Ranking the ten greatest World Series of all-time

Cubs win World Series
The Chicago Cubs won one of the best World Series of all-time. Photo from SB Nation.

With well over 100 of them on record, it’s not easy to pick out the best World Series ever. Every fan probably has their favorite, but the problem with fans is that they’re not always objective.

That’s why it’s not always easy to come to a consensus on the great World Series to watch from a fan’s point of view. 

Of course, the best World Series ever will have at least one defining moment that sets it apart from the rest. But it should be more than just one moment; it should also include some of the greatest playoff games in MLB history. It also helps when a series goes six or seven games and could have easily gone either way.

Best World Series ever

Those are some of the factors we considered when thinking about the greatest World Series to watch, just in case fans want to rewind the clock and check out a classic World Series.

Obviously, if your favorite team lost a classic World Series, you may not feel the same. But these are our picks for the best World Series ever.

10. Senators vs Giants, 1924

You have to turn the clock back to black and white for this World Series, but it truly was one of the best of all time. If you include managers, there were 13 Hall of Famers involved in this series, and that doesn’t include two Hall of Fame umpires who were involved.

This series went all seven games with four of those games being decided by a single run.


Things started off in thrilling fashion with the Giants getting a 4-3 win in 12 innings in Game 1. The Giants would eventually lead the series 3-2, only for the Senators to win Games 6 and 7. Washington’s Walter Johnson was the losing pitcher in Games 1 and 5 but came out of the bullpen to pitch four scoreless innings in Game 7, which also went 12 innings. At the age of 36, he ended up the winning pitcher in Game 7 after the Senators scored a run in the bottom of the 12th to win the series.

9. Yankees vs Dodgers, 1956

This series took place in a different era with the Yankees getting complete games from their starter in five straight games, including Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5.

The Dodgers responded to that perfect game by winning Game 6 in extra innings to force a Game 7. To that point, the home team had won every game.

But the Yankees broke that trend in Game 7, going to Ebbets Field and getting two home runs from Yogi Berra and winning the decisive game 9-0. 

8. Yankees vs Diamondbacks, 2001

This series involved the home team winning every game with the Yankees winning Games 3, 4, and 5 by a single run with two of the games going to extra innings.

But the Diamondbacks would flip the script, winning Game 6 15-2 to force a Game 7.

In Game 7, the pitching combination of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson kept the Yankees at bay, giving Arizona a chance to create the most unlikely of endings. After Mariano Rivera struck out the side in the eighth inning, the Diamondbacks managed to get to him with Luis Gonzalez hitting a blooper to bring home the winning run in spectacular fashion.

7. Red Sox vs Giants, 1912

This series was so long ago that Game 2 was allowed to end in a tie. That meant that the series also went eight games.

The Giants fell behind 3-1 but won Games 6 and 7 to tie the series and force a decisive Game 8. But New York’s miscues in the field got the best of them.

Game 8 went to extra innings with the Giants scoring in the top half of the inning. A foul ball could have ended it but the Giants failed to make the play, extending the game and allowing the Red Sox to score two runs to win it.

6. Pirates vs Yankees, 1960

This series was a little unusual because when the Yankees won, they won big, out-scoring Pittsburgh 38-3 in their three wins.

Meanwhile, the Pirates mostly won close games, which is why Bobby Richardson of the Yankees won MVP honors despite his team losing the series.

Of course, the real MVP was Bill Mazeroski, who hit a walk-off home run in Game 7 to win the series for the Pirates. That remains the only Game 7 walk-off homer in World Series history.

5. Rangers vs Cardinals 2011

This series started with a pair of one-run games that the Rangers and Cardinals split and ended with David Freese playing the role of an unlikely hero.

The Rangers were perfectly positioned to take the series until Freese hit a game-tying triple in the bottom of the ninth. Texas even scored two runs in the top of the 10th, only for the Cards to match it. Freese then hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th to force a Game 7.

Despite falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first, St. Louis would take care of business in Game 7, winning 6-2 to take the series.

4. Indians vs Cubs, 2016

Years from now, there’s a good chance this story holds up as one of the best of all time. Remember that the Cubs were dealing with an epic championship drought and fell behind 3-1 in the series.

They squeaked out a Game 5 win at home and then cruised to victory in Game 6.

Then came the madness of Game 7 with Cleveland erasing a 5-2 deficit to force extra innings.

Don’t forget there was a rain delay after the ninth inning, adding to the drama. After the Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th, Cleveland got one back and had the tying run on base before the Cubs made a pitching change, bringing on Mike Montgomery to get the final out and finally win a title.

3. Red Sox vs Mets, 1986

Game 6 alone makes this one of the best World Series ever.

The Red Sox were just one out away from ending the series, close enough to taste it.

They were also close enough for the clubhouse to be lined with plastic in anticipation of a champagne celebration. But the Mets kept stringing together hits and then tied the game on a wild pitch before Mookie Wilson’s famous roller slipped past Bill Buckner to give the Mets Game 6. But what most people forget is that Game 7 had to be pushed back a day due to rain. The Red Sox then took an early 3-0 lead, regaining control of the series after the disastrous ending in Game 6. However, the Mets scored three in the sixth, three more in the seventh, and two in the eighth to finish off the Red Sox in seven games.

2. Red Sox vs Reds, 1975

Most people remember this series for Carlton Fisk’s home run in Game 6, but the series was so much more than that. Five of the seven games were decided by just one run, including Games 6 and 7.

Cincinnati nearly fell behind 2-0 but rallied in the top of the ninth of Game 2 to tie the series.

The Red Sox then rallied to tie Game 3 in the top of the ninth, only to lose the game in 10 innings. Of course, after Fisk won Game 6 and gave the Red Sox the momentum heading into Game 7, Boston allowed a 3-0 lead slip away. In the end, Joe Morgan delivered the hit that put the Reds up 4-3 in the top of the ninth in Game 7 to keep Boston from taking the series despite Fisk’s heroics.

1. Twins vs Braves, 1991

With all due respect to the rest, this was the best World Series ever.

Oddly enough, the home team won all seven games, but that didn’t take away from the excitement with all but one game decided by two runs or less.

Down 2-0 in the series, the Braves needed 12 innings to win Game 3 at home and stay alive. Atlanta then took Game 5 14-5 to take a 3-2 series lead and bring all of the momentum back to Minnesota.

But the Twins fought back, winning Game 6 in 11 innings on a home run by Kirby Puckett that is one of the most iconic home runs in playoff history. In Game 7, Jack Morris delivered one of the greatest pitching performances ever, throwing 10 scoreless innings until the Twins finally scratched out a run to win the game and the series.

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About Bryan Zarpentine 103 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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