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.
Image Source: The Sporting News/Getty Images
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.
Image Source: Elsa/Getty Images
23. 2014 San Francisco Giants
Yes, because it was an even year this decade, the San Francisco Giants won the 2014 World Series. The Giants went 88–74 and snuck into the playoffs as a Wild Card. San Francisco then outdid the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals to seize its seventh pennant since 1954. Thanks to a historic performance by Madison Bumgarner, the Giants defeated a feisty Kansas City Royals club in seven games to triumph in that season’s Fall Classic. Bumgarner earned MVP honors and the Associated Press named him its “Male Athlete of the Year” for his outings against the Royals.
Image Source: Pool/Getty Images
22. 2010 San Francisco Giants
The 2010 Giants’ elite pitching delivered San Francisco its first Commissioner’s Trophy since 1954. Before October’s dominance, Bruce Bochy led the Giants to a 92-70 record and the team finished atop the National League West. Los Gigantes cruised through the playoffs and ultimately overwhelmed the Texas Rangers in five games. Édgar Rentería was the largest Giant and, therefore, he received the Fall Classic’s MVP trophy.
Image Source: Rob Tringali/Getty Images
21. 2011 St. Louis Cardinals
The Milwaukee Brewers went 96-66 to outpace the St. Louis Cardinals and win the 2011 National League Central Division by six games. However, the Cardinals earned a playoff berth as a Wild Card and eventually toppled Milwaukee in the NLCS in six contests. St. Louis advanced to its 18th World Series and met the Texas Rangers for the Commissioner’s Trophy. In a hard-fought series, the Cardinals emerged triumphant in seven games to obtain the championship. Cardinals’ third baseman David Freese batted .545 and compiled 12 hits to collect the Fall Classic’s MVP.
Image Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
20. 2008 Philadelphia Phillies
The 2008 Phillies finally gave Philadelphians a reason to be proud of one of its sports franchises. The Phillies won the National League East with a 92–70 mark and then outplayed the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers to qualify for their first World Series since 1993. The Phillies routed the Tampa Bay Rays in five games to claim their second World Series title. Phillies southpaw Cole Hamels was voted the Fall Classic’s MVP for his standout performances on the mound.
Image Source: Jeff Zelevansky/Stringer/Getty Images
19. 1997 Florida Marlins
Former Florida Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga spent a substantial amount of money to bring a World Series championship to South Beach. Three-time Manager of the Year Jim Leyland led the Marlins to a 92-70 record and a spot in the playoffs as a Wild Card. The veteran group shocked the San Francisco Giants in three games and defeated the Atlanta Braves in six contests to advance to the World Series. In a memorable Fall Classic, Florida outlasted the Cleveland Indians to clinch its first Commissioner’s Trophy. Liván Hernández was named the series’ MVP for his dominance on the hill.
Image Source: Bob Rosato/Stringer/Getty Images
18. 2000 New York Yankees
The New York Yankees went a somewhat pedestrian 87–74 in 2000. Still, the Bombers finished atop the AL East for the third consecutive season, handled the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners in the playoffs, and qualified for another World Series. In the Fall Classic, the Yankees faced their crosstown-rival New York Mets. The Yankees vanquished the Mets in five games to win the Subway Series and gain another championship. Furthermore, the Bombers became the first organization to three-peat since the Oakland Athletics in the early 1970s.
Image Source: New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images
17. 2012 San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants have flourished in even years throughout this decade and 2012 was no exception. The Giants finished atop the National League West at 94-68 and proceeded to best the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs. Appearing in the World Series for the second time in three years, the Giants’ pitching staff yielded a mere six runs in four uneven contests. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval provided the Giants with ample offense and won the series’ MVP for his production at the plate
Image Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
16. 1996 New York Yankees
“Clueless Joe” Torre proved to be a brilliant Bomber. In his inaugural season in the Bronx, Torre managed the Yankees to a 92-70 record and an AL East title. New York then outperformed the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles to qualify for its first World Series since 1981. Despite falling into a 2-0 hole against the Atlanta Braves, the Yankees showed resolve and won four consecutive games to secure the Commissioner’s Trophy on October 26. John Wetteland collected the MVP for his invaluable contributions out of the bullpen.
