- The New York Yankees are the most valuable team in Major League Baseball. They are also the second most valuable sports franchise in the world.
- The Miami Marlins are the least valuable MLB franchise, at $980 million.
- Every team in Major League Baseball, except the Marlins, is worth over $1 billion.
Take me out to the ballgame, so the song goes. Baseball is America’s national pastime. That being said, the game isn’t restricted to the U.S. It’s being played all over the world. But of course, anyone who dreams of playing baseball professionally, dreams of playing in U.S.-based Major League Baseball (MLB). After all, playing MLB baseball can be extremely lucrative. It’s the teams and their owners, however, who make the most from the game. These are the MLB’s most valuable baseball teams.
10. Washington Nationals
The Nationals are based in Washington D.C., and are worth $1.9 billion. The team was originally born in Montreal, in 1969, where they were called the Expos, named after the Expo World’s Fair that was held in Montreal in 1967. But in 2005, the team moved to Washington and were renamed the Washington Nationals. Fourteen years later, they won the World Series.
9. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels were founded in 1961. The team has gone through a few name changes since then. They started as the Los Angeles Angels, then in 1965, were renamed the California Angels. They subsequently changed their name to the Anaheim Angels, and then finally, adopted their current name, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Championship success for the Angels would finally come in 2002, when the team won the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. The franchise is worth a cool $1.975 billion.
8. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies were founded way back in 1883. It would be 32 years, however, before they would make an appearance in the post-season, and much longer before they would win a World Series title. In fact, the team was abysmal for more than thirty years after their first playoff appearance, often finishing last or second-last in the National League. It was not until 1980 that the Phillies would win a World Series. They won a second in 2008. The Phillies are now worth $2 billion.
7. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals have won a total of eleven World Series titles, which is second only to the New York Yankees. In fact, they ended the Yankees’ long-running dynasty in the 1960s, when they beat the Bronx Bombers to win the World Series in 1964. One of the most memorable times in Cardinals’ history came in 1998, when their very own Mark McGwire set the single-season home run record. Unfortunately, it was later found out that McGuire used steroids to augment his performance. The team is worth $2.2 billion.
6. New York Mets
The Queens-based New York City franchise is worth $2.4 billion. Although the Mets, short for Metropolitans, were founded in 1961, their name derives from a team dating back to the 19th century, who were also called the Metropolitans. The Mets struggled early on, so much so that they earned the nickname, “Loveable Losers”. But things turned around in 1969, when they finally won their first World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. The team won a second World Series in 1986.
5. San Francisco Giants
The Giants, valued at a healthy $3.1 billion, have been a relatively successful team, having won the World Series eight times. The team was originally based in New York City, where it was founded in 1883. They relocated to San Francisco in 1958. In 1993, a player named Barry Bonds joined the ranks of the Giants. He would go on to shatter some of baseball’s records with his prowess as a homerun hitter, and helped the Giants win the World Series in 2002. Those who refused to pitch to the slugger during home games were met with a comical chicken chant.
4. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are one of two baseball franchises in the Chicago area, with the White Sox being the other. The team was founded in 1876, and is now worth $3.2 billion. For more than a century, the team failed to win a World Series, after winning two of them in 1907 and 1908. Some blame this on a curse that was supposedly put on the team in 1945, when a man named William “Billy Goat” Sianis came to the Cubs’ stadium, Wrigley Field, with his pet goat and was refused entry. In his anger, he proclaimed that the Cubs would never win another World Series. The alleged curse was broken, however, in 2016, when the Cubs finally took home a World Series title.
3. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are valued at $3.3 billion. Like the Chicago Cubs, the Red Sox were also thought to be under a curse for a long time. The curse supposedly came about when they sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920. From the time that sale took place, the Red Sox were unable to win the World Series again for 86 years, after their last win in 1918.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers, who are worth $3.4 billion, were originally founded in Brooklyn, in 1883. In 1947, the team made history by calling up Jackie Robinson, the first black player to ever play in the Major Leagues. He would go on to help the team win the World Series in 1955. Shortly thereafter, the team moved to Los Angeles, where they have, so far, won six World Series titles.
1. New York Yankees
The most valuable team in baseball is also the MLB’s most successful. The Yankees, valued at $5 billion, have won 27 World Series titles in their history. For the last hundred years, they have maintained an epic rivalry with the Boston Red Sox, dating back to when the Red Sox sold baseball great, Babe Ruth, to the Yankees, thus beginning the fabled curse that prevented the Sox from winning another World Series for 86 years. In 2008, it was revealed that a construction worker working on the new Yankee Stadium, who was a die-hard Red Sox fan, attempted to curse the Yankees and their new venue by mixing a Red Sox jersey in with the concrete that was poured for the stadium.