Are the ’86 Mets the best MLB team of the past half-century? We rank the top 10 contenders
- Covers MLB for ESPN.com
- Former deputy editor of Page 2
- Been with ESPN.com since 1995
The 1986 New York Mets were known for their brawling, partying and wild cast of characters that made them one of the most memorable baseball teams in the sport’s long history. They should also be remembered for their winning. They won 108 games, tied with the 1975 Cincinnati Reds for most in the National League since the 1909 Pirates, and then beat the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox in two of the most dramatic playoff series ever. ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary on the ’86 Mets, “Once Upon a Time in Queens,” covers the amazing story of the Mets, running over two nights, Sept. 14-15.
I thought it would be fun to compare the Mets to nine of the other best teams of the divisional era (since 1969) — all teams that won at least 100 games (or, in the case of the 1995 Braves and 2020 Dodgers, were on pace to win 100 over a 162-game schedule) and won the World Series. So apologies to the 1972-74 A’s, who won three straight World Series but didn’t win 100 games in any of those three years. No 1995 Indians or 2001 Mariners, two of the best regular-season teams of the era, but who failed to win the World Series. And no more than one team per franchise.
The 10 teams, including their Pythagorean record and their league ranking in runs scored and runs allowed:
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