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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, seven 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). Discounting the 33 years in which there was no MLB franchise in Washington, there have been 61 seasons played in Washington since their last World Series championship (in 1924).

Only two expansion franchises (the Expos/Nationals and the Mariners) have never won a pennant (i.e., the league championship, the two winners of which meet in the World Series). The two longest pennant droughts in history were recently ended by the Rangers (49 years, starting with the team's foundation, ending in 2010) and the Cubs (70 years, ending in 2016). The Expos/Nationals pennant drought includes 36 years in Montreal, which no longer hosts a team, and 14 years since the move to Washington; discounting the 33 years in which there was no MLB franchise in Washington, there have been 52 seasons played in Washington since their last pennant (in 1933).

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 17 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.

Contents

World Series championship droughtsEdit

Longest current World Series championship droughtsEdit

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

Seasons Team Last World Series championship won Last World Series appearance
70 Cleveland Indians 1948 2016
58 Texas Rangers Never (franchise began 1961) 2011
50 Milwaukee Brewers Never (franchise began 1969) 1982
50 San Diego Padres Never (franchise began 1969) 1998
50 Washington Nationals Never (franchise began 1969) Never
42 Seattle Mariners Never (franchise began 1977) Never
39 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979 1979
35 Baltimore Orioles 1983 1983
34 Detroit Tigers 1984 2012
32 New York Mets 1986 2015
30 Los Angeles Dodgers 1988 2018
29 Oakland Athletics 1989 1990
28 Cincinnati Reds 1990 1990
27 Minnesota Twins 1991 1991
26 Colorado Rockies Never (franchise began 1993) 2007
25 Toronto Blue Jays 1993 1993
23 Atlanta Braves 1995 1999
21 Tampa Bay Rays Never (franchise began 1998) 2008
17 Arizona Diamondbacks 2001 2001
16 Los Angeles Angels 2002 2002
15 Miami Marlins 2003 2003
13 Chicago White Sox 2005 2005
10 Philadelphia Phillies 2008 2009
9 New York Yankees 2009 2009
7 St. Louis Cardinals 2011 2013
4 San Francisco Giants 2014 2014
3 Kansas City Royals 2015 2015
2 Chicago Cubs 2016 2016
1 Houston Astros 2017 2017
0 Boston Red Sox 2018 2018

Longest World Series championship droughts through historyEdit

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
70 Cleveland Indians 1948
63 St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles 1903* 1966
62 Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins 1924 1987
58 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
50 Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers 1969*
50 San Diego Padres 1969*
50 Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals 1969*
42 Boston/Milwaukee Braves 1914 1957
42 Seattle Mariners 1977*
41 Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics 1930 1972
41 Los Angeles-California-Anaheim Angels 1961* 2002
39 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979
37 Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves 1957 1995
35 Baltimore Orioles 1983
34 Pittsburgh Pirates 1925 1960
34 Cincinnati Reds 1940 1975
34 Detroit Tigers 1984
32 Detroit Tigers 1903* 1935
32 New York Mets 1986
30 Los Angeles Dodgers 1988

* 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/regionEdit

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 70 Cleveland Indians, 1948
Washington, D.C. 61* Washington Senators (original A.L.), 1924
Milwaukee 57** Milwaukee Braves, 1957
San Diego 50‡ None
Dallas-Ft. Worth 47‡ None
Seattle 43‡ † None
Pittsburgh 39 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1979
Baltimore 35 Baltimore Orioles, 1983
Detroit 34 Detroit Tigers, 1984
Cincinnati 28 Cincinnati Reds, 1990
Minneapolis–Saint Paul 27 Minnesota Twins, 1991
Denver 26‡ None
Toronto 25 Toronto Blue Jays, 1993
Atlanta 23 Atlanta Braves, 1995
Tampa-St. Petersburg 21‡ None
Phoenix 17 Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001
Los Angeles 16 Anaheim Angels, 2002
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 15 Florida Marlins, 2003
Philadelphia 10 Philadelphia Phillies, 2008
New York City 9 New York Yankees, 2009
St. Louis 7 St. Louis Cardinals, 2011
San Francisco Bay Area 4 San Francisco Giants, 2014
Kansas City 3 Kansas City Royals, 2015
Chicago 2 Chicago Cubs, 2016
Houston 1 Houston Astros, 2017
Boston 0 Boston Red Sox, 2018

