Every Baseball Team’s Best Season

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Source: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

21. Philadelphia Phillies
> Best season: 2008
> Record: 92-70
> Result: Won World Series (4-1)
> Best player: Chase Utley
> Manager: Charlie Manuel

After years of struggling, the Phillies won their second World Series title, beating the Tampa Bay Rays in five games. The previous season, the Phillies were swept by the Rockies in the NL Division Series, so they had something to prove in 2008. Starting pitcher Cole Hamels was the MVP of the NLCS and World Series. Closer Brad Lidge was the MLB Comeback Player of the Year for his perfect 48-for-48 performance throughout the 2008 regular season and postseason. It was the first major sports championship in Philadelphia since 1983.

Source: Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons

22. Pittsburgh Pirates
> Best season: 1909
> Record: 110-42-2
> Result: Won World Series (4-3)
> Best player: Honus Wagner
> Manager: Fred Clarke

In their 28th season, the Pirates won their first World Series in seven games, beating the Detroit Tigers. Pittsburgh’s Honus Wagner outplayed Detroit’s Ty Cobb in the series, with pitcher Babe Adams winning all three of his games. Those 110 wins are still a franchise record for the Pirates, who have won four more World Series titles since 1909, the most recent in 1979.

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23. San Diego Padres
> Best season: 1998
> Record: 98-64
> Result: Lost World Series (4-0)
> Best player: Kevin Brown
> Manager: Bruce Bochy

The Padres made it to their second World Series in 1998, propelled by the bat of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who blasted 50 home runs. But the team was overmatched in the Fall Classic and was swept by the Yankees. In 1984, the Padres lost in their first World Series trip, losing in five games to the Detroit Tigers. Along with Gwynn, the Padres featured All-Star pitchers Andy Ashby, Kevin Brown, and Trevor Hoffman, as well as Greg Vaughn who had the best season of his career.

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24. San Francisco Giants
> Best season: 2012
> Record: 94-68
> Result: Won World Series (4-0)
> Best player: Buster Posey
> Manager: Bruce Bochy

In New York, the Giants were a perennial postseason team. But after moving to San Francisco in 1958, they struggled to find any postseason success — at least until 2010, when the franchise won three titles in five seasons. Of those championship teams, the best version was in 2012. Those Giants won 94 games and swept the Tigers in the World Series.

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25. Seattle Mariners
> Best season: 2001
> Record: 116-46
> Result: Lost ALCS (4-1)
> Best player: Bret Boone
> Manager: Lou Piniella

All was good for the Mariners in 2001: they finished the season with 116 wins, won the AL West, hosted the 2001 All-Star game, and watched the debut of right fielder Ichiro Suzuki who was the AL MVP and AL rookie of the year. Then they fell in five games during the ALCS to the Yankees. The Mariners haven’t been back to the postseason since, owning the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports.