The .700 club is baseball’s most elite circle

Football, basketball and hockey teams regularly finish with a .700 winning percentage. In the NFL for instance, 12 wins in 16 games accounts for .750. The Warriors finished with an .890 winning percentage this past season and the Spurs were .817. One more win would have put the Cavs over .700 as well. And in the NHL, a league which doesn’t count overtime losses as losses, good teams often boast winning percentages of .700 or better.

Baseball with its 162-game schedule is a different breed. To finish at .700 or above, teams must win a minimum of 114 games. The Cubs are challenging .700 in the early days of the season, and if they keep up the pace they could become the first team to have a .700 plus record in 15 years….and the first National League team to reach those heights in 107 years.

Throughout baseball’s long history, only nine teams have finished .700 or above. Here they are:

The .700 club

1906 Cubs 116-36 .763

1907 Cubs 107-45 .704

1909 Pirates 110-42 .724

1927 Yankees 110-44 .714

1931 A’s 107-45 .704

1939 Yankees 106-45 .702

1954 Indians 111-43 .721

1998 Yankees 114-48 .704

2001 Mariners 116-46 .716

The first three teams to achieve the feat were all NL clubs; the next six all AL. Yet only five of those nine teams went on to win the World Series.

The 1906 Cubs, pictured above, recorded the best regular season in history with 116 wins and a .763 winning percentage….yet lost the World Series to their cross-town rivals, the White Sox, aka the Hitless Wonders, in six games.

The next year the Cubs wound up with a .704 percentage, and swept the Tigers in the World Series (with one tie). The Cubs repeated as World Champs in 1908 – and haven’t won since.

In 1909 the Pirates won 110 games and took out Detroit in a seven-game World Series.

Three times the Yankees finished with .700 plus winning percentages — in 1927, 1939 and 1998. The Bronx Bombers followed through with World Series sweeps each time.

The Mariners set the AL record with 116 wins good for a .716 winning percentage in 2001, yet lost the ALCS to the Yankees in five games.

In 1954, the Indians win 111 games in a 154-game season, establishing the AL win percentage record at .721. Yet Cleveland was swept by the New York Giants in the World Series.

Finally, in 1931 the A’s won 107 games, but lost the World Series to the Cardinals in seven games.

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