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The Worst MLB Season in History: The 1899 Cleveland Spiders

MLB Season Structure: A Guide to America’s Favorite Pastime

Baseball has been America’s favorite pastime for over a century, with millions of fans tuning in each season to watch their favorite teams battle it out on the field. With so much excitement centered around the sport, it is important for fans to understand the structure of the MLB season.

In this article, we will explore the regular season, interleague games, and the three divisions within the National and American leagues.

Regular Season

The MLB’s regular season is a grueling marathon that starts in late March or early April and concludes at the end of September. During this time, each team plays a staggering 162 games.

This long season is a testament to the endurance, skill, and consistency required to succeed in the league.

The regular season is divided into two main leagues: the National League and the American League, each consisting of three divisions.

The National League features the East, Central, and West divisions, while the American League features the East, Central, and West divisions as well. Each division within the league is made up of five teams, with a total of 30 teams in the league overall.

At the end of the regular season, each team is ranked by its winning percentage, and the top team from each division advances to the playoffs. The two remaining teams with the best records also advance as wild card teams.

These teams then compete in the Division Series, Championship Series and ultimately the World Series to determine the MLB Champion.

Interleague Games

Interleague games are a unique aspect of the MLB season that provides fans with exciting matchups between different leagues. Throughout the season, each team participates in a total of 20 interleague games.

The outcome of these games often has a significant impact on the standings and can greatly affect a team’s playoff chances. Interleague games involve teams from the National League playing against teams from the American League.

These games are played in two different formats: home-and-home series and two-game series. In home-and-home series, the series are split between the two teams and each team hosts a series.

In two-game series, each team hosts one game.

Since interleague games were introduced in 1997, they have become an integral part of the MLB regular season and have provided fans with some of the most exciting moments in baseball history.

Best MLB Season Record

The best MLB season record is a highly contested title amongst baseball fans. Two notable teams that have held this title are the 1906 Chicago Cubs and the 2001 Seattle Mariners.

The 1906 Chicago Cubs, led by Frank Chance, John Kling, and Harry Steinfeldt, won a total of 116 games during their regular season. This record was unmatched until the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won the same number of games to tie the record.

The Cubs went on to win the World Series that year, solidifying their place in baseball history. The 2001 Seattle Mariners were a particularly impressive team, led by rookie Ichiro Suzuki.

During his rookie season, Suzuki won the AL Rookie of the Year Award and the League MVP, becoming the first player in MLB history to receive both awards in the same year. The Mariners finished the season with a record of 116-46, tying the record set by the 1906 Chicago Cubs.


Understanding the structure of the MLB season is essential to any baseball fan. The regular season, interleague games, and playoff structure are all integral parts of the game.

As we have explored in this article, the best MLB season record is a highly coveted title that has only been achieved by two teams in over a century of baseball. Baseball history has been defined by some of the greatest teams ever to play the game, and with each season comes new excitement, records, and rivalries.

The 1899 Cleveland Spiders: A Season to Forget in MLB

Every baseball team has had its fair share of highs and lows, but some seasons are just downright dismal. The 1899 Cleveland Spiders endured the worst season record in MLB history, with a record of 20-134.

In this article, we will explore the challenges faced by the Cleveland Spiders during this catastrophic season, including their road losses, low attendance, and struggles with revenue.

Road Losses

The 1899 Cleveland Spiders won only one game on the road, a record that still stands in Major League Baseball. This is not surprising given the team’s overall record of 20-134.

The team suffered an incredible 101 losses away from its home field, League Park.

There were several factors that contributed to the team’s poor road performance.

First, the team was simply not talented enough to compete at a high level. The pitching staff gave up an average of 7.11 runs per game, which is by far the worst in MLB history.

The Spiders also had trouble scoring runs themselves, averaging just 2.92 runs per game.

Low Attendance

The Cleveland Spiders’ poor performance had a significant impact on the team’s attendance. Fans were simply not interested in watching a team that was destined for failure.

This lack of interest was especially evident during the team’s road games, where they often played in front of half-empty stadiums. The Spiders’ home attendance suffered as well.

In total, just 6,088 fans came to watch the team play at League Park throughout the entire season, a record low for Major League Baseball. To put this into perspective, the average attendance for MLB games in 1899 was approximately 3,000.

The Spiders’ poor performance, combined with a lack of interest from fans, resulted in significant financial losses for the team.

Revenue Struggles

The Cleveland Spiders’ dismal season had a significant impact on the team’s financial standing. With low attendance and a poor record, the team struggled to generate revenue throughout the entire season.

The team’s owner, Frank Robison, was forced to sell several of his best players to other teams in an effort to generate additional money to keep the team afloat. The Spiders’ struggles with revenue were also evident in their player salaries.

The team’s payroll in 1899 was just $16,000, which is a fraction of what other teams were paying their players at the time. This low salary likely contributed to the team’s inability to attract and retain high-quality players.


The 1899 Cleveland Spiders endured an absolutely dreadful season, characterized by road losses, low attendance and significant revenue struggles. Despite the team’s poor record, the Spiders hold a unique place in Major League Baseball history due to their unfortunate distinction of having the worst winning percentage and road record of any team in league history.

However, the team’s legacy lives on and will always serve as a reminder of the highs and lows of America’s favorite pastime. In this article, we explored the Cleveland Spiders’ worst MLB season record in history, which included a dismal record of 20-134, road losses, low attendance, and significant revenue struggles.

The Spiders’ lack of talent, difficulty scoring runs, and inability to generate revenue ultimately resulted in a team that fans were not willing to support. While a disappointing season for the team, the Spiders’ legacy reminds us that even the most historically losing teams can teach us a lot about perseverance and the value of supporting our favorite teams.


1. What was the Cleveland Spiders’ worst season record in MLB history?

The Cleveland Spiders’ worst season record in MLB history was 20-134 during the 1899 season. 2.

What was the main factor behind the Spiders’ poor performance on the road? The Spiders’ pitching staff gave up an average of 7.11 runs per game, which is the worst in MLB history.

3. How did the Spiders’ poor record impact attendance and revenue?

The Spiders’ poor record resulted in low attendance, both at home and during road games, leading to significant revenue struggles for the team’s owner.


Did the Spiders’ financial struggles impact their ability to attract high-quality players? Yes, the team’s low payroll, which was just $16,000, likely impacted their ability to attract and retain high-quality players.

5. What lessons can be taken away from the Spiders’ dismal season?

While the Spiders may have had a historically difficult season, their legacy reminds us of the importance of perseverance, and the value of supporting our favorite teams through both the highs and lows.

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