This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
You may have seen our recent article on the best ever baseball players but it’s important to remember that baseball is a team game and in every team sport there is an elite side (or two) who are superior.
Soccer has the likes of Real Madrid, basketball has the Golden State Warriors and, if you were placing a college football bet you’d probably plump for the Crimson Tide. Still, who is the greatest of all time in terms of the MLB?
Here we’re going to count down the top five teams.
5 – NEW YORK YANKEES OF 39
It’s perhaps unfair on the Yankees’ from the few years previous but it was the 1939 side who made history as they recorded the fourth consecutive World Series, which came in a whitewash of the Cincinnati Reds. Amongst the batters, the Yankees had arguably the most famous baseball players of all time in Joe DiMaggio and he shone throughout the campaign recording 30 homers, a RBI of 126 and an average of .381 – stats that saw him named MVP. Don’t be fooled though, this Yankees team was full of talent and in addition to DiMaggio a further eight of their side made the All-Star game.
4 – CINCINNATI REDS OF 75
It’s fair to say the Riverfront Stadium saw it’s fair share of entertainment during the Reds charge towards the top. All in all, the home fans witnessed 64 wins and just 17 losses as their team finished a clear 20 ahead of their nearest challenger – the LA Dodgers. Joe Morgan took most of the plaudits and scooped the MVP award in no small part due to his batting average of .327 but his batting buddies Johnny Bench and Tony Perez deserve some appreciation as well with RBIs of 100 and 109 respectively. The season had already been a good one but a World Series victory over the Red Sox was the icing on the cake.
3 – NEW YORK YANKEES OF 98
When a franchise like the Yankees have been around for near on 100 years it’s hard to set new records but that’s exactly what the 1998 side did. Their season return of 114-46 was an American League record and, despite losing that particular record just three years later, they remain the only team to have posted such numbers that have gone on to clinch a World Series, which proves both their consistency and ability on the big stage. Tino Martinez lead the team with homers but it was their strength across the entire batting line up that was most impressive with four players hitting 20 plus home runs with a further two hitting 19.
2 – BALTIMORE ORIOLES OF 70
What makes a great team? Winning games? Star players? The ability to overcome adversity. The Orioles of 1970 had it all. Just a season earlier they were battered 4-1 in the World Series by the New York Mets but bounced back in spectacular fashion. Boog Powell was the standout man for most of the season registering 35 home runs and a RBI of 114 but it was his teammate Brooks Robinson – a Orioles legend for many reasons – who claimed the headlines in the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds and he was rewarded with the MVP and Babe Ruth awards.
1 – NEW YORK YANKEES OF 27
Miller Huggins saw his team run out winners a whopping 110 times during the 1927 season – a record haul that lasted until the mid-fifties. Although they had strength throughout the side it was Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig who struck fear into the opposition; during the campaign they formed a devastating duo as they hit 107 homers between them. From the mound the big hitters were backed up by the likes of Waite Hoyt and George Pipgras and on reflection it is of little surprise that they eased past the Pittsburgh Pirates to scoop the World Series.
There you have it, five of the best teams ever to take to the ball field. Will any of the current crop live up to their achievements? It seems unlikely but stranger things have happened.