Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Division Championships by New York Tri-State Area Teams


Last night, the New York Knicks beat the Washington Wizards, 120-99, at an absolutely rocking Madison Square Garden.

This clinched the Knicks' first Atlantic Division title since 1994, the year they got all the way to Game 7 of the NBA Finals, before John Starks took up a new career as a bricklayer.  (When the Knicks reached the Finals in 1999, it was not as a Division Champion.)

This list includes all first-place finishes, including those from before their sports' era of divisional play, and all appearances in their sports' finals.

1. New York Yankees, 48: 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 and 2012.  Includes the strike year of 1994, when the season did come to an end, and the Yankees were in first place at the time.

2. New York Giants (football), 25: 1927, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1946, 1950, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011.  Includes tie for 1st in 1950, lost Playoff.

(NR) New York Giants (baseball), 18: 1888, 1889, 1904, 1905, 1908, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1951 and 1954.  Includes tie for 1st in 1908, lost Playoff, and includes non-division title Final in 2011.

3. New York Rangers, 15: 1927, 1928, 1929, 1932, 1933, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1950, 1972, 1979, 1990, 1992, 1994 and 2012.  Includes non-division title Finals in 1928, '32, '33, '37, '40, '50, '72 and '79.  Does not, however, include being "Division Playoff Champions," a phenomenon that was possible from the 1982-83 season to 1992-93.  Because of the geographical nature of the conferences in the NHL and the NBA, it is impossible for more than one Tri-State Area team to win a Division Championship in a sport in the same season.

(NR) Brooklyn Dodgers, 15: 1889, 1890, 1899, 1900, 1916, 1920, 1941, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955 and 1956.  Includes ties for 1st in 1946 and 1951, lost Playoffs.  In 1889, the Giants won the Pennant in the National League, and the Brooklyn "Bridegrooms" (3 of their players had gotten married the previous off-season) won it in the American Association.  The Giants won a postseason series between them, and the proto-Dodgers joined the NL the next season and won the Pennant.

4. New York Knicks, 13: 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1999 and 2013.  Includes non-division title Finals in 1951, '52, '70, '73 and '99.

5. New Jersey Devils, 12: 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.  Includes non-division title Finals in 1995, 2000 and '12, the last being a season in which the Rangers won the Atlantic Division, but the Devils beat them in the Conference Finals.  (Thank you, Adam Henrique!) Does not include being Patrick Division Playoff Champions in 1988, although that banner does hang at the Prudential Center.

6. New York Islanders, 8: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1988.  Includes non-division title Finals in 1980 and '83.  1990, 1994 and 2007 are the only seasons in which all 3 Tri-State Area teams made the Playoffs -- and 2007 is the last time the Isles have done so, until, possibly, this year.

7. New York/New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, 7: 1972, 1974, 1976, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.  The first 3 of these were won in the ABA.

8. New York Mets, 6: 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 2000 and 2006.  Includes winning the Pennant as the NL Wild Card entry in 2000.  Does not include the Mets reaching the NLCS as the Wild Card in 1999.  2006 is the only season in which both the Yankees and the Mets have finished 1st in the same season; only in 1999, 2000 and '06 have both made the Playoffs.

9. New York Jets, 4: 1968, 1969, 1998 and 2002.  The first 2 of these were won in the AFL.  This does not count the Jets reaching the AFC Championship Game in the 2009 and '10 seasons.  The Giants and Jets have never finished 1st in their respective Divisions in the same season, although it is possible.  On 5 occasions, both have made the Playoffs in the same season: 1981, '85, '86, 2002 and '06.

10. New York Liberty, 4: 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002.

11. New York Red Bulls, 4: 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2010.  This includes the 2003 U.S. Open Cup Final and the 2008 MLS Cup Final.  The 2000 and '03 titles were won as the New York/New Jersey MetroStars.

Most Recent Division Titles:

1. Knicks, April 2013 -- current champions
2. Yankees, October 2012 -- current champions
3. Devils, June 2012 -- current champions
4. Rangers, April 2012 -- outgoing champions
5. Giants, December 2011 -- 1 year
6. Red Bulls, October 2010 -- 3 years
7. Mets, September 2006 -- 7 years
8. Nets, April 2006 -- 7 years
9. Jets, December 2002 -- 11 years
10. Liberty, August 2002 -- 11 years
11. Islanders, March 1988 -- 25 years

How bad is that for the Isles? Since they last won a Division Title, the Yankees have won 14, the Devils 12, the Giants 8, the Knicks and Nets have each won 5, the Rangers, Liberty and Red Bulls 4 each, the Mets 3, and even the Jets have won 2.  Between them, these teams have reached 27 Finals and won 11 World Championships -- 20 and 6, if you take out the Yankees.  And the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Nets and Devils have all planned, built and begun play in new buildings.


Current Finals Droughts for the Area Teams:

1. Devils, June 2012 -- 1 year
2. Giants, February 2011 -- 2 years
3. Yankees, November 2009 -- 4 years
4. Red Bulls, November 2008 -- 5 years
5. Nets, June 2003 -- 10 years
6. Liberty, August 2002 -- 11 years
7. Mets, October 2000 -- 13 years
8. Knicks, June 1999 -- 14 years
9. Rangers, June 1994 -- 19 years
10. Islanders, May 1984 -- 29 years
11. Jets, January 1969 -- 44 years

Current World Championship Droughts for the Area Teams:


1. Giants, February 2011 -- 2 years
2. Yankees, November 2009 -- 4 years
3. Devils, June 2003 -- 10 years
4. Liberty, never won, began play June 1997 -- 16 years and counting
5. Red Bulls, never won, began play March 1996 -- 17 years and counting
6. Rangers, June 1994 -- 19 years
7. Mets, October 1986 -- 27 years
8. Islanders, May 1983 -- 30 years
9. Knicks, May 1973 -- 40 years
10. Jets, January 1969 -- 44 years
11. Nets, never won, began play October 1967 -- 46 years and counting

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