Monday, July 15, 2013

Phillies Reach 10,000 Franchise Loses

July 15, 2007, the St. Louis Cardinals crush the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-2, making the Phillies the first team in sports history to reach 10,000 franchise losses. The Phillies had been a terrible organization for decades and once went 98 years without a championship. At the moment, the city of Philadelphia was in a winless streak of its own, having not won a title since 1983. However, the Philadelphia fans appeared to embrace the lackluster distinction; they chanted "10,000" throughout the game and gave the club a standing ovation when they finally lost.

The Phillies' accomplishment had been 125 years in the making. They began play in 1883 as the Philadelphia Quakers and inauspiciously lost the first eight games of the season; in 1904, they became the first team to ever lose 100 games in a year; from 1918 to 1948, the Phillies had just one winning season and placed among the bottom three teams in the National League 28 times; in 1961, they lost a big league record 23 games in a row; in 1964, they blew a six-and-a-half game lead with 12 games to go in the season; in 1993, they lost the World Series on a game-winning home run to Joe Carter. They had even started a pitcher in 1940's (Hugh Mulcahy) who was so bad that he earned the nickname "Losing Pitcher."

But as they say, it's always darkest before the dawn. Philly fans basked in the sorrow that came with their 10,000 loss, but just one year later, they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to win their second World Series in franchise history. As Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote after the title, "Phillies' 10,000 loses a distant memory."