Every World Series Winner Since the Late ’80s
With the World Series now over and the offseason just beginning, teams will be looking to put the finishing touches on their rosters and head into the 2017 season. It’s a new chance for all the teams in Major League Baseball to give their best effort and put a World Series winner on the field. Of course, not everyone can be a winner, but the one team that does win the title will have a special place in history. These are the last 30 World Series winners.
1. 1986 – New York Mets
The 1986 New York Mets was an excellent team, winning 108 regular season games and featuring such memorable stars as Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, and two young up-and-coming stars in Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. The Mets began the postseason by dispatching the Houston Astros in the NLCS, moving on to play the Red Sox in the World Series. Boston was within one out and up by one run in the ninth inning of Game 6. The Mets stormed back, won the game, and then the series in Game 7.
2. 1987 – Minnesota Twins
The 1987 Minnesota Twins are one of the worst regular season teams to ever win the World Series, with just an 85-77 record. They took down the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS that year, moving on to play the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. Minnesota went up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series before losing three consecutive games to the Cardinals and needing to take the final two in Minnesota. They did and starting pitcher Frank Viola won the MVP award.
3. 1988 – Los Angeles Dodgers
The 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers are best remembered for a single moment, which is considered one of the greatest in the history of the game. That would be the Game 1 home run off the bat of injured slugger Kirk Gibson. That beat the Oakland Athletics and stud closer Dennis Eckersley, and prompted the Dodgers to win the series in five games. Starting pitcher Orel Hershiser threw 18 innings and allowed just two earned runs, winning the MVP award.
4. 1989 – Oakland Athletics
The 1989 Oakland Athletics didn’t get revenge on the Dodgers, but they did get a championship over a local rival. This team featured the Bash Brothers, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, along with some good starting pitchers and Eckersley in the ‘pen. They won 99 regular season games and swept the San Francisco Giants in the World Series, giving Oakland their first championship since 1974. Starting pitcher Dave Stewart won the MVP with 16 innings and just three earned runs.
5. 1990 – Cincinnati Reds
The Oakland A’s made their third straight trip to the World Series in 1990, but they lost to the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati won 91 regular season games, led by manager Lou Piniella and star players such as Barry Larkin, Eric Davis, Paul O’Neill, and Jose Rijo. The Reds dispatched the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS before sweeping Oakland in the World Series, giving them their most recent championship. Rijo won the MVP award with 15 1/3 innings and just one run allowed.
6. 1991 – Minnesota Twins
The Twins were back in the World Series in 1991, this time with a 95-win regular season. Many of the names had changed from the 1987 team, but Kirby Puckett was still leading the way on the offensive side. The Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS before facing off against the Atlanta Braves in a classic, seven-game World Series. They won the deciding game 1-0 behind a 10-inning pitching effort from series MVP Jack Morris.
7. 1992 – Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1992, riding Joe Carter and a young Roberto Alomar past the Oakland A’s in the ALCS. They faced off against the Atlanta Braves in the World Series, who lost for the second consecutive year. The Jays took a lead in the 11th inning of the deciding game on a double by 40-year-old Dave Winfield. Pat Borders won the MVP by hitting 9-for-20 with a home run and three RBI.
8. 1993 – Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays repeated in 1993, bringing Major League Baseball one of the best moments in the history of the game. Toronto took down the Chicago White Sox in the ALCS before taking on the Philadelphia Phillies, who were poised to force a seventh game with a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth in Game 6. But with two on and one out, Joe Carter hit a three-run, walk-off, World-Series-winning home run. Paul Molitor won the MVP by batting 12-for-24 with two home runs.
9. 1995 – Atlanta Braves
With the 1994 strike over, the Atlanta Braves beat the Colorado Rockies in the NLDS and swept the Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS, moving on to the World Series for the third time in the decade to take on the Cleveland Indians. World Series MVP Tom Glavine started the deciding game, going eight innings and allowing zero earned runs as the Braves won 1-0. Glavine finished the series with a 1.29 ERA in two starts.
10. 1996 – New York Yankees
The 1996 New York Yankees were the first of a string of World Series winners, led by a young Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Andy Pettitte, and David Cone. The Yanks took down the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS, advancing to the World Series against yet another appearance by the Braves. MVP reliever John Wetteland threw 4 1/3 innings, getting saves in all four victories over Atlanta.
