From 100 losses to October in 2 years? 3 historic turnarounds

October 1st, 2023

One of the many reasons baseball is the best is that hope springs eternal. Even after a trying season, you truly never know what the near future will bring.

Take the 2021 season, for example. Four teams lost at least 100 games: the Orioles (110), D-backs (110), Rangers (102) and Pirates (101).

Those first three teams are all headed to the postseason this year. This is the first time that multiple 100-loss teams from the same season have made the playoffs either one or two years after that ignominious century-mark season. Let alone three, as 2021 has now produced.

From another perspective, 2023 is the first postseason to feature as many as three teams that lost 100 games in either the season prior or the one before that. The only previous postseason with two such teams was the shortened season in 2020, when the Marlins made it after a 105-loss ‘19 and the White Sox did so after a 100-loss ‘18.

Prior to 2023, 10 teams total had reached the postseason after losing 100 games in the year prior or the one before that. Of those, two won the World Series -- the 1969 Mets (101 losses in 1967) and 1914 Boston Braves (101 losses in 1912). Of the eight to make the postseason in the divisional era (since the playoffs expanded in 1969) one other reached the World Series beyond the aforementioned Mets: the 2008 Rays.

Narrowing the list down further, the D-backs became the third team in MLB history to go from a 110-loss season to a playoff berth in a three-season span, joining this year’s Orioles and the 2013-15 Astros.

Of the three teams we’re discussing this year, the Orioles have the added distinction of having eclipsed the 100-win mark. They’re the first team in MLB history to go from a 110-loss season to a 100-win in a three-season span. The only other team to even go from 100-plus losses to wins in such a span is the 1967-69 Mets.

No matter how you slice it, there’s always hope. Baseball is the best.