The World Series is played between the National League and American League champions each year. Often referred to as the ‘Fall Classic’, the World Series was first played in 1903.

While other elements of the MLB playoffs have altered, the World Series has been much the same throughout the sport’s history.

Until the late 1960s, there were no preliminary playoff rounds. The team with the best record in each league made it to the World Series and a best of seven series to get their hands on the Commissioner’s Trophy.

The Boston Americans won the first World Series in 1903. There was no Fall Classic the following year, prior to the New York Giants overcoming the Philadelphia Athletics in 1905.

Most successful World Series team

The New York Yankees are the most successful team in World Series history. Multiple dynasties built on all-time great players has led the Yankees to 27 titles. That’s 16 more than any other franchise.

With 11 total, the St Louis Cardinals are the second-most successful World Series team. They are also tied with the Yankees and Red Sox on four World Series wins in the 21st century.

Most common World Series matchups

The Dodgers versus the Yankees is the most common World Series matchup. This goes back to when the Dodgers were located in New York – they met seven times in the World Series between 1941 and 1956. Their most recent matchup was 1981.

Unsurprisingly, the Yankees feature in the second and third-most common matchups, too. They faced the Giants seven times, beating them on five occasions, and matched up with the Cardinals in five World Series, but lost thrice.


Unique World Series matchups have been common in recent years, however 2018’s clash between the Red Sox and Dodgers was the second time the two franchises have met in the Fall Classic.

Teams without a World Series

Six active MLB teams have not won the World Series. The Seattle Mariners have never appeared in the Fall Classic. The Brewers and Rockies appeared in one World Series each and both lost.

Three teams – San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays – have made it to the World Series twice and lost on both occasions. Texas famously lost consecutive World Series in 2010 and 2011, falling to the San Francisco Giants and St Louis Cardinals.

Both the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros lifted the Commissioner’s Trophy for the first time in the second half of the 2010s.

World Series winners

1903 – Boston Americans

1904 – No World Series

1905 – New York Giants

1906 – Chicago White Sox

1907 – Chicago Cubs

1908 – Chicago Cubs

1909 – Pittsburgh Pirates

1910 – Philadelphia Athletics

1911 – Philadelphia Athletics

1912 – Boston Red Sox

1913 – Philadelphia Athletics

1914 – Boston Braves

1915 – Boston Red Sox

1916 – Boston Red Sox

1917 – Chicago White Sox

1918 – Boston Red Sox

1919 – Cincinnati Reds

1920 – Cleveland Indians

1921 – New York Giants

1922 – New York Giants

1923 – New York Yankees

1924 – Washington Senators

1925 – Pittsburgh Pirates

1926 – St Louis Cardinals

1927 – New York Yankees

1928 – New York Yankees

1929 – Philadelphia Athletics

1930 – Philadelphia Athletics

1931 – St Louis Cardinals

1932 – New York Yankees

1933 – New York Giants

1934 – St Louis Cardinals

1935 – Detroit Tigers

1936 – New York Yankees

1937 – New York Yankees

1938 – New York Yankees

1939 – New York Yankees

1940 – Cincinnati Reds

1941 – New York Yankees

1942 – St Louis Cardinals

1943 – New York Yankees

1944 – St Louis Cardinals

1945 – Detroit Tigers

1946 – St Louis Cardinals

1947 – New York Yankees

1948 – Cleveland Indians

1949 – New York Yankees

1950 – New York Yankees

1951 – New York Yankees

1952 – New York Yankees

1953 – New York Yankees

1954 – New York Giants

1955 – Brooklyn Dodgers

1956 – New York Yankees

1957 – Milwaukee Braves

1958 – New York Yankees

1959 – Los Angeles Dodgers

1960 – Pittsburgh Pirates

1961 – New York Yankees

1962 – New York Yankees

1963 – Los Angeles Dodgers

1964 – St Louis Cardinals

1965 – Los Angeles Dodgers

1966 – Baltimore Orioles

1967 – St Louis Cardinals

1968 – Detroit Tigers

1969 – New York Mets

1970 – Baltimore Orioles

1971 – Pittsburgh Pirates

1972 – Oakland Athletics

1973 – Oakland Athletics

1974 – Oakland Athletics

1975 – Cincinnati Reds

1976 – Cincinnati Reds

1977 – New York Yankees

1978 – New York Yankees

1979 – Pittsburgh Pirates

1980 – Philadelphia Phillies

1981 – Los Angeles Dodgers

1982 – St Louis Cardinals

1983 – Baltimore Orioles

1984 – Detroit Tigers

1985 – Kansas City Royals

1986 – New York Mets

1987 – Minnesota Twins

1988 – Los Angeles Dodgers

1989 – Oakland Athletics

1990 – Cincinnati Reds

1991 – Minnesota Twins

1992 – Toronto Blue Jays

1993 – Toronto Blue Jays

1994 – Player strike – no World Series

1995 – Atlanta Braves

1996 – New York Yankees

1997 – Florida Marlins

1998 – New York Yankees

1999 – New York Yankees

2000 – New York Yankees

2001 – Arizona Diamondbacks

2002 – Anaheim Angels

2003 – Florida Marlins

2004 – Boston Red Sox

2005 – Chicago White Sox

2006 – St Louis Cardinals

2007 – Boston Red Sox

2008 – Philadelphia Phillies

2009 – New York Yankees

2010 – San Francisco Giants

2011 – St Louis Cardinals

2012 – San Francisco Giants

2013 – Boston Red Sox

2014 – San Francisco Giants

2015 – Kansas City Royals

2016 – Chicago Cubs

2017 – Houston Astros

2018 – Boston Red Sox

2019 – Washington Nationals

2020 – Los Angeles Dodgers