The Minnesota Twins have finally broken out of their postseason slump.
The team beat the Toronto Blue Jays3-1 in the wild-card round of the MLB playoffs Tuesday, their first postseason win since 2004. A lengthy drought between wins isn't unusual, but what makes the Twins' run particularly galling is that they lost 18 straight postseason games. That's three straight losses in the 2004 ALDS, four 3-0 sweeps and losses in the 2017 wild-card sudden-death game and the 2020 wild-card round.
It's not the only such streak of playoff futility in American sports, but sadly for Twins fans, it was the longest. In fact, every other MLB team has won at least one playoff game since the Twins' last win, on Oct. 5, 2004. Now that they've finally notched a postseason victory, Twins fans can breathe a sigh of relief -- and remember other teams from MLB, the NBA and the NHL who can relate to their struggles.
The latter half of the 1970s wasn't great for Blackhawks fans -- though their team kept making the playoffs, they went four full postseasons without a single playoff win. They finally broke that streak with a sweep of the St. Louis Blues in the 1979-80 postseason... and were promptly swept by the Buffalo Sabres in the next round.
The Pistons took the Boston Celtics, who eventually won the title, to six games in the 2007-08 Eastern Conference finals. Unfortunately for them, that's the highest they've climbed since then. They were swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers the next season and again in 2015-16, then fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018-19. A rough decade-and-a-half for Pistons fans, for certain.
Though they made the Stanley Cup Final in 1993, the Kings fell to the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. That seemed to cause them to spiral a bit, as they didn't make the playoffs for the next four seasons. They were then swept by the Blues in 1997-98 and Detroit Red Wings in 1999-2000 before finally breaking through in a 4-2 series win over the Red Wings in 2000-01.
You can see why people believed in the "Curse of the Bambino." After their heartbreaking losses in Games 6 and 7 of the 1986 World Series, the Red Sox went into a playoff freefall. They were swept by the Oakland Athletics in 1988 and 1990, thenClevelandin 1995. Boston finally broke through against Cleveland in 1998, but that was still just the first game in what ended up being a 3-1 series loss.
The Knicks took the Toronto Raptors to five games in the 2000-01 playoffs, but that was it for their playoff success for the next decade. Two sweeps followed -- to the Brooklyn Nets in 2003-04 and the Celtics in 2010-11. The Knicks would finally win a single playoff game in 2011-12 -- but that was Game 4 of a five-game series against the Miami Heat, who'd eventually win the title.
Data from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this article.