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MLB: Teams that Have Come Back to Win the World Series After Being Down 3-2

The 1985 Kansas City Royals Came Back To Win The World Series After Being Down 3-2

The 1985 Kansas City Royals Came Back To Win The World Series After Being Down 3-2

The Kansas City Royals‘ backs are up against the wall. They’re returning home, down to the San Francisco Giants 3-2 in the 2014 World Series.

Well, 21 times a team in such a position, including the 1985 Royals, has come back to win it all. Of those 21 teams, 12, again including the ’85 Royals, had home field advantage. In other words, they won the last two games at home (and KC also won the last game in St. Louis – they actually were down 3-1).

And in other words, it ain’t over till it’s over.

The last time an underdog came back from 3-2 to win the final two games on the road was in 1979, when the Pittsburgh Pirates stole the title from the Baltimore Orioles.

One more note: We know the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals have the most World Series titles – the Yanks far ahead – so naturally they are both well represented below with 12 of the 21 comebacks involving either or both teams.

But here is one area where the Cardinals excel over the Yankees. The Cards have come back from down three games to two an amazing five times (to the Yankees two).

In other words, five of the Cardinals 12 championships (41.6 percent) were born of this scenario. That’s one turnaround away from half. Wow.

SEASON WINNER LOSER SERIES
1. 1903 Boston Americans* Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3
2. 1921 New York Giants* New York Yankees 5-3
3. 1924 Washington Senators* New York Giants 4-3
4. 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates* Washington Senators 4-3
5. 1926 St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees* 4-3
6. 1934 St. Louis Cardinals Detroit Tigers* 4-3
7. 1940 Cincinnati Reds* Detroit Tigers 4-3
8. 1946 St. Louis Cardinals* Boston Red Sox 4-3
9. 1952 New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers* 4-3
10. 1958 New York Yankees Milwaukee Braves* 4-3
11. 1968 Detroit Tigers St. Louis Cardinals* 4-3
12. 1973 Oakland A’s* New York Mets 4-3
13. 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles* 4-3
14. 1982 St. Louis Cardinals* Milwaukee Brewers 4-3
15. 1985 Kansas City Royals* St. Louis Cardinals 4-3
16. 1986 New York Mets* Boston Red Sox 4-3
17. 1987 Minnesota Twins* St. Louis Cardinals 4-3
18. 1991 Minnesota Twins* Atlanta Braves 4-3
19. 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks* New York Yankees 4-3
20. 2002 Anaheim Angels* San Francisco Giants 4-3
21. 2011 St. Louis Cardinals* Texas Rangers 4-3

* Home field advantage

Photo: grayflannelsuit.net

MLB World Series: Teams that Have Come Back From Down 2-0

The 1996 New York Yankees Were The Last Team To Come Back From 2-0 To Win The World Series

The 1996 New York Yankees Were The Last Team To Come Back From 2-0 To Win The World Series

Out of 109 completed World Series, about half – 53 – started out with one team going up two games to none over the other.

Of those, only 11 times has the team down 2-0 come back to win the championship. And of those, four – that is only four times (!) – has the team with home field advantage come back to win it all.

Let’s check the percentages on all this. Down 2-0? Then, actually not too bad considering the circumstances – you’ve got a 21 percent chance of winning the World Series.

However, if you lose those first two games at home, things dwindle to a 5.7 percent chance (three of 53). I’m not including 1921, because back then teams alternated playing at home with the home field advantage team getting Game 7.

The upshot is, if the Kansas City Royals (who gained home field advantage thanks to the American League winning the All-Star Game) lose again tonight, things won’t be looking good at all for a title. Then again, they didn’t look good in 1985, either. The Royals happened to be one of those home teams.

SEASON WINNER LOSER SERIES
1. 1921 New York Giants* New York Yankees 5-3
2. 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers New York Yankees 4-3
3. 1956 New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers 4-3
4. 1958 New York Yankees Milwaukee Braves 4-3
5. 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers Minnesota Twins 4-3
6. 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles 4-3
7. 1978 New York Yankees Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2
8. 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers New York Yankees 4-2
9. 1985 Kansas City Royals* St. Louis Cardinals 4-3
10. 1986 New York Mets* Boston Red Sox 4-3
11. 1996 New York Yankees* Atlanta Braves 4-2

* home field advantage

Photo: Susan Walsh, AP via nytimes.com

San Antonio Spurs and NBA Teams that Lost the Finals and Came Back to Win It the Following Season

How Sweet It Is. The 2014 Champion San Antonio Spurs.

How Sweet It Is. The 2014 Champion San Antonio Spurs.

Yesterday, the San Antonio Spurs became the 12th team in NBA history to lose the NBA Finals, then come back and win it the next season.

How sweet it was, too. San Antonio exacted (a dominant) revenge on the team – the back-to-back champion Miami Heat – that beat them the year before. San Antonio is the seventh team to capitalize on such an opportunity.

Can you imagine playing a ruthlessly grinding 82-game schedule only to lose the Finals in seven games, sweating out the summer waiting, busting through another long season and (Western Conference) postseason, hoping for another shot at the title, being lucky enough for a rematch and then beating the team that beat you. Awesome.

Here they are: those NBA teams that never lost sight and faith despite the most crushing of defeats the season before.

SEASON CHAMPION RUNNER UP SERIES REMATCHES
1. LOST 2012-13 Miami Heat San Antonio Spurs 4-3
WON 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs Miami Heat 4-1 (1)
2. LOST 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks Miami Heat 4-2
WON 2011-12 Miami Heat Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1
3. LOST 2007-08 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-2
WON 2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers Orlando Magic 4-1
4. LOST 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers Detroit Pistons 4-3
WON 1988-89 Detroit Pistons Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 (2)
5. LOST 1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics 4-2
WON 1985-86 Boston Celtics Houston Rockets 4-2
6. LOST 1983-84 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-3
WON 1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics 4-2 (3)
7. LOST 1981-82 Los Angeles Lakers Philadelphia 76ers 4-2
WON 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 (4)
8. LOST 1977-78 Washington Bullets Seattle SuperSonics 4-3
WON 1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics Washington Bullets 4-1 (5)
9. LOST 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers New York Knicks 4-1
WON 1972-73 New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 (6)
10. LOST 1957-58 St. Louis Hawks Boston Celtics 4-2
WON 1958-59 Boston Celtics Minneapolis Lakers 4-0
11. LOST 1956-57 Boston Celtics St. Louis Hawks 4-3
WON 1957-58 St. Louis Hawks Boston Celtics 4-2 (7)
12. LOST 1953-54 Minneapolis Lakers Syracuse Nationals 4-3
WON 1954-55 Syracuse Nationals Fort Wayne Pistons 4-3

Photo: Tony Gutierrez / AP via beaumontenterprise.com

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