List of Major League Baseball franchise postseason droughts

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

All 16 of the original Major League franchises (i.e., those in place when the World Series began 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, eight of the 14 expansion teams have never won the World Series. Further, two franchises (the Cubs and Indians) have current Championship droughts that pre-date the expansion era. The second- and third-longest Championship droughts in history (after the Cubs' current 105-year drought) were ended recently by the Red Sox (85 years, ending in 2004) and the White Sox (87 years, ending in 2005). Notably, the Cubs' current World Series drought began before the creation of any of the other three major American sports leagues—the NHL was founded in 1917, the NFL in 1920, and the NBA in 1946.

Only two expansion franchises (the Expos/Nationals and Mariners) have never won a pennant (i.e., the league championship, the two winners of which meet in the World Series), while the Rangers recently ended the longest-ever founding pennant drought (49 years, ending in 2010). Only the Cubs (at 68 years) have a current pennant drought that predates the expansion era.

Every MLB franchise has at least been to the postseason, especially since expansion of the playoffs in 1995 made that feat easier. The Royals have the longest active postseason drought at 28 years (though this is being broken during the 2014 postseason), followed by the Blue Jays at 20 years, while all others are at 11 years or less. In 2012, the Nationals broke their franchise postseason drought of 31 years (since the 1981 playoff appearance of the Montreal Expos) and a 79-year postseason drought for the city of Washington (since the Senators' 1933 pennant). In 2013, the Pirates broke a postseason drought of 21 years.

This list includes only the modern World Series between the American League and the National League, not the various 19th-century championship series, and is updated through the 2013 postseason. Those teams which have never achieved a particular accomplishment in their franchise history are listed by the date they entered the leagues.

Longest current World Series championship drought[edit]

Bold indicates active in 2014 Postseason.

Seasons Team Last championship won Last World Series appearance
105 Chicago Cubs 1908 1945
65 Cleveland Indians 1948 1997
53 Texas Rangers never (franchise began 1961) 2011
52 Houston Astros never (franchise began 1962) 2005
45 Milwaukee Brewers never (franchise began 1969) 1982
45 San Diego Padres never (franchise began 1969) 1998
45 Washington Nationals never (franchise began 1969) never
37 Seattle Mariners never (franchise began 1977) never
34 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979 1979
30 Baltimore Orioles 1983 1983
29 Detroit Tigers 1984 2012
28 Kansas City Royals 1985 1985
27 New York Mets 1986 2000
25 Los Angeles Dodgers 1988 1988
24 Oakland Athletics 1989 1990
23 Cincinnati Reds 1990 1990
22 Minnesota Twins 1991 1991
21 Colorado Rockies never (franchise began 1993) 2007
20 Toronto Blue Jays 1993 1993
18 Atlanta Braves 1995 1999
16 Tampa Bay Rays never (franchise began 1998) 2008
12 Arizona Diamondbacks 2001 2001
11 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2002 2002
10 Miami Marlins 2003 2003
8 Chicago White Sox 2005 2005
5 Philadelphia Phillies 2008 2009
4 New York Yankees 2009 2009
2 St. Louis Cardinals 2011 2013
1 San Francisco Giants 2012 2012
0 Boston Red Sox 2013 2013

Longest World Series championship droughts through history[edit]

The first World Series was played in 1903. Note that 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 Prev. Title Next Title
105 Chicago Cubs 1908
87 Chicago White Sox 1917 2005
85 Boston Red Sox 1918 2004
77 Philadelphia Phillies 1903* 1980
65 Cleveland Indians 1948
63 St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles 1903* 1966
62 Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins 1924 1987
55 New York-San Francisco Giants 1954 2010
52 Brooklyn Dodgers 1903* 1955
53 Washington Senators/Texas Rangers 1961*
52 Houston Colt .45s/Astros 1962*
45 Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers 1969*
45 San Diego Padres 1969*
45 Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals 1969*
42 Boston-Milwaukee Braves 1914 1957
41 Philadelphia-Kansas City-Oakland Athletics 1930 1972
41 Los Angeles-California-Anaheim Angels 1961* 2002
38 Milwaukee-Atlanta Braves 1957 1995
37 Seattle Mariners 1977*
34 Pittsburgh Pirates 1925 1960
34 Cincinnati Reds 1940 1975
34 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979
32 Detroit Tigers 1903* 1935

* 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).

