Mike Schmidt's 1978 typified his team, the Phils', season. It was a major disappointment. Schmidt batted .251 with a mere 21 homers and 78 runs batted in, those were miniscule numbers for Schmidt even given they came in a pitcher's era.
The '78 Phils followed up two straight 101-game win seasons with a meager 90. The postseason results were also the same with the Phils losing in the NLCS. The team overhauled its lineup in the off-season, bringing in record-breaking free agent Pete Rose, of the "Three Point Two Mill-Lee-Un Dollars" of Chico Escuela fame, to playah, well we don't have a position for him so stick him at first.
Little did we know that 1978 would represent a high watermark of sorts for the team. The Phils would have to wait thirty yearsuntil Saturday to be preciseto win back-to-back division titles. In 1978, we had just witnessed back-to-back-to-back division titles for goodness' sake.
The Phils' 30-year wait between consecutive titles, division or league, is not unprecedented, but it is pretty rare. It's just the eleventh time it has happened in baseball history. It's nothing compared to the 68 years that the Pirates waited to raise two straight pennants, from 1902-03 to 1970-71.
Here are the longest waits in baseball history between consecutive division or league titles for any franchise. Note that the Phils mark is the seventh longest wait between consecutive titles since the advent of World Series play: