MVP and Cy Young Winners, 1980-2016

I’m pasting in below the years 1980 through 2016, with columns for the NL and AL MVPs, and the NL and AL Cy Young winners. The idea is for you to fill in (mentally anyway) the names of the players who won each of the 4 awards. How many of them can you name off the top of your head? Below the blank version of the table, I’ve pasted in a list of the winners of the 4 awards for you to check against. I know, the list is not well formatted: if it’s more convenient, you can also go to baseball-reference’s awards page to look up all the winners.

My suspicion is that not many people remember who won the awards, aside from recalling the players who had memorably dominant seasons. For example, I know very little about the ’83 Cy Young winners, John Denny and LaMarr Hoyt, and suspect that many fans don’t even recognize those names.

        NL MVP AL MVP NL Cy Young AL Cy Young


        NL MVP AL MVP NL Cy Young AL Cy Young
2016 Kris Bryant  Mike Trout  Max Scherzer  Rick Porcello
2015 Bryce Harper  Josh Donaldson  Jake Arrieta  Dallas Keuchel
2014 Clayton Kershaw  Mike Trout  Clayton Kershaw  Corey Kluber
2013 Andrew McCutchen  Miguel Cabrera  Clayton Kershaw  Max Scherzer
2012 Buster Posey  Miguel Cabrera  R.A. Dickey  David Price
2011 Ryan Braun  Justin Verlander  Clayton Kershaw  Justin Verlander
2010 Joey Votto  Josh Hamilton  Roy Halladay  Felix Hernandez
2009 Albert Pujols  Joe Mauer  Tim Lincecum  Zack Greinke
2008 Albert Pujols  Dustin Pedroia  Tim Lincecum  Cliff Lee
2007 Jimmy Rollins  Alex Rodriguez  Jake Peavy  CC Sabathia
2006 Ryan Howard  Justin Morneau  Brandon Webb  Johan Santana
2005 Albert Pujols  Alex Rodriguez  Chris Carpenter  Bartolo Colon
2004 Barry Bonds  Vladimir Guerrero  Roger Clemens  Johan Santana
2003 Barry Bonds  Alex Rodriguez  Eric Gagne  Roy Halladay
2002 Barry Bonds  Miguel Tejada  Randy Johnson  Barry Zito
2001 Barry Bonds  Ichiro Suzuki  Randy Johnson  Roger Clemens
2000 Jeff Kent  Jason Giambi  Randy Johnson  Pedro Martinez
1999 Chipper Jones  Ivan Rodriguez  Randy Johnson  Pedro Martinez
1998 Sammy Sosa  Juan Gonzalez  Tom Glavine  Roger Clemens
1997 Larry Walker  Ken Griffey  Pedro Martinez  Roger Clemens
1996 Ken Caminiti  Juan Gonzalez  John Smoltz  Pat Hentgen
1995 Barry Larkin  Mo Vaughn  Greg Maddux  Randy Johnson
1994 Jeff Bagwell  Frank Thomas  Greg Maddux  David Cone
1993 Barry Bonds  Frank Thomas  Greg Maddux  Jack McDowell
1992 Barry Bonds  Dennis Eckersley  Greg Maddux  Dennis Eckersley
1991 Terry Pendleton  Cal Ripken  Tom Glavine  Roger Clemens
1990 Barry Bonds  Rickey Henderson  Doug Drabek  Bob Welch
1989 Kevin Mitchell  Robin Yount  Mark Davis  Bret Saberhagen
1988 Kirk Gibson  Jose Canseco  Orel Hershiser  Frank Viola
1987 Andre Dawson  George Bell  Steve Bedrosian  Roger Clemens
1986 Mike Schmidt  Roger Clemens  Mike Scott  Roger Clemens
1985 Willie McGee  Don Mattingly  Dwight Gooden  Bret Saberhagen
1984 Ryne Sandberg  Willie Hernandez  Rick Sutcliffe  Willie Hernandez
1983 Dale Murphy  Cal Ripken  John Denny  LaMarr Hoyt
1982 Dale Murphy  Robin Yount  Steve Carlton  Pete Vuckovich
1981 Mike Schmidt  Rollie Fingers  Fernando Valenzuela  Rollie Fingers
1980 Mike Schmidt  George Brett  Steve Carlton  Steve Stone

