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
Cleveland, 2016 ? ?
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)
Atlanta, 1991 1992 1995
St. Louis, 1987 2004 2006
Boston, 1986 2004 2004
St. Louis, 1985 1987 2006
Milwaukee, 1982 (not yet) (not yet)
Baltimore, 1979 1983 1983
Boston, 1975 1986 2004
New York Mets, 1973 1986 1986
Cincinnati, 1972 1975 1975
Baltimore, 1971 1979 1983


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.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


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