Special Report

The Year Every Team Won Their First Championship

Source: David Jones / Wikimedia Commons

Brooklyn Nets (as the New York Nets)
> Year of first title: 1974
> League: ABA
> First year in franchise history: 1967
> Total championships: 2

The Brooklyn Nets have not won a title since they joined the NBA. Their only banners come from their days in the competitor league the ABA, when Julius Erving led the team, then known as the New York Nets, to championships in 1974 and 1976.

Source: Mikerussell / Wikimedia Commons

Buffalo Bills
> Year of first title: 1964
> League: AFL
> First year in franchise history: 1960
> Total championships: 2

Despite coming agonizingly close four times in the 1990s, the Buffalo Bills have never won a Super Bowl. But the team did win back-to-back AFL championships in 1964 and 1965.

Source: Mike Powell / Getty Images

Calgary Flames
> Year of first title: 1989
> League: NHL
> First year in franchise history: 1972
> Total championships: 1

Hall of Famers Al MacInnis and Lanny McDonald led the 1989 Calgary Flames to the franchise’s first and only Stanley Cup.

Source: Grant Halverson / Getty Images

Carolina Hurricanes
> Year of first title: 2006
> League: NHL
> First year in franchise history: 1979
> Total championships: 1

Formerly known as the Hartford Whalers, the Carolina Hurricanes won their first and only Stanley Cup in 2006, following the lockout of the 2004-2005 season.

Source: The rakish fellow / Wikimedia Commons

Chicago Bears (as the Chicago Staleys)
> Year of first title: 1921
> League: APFA
> First year in franchise history: 1920
> Total championships: 9

One of the original NFL teams, the Chicago Bears, then known as the Staleys, actually won their first of nine titles before the NFL existed. The Staleys captured the American Professional Football Association title in 1921, the league’s second and final year before becoming the NFL.

Source: ekilby / Flickr

Chicago Blackhawks
> Year of first title: 1934
> League: NHL
> First year in franchise history: 1926
> Total championships: 6

The Chicago Blackhawks won their first title in 1934, then another in 1938. Chicago, despite being one of just six teams in the NHL, did not win another title until 1961. Blackhawks fans then had to wait 50 years for their fourth Stanley Cup.

Source: Mike Powell / Getty Images

Chicago Bulls
> Year of first title: 1991
> League: NBA
> First year in franchise history: 1966
> Total championships: 6

The Chicago Bulls had little postseason success before Michael Jordan arrived. The team finally broke through and won their first title in 1991, their first of six championships in the 1990s.

Source: dgaken / Flickr

Chicago Cubs
> Year of first title: 1907
> League: MLB
> First year in franchise history: 1876
> Total championships: 3

The Chicago Cubs, one of the oldest MLB teams, won back-to-back titles in 1907 and 1908. The Cubs famously floundered for over a century before winning their third World Series in 2016.

Source: kenlund / Flickr

Chicago White Sox
> Year of first title: 1906
> League: MLB
> First year in franchise history: 1901
> Total championships: 3

The Chicago White Sox narrowly edged out their crosstown rivals, the Cubs, by a year, winning their first title in 1906.

Source: FPG / Getty Images

Cincinnati Reds
> Year of first title: 1919
> League: MLB
> First year in franchise history: 1882
> Total championships: 5

The Cincinnati Reds won their first title in 1919 after more than 30 years as a pro baseball organization. They had never made the postseason before.