Friday, August 27, 2010
Weird history: 1987 San Jose BeesPosted by Brandon Isleib
In doing research for the 2011 Annual's trivia section, I came across this gem of a team:
One of the many unaffiliated teams that the low minors had in this era, the 1987 San Jose Bees had names but only scattered talent. It was a part Japanese farm team, part independent league, and part...well, I don't know what the third part was, but it was fun. Daryl Sconiers was their hitting star. Ken Reitz was a reserve infielder and mop-up reliever. Dan Meyer, Charlie Moore, Elias Sosa, Roger Erickson, and Warren Brusstar all showed up at one point. But the most fun was in the Carltonesque way two starters held the fort for this wretched team.
Did I mention that the Bees went 33-109 on the season? No misprint—33-109. They scored 423 runs and allowed 816. Their Pythagorean record: 33-109. Believe it or not, the team actually had two competent starting pitchers: Taketo Kamei and Steve McCatty. Kamei, a 19-year-old lower draft pick from the Seibu Lions, paced the league in ERA (2.42) and had a 10-14 record to show for it. McCatty, now 33 and in his last stint in affiliated baseball, wasn't too far behind at 2.95, his 8-13 record helped by allowing only three homers in 174 innings.
This means that when Kamei (who apparently also is transliterated as Kamei Takashi Doo) and McCatty weren't getting the decisions, the team was 15-82, or a .155 winning percentage. Not quite Cleveland Spiders territory (.130), but quite close. Like the Spiders, the Bees folded after the season.
The 1972 Phillies, excluding Steve Carlton (27-10) and Darrell Brandon (7-7) from the record, were 25-82 (.234). That's awful for the majors, of course, but the Bees were doing their best impression.
There's no real point behind this entry, but that team was one of the strangest bunches I'd ever seen, and I thought somebody might want to know.
Brandon Isleib is a lawyer and writes about stuff sometimes. He can be reached via the electronic mails.