Did you know that Endy Chávez was the last player to bat for the Montreal Expos? Endy, indeed.
I have appeared in major league games in 24 different seasons as a position player. There are only 6 non-pitchers to do his in big league history.
I have two World Series rings and my lifetime BA/OBP/SLG slash line in the post-season is .303/.370/.515 – and I almost had a third World Series ring.
I’ve played in six different major league cities where I had teammates, from each franchise, that went on to the Hall of Fame. Also, I played for two managers in the major leagues who went on to the Hall of Fame. And, one of my minor league managers later went into the Hall of Fame as a major league manager.
I managed in the minor leagues and one of my teams won the Triple-A league championship.
Who am I?
You tell me…
According to WAR, that is:
This list also tells you how good Belanger’s glove was…
Actually, look at the top 20. It’s Reds, A’s and Yankees. No wonder why those teams ruled the ’70′s.
It’s the only time someone, ever, in baseball history had a 30-30 season where they also had less than 100 whiffs and less than 5 times caught stealing. Here it is, along with the others to come somewhat close to matching it:
No, not that record.
It’s the record for most seasons in MLB history with 179+ hits in a season. Coming into 2014, the Captain and Charlie Hustle are tied with 15 seasons each:
|1||Derek Jeter||15||1996||2012||22-38||Ind. Seasons|
|2||Pete Rose||15||1965||1980||24-39||Ind. Seasons|
|3||Ty Cobb||14||1907||1924||20-37||Ind. Seasons|
|4||Stan Musial||13||1943||1956||22-35||Ind. Seasons|
|5||Sam Rice||12||1919||1930||29-40||Ind. Seasons|
|6||Ichiro Suzuki||11||2001||2011||27-37||Ind. Seasons|
|7||Lou Brock||11||1964||1974||25-35||Ind. Seasons|
|8||Hank Aaron||11||1955||1967||21-33||Ind. Seasons|
|9||Paul Waner||11||1926||1937||23-34||Ind. Seasons|
|10||Lou Gehrig||10||1926||1937||23-34||Ind. Seasons|
|11||Al Simmons||10||1924||1936||22-34||Ind. Seasons|
|12||George Sisler||10||1917||1929||24-36||Ind. Seasons|
|13||Eddie Collins||10||1909||1924||22-37||Ind. Seasons|
|14||Sam Crawford||10||1902||1915||22-35||Ind. Seasons|
|15||Miguel Cabrera||9||2005||2013||22-30||Ind. Seasons|
|16||Albert Pujols||9||2001||2010||21-30||Ind. Seasons|
|17||Wade Boggs||9||1983||1991||25-33||Ind. Seasons|
|18||Billy Williams||9||1962||1972||24-34||Ind. Seasons|
|19||Doc Cramer||9||1933||1943||27-37||Ind. Seasons|
|20||Charlie Gehringer||9||1928||1937||25-34||Ind. Seasons|
|21||Pie Traynor||9||1923||1933||24-34||Ind. Seasons|
|22||Goose Goslin||9||1923||1936||22-35||Ind. Seasons|
|23||Tris Speaker||9||1910||1923||22-35||Ind. Seasons|
Most hits by a right-handed batter in American League history, through 2013:
The sad news via Roch Kubatko last night:
I have the unfortunate task of passing along news that former Orioles center fielder Paul Blair died tonight.
From what I understand, Blair collapsed in a Pikesville bowling alley. He was 69.
Blair played his first 13 seasons with the Orioles and was part of the 1966, ’69, ’70 and ’71 World Series teams. He won two titles with the Orioles and two more with the Yankees.
Blair won eight Gold Gloves and was named to the American League’s All-Star team in 1969 and 1973. His final season came in 1980 with the Yankees.
Blair, who won seven straight Gold Gloves from 1969-75, was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1984.
It was Blair’s home run in Game 3 of the 1966 World Series that accounted for all the scoring in the Orioles’ 1-0 victory over the Dodgers. They went on to complete the sweep for their first world championship.
Paul Blair was the greatest fielding center fielder of all-time. Sixty-nine is too young. This is very sad. He was, without question, a great baseball man. And, he will be missed.
Paul Blair and Son, 1966
Welcome to the world, Tyrus Raymond Cobb.
Via the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
The past escorts John Thorn home from the moment he greets a visitor at a 139-year-old railroad station, crosses the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and arrives at his residence, a county historical landmark.
