Monday, March 14, 2011

Sports/Decade Countdown: #2

We continue now with our #2 city/decade on our list of the top 10 cities and decades of the past 110 years. For an overview/explanation of the rankings, and the system used to get them, click here.

The list so far:
#10: Boston, 1970s
#9: Boston, 1980s
#8: Detroit, 1940s
#7: Detroit, 1950s
#6: Boston, 2000s
#5: New York, 1920s
#4: Boston, 1960s
#3: Pittsburgh, 1970s

Well, there's only two cities left on this list, and based on the competition they've had, you know just how impressive these city/decades had to be. When you look at the year-by-year averages that occurred at these times, it's nearly impossible to deny how they came to be at the top 2...and a close top-2 it was. If you read the opening post in this series (see link up top), you probably have a pretty good idea which city is about to show up. If you didn't...

2) New York, 1930s (Score: 314.87)—3 MVPs/10 Titles/17 Finals/22 Playoffs/56.6 W%
DiMaggio won his first MVP award in 1939, batting .381
 In a decade known mostly for the Great Depression, and New York's Wall Street having plenty to do with that, it was in that same city that the idea of sports greatness started to emerge. What a time to be in New York: Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio (right) winning 5 World Series titles with the Yankees, while the city averaged a championship trophy nearly every year--spread across three different sports. The baseball Giants won a trophy of their own, and the football Giants won two NFL Championship games, before the AFC came around, and thus the Super Bowl. (Another interesting thing about the past--can you imagine an expansion team today giving themselves the same name as another team in the same city?) Even the New York Rangers won two Stanley Cups, so it really seemed the whole theme of the whole city was “win.” With the exception of the Brooklyn Dodgers (.481), every other team won more than 57% of their games—the Giants (.672) and the Yankees (.636) leading the way. Think about a winning percentage of .672 over a decade in today's MLB: that's 109 wins every season, for 10 seasons in a row. Even the Yankees' winning percentage still works out to over 103 wins, per season, for a decade. If any team in today's world put up win totals like that, they would have too many Hall of Famers to count--including whoever managed them. Really, the only low number here were MVPs, an award that hadn't quite come around to exist yet. Even with a bunch more MVPs, however, they still wouldn't be able to compete with #1, as you will all see tomorrow. Still, the star power and winning percentage (4th-best for a city/decade in the study) pushed the Big Apple all the way up to number two.

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