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Worst Win Percentage In MLB History

By Aditya update Bhattarai / 16 May 2023 03:53 AM

The worst win records in MLB was set by Cleveland Spiders in 1899.
Source : mlb

Worst win percentage in MLB history is .130 by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. They completed the season with a record of 20-134.

The Spiders were an American professional baseball team from Ohio for 13 seasons starting in 1887 to 1899. While they have already folded operations since 1899, they hold the position of being a team with the worst victory rate in MLB.

The win percentage of an MLB team is calculated by dividing their total number of wins by the total number of games. Teams like New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants hold the records for having the best percentage and they are changing with each passing season. 

Meanwhile, the ones with the worst legacy have been recorded in the annals of the Major League. The franchises with such records have mostly folded, relocated, or changed under new management.

Here are the 10 worst win percentages by teams in the history of MLB.

Worst Win Percentage By Team

8. Washington Senators 1904.252
3. St. Louis Browns 1897.221
6. Boston Braves 1935.248
1. Cleveland Spiders 1899.130
2. Pittsburgh Alleghenys 1890.169
10. Pittsburgh Pirates 1952.273
4. Washington Nationals 1886.223
7. New York Mets 1962.250
9. Detroit Tigers 2003.265
5. Philadelphia Athletics 1916.235

10 Worst Win Percentage By Teams

The list of worst win percentages in MLB history includes franchises such as Cleveland Spiders, Pittsburgh Allghenys, and others.

These teams include the ones with the lowest win rates including those that are now defunct in the National League.

Mets Nimmo pointing towards the dugout after getting the single hit RBI and to one up the team in the top 4.
Source : forbes

1. Cleveland Spiders 1899 (.130)

Cleveland Spiders are the title holder for having the worst wins in a single season. They won 20 and lost 134 games in their final season during the 12-team era.

They had decent success in the early 1890s since they had won seven consecutive seasons from 1892 to 1898. While they had yet to win a world series or other major championships, the Spiders had won a Temple Cup in 1895.

However, their downfall began when the franchise owner bought St. Louis Browns in 1899 and transferred all the crucial talents from the Spiders to the Browns, including the Hall-of-Famers Bobby Wallace, CY Young, and Jesse Burkett.

2. Pittsburgh Alleghenys 1890 (.169)

The 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys had the lowest win rate with 23 wins by 113 losses. They bounced back after the team was later merged with the Burghers.

When the Alleghenys collapsed after their worst season, they allowed the players to return to their former teams. The reformed team recovered many players that had moved to other leagues in the previous year. 

They continued to strive in the Major League, and the Pirates got their opportunities continuously until the 21st century.

3. St. Louis Browns 1897 (.221)

The St. Louis Browns continually got lower wins in the 1890s and were bought off by the Spiders in 1898. Their lowest win percentage was .221 in 1897.

After being sold, they received better players in 1899, with the Spiders transferring all the talents to the Browns. This made the team grow better in the following years, while the original Spiders got folded as a result.

The team became known as the St. Louis Cardinals after 1900 and is continuing its path to success in the MLB.

4. Washington Nationals 1886 (.223)

The Washington Nationals played in the National League for four seasons from 1886 to 1889. Their worst win rate was in 1886, with 28 wins and 93 losses.

They were also referred to as the Washington Statesmen or Senators and had six managers in their four-year period. In the later years, they had a compiled record of .326 winning percentage for 163-337.

Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics was a renowned catcher from the Washington Nationals. 

5. Philadelphia Athletics 1916 (.235)

The Philadelphia Athletics was an MLB team from 1901 to 1954 before shifting to Kansas City. Their worst record was 26 wins over 117 losses in 1916.

Later on, they won five World Series during their time as Athletics under the lead of Hall of Fame Manager Connie Mack. Following their move to Kansas City in 1954, the team again shifted to Oakland after fifteen seasons in 1968.

They renamed it Oakland Athletics and are still active in the MLB as of 2023.

6. Boston Braves 1935 (.248)

The Boston Braves is the name of the MLB team Atlanta Braves before relocation. The team had its worst record of .248 in 1935, with 38 wins and 115 losses.

Meanwhile, the history of Braves has four World Series titles and 18 National League Pennants as of 2023. The Braves had their origins in Massasuchetts for 82 years before they moved to Milwaukee for a thirteen years career and later settled in Atlanta, Georgia, after the 1966 season.

7. New York Mets 1962 (.250)

New York Mets is an MLB team known for its success in the current era. However, they were not always among the best, as they had hard times in the 1960s.

Pirates celebrating after making great start of the season in 2023.
Source : si

Mets had recorded the least win rate of .250 in their first National Lague season in 1962 with 40 wins over 120 losses. They had recently established their team to fill the gap left by the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants after they moved to different cities.

