Lords Of The Ringless

Best Players Never to Win a World Series

Why is Ernie Banks smiling? He won’t like this list.

It’s the club nobody wants to belong to, like the best golfer never to win a major club or the guy at the front of the line when the ticket counter closes.

Just not good enough. Close but no cigar. Losers. No player wants to be on this list. They’re The Lords Of The Ringless.

Ever wonder who are the best baseball players never to win a World Series?

Almost all of them are Hall of Famers, who will be someday. They’ve won dozens of batting titles, hit thousands upon thousands of home runs, earned MVPs, Cy Young Awards and Gold Gloves and achieved milestones such as .400 averages, 500 home runs, 3,000 hits, 300 wins, 500 steals and 500 saves, just to name a few

They’ve won it all….except for a championship.

Some came close. Rube Marquard pitched in 5 World Series, came up on the wrong side every time. Don Sutton, the winningest pitcher on this list, and Gabby Hartnett who hit a famous home run in the dark in 1938 to get the Cubs into the World Series, each played in 4 World Series and lost every one.

Some never got to the World Series. And some of them were Cubs, like Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and more.

Several players on this list are still active, but have played long enough to make their statistics viable. Included is third baseman Alex Rodriguez and closer Trevor Hoffman on the first team, and starter Mike Mussina on the cut list.

Others, like catcher Mike Piazza and outfielder Barry Bonds, just retired this year.

Here they are, The Lords Of The Ringless. They’re the best baseball players never to win a World Series. Career highlights, teams played for and World Series appearances noted in descriptions.


C — Mike Piazza: 396 HRs (most as catcher), 427 overall, .308 lifetime batting average, retired ’07, Dodgers, Mets, Padres, A’s ; 1 WS.

IB — George Sisler: ’22 AL MVP. two batting titles, .407 in ’20, .420 in ’22, .340 lifetime, Browns, Senators, Braves; 0 WS. left

2B — Rod Carew: .328 career batting average, 7 batting titles, AL MVP in ’77 with .388 average, Twins, Angels, others; 0 WS

SS — Ernie Banks: Mr. Cub, 512 lifetime homers, 277 as shortstop, NL MVP in ’58, ’59 as SS, later moved to IB. Cubs, 0 WS.

3B — Alex Rodriguez:: active, 522 lifetime HRs, .306 batting average, MVP 2003, ’05, ’07, Mariners, Rangers, Yankees, 0 WS.

OF — Ty Cobb; best ever .367 lifetime average, 12 batting titles; AL MVP in ’11, second lifetime in hits 4191, fourth in steals with 892. Tigers, A’s;3 WS. right

OF — Ted Williams: last man to hit .400, .406 in 41, Triple Crown winner in ’42, ’47, two-time MVP, .344 average, 521 homers. Red Sox; 1 WS.

OF — Barry Bonds; 7-time NL MVP, 4 in a row 01-04, 762 HRs are most ever, 73 in ’01 single season record. 514 SBs. Pirates, Giants, 1 WS

P — Juan Marichal; 243-142, 2.89 ERA, six 20-win seasons, 26-9 in ’68, Giants, Red Sox, Dodgers; 1 WS

P — Don Sutton: 324 career wins, most by non-champion, won 20 once in ’76, Dodgers, Astros, Brewers, A’s, Angels;4 WS

P — Ferguson Jenkins:284-226 7 20-win seasons, 3192 Ks, ‘ 71 NL Cy Young; Cubs, Rangers; 0 WS

P — Rube Marquard: left-hander, 201-177, record 19 straight wins to start season, 26-11 in ’12, Giants, Dodgers; Reds, Braves; 5 WS

R — Trevor Hoffman; active, all-time saves leader with 532, led NL with 53 saves in ’98, 46 in ’06 Marlins, Padres. 1 WS


C — Carlton Fisk: 376 HRs, 351 as catcher, 269 career average, hit famous HR in ’75 Series, Red Sox, White Sox; 1 WS

IB — Willie McCovey: 521 HRs, ’69 MVP 45-126-.320, ’77 comeback player, Giants, Padres, A’s;1 WS

2B — Nap Lajoie: .broke in with Phillies in 1896, 339 lifetime average, 4 AL batting titles; Phillies, Naps (Indians), A’s; 0 WS

SS — Arky Vaughan; 318 lifetime, won NL batting title in ’35, .385, Pirates, Dodgers; 1 WS

3B — George Kell: .306 career batting average, won AL batting title in ’49; Phillies, Tigers, Red Sox, White Sox, Orioles; 0 WS

