As they take a breather from an arduous 29-62 season, the Philadelphia Phillies are currently on pace to lose 100 games for the first time in over five decades.
While it is rare to discuss the Phillies in such unflattering light, there’s a unique connection between the Phillies team that last lost 100 games in 1961 (47-107) and the current iteration of the club, which is track to lose 110 games.
It stems from current general manager and former Phillies player Ruben Amaro Jr.
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As conveyed in a re-published 2011 piece in the Philadelphia Daily News remembering the ’61 team 50 years after its historically pitiful season, Amaro’s father, Ruben Amaro Sr. was the shortstop on the 1961 Phillies team that posted the worst record in baseball and lost 23 consecutive games.
The story of the underperforming ’61 team is echoed by the ’15 Phillies: Effort wasn’t an issue, but they simply didn’t have the pieces in place to consistently win games.
"We went out there and played our asses off, but we were overmatched," Amaro Sr. recalled in the 2011 piece. "We were so young. It was like a kindergarten team playing a fourth- grade team."
History may not be indicative of what is to come for the Phillies, but it surely offers an example of how quickly a franchise can turn things around with young talent.
After losing 107 games in 1961, the Phillies posted a winning record of 81-80 the following season, and the next two years as well.
In 1964, Philadelphia won 92 games, achieving a .568 win percentage three years after posting a .305 win percentage in its 107-loss season.
"Those guys [from the ’61 team] were the core of that 1964 team," Amaro Sr. said. "And that team was fundamentally the best team in baseball. We were the best team in baseball for 150 games."
If the Phillies continue on their current pace, they’ll finish the 2015 season 52-110, at a win percentage of .321.