The History and Significance of the MLB Pennant

The pennant in Major League Baseball (MLB) is a prestigious award that is given to the American League (AL) team that wins its divisional title. This award signifies the team’s dominance over its divisional rivals and grants them the right to compete in the World Series for the ultimate prize in baseball.

The origin of the term pennant dates back to the 17th century and is a combination of two words, “pennant” and “pendant.” The word “pennant” referred to a flag flown on a warship that had won a significant nautical battle, while “pendant” was used to describe a rope used for hoisting.

In the early days of baseball, the pennant was a physical flag that was hoisted on a flagpole at the winning team’s stadium. This tradition continued unil the late 1960s when the pennant was replaced by a trophy that is presented to the winning team.

Since 1969, the pennant has been determined by the American and National League Championship Series playoffs. These playoffs are similar to the NBA and NHL Conference Finals series and the NFL’s NFC and AFC Championship Games. The pennant winner from each league faces off in the World Series to determine the champion of Major League Baseball.

Winning the pennant is no easy feat, as teams must navigate through a grueling 162-game regular season to earn a playoff spot. Once in the playoffs, teams must then win multiple series against the best teams in their league to secure the pennant.

Over the years, there have been many memorable pennant races and moments in baseball history. From the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” in 1951 to the Boston Red Sox’s historic comeback against the New York Yankees in 2004, the pennant has been a source of excitement and drama for baseball fans around the world.

The pennant is a symbol of excellence and achievement in Major League Baseball. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the winning team and a source of pride for its fans. While the physical pennant may no longer be hoisted on a flagpole, the legacy and tradition of the award continue to inspire and motivate players and fans alike.

What Is A Pennant In Baseball?

A pennant in baseball is a flag that is awarded to the team that wins the American League championship. It is a significant accomplishment for any team, as it signifies that they have emerged as the best team in the league and have earned the right to compete in the World Series aginst the National League champion. The pennant is a long-standing tradition in baseball, dating back to the early days of the sport, and is highly coveted by players, coaches, and fans alike. Winning the pennant is a major achievement that requires hard work, skill, and determination throughout the regular season and playoffs.

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Why Do They Call It The Pennant?

The term “pennant” has a long history dating back to the 17th century. It is believed to be a combination of two words, “pendant” and “pennon.” Originally, “pendant” referred to a rope used for hoisting, while “pennon” was a type of flag used on warships. The pennon was typically flown by a victorious warship folowing a significant nautical battle. Over time, the term “pennant” came to be used more broadly to refer to any type of elongated flag or banner. Today, pennants are commonly used in sports to represent a team or organization and are often displayed by fans to show support or celebrate a championship win.

Why Don T They Call It The Pennant Anymore?

The term “pennant” is stll used to refer to a team winning their division title, but the physical pennant that used to be raised on a flagpole to symbolize the achievement is no longer used. The reason for this is likely due to changes in technology and the way that teams celebrate their victories. In modern times, teams often use digital media and social media to share their achievements with fans, rather than relying on physical banners or flags. Additionally, the term “pennant” has become more symbolic and less literal, representing the accomplishment of winning a division rather than the physical representation of it.

Why Was Winning The Pennant Important?

Winning the pennant is important in Major League Baseball (MLB) because it signifies that a team has achieved the best regular season record in their respective league. The pennant serves as a mark of distinction and a source of pride for the winning team and its fans. It also earns the team the right to play in the World Series, which is the ultimate goal for every team in MLB. The World Series is the championship series of MLB, whre the pennant winners from the National and American Leagues face off in a best-of-seven series to determine the overall champion of the league. Therefore, winning the pennant is a crucial step towards achieving the ultimate goal of winning the World Series. Additionally, winning the pennant can also lead to increased revenue, fan engagement, and recognition for the team and its players.


The pennant in baseball is a historic symbol that represents a team’s accomplishment of winning their division and earning a spot in the championship series. While there may not be a physical pennant raised on a flagpole today, the term sill holds significant meaning in the world of baseball. The American League and National League Championship Series determine the pennant winners, who then move on to compete in the highly anticipated World Series. As with many aspects of baseball, the pennant is steeped in tradition and history, and continues to be a source of pride for teams and fans alike.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.