A’s Bad as It Gets

Connie Mack’s Pathetic Athletics of 1916

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About the Book

This work is a game-by-game account of the Philadelphia Athletics’ pitiful 1916 season, in which they won just 36 of 154 games. It starts with a brief biography of the team’s living symbol—A’s manager and co-owner Connie Mack—and moves through the birth of the franchise and into its first era of glory in which the A’s won world championships in 1910, 1911, and 1913. Following the A’s stunning defeat in the 1914 World Series to the underdog Boston Braves, Mack dismantled his championship club and finished last in the American League for seven straight seasons. The 1916 campaign was the nadir. The team’s few solid veterans had a supporting cast of underachievers, college boys, raw rookies, no-hopers, and sub-par pitching. The book chronicles the daily grind of a team that had no chance to begin with and quickly became the laughingstock of the AL. Many humorous anecdotes, needless to say!

About the Author(s)

John G. Robertson is a private tutor and sports historian who lives in Cambridge, Ontario. He is also the author of several books on baseball history.
Andy Saunders is a baseball buff who hosts trivia shows in his hometown. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Bibliographic Details

John G. Robertson and Andy Saunders
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: 6 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7818-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1347-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

The Last Hurrah: The 1913 Victory Banquet 5

Connie Mack: The Architect of the A’s (Part 1) 7

Connie Mack: The Architect of the A’s (Part 2) 13

Connie Mack’s First Dynasty: 1910 to 1914 20

Prelude to Disaster: Spring Training 1916 33

April: Despair and Hope 46

May: Hope and the ­High-Water Mark 55

June: Reality Tramples Optimism 70

July: The Depths of Ineptitude 84

August: The “Little Tonic Team of Baseball” Rises from Its Nadir 104

August 26: The Masterpiece Among the Rubbish 120

August 28 to Season’s End: Playing Out the String 126

Heroes and Pleasant Surprises, Villains, Disappointments and Busts 149

The Aftermath and Beyond 154

Whatever Happened To…? 165

Were the 1916 A’s Really the Worst MLB Team of the 20th Century? 170

The 1916 Philadelphia Athletics Season 175

Chapter Notes 179

Bibliography 180

Index 181

Book Reviews & Awards

“Robertson and Saunders do a commendable job in tracing the events of this awful season for the A’s. The writing is clear, the authors have a sense of humor, and they know their baseball…solid addition to anyone’s baseball library”—SABR Deadball Era Committee Newsletter.