The Hoover Award

Back in 2007 I came up with a term for a baseball statistic I had never seen anywhere else. I called it the Hoover Award. As one might guess from the name, if one is familiar with the brand of vacuum cleaners, it’s all about the greatest amount of suckage. The team each year that finishes dead last in their league, using the win-loss percentage.

I realized due to the World Series this year, it was time to head on over to the Baseball-Almanac, and update my statistical research, so I now have a list of the number of Hoovers each team has won between 1973-2013. (I originally researched back to 1973, as that is how far back I had to go until there was ‘one team left standing’ in each league. I then researched how far I’d have to go back until those two teams finished dead last. The results might surprise you.)

A few notes:

1) I don’t list the Montreal Expos, as they no longer exist. The two “Hoover Awards” for the Washington Nationals are post-1995.
2) I list the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League, as that is where they are currently, but I count their suckage in both leagues. They have finished last in both leagues (1984 and 2002) so that isn’t an issue.
3) I list the Houston Astros in the American League, where it is as of 2013, but I count their suckage in both leagues. They won the American League Hoover Award this year, so that isn’t an issue.
4) Some may notice there are 39 Hoover Awards for the National League – and not the expected 40. I skipped over 1981 because I didn’t know how to appropriately handle the strike-split year for this statistic. There are more than 40 American League Hoover Awards because there were some ties.

American League 1973-2013

Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6
Seattle Mariners 6
Minnesota Twins 6
Detroit Tigers 5
Houston Astros 5
Toronto Blue Jays 4
Cleveland Indians 3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2
Baltimore Orioles 2
Oakland Athletics 2
Chicago White Sox 1
Kansas City Royals 1
New York Yankees 1
Texas Rangers 1
Boston Red Sox 0

National League 1973-2013

Pittsburgh Pirates 7
Chicago Cubs 5
San Diego Padres 5
Atlanta Braves 4
New York Mets 4
Philadelphia Phillies 3
Florida Marlins 3
Washington Nationals 2
Milwaukee Brewers 2
Cincinnati Reds 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 1
San Francisco Giants 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Colorado Rockies 0
St. Louis Cardinals 0

I conducted single-team research on both the Red Sox and the Cardinals

  • The last time the Boston Red Sox finished dead last in the American League – 1933
  • The last time the St. Louis Cardinals finished dead last in the National League – 1918

The Rockies have only been around since 1993. Twenty years without falling victim to the annual vacuum cleaner is impressive, especially for an expansion team, but give them time.