*city without Major League Baseball franchise for 33 seasons (19722004)

**city without Major League Baseball franchise for 4 seasons (19661969)

†city without Major League Baseball franchise for 7 seasons (19701976)

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

World Series in which neither team had previously won a championshipEdit

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 seasonsEdit

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 seasonsEdit

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.

Season American League Drought (seasons) National League Drought (seasons)
2016 Cleveland Indians 67 Chicago Cubs 107
2010 Texas Rangers 49* San Francisco Giants 55
2005 Chicago White Sox 87 Houston Astros 43*
2002 Anaheim Angels 41* San Francisco Giants 47
1997 Cleveland Indians 48 Florida Marlins 4*
1995 Cleveland Indians 46 Atlanta Braves 37
1992 Toronto Blue Jays 15* Atlanta Braves 34
1980 Kansas City Royals 11* Philadelphia Phillies 77*
1975 Boston Red Sox 56 Cincinnati Reds 34
1972 Oakland Athletics 40 Cincinnati Reds 31
1920 Cleveland Indians 17* Brooklyn Dodgers 17*
1909 Detroit Tigers 6* Pittsburgh Pirates 6*
1907 Detroit Tigers 4* Chicago Cubs 4*
1906 Chicago White Sox 3* Chicago Cubs 3*
1905 Philadelphia Athletics 2* New York Giants 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).

Closest approaches without winning World SeriesEdit

Team Wild Card Game
Appearances
Division Series
Appearances
League Championship Series
Appearances
World Series
Appearances
Fewest Wins Short of World Series Crown
Texas Rangers 1 7 2 2 01 win short : 2011
Milwaukee Brewers 0 4 3 1 01 win short : 1982
San Diego Padres 0 4 2 2 03 wins short : 1984
Tampa Bay Rays 1 4 1 1 03 wins short : 2008
Colorado Rockies 2 4 1 1 04 wins short : 2007
Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals 0 5 1 0 05 wins short : 1981
Seattle Mariners 0 4 3 0 06 wins short : 1995, 2000

Major League pennant droughtsEdit

Longest current Major League pennant droughtsEdit

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

Seasons Team Last pennant
50 Washington Nationals Never (franchise started in 1969)
42 Seattle Mariners Never (franchise started in 1977)
39 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979
36 Milwaukee Brewers 1982 (never since joining NL in 1998)
35 Baltimore Orioles 1983
28 Cincinnati Reds 1990
28 Oakland Athletics 1990
27 Minnesota Twins 1991
25 Toronto Blue Jays 1993
20 San Diego Padres 1998
19 Atlanta Braves 1999
17 Arizona Diamondbacks 2001
16 Los Angeles Angels 2002
15 Miami Marlins 2003
13 Chicago White Sox 2005
11 Colorado Rockies 2007
10 Tampa Bay Rays 2008
9 New York Yankees 2009
9 Philadelphia Phillies 2009
7 Texas Rangers 2011
6 Detroit Tigers 2012
5 St. Louis Cardinals 2013
4 San Francisco Giants 2014
3 Kansas City Royals 2015
3 New York Mets 2015
2 Chicago Cubs 2016
2 Cleveland Indians 2016
1 Houston Astros 2017
0 Boston Red Sox 2018
0 Los Angeles Dodgers 2018

Longest Major League pennant droughts through historyEdit

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*
49 Washington Senators/Texas Rangers 1961* 2010
45 Chicago White Sox 1959 2005
43 Houston Colt .45s/Astros 1962* 2005
42 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
39 Chicago White Sox 1919 1959
39 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979
36 Milwaukee Brewers 1982
35 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
28 Kansas City Royals 1985 2014
28 Los Angeles Dodgers 1988 2017
28 Oakland Athletics 1990
28 Cincinnati Reds 1990
27 Boston Red Sox 1918 1946
27 Cleveland Indians 1920 1948
27 Minnesota Twins 1991
26 San Francisco Giants 1962 1989
25 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
20 Brooklyn Dodgers 1920 1941
20 Cincinnati Reds 1940 1961
20 Boston Red Sox 1946 1967
20 San Diego Padres 1998