Image Source: New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images
15. 2013 Boston Red Sox
Following Bobby Valentine’s disastrous one-year stint in Beantown, the 2013 Red Sox finished atop the AL East with a record of 97-65. The Red Sox then thrashed the Tampa Bay Rays and outworked the Detroit Tigers to earn their third World Series berth this millennium. In the Fall Classic, Boston discarded the St. Louis Cardinals in six games to claim its eighth Commissioner’s Trophy. Beloved Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz batted .688 with two homers and six RBI to grab the series’ MVP accolades.
Image Source: Jim Rogash/Stringer/Getty Images
14. 2015 Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals gained motivation from the prior autumn’s disappointment and excelled throughout 2015. A laughingstock throughout the 1990s and 2000s, the Royals went 95-67 to clinch their lone American League Central crown. Kansas City then outperformed the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays to advance to its first World Series since 1985. In the Fall Classic, the Royals outclassed the New York Mets in five games to grab the title. Royals’ catcher Salvador Pérez batted .364 with eight hits and two RBI to secure the series’ MVP.
Image Source: Al Bello/Getty Images
13. 2002 Anaheim Angels
Owned by The Walt Disney Company, the Anaheim Angels were magical on the diamond in 2002. The Angels finished 99-63 and earned their first invitation to the playoffs since 1986. Anaheim bombed the Bronx Bombers and then shamed the Minnesota Twins to claim its first American League pennant. The Angels subsequently handled the San Francisco Giants in seven games to win the World Series title. Troy Glaus was a heroic Angel and he procured the Fall Classic’s MVP.
Image Source: Lee Celano/Getty Images
12. 2007 Boston Red Sox
After an 86-year drought, the 2007 Boston Red Sox handed the storied organization its second Commissioner’s Trophy of the 2000s. Terry Francona managed Boston to a 96-66 mark and its sixth American League East title. The Red Sox then swept the Los Angeles Angels and slipped past the Cleveland Indians to advance to the World Series. The Fall Classic was an utter mismatch and the Sox battered the Colorado Rockies in four noncompetitive games. Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell was presented with MVP honors.
Image Source: Ron Vesely/Stringer/Getty Images
11. 1995 Atlanta Braves
In a strike-shortened season, the 1995 Atlanta Braves chopped their competition and finished 90–54. More incredibly, the trio of Greg Maddux (19), Tom Glavine (16) and John Smoltz (12) amassed 47 victories for the Braves and the organization commenced its 11-year stranglehold on the National League East. Atlanta easily ousted the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds en route to its third trip to the World Series since 1991. The Braves’ legendary starting rotation extinguished a powerful Cleveland Indians lineup to seize the Commissioner’s Trophy in six games. In particular, a 29-year-old Glavine shined and went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA to earn the Fall Classic’s MVP.
Image Source: CHRIS WILKINS/AFP/Getty Images
10. 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks
The 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks were not an exceptionally talented team. Nonetheless, thanks to ace hurlers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, this version of the Diamondbacks could have overtaken any squad ever in a best-of-seven series. In its fourth year of existence, Arizona went 92-70 to seize the NL West crown. The Diamondbacks then conquered the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves to advance to the Fall Classic against the New York Yankees. In an unforgettable best-of-seven series that started 46 days after 9/11, Arizona beat the vaunted Yankees. A 37-year-old Johnson (3-0, 1.04 ERA) and 34-year-old Schilling (1-0, 1.69 ERA) embarrassed New York’s hitters to gain co-MVP honors.
Image Source: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
9. 2017 Houston Astros
The 2017 Houston Astros dominated from the outset and never relented. The Astros compiled a mark of 101–61 to claim their first AL West Division title. In the playoffs, backed by recently acquired ace Justin Verlander, Houston defeated the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees to advance to the World Series. The Astros proceeded to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games to win the Fall Classic. Outfielder George Springer was voted the MVP after batting .379 with 11 hits, five homers and seven RBI.
Image Source: Alex Trautwig/Stringer/Getty Images
8. 2005 Chicago White Sox
The 2005 Chicago White Sox and 1927 New York Yankees are the only squads in Major League Baseball history to sit atop their divisions from start to finish, compile the most regular season victories, and sweep the World Series en route to a championship. Backed by brilliant pitching, the White Sox went 99–63 and 11-1 in the postseason to procure their first Commissioner’s Trophy since 1917.
Although virtually unhittable throughout the 2005 campaign, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras particularly befuddled hitters in the South Siders’ five-game destruction of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALCS. During that lopsided series, all four Sox starters went the distance and the quartet logged a total of 44 ⅓ out of 45 innings.
