Well as you may have heard, opening day for the 2020 baseball season has been postponed;
If Frank Robinson had just been so lucky.
Frank was one of the best baseball players of all time, a true hall of famer.
But in 1988, Frank Robinson was in the Baltimore Oriole front office, helping direct the team to what he hoped would be a winning season. Frank had no great hopes for the team in ’88, but a .500 finish would be ok.
As the season started, things started to go bad. By the 7th game of the season Frank ended up back on the field, back in the dugout. The Orioles decided to let manager Cal Ripken, Sr., go…he had had some off-the-field problems, and it was just time.
Frank Robinson inherited the managerial reins of an Oriole team that was 0-7 after the first 7 games of the season. Not a good start you could safely say. Frank was determined to turn the team around.
And he would.
But first, some more losses had to be added on to the Streak.
After 10 games, the Orioles were 0-10; Ground Hog day. Every day the Orioles went out on the field hopeful, and returned home just a bit more disappointed.
As they approached lucky game #13, they were, of course 0-12. No team in major league history had started the season losing more than 13 games. In fact, it had been 68 years since the last team had started 0-13. No stopping the Orioles. They flew right on by that marker.
Yes, the Orioles kept showing up with the same result. Whatever they did, it was not good enough to turn the tide.
As the Streak continued, Baltimore continued to draw national media attention as the team that could not win, and may never win another baseball game again.
Soon, the new Streak stood at 21 games. 21 losses in a row….to start the season, no less.
And then, one day, it ended. The Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 9-0.
0-21; this would be a bad start that would be hard to overcome.
And they wouldn’t.
Yes, they won the next day…a new streak…that didn’t last long.
The Orioles ended the season, not a day too soon, with a record of 54-107.
There will probably never be a team that starts a season with such a bad start. Let’s hope this is the worst baseball will ever see.
Think about having to face the next 141 games of the season, a season that will likely end with a mediocre record at best. You better like baseball, because you have a whole lot of games left, and you just lost the first 21 of the long year.
You just have to keep swinging; just have to keep showing up.
Thank goodness Frank Robinson had a hall of fame career to put the Streak into perspective.
Sometimes it takes a whole lot of perspective.