25. 2006 St. Louis Cardinals
Despite finishing atop the National League Central, the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals were a middling squad that went 83–78. Conversely, once autumn arrived, the Cardinals soared and grabbed the franchise’s 10th Commissioner’s Trophy. The Cardinals conquered the heavily favored San Diego Padres and New York Mets to win their 17th National League pennant. Somewhat astoundingly, St. Louis then trounced the Detroit Tigers in five games to capture the crown. Cardinals’ shortstop David Eckstein collected MVP accolades.
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24. 2003 Florida Marlins
The 2003 Florida Marlins probably benefited from the notorious actions of Steve Bartman and the legendary accomplishment of Aaron Boone. Nevertheless, Florida prospered that October and gained its second Commissioner’s Trophy. The Marlins endured a tumultuous spring and fired Jeff Torborg in favor of Jack McKeon. With McKeon at the helm, Florida got hot and managed to qualify for the playoffs. The Marlins proceeded to defeat the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees to win the World Series championship. Marlins flamethrower Josh Beckett was awarded the Fall Classic’s MVP for baffling the Yankees’ potent lineup.
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