As a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, I know all about "maybe next year." As a mathematician, I know all about "statistically improbable," too. The following nine teams have long, dark (sometimes improbable) histories, but they also have great fans that stand by their teams.
1. Chicago Cubs - last won the world series in 1908. They last played in the World Series in 1945. They have had many good teams since then, but a lot of bad luck as well.
2. Cleveland Indians - last won the world series in 1948. One of the greatest sports movies of all time, Major League, played on this team's history of futility.
3. San Francisco Giants - last won the world series in 1954. They were the New York Giants back then. San Franciso is one of the few Major League baseball cities that have never had a world series championship.
4. Texas Rangers - have never even played in the world series. Their franchise began in 1961 as the Washington (D.C.) Senators. They have only reached the playoffs three times (1996, 98 and 99). Each time they were eliminated in the division series (first round) by the New York Yankees.
5. Houston Astros - have never won the world series. Their franchise began in 1962. For a very short time, they were known as the Houston Colt .45s. They had a great team in 2005 that charged into the World Series, only to run out of steam against the Chicago White Sox.
6. Milwaukee Brewers - have never won the world series. Their franchise began in 1969, the first two years as the Seattle Pilots. This year, they reached the playoffs for the first time since 1982, when they lost the world series to the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite their relative success this season, the future does not look bright - they will probably lose their two best pitchers to free agency during the offseason.
7. San Diego Padres - have never won the world series. Their franchise began in 1969. Except for two trips to the world series, they have had a fairly lackluster history.
8. Washington Nationals - have never even played in the world series. Their franchise began in 1969 as the Montreal Expos. In 2005, they changed their name and moved to D.C. I consider them especially cursed: their two best seasons (1981 and 1994) were derailed by labor conflicts between the players and owners.
9. Seattle Mariners - have never even played in the world series. Their franchise began in 1977. Despite having the best regular season record (116-46 in 2001) in modern baseball history, they have been consistent chokers in the postseason.
I cooked up this list as part of Mrs. N's 9-on-the-9th project. Check it out!