Thursday, September 22, 2011

Division Titles Won By MLB Teams

This will be 2 separate lists: From the post-1969 Divisional Play Era onward, and overall.

However, only 1st-place finishes from their current metropolitan area will count, i.e. a team moving from Manhattan to Queens, like the Mets, would have their Manhattan titles, had they won any, counted; but a team moving from Manhattan to San Francisco, like the Giants, will only have their titles in the latter location counted.

If a team won a Pennant as its League's Wild Card winner, without winning their Division, I have included that as well, albeit with an asterisk. I have not, however, put asterisks on titles that smell fishy, i.e. won with steroids.

Finally, I have included those teams that were in 1st place on August 12, 1994, when the Strike hit. Major League Baseball does not officially recognize these Division Titles, but, let's be honest: The teams in question WERE in 1st place when the regular season came to an end, however dubious. But teams that won titles in either half of the strike-forced split season of 1981 are not included here, unless they then won the "Division Series" between the two half-seasonal winners. In other words, by defeating the 2nd-half-winning Milwaukee Brewers, the 1st-half-winning Yankees are included, but the Brewers are not.

1. New York Yankees, 18: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981 (won split-season Division Series), 1994 (led AL East when Strike hit), 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011. All of these in the American League Eastern Division. Note that while the Yankees have won the AL's Wild Card 4 times, they have never won the Pennant in the Divisional Play Era unless they first won the AL East, which they have won more times than any other team.

2. Atlanta Braves, 16: 1969, 1982, 1991, 1992, 1993 (last in National League Western, moved to NL Eastern), 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005. They are now tied with the Phillies for most NL East titles won.

3. Oakland Athletics, 14: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1981 (won split-season Division Series), 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006. All in the AL West, which they have won more times than any team.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers, 12: 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981 (won split-season Division Series), 1983, 1985, 1988, 1994 (in 1st when Strike hit), 1995, 2004, 2008, 2009. All in the NL West, which they have won more times than any team.

5. Philadelphia Phillies, 11: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. All in the NL East, which they have now won as many times as the Braves to share the lead.

6. Minnesota Twins, 10: 1969, 1970, 1987, 1991 (in the AL West, moved to AL Central), 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010. They and the Cleveland Indians share the distinction of having won the AL Central more than any other team.

7. Cincinnati Reds, 10: 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1990 (in NL West, moved to NL Central), 1994 (in 1st when Strike hit), 1995, 2010. Although they have won more Division Titles than any NL Central team, they have not won more NL Central Titles than any other team. It should also be noted that the Reds had the best overall record in baseball in 1981, but because they did not finish first in either half, they did not make the Playoffs.

8. St. Louis Cardinals, 9: 1982, 1985, 1987 (in the NL East, moved to NL Central), 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009. They have won more NL Central Titles than any other team. They had the best overall record in the NL East in 1981, but didn't finish 1st in either half, so didn't make the Playoffs.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates, 9: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1992. All of these titles were won in the NL East. They have never won one since moving to the NL Central, making them and the Kansas City Royals the only pre-1993 team not to have won a Division Title in their current Division. For that reason, I have ranked them behind the Cardinals.

10. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 10: 1979, 1982, 1986, 2002 (won World Series as Wild Card winner), 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009. All in the AL West. They are ranked behind the Cardinals and Pirates because of that Wild Card Pennant.

11. Baltimore Orioles, 8: 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1983, 1997. All in the AL East. It took the Yankees until 1999 to surpass the O's as the all-time top team in the AL East.

12. San Francisco Giants, 8: 1971, 1987, 1989, 1997, 2000, 2002 (won Pennant as NL Wild Card winner), 2003, 2010. All in the NL West. I have ranked them behind the O's because of that Wild Card Pennant, although it's interesting that the 2 teams that wear orange and black are tied with each other.

13. Cleveland Indians, 7: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2007. All in the AL Central, which they and the Twins have won more than any other team. The Indians never won the AL East while they were in it. I rank them ahead of the next 2 entries because they've never needed a Wild Card.

14. Boston Red Sox, 7: 1975, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1995, 2004 (won World Series as steroid-aided Wild Card), 2007 (cough-steroids-cough). All in the AL East.

15. Houston Astros, 7: 1980, 1986 (in NL West, moved to NL Central), 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005 (won Pennant as Wild Card winner). Since the Red Sox and Astros both have 1 Wild Card entry here, I've ranked the Sox ahead due to more Pennants.