Published in: Uncategorized on May 4, 2017 at 3:37 pm  Comments (1)  

The New York Yankees

From 1920 through 1964, the Yankees went 95.4-58.7 in the regular season on average, for a .619 winning percentage. From ’36 through ’64, they went 96.5-58.2, for a .624 winning percentage. From 1995 through 2012, they went 96.2-64.6, for a .598 winning percentage. Their sub-.500 winning percentages since 1920 are 1925 (.448%), 1965-67, ’69, ’73, ’82, and ’89 through ’92.

Published in: Uncategorized on April 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Playing Baseball in the Cold

The coldest MLB game ever was apparently played on April 23 of 2013: the Rockies against the Braves, and a 23F temperature in Denver at the start of the game. Quoting from this post by meteorologist Cliff Mass:

“Denver was an expansion team that played its first season in 1993. Thus, considering its unique meteorological location and altitude, it is quite possible that the 23F would have been the coldest temperature on record for all major league games at any location. Yes, you might argue about Minnesota, but keep in mind that the baseball season usually starts around April 1, and the all-time record low daily maximum temperature in Minneapolis for April was 22F in 1896.”

The Phillies-Rockies NLDS game 3 in Denver in 2009 apparently got into the mid-20s by the end of that game, with a wind as well. When you look at attendance for World Series games in the deadball years, you see quite a few times that cold and/or wet conditions kept the number of fans well below 10,000.

Finally: another meteorologist says MLB would drastically reduce the chances of games played in cold/snowy conditions if it just avoided home games in Minneapolis, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh or Boston during the first 10 days of April.

Published in: Uncategorized on March 29, 2017 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Memory of Early Wynn

Wynn is the least well-known 300-game winner pitching mainly after World War II (his career began in 1939). I don’t have an image of him in my mind. He was not a fireballer, did not have many great seasons, pitched for three different teams, none of them in New York, didn’t win a World Series, and, somewhat like Jamie Moyer, didn’t have an impressive start to his career. His first 20-win season came in his 30s, he won 22 games at age 39 (and got the Cy Young Award for it), and won 16 games in his 40s. Here is his SABR biography:

Despite his relative obscurity, reading the bio shows that Wynn led a dramatic life and was no shrinking violet. His life was at least as intriguing as Gaylord Perry’s, another Southerner with a roughly similar career that started about two decades after Wynn’s. Why isn’t Wynn well known today? To hazard a guess: even ardent baseball fans can pay only so much attention to the past, have only so much space in their memory devoted to cataloging great players who played before a fan was born. When they think of A.L. pitchers in the 1940s and 50s, Feller and Whitey Ford are the first to come to mind, maybe Herb Score as well, and perhaps a Yankee or two, like Allie Reynolds, and that’s all. When you look at this page of A.L. pitching leaders in 1953, listing last names only, how many of the names do you recognize?

Published in: Uncategorized on March 12, 2017 at 1:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Winners of Multiple Cy Young Awards

Here, from Baseball-reference, is a list of the multiple Cy Young winners who (Roger Clemens aside) are least likely to join the Hall of Fame. All of them won 2 of the awards:
Tim Lincecum
Denny McLain
Bret Saberhagen
Johan Santana
Max Scherzer

Scherzer might wind up in the Hall, depending on how long he pitches and/or if he has several more outstanding seasons.

Published in: Uncategorized on February 12, 2017 at 11:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Most Career Walks

This is a short list of some of the intriguing/surprising names that show up on the list of the top 50 MLB players in career walks:

Joe Morgan 5th, with 1865
Eddie Yost 11th, with 1614
Willie Mays 22nd, with 1464
Dwight Evans 29th, with 1391
Tony Phillips tied for 40th, with 1319
Ken Singleton 50th, with 1263

Published in: Uncategorized on February 3, 2017 at 11:30 am  Leave a Comment  

A Note on W.P. Kinsella and Field of Dreams

This is from the biography on Kinsella’s own website: “Ironically, Kinsella had originally called the novel Dream Field, a choice which was overruled by his editor of the day.”

