List of Major League Baseball franchise postseason droughts

Throughout the history of Major League Baseball (MLB), franchises have had various postseason and World Series droughts.

All 16 of the original Major League franchises (i.e., those in place when the first World Series was played in 1903) have won the World Series, with the longest wait for a franchise's first championship being for the Phillies (77 years, ending in 1980). Since expansion began in 1961, seven of the 14 expansion teams have never won the World Series. Further, one franchise (the Indians) has a current championship drought that pre-dates the expansion era. The three longest championship droughts in history were ended recently by the Red Sox (85 years, ending in 2004), the White Sox (87 years, ending in 2005), and the Cubs (107 years, ending in 2016). Discounting the 33 years in which there was no MLB franchise in Washington, there have been 60 seasons played in Washington since their last World Series championship (in 1924).

Only two expansion franchises (the Expos/Nationals and the Mariners) have never won a pennant (i.e., the league championship, the two winners of which meet in the World Series). The two longest pennant droughts in history were recently ended by the Rangers (49 years, starting with the team's foundation, ending in 2010) and the Cubs (70 years, ending in 2016). The Expos/Nationals pennant drought includes 36 years in Montreal, which no longer hosts a team, and 13 years since the move to Washington; discounting the 33 years in which there was no MLB franchise in Washington, there have been 51 seasons played in Washington since their last pennant (in 1933).

Every MLB franchise has at least been to the postseason, especially since expansion of the playoffs in 1994 made that feat easier. The Mariners have the longest active postseason drought at 16 years. Long postseason droughts were ended recently by the Nationals (30 years for the franchise, 45 seasons over 78 years for the city, ending in 2012), the Pirates (20 years, ending in 2013), the Royals (28 years, ending in 2014), and the Blue Jays (21 years, ending in 2015).

This list includes only the modern World Series between the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), not the various 19th-century championship series. Those teams which have never achieved a particular accomplishment in their franchise history are listed by the date they entered the leagues.

World Series championship droughts

Longest current World Series championship droughts

No World Series was played in 1994, and counts as a drought season for those franchises.

Seasons Team Last World Series championship won Last World Series appearance
69Cleveland Indians19482016
57Texas RangersNever (franchise began 1961)2011
49Milwaukee BrewersNever (franchise began 1969)1982
49San Diego PadresNever (franchise began 1969)1998
49Washington NationalsNever (franchise began 1969)Never
41Seattle MarinersNever (franchise began 1977)Never
38Pittsburgh Pirates19791979
34Baltimore Orioles19831983
33Detroit Tigers19842012
31New York Mets19862015
29Los Angeles Dodgers19882017
28Oakland Athletics19891990
27Cincinnati Reds19901990
26Minnesota Twins19911991
25Colorado RockiesNever (franchise began 1993)2007
24Toronto Blue Jays19931993
22Atlanta Braves19951999
20Tampa Bay RaysNever (franchise began 1998)2008
16Arizona Diamondbacks20012001
15Los Angeles Angels20022002
14Miami Marlins20032003
12Chicago White Sox20052005
9Philadelphia Phillies20082009
8New York Yankees20092009
6St. Louis Cardinals20112013
4Boston Red Sox20132013
3San Francisco Giants20142014
2Kansas City Royals20152015
1Chicago Cubs20162016
*Houston Astros20172017

The asterisk (*) represents the current defending World Series Champion

Longest World Series championship droughts through history

The first World Series was played in 1903. No World Series was played in 1904 or 1994. This list only shows droughts of 30 or more seasons. Active droughts are listed in bold type.

