Highlighting a Nice Retrosheet Feature

I came by a Retrosheet page titled Top Individual Performances (Based on Retrosheet Seasons), here: http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/MISC/XOP.htm

There is a lot of interesting material on the page. Right at the top is the longest hitting streaks: only 7 have lasted past 35 games. At the bottom, you will see that Bob Shaw has the record for most balks in a game: 5, on May 4, 1963. Eddie Rommel set the record for most hits allowed in a game: 29, in this 1932 game in Cleveland: https://miscbaseball.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/an-interesting-philadelphia-as-cleveland-indians-game-at-league-park-in-1932/

Retrosheet also has a page chronicling Top Team Performances (Based on Retrosheet Seasons), here: http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/MISC/XOT.htm

Published in: Uncategorized on June 22, 2017 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Winning Percentages for the 30 MLB Teams

Below is a snapshot of the franchise win-loss records (regular season) for the 30 MLB teams, as of June 6,2017. You can find the updated totals at http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams The Padres have the worst franchise record, especially when you consider that Tampa’s win % is hampered by being a fairly new team.

The Yankees are the only team a long ways above or below .500. It is surprising to see the Giants with the second best win %, but also to see that even renowned franchises, like the Cardinals, have only a .52 win %. Would you have guessed that the White Sox, Pirates, and Tigers have won more than half their games, or that the Orioles are still a long ways below .500?

 

Published in: Uncategorized on June 7, 2017 at 10:29 am  Comments (1)  

Trout Triple Play

When I saw this heading below the news of Jean Harlow’s death on June 7, 1937, the first thought was of Mike Trout. It was not that kind of triple play though.

 

Published in: Uncategorized on May 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
1980

        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: http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/6d0d8788

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)