Is 2010 the Worst Baseball Season in the Georgia Bulldogs' History?

The above question is purely rhetorical. The answer is: "Yes. Yes, it is."

Need proof? Well, O.K., then:

Season SEC W-L SEC W% Overall W-L Overall W%
1937 2-8 .200 5-12 .294
1943 1-3 .250 1-10 .091
1947 4-11 .267 10-18 .357
1967 5-12 .294 8-19 .296
1972 4-12 .250 12-22 .353
1974 3-13 .188 10-18 .357
1994 9-19 .321 22-35 .386
2007 11-19 .367 23-33 .411
2010 3-15 .167 12-28 .300

At least for the seasons for which won-lost records are available, those are the worst seasons of Georgia baseball since the nation’s oldest state-chartered university began fielding a team in its oldest varsity sport in 1886. The Diamond Dogs have fifteen games to go in 2010, but, right now, they appear to have the title "worst overall" locked down.

Granted, the Red and Black presently have an overall ledger of 12-28, and the Classic City Canines have finished below .300 thrice, in 1937 (.294), 1943 (.091), and 1967 (.296). However, none of those squads finished worse than .200 in conference play, and this year’s Georgia club now stands at .167 in SEC action. Even assuming the Bulldogs do not fall below .300 for the season---which is not a safe assumption, in view of the Athenians’ upcoming slate---their combination of league and overall winning percentages almost certainly will be the worst in Georgia history. The Red and Black are on a pace to outdo their all-time worst .188 conference winning percentage in 1974.

There haven’t just been a lot of losses in 2010, though; there have been a lot of bad losses, including defeats by margins of 13-2, 12-1, 17-5, 11-1, 20-3, 19-3, 15-5, 15-5, 14-6, 25-6, 10-2, 10-2, and 13-5. Those thirteen losses by eight or more runs are unprecedented in our history; Georgia fell by such large margins just once in 1937, five times in 1943, once in 1967, four times in 1972, twice in 1974, seven times in 1994, and five times in 2007. (Exact scores are not available for 1947.)

Those scanning the above statistics in search of a ray of sunshine may take solace in two facts, neither of which may be relevant to our present predicament. First of all, such deep troughs are a rarity in our baseball heritage; for just the ninth time in Georgia’s storied diamond history, the Bulldogs are on a pace to perform so poorly both overall and against SEC competition, and there ordinarily are lengthy gaps between such downcycles, including 20 years separating 1947 from 1967 and 1974 from 1994.

The last time two such subpar seasons were bunched together for the Red and Black, though, the Athenians were on the verge of something special. Down years in 1972 and in 1974 were followed by a 1975 campaign in which Georgia went 11-4 in SEC play and won the division championship under the final year of Jim Whatley’s leadership. One of those possibilities---a dramatic turnaround or an end-of-season coaching change---could come to pass for the Diamond Dogs in 2011.

Go ‘Dawgs!

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