What’s better than being crowned the best at what you do? I’ll tell you. Doing it again, and again, and again. Some American sports franchises have had to struggle for decades to win a single championship, while others have triumphed multiple times. Of all the teams in American sports history, the New York Yankees have won the most championships, with 27 World Series titles.
Major League Baseball: New York Yankees (27 World Series Titles)
26 Oct 1996: Closer John Wetteland of the New York Yankees celebrates with teammates after Game Six of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves at Yankee Stadium in New York City, New York. The Yankees won the game, 3-2.
The Yanks have built a culture that expects to compete for the World Series every season. After their first title in 1923, the Yankees had three notable dynasty teams that would help win 26 more championships. From 1936-1939, the Yankees when won four consecutive titles, and from 1949-1954, they won five in a row. Those teams were managed by Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel and were led by legends like Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, and Yogi Berra.
The next dynasty came during the late ’90s, when they won World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000. Those teams were managed by Joe Torre, and led by Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, and Bernie Williams.
In 2009, Jeter, C.C Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, and Mark Teixeira helped New York beat the Philadelphia Phillies for their 27th title, a series that I was glued to the television for as a 13-year old Yankees fan.
If you ask me, their most impressive championship came in 1996, when they beat the defending champion Atlanta Braves. Atlanta went up 2-0 in the series but the Yankees battled back and won four straight.
National Hockey League: Montreal Canadiens (25 Stanley Cup Championships
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1991: Montreal Candiens head coach Pat Burns looks on from the bench during an NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers circa 1991 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Montreal Canadiens won their first Stanley Cup in 1919, and have been around longer than the NHL itself. Much of Montreal’s success points to its dominance in the 1950s, 1960’s and 1970s. They won six Stanley Cups between 1950-160, including four consecutive from 1956-1960. Those teams were coached primarily by Joe Blake and featured players like Jean Bèliveau, Henri Richard, and Claude Provost.
During the 1960s, they won the cup in 1965, 1966, 1968, and 1969 as Richard, Serge Savard, Jacques Lemaire, J.C Tremblay, and Yvan Cournoyer highlighted those teams.
Finally, their most recent dynasty began in 1971, as they’d go on to win six Stanley Cups during the ’70s, including four straight. Larry Robinson, Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, and Bob Gainey were key players during that era.
National Basketball Association: Los Angeles Lakers ( 17 NBA Championships)
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Center for the Los Angeles Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speaks at the Los Angeles Lakers 1988 Championship Parade
One of the most historic and successful franchises in all of sports are the Los Angles Lakers. George Mikan, who is considered the NBA’s first dominant big man led helped LA win four of the first five NBA titles, marking the first professional basketball dynasty we’ve ever seen. Those teams also featured Jim Pollard and Vern Mikkelsen.
In 1972, NBA logo icon Jerry West, along with Gail Goodrich, Elgin Baylor and Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain, led the Lakers to an NBA record 33 -game winning streak and won the championship that same year. In 1979, they drafted Magic Johnson and would soon find its most successful run of form to date. Along with Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy, Magic led the “Showtime” Lakers to five championships during the 1980’s.
During the early 2000’s, head coach Phil Jackson, center Shaquille O’Neal and shooting guard Kobe Bryant started a new era in Lakers dominance when they won three consecutive titles in 2001, 2002 and 2003. After O’Neal was traded to the Orlando Magic in 2004, Bryant became the alpha dog and led the Lakers to back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.
NBA: Boston Celtics (17 NBA Championships)
Larry Bird and Kevin McHale high-five during the 1986 NBA Finals
Presumably inspired by the dominant run of the Lakers, the Boston Celtics reigned supreme during the latter years of the 1950’s and throughout the 1960’s in the NBA. Led by Bill Russell, , John Havlicek, Sam Jones, Bob Cousy, K.C Jones and Ed Macauley, the Celtics won eight consecutive NBA championships in 1959 and and 1966. Russell, who served as player-coach from 1966 to 1969, would win five MVP’s and set the record for most rebounds in a game with 49.
In 1978, Boston drafted arguably the most popular Celtic of all-time in Larry Bird. Bird, along with Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson, led Boston to title runs in 1981, 1984 and 1986, while stirring up a heated rivalry with Magic Johnson and “The Showtime Lakers.”
Celtics fans waited over 20 years for their next championships, which came in 2008. Head coach Doc Rivers, and a “Big Three” of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen defeated Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in six games that year.
