With the Texas Rangers making franchise history, a handful of MLB teams remain that have never won a World Series.
One of the best things about Major League Baseball is that anything is possible in any given year. Heck, just look at the 2023 World Series matchup between the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Entering this season, Texas hadn't produced a winning campaign since 2016 and lost 102 games in 2021. Arizona hadn't posted a winning record since 2019 and lost 110 games two seasons ago. They're now both the kings of their respective leagues, but the Rangers had more of a monkey to get off their back.
Texas played its first MLB game in 1961. Closing out this year's Fall Classic gives the franchise its first-ever title. And, more importantly, they're no longer the oldest expansion team without a World Series trophy. That list is now just five teams long. Let's take a look at each of them below.
The Brewers are now tied with the Padres for having the longest World Series title drought for a team that's never won a championship. Milwaukee played its first big-league game in 1969. Between then and 2017, the Brewers didn't have a ton of opportunities to even have a shot at breaking this drought.
Brewers fans saw their squad reach the playoffs just four times. It included one trip to the World Series, which took place in 1982. They were one win away from a title but lost in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Milwaukee has recently had a lot more chances. They've reached the postseason five times since 2018. They were one win away from returning to the World Series in 2018 but lost in the NLCS in seven games to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Outside of that, they've been bounced from the first round of play each time.
To make matters worse, manager Craig Counsell — whose 707 wins is the most in franchise history — is a free agent and might not be back in 2024.
San Diego Padres
The Padres did all they could to try and get back into the playoffs in 2023. It didn't work, though, as they finished 82-80 and on the outside looking in. While the roster already looks competitive for 2024, things can change. Juan Soto may not be around and they already let manager Bob Melvin leave to join the Giants.
San Diego has reached the playoffs seven times in team history. It's included two trips to the World Series, but between those two appearances (1984 and 1998), they've won just one game. The Padres reached the NLCS in 2022, which was the first time they went that deep in the postseason since 1998.
It's also worth noting that San Diego has clinched an opportunity to participate in October in consecutive years just once (2005 and 2006).
The Mariners don't have the longest World Series drought among these teams. However, they get an asterisk because the franchise still hasn't even reached the Fall Classic. Of the five times Seattle has qualified for the postseason since 1977, they've fizzled out in the ALCS three times (1995, 2000, and 2001).
Merely reaching the playoffs in 2022 was noteworthy because it broke the sport's longest postseason drought (21 years). The Mariners fell short of October in 2023, but it was their third straight year with a winning record. After posting identical 90-72 records in 2021 and 2022, that mark settled in at 88-74 in 2023.
The only time Seattle has reached October in consecutive years came in 2000 and 2001. There have been a lot of dry periods in franchise history, too. It took them 18 years to get to the playoffs for the first time. And after getting there four times between 1995 and 2001, it took another two decades to return.
Mariners fans are probably just hoping they don't have to wait that long to see their squad in the postseason again.
The Rockies haven't been around nearly as long as the three above teams. Colorado played its first big-league game in 1993. However, they've also reached the postseason five times since their inception.
This includes one World Series appearance in 2007. After winning seven straight games to reach the Fall Classic, the Boston Red Sox won four straight to take home the crown. The Rockies have won a total of two games in their other four postseason trips combined. Ouch.
Colorado's last taste of postseason baseball came in 2018 when they were swept out of the NLDS by the Brewers. Similar to the Mariners, the Rockies get their own asterisk, but for a different reason. Unlike the other four teams on this list, it's not looking like they're anywhere near serious contention.
Anything can obviously happen. However, they've finished with a losing record five years in a row, with their 59-103 mark in 2023 easily being the worst of the bunch.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have only been around since 1998, but they've been the most successful among this group when it comes to reaching the postseason. They've gotten to October nine times, which has included two trips to the World Series. It's been even more impressive because Tampa Bay put together 10 straight seasons of 90-plus losses before the turnaround happened.
They reached October four times between 2008 and 2012 before doing it again in each of the past five years (2019-23). What's noticeable among these postseason trips is that there's no in-between — they either reach the World Series or bow out early.
The Rays were eliminated in the Wild Card Series in both 2022 and 2023. They also haven't advanced past the Division Series on four different occasions.
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