1998 New York Yankees: Best team ever standings - Sports Illustrated

1998 New York Yankees

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Record: 114-48, .704; won World Series

By capping their incredible season with a World Series title—something the 2001 Mariners did not do—this edition of the Bronx Bombers is considered by many to be the gold standard of recent baseball history. Managed by Hall of Famer Joe Torre, New York featured Cooperstown-bound stars in shortstop Derek Jeter and closer Mariano Rivera, both of whom were early in their careers. The memorable cast of characters also included stars like outfielders Paul O'Neill and Bernie Williams, first baseman Tino Martinez and pitchers Andy Pettitte, David Cone and David Wells, the latter of whom threw a perfect game on May 17 of that year against the Twins.

The Yankees were neck-and-neck with the '06 Cubs' pace when they crested at 92-30 on Aug. 18 before stumbling through a 15-18 stretch. New York, though, recovered to win its final seven games of the regular season and then blew through the playoffs, going 11-2 and sweeping the Padres for the franchise's 24th World Series championship and its first of three straight titles.