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Spring Cleaning – Players You Do Not Want to Go To WAR With


I have several article/projects I began previously, but never published/finished. This week I will publish several as I don't see myself going back to them to finish them to original level I wished. I was thinking of just deleting them, instead I am hoping someone may find the work useful.

Here at Beyond the Boxscore we have made several, OK way too many, comparisons of the best players ever in baseball. Today, we will instead look at the 10 players that have accumulated the worst WAR totals over their career.

Rank Name Total Lifetime WAR
1 Bill Bergen -17.6
2 Doug Flynn -12.1
3 Kirtley Baker -9.5
4 Juan Castro -9.0
5 Crazy Schmit -8.8
6 John Coleman -8.5
7 Tommy Dowd -8.4
8 Jim Lillie -8.2
9 Davey Dunker -8.1
10 Jim Levey -8.0

William Aloysius "Bill" Bergen - The king of negative WAR is for sure Bill Bergen. Unlike some of the pitchers that accumulated all their negative in one horrible season, Bill was the model of consistency with a negative WAR in each of his eleven season ranging from -0.7 to -2.5 WAR.

He hold the following notorious MLB marks.

  • Lost batting average for players with over 3000 AB - 0.170 The next lowest if from Billy Sullivan with and average of 0.213

  • Lost OBP for those with over 3000 PA - 0.194 with the next lowest was also by Billy Sullivan with 0.254

  • Lowest average ever for a player who qualified for the batting title - 0.139 in 1909,

  • Most at bats without getting on base - 46

Bill was considered a good catcher though and ranks 9th all time with assists for a catcher.

Robert Douglas Flynn Jr. - Doug career started good by being on the 1975 and 1975 Cincinnati Reds World Series teams. In those two seasons he had positive WAR values. After those two seasons, he only accumulated a positive WAR value in 1980 with the Mets in which he won the Gold Glove at NL Gold Glove award at 2nd base.

Doug's main offensive problem was that he was unable to get on base. Of the players with over 4000 Plate appearances he has the 4th lowest career OBP at 0.266.


Kirtley Baker

Juan Castro

Crazy Schmit

John Coleman

Tommy Dowd

Jim Lillie

Davey Dunkle

Jim Levey