The Cubs finally put together a three game win streak by sweeping the Astros at home last weekend. The conditions were right, and the Cubs took advantage. But all good things come to an end, and tonight’s loss brings us to the epic 1972 season, where only one team in the majors made it to the 100 loss plateau.
1972 Texas Rangers
Expansion team: Not exactly (previously the Washington Senators)
Overall record: 62-10o
# of win streaks of 3 games or more: Four
Manager(s): Ted Williams
Hall of Famers on roster: No players, but Nellie Fox served as a coach, along with Williams
100 loss seasons since: 1973
Pennant wins since: 2010
1972 was a watershed year for baseball: The first players’ strike in the modern era wiped out the first week and a half of the season. The Oakland A’s began a three-year championship run, becoming the only team not named the Yankees to accomplish this feat. Jackie Robinson died, just days after throwing out the first pitch in Game Two of the World Series. Roberto Clemente reached 3,000 hits, and then lost his life in a plane crash on New Year’s eve. And The American League voted to adopt the Designated Pinch Hitter (DPH) on a three year experimental basis. We know how that one turned out. But the focus here is on losing, and the new Texas Rangers franchise made their way into the loser’s circle.
The Washington Senators had suffered several 100 loss seasons in the 1960s, but Ted Williams had guided the team to their first (and only) winning season in 1969. They fell back below .500 after that, but the move to Texas was more than Williams could tolerate, and he resigned at the end of this season.
To reach 100 losses, the Rangers suffered through an almost unbearable September, where they went 3-23 for a winning percentage of .115 There may have been worse months in big league history, but there can’t be too many of them. The team’s 100th loss came on the last day of the season, in the final game played in Municipal Stadium in Kansas City.
The next Cubs loss will usher in the Designated Hitter era. Should be interesting.