Clad in a facsimile jacket of the defunct Negro Leagues’ Kansas City Monarchs, he enters the billiards room of his home in this Hudson River town 35 miles south of Albany, its walls crammed with old framed prints and theater posters.
The environment befits the official historian for Major League Baseball and one who devours Americana.
“I am a sports historian by trade,” the 66-year-old Thorn says, “but I am an antiquarian in all things.”
While Thorn may delve into baseball lore for a living, it was more than just a game for this son of Holocaust survivor parents who was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany.
As an immigrant raised in the New York City boroughs of the Bronx and Queens, the young Thorn collected baseball cards and read their statistics and text, which he says helped him assimilate in America. Thorn says he was drawn to the national pastime because of its “possibilities for fairness” and the heroic figures who played the game.
His baseball-inspired imagination enabled Thorn to “construct my own legends untied to my European roots,” he explains while sitting in his second-floor office surrounded by books filling floor-to-ceiling shelf units.
Growing up, Thorn refused to speak with his parents in their native Polish, but only in the English of the family’s adopted land. The household included an older “brother,” Adam — actually a cousin whose parents were murdered, like much of the family, in the Holocaust. Thorn recalls that his parents had ransomed Adam from a peasant who shielded him during the war. Adam became a successful businessman; he’s retired and lives in Florida.
As one whose story mirrors that of many other post-war Jewish immigrants, Thorn says he shares both the sense that America “was a blessedly safe haven” and that baseball welcomed his family into the country. So his work as a consultant for the National Museum of American Jewish History on its upcoming exhibition documenting Jewish ties to the national pastime is personal, too.
While Thorn is baseball’s authority on matters of the past, he extends the game’s historical allure to present and future generations. He and MLB Advanced Media launched BaseballMemoryLab.com, where fans can share baseball experiences; the remembrances are hyperlinked to relevant articles and videos.
Thorn has “incredible command of historical information,” says Josh Frost, his colleague at MLB Advanced Media, “constantly breathing new life into [Memory Lab] to keep it fresh.”
The site also hosts Thorn’s blog, Our Game, which pries open the treasure chest of baseball history’s attic. Embedded in one recent entry were four baseball cards, perhaps hinting at Thorn’s fondness for his own roots in the game and its legendary performers.
Legend and fact, in Thorn’s view, aren’t so contradictory. In his 2011 book, “Baseball in the Garden of Eden,” Thorn confirms the view of historians that Abner Doubleday’s purported invention of the game was just myth. Still, Thorn, a member of baseball’s Origins Committee, says he’s unwilling to “beat the corpse” of Doubleday because of its hold on fans.
“Let’s put the myths to one side,” he says. “We can’t kill them, but let’s get to the story that the very best scholars will endorse.”
Along with the numerous sports books he has authored and edited, Thorn for many years wrote for a New York Folklore Society journal. Legends, after all, offer delectable tales, he says.
Thorn offers the family legend about his great-grandfather Ernest Thorn, a renowned magician from Galicia, in an article he researched and wrote titled “Magician’s Blood.” Ernest Thorn, it seems, endured a shipwreck and went on to marry a Turkish woman. Near the end of his life, Richard Thorn, John’s father, learned that Ernest was a chevalier knighted by the Cambodian King Norodon I.
Soon after the article’s publication, a German antiques dealer who had recently discovered the knighthood document emailed Thorn.
“I couldn’t have written the check fast enough,” Thorn says of the $150 purchase, though he isn’t quite certain that Ernest really is his ancestor.
“It’s great to be part of muddled history,” he adds. “What is history? It is the story we tell ourselves, generation by generation.”
It was history that brought together Thorn and Jim Bouton, the ex-pitcher and author of the best-selling book “Ball Four” chronicling his baseball career. Bouton helped Thorn locate a 1791 document proving baseball was played then in Pittsfield, Mass., and Bouton later consulted with Thorn on a renovation of the century-old Wahconah Park in Pittsfield. In 2004, they staged a Vintage Base Ball game there, played under 19th century rules, that was telecast live by ESPN.
Bouton, who lives in Massachusetts, says his now close friend Thorn is “such a smart man … very funny, a wonderful conversationalist. We hardly talk about baseball anymore.”
Back in the billiard room, Thorn poses for photographs while holding the Norodon decree, stamped in 1878. On one wall hangs a painting of the Pittsburgh Crawfords, also a Negro Leagues team, taking the field. On another wall, a painting by the same local artist, John Wolfe, depicts the great Jim Thorpe in his Carlisle (Pa.) Indian Industrial School football uniform.
