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
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)
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(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.”