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The 1927 Reading Keys and Their 31 Game Losing Streak: A True Team Effort

Sep 21, 2018 • by Wyomissing Public Library
Reading Keystones

On Monday, October 1 – the first day of the month in which baseball’s playoffs begin – Brian C. Engelhardt will present a program about the Reading Keys, a team that had a 31-game losing streak during the 1927 baseball season. The program will begin at 6 PM at the Wyomissing Public Library, located at 9 Reading Boulevard.

Englehardt is a lifelong Phillies fan intimately acquainted with disappointment on the baseball diamond and the gallows humor that goes with it, the author of Reading’s Big League Exhibition Games, and a regular contributor to the Berks County Historical Review.   The program on the 1927 Keys captures the spirit of the 1962 Mets (40-120), 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20-134), the 20 years between 1993 and 2012 that the Pittsburgh Pirates did not have a winning season, and of course the various expansive periods that the Phillies have wandered in the wilderness of losing seasons during their history.

With the 31-game losing streak serving as sort of jewel in the crown for the presentation on the 1927 Keys, other matters covered will include:

Just how did Manager Fred Merkle get fired twice that season?And where did his nickname “Bonehead” come from?The crisis created when the original owners tried to sell off all the players before the season so that they could just leave Reading without a team, all leading to a mid-season ownership change.And more.

The program is free and open to the public; registration is requested but not required, and may be done online at, by phone – 610-374-2385 – or in person at the front desk of the library.

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