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Archive for October 24th, 2010

Most baseball prognosticators expected the Yankees and Phillies to meet once again at season’s end, but the Rangers and Giants each brought a monkey wrench to their respective league championship series. So, instead of the first World Series rematch in 32 years, the Fall Classic will play host to two teams that have never won a championship in their current city.

World Series Rematches

Years Winner Loser   Years Winner Loser
1978 Yankees Dodgers   1937 Yankees Giants
1977 Yankees Dodgers   1936 Yankees Giants
             
1958 Yankees Braves   1931 Cardinals Athletics
1957 Braves Yankees   1930 Athletics Cardinals
             
1956 Yankees Dodgers   1923 Yankees Giants
1955 Dodgers Yankees   1922 Giants Yankees
        1921 Giants Yankees
1953 Yankees Dodgers        
1952 Yankees Dodgers   1908 Cubs Tigers
        1907 Cubs Tigers
1943 Yankees Cardinals        
1942 Cardinals Yankees        

Although the network executives at Fox are probably lamenting the absence of the sport’s higher profile teams, baseball enthusiasts should revel in watching a series between opponents that have combined to go 105 seasons without winning the World Series. As a result, regardless of the outcome, one of the game’s longest championship droughts will come to an end, continuing a recent trend that has witnessed the Angels, Red Sox and White Sox all break dry spells of at least 40 years. Baseball may not have the gerrymandered parity that ratings watchers seem to crave, but somehow, it still manages to spread the championship wealth without rewarding mediocrity.

World Series with Longest Combined Championship Drought

  NL AL Years
2005 Astros (43) White Sox (88) 131
2004 Cardinals (22) Red Sox (86) 108
2010 Giants (56) Rangers (49) 105
1975 Reds (35) Red Sox (57) 92
2002 Giants (48) Angels (41) 89
1980 Phillies (77)* Royals (11) 88
1986 Mets (17) Red Sox (68) 85
1995 Braves (38) Indians (47) 85
1966 Dodgers (11) Orioles (63)* 74
1972 Reds (32) A’s (42) 74
1987 Cardinals (5) Twins (63) 68

*Drought dates back to 1903, the year of the first World Series.
Note: 1904 and 1994 were included in calculating the durations. Winner in bold.

By advancing to the World Series, the Giants have now won 18 pennants, matching the Dodgers for most among National League teams and ranking only behind the Yankees’ 40 American League flags. With a victory, the Giants would also join the Dodgers with six championships, the fifth highest total among all teams and second in the senior circuit to the Cardinals’ 10 championships.

The Rangers 2010 postseason has already included the franchise’s first series victory as well as its first AL pennant (leaving only the Mariners and Nationals as the only teams to never appear in the Fall Classic). Should Texas prevail in the World Series, the franchise would further distance itself from October futility by removing its name from the list of teams without a World Series flag to fly (Astros, Brewers Mariners, Nationals, Padres, Rays and Rockies). A victory would also pass the mantle of oldest franchise without a championship across the state of Texas to the Houston Astros, who entered the National League in 1962, one year after the Washington Senators, the Rangers’ predecessors, debuted in 1961.

When the final team is left standing, a long suffering fan base will finally have a championship to celebrate. Both San Francisco and Dallas have emerged as two quality baseball towns, so wherever the next ticker tape parade is held, the fans will be very deserving. Of course, with a victory must come defeat, so for the fans of the team that comes up short, the dreams of a World Series victory will have to wait ‘til next year.

Longest Championship Droughts, By Team (30 Years or Longer)

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