List of worst MLB season records
The Major League Baseballteams with the poorest season won-lost records, as defined by winning percentage (.300 or below) and a minimum of 140 games played, are included in the following section.
|1962||New York Mets||NL||40||120||.250|
|1898||St. Louis Browns||NL||39||111||.260|
|1932||Boston Red Sox||AL||43||111||.279|
|1939||St. Louis Browns||AL||43||111||.279|
|1911||St. Louis Browns||AL||45||107||.296|
|1937||St. Louis Browns||AL||46||108||.299|
The National League is abbreviated as NL, and the American League is abbreviated as AL.
Despite ending with a 20-134 (.130 %) record in the final season of the National League’s 12-team experiment in the 1890s (with one exception), the 1899 Cleveland Spiders hold the record for the lowest single-season record in all of baseball history (with one exception). The only club to do worse was the 1884 Wilmington Quicksteps of the Union Association, who played just 18 games and finished with a 2-16 record and a.125 winning %, the worst record in the league. Prior to 1899, as stated in the list, the St.
- Because of shorter schedules for much of the 19th century, there was less of a “evening out” effect that accumulates over a season of 154 or 162 games, and as a result, 19th century baseball has both the greatest and the worst percentages in baseball history, respectively.
- These teams aren’t included since they had shorter schedules than the rest of the field.
- It wasn’t until 1899 that the National League adopted the normal 154-game schedule.
- Meanwhile, the St.
- However, the Browns were purchased by the Spiders’ ownership (the Robison brothers) in time for the 1899 season, resulting in an evident conflict of interest that was subsequently forbidden by the league.
- Louis on the final day of the season in exchange for poor players, resulting in decent performance for St.
It was the 1899 Spiders that established major league records for the most consecutive losses in a season (24 from July 26 to September 16), the most losses in a month (27 in July), the most double digit losing streaks (six), and the most games lost in a season (40 from July 26 to September 16).
- Although ironic in retrospect, the Los Angeles Dodgers had done a similar thing to the Baltimore Orioles franchise, shifting numerous future Hall of Famers from the old Orioles to the new Dodgers organization.
- Louis club, which had hoped for a more significant increase in the rankings than they were able to achieve.
- However, the only thing St.
- After being renamed theSt.
- Louis Browns, who adopted the discarded nickname and appear on this list as well.
The Spiders were practically a cinch to fold after their disastrous season, and ultimately the League contracted from twelve to eight clubs. Baltimore, Louisville and Washington were also phased out. TheAmerican Leaguesoon arose to fill the void.
On this list, nine teams competed in the city of Philadelphia, out of a total of 23 teams. It is worth noting that the Philadelphia Phillies, who are responsible for six of the clubs listed above, have an all-time winning percentage of.468 (through 2006, dating back to 1883), which ranks poorest among the “Original Sixteen” franchises prior to expansion. It was on July 15, 2007, that they suffered their 10,000th franchise defeat, which was several hundred more than the Chicago Cubs, despite the fact that they were founded seven years earlier.
- For many years, prior to the expansion New York Mets’ entrance in 1962 and their subsequent theft of the Phillies’ thunder, the Phillies were considered to be the bottom of the league’s food chain (and the team that kept the by-then inept Cubs out of last place).
- It was shown in a 1962 baseball magazine with the phrase, “I was released by the Phillies,” showing a baseball player submitting an application for the French Foreign Legion.
- The A’s won six pennants and three World Series between 1902 and 1914, and were a significant contrast to the Phillies.
- In just two seasons, the A’s went from being a perennial contender to becoming one of the worst teams in baseball history, second only to the 1962New York Mets and third only to the 2003Detroit Tigers in terms of ineptitude.
- Washington had a 76-77 record, while every other club in the American League had a winning record as a result of this.
- The A’s would rebuild into another powerhouse, winning three straight pennants from 1929-30-31 and the World Series in 1929-30 and 1930-31, respectively.
The 1935Boston Braves had future Hall of Famers Rabbit Maranville (age 43) and Babe Ruth, who was then known as Babe Ruth. Emili Fuchs had offered Ruth an ownership part in the Braves as well as the opportunity to become the club’s manager in the near future, but he had no intention of following through on either promise. Ruth retired from baseball on June 1, 1935, after hitting.181 in 72 at-bats with the Braves and blasting six home runs in the process (the last three all coming on the same day, May 25, 1935, atPittsburgh).
- Thirteen years later, the Braves would win the National League pennant for the second time.
- They finished with the third-worst winning percentage in the modern era and the most defeats in the modern period (1900-present).
- The Mets would go on to finish last or next-to-last in the National League for seven consecutive seasons until shocking the baseball world by winning the World Series in 1969.
- When the Tigers were 38-118 after 156 games, it looked like they were on their way to breaking the 1962 Mets’ record for most defeats.
