07/17/2013 11:29 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What Are Some of the Worst Baseball Teams of All-Time?

This question originally appeared on Quora.
Answer by John DeMarchi,

Having grown up in Buffalo, NY, I bow to no person when it comes to talking about awful sports teams. A lifetime of fan misery always attracts me to questions like this one ... here's my $.02.

It's hard to compare across eras, but we're going to do it anyway.

In recent memory, Jon Mixon nails it -- the 2003 Tigers were "hide the kids, or they will be scared," awful. They should have had blindfold night, so their loyal fans might have been spared agony. 

A little further back...

Everyone talks about the 1962 Mets, and they were bad.

But how about the 1897 St. Louis Browns (now Cardinals)?

This team went 29-102, and was outscored by 496 runs. They surrendered 1088 runs in 131 games. That's just awful.

Comparison: The Mets were outscored by "only" 331 runs in 1962, and played 29 MORE games than the Browns did. By Pythagorean analysis, the '62 Mets should have been a 50-110 team -- awful, but not all-time, "you've got to be kidding me," awful. The Mets were outscored by 2 runs a game; the 1987 Browns by about 3.5 per.  BIG difference.

But wait -- there's more!

If you go back "back back back back" ....

The 1884 Kansas City Cowboys went 16-63, which on a percentage basis, has to be close to being the worst ever.

But the undisputed champ, for me:

The 1875 Brooklyn Atlantics, at 2-42... that's TWO WINS, 42 LOSSES... are probably the worst team ever.

SABR-types may have other intel... this is the worst baseball team I could find.

By franchise, here are the worst of the worst, based on teams that exist today ... I have bolded amazingly bad seasons:

By the way... in researching this answer, I rediscovered the 1995 Cleveland Indians who went 100-44. 

They scored 840 runs in 144 games (!), and outscored opponents by 233 runs, and featured -- are you ready for this -- HOF Eddie Murray, four future HOF (Thome, Ramirez, Belle, Vizquel), two studs in Lofton and Baerga.

They didn't win the World Series.  Atlanta (90-54, +95 runs) beat them. Amazing to me. Pitching. Pitching. Pitching.

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