Will the slumping Mariners save the 1988 Orioles from infamy?

July 27, 2011|By Matt Vensel

The 1988 Orioles may soon get their names erased from the record books, and that's a good thing.

That Orioles team lost 21 straight games -- to open the season, no less -- for the longest losing streak by an American League team in the modern era. Only the 1961 Phillies have had a longer one, losing 23 in a row.

The Orioles could be dethroned by the Mariners early next week. Seattle has lost 17 straight games since July 6. What’s crazy is that the Mariners were at .500 when the streak started. What’s crazier is that they are somehow still ahead of the Orioles in the standings (though now it’s only by a fraction of a percentage point).

(Aside: What’s a streak even more unlikely than a team losing 17 or 21 or hopefully 22 straight games? The Orioles have now won two straight games in Toronto. Take that, Canada.)

The Mariners play the Yankees on Wednesday before hosting the Rays this weekend. If they can't pick up a win, the Mariners will go for the American League record Monday against the Athletics.

I would recount a fond memory from the Orioles' 21-game skid, but I was six years old then, I lived in another state and I couldn't be bothered with anything that didn't involve Voltron or G.I. Joe or Super Mario. What do you remember about it?

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