Image Source: G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images
7. 2009 New York Yankees
The 2008 New York Yankees were the franchise’s first squad to fail to qualify for the postseason since 1993. Infuriated by that team’s lack of success, the Steinbrenners went on a wild free agent spending spree and acquired CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira. The Steinbrenners’ splurge paid dividends and the Bombers went 103-59 to claim the 2009 AL East title. In the playoffs, New York overwhelmed the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies to clinch its 27th championship. Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui batted an eye-popping .615 with eight hits and eight RBI to win the MVP on November 4.
Image Source: Chris McGrath/Getty Images
6. 1992 Toronto Blue Jays
The 1992 Toronto Blue Jays became the first franchise based outside of the U.S. to attain a World Series crown. Managed by Cito Gaston, the Blue Jays went 96–66 to win their second consecutive American League East title. In the ALCS, powered by a fleet of standout pitchers, Toronto bested the Oakland Athletics in six games to advance to its first appearance in the Fall Classic. The Blue Jays subsequently trumped the Atlanta Braves in six contests to acquire the Commissioner’s Trophy. Blue Jays catcher Pat Borders batted .450 to garner MVP honors.
Image Source: CHRIS WILKINS/AFP/Getty Images
5. 2004 Boston Red Sox
The 2004 Boston Red Sox went 98–64 and finished three games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East. However, Boston got hot in October and swept the Anaheim Angels 3-0. In the ALCS, New York took a 3-0 lead and had the Red Sox on the cusp of elimination. Shockingly, the Red Sox recovered from that seemingly insurmountable deficit and exorcised the Curse of the Bambino on October 20. After their mind-boggling comeback, the Sox trounced the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 to earn their first World Series title since 1918. David Ortiz was named the ALCS MVP and Manny Ramirez gained the Fall Classic’s MVP honors.
Image Source: Brad Mangin/Getty Images
4. 2016 Chicago Cubs
The 2016 Cubs are arguably the most beloved team in the annals of Chicago professional sports. The North Siders exceeded lofty expectations that summer and finished 103–58-1 to capture the National League Central Division crown. In the playoffs, the Cubs outdid the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers to clinch their first World Series berth since 1908.
The Cubs fell into a 3-1 hole against the Cleveland Indians during the Fall Classic. However, Joe Maddon’s squad showed grit, rebounded and axed The Tribe to earn their first Commissioner’s Trophy in 108 years. Ben Zobrist was named the series’ MVP shortly after Cubs’ triumph on November 2.
Image Source: Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto/Getty Images
3. 1993 Toronto Blue Jays
The 1993 Toronto Blue Jays were an exceptionally skilled bunch that featured four future Hall of Famers (Jack Morris, Roberto Alomar, Rickey Henderson and Paul Molitor). After outdoing the Chicago White Sox in the ALCS, the Blue Jays flew to a three-games-to-one series lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in the Fall Classic. However, the Phillies battled admirably and were on the brink of forcing a Game 7.
Then, with Toronto losing 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Joe Carter nailed a three-run homer off Phillies closer Mitch Williams to secure back-to-back World Series titles. The unrestrained happiness that Carter showed as he celebrated his feat remains an enduring baseball moment.
Image Source: Rick Stewart/Stringer/Getty Images
2. 1999 New York Yankees
By virtue of the organization’s astounding feats the previous year, the New York Yankees entered spring training in 1999 with colossal expectations. Moreover, on February 18, the Yankees obtained five-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens in exchange for Homer Bush, Graeme Lloyd and David Wells. In spite of Clemens’ struggles as an employee on East 161st Street and River Avenue, the Yankees thrived, went 98–64, and collected their second consecutive AL East crown.
In the playoffs, the Bombers bashed the Texas Rangers in three games and outclassed the Boston Red Sox in five contests to advance to their third World Series in four years. The Fall Classic was an utter mismatch and the Yankees swept the Atlanta Braves to procure their 25th Commissioner’s Trophy. Legendary closer Mariano Rivera was virtually untouchable against the Braves and he garnered MVP honors.
Image Source: James Devaney/Getty Images
1. 1998 New York Yankees
The 1998 New York Yankees were the preeminent team to ever grace the diamond. The Bronx Bombers went 114-48 in the regular season and 11-2 in the playoffs. Hence, after sweeping the overmatched San Diego Padres 4-0 in the 1998 Fall Classic, New York finished with an overall record of 125-50 and achieved baseball immortality. Of the Yankees’ 27 World Series championship squads, this version stands unrivaled.
Image Source: Sporting News/Getty Images