National Hockey League: Toronto Maple Leafs (13 Stanley Cups)
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TORONTO, ON – MAY 7: Mats Sundin #13, Bryan Berard #34, Dmitri Yushkevich #36 and Lonny Bohonos #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 1999 Quarter Finals of the NHL playoff game action at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canad
Like the Celtics-Lakers in the NBA, the Maple Leafs-Canadiens are one of the most historic rivalries in the NHL. Toronto were crowned with their first Stanley Cup in 1918, while their most recent Stanley Cup succession 1967.
In between that time, they had two dominant stretches, one coming in the late 40’s when they won three straight titles, while the other came during the early 60’s, when they won the whole thing in 1962, 1963, and 1964. Mats Sundin is the all-time leading goal-scorer for the franchise.
National Hockey League: Detroit Red Wings (11 Stanley Cups)
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Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom #5 of the Detroit Red Wings stands next to the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl with Bill Daly, deputy commisioner of the NHL (R) after the Red Wings, after the Red Wings defeated the Stars 4-1 in game six of the Western Conference Finals of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 19, 2008 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
The Canadiens, Maple Leafs, and Detroit Red Wings are a few of the original six teams that made up the NHL between 1942-1967.
The Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup in 1936, and won four consecutive titles between the years 1950-1960. Right winger Gordie Howe, who is considered by some as the greatest NHL player of all-time, partnered with star-studded goalie Terry Sawchuk to help Detroit dominate the 50’s.
In 2008, they would face-off against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. That Red Wings team won that series in six games, was anchored by defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom, and lead on the attack by Henrik Zutterberg , who was the 2008 Stanley Cup MVP.
Major League Baseball: St. Louis Cardinals (11 Championships)
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Trevor Rosenthal #26, catcher Yadier Molina #4 and David Freese #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after the Cardinals defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 in Game Six of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium on October 18, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri.
When the St. Louis Cardinals won their first championship in 1886, they were actually known as the St. Louis Browns. They became the Cardinals in 1900, and had to wait 26 years until their first World Series Championship triumph in 1926, beating a New York Yankees team led by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Right-fielder Billy Southworth, Shortstop Tommy Thevenow, First Baseman Jim Bottomley, and starting pitcher Pete Alexander anchored that team to help defeat the Evil Empire.
The last Cardinals championship came in 2011 when they defeated the Texas Rangers. Lance Berkman, Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter and World Series MVP David Freese played huge roles in that series.
Major League Baseball: Boston Red Sox (9 World Series Championships
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The Boston Red Sox celebrate after winning game four of the 2004 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2004 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 3-0 to win their first World Series in 86 years
From 1903-1918, the Boston Red Sox were a dominant baseball franchise. They won five World Series championships during those years. Those squads were led by The Great Bambino, aka Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, and Cy Young. Their most notable championship run happened during 2004; which is the year they broke their 86-year drought without a World Series. That year, they came back and won from a 3-0 series deficit against arch-rival New York Yankees in the American League Championship series, becoming the first baseball team in the history of the game to do so. Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, and Pedro Martinez came up huge for Boston during that title run.
They’d go on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series that year, but beating my beloved Yankees in seven game is what made that postseason run extra special for the Red Sox.
Major League Baseball: Oakland Athletics ( 9 World Series Championships)
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Pitcher Dave Stewart #34 of the Oakland Athletics delivers a pitch during a game against the New York Yankees in the 1990 season at Oakland Alameda County Stadium in Oakland, California.
Between the years 1903 and 1954, the Oakland Athletics franchise were residing in the city of brotherly love, and were formally known as the Philadelphia Athletics. They won their first World Series in 1910, and would go on to win titles in two out of the next three seasons during the early 1910’s. The organization has seen an influx of some of the greatest players that the game has ever seen, including Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Mark McGwire, and Tony La Rusa.
The franchises most recent championship came in 1989, when Oakland swept the San Francisco Giants. Henderson, the all-time leader in walks, runs, stolen bases and leadoff home-runs in baseball, was featured on that 1989 championship team, and might be the greatest A’ of all-time.
Starting pitcher Dave Stewart won World Series MVP in 1989 after pitching a complete game shoutout in game 1. In 2005, en-route to winning 103 games, Oakland went on the 5th longest streak in MLB history while winning 20 games in a row.
Major League Baseball: San Francisco Giants (8 World Series Championships)
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San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) raises the 2014 championship banner in left field after mounting a horse on his way to deliver the banner to center centerfield before their home opener against the Colorado Rockies
The Giants were based in New York from 1903-1957, and won their first of five World Series championships as the New York Giants in 1905. Right-hander Christy Mathewson pitched three games during the World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics that year, and did not allow one single run in 27 innings of action. 11 years later, they set the MLB record for most consecutive wins with 26. The Giants most recent World Series championship was a seven-game thriller against the Kansas City Royals in 2014, marking their third title during a 5-year stretch. Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner was electric and won MVP of the series, joining the company of baseball’s elite after clutch performances in Games 1, 5, and 7 on short rest. Bumgarner has a career 0.25 ERA in World Series games, good for the greatest mark in the history of baseball.