- On September 27, the Tigers rallied from an early 8-0 hole to defeat the Minnesota Twins 9-8 in their next-to-last game of the season.
- The Tigers were fortunate in that the Twins had recently secured the division and were resting their regulars at the time of their victory.
A remarkable and surprising run by the Detroit Tigers three years after they had lost 119 games propelled them to a 95-67 record on the last day of the season, despite being eclipsed in the standings by the Minnesota Twins, who had “assisted” the Tigers in escaping ignominy three years previously.
Louis Cardinals in 2007.
Changes of scenery
Numerous franchises on this list that had been struggling for years eventually relocated and found considerably greater success. The following are the results from the 2006 season:
- The Senators would eventually become the Minnesota Twins, and in their new home they would win eight division titles, three league pennants, and two World Series championships
- The Browns, whose only postseason appearance in a half-century in St. Louis was a loss in the 1944 World Series to their same-ballpark rivals the Cardinals, would eventually become the Baltimore Orioles, and in their new home they would win six league pennants and three World Series championships
- And the Reds, who The Philadelphia Athletics relocated to Kansas City with little success, essentially serving as a “farm club” for the New York Yankees for a period of time (the closest modern equivalent to the 1898-1899 situation)
- They then relocated to Oakland under new ownership, where they won six league championships and four World Series championships. The Boston Braves relocated to Milwaukee, where they enjoyed immediate success, winning two pennants and one World Series championship
- And later to Atlanta, where they have won numerous divisional championships, several league pennants, and one World Series championship in the more than 50 years since they left Boston.
- Baseball Reference has statistics and game logs for the 1899 Cleveland Spiders
- “The 1899 Cleveland Spiders: Baseball’s Worst Team,” an article by David Fleitz
- And “Nothing worse than the 1899 Cleveland Spiders,” an article by ESPN. Rob Neyer contributed to this article. A selection from Chapter 8 of Neyer and Epstein’s Baseball Dynasties, “The Worst Teams of All Time,” by Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein
- Neyer, Rob, and Eddie Epstein Baseball Dynasties: The All-Time Greatest Teams in Baseball Norton & Company, 2000, 384 pages
- They Could See Seventh Place: Baseball’s Worst Teams, written by George Robinson, if it was a clear day. Some of the teams on this list have been profiled
- Some have been MISFITS! Baseball’s Worst Team in History, written by J. Thomas Hendrick. Concerning the Spiders of 1899
15 worst MLB records ever
Winners are in high demand in the sport of baseball. I mean, granted, sports aren’t always about winning, but that philosophy didn’t sit well with the clubs who had the worst MLB records in the history of the sport. It appears like they didn’t even bother to attempt. Injuries, bad luck, trades, signings, and poor management may all have a negative impact on a team’s ability to compete at the top level of competition. This group pushed things to a whole new level, even making it into the record books for entirely incorrect reasons in the process.
I assume these teams didn’t know much about statistics, to put it mildly.
15. Buffalo Bisons (1890)
36-96 is the number of the record (.273) The Buffalo Bisonswere a storied franchise from the beginning to the end. They were an unlawful franchise that entered the Players League under the guise of a minor league club in order to gain entry. After their disastrous 36-96 season in 1890, they were the last team to compete in the league’s history.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates (1952)
42-112 is the number of records (.273) There was a time when the Pittsburgh Pirateswere considered to be one of the most difficult teams to beat in the National League. Not so in 1952, when they achieved their lowest record since 1890, when they finished last in the league. The majority of its prospects were called up to serve in World War II and the Korean War, and injuries and a lack of depth hurt their hopes of competing in the postwar period.
13. Detroit Tigers (2003)
43-119 (recorded) (.265) The Detroit Tigers have experienced their share of ups and downs throughout their history, but none have compared to the 2003 season. They had the most defeats in the history of the American League and were one loss shy from having the worst record in the history of the sport. They were outscored by 337 runs by their opponents. Yikes!
12. St. Louis Browns (1898)
39-111 (recorded) (.260) In 1898, the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals) were dealing with a number of challenges away from the field. Due to a number of debts, the team’s owner was forced to sell them, and the new owners sold away the majority of their starting lineup. As a result, the team suffered 111 defeats and only 39 triumphs. Ironically, they were first referred to as ‘The Perfectos’ before being renamed the Cardinals.
11. Philadelphia Athletics (1919)
36-104 is the record number (.257) Throughout their existence, the Philadelphia (Oakland) Athletics have seen a number of highs and lows. Ironically, the most of them have been the result of owners who were unwilling to compensate their stars. Because to Connie Mack’s decision to fire the majority of his starters, the club embarked on an extended losing skid that lasted for several seasons.
10. Washington Senators (1904)
38-113 is the score (.252) Despite Jake Stahl’s outstanding season, the 1904 Washington Senators were a complete failure.
