It is easy to judge teams in Major League Baseball on the number of rings they possess in their history. Just like with most arguments between fans of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, this is where they begin. The number of World Series titles tells a story about how successful a team has been in their history compared to others, but it doesn’t always give the complete story.
When you take a look at each team in the sport and the number of titles, you’ll notice that the Miami Marlins have two titles, despite having only been a part of the league since 1993. In fact they won the World Series in their only two playoff appearances. What they were able to do was remarkable in the sport, but it didn’t last in either case as they unloaded all of their stars following the titles. Then you look at teams like the Washington Nationals or Seattle Mariners who have been around since 1969 and 1977 respectively, yet neither team has even reached the Fall Classic.
Making the World Series is one thing and winning the championship is another thing entirely. In the 1990s, the Atlanta Braves were in the World Series five times, but claimed just a single World Series title. It takes a different type of finesse and skill to put everything together to get the wins in the big series and over the course of history, one team has found it amazingly simple to get the “W” when it meant to most, while many others struggled.
Who are the top 10 Major League Baseball teams with the most World Series wins?
13 T-10. Baltimore Orioles, 3
In recent years, the Baltimore Orioles were considered one of the biggest laughingstocks in Major League Baseball, but they weren’t always that way. As a franchise, the Orioles, who also played in Milwaukee and St. Louis before landing in Baltimore in 1954, have reached the playoffs 13 times. In seven of those visits, they have advanced to the World Series and have claimed victory three times. They haven’t won the Series since 1983 when they beat the Philadelphia Phillies behind the bat of Eddie Murray and the arm of Scott McGregor.
12 T-10. Minnesota Twins, 3
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Minnesota Twins claimed two World Series titles. Led by Kirby Puckett, the Twins won their second World Series in seven games after beating the St. Louis Cardinals and then in 1991, beat the surprising Atlanta Braves in seven games to win what has been their last title. Their Series win in 1991 has long been considered one of the best in the history of baseball. Between Puckett, Brian Harper, and Chuck Knoblauch offensively, and the incredible performance from Jack Morris, the Twins were destined to win it all. Morris’ performance in that series was one of the greatest all time, as he pitched 23 innings and allowed just three earned runs in three starts, going 2-0.
11 T-10. Chicago White Sox, 3
The Chicago White Sox have won three World Series since their inaugural 1901 season. They have won three World Series titles in their six trips to the Fall Classic, but their trips to the Series have taken some time. They last won the World Series in 2005 when they swept the Houston Astros, but hadn’t reached the series previously since 1959 when they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. When they won the title in 2005, they did so as a team, as no single player stood out as the reason for their big win.
10 T-10. Atlanta Braves, 3
The Atlanta Braves are a franchise that has won three World Series titles in nine total appearances in the Fall Classic. The team won their most recent title in 1995 in Atlanta, but also claimed the championship in 1914 in Boston and then again in 1957 in Milwaukee. Overall, the franchise has won more games than they have lost, but are remembered mostly for their struggles in the World Series during the 1990s. The team had great success in winning their division, but even with a pitching staff led by Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz, only won a single championship during that era.
9 Detroit Tigers, 4
The Tigers franchise has spent their entire existence in Detroit. Over the course of their history, which goes back to 1901, they have won four World Series titles in 11 visits to the Fall Classic. The Tigers have reached the World Series twice since 2006, but managed to win just a single game combined in losing efforts to the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. The franchise last won a World Series title in 1984 when they beat the San Diego Padres in five games. They were led in that series by the bats of Alan Trammell and Kirk Gibson, as well as the arm of Jack Morris. Morris was magnificent in the Series, going 2-0 with two complete games.
8 T-7. Pittsburgh Pirates, 5
Younger fans of baseball might not realize this, but the Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the top franchises in the entire sport. They are a team that has reached the playoffs in two straight seasons, but they hadn’t smelled the postseason since 1992. In each of those seasons, they finished below .500, but in their history, they are a team that has a winning percentage greater than .500 and have five World Series championships in seven tries. Some of the best players of all time have led the Pirates to the World Series including Roberto Clemente, Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, and Dave Parker.
