What is baseball’s longest streak of games being rained out?

Baseball fans in our area are likely quite pleased with the persistent success of the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers who lead the National League Central by 1.5 games as of this morning.

Since the opening of Miller Park in 2001, Brewers fans have also enjoyed the certainty that a scheduled game will not be postponed due to rain.

Last week was the 105th anniversary of a most unusual baseball record as on Aug. 18, 1909, the Philadelphia Phillies endured their 10th consecutive rainout.

This rainy day was in Philadelphia, but the team had just returned from a “western” trip that began in St. Louis, moved to Cincinnati and then on to Pittsburgh.

Two separate storms were apparently responsible for the remarkable streak of bad weather-luck.

The first storm was an unusual late-summer cyclone that affected the midsection of the country near the end of the first week of August.

Our guess is that storm was the kind we now call a “cut-off” cyclone – an upper-level weather disturbance that gets isolated from the main westerlies farther to the north.

Such storms can linger in a region for unusually long periods of time, produce persistent showery and heavier rain, and are reminiscent of the sort of prolonged bad weather that can occasionally ruin Memorial Day weekend here in southern Wisconsin.

The second storm may have been a weak tropical storm that redeveloped off the coast of the Carolinas and Virginia near the middle of the month.

The details of this streak of rainouts are not well-documented, but it is a fact that the Phillies were out of the pennant race by the time the streak began — they finished 36.5 games behind the Pirates but well ahead of the now (thankfully) forgotten Brooklyn Superbas and Boston Doves.

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