1988 Baltimore Orioles
1988 Baltimore Orioles / Franchise: Baltimore Orioles / BR Team Page
History, Comments, Contributions
The 1988 Baltimore Orioles began the season by losing their first 21 games. This set a major league record for most losses to start a season and an American League record for most consecutive losses. They begun the year in style by losing 12-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day, April 4th. After six straight losses, manager Cal Ripken Sr. was fired on April 12th and replaced by Frank Robinson, but the team kept on losing, not winning its first game until April 29th when they defeated the Chicago White Sox, 9-0. Things improved somewhat after that disastrous start, but the O's never left last place and finished with 107 losses.
Among the 21 straight losses were a team record 13 straight losses at home. This seemed like a feat unlikely to be duplicated, but the 2018 edition of the team managed to match this and even finished with a worse seasonal record, with 115 losses. They also had the record for longest wait before a starting pitcher registered a win. Jay Tibbs was the winner in their first win of the season, in game 22, but the 2022 Pirates broke the mark by not getting a starter a win till game 28.
Awards and Honors
- All-Star: Cal Ripken Jr.
- Joe Posnanski: "Here's how the O's lost 21 in a row to start 1988", mlb.com, May 3, 2018. 
- Charles Salzberg and George Robinson: On a Clear Day, They Could See Seventh Place: Baseball's Worst Teams, Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE 2010. ISBN 978-0803229884 (Originally published in 1989)