The Year Every Team Won Their First Championship

Source: Rick Stewart / Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins
> Year of first title: 1991
> League: NHL
> First year in franchise history: 1967
> Total championships: 5

Pittsburgh Penguins fans have been lucky enough to watch two different once-in-a-generation superstars on their team — Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby. Lemieux captained the Penguins to their first two titles in 1991 and 1992, while Crosby led the way for the next three in 2009, 2016, and 2017.

Source: Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons

Pittsburgh Pirates
> Year of first title: 1909
> League: MLB
> First year in franchise history: 1882
> Total championships: 5

A team older than the World Series itself, the Pittsburgh Pirates won the 1909 World Series, the first of five titles in team history.

Source: Getty Images / Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers
> Year of first title: 1974
> League: NFL
> First year in franchise history: 1933
> Total championships: 6

For roughly the first half of their existence, the Pittsburgh Steelers were lousy, making just one playoff appearance from 1933 to 1971. But head coach Chuck Noll helped install a winning culture and guided the team to four Super Bowls in the 1970s, the first coming after the 1974 season.

Source: Sporting News / Wikimedia Commons

Portland Trail Blazers
> Year of first title: 1977
> League: NBA
> First year in franchise history: 1970
> Total championships: 1

A famously unlucky franchise, the Portland Trailblazers won their only title in 1977 in the team’s first ever playoff appearance.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Sacramento Kings (as the Rochester Royals)
> Year of first title: 1951
> League: NBA
> First year in franchise history: 1948
> Total championships: 1

After four moves and a change of nickname, today’s Sacramento Kings bear little resemblance to the Rochester Royals of the 1940s and 1950s. The Royals won the 1951 NBA title in just the third season in franchise history.

Source: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs
> Year of first title: 1999
> League: NBA
> First year in franchise history: 1967
> Total championships: 5

Certain coaches can completely alter the course of an entire franchise. Gregg Popovich is one such coach. He led the Spurs to all five of their titles and the team has never missed the playoffs when he had a full season in charge.

Source: Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers
> Year of first title: 1981
> League: NFL
> First year in franchise history: 1946
> Total championships: 5

The first Niners title, which came after the 1981 season, was the start of a dynasty. By the end of the 1994 season, the franchise had five Super Bowls.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

San Francisco Giants (as the New York Giants)
> Year of first title: 1905
> League: MLB
> First year in franchise history: 1883
> Total championships: 8

The Giants have technically a championship 10 times, but two of the titles, in 1888 and 1889, predate the modern era and were not considered for this list. The first modern World Series victory in Giants history came in 1905.

Source: Rob Carr / Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks
> Year of first title: 2013
> League: NFL
> First year in franchise history: 1976
> Total championships: 1

It took the Seattle Seahawks more than three decades to win their first Super Bowl, but they finally accomplished the feat after the 2013 season.

Source: Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images

St. Louis Blues
> Year of first title: 2019
> League: NHL
> First year in franchise history: 1967
> Total championships: 1

In the St. Louis Blues’ first three seasons, the team made the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose each time. The team finally excised those 50-year old demons by winning the 2019 Stanley Cup behind rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington.