Losing Game 7 of the World Series: Can a franchise recover?
While we celebrated the Chicago Cubs finally winning the World Series in 2016, Cleveland Indians fans for the second time in almost two decades lost a Game 7 in the World Series. Back in 1997, the Tribe lost in Game 7 to the Florida Marlins. The franchise finally got back to the World Series again last season, but another Game 7 loss prevented a World Series crown and celebration for the city.
Over the past 40-plus seasons (since 1969 when baseball went from two leagues, American and National, to two divisions in each league), there has been 16 teams that have lost a Game 7 in the World Series… the Indians’ loss last year was the 16th time. Of the previous 15 times, 13 of those franchises that lost a Game 7 in the World Series eventually made it back to the World Series. Of those previous 15 times, 12 eventually won a World series.
Let’s take a look at the franchises since 1969 that have lost a World Series Game 7 and if/when they made it back to the World Series and if/when they won a World Series title.
|Team, year they lost game 7 of World Series||Back to World Series||Won World Series|
|Kansas City, 2014||2015||2015|
|Texas, 2011||(not yet)||(not yet)|
|San Francisco, 2002||2010||2010|
|New York Yankees, 2001||2003||2009|
|Cleveland, 1997||2016||(not yet)|
|St. Louis, 1987||2004||2006|
|St. Louis, 1985||1987||2006|
|Milwaukee, 1982||(not yet)||(not yet)|
|New York Mets, 1973||1986||1986|
As you can see, the Milwaukee Brewers have been waiting a long time to atone for that Game 7 loss in the 1982 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, more than 30 years since they have been back to the World Series as a franchise.
One final stat: Of the previous 15 teams that lost a Game 7 in the World Series since 1969, seven of the 15 made the playoffs the following year; in addition, four of the 15 had a winning percentage under .500 the year after they lost that Game 7 in the Fall Classic.
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