Oct 31, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; The San Francisco Giants team poses for photos during the World Series celebration at City Hall. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in game seven of the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
#2. San Francisco Giants
Taking the number two spot on our list is the 3-time World Series champion San Francisco Giants. As I said in my guidelines, championships are are crucial, but they are not everything or else the Oakland A’s would best the Giants. The main reason that I have placed the Giants ahead of the A’s is recent success. San Francisco has won three World Series in the past five years and are currently making a strong push to make the postseason this year (2.5 GB of the Dodgers in NL West, 4.5 GB of the Cubs in the Wild Card).
Although the Giants are known for their recent dynasty quest, the franchise is very historical and was a key component to the development of Major League Baseball. In fact, the Giants have the more players in the Hall of Fame than any other franchise, including the New York Yankees. Some of these players include Willie Mays, who is fifth all-time in home runs (660), 10-time All Star pitcher Juan Marichal, six-time home run champion Mel Ott, and Willie McCovey, who, according to The Sporting News All-Time 100 list, is ranked the 56th ranked player to ever play in the MLB.
Before coming to the Bay in 1958, the New York Giants captured five World Series titles (1905, 1921, 1922, 1933, and 1954). The new San Francisco Giants would have some good years, including winning the National League in 1989, but would eventually lose to the Oakland Athletics in the World Series. Again in 2002 the Giants would win the NL Pennant, but wound up losing to Troy Glaus and the Anaheim Angels in a nail-biting Game 7.
Oct 25, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants fans wave rally towels before game four of the 2014 World Series against the Kansas City Royals at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
As for more recent times, the Giants have become one of the most respected and feared teams in the league; particularly, in the postseason. Since the 2009 season, San Francisco has a cumulative winning percentage of .539, won three NL West Division titles, three NL Championships, and, of course, the three World Series rings (all of those coming in 2010, 2012, and 2014). The first World Series victory of 2010 was truly something special, and it is assured that no Bay Area resident will forget our “Misfits” or “Torture”.
Franchise player Buster Posey and country strong Madison Bumgarner have already led San Francisco to three titles, and both have yet to turn 29 years old. With the core of Posey and Bumgarner, the rise of Joe Panik and Matt Duffy, and the raw talent that Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford possess set the Giants up for a long, successful future. By no means are the Giants finished competing for championships, and the high respect that others have for their organization is reason for their number two ranking.