The Mets bounced back in the later years with their first World Series win in 1969. They also got their first National League Pennant in the same season, followed by four more titles in the future and another World title in 1986.

8. Washington Senators 1904 (.252)

Washington Senators had the worst win rate of .253, with 38 wins over 113 losses in 1904. Their second record was .276 in 1909, with 42 wins and 110 losses.

The Senators are a team known to represent Washinton for 59 years, from 1901 to 1960. Following their poor run in the first decade, they became one of the most successful teams from 1911 to 1933.

They won their first World Series in 1924 and obtained three American League Pennants in 1924, 1925, and 1933. Meanwhile, they are more famous for their mediocrity of getting six losses during the 1940s and 50s.

After 1960, the team officially relocated to Minnesota and was renamed Minnesota Twins. They continued to become a better team following their shift and are still counted among the top teams in MLB.

9. Detroit Tigers 2003 (.265)

The Tigers have seen a decline in their winning percentage after the start of the 21st century. Their worst win rate is .265 in 2003, followed by .291 in 2019.

The Detroit Tigers are among the first eight charter franchises of the American League, founded in 1901. Unlike others, They are the only team remaining in the league to have never changed their name or initial location.

After winning their first World Series title in 1935, they obtained three more in the following decade until the last one in 1984. Similarly, they also have 11 American League Penants as of 2023.

10. Pittsburgh Pirates 1953 (.273)

The Pittsburgh Pirates had their worst season in 1953 with a .273 win percentage. They had won 42 and lost 112 games in that season.

After the merger of Alleghenys and the Burghers in 1891, the team saw its first poor season in 1953. They were founded as the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1881 and expanded with the Burghers after all their capable players defected to the other team.

Worst Win Percentage In MLB History
Source : twitter

After becoming the Pirates, the franchise has won five World Series Championships and made 9 National League Pennants as of 2023. They were known to be among the best baseball teams of the 20th century.

Best Win Percentage

The best win percentage in MLB history is .763 by Chicago Cubs in 1906. They had won 116 games with 36 losses from 156 games in the season.

Chicago Cubs celebrating their world series win in 2016 after a long drought.
Source : nytimes

After the 1961 expansion of the regular MLB season to 162 games, they are only two teams to have managed to get a winning percentage of .700 or higher in a season. Since the number of wins required to meet the category increased to 114, the Yankees and Mariners were the only teams to get such high records.

New York Yankees got .704 in 1998, and Seattle Mariners got .716 in 2001. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Dodgers also obtained a .717 win rate in 2021, during the shortened covid-19 season with 60 games.

The following table includes the best win percentages by teams in the history of MLB that are above .700.

Chicago Cubs 1906.763
Teams And YearWinning Percentages
Cleveland Indians 1954.721
Detroit Wolverines 1886.707
Philadelphia Athletics 1931.704
Los Angeles Dodgers 2020.717
St Louis Browns 1887.704
Boston Beaneaters 1897.705
Chicago White Stockings 1886.726
New York Yankees 1927.714
Seattle Mariners 2001.716
Pittsburgh Pirates 1902.741

All Time Worst Records

Worst MLB records of all time are from Cleveland Spiders in 1899, Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1890, and seven others. The Spiders only won 20 games in 154 games.

Similarly, based on the modern era existing teams the worst record in MLB is held by New York Mets with 120 losses from 160 games in 1962.

Spiders hold the title for the worst MLB records and win percentage since the start of the MLB.
Source : pinterest

Following is the list of the ten worst records in MLB history.

  1. Cleveland Spiders 1899 - 134 losses in 154 games
  2. New York Mets 1962 - 120 Losses in 160 games
  3. Detroit Tigers 2003 - 119 Losses in 160 Games
  4. Philadelphia Athletics 1916 - 117 Losse by 153 games
  5. Boston Braves 1935 - 115 Losses by 153 Games
  6. Washington Senators 1904 - 113 Losses by 153 Games
  7. Pittsburgh Pirates 1952 - 112 Losses by 154 Games
  8. St. Louis Browns 1898 - 111 Losses by 154 Games
  9. Boston Red Sox 1932 - 111 Losses By 154 Games
  10. Philadelphia Phillies 1952 - 109 Losses by 151 Games

Worst World Series Record

Worst record to win World Series is made by San Francisco Giants in 2010. Bleacher Report states that the Giants won the title with their hitting and pitching talents.

Below is a list of the ten worst records in World Series wins by National League teams.

  1. San Francisco Giants, 2010
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers, 1959
  3. Florida Marlins, 2003
  4. Minnesota Twins, 1987
  5. New York Yankees, 2000
  6. Kansas City Royals, 1985
  7. Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001
  8. Boston Red Sox, 1918
  9. Detroit Tigers, 1945
  10. St. Louis Cardinals, 2006

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