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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

NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Teams that Have Come Back From Down 2-0

The Boston Bruins Came Back After Being Down 2-0 To The Vancouver Canucks To Win The 2011 Stanley Cup

The Boston Bruins Came Back After Being Down 2-0 To The Vancouver Canucks To Win The 2011 Stanley Cup

Never mind coming back from being down 3-0 in any postseason series. It’s practically as impossible to come back and win the title after being down 2-0, at least where the Stanley Cup Finals are concerned.

Believe it or not, it has happened only five times in NHL history. Now that was fewer than expected, for sure.

And it’s bad news for New York Rangers fans, who find their team in just such a predicament against the Los Angeles Kings.

It’s arguably even worse news for Detroit Red Wings fans. Their team has been the victim three times.

The 1941-42* Toronto Maple Leafs were down 3-0. They are the only North American sports team to overcome that deficit to win a title. They lost the first two at home, too, as did the 1965-66 Montreal Canadiens.

SEASON STANLEY CUP WINNERS STANLEY CUP LOSERS SERIES
1. 1941-42* Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings 4-3
2. 1965-66 Montreal Canadiens Detroit Red Wings 4-2
3. 1970-71 Montreal Canadiens Chicago Black Hawks 4-3
4. 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins Detroit Red Wings 4-3
5. 2010-11 Boston Bruins Vancouver Canucks 4-3

Photo: sportsofboston.com

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