One hundred and twenty-five years ago, there was Phillies baseball, but no television, automobiles, airplanes, radio, NFL, NBA or NHL. Heck, when the Phillies celebrated their 100th anniversary in 1983, there was no Internet, no iPods, no text messaging.
Through last night (Wednesday, April 30th), the Phillies had an all-time record of 8868-10041. As noted, that’s over 80 losses a year for 125 years. But wait!
Looking at their all-time season by season record, we see that many of those season featured many fewer games than are no played. For example, in their very first season, the Phillies lost 81 games, just over the historical average. Unfortunately, the only played 98 games for a “disappointing” 17-81 record. The next year, they more than doubled their winning percentage to .348, barely above one win for every two losses. The rest of the 19th Century, though, they were pretty good, to be honest. Then came the Dark Ages.
Between 1918 and 1948, the Phillies had precisely ONE winning season. That was 1932 when the Phightin’ Phils went 78-76. Five of those seasons featured sub-.300 winning percentages, with another right at .300. In other words, their winning percentages in those years weren’t even good batting averages.
They’ve won ONE World Series in 125 years; the Florida Marlins have won two in 15. They’ve made the World Series 5 times in that span.
In order to reach a .500 record for their existence, the Phillies would have to win every game they played for the next 7.24 162-game seasons. If they simply go 91-71, a .561 percentage that will put them in competition almost every year, they will have to repeat that record for the next 57 years to reach .500. If they went 101-61 which would put them in the playoffs almost every season, it would take them 30 seasons to reach .500 for their existence.
For comparison’s sake, in their existence, the Cubs have have won over 10,000 games (10,002 to be exact, as compared to 9,469 losses), won the pennant 16 times and won two World Series.
So Cubs fans who whine about how hard it is rooting for a team with a history of losing can shut the hell up. There is no current team with a history of futility like the Phillies. Everyone else whining about how hard it is rooting for their team is a bunch of poser wannabes. Only Philadelphia truly knows the pain of rooting for a losing team.