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Baseball Teams That Have Come Back From 3-1 in the Postseason (ALCS, NLCS)

The 2007 Boston Red Sox Were the Last Team to Come Back From Down 3-1 in a League Championship Series

The 2007 Boston Red Sox Were the Last Team to Come Back From Down 3-1 in a League Championship Series

Only six times in baseball history has a team come back from three games to one to win either the American League Championship Series (ALCS) or National League Championship Series (NLCS).

It is important to note, though, that prior to 1969, there were no playoff series – only the World Series. And then, between 1969 and 1984, the ALCS and NLCS were both only three-of-five series.

1985 was the first year both the ALCS and NLCS  went to seven games, and the Kansas City Royals became the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win, too, beating the Toronto Blue Jays.

Of course the 2004 Boston Red Sox came back from 3-0 down to beat the New York Yankees on the way to their first World Series title in 86 years.

The 2012 San Francisco Giants are trying to become just the third National League team to come back from being down three games to one and also join this list of those six teams to do it.

Three of them were Boston Red Sox.

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LIST UPDATED: Through 2012 Postseason. It turns out the Giants did come back from 3-1 against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012’s NLCS to become the seventh team overall and third from the NL. Then they went on to win the World Series. I’ve denoted all the WS winners with an asterisk. Five of the seven went on to win it all, which says something about momentum and mindset.

  YEAR SERIES WINNER LOSER MVP
1. 1985 ALCS Kansas City Royals* Toronto Blue Jays George Brett
2. 1986 ALCS Boston Red Sox California Angels Marty Barrett
3. 1996 NLCS Atlanta Braves St. Louis Cardinals Javy Lopez
4. 2003 NLCS Florida Marlins* Chicago Cubs Ivan Rodriguez
5. 2004 ALCS Boston Red Sox* New York Yankees David Ortiz
6. 2007 ALCS Boston Red Sox* Cleveland Indians Josh Beckett
7. 2012 NLCS San Francisco Giants* St. Louis Cardinals Marco Scutaro

Photo: sfgate.com

MLB: The Greatest Comebacks in World Series History

The Kansas City Royals Were Down Three Games to One, but Came Back to Win the 1985 World Series

The Kansas City Royals Were Down Three Games to One, but Came Back to Win the 1985 World Series

No team has ever come back from a three games to none deficit to win the World Series. In fact, it has only happened once in all of the postseason: the Boston Red Sox were on the brink in the 2004 ALCS, down 3-0 to archenemy the New York Yankees, and won the next four to advance. As almost an afternote, the Sox went on to win their first World Series in 86 years.

That’s the greatest comeback in all of baseball’s postseason history. The Red Sox are one of six teams to come back from at least a 3-1 deficit in either the American League Championship Series (ALCS) or National League Championship Series (NLCS).

Six teams have also come back from 3-1 to win the World Series itself. It hasn’t happened in almost 30 years. George Brett‘s Kansas City Royals were the last team to do it.

The Pittsburgh Pirates did it twice. How nice.

  YEAR WINNER LOSER WS MVP*
1. 1903** Boston Americans Pittsburgh Pirates None
2. 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates Washington Senators None
3. 1958 New York Yankees Milwaukee Braves Bob Turley
4. 1968 Detroit Tigers St. Louis Cardinals Mickey Lolich
5. 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles Willie Stargell
6. 1985 Kansas City Royals St. Louis Cardinals Bret Saberhagen

* The World Series MVP was first awarded in 1955

** The first World Series in 1903 was a best-of-nine (first team to five wins, wins). The Boston Americans (renamed the Boston Red Sox in 1908) were down 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Pirates and won the next four games.

Thanks to baseball-reference.com!

Photo: crowncrazed.com

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