In trying to make the case that the Spanish national soccer team (“La Roja”) is having the greatest 5-year run of any team — in any sport — in history, the Wall Street Journal dismisses Casey Stengel’s 1949-53 Yankees because those squads, which won five straight World Series, “won only 71% of their World Series games.” Put otherwise, of course, the National League champions of 1949-53 combined to win just 29 percent of their World Series games.
To be more exact, those Yankees of DiMaggio (in his last three seasons — ’49-51) and Mantle (in his first three — ’51-53) won 71.429 percent of their World Series games. In comparison, before going on to sweep the Pirates in four games, the ’27 Yankees of Ruth and Gehrig — generally considered the greatest team in baseball history — had a regular-season record of 110 wins and 44 losses, for a winning percentage of 71.429 percent.
Now, I’m not a fan of the modern-day Yankees, nor do I dislike soccer. But if soccer fans want to convince baseball fans that a soccer team is the best team of all-time, they’re going to have do to better than this.