I’ve heard the complaints from local fans about how the Cardinals are sucking this year.
No, I’m not arguing that they are playing at their top form.
I certainly like the recent winning streak, but there’s no arguing that they still have a won-loss percentage under .500. How horrible.
We’re so used to the Cardinals doing well that we forget something. There are 6 teams in the National League right now doing worse than them.
Sure, you say, but there are 9 doing better!
OK. As I said. I’m not arguing that the Cardinals are at the top form.
There are lots of places online you can find a list of the team that won the World Series each year, or the pennant. But not a lot of places you can find a list of who finished dead last. I went to Baseball-Almanac.com and looked at the annual standings. Just for the National League.
I only went back to 1982. Three reasons.
1) 1981 is tricky because it was split by the strike.
2) I know what I need to know prior to 1982 from elsewhere
3) The Reds finished last place in 1982 completing the list I hoped to complete. (To be honest, I was surprised I finished it by 1982. I thought I would have to go back further.)
Between 1982 and 2006 here are the current teams in the National League and the number of times they have finised dead last (as measured by won-loss percentage. There were a few ties.)
The Rockies are still a new team. (1993). Give them time.
To find a year where the Cardinals finished dead last? 1918.
That’s right. 1918.
(I don’t have to go back through the standings at Baseball Almanac.com I read this statistic in a St. Louis Cardinals statistical compendium published in 1983 after the 1982 World Series, so since I have gone back to 1982 in my own research, I know it still stands.)
The list above might also give Chicago Cubs fans something to cheer about. The Pirates have been the annual vacuum cleaner more times than them — in the past 25 years at least.