In my very first post in this site, I said that the Mets are arguably the most successful expansion team in baseball history, what with their four World Series appearances (most among expansion teams) and two victories (tied with the Blue Jays and Marlins). I decided to take a closer look, using using playoff appearances and .500 or better winning seasons. Since the teams have not played in the same number of seasons, I used percentages as well. Then I made this nifty chart (leaders in bold):
|Team||Seasons||WS/WS Wins||Playoffs||Winning or .500 Seasons|
|Senator/Rangers||50||1 0||4 (8%)||17 (34%)|
|Angels||50||1 1||9 (18%)||23 (46%)|
|Mets||49||4 2||7 (14%)||23 (46%)|
|Astros||49||1 0||9 (18%)||28 (57%)|
|Expos/Nationals||42||0 0||1 (2%)||17 (40%)|
|Pilots/Brewers||42||1 0||3 (7%)||14 (33%)|
|Padres||42||2 0||5 (11%)||16 (38%)|
|Royals||42||2 1||7 (16%)||18 (42%)|
|Blue Jays||34||2 2||5 (14%)||19 (55%)|
|Mariners||34||0 0||4 (11%)||11 (32%)|
|Marlins||18||2 2||2 (11%)||6 (33%)|
|Rockies||18||1 0||3 (16%)||7 (38%)|
|Diamondbacks||13||1 1||4 (30%)||7 (53%)|
|Rays||13||1 0||2 (15%)||3 (23%)|
Yes, the Mets do indeed lead all expansion teams when it comes to the World Series, but their regular season performance leaves much to be desired — their seven playoff appearances is among the leaders, but fewer than half of their seasons have been .500 or better.
The Astros are the most successful regular season expansion team with nine playoff appearances, tied with the Angels. And they lead the way when it comes to .500 or better seasons. However, with just one losing World Series appearance, it is hard to call them the most successful franchise.
The Angels won in their only World Series appearance. For all of their playoff experience, they need more than one championship to be called the best.
In their short history, the Diamondbacks have done well, with one World Series win, and appearing in the playoffs in 30% of their seasons. Half of their seasons have been winning or better. But it’s too early to call them the best.
The Marlins have two World Series victories, but their regular season record has been dismal.
Then there are the Blue Jays. They too have two World Series victories. And they’ve had five playoff appearances — that 14% is tied with the Mets. And their 55% of .500 or better seasons is second only to the Astros. As much as I wanted to call the Mets the best, the Jays have had the most balanced success in the regular and post-season. Their regular season performance gives the Blue Jays the edge, just slightly, over Mets to make them the most successful expansion franchise in baseball, in my opinion.
But if you want to go ahead and call the Mets the best, I won’t argue with you!