I was debating the 2010 season/postseason with colleague Jeff Schultz, who was talking about how strong the Phillies are and how tough it will be to knock them off.
I agreed, but said their pitching’s not great and one key injury (Roy Halladay? Ryan Howard?) could make them vulnerable.
Then I asked him, when’s the last time an NL team won three consecutive pennants? I didn’t even know the answer, just knew it had been at least 20 years and that history says the Phillies won’t do it. So I looked it up.
Without looking it up, do most of you all realize how long it’s been since a team won three consecutive NL pennants? The Braves won back-to-back pennants a couple of times since the League Championship Series era began in 1969, and the Reds and Dodgers have also won consecutive pennants in that period.
But the last team to win three in a row? You have to go back more than six decades. That’s right, you’ve got to go back to the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals of Stan Musial and ace Mort Cooper, a quarter-century before the LCS era. Back when they played just one postseason series, the World Series.
However, while it’s exceedingly rare in the NL, five AL teams have won at least three consecutive pennants just since the LCS era began in 1969, including Oakland twice and the Yankees twice (including four in a row).