Thorn directs a visitor to the kitchen, where opposite the table is a century-old barber chair in which Thorn likes to read newspapers.
“History wafts over every game we’re watching now,” says Thorn, digging into his wife Erica’s homemade apple pie. “That’s my goal: to enhance the pleasure of fans today.
“Is it vital to know who Dazzy Vance was or who Babe Herman was? No, but I see Yasiel Puig, and I think of Babe Herman because he makes mental errors,” Thorn says of two former Brooklyn Dodgers and a current star of their Los Angeles successors.
“I feel I’m waving the flag for baseball’s 31st franchise, which is history, which underlies the other franchises.”
John seems like a really, really, nice guy. And, of course, TOTAL BASEBALL (which he did with Pete Palmer, Michael Gershman and others) is one of my favorite all-time baseball books. (I wish they would do an update on it too!)
Without a suspension, Alex Rodriguez had a shot to get this record over the last 4 years of his contract with the Yankees. But, if he misses a season or more, I don’t think he has a chance to break Rickey Henderson’s record.
Shoot, if he gets suspended for the next 211 games, I could see the Yankees just releasing him when it’s done and eating the remaining $50 million on his contract.
Polonia played for the 1987-89 Oakland Athletics, the 1995-96 Atlanta Braves and the 2000 New York Yankees.
Has any other player in baseball history played for each of these (now) three Hall of Fame managers?
I have read all these and recommend them:
Babe Ruth – The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth – by Leigh Montville
Ty Cobb – Cobb: A Biography – by Al Stump
Willie Mays – Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend – by James S Hirsch
Mickey Mantle – The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood – by Jane Leavy
Tris Speaker – Tris Speaker – The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend – by Timothy Gay
I have not read these yet, but heard good things about them:
Ted Williams – Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero – by Leigh Montville
Lou Gehrig – Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig – by Jonathan Eig
Hank Aaron – I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story – by Hank Aaron
What other bio books are out there on baseball’s greatest that you would recommend?
Brian McCann wore #16 with the Braves. But, he won’t be wearing that number with the Yankees.
Johnny Bench wore #5.
Wally Schang, Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey and Gary Carter wore #8.
Ivan Rodriguez wore #7. Joe Mauer wears it now too.
Mike Piazza wore #31.
Ted Simmons wore #23.
Thurman Munson wore #15.
Bill Freehan wore #11.
Jorge Posada wore #20.
Gabby Hartnett wore #9 and #2.
Carlton Fisk wore #27 and #72.
Mickey Cochrane wore #2 and #3.
Ernie Lombardi wore close to a dozen different numbers.
Yadier Molina wears #4. Buster Posey wears #28. Matt Wieters wears #32.
What number will McCan wear for the Yankees?
Here are the Top 25 career home run hitters entering the 1977 season:
And, here they are today:
Think Frank Robinson will ever get knocked out of the Top Ten? He’s been hanging in there since 1977. In any event, why don’t people talk about Robby being one of the greatest home run hitters of all-time? He certainly was…
Gene Lillard would have been 100 today. He played professional baseball for 20 years. He hit 56 homeruns in 1935 while playing in the Pacific Coast League. This information and two bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Look at where all these guys are today:
|Year||Rnd||OvPck||FrRnd||RdPck||Tm||Pos||Drafted Out of|
|1980||1||20||FrRnd||20||Pirates via Angels||*Rich Renteria (minors)||SS||South Gate HS (South Gate, CA)|
|1980||1||22||FrRnd||22||Expos via Yankees||*Terry Francona (minors)||OF||University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)|
|1980||1||23||FrRnd||23||Mets via Pirates||*Billy Beane (minors)||OF||Mount Carmel HS (San Diego, CA)|
|1980||1||24||FrRnd||24||Mets via Red Sox||*John Gibbons (minors)||C||MacArthur HS (San Antonio, TX)|
Mr. Wacha has a chance to put himself in a nice class tonight:
|1||Curt Schilling||2001||5||Ind. Games||4||0||1.000||0.88||5||3||41.0||4||2||47||0.61|
|2||John Smoltz||1996||4||Ind. Games||3||1||.750||0.60||4||0||30.0||2||0||27||0.93|
|3||Cliff Lee||2009||4||Ind. Games||3||0||1.000||0.54||4||2||33.1||2||0||30||0.69|
|4||Burt Hooton||1981||4||Ind. Games||3||1||.750||0.33||4||0||27.2||1||1||10||1.08|
|5||Orel Hershiser||1995||4||Ind. Games||4||0||1.000||0.92||4||0||29.1||3||2||28||0.78|
|6||Michael Wacha||2013||3||Ind. Games||3||0||1.000||0.43||3||0||21.0||1||1||22||0.57|
There have been 63 “Game Six” contests in baseball history.
