Every Baseball Team’s Best Season

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26. St. Louis Cardinals
> Best season: 1942
> Record: 106-48-2
> Result: Won World Series (4-1)
> Best player: Mort Cooper
> Manager: Billy Southworth

Not only did the Cardinals win their fourth World Series, but they did it by beating the Yankees in five games. The Yankees had won the World Series in 1941 and would win it again in 1943. It was the 61st season for the Cardinals, who finished first in the NL with 106 wins. Pitcher Mort Cooper was the NL MVP with a 22-7 record and a 1.78 ERA. The Cardinals have since upped their World Series championship total to 11.

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27. Tampa Bay Rays
> Best season: 2008
> Record: 97-65
> Result: Lost World Series (4-1)
> Best player: Carlos Pena
> Manager: Joe Maddon

In their 11th season, the Rays had their first winning record (97-65), earned their first playoff berth, and won their first AL pennant, defeating the Red Sox in seven games. Pitcher Matt Garza won two games and was named ALCS MVP. It was a World Series to remember because it was their only one in franchise history, but they were no match for the Phillies, who beat them in five games.

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28. Texas Rangers
> Best season: 2011
> Record: 96-66
> Result: Lost World Series (4-3)
> Best player: Ian Kinsler
> Manager: Ron Washington

It was the second straight trip to the World Series for the Rangers with an offense led by home run hitters Ian Kinsler (32), Andre Beltre (32), and Mike Napoli (30). The Rangers couldn’t cross the finish line in either series. In 2011, they defeated the Tigers in the ALCS to make it to the World Series. Then they faced the Cardinals, who won in seven games. In Game 6, the Rangers came within one strike in each the ninth and 10th innings of winning the title, but the Cardinals fought back to even the series, which the Rangers lost in Game 7.

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29. Toronto Blue Jays
> Best season: 1992
> Record: 96-66
> Result: Won World Series (4-2)
> Best player: Roberto Alomar
> Manager: Cito Gaston

It was the first of two straight World Series championships for the Blue Jays, the first non U.S.-based team to win a World Series. Behind the offense of Roberto Alomar (177 hits, .310 average) and Joe Carter (34 home runs, 119 RBI), the Jays won 96 games. Pitcher Jack Morris had 21 wins, and reliever Tom Henke finished with 34 saves. The Jays defeated the Oakland Athletics in six games in the ALCS. They took down the Atlanta Braves in six games in the World Series.

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30. Washington Nationals
> Best season: 2012
> Record: 98-64
> Result: Lost NLDS (3-2)
> Best player: Jordan Zimmermann
> Manager: Davey Johnson

This team’s best season ever was when it advanced to the NL Division Series six years ago — and lost. In fairness, the Nationals have only existed since 2005, taking over for the folded Montreal Expos. In 2012, they were 98-64, and Davey Johnson was NL manager of the year with Bryce Harper winning NL rookie of the year honors. Still, they lost in five games to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. The Nationals also won division titles in 2014, 2016, and 2017, but they have never advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs.