Pirates Set Mark With 17th Straight Losing Year

Pittsburgh's futility streak longest in North American sports history

By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 7, 2009 6:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates set a new North American standard for consecutive losing seasons by a major sports franchise, the Post-Gazette reports, with today’s loss to the Chicago Cubs guaranteeing the team finishes with more losses than wins for the 17th year in a row. The Pirates had shared the dubious distinction with the 1933-48 Philadelphia Phillies. “Obviously, I am disappointed,” the team’s owner said.

The Vancouver Canucks hold the NHL record with 15 consecutive losing seasons (1976-91); the NBA’s Kansas City/Sacramento Kings also went that long (1983-98). The 1983-96 Tampa Bay Buccaneers sit at the bottom of the NFL’s list. “Setting a major league mark for losing hurts,” said the Pirates’ president, “and it hits particularly hard for us because everyone in this organization is extraordinarily proud to be a part of a franchise that has such a long and rich history of winning.”

Pittsburgh Pirates fans name-check another notable loser after today's game, when the Pirates lost to Chicago and clinched a record 17th consecutive losing season.
Pittsburgh Pirates fans name-check another notable loser after today's game, when the Pirates lost to Chicago and clinched a record 17th consecutive losing season.   (AP Photo)
Pittsburgh reliever Steven Jackson sits in the dugout during the final outs of the Pirates' loss today to the Cubs.
Pittsburgh reliever Steven Jackson sits in the dugout during the final outs of the Pirates' loss today to the Cubs.   (AP Photo)
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We can't ignore it and say it didn't happen. We're not accepting it. We're making moves to make sure we build a championship team, and we want that to happen as soon as possible. - Pittsburgh manager John Russell

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