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The 1988 Baltimore Orioles had the worst start to a season in modern American baseball history. The Orioles finished 7th in the American League East, reduced to a record of 54 wins and 107 losses just five seasons after winning the World Series. The season is remembered for the 0–21 start that lasted from April 4th to April 28th. [1] Manager Cal Ripken, Sr. was fired after an 0–6 start and replaced by Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. The Orioles won their first game of the year against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park on April 29.[2] The most runs allowed during the season was 15 in a game on June 19 while the most runs scored was 12 in a game on May 31.[1] Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams died in August of that year.

1988 Baltimore Orioles
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record54–107 (.335)
Divisional place7th
Other information
Owner(s)Edward Bennett Williams
General manager(s)Roland Hemond
Manager(s)Cal Ripken, Sr., Frank Robinson
Local televisionWMAR-TV
(Jim Simpson, Brooks Robinson)
Home Team Sports
(Jim Palmer, Mel Proctor, John Lowenstein)
Local radioWBAL (AM)
(Jon Miller, Joe Angel)
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This was only the second time that the Orioles had lost at least 100 games (the other being their inaugural season of 1954); in addition, the 107 losses would remain a Baltimore record until the 2018 edition broke it, and it was the second-worst overall franchise record, behind only the 1939 St. Louis Browns (43-111), which was also surpassed by the 2018 Orioles, en route to a 47-115 finish.

OffseasonEdit

Regular seasonEdit

  • April 4, 1988: The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Orioles 12–0, setting a record for the largest margin of victory in a shutout win on Opening Day.[8]
  • September 7, 1988: Curt Schilling made his major league debut. He pitched against the Boston Red Sox and pitched in 7 innings. Schilling gave up 6 hits and 3 earned runs. He had 2 strikeouts and 5 bases on balls.[9]

The Losing StreakEdit

  • Game 13: The Orioles tied the 1904 Washington Senators and the 1920 Detroit Tigers for most losses to start the season with 13 losses after being beaten by the Brewers, 9–5, in Milwaukee.[10]
  • Game 14: On a cold, wet night, 7,284 witnessed baseball history at Milwaukee's County Stadium. Baltimore became the first team in MLB history to start the season 0–14 as the Brewers won, 8–6.[10]
  • Game 21: The Orioles lost 4–2 to the Minnesota Twins in Minnesota, extending their streak of season-starting losses to half again their original record, marking their seventh straight series being swept,[11] and ending the day 16 games out of first place on April 28.[12]

Season standingsEdit

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Boston Red Sox 89 73 0.549 53–28 36–45
Detroit Tigers 88 74 0.543 1 50–31 38–43
Milwaukee Brewers 87 75 0.537 2 47–34 40–41
Toronto Blue Jays 87 75 0.537 2 45–36 42–39
New York Yankees 85 76 0.528 46–34 39–42
Cleveland Indians 78 84 0.481 11 44–37 34–47
Baltimore Orioles 54 107 0.335 34½ 34–46 20–61

Record vs. opponentsEdit

1988 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team BAL BOS CAL CWS CLE DET KC MIL MIN NYY OAK SEA TEX TOR
Baltimore 4–9 5–7 4–7 4–9 5–8 0–12 4–9 3–9 3–10 4–8 7–5 6–6 5–8
Boston 9–4 8–4 7–5 8–5 6–7 6–6 10–3 7–5 9–4 3–9 6–6 8–4 2–11
California 7–5 4–8 9–4 8–4 5–7 5–8 3–9 4–9 6–6 4–9 6–7 8–5 6–6
Chicago 7–4 5–7 4–9 3–9 3–9 7–6 6–6 4–9 3–9 5–8 9–4 8–5 7–5
Cleveland 9–4 5–8 4–8 9–3 4–9 6–6 9–4 5–7 6–7 4–8 5–7 6–6 6–7
Detroit 8–5 7–6 7–5 9–3 9–4 8–4 5–8 1–11 8–5 4–8 9–3 8–4 5–8
Kansas City 12–0 6–6 8–5 6–7 6–6 4–8 3–9 7–6 6–6 8–5 7–5 7–6 4–8
Milwaukee 9–4 3–10 9–3 6–6 4–9 8–5 9–3 7–5 6–7 3–9 8–4 8–4 7–6
Minnesota 9–3 5–7 9–4 9–4 7–5 11–1 6–7 5–7 3–9 5–8 8–5 7–6 7–5
New York 10–3 4–9 6–6 9–3 7–6 5–8 6–6 7–6 9–3 6–6 5–7 5–6 6–7
Oakland 8–4 9–3 9–4 8–5 8–4 8–4 5–8 9–3 8–5 6–6 9–4 8–5 9–3
Seattle 5–7 6–6 7–6 4–9 7–5 3–9 5–7 4–8 5–8 7–5 4–9 6–7 5–7
Texas 6–6 4–8 5–8 5–8 6–6 4–8 6–7 4–8 6–7 6–5 5–8 7–6 6–6
Toronto 8–5 11–2 6–6 5–7 7–6 8–5 8–4 6–7 5–7 7–6 3–9 7–5 6–6


