Quiz – Champions with a difference (solved)

This quiz concerns league champion teams with an unusual formula for success. Since 1901, these are the only championship teams with a particular characteristic. What is it?

Rk ▴ Year Lg Tm
1 2012 AL Detroit Tigers
2 2008 AL Tampa Bay Rays
3 2003 NL Florida Marlins
4 1995 NL Atlanta Braves
5 1985 AL Kansas City Royals
6 1984 NL San Diego Padres
7 1972 NL Cincinnati Reds
8 1971 NL Pittsburgh Pirates
9 1906 AL Chicago White Sox
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/17/2013.

Congratulations to RJ! He correctly identified these teams as the only pennant winners with every game started by a pitcher in his age 29 season or younger. More after the jump.

In all there have been only 86 teams since 1901 to have all of their games started by pitchers under 30. So, 9 out of 86 winning the pennant is a pretty good success rate. These are the teams to do this most often.

  • 8 – Senators/Twins
  • 7 – Expos/Nationals
  • 5 – Pirates, Blue Jays
  • 4 – Browns/Orioles, Rays, Reds, Royals, White Sox
  • 3 – Astros, Athletics, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Marlins, Yankees

The Expos (1971-74) and Rays (2008-11) did this in four consecutive seasons, and the old Senators (1956-58) in three straight. But, the Mariners and Phillies have never done this, nor have the Rangers since moving to Texas.

As for the corollary, no team since 1901 has had all of their games started by pitchers in their age 30 season or older. The closest was the 1990 AL champion Athletics who had 159 of 162 games started by the 30 and over crowd.

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They were last in the majors or at the very least, their league in homers?


I think I have it: starting pitching staff all under the age of 30?

Richard Chester

It could possibly be something like greatest number of pitchers, under the age of 30, with 10 or more wins for a pennant-winning team.

Richard Chester

Or maybe something like they are the only pennant-winners with 70+ combined wins from pitchers under the age of 30.


The 2001 Oakland A’s got 69 wins just from their top 4 starters plus 13 more from relievers or swingmen, all under age 30. Only 4 of them won more than 10 games however and they did have 18 starts by someone over age 30 so those are still possibilities.