A local realtor recently sent out a refrigerator magnet with the Minnesota Twins schedule for the year. Obviously, that schedule is no longer pertinent with the Corona virus causing the cancellation of the beginning of the season. While efforts are underway to possibly play some games, it remains to be seen if that will work out.
It is my hope that some form of major league baseball will be played this year. Sports can provide a distraction from the events in our lives that weigh heavily upon us like, you know, pandemics for example. It can also be a source of joy. Along with many Minnesotans I remember what it was like when the Twins won their first World Series. There was a feeling of joy that we all shared.
Receiving the schedule in the mail brought back memories of that time. Especially when I looked on the back and saw a list of World Series Champions. Each time that has won the World Series was listed alphabetically along with the years they had won. I saw the many years listed for the Yankees. I noticed the recent wins by the Red Sox after the Curse of the Bambino was lifted.
Ah yes, the Curse of the Bambino. Believed by many to be retribution for the owner of the Red Sox selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees after the 1919 season. At that point, the Red Sox had won more World Series Championships than any other team while the Yankees had never won. But then came the long drought for the rest of the century, and then some, The Yankees won the World Series 26 times before the Red Sox would win another in 2004.
So, why does this post have “Part Two” as a part of its title? The Curse has manifested itself as preventing World Series Championships. Plus, as a Minnesota Twins fan I am predisposed to thinking of the Yankees as being part of a curse to keep us from winning another title.
As I was looking at the list of Champions, I started looking at when each franchise’s last title was. And I noticed a cluster of them in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Then I noticed that time frame coincided with a lack of wins by the Yankees. I was interested and started to look at the time frame.
First the Yankees. They won the World Series in 1978 and then not again until 1996. A span of 16 World Series (if you’re counting don’t forget that there was no Series in 1994 due to the strike.) This is the longest gap between wins since the Bambino joined the team.
And what about the winners of those 16 Series? There were three repeat teams, meaning that there were 13 teams that won during the Yankee’s drought. For ten years afterwards none of them won a World Series. The team that broke that streak was the National League team that with the most World Series victories. Since then only two other teams have had wins. Coincidentally, the only two that had teams that moved from their cities to the west.
Here’s the list:
1979 Pittsburg Pirates (last win)
1980 Philadelphia Phillies (won again in 2008)
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers
1982 St. Louis Cardinals (won again in 2006, 2011)
1983 Baltimore Orioles (last win)
1984 Detroit Tigers (last win)
1985 Kansas City Royals (won again in 2015)
1986 New York Mets (last win)
1987 Minnesota Twins
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers (last win)
1989 Oakland Athletics (last win)
1990 Cincinnati Reds (last win)
1991 Minnesota Twins (last win)
1992 Toronto Blue Jays
1993 Toronto Blue Jays (last win)
1995 Atlanta Braves (last win)
Coincidence or CURSE? You be the judge.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.