None of their pitchers had an ERA below 3.00, and none of their batters had a batting average greater than.260 for the whole season. That season, they completed with a record of 55.5 wins. It’s no surprise that they finally decided to leave town.
9. New York Mets (1962)
40-120 is the number of records (.250) The 1962 New York Mets are known for having the most defeats in the history of Major League Baseball. Despite being 12-19 at one point during the season, they finished with a dreadful 40-120 record. They suffered through losing streaks of nine, seventeen, and eleven games, and they never won more than three games in a row throughout the season.
8. Kansas City Cowboys (1886)
Record: 30 to 91 (.248) Beyond being a member of the ‘worst MLB record ever’ list, the Kansas City Cowboys should be considered one of the biggest flops in the history of sports in all categories. Their lone season as a professional team ended with a 30-91 record, and as a result of that disastrous season, they were forced to declare for bankruptcy.
7. Boston Braves (1935)
38-115 is the score (.248) The Boston Braves fooled Babe Ruth in 1935, causing him to lose his temper. They offered him a player-manager post, but it never materialized, and he went on to have the worst (and final) season of his professional life. With 115 defeats, they completed the season 61.5 games behind of first place in the conference. That was a dreadful way to conclude the career of’The Bambino.’
6. Philadelphia Athletics (1916)
36-117 is the record number (.235) The year was 1916. The Philadelphia Athletics are arguably the most infamous club in the history of the National League, dating back more than a century. Because of the truncated season, they don’t have the most defeats, but they can still ‘brag’ about having the worst winning % in history if they want to. However, it should be noted that Connie Mack had already released the majority of their players.
5. Washington Nationals (1886)
28-92 is the year when the record was set (.233) It’s rather common to see newly formed teams struggle in their first few games. Despite this, the 1886 Washington Nationals went much too far in the opposite direction, winning only 28 games out of a total of 120 games played. It goes without saying that it wasn’t the ideal manner for them to begin their Major League Baseball career. They were no longer in existence three years later.
4. St. Louis Browns (1897)
29-102 (recorded) (.221) As we previously said, Chris von der Ahe, the owner of the St. Louis Browns, was going through a difficult time in the late 1890s. The team was clearly not a priority for him, as evidenced by the fact that they won only 29 games out of a possible 131 in 1897. Fortunately for the team, the transaction resulted in the Cardinals being the reputable organization that they are today.
3. Louisville Colonels (1889)
18-120 is the number on the record (.122) The Louisville Colonels hold the record for the fewest number of victories in a season (18) and were the first club to lose more than 100 games in a season. Player penalties, the dismissal of a manager, terrible pitching, and even worse batting, all contributed to the Colonels’ disappointing start to the season. The season marked the conclusion of the franchise’s history.
2. Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1890)
23-113 is the record number (.169) The Pittsburgh Alleghenys were a minor league baseball team that existed long before the Pittsburgh Pirates as we know them today.
They were not a very successful organization. They had one of the poorest MLB records in history due to the fact that the squad was primarily comprised of amateur players. They ended in second place, 66.5 games behind the leader.
1. Cleveland Spiders (1899)
Record number: 20-134 (.130) The Cleveland Spiders are notable for having the poorest record in Major League Baseball history. In fact, it would be the 13th and last season in franchise existence, since the team’s owners also purchased the St. Louis Browns during the same transaction (Cardinals). They suffered 101 road losses, which was unavoidable given the current timetable. The remainder of the National League clubs did not want to come since their dismal attendance and earnings could not even cover the costs of their hotel accommodations.
2021 Major League Baseball Standings & Expanded Standings
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The Ten Worst Major League Baseball Seasons
In baseball, there’s an ancient proverb that says you’ll normally win a third of your games and lose a third of your games. It is what you do with the remaining third of the season that defines whether or not you had a good season. Over the course of 162 games, this implies that a club should end with a 54-108 (.333) record at the most worst possible outcome. That isn’t always the case, however. Since 1888, more than two dozen clubs have ended a season with a victory percentage of.300 or lower than they did the previous season.
- Furthermore, there have been nine teams in the history of baseball that have fared even worse.
- The Detroit Tigers finished tenth in 2003.
- With a 55-106 record in 2002, many people felt that the squad had reached rock bottom.
- They had already lost 100 games by the time September rolled around, and they only escaped setting the contemporary major league record by winning five of their final six games of the season.
- Mike Maroth (9-21) was the first to cross the finish line, followed by Jeremy Bonderman (6-19) and Nate Cornejo (9-21).
- On a more positive note, the Tigers were able to rebuild and make it to the World Series in 2006, where they were defeated by an underdog St.
Louis Browns, who won the World Series in 1898.
Louis Browns struggled financially in the years leading up to their transformation as the Cardinals.
Nevertheless, when the Browns entered the National League in 1892, the team embarked on a seven-year losing record that would last until 1904.
Following on the heels of the team’s disastrous performance in 1897 (see below), this poor follow-up isn’t a huge surprise.
In 1919, the Philadelphia Athletics finished eighth (36-104,.257) In 1901, the Philadelphia Athletics were one of the founding members of the newly created American League, joining the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Nevertheless, following the Boston Braves’ sweep of the World Series in 1914 and the subsequent departure of players to the Federal League, manager Connie Mack purged the team of practically every valuable player in favor of younger, less expensive players.
The 1919 season, which was cut short to 140 games owing to World War I, at the very least featured 14 less disappointments for the team’s supporters.
(38-113,.252) Although they were another founding member of the American League’s initial expansion, the Senators failed to have a winning season during the first decade of their existence.
The squad couldn’t hit, couldn’t walk, couldn’t score, and struck out more than any other team in the American League, ending dead last in each of those categories, which was the worst in the league.
As a result of these factors, the Potomac experienced yet another dismal summer.
That, too, was a failure.
The Mets, a group of elderly stars, cast-offs, and misfits, were baseball’s attempt to make up for the loss of both the Dodgers and the Giants from New York City in the previous two seasons.
And no one personified that enthusiasm more than Marvin Throneberry, the starting first baseman known as “Marvelous Marv.” According to one tale, Throneberry hits a triple but is thrown out at second base for not reaching second base.
Boston Braves, 1935 (38-115,.248) In 1935, owner Emil Fuchs was looking for a means to attract more supporters and get his club off to a better start.
In addition to promising Ruth shares in team revenues and a position as the heir apparent to succeed manager Bill McKechnie, Fuchs made several other promises to Ruth, none of which he meant to keep.
Ruth announced his retirement on June 1 after posting only a.181 batting average with six home runs in 72 at-bats.
Until 1953, the Braves were based in Boston, before relocating to Milwaukee in that year.
The Philadelphia Athletics, founded in 1916.
After slipping from first to last in the American League standings in 1915, the Athletics put on another show that would establish a new American League record for defeats.
A record 30 walks were recorded by the Oakland Athletics and (coincidentally) the Detroit Tigers in a 16-2 Tigers victory on May 9, one of the year’s more questionable accomplishments for the team.
But there was one notable moment: on September 8, Wally Schang became the first player in history to smash home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game, a feat that still stands today.
(29-102,.221) In retrospect, it’s difficult to overstate how disastrous the Browns’ 1897 season turned out.
Only three victories were recorded after August, as they finished the season on a high note (due in large part to an 18-game losing streak in September).
The Browns completed the season 6312 games out of first place as a result of mediocre batting and dreadful pitching.
Many National League players, including future Hall of Famer Pud Galvin, followed the club’s stars in defecting to the upstart Player’s League in 1890, and the squad went on to win the championship.
At the plate, on the mound, in the field, and in practically every other significant statistic, the club finished bottom or second-to-last in the league in nearly every area.
The owners repurchased the services of the vast majority of their previous players and reorganized the team into the more successful Pittsburgh Pirates, which they have since become.
The Cleveland Spiders, who played in 1899.
It was in 1899 when the proprietors of the Spiders acquired control of the St.
They did not, however, relinquish ownership of the Spiders and instead chose to take advantage of their newly discovered conflict of interest by trading some of Cleveland’s top players to themselves.
Louis and fielding a squad that would go down in baseball history as the worst ever.
Throughout the season, the Spiders only managed to win two games in a row once.
It was as a result of these circumstances that the squad played only 42 home games and was obliged to travel to 112 away games, losing 101 of them.
In the end, the National League carried out a mercy killing, disbanding the Spiders and three other clubs as the league shrank from 12 to eight teams during the course of the season.
* From 1888 through 1904, the National League season consisted of 132, 140, or 154 games, depending on the year.
The American League, which was established in 1901, began with a 140-game schedule before increasing it to 154 games in 1904. The normal schedule for each league lasted at 154 games until 1962, when it was increased to the present 162-game schedule for each league. The J. M. Pressley Residence
The 10 Worst Teams in MLB History
- Nate Cornejo was a pitcher with the Detroit Tigers in 2003. Photograph courtesy of Ezra Shaw/Getty Images We have wonderful memories of and debate about some of the greatest teams in the history of Major League Baseball, but there is also a lot less successful side to that coin to consider. There were a few teams who lost about three out of every four games during seasons that were plain dreadful for every club like the 1927 New York Yankees, 1954 Cleveland Indians, and 2001 Seattle Mariners that made persuasive bids for all-time greatness. Even though winning % was the most important element in determining the appropriate candidates, these 10 worst teams of all time were rated in ascending order of perceived awfulness in the context of their individual seasons. In other words, it is conceivable for a club that won 27 percent of its games to be considered worse than a team that won 25 percent of its games. In the majority of these instances, there was a prolonged period of poor performance. Those instances will be handled farther down the page. However, for the sake of rating, we attempted to limit our attention to the specific season in question.
