Baseball's passion transcends the field. Fans, players, and even the media take part in some of the most heartfelt rivalries in MLB history. There's nothing they can do, they just can't seem to shake off the hate and despise they feel for other clubs.
We've seen plenty of hardnosed rivalries develop through the course of baseball history. It can be seen and felt throughout the city. You know the air is thick once the town's team is set to face off vs. one of their biggest rivals.
Some of these rivalries grew for historical purposes. Others for geographical reasons, while others just because it featured the two best teams at some point in baseball history. Regardless of the reason, they still hate each other up to this day.
Cursing, brawls, empty-benches, and two cities (or one city divided into two sides), we've seen it all in The Big Show. That's why today, we're going to let you know about the 15 most heated MLB rivalries of all time.
15. Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins
The Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins have had their fair share of struggles but back in the '2000s, they had one of the strongest rivalries in all baseball, as they combined to win 9 out of the 10 AL Central division titles of the decade.
However, this heartfelt rivalry actually dates way back. It developed when the Twins were still called the Washington Senators in 1901. Chicago and Minneapolis have never gotten along, sport-wise, and this is yet another example.
14. Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets
Divisional series always have something extra. Mets and Braves hate each other's guts since Atlanta moved to the NL Central in 1994 and their rivalry got pretty heated for over a decade, with both of them fighting for the supremacy of the division.
Their most important matchup came in the 1999 NLCS when the Braves beat the Mets 4 games to 2, and the rivalry has kind of cooled off ever since, and they even shared a heartfelt moment in 2001 following 9/11 as it was the first sporting event in New York City since the attack.
13. Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays got along until 2015. The rivalry kicked off during Game 5 of the ALDS. A bat flip from José Bautista infuriated Rougned Odor and his teammates, which led to an epic fight with both benches clearing
The two teams faced each other again next season and Rangers' pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista with a pitch and hell broke loose again. Bautista took a dirty slide to second base and Odor punched him in the face, thus clearing the benches again. It was one of the most iconic punches in sports history.
12. Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox
Detroit and Chicago don't get along and the Tigers and White Sox are the perfect example of it. It has been like that since 1901 when both teams were the strongest forces in the AL Central. They've been going toe-to-toe since their very first days. Ironically, they've competed for the top or bottom spot in their division, but you can never name one without the other.
This rivalry was at their peak on July 12, 1979, the infamous 'Disco Demolition Night'. Both teams cleared benches in one of the most epic brawls in sports history. It was so bad that the White Sox had to forfeit the second game of a doubleheader.
11. Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros
The Silver Boot series, A.K.A the Lone Star Series, may not be as violent as some of the others in this list. However, you know what things are like in Texas. People are incredibly passionate about their teams and it feels like there can only be one club in town.
Back in the day when this was an interleague rivalry, the winner of the 6-game series between Rangers and Astros was handed a Silver Boot award. Now, the rivalry's even more heartfelt as the Astros were moved to the AL West.
10. San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland Athletics
The Bay Bridge Series or the Battle of the Bay. This one's as passionate as they come, as both teams are pretty much a bridge away from each other but it also carries the huge background of the San Francisco - Oakland social disparity.
Even so, the rivalry between Giants and Athletics is considered a friendly one in terms of the animosity between Bay area fans. Sports-wise, it was at an all-time high when the A's swept the Giants 4-0 in the 1989 World Series.
9. New York Yankees vs. New York Mets
The Subway Series is one of the most iconic rivalries in the history of sports. It's the same old story of the big and powerful team vs. its city rival, which has a strong and loyal fanbase but not that many silverware to brag about.
Mets and Yankees have coexisted in peace except for the 2000 World Series when Roger Clemens threw a piece of a broken bat to Mike Piazza. The Yankees beat them 4-1 and Derek Jeter was named MVP.
8. Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Reds and Pirates have never gotten along. This rivalry is as intense as they come and it has been that way since the '70s, when both teams met in the NCLS four times, with the Reds winning 3 of those series.
The rivalry reignited in the '1990s with both teams contending for a playoffs spot again and it's not unusual to see benches clear at the slightest sign of provocation. You can tell they just despise each other.
7. Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers. Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks. Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers. Illinois and Wisconsin will always be on the opposite side in sports. They hate each other.
Milwaukee and Chicago are pretty close (that's why it's known as the I-94 series) so it's common to see fans travel to support their team and get into it with rival fans. Also, Brewers fans get instantly triggered when other people refer to Miller Park as 'Wrigley North'.
6. Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox
We've heard this story countless times. Southside-downside, uptown vs. downtown, it's just the way it goes. Chicago has been divided since its first days and the White Sox-Cubs rivalry sums it up perfectly.
The Crosstown Classic is one of the most passionate rivalries in sports and it actually predates the interleague play era. Thus far, they've only faced off in one World Series, the 1906 edition when the White Sox upset the Cubs 4 games to 2.
5. New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia has one of the loudest fanbases in the world. Also, people from New York and Philadelphia just hate each other's guts. They can't stand each other and the rivalry has transcended society.
These teams starred in plenty of iconical brawls in the '80s and '00s but the fanbases have gone at it plenty of times as well. Phillies fans love mocking and cursing out every other team in the league but there's no one they despise more than the Mets.
4. New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers were born in Brooklyn and the rivalry with the Yankees was instantly born. Then, it got even worst when they moved to Los Angeles and each team represented the best of the Eastern-Western side of the nation.
Moreover, Dodgers and Yankees have faced off in the World Series 11 times, way more than any other two teams in Major League Baseball. For those wondering, the Yankees hold the edge 8-3 in that stage.
3. Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago and St. Louis are only 300 miles away from each other and they've been fighting for supremacy since the early '1900s. The Cardinals are the second-winningest team in MLB history so they're constantly mocking Cubbies fans, especially during their historical title drought.
The Cubs struggled to compete for years so beating the Cardinals was pretty much the highlight of their season and while they have a nice edge in the head-to-head series, the Cardinals have been a much successful franchise overall.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants
Dodgers and Giants can't seem to be apart from each other. They were both born in New York and are now divisional rivals in the NL West. Therefore, it's not unusual to see them near the top of our most heated rivalries list.
This rivalry has been so iconic that the Dodgers owner convinced the Giants owner to take the team to California instead of Minneapolis, so they could continue hating each other until the end of time.
1. New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
It doesn't get any more heated than this. New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox just can't stand each other. It's always been like that, and it'll be like that for all eternity. Fans, media, and even players can't even hide how much they hate the other.
The New York Yankees are - by far - the winningest team in MLB history but Boston is considered the best sports town in the nation, which only fuels this heartfelt, passionate rivalry even more. Things can get physical on and off the field every time they face off.
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