Opening Day startersEdit

Notable transactionsEdit

RosterEdit

Player statsEdit

= Indicates team leader

BattingEdit

Starters by positionEdit

Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H HR RBI Avg.
C Mickey Tettleton 86 283 74 11 37 .261
1B Eddie Murray 161 603 171 28 84 .284
2B Billy Ripken 150 512 103 2 34 .207
3B Rick Schu 89 270 69 4 20 .256
SS Cal Ripken 161 575 152 23 81 .264
LF Pete Stanicek 83 261 60 4 17 .230
CF Fred Lynn 87 301 76 18 37 .252
RF Joe Orsulak 125 379 109 8 27 .288
DH Larry Sheets 136 452 104 10 47 .230

[18]

Other battersEdit

Player G AB H HR RBI Avg.
Jim Traber 103 352 78 10 45 .222
Terry Kennedy 85 265 60 3 16 .226
Ken Gerhart 103 262 51 9 23 .195
Rene Gonzales 92 237 51 2 15 .215
Brady Anderson 53 177 35 1 9 .198
Keith Hughes 41 108 21 2 14 .194
Craig Worthington 26 81 15 2 4 .185
Jeff Stone 26 61 10 0 1 .164
Jim Dwyer 35 53 12 0 3 .226
Carl Nichols 18 47 9 0 1 .191
Wade Rowdon 20 30 3 0 0 .100
Butch Davis 13 25 6 0 0 .240
Tito Landrum 13 24 3 0 2 .125

[18]

PitchingEdit

Starting pitchersEdit

Player G IP W L ERA SO
José Bautista 33 171.7 6 15 4.30 76
Jay Tibbs 30 158.7 4 15 5.39 82
Jeff Ballard 25 153.3 8 12 4.40 41
Mike Boddicker 21 147.0 6 12 3.86 100
Oswaldo Peraza 19 86.0 5 7 5.55 61
Scott McGregor 4 17.3 0 3 8.83 10
Curt Schilling 4 14.7 0 3 9.82 4
Bob Milacki 3 25.0 2 0 0.72 18
Pete Harnisch 2 13.0 0 2 5.54 10
Dickie Noles 2 3.3 0 2 24.30 1

Other pitchersEdit

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Dave Schmidt 41 129.7 8 5 3.40 67
Mark Williamson 37 117.7 5 8 4.90 69
Mike Morgan 22 71.3 1 6 5.43 29
Gordon Dillard 2 3.0 0 0 6.00 2

Relief pitchersEdit

Player G IP W L SV ERA SO
Tom Niedenfuer 52 59.0 3 4 18 3.51 40
Doug Sisk 52 94.3 3 3 0 3.72 26
Mark Thurmond 43 74.7 1 8 3 4.58 29
Don Aase 35 46.7 0 0 0 4.05 28
John Habyan 7 14.7 1 0 0 4.30 4
Gregg Olson 10 11.0 1 1 0 3.27 9
Bill Scherrer 4 4.0 0 1 0 13.50 3

Farm systemEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b 1988 Baltimore Orioles Schedule, Box Scores and Splits - Baseball-Reference.com
  2. ^ Box Score of Game played on Friday, April 29, 1988 at Comiskey Park I
  3. ^ Mike Kinnunen page at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Mike Hart page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Rico Rossy page at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Ray Knight page at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Rick Schu page at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ SI.com - Statitudes - Statitudes: Opening Day 2002, By the Numbers - Sunday March 30, 2003 01:50 AM
  9. ^ Curt Schilling page at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ a b Washingtonpost.com: The 1988 Orioles: And the Losing Goes On
  11. ^ "1988 Baltimore Orioles Schedule". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  12. ^ Jim Caple (October 10, 2014). "ALCS: Someone's misery will end". ESPN. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  13. ^ 1988 Baltimore Orioles Roster by Baseball Almanac
  14. ^ Dickie Noles page at Baseball Reference
  15. ^ Mickey Tettleton page at Baseball Reference
  16. ^ Pete Rose Jr. page at Baseball Reference
  17. ^ Mike Boddicker page at Baseball Reference
  18. ^ a b 1988 Baltimore Orioles Statistics and Roster - Baseball-Reference.com