- The Cleveland Spiders are a minor league baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. Getty Images courtesy of Transcendental Graphics Any sport, including baseball, makes it difficult to compare teams from different periods. However, it would be absurd to try to debate whether the 1899 Cleveland Spiders or the 2018 Baltimore Orioles were a worse club. In terms of winning percentage, 32 of the 35 poorest seasons in Major League Baseball history occurred before 1900, with 23 of those clubs playing 65 or fewer games. Rather than attempting to cherry-pick a couple of the particularly bad teams from the sport’s pre-World Series history and then interweave them with bad seasons from the 1900s and 2000s, we’ll just briefly address our “top” four of those teams before working our way through a top ten list from the 12 most recent decades. 4. The Quakers of Philadelphia (17-81) in 1883: One of baseball’s oldest organizations didn’t get off to a very good start this season. The Quakers’ first season, which took place seven years before they were renamed the Phillies, was a complete catastrophe. In case you believe that general managers are making coaching changes at an alarming rate these days, consider the fact that the Philadelphia Quakers sacked their manager (Bob Ferguson) after only 17 games in the franchise’s history. In addition, they lost 0-14 versus the Boston Beaneaters, losing by a combined score of 169-67 in seven games. 3. Pittsburgh Alleghenys (23-113) in the year 1890: The Alleghenys’ 4-2 start to the season turned out to be a piece of fool’s gold, as they finished with a winning percentage of.146 the rest of the year. During the period of August 12 to September 2, they lost 23 straight games, including a streak of nine defeats in six days, which was made possible by two doubleheaders and a tripleheader on the same day. That being said, according toBaseball Reference, their two most useful players were called Doggie Miller and Phenomenal Smith, which is OK with me. Two notable aspects of the 1889 Louisville Colonels’ season were a 26-game losing streak that “highlighted” a season that included a manager who was sacked after 10 games and an owner who punished his team incessantly and refused to pay the players before abandoning the franchise in July. The world needs a 30-for-30 doctor on this situation. Cleveland Spiders (20-134), 1899 (Cleveland, Ohio): No club has ever gone winless in a season that included at least 12 games, but the Spiders gave it their all in the name of tradition. Their winning percentage was.130 for the season, but their greatest head-to-head winning percentage against an opponent was.286 — 4-10 against both the Washington Senators and the Louisville Colonels — during which time they went 4-10 against both teams. They ended 84 games behind first place with a run difference of minus-723, which was the worst in the league. They had six distinct losing streaks of at least ten games, with the longest reaching 24 games
- Carlos Pena’s full name is Carlos Pena. Associated Press photographer Gus Ruelas The Scorecard reads 51-111. (.315 winning percentage) This is a positive development. At the very least, this was a premeditated, if not entirely self-inflicted wound. After previous management spent far too many years attempting to cling to the golden days of the team’s journey to the 2005 World Series, the Astros were forced to completely overhaul its operations and start again. They were a disaster from 2011 to 2013, but with the help of low-risk contracts, a strong draft position, and trash-can pounding, they were able to win it all the following year in 2017. The Unfavorable While still in the National League, Houston’s hitting average was below average in 2011 and 2012. The fact that they were moving to the American League and needed to add a designated hitter to the mix didn’t help matters. While Chris Carter, Brett Wallace, and Carlos Pena shared the DH/1B responsibilities for a majority of the season, no one in that group hit better than.223. Furthermore, the majority of the significant “contributors” in other positions were too young and inexperienced to be able to contribute on a consistent basis. The Unpleasant The batters had a difficult time, but the pitching staff was terrible. In 2013, Houston surrendered 848 runs, which was 60 more than the next worst club. These things do happen, though, when you have not a single pitcher on your roster earning more than $1.2 million per year. The irony is that Dallas Keuchel, the eventual 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner, was tied for the team lead in innings pitched in his rookie season
- He didn’t begin to emerge as a star until the following season.
- Fenway Park is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Photograph courtesy of Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images The Scoreboard reads 43-111. (.279 winning percentage) The GoodSmead is a slang term for “good smead.” Even though Jolley (such a name!) only played four seasons in the major leagues, he was a bright spot in what was otherwise an otherwise bleak season in Red Sox history. If you exclude the 12 games he played with the Chicago White Sox to start the season, Jolley batted.309 with 18 home runs and 99 RBI with Boston, and he finished 24th in the American League MVP voting. Dale Alexander, who was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in June, had a.372 batting average over 101 games, which was also impressive. In that same MVP poll, he came in 11th place. The Unfavorable The Red Sox had a couple of good hitters on their team, but their pitching was terrible. They finished dead last in the majors in both the ERA and the walk rate, and they would have finished worst in the strikeout rate if the Cincinnati Reds had done a little better job of painting the corners in the first place. Only four pitchers on the squad have an earned run average (ERA) less than 5.00. Only one of them (Ivy Andrews) had a winning percentage higher than 0.460 percent. With only 26 games played in the season, the UglyBoston was already 15 games off of first place in the Eastern Conference. The Red Sox started the season 4-22 and only had one two-game winning streak in their first 78 games, when they were 17-61 and 36 games behind the New York Yankees. They finished the season 17-61 and 36 games behind the Yankees. Their play improved marginally during the course of the rest of the season, but they still finished a franchise-worst 64 games out of contention for the World Series.
- Manny Machado Patrick Semansky/Associated Press The Record: 47-115 (.290 winning percentage) (.290 winning percentage) This is a positive development. For the three-plus months the Orioles had him, Manny Machado was worth the price of admission. Over the course of 96 games, he hit.315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBI. All three of those milestones either matched or exceeded every other Oriole’s full-season statistics. And that doesn’t even take into account his ninja-like skills with the glove. Despite the fact that the Baltimore Orioles were a disaster, he was selected as the starting shortstop for the All-Star Game. The Unfavorable Two years away from a playoff spot, Baltimore was 13 games below.500 a mere 25 contests into the season. However, it is not as if the Orioles embarked on some sort of complete rebuild a la the Miami Marlins following a successful season. Most of the major players from their strong 2016 campaign were still on the roster in 2018. They just started terribly and never showed so much as a pulse after that. Most notably, Chris Davis batted.168, only hit 16 home runs (compared to 38 in 2016) and earned thethird-worst Baseball-Reference WARby a qualified position player in MLB history. The UglyA record 41 games below.500 by the All-Star Break, the Orioles were basically forced to trade the 25-year-old face of their franchise (Machado) to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a bouquet of prospects in hopes of at least getting some sort of return on investment before he walked for nothing following a contract year. It hasn’t done them much good yet, though. They only improved by a few wins in 2019, and no one is expecting anything good from this team in 2020
- Getty Images courtesy of Transcendental Graphics The Scoreboard reads 38-113. (.252 winning percentage) Despite the fact that GoodRun assistance was sparse (more on that in a bit), starting pitcher Casey Patten had a successful season. He was credited with 14 of Washington’s 38 victories and logged more than 350 innings of work with an earned run average well above 3.00. While he was no Cy Young or Rube Waddell, he didn’t let that stop him from toeing the rubber every fourth game and pitching a full game practically every time he took the field. It’s hard not to appreciate throwing statistics from more than three decades ago. The Senators were probably dead last in the majors in the BadName hitting category, which was named after the Senators’ bad nickname. Certainly, they did so in terms of batting average (.227), on-base percentage (.275), runs scored (2.78 a game), and home runs (10). Although it was the first time in Major League Baseball history when a ball was struck by a dead ball, the ball at American League Park II was particularly lifeless. The Unpleasant This steamy disaster was already over before it even got underway. With a record of 1-16-1 through their first 18 games, the Senators sacked catcher Malachi Kittridge from the latter half of his player/manager job. Kittridge has a lifetime winning % of.059, which ranks him worst among the almost 650 managers who have managed a Major League Baseball team for at least twelve games. With outfielder Patsy Donovan in charge for the remainder of the season, things didn’t get much better, but at least they managed to win more than one game out of every four throughout the course of the season.
- In 1939, this was just one example of the Browns getting hammered on a daily basis. Associated Press photographer John Lindsay The Scoreboard reads 43-111. (.279 winning percentage) This is a positive development. While the Browns didn’t have any of the greats like Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, or Jimmie Foxx on their roster, George McQuinn had a fantastic season on the field. At the plate, he hit.316 and set career highs in home runs, RBI (94), triples (13) and slugging percentage (1.000). (.515). McQuinn placed 13th in the race for the American League MVP award and was named to the first of his six All-Star teams. The Unfavorable Throughout the whole season, the Browns were never able to string together more than three victories in a row. They did manage to string together two consecutive victories on ten different times, but there was never a period when fans could say, “At the very least, we’re starting to turn things around!” In Fred Haney’s defense, he was the team’s fifth general manager in less than two calendar years, which is a remarkable feat. After all, things weren’t exactly going swimmingly in the months and years leading up to 1939. The Unpleasant Despite the fact that the league’s hitting averages were lower than they had been in any other season between 1916 and 1945, the St. Louis pitching staff was nothing short of dismal. Roxie Lawson had the lowest earned run average (ERA) among the nine players who pitched at least 46 innings, with a dismal score of 5.32. Browns had an earned run average of 6.01, which was the seventh-highest number in the majors since 1900. When compared to the rest of the league’s pitching that season, this genuinely may be the weakest pitching staff in baseball history
- Image courtesy of the Ralph KinerKidwiler Collection/Getty Images The final score was 42-112. (.273 winning percentage) This is a positive development. At the very least, they had Dick Groat and Ralph Kiner on their roster, which was a plus. The former was a strong candidate for the 1952 National League Rookie of the Year award and went on to win the NL MVP award in 1960. The latter was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and topped the majors with 37 home runs this season, marking his sixth straight season in the top spot. His RBI total was significantly lower than in prior seasons, however, due to a scarcity of ducks on the pond this season. The Unfavorable Just as with the St. Louis Browns in 1939, the Pittsburgh Pirates could only muster a three-game winning streak in their whole season (1939). They did manage to sweep a pair of doubleheaders on three separate times, but they were unable to capitalize on those rare instances of good fortune. However, with the exception of a 10-game losing skid in April, there were no exceptionally protracted dry spells in the season. Then then, if you lose 10 games in a row in April, your season is all but over by the time the month of May rolls around. The Unpleasant Despite the fact that Groat wasn’t even on Pittsburgh’s first-day roster, there were 13 rookies on the team. (He signed his contract in June, just after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Duke.) Seven of the 14 batters who got at least 100 plate appearances and six of the ten pitchers who recorded at least 50 innings were eligible for the NL Rookie of the Year award, which was decided by a vote of the league’s fans. Despite the fact that the Pirates’ strategy was not as deliberate as the Houston Astros’ tanking in 2011-13, it is evident from the approach that the Pirates had no intention of winning the World Series in 1952.
- Danny Litwhiler is a songwriter and musician from New York City. Warren M. Winterbottom / Associated Press Photographer The Scoreboard reads 42-109. (.278 winning percentage) This is a positive development. The pitching wasn’t that horrible, too. The Phillies posted a 4.12 team earned run average that season, which was just the third-worst in the majors. Four of their five key starters had an earned run average under 4.00. Tommy Hughes was the team’s best pitcher, accounting for 12 of the team’s 42 victories and tossing 19 complete games on his way to a 22nd-place finish in the National League MVP voting. The Unfavorable The offense was a complete and utter failure. One-hundred-and-fortieth of the thirteen Phillies who made at least 100 plate appearances hit below.245. Danny Litwhiler (.271) was the only player to hit for a.265 average or higher. As a group, the Phillies’ position players had a Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 0.8. A few dozen teams have received bad ratings in that area over the years, but at least most of those teams had someone respectable in their starting lineups at the time. The Philadelphia Phillies were terrible from start to end, averaging 2.6 runs per game and finished 62.5 games off of first place in the National League standings. The Unpleasant It may have been the most catastrophic season of the lot, but it came in the middle of an eight-year span (1938-44) in which the Phillies ended at least 41 games off of first place in the National League every season. And that was after finishing 31 to 38 games behind the leaders in each of the previous four seasons (1933-37). Additionally, the Philadelphia Athletics were at least ten games below.500 in every season from 1934 through 1946, indicating that baseball in the City of Brotherly Love was not very good for a long period of time.
- Babe Ruth was a member of the Boston Braves baseball team. THE Associated Press’s TOM SANDE The Scoreboard reads 38-115. (.248 winning percentage) This is a positive development. The majority of the clubs on this list went through a multi-year period in which they were regularly out of contention for a playoff spot. For those clubs, we simply selected the worst of the worst seasons from the previous year. However, the Boston Braves just hit rock bottom in dramatic manner for one season and then climbed out of it. They ended above.500 in both 1934 and 1937, but managed to have this 77-games-below-.500 disaster in the interim between the two seasons. Undeniably, Wally Berger led the National League in both home runs (34) and RBI (130), and he finished sixth in the MVP voting despite the aforementioned defeats. The BadBerger was the lone bright spot on the team, as he hit nearly as many home runs as the rest of the lineup combined, which was impressive (41). Despite signing Babe Ruth as a free agent with the hopes that he would still have something left in the tank, he only batted.181 and hit six home runs before retiring on June 2nd. Moreover, that abysmal offense reserved the worst for poor Ben Cantwell, who finished 4-25 with a respectable 4.61 ERA in 25 appearances. His average run support was only 2.44, which was below the industry average. Even Jacob DeGrom, who won the National League Cy Young Award in 2018 with a 10-9 record, averaged 3.49 runs per game. The Unpleasant In addition to a 15-game losing streak in July, the Braves went through a run from Aug. 18 to Sept. 21 in which they lost 28 of the 30 games in which they participated. Their season was already lost by the time Ruth retired, but they threw all they had into the second half, finishing with the second-worst winning % in the Major Leagues since 1900.
- Dmitri Young is a Russian composer. Photograph by John Williamson/Getty Images The Scoreboard reads 43-119. (.265 winning percentage) This is a positive development. The Detroit Tigers were allowed to select Justin Verlander in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft after losing at least 20 more games than each of the other 29 clubs in 2003. Although nothing is certain in the draft, especially in the first round, the Tigers’ first-round choice turned out to be a good one for them over the course of more than a decade. The Unfavorable Everyone on the roster, with the exception of Dmitri Young, who hit a career-high 29 home runs and batted nearly.300, struggled to put together a good season. On the team, the second-most useful player was undoubtedly Nate Cornejo, who finished with a record of 6-17 and a 4.67 earned run average while striking out just 46 batters in 194.2 innings pitched. So he didn’t lose as many games as Jeremy Bonderman (19) and Mike Maroth (21) did, right? The Unpleasant Only two Major League Baseball teams have won fewer than 27 percent of their games in a season in the entire career of my 84-year-old grandfather: the 1962 New York Mets and these Tigers, who are now in last place. It is possible that the Mets will receive a break because their expansion-draft group never had a chance, making the Tigers of 2003 the weakest club in the majors since at least World War II. They plummeted from 79 victories in 2000 to 66 victories in 2001 and 55 victories in 2002, before hitting rock bottom with 43 victories in 2003. As if you were seeing a car accident in slow motion
- According to the Associated Press The Scorecard reads 36-117. (.235 winning percentage) This is a positive development. Their three World Series titles (1910, 1911, and 1913) came as a result of their participation in the Fall Classic, which they won as representatives of the American League in 1914. When your team finishes dead last in the league for seven consecutive years (1915-21), it’s never nice, but at least the A’s can look back on their more prosperous days. At the very least, they had Amos Strunk, who had a career year in 1916, batting.316 with a WAR of 5.6 according to Baseball Reference. The Unfavorable When it came to the other seven clubs in the American League, Philadelphia not only had a losing record against them all, but it also lost at least two out of every three games it played against them. The New York Yankees were the team with the best head-to-head record, going 7-15 (.318) versus them. With 5.04 runs per game, the A’s allowed 1.2 more runs per game than the second-worst pitching staff in the American League, while scoring 0.46 less runs per game (2.90) than the second-most anemic offense in the league. The Unpleasant The A’s were 2-41 from June 27 to August 8, according to Baseball Reference. Bullet Joe Bush pitched complete-game shutouts in both of the victories, but this horrendous stretch began with a 12-game losing streak, ended with a 20-game losing streak, and included a nine-game skid in between the victories. Bullet Joe Bush pitched complete-game shutouts in both of the victories. They were already 16 games off the pace in late June and looking like they were going nowhere quickly, but they were 38.5 games out of the race for the National League pennant less than a month and a half later. It would be 54.5 games behind them by the end of the season, which would be a full 40 games behind the next-worst club.
MLB Games Lost Records by Teams
Most often requested items on the Internet include records for a team’s most games lost, the poorest record by a team, the most consecutive defeats, and other comparable records, among other things. Baseball Almanacis is proud to introduce a record book containing a plethora of baseball records, many of which pertain especially to games lost by Major League teams. A list of Major League Baseball clubs that have lost more than one-hundred ten games in a single season is provided by Baseball Almanac, arranged in descending order by the number of games lost (with links to rosters, statistics, and a schedule):
|1899 Cleveland Spiders||NL||134||20|
|1962 New York Mets||NL||120||40|
|2003 Detroit Tigers||AL||119||43|
|1916 Philadelphia Athletics||AL||117||36|
|1935 Boston Braves||NL||115||38|
|2018 Baltimore Orioles||AL||115||47|
|2019 Detroit Tigers||AL||114||47|
|1904 Washington Nationals||AL||113||38|
|1952 Pittsburgh Pirates||NL||112||42|
|1965 New York Mets||NL||112||50|
|1889 Louisville Colonels||AA||111||27|
|1898 St. Louis Browns||NL||111||39|
|1932 Boston Red Sox||AL||111||43|
|1939 St. Louis Browns||AL||111||43|
|1941 Philadelphia Phillies||NL||111||43|
|1963 New York Mets||NL||111||51|
|2004 Arizona Diamondbacks||NL||111||51|
|2013 Houston Astros||AL||111||51|
In a tripleheader on September 7, 1896, the Louisville Colonels were defeated in each of their three games. As a result, they dropped both games in a doubleheader on September 8, 1896, becoming the first and only club in Major League Baseball history to lose five games on two consecutive days! Did you know that the 1950 Chicago Cubs lost a Major League-high nineteen doubleheaders, setting a new record for the team? Is it too simple? Did you know that the 1968 Chicago White Sox lost a Major League record forty-four one-run games, setting a new record at the time?
Did you know that the 1980 Seattle Mariners lost a Major League record eighty-three night games, setting a new mark for the franchise?