And, the home team has won 40 of those 63 games. For those scoring at home, that’s 64% of the time.
Further, since 1982, there have been 15 “Game Six” match-ups in the Fall Classic. And, the home team has won 12 of those 15 games. That’s a winning percentage of 80%.
Sorry Cardinals fans.
Here they are:
Most times, that team goes on to win the World Series…I’m just saying…
What do Willie Mays, Robinson Cano and Enrique Wilson have in common?
The other day, I was wondering: What day produced the most players in baseball history?
By this, I don’t mean the month and day – as I know that November 26th was when Chuck Finley and Harold Reynolds was born…but in different years.
More so, I was looking to see what exact day – month, day and year – produced the most eventual major leaguers.
So, I reached out to Sean Forman over at Baseball-Reference.com and he was able share the following information…
Most common birthdays in baseball:
| birth_month | birth_day | players | +-------------+-----------+---------+ | NULL | NULL | 336 | | 11 | 18 | 74 | | 8 | 15 | 71 | | 8 | 4 | 71 | | 4 | 8 | 67 | | 8 | 30 | 67 | | 10 | 4 | 67 | | 8 | 17 | 67 | | 12 | 25 | 67 | | 9 | 22 | 67 | | 8 | 31 | 65 | | 9 | 28 | 65 | | 10 | 6 | 65 | | 7 | 8 | 64 | | 1 | 5 | 63 | | 2 | 13 | 63 | | 3 | 12 | 62 | | 10 | 14 | 62 | | 3 | 4 | 62 | | 2 | 12 | 62 |
And, most major league players born on exact day:
| year | M | D | # | names | +------+----+----+---+------------------------------------------------------------+ | 1969 | 3 | 25 | 6 | Travis Fryman, Scott Sanders, Eric Helfand, Dan Wilson, Paul Menhart, Erik Schullstrom | | 1887 | 10 | 8 | 5 | Larry Pratt, Ping Bodie, Donie Bush, Dennis Berran, Doc Crandall | | 1964 | 5 | 11 | 5 | Bill Bean, Trent Hubbard, Bobby Witt, Jeff Sellers, Floyd Youmans | | 1971 | 3 | 5 | 5 | Jose Mercedes, Brian Lesher, Brian Hunter, Jeffrey Hammonds, Chad Fonville | | 1983 | 2 | 22 | 5 | Carlos Fisher, Brian Duensing, Daniel Nava, Casey Kotchman, Arturo Lopez | | 1983 | 9 | 9 | 5 | Mike Costanzo, Rhyne Hughes, Alex Romero, Kyle Davies, Edwin Jackson | | 1987 | 1 | 21 | 5 | Roger Kieschnick, Chase d'Arnaud, Jake Diekman, Brandon Crawford, Josh Wall |
So, there you have it!
March 25th, 1969 is the day in history where the most eventual major league players was born – with six players. And, there have been a few dates to come close – with 5 players born – but, 3/25/69 is the record. (I wonder if all those parents getting it on back in June of 1968 knew what they were doing?)
Many, many, thanks to Sean for providing the data and the answer to this question!
Katie Sharp of ESPN shares that Game 2 of the Tigers-A’s ALDS was the first postseason game ever in which two starters threw seven shutout innings with at least nine strikeouts.
Those prior to tonight’s game -
You don’t see this happen very often.
And, only one has done it since 1948:
So, really, why should the Yankees expect Derek Jeter to be a full-time SS in 2014?
At best, the Yankees should look at what 40-year old Barry Larkin did in 2004 – where he appeared in 85 games at shortstop.
And, if they are smart, they better have someone on the roster besides Jeter who can handle short for at least 80 games, if not more, next year.
Blue Jays 2
Red Sox 2
Cards have a chance to pull within one of the Yankees this post-season. Can they do it?
Red Sox and Dodgers have a chance to tie the Cards with three this year. Can they?
David Price has to be the first to do it, no? If not, how many others have done it?