7 T-7. Cincinnati Reds, 5
With five World Series wins in nine visits to the Fall Classic, the Cincinnati Reds are tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the seventh most championships of all time. During the 1970s, the team was one of the best in baseball, advancing to the World Series four times between 1970 and 1976 including consecutive championships beginning in 1975. Their 1975 championship saw the legendary Pete Rose lead the way offensively while their win the next season saw Johnny Bench hit better than .500 during their four-game sweep. The Reds last appeared in the World Series in 1990, earning their fifth title after sweeping the Oakland Athletics. During the 1990 championship, Cincinnati was led by right-hander Jose Rijo, who went 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in his 2 starts.
6 Los Angeles Dodgers, 6
Next up, we have the Los Angeles Dodgers. During their time in Brooklyn and in Los Angeles, this franchise has won six World Series championships in 22 trips to the Fall Classic. When the team was in Brooklyn, they won just one World Series in eight trips, but have turned things around on the west coast. The Dodgers haven’t reached the World Series since 1988 when they won the title in five games against the Oakland Athletics. They were led in this series by the bat of Mickey Hatcher and the arm of World Series MVP Orel Hershiser, who threw two complete games with just two earned runs allowed. Oh, and who could forget Kirk Gibson's epic home run in Game 1?
5 T-4. Boston Red Sox, 8
The Boston Red Sox are one of the most loved and hated franchises in Major League Baseball. They have claimed eight World Series championships in their existence in 13 trips. They suffered through one of the worst droughts in the history of sports because of the “Curse of the Bambino,” but finally won another title in 2004. In the American League Championship Series, they came back from a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees before sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals for the championship. After going title-less for 85 years since 1918, the Red Sox have now won three titles in the last 11 years, led by players like David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, and Johnny Damon.
4 T-4. San Francisco Giants, 8
With their series win against the Kansas City Royals, the San Francisco Giants are now tied with the Boston Red Sox with eight championships. The team is on their way to becoming the latest dynasty in baseball, having won three titles in the past five years. Overall, the Giants now have eight championships with 23 pennants during their time in New York and San Francisco. Some of the best players in the game have helped the Giants earn this many wins including one with the greatest future in today’s baseball world, Madison Bumgarner.
3 Oakland Athletics, 9
The Athletics began in Philadelphia before moving to Kansas City in 1955 and then Oakland in 1968. The franchise is one of the most successful of all time and has registered the third most World Series championships in history. They have won nine championships in 15 trips to the World Series including five during their time in Philadelphia and four since moving to the west coast. From 1988 to 1990, the Athletics advanced to the World Series each season, but earned just one title, with a sweep of the San Francisco Giants in 1989 sandwiched between losing to the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers.
2 St. Louis Cardinals, 11
While no team can even compare to the success of the team in first place on this list, the St. Louis Cardinals are one of the best teams in all of American sports. The Cardinals began playing in Major League Baseball in 1882 and have now won 11 championships with 23 overall pennants. The Cardinals have been one of the best in baseball in the past decade, reaching the World Series four times since 2004 with championships in two of those series. In 2011, the Cardinals, led by Lance Berkman, David Freese, and Chris Carpenter, beat the Texas Rangers in seven games to win the championship.
1 New York Yankees, 27
Everyone knew the Bronx Bombers would top this list. With a Major League Baseball-best 27 World Series championships, the Yankees have had the most chances to register World Series wins with 40 pennants. In their entire existence, the team has one of the best winning percentages in the sport and would surpass 10,000 total wins in their history with 87 wins this season. Helping to lead the way for the Yankees in the postseason are some of the best players to ever compete in the Fall Classic including Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Babe Ruth.