There are plenty of notable MLB stars who reached the postseason and never won a World Series, but even more upsetting for that group is the subset of stars who dominated on the biggest stage and were still unable to capture glory.
Let's look at eight players in particular who did all they could in the postseason, only to fall short of winning a World Series.
8. Kenley Jansen
Kenley Jansen ranks third all-time in postseason saves with 16 and has appeared in 41 games. He sports a 2.01 ERA in October and has a 12.8 K/9. The Los Angeles Dodgers closer has made it to two World Series in his career and has nine total appearances in the Fall Classic. Instead, the Dodgers are winless in those two series and are left wondering if their pitchers were at a disadvantage due to sign-stealing in 2017 and 2018.
7. Kenny Lofton
Kenny Lofton is MLB's all-time leader in postseason stolen bases with 34 across 20 playoff series. He's also tied for third with 74 singles in October. The former Cleveland Indians great also appeared in the playoffs with the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers. He made it to two World Series but was on the losing end both times.
6. Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz was the 2011 ALCS MVP and his eight home runs during that lone run ties him with Barry Bonds for most in a single postseason. He helped lead the Texas Rangers to back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011 and his 17 career postseason home runs ties him for seventh all-time. His seven doubles in the 2010 postseason also put him one behind the all-time leaders who have eight. Unfortunately, his most memorable moment involves a poor defensive play in the 2011 World Series against the Cardinals.
5. Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds finally reached the World Series in 2002 in what was a historic stretch for him. His eight home runs and 27 walks are both records for a single postseason, and his 18 runs scored are second all-time. He hit four home runs in the 2002 World Series and had an insane 1.994 OPS in seven games against the Angels. He also appeared in the postseason with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but 2002 was the closest he got to glory.
4. Luis Tiant
Luis Tiant had a long MLB career that saw him reach the postseason on two occasions. The most memorable came in 1975 when his Boston Red Sox made it to the World Series and took it to Game 7 against the Cincinnati Reds. He made three starts in the series and went 2-0 with two complete games. This was against a dominant Reds team that ended up winning it all, but Tiant's skills on the mound kept it competitive and made for one of the most memorable Fall Classics ever.
3. Carlton Fisk
Carlton Fisk was also a member of that 1975 Red Sox team and provided fans with one of the most iconic moments in MLB history. His walk-off home run in Game 6 of that World Series has gone down in history for how dramatic it was. He quickly became a folk hero in Boston despite the team losing in seven games.
2. Tony Gwynn
The late Tony Gwynn is one of the best hitters in MLB history and has some impressive October stats. He has a career postseason slash line of .306/.339/.398 and batted .500 in the 1998 World Series. He only made the playoffs three times in his career in San Diego, but he dominated each time. Gwynn batted a combined .371 in two World Series appearances and showed up when it counted the most.
1. Roy Halladay
Halladay became a baseball legend by throwing a no-hitter in the 2010 NLDS as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. This was his first career postseason start after 12 playoff-less years in Toronto. He only ever got as far as the NLCS with the Phillies, but managed to own an impressive 2.37 ERA and 0.74 WHIP in five career playoff outings. He will always be known for his iconic October moment despite never winning it all.