CLEVELAND (AP) After going more than a half-century without one major pro title, Cleveland sure seemed an unlikely candidate to join the ranks of cities with two in the same year.
Then LeBron James came back to town to lead the Cavaliers to the NBA championship, and the Indians made it to the World Series. The Indians led the Chicago Cubs 3-1 in the best-of-seven series before losing two games in a row, including 9-3 on Tuesday, but they’ll get another chance to end their 68-year title drought in Game 7 on Wednesday night.
Back in June, the city that’s been teased and tormented by its beloved sports teams was celebrating the end of a 52-year title drought when James & Co. beat the Golden State Warriors in a Game 7. So the Indians are hoping to give Cleveland another reason to party.
Here are cities that have celebrated two major pro sports titles in the same year, with snapshots of the most recent doubles:
-Pittsburgh, 2009. Steelers and Penguins. The Steelers won their record sixth Super Bowl title and second in four seasons, 27-23 over the Arizona Cardinals. Ben Roethlisberger threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds left and James Harrison returned an interception 100 yards for a TD. The Penguins snared their third title by winning a seven-game Stanley Cup finals over the Detroit Red Wings. It was a rematch from the previous season’s finals won by Detroit. Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin became the first Russian-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player.
-Boston, 2004. Patriots and Red Sox. The Red Sox ended a lengthy drought of their own with Boston’s first World Series title since 1918, ending the ”Curse of the Bambino.” A team that dropped the first three ALCS games to the New York Yankees before rallying swept the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 in the Series. New England won its second Super Bowl title in three years with a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Quarterback Tom Brady won his second of three Super Bowl MVP honors.
-Los Angeles, 2002. Lakers and Angels. Shaquille O’Neal led the Lakers to their third straight NBA title and 14th overall. O’Neal averaged 36 points and 12 rebounds in the Finals to earn MVP honors. It was Phil Jackson’s ninth championship to match Red Auerbach for the most in league history. The Anaheim Angels went from a second-place AL West finish to their first World Series title with a seven-game win over San Francisco.
-Los Angeles, 1988. Lakers and Dodgers. The Lakers won their last title of the Magic Johnson era, fulfilling coach Pat Riley’s pledge the year before that ”we’re gonna repeat.” Led by National League MVP Kirk Gibson and Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser, the underdog Dodgers beat the Oakland Athletics to win the World Series. A hobbled Gibson set the stage with his game-ending pinch-hit home run off Dennis Eckersley in the first game.
Other twin title years:
-New York, 1986. Giants and Mets. (Giants won Super Bowl in January 1987)
-Pittsburgh, 1979. Steelers and Pirates. (Steelers won Super Bowl in January 1980)
-Baltimore, 1970. Colts and Orioles. (Colts won Super Bowl in January 1971)
-New York, 1956. Giants (NFL) and Yankees.
-Detroit, 1952. Lions and Red Wings.
-New York, 1938. Giants (NFL) and Yankees.
-Detroit, 1935, Lions and Tigers. (Red Wings won title in April 1936)
-New York, 1933. Rangers and Giants (MLB).
-New York, 1928. Rangers and Yankees.
-New York, 1927. Giants (NFL) and Yankees