OF — Harry Heilmann: .342 career average, 4 AL batting titles, .403 in ’23, Tigers, Reds; 0 WS

OF — Billy Williams: 426 HRs, .296 career batting average, ’72 NL batting title, Cubs, A’s; 0 WS

OF — Tony Gwynn; 338 average, 3141 hits, 8 NL batting titles, .394 in ’94, Padres, 2 WS right

P — Phil Niekro: knuckleballer, 318 wins, 24 years from ’64 to ’87, Braves, Yankees, Indians; 0 WS

P — Gaylord Perry, 314 wins, AL Cy Young ’72, NL Cy Young ’78, Giants, Indians, Rangers, Padres, Yankees, Braves, Mariners; 0 WS

P — Tommy John: 288-231, left-hander, 26-year career from ’63 to ’89, White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels, A’s; 3 WS

P — Early Wynn, 300 career wins, Cy Young ’59, Senators, Indians, White Sox, ,2 WS

R — Lee Smith, 478 saves; Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees, Orioles. Angels, Reds, Expos 0 WS


C — Gabby Hartnett: lifetime BA .297, .236 HRs, ’38 HR helps win pennant for Cubs, Giants, 4 WS

IB — Don Mattingly: .307 lifetime average; AL batting title .343 in ’84; ’85 AL MVP, 9 Gold Gloves,Yankees; 0 WS

2B — Ryne Sandberg; .284 average, 282 HRs, NL MVP ’84, 9 Gold Gloves, Phillies, Cubs; 0 WS

SS — Luke Appling, .310 lifetime hitter, 20 years with White Sox, ’30-’50, hit HR at age 75 in ’82 exhibition: 0 WS

3B — Ron Santo; 342 HRs, .277 lifetime average, 5 straight Gold Gloves ’64-’68, Cubs, White Sox, 0 WS

OF — Carl Yastrzemski; 452 HRs, 3419 hits; MVP and Triple Crown in ’67, Red Sox, 2 WS

OF –Sammy Sosa: 609 Hrs, 5th all-time, 3 years with 60 HRs, NL MVP ’98, Rangers, White Sox, Cubs, Orioles; 0 WS

OF –Lloyd Waner: Big Poison, .333 average, 3152 hits, Pirates, Dodgers, Braves, Yankees; 1 WS

OF — Paul Waner: Little Poison, .316 lifetime, Pirates, Braves, Reds, Phillies, Dodgers, ; 1 WS (’27 with brother Lloyd)

OF — Chuck Klein: .320 lifetime, 300 HRs, ’32 MVP, ’33 Triple Crown, Phillies, Cubs, Pirates; 0 WS

P — Robin Roberts:286 career wins, 6-time 20-game winner in ’50s, Phillies, Orioles, Astros, Cubs, 1 WS

P — Ted Lyons: 260 career wins, won 20 3 times,White Sox ’23-46, 0 WS

P — Rube Waddell, 193 wins, 26-11 in ’05, left-hander,Pirates., Cubs, A’s, Browns; 0 WS

P — Mike Mussina: active, 256-147 career, .635 win percentage; Orioles, Yankees, 1 WS

R — John Franco: 424 saves, 4th all-time; led NL in saves in ’88, ’90, ’94, Reds, Mets, Astros; 1 WS


7 Comments on “Lords Of The Ringless”

  1. NYWarrior says:

    Great post, Rick.

    I think your biggest miss here is Robin Yount ……. .285 average, 3142 hits, 1406 RBI, 2-time MVP (at two different positions), 250+ in SBs/HRs, and one WS appearance where he hit a robust .414

    To think Mattingly made the ‘final cut’ but Rockin’ Robin did not makes me think u live in NY 😉

  2. sportslifer says:

    Great catch NY Warrior, somehow I whiffed on Robin. He came close with Milwaukee in 1982. I’d have to put him on the second team at SS over Arky Vaughn. Ernie Banks still ranks first in my mind.

  3. […] New York or anywhere else. Mike Mussina. Jason Giambi. Bobby Abreu, Kyle Farnsworth. And the true Lord of the Ringless, Alex […]

  4. sportslifer says:

    Upon further review, Ken Griffey is a strong candidate for this squad, perhaps even a second team outfielder. Griffey has never played in a World Series.

    And Joe Torre deserves consideration as a Final Cuts catcher, maybe just a tad behind Gabby Hartnett, who made the Hall of Fame. Torre will more than likely make the Hall as a manager, not a player.

  5. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;
    ) Cheers!

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