August 24, 1943: The Philadelphia A's Losing Streak Continues and Ends on The Same Day
On August 24, 1943, Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's tied an American League record that nobody would want to have, by losing their 20th consecutive game. They lost it by the score of 6-5 to the White Sox in the first game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The record was held by the 1906 Red Sox and the 1916 A's who were also managed by Mack. It looked like the A's were going to be able to put a stop to the losing streak as they headed into the ninth but Lum Harris couldn't hold onto a 5-4 lead. With two out and a man of first Ralph Hodgin tied it up with a double, then Guy Curtwright won it with an rbi single that brought Hodgin into score. Then the tide turned. Roger Wolff was on the bump in the second game for the A's, and he was the last pitcher to record a win for a the team. Wolff came through once again, he scattered 8 hits and only one run crossed the plate, which was due to an error by his first baseman Dick Seibert. Wolff had his offense come through big in the third, they erupted for 8 runs with the highlight of the inning being a bases loaded double by Jimmy Ripple that brought all three men into score. It was all the offense the A's needed as the avoided breaking the record with an 8-1 win. Connie Mack led the A's to nine American League pennants and five World Series titles in his time in Philadelphia. He managed the club from 1901 to 1950, while he proved to be a true winner, he also was at the helm 17 times when the teams finished in last place. With the A's in a constant state of financial struggle, Mack was forced to rebuild his roster multiple times, which led to some of the down seasons. The A's won just 49 games in that '43 season. I would bet going through that losing streak had to be the bottom of the barrel for them, and holding their heads high might not have been always easy to do. After they took that second game against Chicago, I'm sure the smiles were abundant and they all slept a little bit better when their heads hit the pillow that night.