American League Championship Series

The American League Championship Series (ALCS) is a best-of-seven series played in October in the Major League Baseball postseason that determines the winner of the American League (AL) pennant. The winner of the series advances to play the winner of the National League (NL) Championship Series (NLCS) in the World Series, Major League Baseball's championship series.


It started in 1969, when the AL reorganized into two divisions, East and West. The winners of each division played each other in a best-of-five series to determine who would advance to the World Series. In 1985, the format changed to best-of-seven. In 1994, the league was restructured into three divisions, with the three division winners and a wild-card team advancing to a best-of-five postseason round, known as the American League Division Series (ALDS). The winners of that round then advanced to the best-of-seven ALCS. In 2012, the playoffs were expanded again so that two wild card teams face off in a one-game wild card round to determine which team advances to the division series, with the playoffs then continuing as it had before 2012 (though with the possibility of a fifth seed being in the playoffs and a fourth seed being out) after the end of the wild card round. This is the system currently in use.

The ALCS and NLCS, since the expansion to best-of-seven, are always played in a 2–3–2 format: Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 are played in the stadium of the team that has home field advantage, and Games 3, 4, and 5 are played in the stadium of the team that does not. The series concludes when one team records its fourth win. Since 1998, home field advantage has been given to the team that has the better regular season record, unless that team happens to be the Wild Card team. In that case, the other team gets home field advantage, because by rule the Wild Card team is never allowed home field advantage in a Division Series or LCS. In the event that both teams have identical records in the regular season, home field advantage goes to the team that has the winning head-to-head record. From 1969 to 1993, home field advantage alternated between the two divisions, and from 1995 to 1997 home field advantage was determined before the season.

The Milwaukee Brewers, an American League team between 1969 and 1997, and the Houston Astros are the only franchises to play in the ALCS and NLCS. The Astros are the only team to have won both the National and American League Championship Series.

Championship Trophy

The William Harridge Trophy is awarded to the ALCS champion. The trophy's namesake comes from the American League president from 1931 to 1959.[1]

Most Valuable Player Award

See: League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award#American League winners

The Lee MacPhail Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given to the outstanding player in the ALCS. No MVP award is given for Division Series play.

Although the National League began its LCS MVP award in 1977, the American League did not begin its LCS MVP award till 1980. The winners are listed (1) below in the section on "ALCS results (1969–present)", in the "Series MVP" column, (2) at League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award, and (3) on the MLB website.[2]

ALCS results (1969–present)

Click the link on the far left for detailed information on that series.

