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.
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.Follow @VinGetz
|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
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.Follow @VinGetz
|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
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.
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.Follow @VinGetz
|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|