SeasonsTeamPrevious TitleNext Title
107Chicago Cubs19082016
87Chicago White Sox19172005
85Boston Red Sox19182004
77Philadelphia Phillies1903*1980
69Cleveland Indians1948
63St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles1903*1966
62Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins19241987
57Washington Senators/Texas Rangers1961*
55Houston Colt .45s/Astros1962*2017
55New York/San Francisco Giants19542010
52Brooklyn Dodgers1903*1955
49Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers1969*
49San Diego Padres1969*
49Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals1969*
42Boston/Milwaukee Braves19141957
41Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics19301972
41Los Angeles-California-Anaheim Angels1961*2002
41Seattle Mariners1977*
38Pittsburgh Pirates1979
37Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves19571995
34Pittsburgh Pirates19251960
34Cincinnati Reds19401975
34Baltimore Orioles1983
33Detroit Tigers1984
32Detroit Tigers1903*1935
31New York Mets1986

* Year does not indicate a title won, but rather the team's first year of existence or the first year of the modern World Series (1903).

    World Series championship droughts by city/region

    This list only includes cities/regions with current Major League Baseball franchises. Years during which a city/region did not field a Major League Baseball team are not counted.

    RegionDrought (seasons)Last World Series title
    Cleveland69Cleveland Indians, 1948
    Washington, D.C.60*Washington Senators (original A.L.), 1924
    Milwaukee56**Milwaukee Braves, 1957
    San Diego49None
    Dallas-Ft. Worth46None
    Seattle42‡ †None
    Pittsburgh38Pittsburgh Pirates, 1979
    Baltimore34Baltimore Orioles, 1983
    Detroit33Detroit Tigers, 1984
    Cincinnati27Cincinnati Reds, 1990
    Minneapolis–Saint Paul26Minnesota Twins, 1991
    Denver25None
    Toronto24Toronto Blue Jays, 1993
    Atlanta22Atlanta Braves, 1995
    Tampa-St. Petersburg20None
    Phoenix16Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001
    Los Angeles15Anaheim Angels, 2002
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale14Florida Marlins, 2003
    Philadelphia9Philadelphia Phillies, 2008
    New York City8New York Yankees, 2009
    St. Louis6St. Louis Cardinals, 2011
    Boston4Boston Red Sox, 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area3San Francisco Giants, 2014
    Kansas City2Kansas City Royals, 2015
    Chicago1Chicago Cubs, 2016
    Houston0Houston Astros, 2017

    *city without Major League Baseball franchise for 33 seasons (19722004)

    **city without Major League Baseball franchise for 4 seasons (19661969)

    city without Major League Baseball franchise for 7 seasons (19701976)

    number doesn't indicate a title won, but rather total seasons played.

    World Series in which neither team had previously won a championship

    In these instances, the World Series matchup ensured that one team would win the first championship in its history.

    SeasonWonLost
    1980Philadelphia PhilliesKansas City Royals
    1920Cleveland IndiansBrooklyn Dodgers
    1909Pittsburgh PiratesDetroit Tigers
    1907Chicago CubsDetroit Tigers
    1906*Chicago White SoxChicago Cubs
    1905*New York GiantsPhiladelphia Athletics
    1903*Boston AmericansPittsburgh Pirates

    *In these cases, each team was making its first World Series appearance.

    World Series in which both teams had ended pennant droughts of 20-plus seasons

    SeasonWonDrought (seasons)LostDrought (seasons)
    2005Chicago White Sox45Houston Astros43
    1948Cleveland Indians27Boston Braves33

    World Series in which neither franchise had won a championship in 30-plus seasons

    Teams that had never won the World Series are included, even if they were less than 30 seasons old at the time. Bold denotes team that won.

    SeasonAmerican LeagueDrought (seasons)National LeagueDrought (seasons)
    2016Cleveland Indians67Chicago Cubs107
    2010Texas Rangers49*San Francisco Giants55
    2005Chicago White Sox87Houston Astros43*
    2002Anaheim Angels41*San Francisco Giants47
    1997Cleveland Indians48Florida Marlins4*
    1995Cleveland Indians46Atlanta Braves37
    1992Toronto Blue Jays15*Atlanta Braves34
    1980Kansas City Royals11*Philadelphia Phillies77*
    1975Boston Red Sox56Cincinnati Reds34
    1972Oakland Athletics40Cincinnati Reds31
    1920Cleveland Indians17*Brooklyn Dodgers17*
    1909Detroit Tigers6*Pittsburgh Pirates6*
    1907Detroit Tigers4*Chicago Cubs4*
    1906Chicago White Sox3*Chicago Cubs3*
    1905Philadelphia Athletics2*New York Giants2*
    1903Boston Americans0*Pittsburgh Pirates0*

    Numbers marked with * indicates that the number is counted from either the franchise's first year of existence or the first year of the modern World Series (1903).

