List of Major League Baseball franchise postseason droughts

Throughout the history of Major League Baseball (MLB), franchises have had various postseason and World Series droughts.

All 16 of the original Major League franchises (i.e., those in place when the first World Series was played in 1903) have won the World Series, with the longest wait for a franchise's first championship being for the Phillies (77 years, ending in 1980). Since expansion began in 1961, six of the 14 expansion teams have never won the World Series. Further, one franchise (the Indians) has a current championship drought that pre-dates the expansion era. The three longest championship droughts in history were ended recently by the Red Sox (85 years, ending in 2004), the White Sox (87 years, ending in 2005), and the Cubs (107 years, ending in 2016).

Only one expansion franchise (the Mariners) has never won a pennant (i.e., the league championship, the two winners of which meet in the World Series). The three longest pennant droughts in history were recently ended by the Nationals (51 years, starting with the team's foundation and ending in 2019, and including the franchise's entire 36 years as the Montreal Expos), the Rangers (49 years, starting with the team's foundation and ending in 2010) and the Cubs (70 years, ending in 2016). As the Nationals are the third franchise to be based in the city of Washington, their 2019 pennant also ended a drought of 53 seasons played in Washington since their last pennant, which was in 1933 (here we discount the 33 seasons during which there was no team in Washington).

Every MLB franchise has at least been to the postseason, especially since expansion of the playoffs in 1994 made that feat easier. The Mariners have the longest active postseason drought at 18 years. Long postseason droughts were ended recently by the Nationals (30 years for the franchise, 45 seasons over 78 years for the city, ending in 2012), the Pirates (20 years, ending in 2013), the Royals (28 years, ending in 2014), and the Blue Jays (21 years, ending in 2015).

This list includes only the modern World Series between the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), not the various 19th-century championship series. Those teams which have never achieved a particular accomplishment in their franchise history are listed by the date they entered the leagues.

World Series championship droughts

Longest current World Series championship droughts

No World Series was played in 1994, and counts as a drought season for those franchises.

Longest World Series championship droughts through history

The first World Series was played in 1903. No World Series was played in 1904 or 1994. This list only shows droughts of 30 or more seasons. Active droughts are listed in bold type.

Seasons Team Previous Title Next Title
107 Chicago Cubs 1908 2016
87 Chicago White Sox 1917 2005
85 Boston Red Sox 1918 2004
77 Philadelphia Phillies 1903* 1980
71 Cleveland Indians 1948 —
63 St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles 1903* 1966
62 Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins 1924 1987
59 Washington Senators/Texas Rangers 1961* —
55 Houston Colt .45s/Astros 1962* 2017
55 New York/San Francisco Giants 1954 2010
52 Brooklyn Dodgers 1903* 1955
51 Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers 1969* —
51 San Diego Padres 1969* —
50 Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals 1969* 2019
43 Seattle Mariners 1977* —
42 Boston/Milwaukee Braves 1914 1957
41 Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics 1930 1972
41 Los Angeles-California-Anaheim Angels 1961* 2002
40 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979 —
37 Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves 1957 1995
36 Baltimore Orioles 1983 —
35 Detroit Tigers 1984 —
34 Pittsburgh Pirates 1925 1960
34 Cincinnati Reds 1940 1975
33 New York Mets 1986 —
32 Detroit Tigers 1903* 1935
31 Los Angeles Dodgers 1988 —
30 Oakland Athletics 1989 —

* Year does not indicate a title won, but rather the team's first year of existence or the first year of the modern World Series (1903).

World Series championship droughts by city/region

This list only includes cities/regions with current Major League Baseball franchises. Years during which a city/region did not field a Major League Baseball team are not counted.

*city without Major League Baseball franchise for 4 seasons (1966–1969)

†city without Major League Baseball franchise for 7 seasons (1970–1976)

‡number doesn't indicate a title won, but rather total seasons played.

World Series in which neither team had previously won a championship

In these instances, the World Series matchup ensured that one team would win the first championship in its history.

*In these cases, each team was making its first World Series appearance.

World Series in which both teams had ended pennant droughts of 20-plus seasons

Season Won Drought (seasons) Lost Drought (seasons)
2005 Chicago White Sox 45 Houston Astros 43
1948 Cleveland Indians 27 Boston Braves 33

World Series in which neither franchise had won a championship in 30-plus seasons

Teams that had never won the World Series are included, even if they were less than 30 seasons old at the time. Bold denotes team that won.

