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The Greatest Dynasties in Major League Baseball History

Baseball fans don’t really like dynasties. If you rooted for one of the 29 teams shut out of the winner’s circle in the late 1990s, you probably hated the Yankees with a passion. Likewise, many fans came to sympathize with the Dodgers faithful in their loathing of the Giants by 2014. When that championship run ended, you could feel a collective sigh of relief sweep across the baseball world.

That’s because success — like familiarity — breeds contempt. Once the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016, they shed the “lovable loser” label faster than an Aroldis Chapman heater. If the Cubbies manage to win another championship in the coming years, they’ll become a popular target of hate and ridicule. (Actually, it’s already started.)

Fans of dynasty teams joyfully stand on the other side. Few things are more satisfying than seeing your team in the playoffs every year. When that club rack ups multiple titles within a few years, it builds a fanbase for generations. So let’s look at Major League Baseball’s most loved and hated of all time. Here are the 10 greatest MLB dynasties.

10. Boston Red Sox (1912–18)

Team photo of 1916 Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series in five games over the Brooklyn Robins, becoming one of the greatest MLB dynasties.

Team photo of 1916 Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series in five games over the Brooklyn Robins, becoming one of the greatest MLB dynasties. Photo of the 1916 Boston Red Sox with Babe Ruth fourth from left in the bottom row | Public Domain

If you followed the 2004 Red Sox, you heard a lot about 1918. Prior to the ’04 title, Boston fans experienced a drought of epic proportions — 86 years, to be exact. But that ’18 club, which featured Babe Ruth as both pitcher and slugger, was wrapping up a dynasty of its own. The club won four titles in a seven-year span, culminating in a six-game win over the Cubs in a season shortened by World War I.

Maybe the most amazing thing about this period in Red Sox history is the idiocy of the team’s ownership. We know about Harry Frazee selling Ruth to the Yankees in 1919. But in 1916 the team President did something almost as dumb by dumping Hall of Famer Tris Speaker over a sum of $5,000. Who knows how good this team might have been, but even with those moves it ended up being a genuine dynasty.

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