Now that the dust has settled from the Houston Astros’ World Series defeat of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the ‘Stros have claimed their first Major League Baseball championship in team history. The Astros began as the “Colt .45s” in 1962. It took them 55 years to win a title.
Those 55 years are a far cry from the drought the Chicago Cubs and their fans had to endure before the Cubbies won the World Series last season, 108 years later than their last World Series triumph. Of the 30 current teams in the majors, six have yet to win a World Series. Those six are the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers.
However, the city of Milwaukee does own a World Series title. One which was won in 1957 by the then Milwaukee Braves.
Of those six teams, only one has never been to the “Fall Classic.” That would be the Mariners, who in 2001 tied the all-time mark for victories with 116—which also became a new American League record. But even with 116 wins, they could not defeat the New York Yankees in the A.L. Championship Series. Seattle had reached that point after knocking off the Cleveland Indians in the divisional round.
If you count the old Washington Senators in this mix, the new Nationals now represent the nation’s capital. But, they haven’t seen a World Series title in 93 years. The last title belonged to those Senators (1924). The current Nationals have been to multiple playoff series, but have yet to advance.
The next in line for current longest drought? The Cleveland Indians, who made the World Series last year only to lose to Chicago, have not won the title in 69 years. The title they last won came in 1948.
Remember “The Big Red Machine” of the Cincinnati Reds? For the older generation like me, it seems like yesterday that those 1970s squads of Cincinnati were winning titles in dominating fashion. The last time they claimed baseball’s biggest prize was in 1990.*
Those Milwaukee Brewers did make it to a World Series—in 1982. But they would lose to the St. Louis Cardinals.** That was 35 years ago. As a Pirates fan, I’d love to see my Buccos return to the Fall Classic. But with the team they have now, it seems highly unlikely. So, I’ll have to keep adding on to the 38 years—which is when they last won—with their “We are Family” team led by the late, great Willie Stargell.
When the Pirates do reach the series, they actually are in it to win it. The last time they lost a World Series was 90 years ago—losing to the amazing “Murderer’s Row” 1927 Yankees.
For our world champion Astros, 2017 was not their first trip. They also made it in 2005, but lost. As for the team that went down in defeat, the Dodgers last won a title in 1988—making it 29 years going on 30 from their last championship.
Some other teams facing long droughts are the Baltimore Orioles (34 years), Detroit Tigers (33 years), New York Mets (31 years) and the Oakland A’s (28 years). The Minnesota Twins have spent 26 years waiting. Of course, some of those teams just mentioned have gone as far as the World Series only to lose. Detroit was in it just five seasons ago. But again, only to lose. The Mets were losers just two years ago.
Of the teams yet to win MLB’s title, the San Diego Padres have been waiting 19 years for a return. Colorado made it 10 years ago but were swept. In 2008, the Tampa Rays reached the Fall Classic, ultimately failing to bring home the trophy.
Finally, there are the Texas Rangers. They were there in 2011 but like Tampa, went home as the loser. The team with the most World Series triumphs, the Yankees, last reached the pinnacle in 2009 and won it all. The last time they lost said series was in 2003.
So, which team will end their drought next?
And for more from Harv Aronson, check out his website!
*Editor’s Note(s): The original version of this article stated that the Cincinnati Reds last won the World Series in 1976. However, their last title came in 1990. We apologize for the error.
**The original version of this article stated that the Milwaukee Brewers lost the 1982 to the Kansas City Royals. However, the Brewers dropped that series to the St. Louis Cardinals. Thank you to our reader Marc Beauchamp for spotting the mistake. We apologize for the error.