FanPost

NL 100 Win Club

The 2011 Phillies are now the 44th National League team in the World Series era to reach the 100 win threshold.  They also are the first team to that mark in this decade.  Time will tell how this team is remembered, but here's a quick look back at the 100 win NL squads that have come before.   

 

2000s (5 seasons, 0 WS champions, 1 pennant)

Not a kind decade for this club.  The Braves won 101 games back-to-back in '02 and '03, but failed to advance out of the divisional round in either season.  2003 featured another club member, the 100 win Giants, follow up their World Series heartbreak with a first-round flameout.  Only the '04 Cardinals won the pennant.  The Cards won 100 the following year, only to fall to Houston in an NLCS best remembered for Pujols launching a Brad Lidge pitch into low earth orbit.  (Also, Oswalt was given a tractor....or something).  

1990s (7 seasons, 0 WS champions, 1 pennant)

Steroids, expansion, and realignment were a potent recipe for wins, apparently, as the 90s featured more 100-win club members than any other decade.  In 1993, the Braves (104) and Giants (103) pulverized the newcomers in Denver and Miami by a combined 38-12 record.  

This was the first of four 100-win seasons for the Braves in the 90s, which led to 1 pennant and 0 titles.   The so called curse of 100 wins?  It might just be the curse of "being the Atlanta Braves".   In '98, the Braves and the 102-win Astros both fell to the San Diego Padres.  Both the Astros and Braves enjoyed 9 "contests" with the expansion D-backs that season.  (combined record, 13-5).  

Speaking of Arizona, anyone remember their 100-win campaign in only their second season?  Neither do I.  They lost to Bobby V's Mets in the NLDS.

1980s (3 seasons, 1 WS champion, 2 pennants)

This is more like it. No cheapies here.  The '85 Cardinals were on the wrong end of the worst umpiring call in World Series history. The '86 Mets were baseball's version of the '85 Bears--a one-time champion that, for various reasons, managed to overshadow the other title winners of their day.  In '88, the Mets lost to the Dodgers, and a pitcher named Orel Hershiser.   

1970s (6 seasons, 2 WS champions, 4 pennants)

Big.  Red.  Machine.  The Reds won 102 in 1970, but fell to Baltimore in the Series.  In '75 and '76, the Reds won 108 and 102, respectively, en route to back to back championships, earning an awesome nickname, and a chip in any "greatest teams of all time" discussion.  

As you probably know, the Reds swept our Phils in the '76 NLCS---the only NLCS to date to feature two members of the 100 win club.  I'm sure you also know about the '77 Phils, and why the name Davey Lopes remains both bitter and sweet.  

Speaking of the Dodgers, they won 102 in '74, before falling to the Swingin' A's.  Again, no cheapies here.

1960s (4 seasons, 2 WS champions, 3 pennants)

Like the '90s, the '60s featured rampant expansion--a factor for three of the decade's 4 100 win clubs.  Unlike the '90s, the 100 win squads from the '60 are fixtures in baseball history.  

In 1962, the Giants and Dodgers finished tied atop the NL with 101 wins--both fattened with a combined 53-19 (!!!) record over the expansion Mets and Colt-45s.  As Bob Costas recounts almost nightly in commercial segments running on the MLB Network, San Francisco won the playoff before falling in 7 games in the World Series to the Mick & Maris Yankees.  

In 1967, the St Louis Cardinals won 101 games, then the World Series.  Then baseball lowered the mound.  

The '69 Miracle Mets were helped to 100 wins by a 24-6 record over the expansion Expos and Padres.

1950s (1 season, 0 WS champions, 1 pennant)

The '53 Brooklyn Dodgers are the fifties only representative in this club.  They fell in the Series to their nemesis from the Bronx.

1940s (6 seasons, 3 WS champions, 5 pennants)

The war-time Redbirds won 106, 105, and 105 from '42-'44 en route to two championships sandwiched around a loss to the Yankees.   

The Dodgers won 100 in '41, but fell in the Series to...well, I think you can probably guess who the Dodgers lost to.  Dem Bums won 104 the next year...good enough for second place, 2 games behind St Louis.  

In 1940, the 100-win Reds beat the Tigers in a 7 game series.  According to Wikipedia, Tigers pitcher Bobo Newsom won game 1.  He also started games 5 and 7, both after the death of his father in a Cincinnati hotel room following game 1.   Just another heartwarming tale from the Depression.

1930s (2 seasons, 1 WS champion, 2 pennants)

The Chicago Cubs won 100 games en route to the Pennant.  (Stupid Microsoft Word grammar editor...there's nothing wrong with that sentence.  Why is there green underlining?  Maybe this will fix it.)    The Chicago Cubs won 100 games en route to the Pennant ... in 1935.  (Yup, fixed).

In '31, the Cardinals won 101 before beating Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics.  Makes me sad whenever I read about the ol' Philadelphia Athletics.  All that tradition, all that history...thrown down a wormhole.  Despite being Philadelphia baseball fans, we have no link to those A's teams.  Fans in Oakland certainly don't give a crap.  If the A's had held on a few more seasons, TV might have changed everything.  Philadelphia might have developed an AL rivalry with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Orioles.  And all that tradition would still live.  Oh well.  

1920s (N/A)

No team in the NL had a 100 win season in the 1920s.  

1910s (3 seasons, 0 WS champions, 3 pennants)

Two of these three squads, the 104 win Cubs in 1910 and John McGraw's 101 win team in 1913 fell in the Series to the Philadelphia A's and their $100,000 infield.  The A's 1913 World Series title was their third, by the way.  Sigh.  (Two guys sitting behind me at Moneyball were speculating as to why the A's wear an elephant.  I'm still bummed about that, I guess.)

The Giants won 103 in 1912, before falling to the Red Sox in an eight-game best of 7 World Series.  Game 2 was declared a tie after a 6-6 game was called in the 11th due to darkness.  

1900s (6 seasons, 3 WS champions*, 5 pennants)

Ahh, the Oughts.  Did you know the Cubs were a mother-friggin dyansty in the Oughts?  In 1909, the two-time defending champion Cubs...(holy crap), won 104 games...putting them 6 back of the 110 win juggernaut Honus Wagner led Pirates.  The Cubs won 107 en route to their 1907 title, and won a mind-boggling 116 in 1906, still the all-time National League record.

John McGraw's Giants won 105 in '05, then deigned to play and beat Connie Mack's Athletics in the Series.  The prior year, McGraw saw no need for his 106 win squad to prove itself further against the junior circuit, thus the *.

Conclusions

Stop worrying about what will happen in the playoffs, and ignore any "curse" based in the roid-inflated '90s/Braves "dynasty".   Believe what your eyes have told you this season, and hope that our Phillies take their rightful place alongside some of the other legendary champions who reached the 100-win club.  

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