In a new special series, I’ll be ranking each major professional sports franchise (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, etc.) in each of the states with at least two teams.

The teams will be ranked by the amount of success they’ve had in their current market, not accounting for previous locations of the franchise. However, if the team played in a different league but still played in its current home state, those records will contribute to the rankings.

Any playoff or tournament appearances, wild card berths, division titles, conference/league titles, major championships, and the franchise’s single-season wins/points records are accounted for, as well as the overall success of the team and certain eras of its history.

So first up, the state of Maryland, home of MLB’s Baltimore Orioles and the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.

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No. 1 — Ravens (est. 1996)

  • 12 playoff appearances
  • 6 AFC North Division titles
  • 2 AFC titles
  • 2 Super Bowl championships
  • Franchise-best record – 14-2 in 2019

One of the two major professional sports teams located in Baltimore, the Ravens are my pick for the most successful.

After the original Cleveland Browns moved to Maryland in 1995, the Ravens quickly built up the team, reaching the playoffs for the first time in 2000. Making the postseason for the first time, the Ravens rolled all the way to an AFC title before claiming Super Bowl XXXV behind Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis and a stout defense.

Another playoff appearance followed in 2001, with the franchise claiming its first AFC North title in 2003. Consistent playoff trips followed, with another Super Bowl victory following the 2013 campaign over the San Francisco 49ers.

After not reaching the postseason from 2015-17, the Ravens returned to the playoffs in both 2018 and 2019, led by 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

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No. 2 — Orioles (est. 1901, relocated 1954)

  • 3 AL Wild Card berths
  • 9 AL East Division titles
  • 6 AL pennants
  • 3 World Series championships
  • Franchise-best record – 109-53 in 1969

Founded in 1901 as the Milwaukee Brewers, the team moved to St. Louis and became the Browns the following year before heading east in 1954.

The franchise became one of baseball’s best in the 1960s and 70s, winning six division titles, five pennants, and two World Series titles behind the star power of Jim Palmer and both Frank and Brooks Robinson.

Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray then led the team to the World Series title in 1983, the franchises’ third and most recent championship. After back-to-back playoff trips during the 1996 and 1997 seasons, the Orioles endured a streak of 14-straight losing seasons from 1998 to 2011.

The club finally broke the losing streak in 2012, winning 93 games and reaching the postseason as a wild card team, ending both the 14-season long losing and playoff streaks. The next five seasons saw Baltimore reach .500 or better in each season, reaching the playoffs three times while winning their first division title in 17 years during the 2014 campaign.

After the wild card berth in 2016, the team has endured four consecutive losing seasons, entering a rebuild that seems far from over.

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