Longest current Major League pennant drought[edit]

Bold indicates teams active in 2014 Postseason.

Seasons Team Last pennant
68 Chicago Cubs 1945
45 Washington Nationals never (franchise started in 1969)
37 Seattle Mariners never (franchise started in 1977)
34 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979
31 Milwaukee Brewers 1982 (never since joining NL in 1998)
30 Baltimore Orioles 1983
28 Kansas City Royals 1985
25 Los Angeles Dodgers 1988
23 Cincinnati Reds 1990
23 Oakland Athletics 1990
22 Minnesota Twins 1991
20 Toronto Blue Jays 1993
16 Cleveland Indians 1997
15 San Diego Padres 1998
14 Atlanta Braves 1999
13 New York Mets 2000
12 Arizona Diamondbacks 2001
11 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2002
10 Miami Marlins 2003
8 Chicago White Sox 2005
8 Houston Astros 2005 (never since joining AL in 2013)
6 Colorado Rockies 2007
5 Tampa Bay Rays 2008
4 New York Yankees 2009
4 Philadelphia Phillies 2009
2 Texas Rangers 2011
1 Detroit Tigers 2012
1 San Francisco Giants 2012
0 St. Louis Cardinals 2013
0 Boston Red Sox 2013

Longest Major League pennant droughts through history[edit]

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. Note that no pennants were won in 1994 due to strike. This list only shows droughts of 20 or more seasons. Active droughts are listed in bold type.

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

* 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).

Longest current postseason drought[edit]

Bold indicates active in 2014 Postseason.

Seasons Team Last appearance
21 Toronto Blue Jays 1993 World Series
13 Seattle Mariners 2001 ALCS
11 Miami Marlins 2003 World Series
9 Houston Astros 2005 World Series
8 San Diego Padres 2006 NLDS
8 New York Mets 2006 NLCS
6 Chicago White Sox 2008 ALDS
6 Chicago Cubs 2008 NLDS
5 Colorado Rockies 2009 NLDS
4 Minnesota Twins 2010 ALDS
3 Arizona Diamondbacks 2011 NLDS
3 Philadelphia Phillies 2011 NLDS
3 Milwaukee Brewers 2011 NLCS
2 Texas Rangers 2012 AL Wild Card
2 New York Yankees 2012 ALCS
1 Cincinnati Reds 2013 NL Wild Card
1 Cleveland Indians 2013 AL Wild Card
1 Atlanta Braves 2013 NLDS
1 Tampa Bay Rays 2013 ALDS
1 Boston Red Sox 2013 World Series
0 Oakland Athletics 2014 AL Wild Card
0 Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 NL Wild Card
0 San Francisco Giants 2014 NL Wild Card
0 Baltimore Orioles 2014 ALDS
0 Detroit Tigers 2013 ALDS
0 Kansas City Royals 2014 ALDS
0 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2014 ALDS
0 Los Angeles Dodgers 2013 NLDS
0 St. Louis Cardinals 2014 NLDS
0 Washington Nationals 2014 NLDS

Longest postseason droughts in the expanded-postseason era[edit]

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 Prev. Postseason Appearance Next Postseason Appearance
31 Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals 1981 2012
29 Kansas City Royals 1985 2014
26 Milwaukee Brewers 1982 2008
21 Toronto Blue Jays 1993
21 Pittsburgh Pirates 1992 2013
19 Detroit Tigers 1987 2006

World Series championship droughts by city/region[edit]

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.

