1931 Philadelphia Athletics
Record: 107-45, .704; lost World Series
In 50 years of owning and managing the team through boom-and-bust cycles, Connie Mack saw the best of times in Philadelphia (five pennants and three championships from 1905 to '14) and the worst (seven straight last-place finishes from 1915 to '21, including the "Pathetics" of 1916 that went 36-117).
After winning championships in 1929 and ’30 thanks to a squad that included Hall of Famers like catcher Mickey Cochrane, first baseman Jimmie Foxx, leftfielder Al Simmons and starter Lefty Grove, the '31 A’s appeared primed to make it three in a row. They won 17 straight games in May, part of a 41-8 stretch, then had a 13-game winning streak in July. Through 124 games, Philadelphia was five games ahead of its 1930 squad for the franchise’s best record to that point. Keeping up that blistering pace proved too much to ask, as the A's went 18-10 (.643) the rest of the way. They then wound up on the short end of a seven-game World Series against the Cardinals. Three years later they were back under .500 and they wouldn't reach the postseason again until 1971.