erik lundegaard

Washington Nationals on Verge of Breaking Dubious Record (M's Aren't Far Behind)

This isn't a well-known stat but the Washington Nationals are on the verge of breaking it.

That franchise (Expos/Nats) has played 48 seasons, and spring training '17 will be its 49th. The record for the longest it's taken a franchise to get to the World Series is 50 seasons: the Senators/Rangers, which were born in 1961 and didn't win a pennant until 2010. So if the Nats don't go next year, they'll have tied the record. And if they don't go in 2018? New record-holder!

Of course, my Mariners aren't far behind. And right now we're the only two teams still in the running:

TEAM Years to World Series Year of 1st World Series
Pirates 1 1903
Red Sox 1 1903
Athletics 3* 1905
Giants 3 1905
Cubs 4 1906
White Sox 4 1906
D-backs (1998) 4 2001
Tigers 5 1907
Marlins (1993) 5 1997
Mets (1962) 8 1969
Rays (1998) 11 2008
Braves 12 1914
Royals (1969) 12 1980
Phillies 13 1915
Dodgers 14 1916
Pilots/Brewers (1969) 14 1982
Rockies (1993) 15 2007
Padres (1969) 16 1984
Blue Jays (1977) 16 1992
Reds 17 1919
Indians 18 1920
Yankees 19 1921
Senators/Twins 22 1924
Cardinals 24 1926
Mariners (1977) 40** ??
Browns/Orioles 42 1944
Angels (1961) 42 2002
Astros (1962) 44 2005
Expos/Nationals (1969) 48** ??
Senators/Rangers (1961) 50 2010

* I include 1904 and 1994, years in which we didn't have a World Series. Just easier that way. 

** And counting

Interesting to note that, of the original 16 teams, the two teams that took the longest to make it to the Series were both St. Louis franchises: the Cardinals in 1926, and the hapless Browns in '44. St. Louis was also the southernmost city during this time, so not sure if the heat got to them over the course of long seasons or if it was just general incompetence. Since the Cards bounced back in such a big way under Branch Rickey, and have since become by most measures the winningest team in the National League, I assume the latter.

Also interesting to note: the Yankees, which became the winningest franchise in sports history, took 4th-longest to finally win a pennant. 

Here's the chart sorted by the last column: year of first World Series:

TEAM Years to World Series Year of 1st World Series
Pirates 1 1903
Red Sox 1 1903
Athletics 3 1905
Giants 3 1905
Cubs 4 1906
White Sox 4 1906
Tigers 5 1907
Braves 12 1914
Phillies 13 1915
Dodgers 14 1916
Reds 17 1919
Indians 18 1920
Yankees 19 1921
Senators/Twins 22 1924
Cardinals 24 1926
Browns/Orioles 42 1944
Mets (1962) 8 1969
Royals (1969) 12 1980
Pilots/Brewers (1969) 14 1982
Padres (1969) 16 1984
Blue Jays (1977) 16 1992
Marlins (1993) 5 1997
D-backs (1998) 4 2001
Angels (1961) 42 2002
Astros (1962) 44 2005
Rockies (1993) 15 2007
Rays (1998) 11 2008
Senators/Rangers (1961) 50 2010
Expos/Nationals (1969) 48 ??
Mariners (1977) 40 ??

Again, interesting to note that gap between 1907 and 1914 when there was no new blood in the Series. By this point, eight teams had gone, and the next six years they kept recycling in and out: Cubs, Tigers, Pirates, Athletics, Giants, Red Sox. Then the Braves snuck in. 

Oh, and the record for the longest time it's taken a franchise to win a World Series? That's still 78 years and it belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies (1903 to 1980). Nine teams still have a shot at that dubious record but no one is within 20 years. Look for an update in 18 or so years. 

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Posted at 10:17 AM on Sun. Dec 04, 2016 in category Baseball  

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