Wild-card team (since 1995)
MVP did not play for winning team
Year Winner Manager Loser Manager Record Series MVP TV
1969 Baltimore OriolesEarl WeaverMinnesota TwinsBilly Martin 3–0 NBC
1970 Baltimore OriolesEarl WeaverMinnesota TwinsBill Rigney 3–0  NBC
1971 Baltimore OriolesEarl WeaverOakland AthleticsDick Williams 3–0  NBC
1972 Oakland AthleticsDick WilliamsDetroit TigersBilly Martin 3–2  NBC
1973 Oakland AthleticsDick Williams Baltimore OriolesEarl Weaver 3–2  NBC
1974 Oakland AthleticsAlvin Dark Baltimore OriolesEarl Weaver 3–1  NBC
1975 Boston Red SoxDarrell Johnson Oakland AthleticsAlvin Dark 3–0  NBC
1976 New York YankeesBilly Martin Kansas City RoyalsWhitey Herzog 3–2  ABC
1977 New York YankeesBilly Martin Kansas City RoyalsWhitey Herzog 3–2  NBC
1978 New York YankeesBob Lemon Kansas City RoyalsWhitey Herzog 3–1  ABC
1979 Baltimore OriolesEarl Weaver California AngelsJim Fregosi 3–1  NBC
1980 Kansas City RoyalsJim Frey New York YankeesDick Howser 3–0Frank White, Kansas City ABC
1981 New York YankeesBob Lemon Oakland AthleticsBilly Martin 3–0Graig Nettles, New York NBC
1982 Milwaukee BrewersHarvey Kuenn California AngelsGene Mauch 3–2Fred Lynn, California* ABC
1983 Baltimore OriolesJoe AltobelliChicago White SoxTony La Russa 3–1Mike Boddicker, Baltimore NBC
1984 Detroit TigersSparky AndersonKansas City RoyalsDick Howser 3–0Kirk Gibson, Detroit ABC
1985 Kansas City RoyalsDick HowserToronto Blue JaysBobby Cox 4–3George Brett, Kansas City NBC
1986 Boston Red SoxJohn McNamara California AngelsGene Mauch 4–3Marty Barrett, Boston ABC
1987 Minnesota TwinsTom KellyDetroit TigersSparky Anderson 4–1Gary Gaetti, Minnesota NBC
1988 Oakland AthleticsTony La RussaBoston Red SoxJoe Morgan 4–0Dennis Eckersley, Oakland ABC
1989 Oakland AthleticsTony La RussaToronto Blue JaysCito Gaston 4–1Rickey Henderson, Oakland NBC
1990 Oakland AthleticsTony La RussaBoston Red SoxJoe Morgan 4–0 Dave Stewart, Oakland CBS
1991 Minnesota TwinsTom KellyToronto Blue JaysCito Gaston 4–1Kirby Puckett, Minnesota CBS
1992 Toronto Blue JaysCito GastonOakland AthleticsTony La Russa 4–2Roberto Alomar, Toronto CBS
1993 Toronto Blue JaysCito GastonChicago White SoxGene Lamont 4–2 Dave Stewart, Toronto CBS
1994 Series cancelled[3]
1995 Cleveland IndiansMike HargroveSeattle MarinersLou Piniella 4–2Orel Hershiser, Cleveland ABC/NBC
1996 New York YankeesJoe TorreBaltimore Orioles wcDavey Johnson 4–1 Bernie Williams, New York NBC
1997 Cleveland IndiansMike HargroveBaltimore OriolesDavey Johnson 4–2Marquis Grissom, Cleveland Fox
1998 New York YankeesJoe TorreCleveland IndiansMike Hargrove 4–2David Wells, New York NBC
1999 New York YankeesJoe TorreBoston Red Sox wcGrady Little 4–1Orlando Hernández, New York Fox
2000 New York YankeesJoe TorreSeattle Mariners wcJimy Williams 4–2David Justice, New York NBC
2001 New York YankeesJoe TorreSeattle MarinersLou Piniella 4–1Andy Pettitte, New York Fox
2002 Anaheim Angels wcMike SciosciaMinnesota TwinsRon Gardenhire 4–1Adam Kennedy, Anaheim Fox
2003 New York YankeesJoe TorreBoston Red Sox wcGrady Little 4–3Mariano Rivera, New York Fox
2004 Boston Red Sox wcTerry FranconaNew York YankeesJoe Torre 4–3David Ortiz, Boston Fox
2005 Chicago White SoxOzzie GuillénLos Angeles Angels of AnaheimRon Gardenhire 4–1Paul Konerko, Chicago Fox
2006 Detroit Tigers wcJim LeylandOakland AthleticsKen Macha 4–0Plácido Polanco, Detroit Fox
2007 Boston Red SoxTerry FranconaCleveland IndiansEric Wedge 4–3Josh Beckett, Boston Fox
2008 Tampa Bay RaysJoe MaddonBoston Red Sox wcTerry Francona 4–3Matt Garza, Tampa BayTBS
2009 New York YankeesJoe GirardiLos Angeles Angels of AnaheimMike Scioscia 4–2CC Sabathia, New YorkFox
2010 Texas RangersRon WashingtonNew York Yankees wcJoe Girardi 4–2Josh Hamilton, TexasTBS
2011 Texas RangersRon WashingtonDetroit TigersJim Leyland 4–2Nelson Cruz, TexasFox
2012 Detroit TigersJim LeylandNew York YankeesJoe Girardi 4–0Delmon Young, DetroitTBS
2013 Boston Red SoxJohn FarrellDetroit TigersJim Leyland 4–2Koji Uehara, BostonFox
2014 Kansas City Royals wcNed YostBaltimore OriolesBuck Showalter 4–0Lorenzo Cain, Kansas CityTBS
2015 Kansas City RoyalsNed YostToronto Blue JaysJohn Gibbons 4–2Alcides Escobar, Kansas CityFox/FS1
2016 Cleveland IndiansTerry FranconaToronto Blue Jays wcJohn Gibbons 41Andrew Miller, ClevelandTBS
2017 Houston AstrosA. J. Hinch New York Yankees wcJoe Girardi 43Justin Verlander, HoustonFS1/Fox

ALCS appearances by team

Team Wins Losses Win % Most recent
Most recent
win %
Most recent
game win
16New York Yankees115.688200920174836.5712017
11Oakland Athletics65.545199020062323.5001992
10Boston Red Sox55.500201320132631.4562013
10Baltimore Orioles55.500198320142120.5121997
8Kansas City Royals44.500201520152017.5412015
7Detroit Tigers34.429201220131815.5452013
7Toronto Blue Jays25.286199320161624.4002016
6Los Angeles Angels15.167200220091319.4062009
5Cleveland Indians32.600201620161713.5672016
5Minnesota Twins23.40019912002912.4292002
3Chicago White Sox12.3332005200578.4672005
3Seattle Mariners03.000-2001512.2942001
2Texas Rangers201.0002011201184.6672011
1Tampa Bay Rays101.0002008200843.5712008
1Houston Astros101.0002017201743.5712017
1Milwaukee Brewers101.0001982198232.6001982

Recurring matchups

Count Matchup Record Years
4 Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees Yankees, 3–1 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980
3 Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees Yankees, 2–1 1999, 2003, 2004
3 Baltimore Orioles vs. Oakland Athletics Athletics, 2–1 1971, 1973, 1974
3 Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland Athletics Athletics, 2–1 1975, 1988, 1990
2 Baltimore Orioles vs. Minnesota Twins Orioles, 2–0 1969, 1970
2 Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics Tied, 1–1 1972, 2006
2 Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays Royals, 2–0 1985, 2015
2 New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners Yankees, 2–0 2000, 2001
2 Oakland Athletics vs. Toronto Blue Jays Tied, 1–1 1989, 1992

See also


  1. winner. Dave (Tampa Bay Rays fan), "Overjoyed!", Fielder's Choice Baseball Card Blog, April 10, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009 (including photo of trophy).
  2. League Championship Series Most Valuable Players ( ). MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  3. "Baseball-Reference Playoff and World Series Index". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
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