Ranking the 10 greatest dynasties in MLB history

Old Yankee Stadium
JCruzTheTruth, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Dynasties are a rarity in all sports, but the best MLB dynasties are often the most impressive. Keep in mind that the best baseball dynasties ever had to dominate for 162 games per season, year after year. Keep in mind that baseball is a game of failure, so the best MLB dynasties ever had to always find a way to succeed in a game in which failure is common.

That’s why deciding on the best baseball dynasty ever was a huge challenge.

Best MLB dynasties

Nevertheless, we put together a list of MLB dynasties and took things one step further by comparing them to one another. Naturally, comparing greatness to greatness wasn’t particularly easy. However, we did our due diligence and came up with the 10 best MLB dynasties in baseball history.

10. Red Sox, 1912-18

If it matters to Red Sox fans, Boston’s 86-year championship drought was preceded by a great dynasty. In the seven years between 1912 and 1928, the Red Sox won the World Series four times, beating four different teams.

Of course, Babe Ruth was a key figure on a few of those championship teams before the Red Sox traded him to the Yankees and changed the course of baseball forever. Even if there were plenty of dark days to follow, the Red Sox can take some solace in winning three championships in four years from 1915 to 1918, giving them one of baseball’s great dynasties.

9. Athletics, 1910-14

This is the first of two appearances by the A’s on our list of the best MLB dynasties. That’s an impressive feat when you consider that they are now a small-market team with little cash to spend.

Naturally, this dynasty was a long time ago when the A’s were located in Philadelphia. It also could have been an even better dynasty if the A’s hadn’t lost the 1914 World Series to the Boston Braves after MVP Eddie Collins led them to 99 wins during the regular season.

But the A’s did win the World Series in three of the previous four years, which is why this qualifies as a dynasty. When they won back-to-back titles in 1910 and 1911 to kickstart the dynasty, the A’s won over 100 games during the regular season each year, an accomplishment that was more difficult over a century ago.


They also ran away with the pennant in both of those seasons, blowing away the competition, which is why those two championships jump-started a bonafide dynasty in Philadelphia.

8. Reds, 1970-79

Admittedly, it’s a slight stretch to call this a 10-year dynasty when the Reds missed the playoffs four times during those 10 years. But it’s hard to deny that Cincinnati was the preeminent team in the National League throughout the 70s.

Keep in mind they did win six NL West crowns in these 10 years. After all, these were the days of the Big Red Machine with Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, George Foster, and others making up a ridiculously talented lineup that could give any pitcher nightmares.

Obviously, the highlight of this era was the Reds winning back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976. The 1975 Fall Classic was epic while the Reds were a perfect 7-0 in the 1976 postseason, sweeping both the Phillies and Yankees. That October dominance is another reason why the Reds deserve to be labeled a dynasty for their exploits during the 70s.

It’s worth remembering that between 1970 and 1976, the Reds won at least 95 games six times in seven years and went to the World Series four times. That includes three years with over 100 wins during the regular season, so we can’t talk about dynasties without mentioning the Reds of the 70s.

7. Dodgers, 1947-66

For 20 years of dominance over the National League, doing so in two different cities, this has to be considered one of the best MLB dynasties ever. Over this 20-year period, the Dodgers made it to the World Series 10 times.

There were six trips before their move to Los Angeles in 1958 and four more trips after leaving Brooklyn. Unfortunately, only four of those 10 World Series appearances were victorious for the Dodgers, who lost the Fall Classic to the Yankees five times and once to the Orioles.

We have to mention that the dynasty coincided with the arrival of Jackie Robinson and lasted all of the way to the days of Sandy Koufax. While there were some down seasons, we’re talking about a team that won the pennant 10 times in 20 years and was within five games of the NL crown in five other years. That’s too much winning to ignore.

6. Giants, 2010-2014

In the early 2010s, the Giants put together the most recent dynasty on our list, but it also qualifies as one of the best MLB dynasties of all time.

