Had a little time on my hands, did some checking. Assuming I didn't misread something because poring over championship records dating to the '20's had my eyes turning cartwheels, no city has ever won championships in three sports in one season, never mind four. That is, if we're talking about any of the four sports usually viewed as "major" professional sports in the U.S. I didn't check for other sports. The possibility of three championships by one city in the same year started in 1920, when the NFL played its first season (the NHL had formed a few years before, and before that baseball was all alone). It first became possible to get four championships shortly after WWII, as the NBA played its first season in 1946-47.
There have been quite a few times when cities have had championships in two sports in the same season. This happened most recently in 2004, when Boston had championships by the Red Sox and the Patriots. This one was a double-dip no matter which year you assign a Super Bowl championship to, because the Patsies won both the '04 and '05 Super Bowls, but this does bring up the question of whether you would credit a city with a championship in the calendar year when their team won the Super Bowl or in the previous calendar year, since the NFL's official records list the Super Bowl winner as the champion of the previous calendar year (as in, winning the '09 Super Bowl makes the Steelers the '08 NFL champions). However, according to the records I've looked up, you can't come up with a way to credit one city with more than two championships in the same season no matter which way you twist things, not if you take the liberty of crediting a Super Bowl win to whicever of the two possible years is expedient, nor if you count championships within the same metropolitan area by teams that use the names of different places as the home city or state that is part of the team name (SF/Oakland, NY/NY, LA/Anaheim). In other words, there has never been a year when three teams called any combination of either the NY Somethings or the NJ Somethings have won championships, the same being true for teams with either SF or Oakland or San Jose or Golden State, or Anaheim or California or LA, in their names.
There have been a couple of close calls for three championships. Detroit missed by one season back in the '30's. In 1935, the Tigers won the World Series, and the Lions (yep, apparently there actually has been one season at least when they were actually good) won the NFL title. Then the Red Wings were NHL champions for the '35-'36 season. Some might argue that this is like the Super Bowl, with this counting as at least a partial threesome for Detroit, since the Wings' title season was played partly in '35, but I would say that you have to assign the championship to the year when the season ends in hockey and basketball, since the bulk of the season is played in that year, not the year when the season starts.
What appears to have been the closest near miss of three titles within one season happened in 1933, when New York just missed. The baseball Giants won the World Series, and the Rangers won the Stanley Cup. 1933 was the first year when the NFL championship was determined by a title game, rather than which team finished with the league's best record. In that first title game, the Giants lost to the Bears by two points, 23-21.
So, let's see, in nearly 90 years when at least three of the major sports' current professional leagues have existed, that's as close as any city has ever come to winning even three championships in the same year. And now, with player drafts, free agency, and salary caps, it's really difficult for a team to be the best in its sport for more than two or three straight seasons before needing to rebuild. Most teams fall back for some retooling after one championship. Somehow, the chances seem slim that one city will have teams in all four sports all hitting that narrow window at the same time. Four championships by one city in one years seems really unlikely. I guess the odds might favor the possibility if all these sports were to be played under their current formats for the next two thousand years or so, but in the forseeable future, it's not likely.
Last edited by ogre; 05-13-2009 at 12:30 AM..