What Is A Pennant In Baseball? (History & Importance)

There have been many instances where a baseball team flies a flag over its home ground before a match. The crowd cheers at the sight of such glory, and the commentators sing praises of the team carrying the Pennant. This has often made newbie baseball fans wonder, what is a Pennant in baseball? 

The term refers to a badge or a flag with a team’s design on it awarded to a team that wins the baseball championship league. It is a commemorative award that glorifies the brilliance of a team winning one of the biggest tournaments in baseball. 

History of Pennants in baseball

In the early 19th century, before baseball looked anything like a modern sport, teams would play in several professional leagues across the US. This led to confusion about which team should be credited as the national champion in baseball. Thus, pennants were introduced and awarded based on a scoring method that evaluated all records set by the team and winning the national league tournament. 

Only two were the largest leagues, the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs and the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. Champions of both leagues were then set to play against one another to decide who was the Champion of the Champions. 

This eventually grew into the Pennant Race, which consisted of 162 games played across the seasons until one victor emerged. The team would then represent their respective league in the World Series.

The Importance of Pennants in Baseball

There is no doubt that a pennant is way more than just a flag or even just an award. It is the essence of what makes baseball America’s national sport. It is the pride with which a team, in all its might and glory, represents its home in the World Championship Series. 

A pennant isn’t just awarded based on numbers; it is awarded based on a team’s remarkable feats—from impossible catches to outstanding batting innings, from insane walk-offs to unfathomable pitching by closers. It comprises all that baseball was, is, and will ever be. 

While all are amazing in their aspects, no trophy, medal, or honor can ever amount to the sheer core of the spark that a pennant is in baseball.

Imagine being able to represent not only your team, your town, your state, and your league but your whole country—a vast, beautiful country of over 350 million people whose hearts bleed baseball and whose cheers soar across the globe when their Champion team hits another fantastic milestone in the World Series. That is what a pennant is in baseball. 

In Victories:

Pennants in baseball have a long history of being used to celebrate victories. These flags are displayed across the ground after a win, often flown around as the players run with the flag over their heads. The Pennant’s role as a celebratory tool has many aspects. Let’s discuss each of them in detail to understand the importance of pennants further.

For Players:

Players often set their sights on specific goals that they strive for. For some, it is merely winning a game; for others, it is much grander, such as winning the World Series. One such goal that millions of amateur baseball players look up to is someday winning a pennant for their team. Pro players look forward to what the Pennant means for them. A pennant dignifies not just a team but also each player in it. It is their hard work, sweat and blood, their vigor, and their brilliance in baseball that won them that Pennant. Many star players look towards the Pennant as a ticket for the World Series. So, for players, it is a never-ending celebration of what they and their team achieved that year through pure excellence as baseball players.

For Coaches:

For coaches, a pennant is more than just a reminder of their incredible coaching skills. It is also a feat of their love for the sport. We all know that the efforts of its players do not win a game but also the enthusiasm, strategies, motivation, and tireless hard work of the coaches who brought their team across the league to the top of the world. A pennant is a mark of that effort, that true-to-the-core love for baseball these brilliant coaches have, and they love hanging the flags in their offices or homes to commemorate their glory over the years.

For Fans:

For fans, pennants hold immense importance. The fans are the living embodiment of what the Pennant stands for in baseball, incredible memories. While the world may forget a team winning a pennant, that team’s fans never will. They paint or even tattoo the pennants on themselves to show the world their team won. They will bring enormous sizes of these flags to games and cheer for their champions with utmost pride as they keep bringing home more wins. A pennant as a celebration would mean nothing to the players and coaches if the fans weren’t there reciprocating the joy that tiny flag brings. 

Memorable Pennants in baseball

The pennant award system has improved significantly since the introduction of the American League Championship Series (ALCS). From a win-loss record stat to a championship tournament, the pennant race is one of the highlights of the MLB season. After this, the winning team advances to the World Series, competing against the National League Champions. The World Series was introduced in 1903, and since then, each year, a team holding the American League pennant went against an NL team to win the Commissioner’s Trophy. That being said, let’s go over some memorable pennants in the history of baseball.

The Yankees hold the current record for the highest number of pennants won at a staggering 40 pennants. The Chicago Whites were the first team to win the Pennant in 1900 at a win-loss record of 82-53. This was the pre-ALCS era where the Pennant was awarded based on records alone. After the ALCS was announced, the Baltimore Orioles won three consecutive years from 1969-1971. From then till today, many teams have won the league series against teams with a higher WL record. The current winners of the ALCS pennant are the Texas Rangers who won last year in October. 

Since the New York Yankees hold the record for the highest pennants, let’s discuss how their pennants look. It is a triangular flag with a navy blue background, the NY logo glamorously placed at the flag’s base side, and the team’s name is spread across in stylish fonts adjacent to the logo. This is, of course, just one of the many styles adapted by the team for their pennants.

Conclusion of What is A Pennant in Baseball

To conclude what a peanut is in baseball, you must know that a pennant is an award granted to a team for its exceptional performance in the professional league seasons.

 It is a flag that represents the team’s designs, names, colors, logos, and mottos. The pennants were introduced in the early 1900s, but the first Pennant was awarded officially in 1900. At that time, they were granted based on win-loss records.

 Later, when the ALCS was introduced, the winning team was awarded the Pennant. The pennant race is a competition that many fans across the world and the players look forward to. Whichever team wins, the Pennant gets a ticket to the World Series, where they compete with the champions of the National League. Winning the World Series brings home the Commissioner’s Trophy. 

It shows how much pride the team and the fans have in themselves and their efforts to bring glory to their hometown. The New York Yankees hold the record for most pennants won. Their pennants have had many different designs over the years, mainly with their blue and white color palette and classic NY logo on them. The current pennant holders are the Texas Rangers, whom we look forward to seeing in the World Series. 

We hope this article helped you understand a pennant in baseball, what it means for all those involved in the game, and how much love, joy, glory, and pride millions across the globe carry within its small three-sided boundaries.


What is the significance of winning a pennant?

Winning a pennant is a significant achievement in baseball, as it signifies that the team is the best in their league for that season. It also earns the team a spot in the World Series, where they compete for the overall MLB championship.

How does the pennant race work?

The pennant race refers to the competition among teams during the regular season to win their league’s Pennant. Teams compete in games to accumulate the best record and secure the Pennant.

What happens to the Pennant after it is awarded?

The Pennant is typically raised at the team’s home stadium, symbolizing their achievement. It may also be displayed in the team’s Hall of Fame or museum.

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