    Major League pennant droughts

    Longest current Major League pennant droughts

    No pennants were won in 1994 due to the players' strike that year.

    Seasons Team Last pennant
    49Washington NationalsNever (franchise started in 1969)
    41Seattle MarinersNever (franchise started in 1977)
    38Pittsburgh Pirates1979
    35Milwaukee Brewers1982 (never since joining NL in 1998)
    34Baltimore Orioles1983
    27Cincinnati Reds1990
    27Oakland Athletics1990
    26Minnesota Twins1991
    24Toronto Blue Jays1993
    19San Diego Padres1998
    18Atlanta Braves1999
    16Arizona Diamondbacks2001
    15Los Angeles Angels2002
    14Miami Marlins2003
    12Chicago White Sox2005
    10Colorado Rockies2007
    9Tampa Bay Rays2008
    8New York Yankees2009
    8Philadelphia Phillies2009
    6Texas Rangers2011
    5Detroit Tigers2012
    4St. Louis Cardinals2013
    4Boston Red Sox2013
    3San Francisco Giants2014
    2Kansas City Royals2015
    2New York Mets2015
    1Chicago Cubs2016
    1Cleveland Indians2016
    0Houston Astros2017
    0Los Angeles Dodgers2017

    Longest Major League pennant droughts through history

    List begins with 1903, about the time the current configuration of National League and American League stabilized and also the year of the first World Series. No pennants were won in 1994 due to the players strike that year. This list only shows droughts of 20 or more seasons. Active droughts are listed in bold type.

    SeasonsTeamPrev. PennantNext Pennant
    70Chicago Cubs19452016
    49Washington Senators/Texas Rangers1961*2010
    49Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals1969*
    45Chicago White Sox19592005
    43Houston Colt .45s/Astros1962*2005
    41St. Louis Browns1903*1944
    41Los Angeles-California-Anaheim Angels1961*2002
    41Seattle Mariners1977*
    40Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics19311972
    40Cleveland Indians19541995
    39Chicago White Sox19191959
    38Pittsburgh Pirates1979
    35Milwaukee Brewers1982
    34Philadelphia Phillies19151950
    34Baltimore Orioles1983
    33Boston Braves19141948
    32Pittsburgh Pirates19271960
    32Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves19581991
    31Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins19331965
    29Philadelphia Phillies19501980
    28Kansas City Royals19852014
    28Los Angeles Dodgers19882017
    27Boston Red Sox19181946
    27Cleveland Indians19201948
    27Oakland Athletics1990
    27Cincinnati Reds1990
    26San Francisco Giants19621989
    26Minnesota Twins1991
    24Detroit Tigers19091934
    24Toronto Blue Jays1993
    23St. Louis Cardinals1903*1926
    22Detroit Tigers19451968
    21St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles19441966
    21Minnesota Twins19651987
    21Detroit Tigers19842006
    21Washington Senators1903*1924
    20Brooklyn Dodgers19201941
    20Cincinnati Reds19401961
    20Boston Red Sox19461967

    * Year does not indicate a pennant, but rather the team's first year of existence or the first year of the modern World Series (1903).

    Numbers reflect drought at start of current season.

    Major League pennant droughts by city/region

    This list only includes cities/regions with current Major League Baseball franchises. Years during which a city/region did not field a Major League Baseball team are not counted.

