There’s been a lot of talk about how the Washington Nationals would not have made the playoffs in 2019 based on their first 60 games. Of course, with 162 they not only made the postseason but won the World Series. 2020 brings much less room for a slow start, since, well, 60 games is the season. And now we know that the 16...uh...best assemblage of first, second, and third place teams will play in October. Which seems...fine.
But Boston? They’ve already won 60-game seasons. Been champions. 42-18 and a first place finish. 41-19 and another first place finish. Teams loaded will Hall of Famers: Jim O’Rourke, Deacon White, George Wright, Harry Wright. Starting pitcher Tommy Bond alone went 40-17 in one of those years.
That last stat might give it away.
So, OK, you got me. Those 60-game seasons were 1877 and 1878. And they happened before Major League Baseball existed. This was the age of the National League only. And while the Boston team was called the Red Stockings, they actually are the team that eventually became the Atlanta Braves.
But the point is, Boston has that experience. And every time you’re riding the commuter rail or Orange Line into Ruggles Station, you’re actually at the site of their stadium, the South End Grounds.
Will the 2020 Boston Red Sox win 42 games? Almost certainly not. But for historical trivia, it’s happened in the city before. And that’s a claim that more than a century later will be valid again, somewhere. Maybe here. But probably not.