MLB

MLB Teams Without a World Series Title

Explore the MLB teams without a World Series win. Our guide reveals the history and challenges of these franchises striving for their first championship.

April 17, 2024

They’re still waiting in Seattle. And in Milwaukee. And San Diego. And Tampa Bay. And in Colorado. Still waiting for that final out, still waiting for ecstatic players going full mosh pit in the middle of the field, still waiting for goggle-wearing players spraying champagne all over the locker room.

These are the current MLB teams without a World Series title. Heck, the Mariners haven’t even been to the Fall Classic yet, and it’s been 47 years since their inaugural season.

Here’s a look at these five teams and how close they’ve come to becoming champions of the baseball world. While you’re at it, also take a look at our 2024 World Series prediction.

Milwaukee Brewers

This franchise launched in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots before moving in 1970 to Milwaukee, where they have been ever since. The Brewers played in the American League until switching over to the National League in 1998.

Milwaukee has been only to one World Series, in 1982 against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Brew Crew had an amazing offense, leading the major leagues in runs scored (891), home runs (216) and OPS (.789).

The team had several future Hall of Famers: catcher Ted Simmons, shortstop Robin Yount, second baseman Paul Molitor, relief pitcher Rollie Fingers and pitcher Don Sutton.

In the World Series, Milwaukee took a 3 games-to-2 lead before the series moved to St. Louis for games 6 and 7. After getting blown out 13-1 in Game 6, the Brew Crew took a 3-1 lead to the bottom of the sixth inning.

But starter Pete Vuckovich got in trouble, and Keith Hernandez and George Hendrick later hit run-scoring singles to give the Cardinals the lead for good.

The Brewers also lost the NLCS to the Cardinals in 2011 and to the Dodgers in 2018. Despite their lack of a title, things are looking up for Milwaukee. They’ve been to the playoffs in five of the past six years, so maybe a Fall Classic victory is not too far away.

San Diego Padres

Southern California’s “other” big metropolis has not exactly been the city of champions. The Chargers were blown out by the San Francisco 49ers in their only Super Bowl and now play in Los Angeles. The Clippers missed the NBA playoffs in six seasons before moving to LA.

The Padres have reached the World Series twice but were dominated both times. The Detroit Tigers defeated them in five games in 1984, and the New York Yankees swept the Pads 4-0 in 1998 during a Bronx Bomber run of four championships in five seasons.

Future Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn led the ’84 Padres with a .351 batting average, and Goose Gossage saved 25 games.

The ’98 Padres boasted five All-Stars — pitchers Andy Ashby, Kevin Brown, and Trevor Hoffman, and outfielders Tony Gwynn and Greg Vaughn. But in the World Series, they ran into a Bronx buzzsaw and one of the greatest teams in MLB history. The Yankees were loaded with Derek Jeter, Darryl Strawberry, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Tino Martinez, David Cone, David Wells and Andy Pettitte.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle is not only one of the MLB teams without a World Series win, but the M’s haven’t even been to the Fall Classic. It’s a sore subject in the Pacific Northwest, especially considering that for a few years in the 1990s the roster included three of the best players in MLB history — five-time Cy Young winner Randy Johnson and MVP award winners Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. The M’s also had future HOFer and DH extraordinaire Edgar Martinez.

The Kid, A-Rod and RJ had moved on by the 2000s, but the 2001 Seattle squad won 116 games – tied for the most in history. Ichiro Suzuki, known simply as Ichiro, joined the team from the Japanese league and hit .350, winning both the AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP awards.

The M’s did reach the ALCS after outlasting the Cleveland Indians 3-2 in the ALDS, but the Yankees held Seattle to eight total runs in winning games 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Seattle has only been to the playoffs once since then, but hope springs eternal for Mariner fans.

Colorado Rockies

The franchise has only had five playoff appearances since joining MLB as an expansion team in 1993. The team did get to the World Series in 2007, but were swept by David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Curt Schilling and the Boston Red Sox.

But Colorado’s trip to the Classic was memorable. The Rocks won 14 of their final 15 regular-season games, then beat the San Diego Padres 9-8 in 13 innings in a one-game NL Wild Card tiebreaker to get into the NLDS.

Colorado then swept the potent Phillies 3-0 in the NLDS and swept the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 in the NLCS to give the Rockies a 21-1 record since mid-September.

The Rockies had a roster than included Matt Holliday (.340 BA, 36 HR, 137 RBI), Todd Helton (.320, 17, 91), Garrett Atkins (.301, 25 HR, 111 RBIs) and Troy Tulowitzki (24 HRs, 99 RBI).

Tampa Bay Rays

In the capper on our list of MLB teams without a World Series win, the 1998 expansion franchise has lost two World Series – in 2008 to the Phillies and in 2020 to the Dodgers.

But the Rays, formerly known as the Devil Rays from 1998 through 2007, have reached the postseason in nine of the past 16 seasons, including the past five. Manager Joe Maddon and successor Kevin Cash each have won Manager of the Year twice.

In the 2008 World Series, Jayson Werth batted .444 and Ryan Howard hit three home runs to power the Phillies past the Rays. In 2020, Clayton Kershaw picked up two wins for LA despite strong offensive performances from the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier (.368, 2 HRs) and Randy Arozarena (.364, 3 HRs).

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Alex Valdes
Alex Valdes is Web Content Manager at Tipico North America. He has written, edited and performed user and site analysis at MoneyTalksNews, NBC Sports, MSN, Bing, MSNBC, as well as newspapers and magazines.
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