11. 1997 – Florida Marlins
In 1997, the Florida Marlins had their best season in the short history of the franchise, winning the National League wild card with a 92-70 season. They swept the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS and knocked the Braves out in the NLCS, heading to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. The series went seven games, with Marlins shortstop Edgar Renteria knocking in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning. Starting pitcher Livan Hernandez won the MVP award.
12. 1998 – New York Yankees
The 1998 Yankees are one of the greatest teams in the history of baseball. They had a regular season record of 114-48, coasting into the playoffs and facing off with the Texas Rangers in the ALDS. They swept Texas, and after defeating the Indians in six games in the ALCS they paired up with the San Diego Padres in the World Series. New York swept the Padres as well, finishing the postseason 11-2 behind World Series MVP Scott Brosius.
13. 1999 – New York Yankees
New York was fairly dominant in 1999, as well, although not nearly as much during the regular season as in the season prior. The Yanks finished 98-64, beat rivaling Boston Red Sox in the ALCS, and took out the Atlanta Braves in a sweep in the World Series. The postseason saw the Yanks going 11-1 as they won their second consecutive title behind World Series MVP Mariano Rivera, who had pitched in three of the four games with a win and two saves.
14. 2000 – New York Yankees
After two amazing seasons, the Yankees saw a big drop-off in the 2000 season. They finished the regular season just 87-74, barely beating out the Red Sox for first place in the AL East. They again advanced to the World Series, this time beating the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners, and faced off against their local rival New York Mets. The Mets were favored, but the Yankees took them down in five games behind the performance of World Series MVP Derek Jeter.
15. 2001 – Arizona Diamondbacks
The Yankees advanced to the World Series for the fourth consecutive season in 2001, but this time they were stopped by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-Backs were led by starting pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, with left fielder Luis Gonzalez hitting 57 home runs on the offensive side. Arizona was trailing in the ninth inning of Game 7 against the Yankees, staring at Mariano Rivera on the mound. But they managed to rally for two runs and won the game. The MVP was shared by both Johnson and Schilling.
16. 2002 – Anaheim Angels
The 2002 Anaheim Angels came pretty much out of nowhere in a division that had been dominated by the Mariners and Oakland A’s in previous seasons. After a poor start, Anaheim won 99 games and the American League wild card, advancing to the World Series and taking on Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants. The Angels sent rookie John Lackey to the mound for Game 7, and the Angels won the game 4-1. Third baseman Troy Glaus was named the MVP.
17. 2003 – Florida Marlins
The 2003 Marlins went on a big run in the second half of the season, grabbing the wild card spot and advancing past the Giants and Chicago Cubs in the postseason on their way to a match-up with the New York Yankees. Things were looking good for another Yankees championship after they took a 2-1 series lead, but they ran into a hot pitcher in Josh Beckett. He started two games, including the clincher, and threw 16 1/3 innings while allowing just two earned runs, earning him the MVP.
18. 2004 – Boston Red Sox
As far as history goes, the 2004 World Series is almost a footnote for the Boston Red Sox. The real story is how they got there. After trailing 3-0 in the ALCS against rivaling New York Yankees, Boston found a way to rattle off four straight victories and advance to take on the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards proved to be no match for Boston, who swept St. Louis in four games behind 7-for-17 hitting from MVP award winner Manny Ramirez.
19. 2005 – Chicago White Sox
The 2005 Chicago White Sox were just the second White Sox team to even make the postseason in the new millennium, and came as somewhat of a surprise contender. They finished the regular season with 99 wins, beat the Red Sox in the ALDS, the Angels in the ALCS, and swept the Houston Astros in the World Series. The Sox only lost one game in the entire playoffs, finishing with an 11-1 record. Outfielder Jermaine Dye won the MVP award, hitting 7-for-16 with a home run.
20. 2006 – St. Louis Cardinals
After two very successful seasons in 2004 and 2005, the St. Louis Cardinals came out flat with an 83-78 season in 2006. The good news? The NL Central was weak enough that they still made the playoffs. After dispatching the San Diego Padres and New York Mets, the Cards took on the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. St. Louis won the series in five games. Shortstop David Eckstein won the MVP award with an 8-for-22 effort with three doubles.
