On a Clear Day They Could See Seventh Place


On a Clear Day They Could See Seventh Place

Baseball's Worst Teams

George Robinson and Charles Salzberg
With a new introduction by the authors

312 pages
11 illustrations, 21 tables


April 2010


$21.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

To err is human. To really screw up requires team effort. Everyone cheers the clubs that win pennants, but what about the doormats who made their triumphs possible? It’s time to give baseball’s lousiest teams their due.
Here they are: The 1904 Washington Senators, whose only good player, a thirty-five-year-old star hitter, took a dive (fatally, into Niagara Falls); the 1935 Boston Braves, who set the National League standard for losing percentage despite featuring three Hall of Famers—including Yankee exile Babe Ruth; the 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates, Joe Garagiola’s cellar-dwelling team that was so bad, he quipped, “they wouldn’t put our pictures on bubble gum cards”; and the 1962 New York Mets, maybe not the worst team ever but definitely the funniest in modern baseball history.
You’ll get the stats, the scores, the scandals, and the secrets in this no-holds-barred account. When the survivors of these diamond trainwrecks include such legends as Marv Throneberry, Ralph Kiner, Cal Ripken Jr., Roger Craig, and Joe Garagiola, you can be sure that the book (unlike its subjects) is a winner.

Author Bio

George Robinson’s sportswriting has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Newsday, and the Washington Post. Charles Salzberg is the author of numerous articles and books, including Swann’s Last Song, The Mad Fisherman, and From Set Shot to Slam Dunk: The Glory Days of Basketball in the Words of Those Who Played It, available in a Bison Books edition.


“A snappy, readable collection.”—Martin Brady, Booklist

“A valuable contribution to a heretofore overlooked aspect of the so-called Grand National Pastime.”—Stan Isaacs, Newsday

“For some people losing is like dying, but authors George Robinson and Charles Salzberg manage to find humor too.”—Washington Post

“A refreshing approach by examining 10 truly bad teams.”—Bob Thompson, San Francisco Chronicle

“A lively and entertaining account of the worst major league teams of each decade. You may feel guilty laughing at the agonies of these hapless clubs, but . . . you will laugh.”—William Curran, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Let us sing of heroic losers. . . . Humbling, that's what it is. George Robinson and Charles Salzberg make it fun, too.”—Bill Bell, New York Daily News

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Bison Books Edition
The 1899 Cleveland Spiders
The 1904 Washington Senators
The 1916 Philadelphia Athletics
The 1928 Philadelphia Phillies
The 1935 Boston Braves
The 1942 Philadelphia Phillies
The 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates
The 1962 New York Mets
The 1979 Toronto Blue Jays
The 1988 Baltimore Orioles

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