19. 1941 World Series, Yankees def. Dodgers 4-1
Much tighter than it seems, this series turned on Yankees pitcher Marius Russo ripping a line drive off Brooklyn starter Freddie Fitzsimmons, knocking him out of Game 3. Up 2-1 in the series after a late rally, the Yanks seemed on the verge of trouble in Game 4, too, down 4-3 in the ninth with nobody on and two out … when Dodgers catcher Mickey Owen dropped a third strike, opening the floodgates and igniting a four-run rally. 80 years later, karma repaid the Yankees, though, by inventing Gary Sánchez.
18. 1927 World Series, Yankees def. Pirates 4-0
Sorry, 1927 Yankees. I can only move you so far up the list for being the 1927 Yankees. Probably overrated you a little bit as it is, anyway. The greatest lineup ever assembled faced off against the Pittsburgh Pirates, led by brothers Paul Waner (Big Poison) and Lloyd Waner (Little Poison). The Yankees used the antidote, and it was super effective; they won 5-4, 6-2, 8-1, and capped it with a 4-3 walk-off. Babe Ruth hit the only homers of the series; he went yard twice.
17. 1932 World Series, Yankees def. Cubs 4-0
Bonus points for Babe Ruth reportedly calling his shot against Cubs starter Charlie Root in Game 3 at Wrigley, though some believe he was actually just using his bat to point out a drunk Wrigleyville partier puking outside the Cubby Bear. Yankees win 12-6, 5-2, 7-5, 13-6. Over the years, the Game 3 attendance has swelled to a reported 450,000 of your grandpas.
16. 1961 World Series, Yankees def. Reds 4-1
Again, historic Yankee teams get a little boost, and capping the Mantle/Maris home run race with a title earns this year a distinction, despite the overall snooziness of the five-gamer. New York shook off the Bill Mazeroski homer that ended their 1960 season by rattling off three wins in a row to clinch this series, coming back from 2-1 down in the eighth to win Game 3 3-2, then whomping Cincy 7-0 and 13-5 to clinch it. Maris homered once in the series and Mantle didn’t, FWIW.
15. 1998 World Series, Yankees def. Padres 4-0
We’re getting to the point where you want to be angry, but … can you really be that angry? We’re comparing Yankees World Series wins here! The 15th-best is still pretty great, and the coronation of modern baseball’s greatest team counts. The Yanks swept the Pads, Game 1 was extremely tight until Tino Martinez’s grand slam changed everything, Scott Brosius was your MVP after a dinger off Trevor Hoffman that flipped Game 3, and Mo closed it out with a signature leap. Not as easy as it should’ve been, but never a doubt. Also, bonus points for shaking off a 2-1 deficit to Cleveland the previous round — and the year after they knocked off the ’97 Yanks. Unspoken fortitude.