Even though the 12-game losing streak of the 2012 Houston Astros now has a cap from the club’s 9-5 win yesterday, July 29th, over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the local heroes had not even reached half way to the all time mark for all professional big league clubs in history.
The 1889 Louisville Colonels of the American Association hold the al time record for most consecutive regular season losses with 26. To no major surprise, Louisville finished in last place in the 1889 eight-team league with a record of 27-111, also becoming the first team to lose 100 games in a single season.
The infamous 1899 Cleveland Spiders of the 12-team National League waited only ten more years to register the second longest losing streak with 24, also establishing the worst season record in big league history with a 20-134 mark.
Both of those landmark losing streak records were the direct result of major roster-gut moves by ownership.
The Top Five Losing Marks Since 1960 include the following:
(1) 1961 Philadelphia Phillies (23): The Phillies finished last in the last season of the National League’s eight-team circuit with a record of 47-107. Their mark is the record for the modern era of Major League Baseball and the National League.
(2) 1988 Ba;timore Orioles (21): The Orioles reeled their losses home in style, losing their first 21 games of the season. Their American League record would help carry and bury the sign-of-spring birds with a record of 54-107 in last place of the seven-club AL East division.
(3) 1969 Montreal Expos (20): The Expos celebrated their first year of existence with this 20-loss-spot on the all time consecutive game loser list, finishing the season at 52-110 for sixth and last place in the NL East division.
(4t) 1975 Detroit Tigers (19): The Tigers worked their losing wormhole into a 57-102 record, bad enough for last place in the six-club AL East division.
(4t) 2005 Kansas City Royals (19): The Royals rode their 56-106 mark to last place in the five-team AL Central, proving once again that teams that join the record books for most losses in row have an almost 100% chance of taking their fates all the way to last place – and well before season’s end.
At least in Houston, thanks to yesterday’s blood coagulator with the Pirates, we can all now hum a low chorus of “Ding! Dong! The witch is dead!”
Just don’t sing too loud. The Astros have already taken out what appears to be a long-term lease on a basement level apartment.