Who Has the Most Championships in All Sports?
The answer might surprise you – it’s actually a tie!
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Championships in Major U.S. Sports
The New York Yankees have the most championships in all of major U.S. professional sports with 27. The Yankees have won the World Series 27 times, the most in MLB history. The Los Angeles Lakers have the second most championships with 16, followed by the Boston Celtics with 17.
As of the 2019 Major League Baseball season, 27 teams have won the World Series, the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB). The World Series is played between the two champions of MLB’s two leagues—the American League (AL) and the National League (NL)—and since 1903 has been contested largely without interruption. Indeed, no scheduled games were canceled as a result of WWI, WWII, or any other conflict until 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced their postponement. The 2020 World Series is currently ongoing.
Of MLB’s 30 current franchises, only 14 have won a World Series title. Of those 14 teams, seven have won multiple championships. The New York Yankees have the most World Series titles with 27, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals with 11 and the Boston Red Sox with nine.
The NFL championship game, now called the Super Bowl, was first played in 1967. Prior to 1967, the NFL champion was decided by a vote of league owners. From 1933 to 1966, the NFL champion was the team that had the best win-loss record at the end of the season. In 1967, the NFL expanded from 12 teams to 14 teams. The league realigned itself into two divisions, the Eastern Division and the Western Division. The four division winners would qualify for playoff berths.
In 1970, the league further expanded to 16 teams with the addition of two more divisions, the Central Division and the Capitol Division. As a result of this expansion, four more teams qualified for playoff berths. The tournament would now consist of eight teams – four from each conference. In 1975, an additional wild card team was added to each conference (for a total of 10), meaning that more than half of the league’s teams would now qualify for postseason play.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America. The league was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It changed its name to the National Basketball Association in 1949 after merging with the rival National Basketball League (NBL). The NBA Finals is the championship series of the NBA and the conclusion of the sport’s postseason. All Finals have been played in a best-of-seven format, and contested between the winners of the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.
The Eastern Conference has 34 championships, while the Western Conference has 28. The Boston Celtics have won the most championships with 17, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers with 16.
The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, founded in 1917. The Stanley Cup, the oldest and most prestigious championship trophy in all of professional sports, is awarded to the playoff champion at the end of each season.
The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful team in NHL history, having won the Stanley Cup a record 24 times. They are followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs (13), Detroit Red Wings (11), and Boston Bruins (6).
Championships in Other U.S. Sports
The United States is home to some of the biggest sporting leagues in the world. In fact, many of the most popular sports in the world are played in the U.S. These include basketball, baseball, football, and hockey. While the U.S. may not have the most championships in every sport, it does have the most in some.
In Major League Soccer (MLS), the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo have both won three MLS Cups apiece. The Galaxy have won a total of five championships when you include their two MLS Supporter’s Shields, while the Dynamo have won four trophies when you factor in their two Texas Derbies.
The WNBA began play in 1997 and is currently made up of 12 teams. The league plays a 34-game regular season schedule from May to September, followed by a postseason tournament leading to the WNBA Finals. The Finals are a best-of-five series played between the winners of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals.
Here is a look at the teams that have won the most championships in WNBA history:
Team: Seattle Storm
Championships: 3 (2004, 2010, 2018)
Team: Los Angeles Sparks
Championships: 3 (2001, 2002, 2016)
Team: Houston Comets
Championships: 4 (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000)
Although not as widely known as some other U.S. sports leagues, the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) actually has a very rich history dating back to 1916. Based in Florida, the PGA is comprised of 41 different tournaments that are held throughout the year all across the country. The PGA Championship is the organization’s flagship event, and is considered to be one of the four major championships in professional golf (along with The Masters, The Open Championship, and the Players Championship).
Since 1916, there have been a total of 97 different PGA Championships held. Of those 97 champions, only five players have managed to win the title more than once: Walter Hagen (11), Jack Nicklaus (5), Tiger Woods (4), Arnold Palmer (4), and Ben Hogan (3). Interestingly enough, of those five multiple-time champions, only Tiger Woods has won the PGA Championship in consecutive years – he accomplished that feat on three separate occasions (1999-2000, 2006-2007, 2012-2013).
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. In terms of international championships, Brazil has the most titles with five. They are followed by Italy with four and Germany with three.
FIFA, short for Fédération Internationale de Football Association, is the international governing body for association football. It is one of the six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA. The Confederations Cup was Introduced in 1992 and is held every four years by FIFA as a prelude to the main event. It comprises of national teams from each FIFA confederation. In 2017, Russia will be hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup.
UEFA, which is the governing body for soccer in Europe, ranks highly in terms of international championships. UEFA’s website shows that the organization’s member countries have won a total of 19 World Cups, as of 2018. This includes both men’s and women’s World Cups. Additionally, UEFA member countries have won a total of 48 European Championships across all age groups and sexes.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the international body that governs cricket. It was founded in 1909 as the Imperial Cricket Conference, and changed its name in 1965 to the International Cricket Conference. It has 105 member countries, and its headquarters are in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
ICC is responsible for the organisation and governance of cricket’s major international tournaments, most notably the Cricket World Cup. It also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals.
championships in other sports. The New York Yankees have the most World Series championships with 27, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals with 11. The Green Bay Packers have the most NFL championships with 13.
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, having been founded in 1877. It is also one of four Grand Slam tournaments, the others being the French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open. Wimbledon is held at the All England Club in London and takes place over two weeks in late June and early July. It is the only Grand Slam tournament played on grass courts.
In 2020, Wimbledon was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the first time that Wimbledon had been cancelled since 1945 (due to World War II).
The singles champions receive a trophy known as the Challenge Cup. The most successful player in Wimbledon history is Roger Federer, who has won eight men’s singles titles (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 & 2017). The most successful woman in Wimbledon history is Serena Williams, who has won seven women’s singles titles (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 & 2016).
The Kentucky Derby /ˈdɜːrbi/ is a horse race that is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The competition is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles (2.0 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (55 kg).