The MLB pennant races in 2017 look relatively tame, so relive some of the best battles to the finish in the history of the league to get your fix for September excitement.
With September right around the corner, MLB fans should be gearing up for an exciting stretch run, right? Well…not so fast this season. Only one division, the NL Central is still being seriously contested. Three division leaders have a lead of more than 10 games, and it’s hard to get too excited about the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals attempting to beat up on the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers enough to chase down the Cleveland Indians.
How about that topsy-turvy AL Wild Card race? Six teams are still within five games of the Twins for the AL’s final playoff spot, but it’s an uninspiring bunch that does not appear to hold any legitimate contenders for the World Series. Perhaps two of them will get red-hot instead of playing .500 ball and hoping everyone else is worse. That would make for a memorable pennant race.
While the rest of this MLB seasons winds its way to the finish, why not reflect on some of the greatest pennant races in league history? Here are the 25 best. We’ve got tie-breakers, final-day drama, and plenty of big collapses.
25. The Amazin’ Mets, 1969
The 1969 NL pennant race was not necessarily one of the most exciting in MLB history, but it was one of the most improbable. The 1969 season will always have a special place in MLB lore simply for the sheer improbability of it all. The New York Mets won the NL East by eight games and picked up 100 wins in the process.
It’s not that the Mets won 100 games on the backs of dominant pitchers like Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. The Mets had never even posted a winning year in their first seven seasons of existence and lost over 100 games five times and only finished out of last place twice. This was the most improbable worst-to-first in MLB history an might never be topped. The Mets cemented their status as the ultimate Cinderella by beating the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.