Countdown to #Cubs #DoubleTriple now at 42 losses

The Cubs lost again today, triggering the last year of the 1960s along our road to the historic #DoubleTriple (100 losses in a season, during a 100 year championship drought). A short narrative will follow about the two teams that lost 100+ games in 1969.

1969 Montreal Expos

Expansion team: Yes

Overall record: 52-110

# of win streaks of 3 games or more: 2

Manager(s): Gene Mauch

Hall of Famers on roster: None

100 loss seasons since: 1976; 2008 (as Washington Nationals); 2009 (as Washington Nationals)

Pennant wins since: None, but an agonizing near miss in 1981

The Montreal Expos made history, just by bringing America’s game onto foreign soil. And sadly, they now are history, since they were taken over by MLB and moved to Washington DC after the 2004 season.

Things started off rather well for les Expos. In just their ninth game as a franchise, Expos pitcher Bill Stoneman no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies. But things quickly went downhill from there. After an 11-17 start–which, honestly, is much better than an expansion franchise should ever start off– the Expos endured a twenty game losing streak. By streak’s end, they were 23 games out of first place, and were playing out the string from early June on.

1969 San Diego Padres

Expansion team: Yes

Overall record: 52-110

# of win streaks of 3 games or more: 6

Manager(s): Preston Gomez

Hall of Famers on roster: No players, but Sparky Anderson served as third base coach

100 loss seasons since: 1971, 1973, 1974; 1993

Pennant wins since: 1984; 1998

Ah yes, the franchise that broke my heart in 1984. But first they had to suffer through an expansion year beatdown, and then they struggled for several years to get on their feet as a franchise. And yet, since then they’ve been to the World Series twice, and the Cubs, well…..

The Padres actually won the first three games they played as a franchise. They went downhill from there, of course, but they had to get that first season under their belt, and that’s what they did. Expansion teams are supposed to lose lots of games that first season, aren’t they?

Sparky Anderson’s tenure with the Padres didn’t last beyond the first year of their existence. He became the Reds’ manager the next year, and the Big Red Machine took flight thereafter. And, in the battle of the new expansion teams, the Padres took 8 of 12 from the Montreal Expos. So at least they had that going for them.

See you in the 1970s, after the Cubs lose again.

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