16. Chicago Cubs, 6: 1984, 1989 (in NL East, moved to NL Central), 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008.

17. Kansas City Royals, 6: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1985. All in the AL West. They have not won a Division Title since moving to the AL Central. For that reason, I have ranked them behind the Cubs.

18. New York Mets, 6: 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 2000 (won Pennant as Wild Card winner), 2006. All in the NL East. I have ranked them behind the Royals due to that Wild Card Pennant.

19. Chicago White Sox, 6: 1983, 1993 (in AL West, moved to AL Central), 1994 (in 1st when the Strike hit), 2000, 2005, 2008. I have ranked them behind the Mets because of the 1994 issue.

20. Texas Rangers, 6: 1994 (in 1st when Strike hit), 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011. All in AL West. So why have I ranked the Rangers behind the White Sox? Partly because of steroids, partly because of Dallas, partly because of Bush.

21. Arizona Diamondbacks, 5: 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2011. All in NL West.

22. San Diego Padres, 5: 1984, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2006. All in NL West. I've ranked them behind the D'backs due to most recent titles.

23. Toronto Blue Jays, 5: 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993. All in AL East. I've ranked them behind the Padres due to most recent titles.

24. Detroit Tigers, 5: 1972, 1984, 1987 (in AL East, moved to AL Central), 2006 (won Pennant as Wild Card winner), 2011.

25. Seattle Mariners, 3: 1995, 1997, 2001. All in AL West.

26. Milwaukee Brewers, 2: 1982 (AL East), 2011 (NL Central). They haven't actually clinched yet, but they will, and when they do, they will become the first MLB team to win Division Titles in both Leagues. They did win a half-season title in 1981, but lost to the Yankees in the Playoffs.

27. Tampa Bay Rays, 2: 2008, 2010. Both in the AL East.

28. Florida Marlins, 2: 1997, 2003 -- both times winning the World Series as NL Wild Card winners, having finished behind the Braves in NL East.

29. Colorado Rockies, 1: 2007 (won NL Pennant as Wild Card winner). They have never actually won the NL West.

30. Washington Nationals, none. The only current MLB team never to have made the Playoffs, although that stands to reason as they are, sort of, the newest. But even as the Montreal Expos, they never won an officially-recognized Division Title in a full 162-game season. They won a split-season title in 1981, beat the Phillies in a Division Series, and then lost the Pennant to the Dodgers. In 1994, they had the best record in all of baseball when the Strike hit, and didn't get to play in the postseason. Throughout their history, in Montreal and Washington, they have always played in the NL East, debuting in 1969, the first year of Divisional Play.

*

Now, here's the list that counts 1st-place finishes from the pre-1969, single-division era:

1. New York Yankees, 47: 1921, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011.

2. St. Louis Cardinals, 25: 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009.

3. Chicago Cubs, 22: 1876, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1885, 1886, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, 1945, 1984, 1989, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008. See what a difference counting ALL titles can make?

4. Los Angeles Dodgers, 16: 1959, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1994, 1995, 2004, 2008, 2009. I've ranked them and the Pirates ahead of the Braves because of the 4 Pennants won without needing to finish 1st only in your Division, instead of your entire League. And I've ranked the Dodgers ahead of the Pirates because of the 1962 tie for 1st with the Giants, who then beat the Dodgers in a Playoff. This does not count their Brooklyn Pennants.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates, 16: 1901, 1902, 1903, 1909, 1925, 1927, 1960, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1992.

6. Atlanta Braves, 16: 1969, 1982, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005. This does not count their Boston and Milwaukee Pennants.

7. Boston Red Sox, 15: 1903, 1904, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1946, 1967, 1975, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1995, 2004, 2007.

8. Cincinnati Reds, 15: 1882, 1919, 1939, 1940, 1961, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2010.

9. Oakland Athletics, 14: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006. This does not count their Philadelphia Pennants. They won no Pennants, or even had a winning season, while they played in Kansas City.

10. Philadelphia Phillies, 13: 1915, 1950, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.

11. Detroit Tigers, 13: 1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1972, 1984, 1987, 2006, 2011.

12. Minnesota Twins, 11: 1965, 1969, 1970, 1987, 1991, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010. This does not count their Washington Pennants.

13. Chicago White Sox, 11: 1901, 1906, 1917, 1919, 1959, 1983, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2008.

14. Cleveland Indians, 10: 1920, 1948, 1954, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2007.

15. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 10: 1979, 1982, 1986, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009.

