The Cleveland Indians just ended a remarkable run Friday night. They won 22-straight games and set the American League record for most consecutive wins. They opened up a huge lead in the AL Central and the secured division title. In honor of what they just did, let’s go streaking around the rest of the sporting world.
The 1916 Giants won 26 games in a row. But there is an asterisk with this winning streak. After the first 12 games, the Giants tied the Pirates in the second game of a doubleheader. Due to a rain delay and then darkness the game had to be replayed the next day. The Giants won and kept their streak alive for another 14 games.
The New England Patriots didn’t taste defeat for over a year. Their streak started Oct. 5, 2003, against the Tennessee Titans and ended on October 31, 2004, against the Steelers. That was a span of 21 games including the playoffs!
The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers hold the record with 33. Led by Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, and Jerry West, the Lakers not only set the record for most consecutive wins but also the most wins in a season with 69. That record stood until the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls beat it with 72 wins. They also won the NBA title that year, defeating the Knicks in five games.
From March 9, 1993 to April 14, 1993, the Pittsburgh Penguins won 17 straight games. They tied the final game of the regular season against the Boston Bruins 6-6. They went on to win the next three games before losing again.
Since there are ties in hockey, the longest unbeaten streak belongs to the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers. They went 35 games before they lost. During that streak, they had 25 wins and 10 ties.
Before the 1999 season, Major League Soccer used a shootout in order to eliminate ties. The Los Angeles Galaxy won 15 straight games from September 7, 1997 to May 17, 1998. They only needed one shootout during that stretch.
Back in the 1950s, Oklahoma went on a huge winning streak. They won 47 straight games from October 10, 1953 to November 16, 1957. Oddly enough, the Sooners only won the national championship in 1955 and 1956 even though they were undefeated in 1954.
The longest win streak in college football belongs in D-III. The Mount Union Purple Raiders won 55 straight regular season and playoff games from September 2, 2000 to December 20, 2003.
One of the most impressive and dominant teams ever is the UConn Huskies women basketball team. They are as dominant a team as there is in sports. From November 23, 2014 to March 31, 2017, they owned the women’s collegiate basketball world, winning 111 games.
The longest run in men’s collegiate basketball was spearheaded by one of the best coaches of all time, John Wooden. From January 30, 1971 to January 19, 1974, the UCLA Bruins won 88 straight games. That was the mark for both men’s and women’s basketball until the UConn women broke that mark.
Two of the most impressive winning streaks belong to wrestlers. Cael Sanderson wrestled for Iowa State from 1998-2002. He went 159-0 during his time in college.
Aleksandr Karelin wrestled Greco-Roman style for the Soviet Union and Russia as a heavyweight. He went 13 years without losing! From 1988 until the Sydney Olympics in 2000 nobody beat the mighty Russian grappler. A young American by the name of Rulon Gardner defeated the “Russian Bear” in one of the greatest upsets of all time in any sport.
More Amazing Winning Streaks
- International Soccer (friendlies excluded)- 15, Germany, July 10, 2010- June 28, 2012
- PGA Majors- 4, Tiger Woods, 2000 US- 2001 Masters
- PGA Tournaments- 11, Byron Nelson, 1945
- Beach Volleyball- 112 match wins, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, August 24, 2007- August 31, 2008
- D-I Women’s Volleyball- 109 matches, Penn State, September 21, 2007- September 11, 2010
- Men’s Tennis- 46 matches, Guillermo Vilas, July 11, 1977- October 1, 1977
- Women’s Tennis- 74 matches, Martina Navratilova, February 1984- December 1984
- NASCAR- 10 races, Richard Petty, 1967
- MMA- 31 fights, Renan Barao, April 19, 2008- May 24, 2014