Numbers marked with * indicates that the number is counted from either the franchise's first year of existence or the first year of the modern World Series (1903).

Major League pennant droughts

Longest current Major League pennant droughts

No pennants were won in 1994 due to the players' strike that year.

Longest Major League pennant droughts through history

List begins with 1903, about the time the current configuration of National League and American League stabilized and also the year of the first World Series. No pennants were won in 1994 due to the players strike that year. This list only shows droughts of 20 or more seasons. Active droughts are listed in bold type.

Seasons Team Prev. Pennant Next Pennant
70 Chicago Cubs 1945 2016
50 Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals 1969* 2019
49 Washington Senators/Texas Rangers 1961* 2010
45 Chicago White Sox 1959 2005
43 Houston Colt .45s/Astros 1962* 2005
43 Seattle Mariners 1977* —
41 St. Louis Browns 1903* 1944
41 Los Angeles-California-Anaheim Angels 1961* 2002
40 Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics 1931 1972
40 Cleveland Indians 1954 1995
40 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979 —
39 Chicago White Sox 1919 1959
37 Milwaukee Brewers 1982 —
36 Baltimore Orioles 1983 —
34 Philadelphia Phillies 1915 1950
33 Boston Braves 1914 1948
32 Pittsburgh Pirates 1927 1960
32 Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves 1958 1991
31 Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins 1933 1965
29 Philadelphia Phillies 1950 1980
29 Oakland Athletics 1990 —
29 Cincinnati Reds 1990 —
28 Kansas City Royals 1985 2014
28 Los Angeles Dodgers 1988 2017
28 Minnesota Twins 1991 —
27 Boston Red Sox 1918 1946
27 Cleveland Indians 1920 1948
26 San Francisco Giants 1962 1989
26 Toronto Blue Jays 1993 —
24 Detroit Tigers 1909 1934
23 St. Louis Cardinals 1903* 1926
22 Detroit Tigers 1945 1968
21 St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles 1944 1966
21 Minnesota Twins 1965 1987
21 Detroit Tigers 1984 2006
21 Washington Senators 1903* 1924
21 San Diego Padres 1998 —
20 Brooklyn Dodgers 1920 1941
20 Cincinnati Reds 1940 1961
20 Boston Red Sox 1946 1967

* Year does not indicate a pennant, but rather the team's first year of existence or the first year of the modern World Series (1903).

Major League pennant droughts by city/region

This list only includes cities/regions with current Major League Baseball franchises. Years during which a city/region did not field a Major League Baseball team are not counted.

*city without Major League Baseball franchise for 7 seasons (1970–1976)

†number doesn't indicate a title won, but rather total seasons played.

League championship appearance droughts

Longest current league championship appearance droughts

No league championships were played in 1994 due to the players' strike that year.

League division champion droughts

Longest current division champion droughts

No league division champions were won in 1994 due to the players' strike that year.

* Because of the wild card postseason berth, the franchise have won two World Series champions (1997, 2003) without winning the division.
** Also the franchise without a winning record for 20 consecutive seasons (1993–2012).

Postseason droughts

Longest current postseason droughts

* Also longest active drought in North American sports[1]

Longest postseason droughts in the expanded-postseason era

After the postseason was expanded in 1995 to include eight teams (further expanded in 2012 to ten teams), 18 of the 30 teams qualified within the first five years, and few teams went for long droughts without at least participating in the first round of the postseason. This list only shows droughts of 15 or more seasons that occurred primarily in the expanded-postseason era. Active droughts are listed in bold type.

Seasons Team Previous Postseason Appearance Next Postseason Appearance
30 Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals 1981 2012
28 Kansas City Royals 1985 2014
25 Milwaukee Brewers 1982 2008
21 Toronto Blue Jays 1993 2015
20 Pittsburgh Pirates 1992 2013
18 Detroit Tigers 1987 2006
18 Seattle Mariners 2001 —
16 Miami Marlins 2003 —
15 Los Angeles Angels 1986 2002

See also

References

  1. ^ McKay, John. "Longest Pro Sports Postseason Drought? Mariners". NEWStalk 870. Retrieved 2020-02-17.

Other Languages

Copyright