Worst Record Through 55 Games Since 1900

Worst record

The worst record in baseball right now belongs to the Oakland Athletics. They’re on pace for a historically bad season, winning just 10 of their first 50 games in 2023. No other team has suffered more losses in a season than the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, who went 20-134, becoming the only team to reach the 130-loss mark. To put the A’s 10-45 record in context, we’re looking at some of the worst starts through 55 games since the turn of the 20th century. 

Worst Records

1904 Washington Senators

First 55: 9-45

Final record: 38-113

One of the worst teams in baseball history, the Senators were embarrassing. Washington went on to finish in the bottom of the league in runs, hits, average, OBP, slugging, ERA, pitcher strikeouts, and more. They were outscored 743-437 (-306 run differential). Their .252 winning percentage is the fourth worst of any MLB team.

2023 Oakland Athletics

First 55: 10-45

Final record: –

Oakland is well on making baseball history for all the wrong reasons. Their 45 losses this season are the most by any team before June 1. The A’s currently rank 29th in baseball in runs scored, 26th in hits, 29th in doubles, 27th in strikeouts, and tied for 30th in batting average. On the pitching side, it doesn’t get any better. They are dead last in ERA with 6.72 (29th is just 5.22). They’re also last in hits allowed, home runs allowed, and 25th in strikeouts.

1932 Boston Red Sox

First: 11-44

Final record: 43-111

The 1932 team had one of the worst starts to a season until the 2023 A’s came along. Boston set a franchise record for the lowest winning percentage in a season at .279. In addition, Boston scored 556 runs while allowing 915, a run differential of -349, the worst in MLB’s modern era. Each of the team’s top seven relievers posted a 5.00 ERA or higher. The 1932 season was a low point for owner Harry Frazee. The following year, he sold the team to Tom Yawkey, who oversaw better fortunes. Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, and Joe Cronin would be on their way soon enough to Boston.

1988 Baltimore Orioles

First 55: 13-42

Final record: 54-107

The 1988 Baltimore Orioles had the worst season in modern baseball history. Baltimore went 0-21 from April 4 to April 28, winning their first game against the Chicago White Sox the following day. That put the O’s 15 1/2 games back in the AL East by the end of April. They finished 34 1/2 games back in the division. This was the second time that the Orioles had lost 100 games. The 107 losses were broken 30 years later. It was the team’s fifth worst-overall record, behind 1939, 2018, 2021, and 2019.

1987 San Diego Padres

First 55: 13-42

Final record: 65-97

San Diego was the only team not hit a grand slam in 1987. They finished 29th in the league with 113 home runs, as the league average was 171. John Kruk was the only player on the roster to hit 20 home runs. One bright for the Padres was Benito Santiago. The catcher set a record for rookies by hitting in 34 straight games, the longest hitting streak by a catcher in baseball history. Santiago was the unanimous selection for the NL Rookie of the Year honors.

 Photo Credit: © D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Players mentioned:

Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Joe Cronin, John Kruk, Benito Santiago