16. Baltimore Orioles, 9: 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1983, 1997. This does not count their St. Louis Pennant.

17. San Francisco Giants, 9: 1962, 1971, 1987, 1989, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2010. This does not count their New York Pennants.

18. Houston Astros, 7: 1980, 1986, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005.

19. Kansas City Royals, 6: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1985.

20. New York Mets, 6: 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 2000, 2006.

21. Texas Rangers, 6: 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011. They never won a Pennant, or even came close to 1st place, as the "new" Washington Senators.

22. Arizona Diamondbacks, 5: 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2011.

23. San Diego Padres, 5: 1984, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2006.

24. Toronto Blue Jays, 5: 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993.

25. Seattle Mariners, 3: 1995, 1997, 2001.

26. Milwaukee Brewers, 2: 1982, 2011.

27. Tampa Bay Rays, 2: 2008, 2010.

28. Florida Marlins, 2: 1997, 2003.

29. Colorado Rockies, 1: 2007.

30. Washington Nationals, none.

*

Finally, here's the list that counts ALL 1st-place finishes, including those of moved teams in their previous cities/metro areas:

1. New York Yankees, 47: 1921, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011.

2. Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, 32: 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1877, 1878, 1883, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1897, 1898, 1914, 1948, 1957, 1958, 1969, 1982, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.

3. Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, 29: 1889, 1890, 1899, 1900, 1916, 1920, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1994, 1995, 2004, 2008, 2009.

4. New York/San Francisco Giants, 26: 1888, 1889, 1904, 1905, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1951, 1954, 1962, 1971, 1987, 1989, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2010.

5. St. Louis Cardinals, 25: 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009.

6. Philadelphia/Oakland Athletics, 23: 1902, 1905, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006.

7. Chicago Cubs, 22: 1876, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1885, 1886, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, 1945, 1984, 1989, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008.

8. Pittsburgh Pirates, 16: 1901, 1902, 1903, 1909, 1925, 1927, 1960, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1992.

9. Boston Red Sox, 15: 1903, 1904, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1946, 1967, 1975, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1995, 2004, 2007.

10. Cincinnati Reds, 15: 1882, 1919, 1939, 1940, 1961, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2010.

11. Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins, 14: 1924, 1925, 1933, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1987, 1991, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010.

12. Philadelphia Phillies, 13: 1915, 1950, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.

13. Detroit Tigers, 13: 1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1972, 1984, 1987, 2006, 2011.

14. Chicago White Sox, 11: 1901, 1906, 1917, 1919, 1959, 1983, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2008.

15. Cleveland Indians, 10: 1920, 1948, 1954, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2007.

16. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 10: 1979, 1982, 1986, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009.

17. St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles, 10: 1944, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1983, 1997.

18. Houston Astros, 7: 1980, 1986, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005.

19. Kansas City Royals, 6: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1985.

20. New York Mets, 6: 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 2000, 2006.

21. Washington Senators/Texas Rangers, 6: 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011.

22. Arizona Diamondbacks, 5: 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2011.

23. San Diego Padres, 5: 1984, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2006.

24. Toronto Blue Jays, 5: 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993.

25. Seattle Mariners, 3: 1995, 1997, 2001.

26. Milwaukee Brewers, 2: 1982, 2011.

27. Tampa Bay Rays, 2: 2008, 2010.

28. Florida Marlins, 2: 1997, 2003.

29. Colorado Rockies, 1: 2007.

30. Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals, none.

3 comments:

Leah Nicole said...

This isn't updated!! A's have won 2012 and 2013.

Uncle Mike said...

It isn't updated for any other team, either. It's a 2011 post.

I did have a post in October 2013 updated all MLB teams' postseason appearances.

Andrew Simpson said...

This was very interesting. It really makes one think twice about a city getting an expansion team. It is amazing just how stark the contrast between old franchises and expansion franchises is, even for teams that have been around for more than 50 years. Even if you take into account the number of years in the MLB, only two expansion teams, the Diamondbacks and the Angels, are in the top half of teams in terms of division titles.

In contrast, old franchises that relocated during the same period have on average done better in securing division titles than old franchises that stayed in the same place. The Braves, A's, Dodgers and Twins are among the best performing teams by this metric.

Interestingly, since the advent of expansion teams, no two post-1960 expansion teams have ever met in the World Series.