The Los Angeles Dodgers have had the distinction of making the postseason every year since 2013.
LA lost back-to-back World Series in 2017 and 2018.
They won it all in 2020.
The @Dodgers are the 2020 World Series champions!
They used 7 pitchers in their Game 6 win, matching the 1992 Blue Jays for the most pitchers used in a World Series clinching win. pic.twitter.com/6HXOUY7Ul8
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 28, 2020
The Dodgers’ success as a franchise dates back to their founding in 1883.
Since then, they are the third-best team (and second most wealthy franchise) in Major League Baseball history.
Furthermore, LA is the second most successful team in National League history.
It hasn’t always been this way, of course.
No team can exist for over a hundred years and not have a bad season here or there.
Without further ado, here are, arguably, the three worst seasons in Dodgers history.
3. 1908 Brooklyn Superbas, 53-101
It’s common knowledge that, before moving to Los Angeles in 1958, the Dodgers resided in Brooklyn, New York.
The team also went through several name changes since their inception, including the “Superbas.”
The franchise was so named after a popular vaudeville act at the time called the “Hanlons’ Superba.”
Coincidentally, the Hanlon brothers who ran the production, and former manager Ned Hanlon, had the same name (more on him later).
Hence, the team was nicknamed the Superbas because of the Hanlon name coincidence.
“Superba” is a Latin adjective meaning ‘superb.’
Now that we have that established, Brooklyn was in its 25th season when it finished 46 games out of first place in the National League.
#OTD on Sept 26, 1908 #Cubs Ed Reulbach pitches 2 shutouts in the same day, beating the Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers) in the opener 5-0 and 3-0 in the nightcap. He becomes the first person to pitch a doubleheader shutout in #MLB . #baseball #history #CHCvsPIT pic.twitter.com/wMmtSOdMvB
— Baseball&Football (@SportsNostalgai) September 26, 2019
1908 was manager Patsy Donovan’s third, and final, season with Brooklyn. Donovan was a player-manager for the team in 1906 and 1907.
The 1908 Superbas had a collective .213 batting average (second-lowest in the modern era) and no regular player hit .250.
Brooklyn established an MLB record, which still stands, for the fewest doubles by a team in a season with 110.
2. 1992 Los Angeles Dodgers, 63-99
A more modern version of futility for the Dodgers happened in 1992.
That season was only four years removed from LA’s World Series victory over the Oakland A’s in 1988.
Unfortunately, several of the players that year sustained injuries and also experienced significant slumps.
The losses were the most the team had since the 1908 Superbas.
Additionally, four of LAs games had to be canceled because of the Rodney King-inspired riots that spring.
Despite their record, the Dodgers had reason to be optimistic.
First baseman Eric Karros won the Rookie of the Year award for the National League.
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) November 4, 2021
Remarkably, Karros was the first of five straight Rookies of the Year for LA.
The team would improve and reach the playoffs again in 1995.
1. 1905 Brooklyn Superbas, 48-104
We return, again, to the Superbas. In terms of losses, this was the worst team in franchise history.
On June 29, 1905 at Washington Park in Brooklyn. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham made his only MLB appearance when Giants manager John McGraw sent him in to right field in 8th inning during 11-1 win vs Brooklyn Superbas. He would never get to bat in the majors#FieldOfDreamsGame pic.twitter.com/csvEWY56Cm
— Old-Time Baseball Photos (@OTBaseballPhoto) August 12, 2021
Much like the 1992 Dodgers, the 1905 version was just a few years removed from a championship.
In 1900, the Superbas won the Chronicle-Telegraph Cup over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Telegraph Cup was only played once and would eventually develop into the World Series.
After their 4-1 series victory in 1900, Brooklyn progressively got worse over the next five years.
The 1905 iteration would end up costing manager Ned Hanlon his job.
Hanson had been with the organization since 1899.
Brooklyn finished 56½ games out of first and continued to stare futility in the face until 1916.
That year, they won the NL pennant but were defeated by Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.