    RegionDrought (seasons)Last pennant
    Washington, D.C.51*Washington Senators (original A.L.), 1933
    Seattle42** †None
    Pittsburgh38Pittsburgh Pirates, 1979
    Milwaukee35Milwaukee Brewers, 1982 (in A.L.)
    Baltimore34Baltimore Orioles, 1983
    Cincinnati27Cincinnati Reds, 1990
    Minneapolis–Saint Paul26Minnesota Twins, 1991
    Toronto24Toronto Blue Jays, 1993
    San Diego19San Diego Padres, 1998
    Atlanta18Atlanta Braves, 1999
    Phoenix16Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale14Florida Marlins, 2003
    Denver10Colorado Rockies, 2007
    Tampa-St. Petersburg9Tampa Bay Rays, 2008
    Philadelphia8Philadelphia Phillies, 2009
    Dallas-Ft. Worth6Texas Rangers, 2011
    Detroit5Detroit Tigers, 2012
    St. Louis4St. Louis Cardinals, 2013
    Boston4Boston Red Sox, 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area3San Francisco Giants, 2014
    Kansas City2Kansas City Royals, 2015
    New York City2New York Mets, 2015
    Cleveland1Cleveland Indians, 2016
    Chicago1Chicago Cubs, 2016
    Los Angeles0Los Angeles Dodgers, 2017
    Houston0Houston Astros, 2017

    *city without Major League Baseball franchise for 33 seasons (19722004)

    **city without Major League Baseball franchise for 7 seasons (19701976)

    number doesn’t indicate a title won, but rather total seasons played.

    World Series droughts by division

    Division Last World Series win Seasons
    NL East2008 — Phillies9
    AL East2013 — Redsox4
    NL West2014 — Giants3
    AL Central2015 — Royals2
    NL Central2016 — Cubs1
    AL West2017 — Astros0

    Postseason droughts

    Longest current postseason droughts

    Seasons Team Last appearance
    16Seattle Mariners*2001 ALCS
    14Miami Marlins2003 World Series
    11San Diego Padres2006 NLDS
    9Chicago White Sox2008 ALDS
    6Philadelphia Phillies2011 NLDS
    6Milwaukee Brewers2011 NLCS
    4Cincinnati Reds2013 NL Wild Card
    4Atlanta Braves2013 NLDS
    4Tampa Bay Rays2013 ALDS
    3Oakland Athletics2014 AL Wild Card
    3Detroit Tigers2014 ALDS
    3Los Angeles Angels2014 ALDS
    2Pittsburgh Pirates2015 NL Wild Card
    2St. Louis Cardinals2015 NLDS
    2Kansas City Royals2015 World Series
    1Baltimore Orioles2016 AL Wild Card
    1New York Mets2016 NL Wild Card
    1San Francisco Giants2016 NLDS
    1Texas Rangers2016 ALDS
    1Toronto Blue Jays2016 ALCS
    0Colorado Rockies2017 NL Wild Card
    0Minnesota Twins2017 AL Wild Card
    0Arizona Diamondbacks2017 NLDS
    0Boston Red Sox2017 ALDS
    0Cleveland Indians2017 ALDS
    0Washington Nationals2017 NLDS
    0Chicago Cubs2017 NLCS
    0New York Yankees2017 ALCS
    0Houston Astros2017 World Series
    0Los Angeles Dodgers2017 World Series

    *Also longest active drought in North American sports

    Longest postseason droughts in the expanded-postseason era

    After the postseason was expanded in 1995 to include eight teams (further expanded in 2012 to ten teams), 18 of the 30 teams qualified within the first five years, and few teams went for long droughts without at least participating in the first round of the postseason. This list only shows droughts of 15 or more seasons that occurred primarily in the expanded-postseason era. Active droughts are listed in bold type.

    SeasonsTeamPrevious Postseason AppearanceNext Postseason Appearance
    30Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals19812012
    28Kansas City Royals19852014
    25Milwaukee Brewers19822008
    21Toronto Blue Jays19932015
    20Pittsburgh Pirates19922013
    18Detroit Tigers19872006
    16Seattle Mariners2001
    15Los Angeles Angels19862002

    See also

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