Scroll To Top

What Defines a Dynasty, and Has MLB Had Any the Past 30 Years?

What Defines a Dynasty, and Has MLB Had Any the Past 30 Years?

Last month, the Kansas City Chiefs won the NFL Super Bowl, and immediately after there was talk, even validation, of this team’s dynasty. After all, the Chiefs have been in the Super Bowl four out of the last five years, winning three.

  • Kansas City’s last two titles came in consecutive years, the first team go back to back since the New England Patriots

And speaking of the Pats, New England’s domination was the definition of dynasty the first two decades of the 21st century. The Brady-Belichick teams were in four Super Bowls from 2000–2009, winning three titles, including back to back in ’04 and ’05.

  • From 2010–19, they won three Super Bowls in five appearances

In the NBA, it’s much the same. Since 2000, the newer dynasties include the Lakers, followed by the three-time champion San Antonio Spurs, and the more recent Golden State Warriors. Some might add the Miami Heat to the list.

Defining a dynasty.

  • Multiple titles over a shorter span of years
  • A record/history of winning/dominating over that span
  • Back-to-back titles
  • Memorable games, memorable plays and all-star players

Take much of that into account and that’s how dynasties are remembered. All these factors come together to make the team’s stretch of success memorable.

What about Major League Baseball?

How do recent teams stack up against the other professional leagues over the past 30 years, dynasty-wise?

Of course in baseball, the word “dynasty” instantly calls to mind the New York Yankees, who had four time spans from the 1920s through the 1960s that qualify:

  • 1923–1932: four titles in ten seasons
  • 1936–1943: six titles in eight seasons
  • 1947–1953: six titles in seven seasons
  • 1956–1962: four titles in seven seasons

Yankees' World Series Trophies

The late ’90s Yankees. Four World Series titles, including three straight.

A snapshot of their run. The Yankees hadn’t even been in a World Series for almost 20 years when the 1996 season rolled around. But from that season through 2001, they’d win five American League Pennants and take four World Series, clearly achieving a dynasty tag during that time as well:

  • 1996: Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves in six games
  • 1998: Yankees swept the San Diego Padres
  • 1999: Yankees swept the Atlanta Braves
  • 2000: Yankees defeated the New York Mets in five

In the ’98, ’99 and 2000 World Series, the Yankees went 12-1 for a .923 winning percentage.

In 2001, the Yankees lostto the Arizona Diamondbacks in a seven-game World Series. The Yankees were the sentimental favorite after the September 11th attacks, and they nearly won their fourth consecutive title. However, Game 7 ended on a walk-off soft liner with the bases loaded. The Yankees were also in the Series in 2003 but lost to the Florida Marlins. The team had gone to the World Series six out of eight seasons.

A dynasty indeed.

The 2010–2014 San Francisco Giants. Three World Series titles in five years.

Over a span of five seasons, the Giants made it to the World Series three times and won each time. With that achievement, they joined the Yankees as the only other recent team to win that number of titles over that span of time.

  • 2010: Giants defeated the Texas Rangers in five games
  • 2012: Giants swept the Detroit Tigers
  • 2014: Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in seven

These were the Bruce Bochy–led Giants that featured aces Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum and perennial All-Star catcher Buster Posey. They took the World Series Championship every other year over five seasons and dominated Major League Baseball. Although they haven’t been back to the World Series since 2014, there’s little doubt they were a dynasty during their run.

The 2004–2007 Boston Red Sox: Two titles in four years...then two more later.

The team that hadn’t won a World Series in 86 years (thanks to the “Curse of the Bambino”) ended that in the first decade of the 21st century. They won two titles over four seasons.

  • 2004: Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals
  • 2007: Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies

Of course, except for Yankee fans, probably everyone who followed baseball was rooting for the Red Sox, especially after their dramatic comeback against the Yankees in the ALCS after being down 3 games to 1 in ’04. Their ’07 sweep of the Rockies looked like it could be the start of something special. On top of that, the Red Sox were winning while the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots were also winning. The city itself felt like a dynasty.

The Red Sox certainly had a remarkable and memorable history-making turnaround and run; however, it fell short of a dynastic run. Still, they’d be World Series winners again in 2013 and 2018 (over the Cardinals and Dodgers, respectively.) Give them credit for shedding their “losers” label.

The 2017–2022 Houston Astros: Dynasty or tainted legacy?

In 2005, the Houston Astros played in their first-ever World Series against the Chicago White Sox and were swept. Maybe that loss stuck with them. In the 2017 World Series, they beat the powerful L.A. Dodgers in seven games.

Of course, everyone knows the back story. The Astros were investigated for and found guilty of using a sophisticated sign-stealing scheme that went beyond being “part of the game.” The manager and general manager were suspended and then fired, but no player was suspended.

Still, the Astros’ 2017 win, on paper at least, started their dynastic-like run. They won two titles in four World Series appearances over six seasons.

  • 2017: Astros defeated the Dodgers in seven games
  • 2022: Astros defeated the Phillies in six

In 2019, the Washington Nationals defeated the Astros in seven games. In 2021, the Astros lost to the Atlanta Braves in six. However, the fact remains that the cheating scandal, which began with their first-ever World Series Championship, haunts them still and may for a long while.

Of course, they don’t see it that way: Manager Dusty Baker was quoted as saying, “What happened before, it doesn’t pass over completely, but we have turned the page.”

But a lot of baseball fans keep flipping the page back to 2017.

Resources:;; “The Word Series: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Fall Classic: Josh Leventhal, Tess Press; of WS champions;;