What would the response to Shoeless Joe, as the novel was finally named, and Field of Dreams have been if the original title had stuck?

Published in: Uncategorized on January 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm  Comments (2)  

Ejecting Pete Rose and Babe Ruth

Here, from Retrosheet, is a list of the 7 ejections Pete Rose had during his playing career:
Date Team Umpire Reason
6- 2-1966 BOX CIN N John Kibler Call at 1B
8-18-1968(1) BOX CIN N John Kibler Call at 2B
9- 9-1969 BOX CIN N Andy Olsen Claiming Gaylord Perry throwing spitters
6-15-1971 BOX CIN N John Kibler Called third strike
8- 8-1977 BOX CIN N John McSherry Call at 2B
7- 7-1982 BOX PHI N Randy Marsh Called third strike
6-22-1984 BOX MON N Dave Pallone Balls and strikes

The same list for Babe Ruth (ejected 11 times):
Date Team Umpire Reason
6-23-1917(1) BOX BOS A Brick Owens Balls and strikes
9-13-1917 BOX BOS A George Moriarty Bench jockeying
8-22-1919 BOX BOS A Brick Owens Called third strike
5-25-1922 BOX NY A George Hildebrand Call at 2B (Threw dirt)
6-19-1922 BOX NY A Bill Dinneen Call at 2B (from LF)
8-30-1922 BOX NY A Tommy Connolly Called third strike
4-19-1924 BOX NY A Billy Evans Called third strike
8- 1-1924 BOX NY A Pants Rowland Call at 2B
7- 8-1930(1) BOX NY A Brick Owens Balls and strikes (from bench)
8-21-1931 BOX NY A Roy Van Graflan Home run call
5- 7-1932 BOX NY A Brick Owens Called third strike

Ruth was also ejected once as a coach with the Dodgers. I don’t have a great point to make here-clearly Ruth did not like Brick Owens, and Rose did not like John Kibler-but it’s interesting that Rose, allegedly a much fiercer competitor than Ruth, was ejected fewer times despite playing in many more games.

Published in: Uncategorized on January 4, 2017 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Identifying the 1937 Philadelphia Phillies

Here is a list of all 32 Philadelphia Phillies for the 1937 season. The Phillies went 61-92, finishing 7th in the National League, and the franchise was in the midst of a long stretch of bad seasons. The question is: How many of the 32 players do you recognize?

Position Players
Bill Atwood
Dolph Camilli
Del Young
George Scharein
Pinky Whitney
Chuck Klein
Hersh Martin
Morrie Arnovich
Leo Norris
Earl Browne
Johnny Moore
Earl Grace
Jimmie Wilson
Walter Stephenson
Howie Gorman
Fred Tauby
Gene Corbett
Bill Andrus

Bucky Walters
Claude Passeau
Wayne LaMaster
Hugh Mulcahy
Syl Johnson
Orville Jorgens
Hal Kelleher
Pete Sivess
Elmer Burkart
Bob Allen
Walt Masters
Leon Pettit
Bobby Burke
Larry Crawford

I recognized Klein, Camilli, Walters, and Passeau, but Klein, the team’s only Hall of Famer and the only one of the four to spend most of his career in Philadelphia, is also the only one about whom I have any slightly detailed knowledge.

Published in: Uncategorized on December 27, 2016 at 11:14 am  Comments (2)  

Donald Trump’s Baseball Past

The involvement recent presidents have with baseball has been covered on a few posts on this blog. With Donald Trump set to become president in January, here are a couple of stories on Trump from 25+ years ago, talking about his connections to baseball. This, from a Trump profile by Greg Boeck of USA Today in 1990:

“Donald Trump,” said Ed Tracy, who oversees Trump’s Atlantic City properties, “is out there like a gladiator, running to the goal line. He enjoys the hunt. To him, athletics reflect the business world.”