Major League Baseball: Los Angeles Dodgers (7 World Series Championships)
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Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers holds the Commissioners Trophy after the teams 3-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Six to win the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas
The Dodgers played in Brooklyn under seven different nicknames before they became the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1958. Their first title was won in 1955 in seven games over the New York Yankees, as the team was carried by Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Johnny Podres, and Carl Furilo. Additionally, 2nd baseman Jackie Robinson is notorious for breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, becoming the first African-American to play in the big leagues in 1947. Additionally, without the the emergence of veteran Negro-league superstars Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson during that time, the young Jackie Robinson might’ve never had his shine.
LA’s latest World Series championship came in 2020, in a series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. All-Star center-fielder Mookie Betts was named MVP of the series.
National Basketball Association: Chicago Bulls (6 NBA Championships)
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Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls celebrates after game six of the NBA Final against the Utah Jazz at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Jazz 90-86..
The Chicago Bulls dominated during the 1990’s as their success rested on the laurels of arguably the greatest to ever do it in Michael Jordan. Jordan had Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and B.J Armstrong, to help win the Bulls their first championship in 1991, but they didn’t stop there.
The Bulls won again in 1992, and 1993. After Jordan took a hiatus from basketball during 1993 and 1994, Chicago three-peated again in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Toni Kukoc, Dennis Rodman, and Ron Harper were key additions that supported the star-studded duo of Jordan and Pippen during the late 90’s.
I’d say their most impressive finals performance was the 1997 series against Utah. The Jazz, led by John Stockton and Karl Malone, came back from a 2-0 series deficit to force a game 5. That game is remembered as the famous “flu game”; the game in which Jordan was visibly sick and had to be helped off the court by teammates going into timeouts. Nevertheless, Jordan dropped 38 points in a Chicago victory as the Bulls would go on to win the Finals in six games.
National Basketball Association: Golden State Warriors (6 NBA Championships)
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Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry and MVP Andre Iguodala celebrate after their team defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 to win the 2015 NBA Finals on June 16, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Warriors played in Philadelphia from 1951-1962, and won their first championship as the Philadelphia Warriors in 1956. Neil Johnston and Paul Arizin led those teams and are a few of the greatest players in franchise history. During the early 90’s, “Run TMC” a play-on with 80’s Hip-Hop group “Run DMC” was the nickname for the trio of Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway, and Mitch Richmond. Although they never won a championship together, they’re one of the most iconic trios in NBA history, and one of my favorite NBA teams ever.
Finally, a new era of bay-area dominance was brewed in 2015 when the 67-win Warriors, led by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala defeated LeBron James and the Cavaliers to win the organization’s 4th NBA championship. That same year, they put up the 2nd best winning streak of all-time when they won 28 straight games.
The emerging backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson quickly became known as “The Splash Bros”. With the addition of Kevin Durant two seasons later, Golden State would go on to win two more championships, back-to-back in 2017 and
National Hockey League: Chicago Blackhawks (6 NHL Championships)
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The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after teammate Patrick Kane #88 scored the game-winning goal in overtime to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 and win the Stanley Cup in Game Six of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Wachovia Center on June 9, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Blackhawks have only won the Stanley Cup six times, but they’ve been dominant over the past 10 years with three Stanley Cups over that time-frame. Their first championship came in 1934 when they beat the Detroit Red Wings, clinching the series during a double-overtime victory in game 4. Their latest championship came in 2015 when they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. Stan Mikita is probably known as Mr. Blackhawk, and is arguably the greatest Chicago Blackhawks player of all-time. Patrick Kane might be 2nd on the list of all-time greatest Blackhawks, and had that classic game-winning OT goal against the Flyers to win the Stanley Cup in 2010, which broke my heart as a semi-Flyer fan that only shows up for the playoffs.
National Hockey League: Boston Bruins (6 Stanley Cup Wins)
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Rich Peverley #49 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his third period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 23, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup all the way back in 1929 when they swept the New York Rangers in a best-of-three series. Wingers Harry Oliver and Dit Clapper, along with centers Bill Carson and Dutch Gainor scored goals for the Bruins in that series, while 25 -year old goalie Tiny Thompson allowed zero goals in 120 minutes of play. They won their most recent championship when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games during 2011. Brad Marchand , Mark Recchi and Michael Ryder were monsters on the attack in that series and really carried the team. As for other notable Bruins, Defenseman Bobby Orr is not only a great Bruin, but is considered one of the greatest hockey players in NHL history. Fellow Defenseman Eddie Shore, along with centers Patrice Bergeron and Phil Esposito are other great players in Boston’s history on the ice.
