On-Base Perception

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The '62 Amazins

MARV THRONEBERRY, First base Number: 2 After parts

MARV THRONEBERRY, First base
Number: 2
After parts of five seasons with the Yankees, Kansas City Athletics and Baltimore Orioles, "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry worked his way into the Mets lineup as the team's starting first baseman after being acquired for catcher Hobie Landrith. He clubbed 16 home runs but recorded a .981 fielding percentage — the worst for any first baseman until Houston Astros' Cesar Cedeno matched that mark in 1979.
(Credit: AP)

Though manager Casey Stengel called his team the “Amazin’s,” the expansion 1962 Mets were anything but amazing.

In its inaugural season, the team finished 40-120-1. Fifty years later, that remains the worst record in baseball history. For their efforts, the Mets earned the nickname “Lovable Losers.”

As the Mets commemorate their 50th season in 2012, it's worth nothing that no other team that lost 100 or more games is celebrated as much as the ’62 Mets.

Right from the start, losing became a tradition. The Mets lost the first nine games in franchise history before finally posting a win. Still, that nine-game skid was short compared to losing streaks of 11, 13 and 17 during the season.

Not even Stengel, who led the Yankees to eight World Series titles, could turn these Mets into winners.

The cast of characters included memorable names such as “Marvelous” Marv Throneberry and Clarence “Choo-Choo” Coleman. The team’s ace pitcher -- veteran Roger Craig -- led the staff with 10 wins, but he had more than twice as many losses (24). The “Amazin’s” lacked consistency, as shown by their seven different catchers throughout the year. If averaged, each catcher accounted for slightly fewer than six of the team’s total victories.

While 120 losses are tough to swallow, the team was actually more competitive than the record suggests. The Mets lost 70 games by three runs or less, including 36 one-run losses. In 51 losses, Stengel’s bunch actually had the lead in the seventh inning or later.

Learn a little more about every player on the '62 Mets here.

Tags: mets , '62 Mets , casey stengel , roger craig , marv throneberry , choo-choo coleman

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