Region Drought (seasons) Last World Series title
Cleveland 65 Cleveland Indians, 1948
Washington, D.C. 56^ Washington Senators (original A.L.), 1924
Milwaukee 52^^ Milwaukee Braves, 1957
Houston 52** None
San Diego 45** None
Dallas-Ft. Worth 42** None
Seattle 38** ^^^ None
Pittsburgh 34 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1979
Baltimore 30 Baltimore Orioles, 1983
Detroit 29 Detroit Tigers, 1984
Kansas City 28 Kansas City Royals, 1985
Cincinnati 23 Cincinnati Reds, 1990
Minneapolis-St. Paul 22 Minnesota Twins, 1991
Denver 21** None
Toronto 20 Toronto Blue Jays, 1993
Atlanta 18 Atlanta Braves, 1995
Tampa-St. Petersburg 16** None
Phoenix 12 Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001
Greater Los Angeles Area 11 Anaheim Angels, 2002
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 10 Florida Marlins, 2003
Chicago 8 Chicago White Sox, 2005
Philadelphia 5 Philadelphia Phillies, 2008
New York City 4 New York Yankees, 2009
St. Louis 2 St. Louis Cardinals, 2011
San Francisco Bay Area 1 San Francisco Giants, 2012
Boston 0 Boston Red Sox, 2013

^city without Major League Baseball franchise for 33 seasons (1972-2004)

^^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

Major League pennant droughts by city/region[edit]

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.

Region Drought (seasons) Last pennant
Washington, D.C. 47^ Washington Senators (original A.L.), 1933
Seattle 38** ^^ None
Pittsburgh 34 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1979
Milwaukee 31 Milwaukee Brewers, 1982 (in A.L.)
Baltimore 30 Baltimore Orioles, 1983
Kansas City 28 Kansas City Royals, 1985
Cincinnati 23 Cincinnati Reds, 1990
Minneapolis-St. Paul 22 Minnesota Twins, 1991
Toronto 20 Toronto Blue Jays, 1993
Cleveland 16 Cleveland Indians, 1997
San Diego 15 San Diego Padres, 1998
Atlanta 14 Atlanta Braves, 1999
Phoenix 12 Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001
Greater Los Angeles Area 11 Anaheim Angels, 2002
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 10 Florida Marlins, 2003
Chicago 8 Chicago White Sox, 2005
Houston 8 Houston Astros, 2005 (in N.L.)
Denver 6 Colorado Rockies, 2007
Tampa-St. Petersburg 5 Tampa Bay Rays, 2008
New York City 4 New York Yankees, 2009
Philadelphia 4 Philadelphia Phillies, 2009
Dallas-Ft. Worth 2 Texas Rangers, 2011
Detroit 1 Detroit Tigers, 2012
San Francisco Bay Area 1 San Francisco Giants, 2012
St. Louis 0 St. Louis Cardinals, 2013
Boston 0 Boston Red Sox, 2013

^city without Major League Baseball franchise for 33 seasons (1972-2004)

^^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[edit]

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

Season Won Lost
1980 Philadelphia Phillies Kansas City Royals
1920 Cleveland Indians Brooklyn Dodgers
1909 Pittsburgh Pirates Detroit Tigers
1907 Chicago Cubs Detroit Tigers
1906* Chicago White Sox Chicago Cubs
1905* New York Giants Philadelphia Athletics
1903* Boston Americans Pittsburgh Pirates

*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[edit]

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[edit]

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

Season Won Drought (seasons) Lost Drought (seasons)
2010 San Francisco Giants 55 Texas Rangers 49*
2005 Chicago White Sox 87 Houston Astros 43*
2002 Anaheim Angels 41* San Francisco Giants 47
1997 Florida Marlins 4* Cleveland Indians 48
1995 Atlanta Braves 37 Cleveland Indians 46
1992 Toronto Blue Jays 15* Atlanta Braves 34
1980 Philadelphia Phillies 77* Kansas City Royals 11*
1975 Cincinnati Reds 34 Boston Red Sox 56
1972 Oakland Athletics 40 Cincinnati Reds 31
1920 Cleveland Indians 17* Brooklyn Dodgers 17*
1909 Pittsburgh Pirates 6* Detroit Tigers 6*
1907 Chicago Cubs 4* Detroit Tigers 4*
1906 Chicago White Sox 3* Chicago Cubs 3*
1905 New York Giants 2* Philadelphia Athletics 2*
1903 Boston Americans 0* Pittsburgh Pirates 0*

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).

See also[edit]