The ultimate goal for all athletes is to win the championship in their respective sport. Players go through the ins and outs of gruelling seasons, the ups and downs of long campaigns, all to try to hoist their trophy when all is said and done. No sport has as long of a regular season as Major League Baseball, as teams play 162 games before even getting into any playoff action. Those long seasons can feel like an eternity as a fan, but only imagine being a player on a winning team that has never won the ultimate prize. When push comes to shove, those that have won the World Series title and those that have not won the World Series are separated.
Whether deserved or not, there has always been and will always be a stigma against players who haven't won it all. The worst feeling, however, must be what the players feel when they are reaching the upper ages in their career, knowing they have few seasons remaining to win the World Series. Those players sometimes give us beautiful stories like David Ross did this past World Series for the Chicago Cubs, but other times they fail to win it all, making the experience even sadder. There are plenty of veterans vying for their first taste of championship champagne, but not all of them will get to do so. Here's 15 veterans with a good amount of seasons under their belt already that will never win the World Series.
15 Adrian Beltre
Adrian Beltre is one of the funniest people in baseball. He refuses to let people touch his head, he jokes around on the field, and he also happens to hit his fair share of dingers. He's been a fan favorite throughout his career, and has even played on some winning teams as well. Unfortunately for Beltre, the prediction here is he will not win a World Series. Beltre's Texas Rangers appear in a limbo of sorts, and we do not trust their starting rotation. Beltre projects to play in Texas for the near to distant future, so we do not see him winning the World Series before the end of his career. We hope we are wrong on this one, though, as we love Adrian!
14 Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro Suzuki is one of the greatest players in baseball history, be it Japanese baseball, American Baseball, or a combination of the two. Ichiro had his chances in the postseason before, but his Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees could not advance deep enough to win the whole thing. Now, Ichiro is married to the Miami Marlins, a dumpster fire of an organization if we have ever seen one before. It does not appear like the Marlins are going anywhere, and despite Ichiro being Jaromir Jagr-like in his ability to produce in his older age, we cannot see Ichiro still being around when the Marlins finally figure things out. He will go down as having a great, championship-less career for multiple different teams.
13 Josh Hamilton
There are a few different possibilities with Josh Hamilton, but we don't see any of them resulting in a World Series victory. First of all, we already covered why we do not believe the Texas Rangers will win a World Series any time soon. Hamilton remains a member of the Rangers, and will likely finish his career without playing for another team since re-upping with the Rangers. If somehow Hamilton does find another team, he will likely have to go through the minor leagues, and find a team willing to risk his addition to the team's locker-room. This seems unlikely given the baggage he's brought thus far in his career, so we see him staying in Texas, or latching onto a non-contender.
12 Bartolo Colon
Bartolo Colon is a lovable, doofy starting pitcher that nearly won the World Series with the New York Mets in 2015. Instead, his Mets fell to the Kansas City Royals in a hard fought five game series, and Bartolo has not played in the World Series any other times. Now, Bartolo left the Mets for their rival Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately for Colon, he is 43 years old, and 43 year olds do not usually excel in the major leagues. Even if Colon does continue to have success, the odds of the Atlanta Braves being anywhere close to contenders in the next couple of seasons are close to zero. Realistically, Colon would have to be traded to have any chance at winning that elusive World Series title.
11 Brandon Phillips
Brandon Phillips is now one of Bartolo Colon's teammates after allowing himself to be traded to the Atlanta Braves from the Cincinnati Reds. Phillips originally rejected the trade, in what we believe was hope of being traded to a team with an actual chance of winning the World Series. Unfortunately for Phillips, no such teams were interested, and he landed with Atlanta. Phillips will finish out his contract with the Braves, then it is possible he finds a spot with a better team. However given all the uncertainty and his drop in performance, the guess here is that Phillips never gets a World Series ring. The former Montreal Expo will have played in plenty of games, making the final result even rougher to think about.
10 Victor Martinez
Victor Martinez is one of the game's premier designated hitters, following being one of the game's premier first basemen and one of the game's premier catchers. If you are noticing a trend, it's that Victor Martinez is a premier Major League Baseball player. Unfortunately for Martinez, he spent the majority of his career playing for struggling Cleveland Indians teams. He spent a short stint with a Boston Red Sox team that could not get the job done, then ended up in Detroit, where he thought the Tigers would take him to the promised land. Instead, Martinez and the Tigers look to be giving it one last hurrah this season, and we do not believe that will pan out. Martinez' body is decaying, and his chances are too.