* 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/regionEdit

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. 52* Washington Senators (original A.L.), 1933
Seattle 43** † None
Pittsburgh 39 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1979
Milwaukee 36 Milwaukee Brewers, 1982 (in A.L.)
Baltimore 35 Baltimore Orioles, 1983
Cincinnati 28 Cincinnati Reds, 1990
Minneapolis–Saint Paul 27 Minnesota Twins, 1991
Toronto 25 Toronto Blue Jays, 1993
San Diego 20 San Diego Padres, 1998
Atlanta 19 Atlanta Braves, 1999
Phoenix 17 Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 15 Florida Marlins, 2003
Denver 11 Colorado Rockies, 2007
Tampa-St. Petersburg 10 Tampa Bay Rays, 2008
Philadelphia 9 Philadelphia Phillies, 2009
Dallas-Ft. Worth 7 Texas Rangers, 2011
Detroit 6 Detroit Tigers, 2012
St. Louis 5 St. Louis Cardinals, 2013
San Francisco Bay Area 4 San Francisco Giants, 2014
Kansas City 3 Kansas City Royals, 2015
New York City 3 New York Mets, 2015
Cleveland 2 Cleveland Indians, 2016
Chicago 2 Chicago Cubs, 2016
Houston 1 Houston Astros, 2017
Boston 0 Boston Red Sox, 2018
Los Angeles 0 Los Angeles Dodgers, 2018

*city without Major League Baseball franchise for 33 seasons (19722004)

**city without Major League Baseball franchise for 7 seasons (19701976)

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

World Series droughts by divisionEdit

Division Last World Series win Seasons
NL East 2008 — Phillies 10
NL West 2014 — Giants 4
AL Central 2015 — Royals 3
NL Central 2016 — Cubs 2
AL West 2017 — Astros 1
AL East 2018 — Red Sox 0

League championship appearance droughtsEdit

Postseason droughtsEdit

Longest current postseason droughtsEdit

Seasons Team Last appearance
17 Seattle Mariners* 2001 ALCS
15 Miami Marlins 2003 World Series
12 San Diego Padres 2006 NLDS
10 Chicago White Sox 2008 ALDS
7 Philadelphia Phillies 2011 NLDS
5 Cincinnati Reds 2013 NL Wild Card
5 Tampa Bay Rays 2013 ALDS
4 Detroit Tigers 2014 ALDS
4 Los Angeles Angels 2014 ALDS
3 Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 NL Wild Card
3 St. Louis Cardinals 2015 NLDS
3 Kansas City Royals 2015 World Series
2 Baltimore Orioles 2016 AL Wild Card
2 New York Mets 2016 NL Wild Card
2 San Francisco Giants 2016 NLDS
2 Texas Rangers 2016 ALDS
2 Toronto Blue Jays 2016 ALCS
1 Minnesota Twins 2017 AL Wild Card
1 Arizona Diamondbacks 2017 NLDS
1 Washington Nationals 2017 NLDS
0 Oakland Athletics 2018 AL Wild Card
0 Chicago Cubs 2018 NL Wild Card
0 Atlanta Braves 2018 NLDS
0 Cleveland Indians 2018 ALDS
0 Colorado Rockies 2018 NLDS
0 New York Yankees 2018 ALDS
0 Houston Astros 2018 ALCS
0 Milwaukee Brewers 2018 NLCS
0 Los Angeles Dodgers 2018 World Series
0 Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series

*Also longest active drought in North American sports[citation needed]

Longest postseason droughts in the expanded-postseason eraEdit

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
17 Seattle Mariners 2001
15 Los Angeles Angels 1986 2002
15 Miami Marlins 2003

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit