Mr. Willet: Those Streaky 1916 Giants

1916 GiantsImagine your team winning 17 straight games. Now imagine that it’s not the longest winning streak of the season.

In 1916, the New York Giants would win 17 straight games from May 9th through May 29th, all on a road trip in which they would finish 20-2. It came after they started the season with a 2-13 record. And it wasn’t the longest streak of the season.

From September 7 through September 30, they would win 26 straight games, a Major League record. Now, to those that don’t understand baseball’s rules, they say that this doesn’t count because after 12 games, the Giants and Pirates would play to a 1-1 tie because of a rain delay. However, from the standpoint of the standings, it’s as if the game never happened. It is replayed from the beginning at another time. The stats count for individual players, but is as if it never happened in the records. During this streak, they played eight pairs of double headers, including a stretch when they played six games in three days. Also, all 26 games were played at home.

There are a few things that amaze me about this Giants team. Despite these two streaks, they finished seven games back in the National League. Even in the current system, with the current team alignment, the Giants would not have even been the Wild Card. And this was in a 154 game season. When they weren’t in the middle of these streaks, their record was 56-66. I also can’t imagine a team having a 20+ game road trip (unless there was some other issue) or a 26+ game homestand. Obviously, travel was more difficult back then, but still.

Anyway, these streaky Giants really amaze me. It’s a bit mind boggling, in fact. I’m not really sure what my point is. This happened before my mom’s time and even before my grandfather’s time. I guess why they came to my mind is that I was thinking about what it would take to get the Mets into the playoffs, and I find myself hoping for a 26 game winning streak….However, even if the Giants had won 31 straight, the probably would still have lost out on the playoffs. At the end of the streak, they were five games out with five to go and three teams ahead of them. From the Mets perspective, this is slap at hope from history. From my perspective, I guess I am hoping they win 32 straight.

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