While five years might seem like a quick dynasty compared to some others, winning three World Series titles in a five-year span is no small feat, especially in the modern era. With titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014, the Giants predictably had trouble defending their championships.

They also won the 2014 World Series as a wild card.

However, the bottom line is they won three titles in five years, going 33-14 (.702) in the postseason during that span, which is more than deserving of some recognition.

5. Cardinals, 1942-46

The Cardinals have a long and proud history, but their dynasty between 1942 and 1946 is surely the best era in club history. It was only a five-year period, but those five years included three World Series wins and one more appearance in the Fall Classic. Oddly enough, this dynasty overlaps with the end of another dynasty on our list, as the Cards got their dynasty started when they beat the Yankees in the 1942 World Series.

Of course, St. Louis would lose the World Series to the Yanks the following year. But the Cards made this a true dynasty by winning championships again in 1944 and 1946. They also averaged close to 102 wins per season over these five years, becoming a truly dominant team over these five years.

4. Yankees, 1947-53

There’s a lot to like about what the Yankees accomplished between 1947 and 1953. The obvious is that they won the World Series six times in seven years. They got the best of the Brooklyn Dodgers four times in the Fall Classic in those seven years.

While they never quite made it to 100 wins in any of those years, they always won at least 95 games in a regular-season that was only 154 games back then. Perhaps the most impressive part of this dynasty is that three different players won MVP honors during this seven-year span. Joe DiMaggio did it in 1947, Phil Rizzuto won in 1950, and Yogi Berra followed with MVP honors in 1951.

3. Athletics, 1971-75

More than half a century after the dynasty mentioned earlier on this list, the A’s had another dynasty. This time, they did so while playing in Oakland. Needless to say, the highlight of this dynasty was Oakland’s three-peat from 1972 to 1974.

Those championships weren’t easy, as the Tigers and Orioles pushed them to the brink in the ALCS in 1972 and 1973, respectively, while the Reds and Mets did the same in the World Series in those years.

But behind the likes of Vida Blue, Gene Tenace, and Reggie Jackson, the A’s found ways to come out on top three years in a row, which wasn’t easy back in the 70s. We also decided to extend this dynasty by a couple of years, including 1971 and 1975 because the A’s won the AL West in both years, giving them five division titles and three world championships in a five-year span, which is a special accomplishment.

2. Yankees, 1936-43

This was the first of several periods that could be classified as a dynasty for the Yankees. It’s also one of the best MLB dynasties ever.

The Bronx Bombers won the World Series in four straight seasons from 1936 and 1939, ultimately winning twice more in three trips over the four years that followed. They also won over 100 games five times in those eight seasons.

Again, it was harder back then with only 154 games. This dynasty coincided with Joe DiMaggio’s prime years, as he won MVP in 1939 and 1941. But Lou Gehrig, Joe Gordon, and Spud Chandler also won MVP honors during this eight-year dynasty, serving as further proof that the Yankees have always had star players who are more than capable of leading them to championships.

1. Yankees, 1996-2003

Out of the three Yankees dynasties on our list, the most recent one is arguably the best. For starters, it’s much harder to sustain excellence in the modern era than in past decades, even for big spenders like the Yankees.

Given the difficulty of getting to the top and staying there nowadays, it’s hard not to be impressed by a team that went to the World Series six times in eight years. The Bronx Bombers also won four titles in five years, including a three-peat between 1998 and 2000.

Keep in mind that if the Diamondbacks hadn’t made that unlikely comeback against Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of Game 7 in 2001, it would have been four in a row. This dynasty also includes the 1998 Yankees, who won 114 games during the regular season and also swept the World Series, as the core group led by Derek Jeter were at their best that year, blowing away the competition.

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About Bryan Zarpentine 241 Articles
Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with most of his work focusing on the world of sports. He is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and still resides in upstate New York.

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