Long before he wrote The Art of the Deal, in which he regaled readers with tales of his Babe Ruthian home runs in real estate, Donald Trump was a first baseman.

As a youth at the New York Military Academy in Cornwall-on-Hudson, where he was known as D.T., not The Donald, the piece of real estate he valued most was a spot on the ballfield. It meant a chance to compete. And win. “He didn’t like to lose,” said Col. Theodore Dobias, his high school coach.

“Nothing’s changed,” said Jeff Walker, senior vice president of the Trump Organization who was a year ahead of Trump at New York Military Academy. “It’s in his genes.”

Trump, once scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies for his slick glove and .300 bat, never made it as a million-dollar superstar in baseball. He opted for the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania and billionaire status in another arena.

But sports still flows through his veins like money through his vast empire. In the last six years, Trump has owned a pro
football team, been temporarily involved in a proposed third baseball league, evolved as a force in boxing, jumped into international cycling and staged a power boat race.

Trump the first baseman might have put his glove away long ago, but much of what molded Trump the businessman took place on the playing fields of his youth. Even as an adult, he has remained an ardent fan – he met his wife, Ivana, who was once a world-class skier, at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He still mixes sport and romance: Before his much-trumpeted breakup this year, he was seen at boxing matches with Marla Maples.

“In the entrepreneurial ring, it’s him and the ultimate goal. He loves the opportunity to win a prize, the top prize. He’s probably shooting above it, and we don’t understand.”

Mainly, he gets exposure. Trump, who declined interview requests, loves his name in lights. “He considers sports his advertising,” said Bob Woolf, agent for Larry Bird and Doug Flutie. “It elevates everything he does.” Added boxing promoter Don King: “Donald Trump is a performer. By getting into boxing, he’s become well-known from the masses to the classes.”

At 6-2 and slim, Trump maintains an athletic look at 44. At his Palm Beach, Fla., home, he has a swimming pool, tennis court and workout facility. At his New York apartment, he has a gym. His most common exercise is walking up steps. Occasionally, he skis or plays golf, though largely for business purposes.

As a youth, Trump was a multifaceted athlete. At the New York Military Academy, from 1959-64, he won trophies in intramural softball, basketball, softball, bowling and freshman football. He lettered in varsity football, varsity soccer and varsity baseball.

“Whatever he did he was good at,” said Col. Anthony Castellano, who has been at New York Military Academy 40 years. “He wasn’t a follower. He always got out front.” Castellano’s most vivid memory of Trump: “He looked good in a baseball uniform.”

Baseball was clearly Trump’s first love. It’s the only sport he played every year, and he was team captain his senior year, 1964. “He was a pure hitter,” Dobias said. “Great glove at first base. Good range, stretch. He kept the infield alert. He took over. He was very agile, very knowledgeable. And very, very competitive.”

Dobias remembers one game in particular. In his senior year, Trump tripled to tie a game against Cheshire Academy of Connecticut. The next batter squeezed Trump home with the winning run. “He came running home,” Dobias said, “pumping his arm up and down in the air. It was a cold, bitter day in April, but he was really into it.”

Otherwise, Trump was on the quiet side. “He was reserved, not boisterous,” Dobias said. “He just sat back and analyzed everything.”

Trump started every game his last two seasons. Dobias batted him fifth his last year, but Trump didn’t go out a winner – the team finished 5-6-1.

That was the end of his baseball career. “If he worked at it, he could have gone on to Double-A,” Dobias said. “But he had other interests and didn’t want to pursue baseball.”

Apparently Trump will be the best ex-player in the White House since George H.W. Bush. In 1989, Murray Chass of the New York Times had reported on Trump’s stated willingness to take part in an effort to start up an 8-team third major league to rival MLB, with Trump’s team to be located in northern New Jersey. Here’s a screen shot of the first part of Chass’s story (you can get all of it on the Times’ site):

Published in: Uncategorized on December 4, 2016 at 1:21 pm  Comments (1)