People are attracted to round numbers in life and in sports. The number 100 is one of those that naturally holds a lot of value in our brains and hearts. 100% means everything, means perfection. In school we strove to make a 100 on our tests and quizzes. In American football 100 yards is goal line to goal line. In baseball, we love to see that pitcher who hits triple digits with their stinky, nasty cheese. (Note 100 mph seems much sexier than 161 km/hr). 100 runs scored and 100 RBIs both signal top notch seasons for players. And for our baseball teams, 100 wins is a noble goal.
In the Astros first 55 seasons they reached 100 wins only one time, when they won 102 wins in 1998 after picking up Randy Johnson at the trade deadline. This was their only 100 win seasons until they won 101 games and the whole enchilada in 2017. This year’s Astros need to go 14 wins – 15 losses to reach 100 wins for the third time in a row. That may seem ho-hum to many fans, but in truth that is historic. In the history of major league baseball, no team has won 100 games more than three times in a row and only five teams have reached that number in three consecutive seasons. So, if the Astros go .500 or better down the stretch they will join a small fraternity of the Atlanta Braves (1997-99), St. Louis Cardinals (1942-44), New York Yankees (2002-04), Baltimore Orioles (1969-71) and Philadelphia Athletics (1929-31) with three 100 win seasons in a row. If they follow that up with another 100 win season next season they will go where no team has gone before with four consecutive 100 win seasons.
It should be noted that 100 wins was theoretically tougher to reach before the early 1960’s expansion from 154 to 162 game seasons. On the other hand, the lack of free agency back in the old days meant there were some extremely dominant teams who never had to worry about their best players every leaving and racked up some huge win totals.
Here are some random facts about 100 win seasons:
- It is not surprising that the New York Yankees have the most 100 game seasons in MLB history with 20. They also have the most multi-season runs of 100 wins (1927-28), (1936-37), (1941-42), (1977-78) and (2002-04).
- It might take you a bit to guess the team with the second most 100 game seasons in history. It would be the Philadelphia – Kansas City – Oakland Athletics (though none of those occurred in KC) with 10.
- The Chicago Cubs of all teams came oh so close to winning 100 games five seasons in a row, reaching that number in 1906-07 and 1909-10, while winning 99 in 1908.
- Seven teams have never won 100 games in their histories, including the Florida Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and the team that has gone the longest, our beloved Texas Rangers….
- The Marlins highest win seasons have been 92 wins in 1997 and 91 wins in 2003, but they took advantage of both seasons to win the World Championship.
- The Astros set the club record with 103 regular season wins in 2018, but obviously did not win the World Series. That is not unusual as 21 of the 30 franchises have not won the World Series in the season that they set their club record for regular season wins.
- The Dodgers have had seven 100 win seasons and never won a World Series in those seasons (though twice they did it in seasons where there was no WS).
- The Giants get an asterisk as they set their club record with 106 wins in 1904 when a World Series was not held.
- The Seattle Mariners get special recognition as they reached 100 wins only once, but it was the most wins in the modern era (116 in 2001) and ended in a playoff loss.
- The Astros with three 100 win seasons match or beat older franchises – Pirates (2), Phillies (3), and Indians (3). If they reach four 100 win seasons they will match the Red Sox (4) and the Reds (4).
So, does 100 wins hold any magic for you? Do you care if the Astros reach 100 wins three times or even four times in a row?