National Football League: New England Patriots (6 Super Bowls)
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New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady embraces Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft (R) after winning 03 Super Bowl XXXVI 03 February, 2002 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Over the last two decades, the New England Patriots have been incredibly dominant and vastly hated by opposing fans. At the start of 2002 though, The Patriots had zero Super Bowl Championships and were underdogs, even with Bill Belichick and a young Tom Brady . That year though, the Patriots shocked the world and defeated the heavily favored St. Louis Rams, aka, “The Greatest Show of Turf” in Super Bowl XXXVI. Their victory against Kurt Warner and Co. would spark the greatest dynasty run that the NFL has ever seen. They managed a combined record of 28-4 during the seasons they won back-to-back Super Bowls in 2003 and 2004, while going 17 straight seasons with ten wins or more from 2003, to 2019. Even though they lost the 2007 Super Bowl to the New York Giants, they steamrolled the league in route to a 16-0 record. Their latest Super Bowl triumph came in 2018 against the Kansas City Chiefs, but their most impressive Super Bowl win has to be that 25-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in 2016.
National Football League: Pittsburgh Steelers (6 Super Bowls)
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TAMPA, FL – FEBRUARY 01: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy as Mike Tomlin and Dan Rooney look on after defeating the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Steelers defeated the Cardinals 27-23
As the 7th oldest franchise in the NFL, The Pittsburgh Steelers are known as one of the most historic teams in not just football, but in professional sports. Steelers fans had to wait 42 years until the team won their first Super Bowl in 1975.
After that however, they were able to win four Super Bowls in the next six seasons while putting together arguably the best football team that has ever been assembled. The team was coached by Chuck Noll, and featured numerous halls of famers including quarterback Terry Bradshaw, cornerback Mel Blount, linebackers Jack Ham and Jack Lambert and defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene.
Their most recent Super Bowl victory came at the expense of the Arizona Cardinals in 2009, and was capped off by a game-winning touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes .
National Basketball Association: San Antonio Spurs (5 NBA Championships)
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Manu Ginobili #20, Tony Parker #9, Patty Mills #8 and Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs celebrate on the bench in the closing minutes of Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals
After the Spurs drafted Tim Duncan in 1997, they became the epitome of winning, class and consistency in the NBA throughout the 2000’s. They won the 1999 NBA Finals under Head coach Gregg Popovich. Popovich, and with a team led by Duncan, David Robinson, and Avery Johnson.
Their true domination started during the early 2000’s though, when they won the NBA Finals in 2003, 2005, and 2007. Those teams were led by Pop, Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli. After a seven-year title drought, San Antonio got another chance to add to their trophy case, and did so in defeating the Miami Heat and their “Big 3” of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, while avenging their gut-wrenching loss to Miami in 2013.
National Football League: San Francisco 49ers (5 Super Bowl Championships)
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San Francisco 49ers Joe Montana in celebration against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 24 at the Louisiana Superdome.
The San Francisco 49ers have featured some of the most legendary players to play for their franchise. Cornerback Ronnie Lot, quarterbacks Steve Young and Joe Montana, and wide receivers Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens are some of the greatest niners of all-time. The pinnacle of their success as a franchise started in the 1981 when they won their first Super Bowl, while their latest Super Bowl win came in 1994. Head coach George Seifert won 98 games and led the franchise to two SuperBowls between 1989 and 1996, while Bill Walsh won 92 games and three Super Bowls between 1979 and 1988. For me, their most memorable championship was Super Bowl XXIII in 1989 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joe Montana threw a game-winning back touchdown pass to receiver John Taylor in that game, and is one of the greatest plays in NFL history.
National Football League: Dallas Cowboys (5 Super Bowl Championships)
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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman signals touchdown 31 Jan during the fourth quarter Super Bowl XXVII. Aikman and the Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills to win the game 52-17.
Famously known around the NFL as “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys won their first Super Bowl in 1972 against the Miami Dolphins. Bob Lily’s sack on Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese is one of the greatest plays in Cowboys history and helped clinch Dallas’ first ever Super Bowl championship. Their latest Super Bowl win came at the expense of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996, and capped off Dallas winning three Super Bowls in four seasons during the 90’s. Quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman anchored all of the Cowboys Super Bowl triumphs. Other notable Cowboys include Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Jason Witten, and of-course their famous president, general manager, and owner since 1989, Jerry Jones. Wade Phillips, Bill Parcels, and Jimmy Johnson are a few notable coaches in Dallas Cowboys history as well.