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The 10 Greatest Cleveland Professional Sports Teams Of All-Time

Although Cleveland professional sports teams endured a 52 year championship drought between 1964 and 2016, the city has still enjoyed many great teams. But which group is the greatest of all-time?

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10. 1954 Cleveland Browns - 9-3, NFL Champions

This Browns squad featured a dominating defense, becoming the first defense in the history of the NFL to lead the league in fewest rushing yards allowed, fewest passing yards allowed and fewest total yards allowed. They defeated the Detroit Lions 56-10 in the NFL Championship.

9. 1955 Cleveland Browns - 9-2-1, NFL Champions

The Browns defense was dominant, becoming the first defense in the history of the NFL to lead the league in fewest points allowed and fewest total yards allowed for two consecutive seasons. The defeated the Los Angeles Rams 38-14 in the NFL Championship.

8. 1946 Cleveland Browns - 12-2, AAFC Champions

1946 was the team's first in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Led by quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie, the team defeated the New York Yankees 14-9. This Browns squad also set a professional football record of 67 defensive takeaways, a mark that still stands today.

7. 1920 Cleveland Indians - 98-56, World Series Champions

This Tribe team was the first in franchise history to bring home a World Series title.

The series itself was filled with odd occurrences, including pitcher Rube Marquard being arrested on the charge of scalping tickets a day before Game 4. Marquard was arrested in a hotel lobby when he offered to sell eight box seats that cost $52.80 for $400 to a Cleveland police detective. The season also included a tragic moment, marked by the death of starting shortstop Ray Chapman, who died after being hit by a pitch on August 17.

6. 1950 Cleveland Browns - 10-2, NFL Champions

The Browns finished the regular season at 10–2 and defeated the Los Angeles Rams to win the NFL championship. It was Cleveland's fifth consecutive championship victory, but their first in the NFL.

5. 1995 Cleveland Indians - 100-44, American League Champions

Had they defeated the Atlanta Braves in the 1995 World Series, this team would likely be #1 on the list. They the first team in the history of the American League ever to win 100 games in a season that had fewer than 154 games and won the Central Division by a whopping 30 games. The team featured National Baseball Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Dave Winfield and six players who ended up inducted into the team's Hall of Fame - Charles Nagy, Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baerga, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, and Kenny Lofton. Albert Belle (injuries) and Manny Ramirez (failed PED tests) were Hall of Fame-talents as well.

4. 1948 Cleveland Browns - 14-0, AAFC Champions


The '48 Browns had a perfect season, going 14-0 before defeating the Buffalo Bills 49-7 in the AAFC Championship Game. Otto Graham finished the season with the most passing yards in the AAFC and was named the league's Most Valuable Player, sharing the honor with Frankie Albert of the 49ers. Marion Motley led the league in rushing, and Lou Groza scored the most field goals in the league.

3. 1964 Cleveland Browns - 10-3-1, NFL Champions

The 1964 Browns were led by legendary running back Jim Brown who had an incredible regular season, rushing for 1,446 yards. The Browns defeated the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in the NFL Championship, 27-0. ESPN ranked the '64 title game as the second-greatest NFL postseason upset of all-time.

2. 2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers - 57-25, NBA Champions

Ended a 52-year championship drought in the city of Cleveland by becoming the first team in NBA history to come back from down 3-1 in the NBA Finals. In doing so, they also defeated the greatest regular season team of all-time, the Golden State Warriors, who went 73-9.

1. 1948 Cleveland Indians - 97-58-1, World Series Champions

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The '48 Tribe needed to win a one game playoff to win the pennant, defeating the Red Sox 8-3. They defeated the Boston Braves 4-2 in the World Series, capturing their first championship in 28 years. The team featured six Hall of Famers: pitchers Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Satchel Paige, outfielder Larry Doby, second baseman Joe Gordon, and shortstop Lou Boudreau. Paige became the oldest man ever to debut in the major leagues, at the age of 42 years and two days, and was the first player who had played in the Negro leagues to pitch in the World Series, The team was named the 9th best baseball team of all-time by the Sporting News.

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