Chicago Cubs: ESPN ranks 2016 World Series as 12th best in history

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit recently ranked all 115 World Series contests, from worst to best. Chicago Cubs fans may be surprised that 2016 is at number 12.

In a recent article that is sure to draw the ire of Chicago Cubs fans, Sam Miller of recently ranked all 115 World Series contests, from worst to best – and the 2016 series, in which the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in a historic battle, is ranked at #12.

Considering that there have been 115 World Series played in MLB history, #12 is pretty good. Yet it won’t be a surprise if Cubs fans take issue with the ranking. The series had many elements of a classic: two teams that hadn’t won a championship in a very long time, a comeback from being down three games to one and three one-run games, including a back-and-forth Game 7 for the ages.

I know it’s hard for us Cubs fans to be objective when looking at these rankings, but there are some World Series that were ranked higher that certainly deserved their high ranking, including:

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  • 1975: This series earned the #1 ranking and featured five one-run contests, including the classic Game 6 and the overlooked but still memorable Game 7.
  • 1991: This series was ranked #2 and also featured five one-run contests, including the Game 7 pitcher’s duel (in contrast to the offensive explosion of Game 7 in 2016).
  • 2001: This series was ranked #6 and featured four one-run games, including three ninth inning comebacks and the classic Game 7, all in the wake of the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • 2011: This series was ranked #5 and featured three one-run contests, including Game 6, possibly the most entertaining World Series game of all time.

I think what makes the article feel so empty for Cubs fans is that, while some of the higher-ranking contests got a lot of treatment, 2016 got just a short paragraph about the Jason Heyward speech. The 2012 contest, which was ranked #111, had more words written about it than 2016 did. (Strangely, 1991 got very little treatment as well.)

Three-to-one comebacks and huge championship droughts broken, two key elements of 2016, apparently weren’t a huge factor in ESPN’s rankings. None of the six contests in which a team came back from three-to-one made the top ten. Meanwhile the Boston Red Sox victory of 2004 was ranked #70, while the Chicago White Sox victory of 2005 was ranked #35, though admittedly, both were sweeps and 2004, in particular, was a dud.

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Of course, this article is based on the opinion of just one person, though it’s sure to generate some discussion. Again, it’s hard for Cubs fans to be objective when the 2016 victory meant so much to us, but there have been quite a few other good World Series in history. As baseball fans, we can celebrate all of them.