Baseball is for winners. I mean, yes, sports aren't always about winning, but that mentality didn't sit well at all for the teams with the worst MLB records ever. It looks like they weren't even trying.
Injuries, tough luck, trades, signings, and poor management can surely take a toll on a team's ability to compete at the highest level. Then again, these teams took that to a whole new level, even making it to the record books for all the wrong reasons.
MLB seasons are long enough to win a couple of games, even statistically speaking. Well, I guess these teams didn't know much about stats. We are going to review the top 15 worst MLB records ever.
15. Buffalo Bisons (1890)
Record: 36-96 (.273)
The Buffalo Bisons were an infamous team from start to finish. They were an outlaw franchise who used a minor league's team name to enter the Players League. They only existed for one year, as their terrible 36-96 season in 1890 was the final season in that league's history.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates (1952)
Record: 42-112 (.273)
There was a time when the Pittsburgh Pirates were one of the teams to beat in the league. That surely wasn't the case in 1952 when they posted their worst record since 1890. Most of their prospects were called to serve in World War II and the Korea War and injuries and lack of depth took a toll on their chances to compete.
13. Detroit Tigers (2003)
Record: 43-119 (.265)
The Detroit Tigers have had their fair share of struggles as a franchise, but none compare to the 2003 season. They had the most losses in American League history and were one loss away from having the worst record in modern baseball. Their opponents outscored them by 337 runs. Yikes!
12. St. Louis Browns (1898)
Record: 39-111 (.260)
The St. Louis Browns (now Cardinals) were going through several issues off the field in 1898. The team owner was forced to sell them due to several debts and the new ownership traded away most of their starters. The result? 111 losses and just 39 victories. Ironically, they were later called 'The Perfectos' before becoming the Cardinals.
11. Philadelphia Athletics (1919)
Record: 36-104 (.257)
The Philadelphia (Oakland) Athletics have had plenty of ups and downs throughout their history. Ironically, most of them have been due to owners that weren't willing to pay their stars. Owner-manager Connie Mack got rid of most his starters and the team went on a losing season streak that went on for years.
10. Washington Senators (1904)
Record: 38-113 (.252)
The 1904 Washington Senators were a disaster despite Jake Stahl's great season. None of their pitchers finished with an ERA of under 3.00 and none of their batters was above .260 for the season. They finished 55.5 games back that season. No wonder they eventually ended up leaving town.
9. New York Mets (1962)
Record: 40-120 (.250)
The 1962 New York Mets are infamous for having the most losses in modern MLB history. They had an abysmal 40-120 record despite being 12-19 at some point in the season. They went through losing streaks of 9, 17, 11 games, and never won more than three consecutive games all year.
8. Kansas City Cowboys (1886)
Record: 30-91 (.248)
Besides being a part of the 'worst MLB record ever' list, the Kansas City Cowboys should also be considered one of the greatest failures in all sports. Their only season as a professional team finished with a 30-91 record and they were forced to file for bankruptcy following that terrible campaign.
7. Boston Braves (1935)
Record: 38-115 (.248)
Babe Ruth was deceived by the Boston Braves in 1935. They offered him a player-manager position that never became a reality and he had the worst (and final) season of his career. They finished the season with 115 losses and 61.5 games back of first place. That was a terrible way to end 'The Bambino's' career.
6. Philadelphia Athletics (1916)
Record: 36-117 (.235)
The 1916 Philadelphia Athletics may be the most infamous team the league has seen in over a century. They don't have the most losses because of a shortened season but can still 'brag' about having the worst winning percentage ever. Then again, let's remember Connie Mack had gotten rid of most of their players.
5. Washington Nationals (1886)
Record: 28-92 (.233)
It's pretty normal to watch debuting teams struggle early on. Even so, the 1886 Washington Nationals took that trend way too far, as they were only able to win 28 out of their 120 games. Needless to say, it wasn't the best way to start their participation in Major League Baseball. They ceased to exist three years later.
4. St. Louis Browns (1897)
Record: 29-102 (.221)
As we mentioned before, St. Louis Browns' owner Chris von der Ahe was going through some stuff during the late-1890's. The team clearly wasn't his priority and it showed when they won just 29 out of 131 games in 1897. Gladly for the team, their sale made them the respectable franchise the Cardinals are today.
3. Louisville Colonels (1889)
Record: 18-120 (.122)
The Louisville Colonels hold the record for fewer wins in a season (18) and were the first team to lose over 100 games in one year. Player fines, a manager being fired, poor pitching and even worse batting condemned the Colonels' season early on. It was the final season in franchise history.
2. Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1890)
Record: 23-113 (.169)
Long before becoming the Pittsburgh Pirates as we know them today, the Pittsburgh Alleghenys were far from being a successful franchise. They had one of the worst MLB records ever as the team was mostly filled by amateur players. They finished 66.5 games behind the first place.
1. Cleveland Spiders (1899)
Record: 20-134 (.130)
The Cleveland Spiders are infamous for having the worst MLB record of all time. It was the 13th and final season in franchise history, as the team's owners also bought the St. Louis Browns (Cardinals). They had 101 road losses (unbreakable under today's schedules). The rest of the NL teams didn't want to travel because their poor attendance and revenue couldn't even help them cover hotel expenses. They're the worst baseball team ever.