9 Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes was once a great New York Met. Now, Jose Reyes is a not so great New York Met. The former Met turned Miami Marlin turned Toronto Blue Jay turned Colorado Rockies turned New York Met is back where he belongs, but that will not pan out for him anyway. The Mets definitely have a chance of winning it all in the near to distant future, but Reyes does not have a clear path to a roster spot unless David Wright is hurt. In turn, the Mets do not have a clear path to the World Series unless David Wright is healthy. Either the Mets will win it all, or Jose Reyes will get playing time. Unfortunately for the team and player, they can't have both.
8 Justin Morneau
It's disappointing to say Justin Morneau will never win a World Series, as he served as one of the quietest yet strongest first basemen in the game for a long time. Morneau deserves a World Series just as much as anyone else does, but his teams were never quite good enough. First, Morneau got to the post-season seemingly every year with the Minnesota Twins, but he could never complete the task. Next, Morneau found his way to a series of other organizations, more so bouncing around then making a major difference. He was solid for the Colorado Rockies, but the Colorado Rockies were not World Series contenders. He is now a free agent, and even if he does find a team we don't see it being a World Series team.
7 Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer could have been Mr. Baseball in an Alternate Universe where the Minnesota Twins actually won the World Series' they were in, and Mauer didn't suffer through injury woes. If the Minnesota Twins were to have a captain, Joe Mauer would be the clear choice for the job. He is the face of Twins baseball, and that will ultimately be why he never wins a World Series. There are far too many far better teams across the league for Mauer and the Twins to compete with, so unfortunately the long-time Twin who will likely spend his entire career playing for the same team will never be rewarded with a World Series victory. This is another one where we hope we are wrong for sure.
6 Johan Santana
Johan Santana's inclusion on this list may be a bit controversial because he has not played Major League Baseball for a few seasons, but we can't blame the guy for failing to stay healthy. Johan was the ace for the Minnesota Twins teams that kept making it to the post-season then flaming out before the World Series. Next, Johan was the ace for the New York Mets teams that kept making it to the post-season then flaming out before the World Series, or even worse, failing to make the post-season at all. Now, Johan is simply trying to find a way to take the mound in the majors once again. He will need a desperate team to give him a chance, and desperate teams do not win it all.
5 Ryan Zimmerman
Ryan Zimmeman is a somewhat bold prediction because of how good the Washington Nationals are, we will not deny that in the slightest. Yet Zimmerman could very well find his way off of the Nationals roster if they make it to the World Series, or he could find himself playing poorly enough to help prevent the Nationals from winning the World Series. The Nationals signed Adam Lind as insurance in case Zimmerman continues to detract from the team's success, and there is no sign of Zimmerman getting any better or being able to remain healthy. In Zimmerman's case, it seems as if his best days are long past and any World Series chances have gone out the window alongside his ability to play the field.
4 Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, a team that is hoping to have a successful re-build that eventually culminates in a World Series victory. Those same Brewers attempted and failed many times to trade Braun, most recently to the Los Angeles Dodgers. You may believe Braun does not belong on this list because the Brewers will eventually improve or Braun will eventually be moved to a contender, but you must understand that Braun comes with plenty of baggage, being a former steroid user and a liar about it. The prediction here is that as the Brewers are getting good, they cut ties with the aging Braun to better their chemistry and keep their team from aging too much. It would be harsh, but make sense.
3 Huston Street
Huston Street has the terrible label of being the active Major League Baseball player with the fourth most games played without playing in a single World Series game. Street bounced around in his career, playing for the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres among others, now playing for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. While the Angels have Mike Trout on the roster, that is realistically the only player worth mentioning. That is also a problem when the team is trying to compete for a World Series title. Street's days of being an elite closer appear to be closing quickly, and teams do not often pick up aging relievers on the back end of their careers. Street's best bet would have been finding a contender earlier.
2 Joe Nathan
Remember those Minnesota Twins teams we were talking about earlier? Those teams had the same closer every year. Remember the statistic about a player being fourth among active players in games played without a World Series appearance? These two people are one and the same, and that person is Joe Nathan. Nathan nearly caught on with the Chicago Cubs last season, but was a casualty of roster maneuvering instead. The Cubs went on to win the World Series, and the 40+ year old Nathan failed to capture a title once again. Nathan is now finding trouble finding a consistent roster spot, and we can't help but think his chances of winning a World Series title are gone.
1 Zack Greinke
Zack Greinke finishes off the list in our boldest prediction yet. Greinke signed a mega contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks heading into the 2016 season, choosing the money over the team that was getting oh so close to a World Series title in the Los Angeles Dodgers. That Dodgers team also happened to have Clayton Kershaw leading their rotation, but we digress. Greinke chose the money, and in doing so we believe he also chose going the rest of his career without winning a World Series. The Diamondbacks are an organization in disarray, and it will take years to put them back together. Even if they do so, it takes plenty of talent and time to win a World Series. We do not believe Greinke and the Diamondbacks will get there in his time.