Major League Baseball Team with the Best World Series Winning Percentage: Fan’s Take

Everybody knows that the New York Yankees lead the American League and all of baseball in World Series appearances and World Series wins. The St. Louis Cardinals already had the most World Series wins of any National League team but their appearance in the 2011 World Series tied them for most National League appearances with the Dodgers and Giants. But who has the best winning percentage in World Series appearances?

First let's eliminate the teams that have played less than five World Series to eliminate teams that have a perfect record or winless record due to only a few appearances. So apologies to the New York Mets (2-2), Florida Marlins (2-0), Kansas City Royals (1-1), San Diego Padres (0-2), Toronto Blue Jays (2-0), Texas Rangers (0-2), Arizona Diamondbacks (1-0), Los Angeles Angels (1-0), Colorado Rockies (0-1), Houston Astros (0-1), Milwaukee Brewers (0-1) and Tampa Bay Rays (0-1).

15. Chicago Cubs 2 Wins, 8 Losses (.200)

They are called the lovable losers for a reason folks, although I would debate the "lovable" part. The Chicago Cubs won back-to-back World Series in 1907 and 1908 but have not won a World Series since. They have been to several World Series but not since 1945 when the Detroit Tigers beat them in seven games. When the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 it was their first since 1918. Their opponent in that 1918 World Series? The Cubs. Not even Boston's inability to win the World Series was worse than the Cubs.

14. Philadelphia Phillies 2 Wins, 5 Losses (.286)

The Philadelphia Phillies' World Series win in 2008 was only their second championship in 105 years of existence. The other win for the Phillies came in 1980 against the Kansas City Royals. The Phillies attempted to win back-to-back championships in 2009 but were bested by the New York Yankees. The Phillies were also on the losing end of one of the most famous World Series moments, a walkoff home run by Joe Carter to win the 1993 World Series.

13. Atlanta Braves 3 Wins, 6 Losses (.333)

The Braves have won three World Series and each of them came in different cities. Their first World Series victory came in 1914 as the Boston Braves over the Philadelphia Athletics. Championship number two came in Milwaukee in 1957 in a seven game win over the New York Yankees. Their final World Series win came in 1995 against the Cleveland Indians. Only one World Series loss each is credited to the Boston and Milwaukee teams. The other four are are credited to the Atlanta Braves that won their division 14 consecutive years but only made the World Series five times and went 1-4.

12. Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants 6 Wins 12 Losses (.333)

How fitting is it that the Dodgers and Giants have the same World Series record? Both were teams from New York and moved to the West Coast and they are bitter rivals with one another. It's just too bad these teams are in the same division so they can't face each other in the World Series. The main reason these two teams have such a poor record is because their teams' best periods often coincided with great Yankees teams. The Yankees have been to 40 World Series and in 18 of those their opponent was either the Dodgers or the Giants.

11. Cleveland Indians 2 Wins, 3 Losses (.400)

The Cleveland Indians have not suffered as long as the Cubs but they haven't won a World Series since 1948. The Indians had two chances in the 90's but lost once to the dominant Braves and once to the upstart Florida Marlins. Their other World Series victory came in 1920 against the Brooklyn Robins.

10. Detroit Tigers 4 Wins, 6 Losses (.400)

The Tigers got off to a rough start in the World Series history. They appeared in back-to-back-to-back appearances in 1907, 1908 and 1909 but lost all three. A fourth loss came in 1934 against the St. Louis Cardinals. Finally the Tigers won the next season. Against who? The Cubs of course. The Tigers would win three more World Series in 1945, 1968 and 1984.

9. Baltimore Orioles 3 Wins, 4 Losses (.428)

The Baltimore Orioles had one really good long run as a franchise. All of the Orioles' World Series appearances except for one came from 1968 to 1983. The one exception was in 1944, then as the St. Louis Browns, when they lost to the Cardinals in an all St. Louis World Series.

8. Minnesota Twins 3 Wins, 3 Losses (.500)

The Minnesota Twins started off as the Washington Senators. They appeared in three World Series as the Senators going 1 and 3. Their lone win was in 1924 when they defeated the New York Giants in seven games. As the Minnesota Twins they have also gone to three World Series but have gone 2 and 1. The Twins have won their last two World Series in 1987 and 1991.

7. Cincinnati Reds 5 Wins, 4 Losses (.556)

The Cincinnati Reds first World Series appearance was in 1919 which they won five games to three because the World Series was best of nine. The Reds would win again in 1940 against the Tigers, 1975 against the Boston Red Sox, 1976 against the New York Yankees and 1990 against the Oakland A's.

6. Chicago White Sox 3 Wins, 2 Losses (.600)

The Chicago White Sox won the third World Series ever in 1906 against the Chicago Cubs. Eleven years later they would win again, this time against the New York Giants. They would have to wait a little big longer for the next one. The White Sox did not win a World Series again until 2005-88 years later-when they swept the Houston Astros in four games.

5. St. Louis Cardinals 11 Wins, 7 Losses (.611)

The Dodger and Giants are tied with the Cardinals with 18 appearances but the Cardinals have fared better in the World Series. One of the reasons is because the Cardinals have fared better against the Yankees. The Cardinals have faced the Yankees five times in the World Series and have defeated them three times. The Cardinals also have victories over the Philadelphia Athletics in 1931, the Detroit Tigers in 1934 and 2006, the St. Louis Browns in 1944, the Boston Red Sox in 1946 and 1967, the Milwaukee Brewers in 1982 and the Texas Rangers this year.

4. Boston Red Sox 7 Wins, 4 Losses (.636)

Even though the Red Sox have won two World Series in the last decade there might be some that are surprised Boston has the fourth best World Series record. The Red Sox had heartbreaking World Series losses in 1946, 1967, 1975 and 1986 but surrounding those bad years are good bookend wins. Obviously they won recently in 2004 and 2007 and before their "curse" they had victories in 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918.

3. Oakland Athletics 9 Wins, 5 Losses (.642)

Raise your hand if you knew the Athletics have the third most World Series victories in Major League Baseball history? Most people only remember the A's for their three appearances in the World Series from 1988 to 1990. That was actually the second time the A's had been in three consecutive World Series except the first time-1972 to 1974-they won all three series. The other five World Series championships came in Philadelphia when Connie Mack led the A's to championships in 1910, 1911, 1913, 1929 and 1930.

2. New York Yankees 27 Wins, 13 Losses (.675)

If you hate the Yankees then I've got bad news your you. They have the most World Series appearances in history. The Yankees have the most World Series championship in history. The New York Yankees are second in winning percentage in the World Series. If you hate the Yankees then there is one positive. The Yankees have also lost the most World Series.

1. Pittsburgh Pirates 5 Wins, 2 Losses (.714)

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons and yet they have the best winning percentage in World Series history. The Pirates benefit from the fact that they've played in less World Series than the Yankees, Cardinals and other teams but when the Pirates do make the World Series they make the best of it. It's never easy for Pittsburgh though, out of the Pirates' seven World Series appearances only one of them did not go seven games. All five of the Pittsburgh's victories (1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979) were seven game series highlighted by Bill Mazeroski's walkoff home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.


All records and results were found at

The last several generations of Lee Andrew Henderson's family were Pittsburgh born and even though he was born in Alabama he has been a long time fan of the Pirates, Steelers and Panthers. Lee Andrew Henderson can be found on Twitter @LeeAHenderson

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Updated Sunday, Oct 30, 2011