Best All-Time Baseball Rivalry
There is no doubt that the Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees rivalry is the all-time best baseball rivalry. The only question is, could it be the greatest rivalry in all of sports? With my humblest apologies to fans of the Auburn vs Alabama or Michigan vs Ohio State rivalries, or any of the other great sports rivalries, you have to rate Bosox - Yanks as the biggest rivalry in American sports history.
The Boston - New York Major League Baseball rivalry has existed for over 100 years now in one fashion or another. However, many questioned for a good period of time if it was, in fact, truly a rivalry in the truest sense of the terms. The reason for that is because, typically, a rivalry consists of two relatively equal teams that both have their share of victories.
However, after an early period of dominance prior to 1918 in which they regularly beat up on the Yankees en route to 5 World Series Championships, the Red Sox went into a pronged slump, blamed by many on the sale of Baba Ruth to the Yankees, in which the team went 86 years without winning a World Series. And it was also around that time that the Yankees, bolstered by the acquisition of Ruth, began an era of dominance unmatched in professional sports.
From 1918 until 2004, while the Red Sox, despite having talent most years comparable or equal to the Yankees, floundered and fumbled away any and all chances at World Series success, the Yankees were running rampant through the rest of baseball. They won 26 World Series Championships during that time period, far and away the best in baseball. And while the Red Sox certainly won their fair share of games against their vaunted rivals, it always seemed that the Yankees, when all was said and done, won the biggest of games, and won them when it counted.
A perfect example of this could be found in 1978, when the Red Sox, after blowing a sizeable late summer divisional lead to finish in a tie with the Yankees at the conclusion of the regular season, managed to also lose the one game playoff that took place following the season, a game decided by a memorable home run off the bat of otherwise Yankee also-ran Bucky Dent.
The tide, however, finally began to turn in the year 2004. And to many modern baseball fans, it was not until 2004 when the rivalry, in the true sense of the word, was born. It was in 2004 when the Red Sox, after decades and decades of utter humiliation at the hands of the Yankees, finally struck back, climbing out of a 3 games to 0 hole in the 2004 American League Championship Series against New York, and eventually winning Game 7 in Yankee Stadium.
Prior that that, no team in the history of baseball had ever come back from 3-0 down to win a series. With that momentum behind them, the Red Sox went on to steamroll the St. Louis Cardinals in 4 straight and with that, their World Series drought was over.
But to many Red Sox fans, the weight was lifted not with the World Series win, but by finally beating the Yankees when it counted. Since then, the Red Sox have won a 2nd MLB World Series Title, and also, in 2007, ended the Yankees streak of 9 consecutive American League East divisional crowns.
Sorry BoSox fans, we think the 1998 New York Yankees were the best team ever. You can find out why if you read Best All-Time Major League Baseball Team.
Another great baseball rivalry is the Best SEC Baseball Rivalry (Ole Miss vs Miss State).
If you are interested in other great sports rivalries, we've written about many of them at:
- Best All-Time NFL Rivalry
- Biggest All-Time College Football Rivalry
- Best All-Time SEC Football Rivalry Games
- Best All-Time NBA Rivalry
- Biggest SEC Basketball Rivalry
- Biggest All-Time Tennis Rivalry
- Best Golf Rivalry of All-Time
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