final winner. It was an epic series that had the whole country talking about which team would finally end their misery. Unfortunately for the Indians, despite the epic game-tying home run by Rajai Davis in the eighth inning of Game 7, the Cubs would be the team celebrating at the end.
Indians fans have seen this before. In 1997, the Indians faced the brand-new Florida Marlins in the World Series. It was another epic Fall Classic, but once again, the Indians lost in Game 7. This time, it was on a walk-off single by Edgar Renteria.
Oh, and the Indians also won the 1995 AL pennant, and then lost the World Series in six games to the Atlanta Braves. Prior to the 1995 World Series, the last time the Indians won a pennant was in 1954. They were swept by the New York Giants.
The franchise was founded in 1901, and they do have two World Series titles, in 1920 and 1948. The 1948 team featured Hall of Famers Lou Boudreau, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Joe Gordon, Bob Lemon and Satchel Paige. They defeated the Boston Braves in six games.
There are, of course, some Indians fans still alive today who remember that World Series title. However there is only one Indians player from that team still alive. Eddie Robinson is 97 years old. Cleveland fans desperately hope to see the team win another one in Eddie’s lifetime.