Baseball, like most professional sports, is no stranger to surprise. This sport reminds us that odds are meant to be broken, and sometimes an underdog can claw its way to inconceivable victory. Emerging from seemingly nowhere, these teams pulled off miracles. During their jaw-dropping runs to greatness, legends were born, and legacies were set. See our top 5 cinderella stories in baseball’s long and salient history below!
1914 Boston Braves
The Braves began their 1914 season as usual, by losing. After a 5th place finish in 1913 and a 26-40 start, the Braves finished the season with one of baseball’s most incredible comebacks. Led by pitchers Dick Rudolph, Bill James and Lefty Tyler, the Braves won 70 of their last 89 games for and finished 1st in the league with a 94-59 record. The team would go on to sweep Connie Mack’s heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in 4 games, solidifying their place in baseball history.
1954 New York Giants
The ‘54 Giants became New York heroes after they pulled off one of the greatest upsets in baseball history. Going into the series, the entire country was convinced the seemingly unstoppable Cleveland Indians would take the victory by a landslide; after all, this team had just set a new record for most wins in a season with 111. However, it was Willie Mays and the underdogs from New York who would be taking home the trophy, defeating Cleveland in a 4 game sweep.
1990 Cincinnati Reds
1990 was a spectacular year to be a Reds fan. Led by Randy Myers and Barry Larkin, the squad was dubbed the Cinderella Reds after their improbable run to become the league’s best. Cincinnati capped their season by defeating a heavily favored Oakland team to clinch World Series Victory, their 1st since repeating as champions in 1975 and ’76.
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers
After being picked to finish 4th in their own division, the Dodgers were led by NL MVP Kirk Gibson, and Cy Young Winner Oral Hershiser. The Dodgers won their division comfortably and defeated the heavily favored New York Mets and California rival Oakland Athletic on their way to winning their 6th World Series in team history.
This young Mets team entered the 1969 season without a single winning record in team history, losing an average of 108 games per season since their inception in 1962. However, the “Miracle Mets” finished the year 100-62 and dominated the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles en route to their 1st World Series Championship