21. 2007 – Boston Red Sox
After breaking the 86-year World Series drought in 2004, the 2007 Boston Red Sox had a lot less resistance winning another one. They won 96 regular season games and advanced to take on the National League wild card, the Colorado Rockies. Boston swept Colorado in four games, with rookie left-hander Jon Lester starting the deciding game. Third baseman Mike Lowell won the MVP by going 6-for-15 with a home run and three doubles.
22. 2008 – Philadelphia Phillies
After spending the first 10 years of their existence as the worst team in the American League, the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays popped up and won 97 games. They were good enough to advance to the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, but not good enough to beat them. Led by Cole Hamels, the Phillies knocked out Tampa Bay in five games. Hamels finished as the World Series MVP, starting two games — including the clincher — and throwing 13 innings with four earned runs.
23. 2009 – New York Yankees
The Phillies returned to the World Series in 2009, but this time they were met by the 103-win New York Yankees. The Yanks had spent a lot of money in the decade, but hadn’t won a title since 2000. This time, things would work out well for New York. Hideki Matsui would go on a tear, hitting 8-for-13 with three home runs in the six-game series. Matsui won the MVP award after leading the Yankees to their most recent World Series victory.
24. 2010 – San Francisco Giants
The 2010 San Francisco Giants were led by an exciting young core that featured Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, and Buster Posey. They won 92 games in the regular season and advanced to face an equally good (and young) Texas Rangers in the World Series. The Giants were able to dispatch the Rangers fairly easily, winning the series in five games. Shortstop Edgar Renteria, who was winning the second ring of his career, won the MVP award by hitting 7-for-16 with two home runs.
25. 2011 – St. Louis Cardinals
The Rangers advanced to the World Series for the second consecutive season in 2011, facing the National League wild card St. Louis Cardinals. Texas took a 3-2 lead in the series, and even had the Cardinals down to their final strike twice in Game 6, but St. Louis kept rallying and eventually won the series in seven games. Third baseman David Freese, who hit the big walkoff home run in Game 6, was named the series MVP.
26. 2012 – San Francisco Giants
The Giants were back again in 2012, winning 94 regular season games and beating the Cardinals in the NLCS to advance and take on the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. The same young core was just too much for a very good Tigers team, sweeping Detroit in four games to capture San Francisco’s second World Series title in three years. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who hit three home runs in Game 1, finished as the MVP winner for the Giants.
27. 2013 – Boston Red Sox
For the third time in 10 years, the Boston Red Sox would win the World Series. It came after a rough 2012 that saw them finish 69-93, bouncing back and winning 97 regular season games and finishing as the best team in the league. Boston fell behind 2-1 in the World Series to the Cardinals, but came storming back behind starting pitchers Jon Lester and John Lackey to win the series in six games. David Ortiz was named the MVP, hitting an absurd 11-for-16 with two home runs.
28. 2014 – San Francisco Giants
The 2014 Giants were looking good in their division, until a late-season meltdown forced them into contention for the wild card. They grabbed the second spot, facing the Pittsburgh Pirates in a one-game playoff that was won by Madison Bumgarner. The Giants advanced all the way to the World Series, where Bumgarner took center stage against the Kansas City Royals. The left-hander finished the series with 21 1/3 innings pitched in two starts and a relief appearance, coming in and getting the save in the clincher and winning the MVP award.
29. 2015 – Kansas City Royals
The Royals bounced back the following year, winning 95 regular season games and the AL Central division before advancing to the World Series again — this time against the New York Mets. Kansas City won the series in five games, having to come back and score late runs off New York closer Jeurys Familia twice in the series. Catcher Salvador Perez won the MVP award, batting 8-for-22 with two doubles and playing outstanding defense behind the plate.
30. 2016 – Chicago Cubs
The 2016 Chicago Cubs broke the ultimate World Series drought, coming through after 108 years. The Cubs won 103 games in the regular season after a 97-win season in 2015. They beat the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS, the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, and came back from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians — including a wild Game 7 that went into extra innings. Ben Zobrist was named the World Series MVP, hitting 10-for-28 with two doubles and a triple.
All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com.