What is the record for most consecutive playoff wins in baseball?
The Kansas City Royals started the 2014 postseason by winning their first six games. Adding the final three games of the 1985 World Series, the Royals had won nine straight playoff games through Saturday’s Game 2 of the ALCS.
That’s an impressive streak by any measure, but it’s not quite the record.
The nine-game playoff winning streak was tied for the sixth-longest in major-league history.
The record is 12 held by, of course, the New York Yankees, who have done it twice. The first time was when the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig teams produced World Series sweeps in 1927, 1928 and 1932.
That achievement was matched by the Derek Jeter-led Yankee teams in 1998 and 1999, winning seven straight in the ALCS and World Series in 1998 and continuing through a three-game sweep in ALDS and into the ALCS in 1999.
Three teams are tied with 10-game playoff winning streaks: The Joe DiMaggio Yankees in 1937, 1939 and 1941; the Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire Oakland Athletics of 1989 and 1990; and the San Francisco Giants of 2012 and this season.
The Red Sox won nine straight from 2007 to 2008.
Four teams won seven straight: the 1975-76 Reds, the 1990 and 1995 Reds, the 2004 Red Sox and the 2005 White Sox.
All the teams, including the Royals in 1985, won at least one World Series.
Long postseason winning streaks appear to be more common lately, as the 2006 Tigers and 2007 Rockies also had streaks of seven or more in a single year to go with the Giants, Red Sox, White Sox in the past 10 years.
Because of all the winning the Royals have not had a chance to add much to a streak where they do have a share of the record: most consecutive games won when facing elimination in the playoffs.
Kansas City’s win over Oakland in the wild-card game was the franchise’s seventh straight win in that situation. That streak began in Game 5 of the 1985 ALCS against Toronto.
The Royals won three straight in that series before facing elimination three more times in the 1985 World Series against the Cardinals.
They are tied the Giants for the longest streak in history. San Francisco added its seventh straight elimination win in the NL wild-card game.
The 1998-2001 Yankees hold the record for the most consecutive series won: 11. They won three each year from 1998-2000 in winning the World Series and two more while getting to Game 7 of the 2001 Series. The Giants have currently won seven straight series (and a WC game) and the Royals are at three. Oddly the Florida/Miami Marlins are the only team to never have lost a postseason series. They have won six straight, winning the 1997 and 2003 World Series in their only playoff appearances.