Comments on: Doubling up runs with RBI http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3585 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: JohnnyTwisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3585/comment-page-1#comment-10093 Sun, 29 Nov 2009 18:12:59 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=3585#comment-10093 I have nothing much to add except that the Vic Wertz season is unbelievable, and I can't believe I never noticed it before (that I recall).

Actually, Wertz often drove in a lot more runs than he scored. For his career he had 1.36 RBI per run. Only 29 other players since 1893 had a ratio of at least 1.35 (min 3000 PA). Oddly, Gabby Hartnett had 1 more RBI than Wertz, with the same number of R, to be the RBI leader among that cohort. (Has there been a post on this before? It seems familiar now.)

BTW, am I correct that while we can search for particular ratios, we cannot sort by the ratio? Or am I missing something? I'm too lazy to throw the numbers in Excel but eyeballing it, it appears the all-time champeen is the notoriously slow Ernie Lombardi at 1.65 RBI per R for his career. He doesn't appear on the single-season list above, but he had seasons of 85/43 and 51/19 (!).

My god, the season he scored 19 runs, he hit 10 HR. He was on base via hit/BB/HBP 99 times and scored 9 runs.

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3585/comment-page-1#comment-10057 Fri, 27 Nov 2009 15:06:30 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=3585#comment-10057 Nice catch with the pinch-running.

As far as the PI goes, Gerry, I'm sure you're right. Of course, James probably found tons of other things that weren't quite what he was looking for when he did all his manual searching. The PI is like any computer--it only finds exactly what you tell it to find and is therefore far more elegant but much less artful.

I wonder what tools James uses today. I would think he has access to his own searchable database, but one wonders to what extent he might still prefer manual searching and analysis. I'm sure the Red Sox have spent plenty on computerized systems.

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By: gerry http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3585/comment-page-1#comment-10023 Thu, 26 Nov 2009 11:49:59 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=3585#comment-10023 Found it! The 1984 Abstract, the section on catchers, starting on page 192, James' comment on Terry Kennedy begins, "Has there ever been a regular player before who drove in twice as many runs as he scored? I don't know of one.... Kennedy didn't score any runs because the people behind him didn't hit...." Then, after a paragraph about Doug Gwosdz, he writes, "Late note - found one. Vic Wertz in 1960 scored 45 runs and drove in 103."

I bet you could go through the old abstracts and find hundreds of facts that James sweated over that nowadays are a couple of clicks away at PI and other sites.

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By: gerry http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3585/comment-page-1#comment-10018 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 23:42:28 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=3585#comment-10018 I'm sure Bill James brought up Terry Kennedy's numbers in one of the old Abstracts. Also, you might want to look at Smoky Burgess, 1965. He doesn't make the list, since he didn't have that many RBI, but he had 24 RBI and scored only 2 runs. He also had only 89 PA in 80 games, so I'm guessing he did a lot of pinch-hitting and was lifted for a pinch-runner when he got on base.

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By: Ebessan http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3585/comment-page-1#comment-10014 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 18:40:26 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=3585#comment-10014 It's worth noting the obvious, in that most of these guys were terrible at getting on base (a third of of them couldn't even vault past the Bowa Barrier).

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By: JDV http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3585/comment-page-1#comment-10012 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 16:37:47 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=3585#comment-10012 DavidRF already mentioned my thought, and it definitely plays some role. I checked on Bengie Molina who appears high on the list twice. In 2007, he was removed for a pinch-runner eight times and four of those guys (there's that word again) scored. In 2008, he was removed for a pinch-runner 15 times and six of them scored. While it might not seem like a lot, if he had scored even half of those runs himself, he would not have made this list either year. If nothing else, particularly in 2008, Bengie apparently got on base a lot in the late innings of close games.

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By: DavidRF http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3585/comment-page-1#comment-10011 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:36:07 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=3585#comment-10011 How often were these guys pulled for pinch runners? In the late innings of a close game, a catcher is often allowed to hit but is often pulled for a pinch-runner if he reaches.

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By: badenjr http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3585/comment-page-1#comment-10010 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 12:56:49 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=3585#comment-10010 Just a thought, but it goes along with your theory that it depends on where guys bat in the lineup. Only Bob Oliver on this list played in the AL after 1973 when he accomplished this "feat". It probably helps a lot to have the pitcher batting behind you.

I don't know if this matters or not, but even the most durable catchers need a fair amount of time off. I'd imagine that in addition to getting more games off than players at other positions, they probably also leave games early more often than at other positions. That may not sound like it matters much, but if these guys were generally very durable starting catchers - as it appears many of them were - perhaps they got their rest in the form of late inning substitutions. That would mean that while they spent most of their at bats with the pitcher hitting behind them (since they were the starters), their replacements would have had the benefit of having a pinch hitter filling the 9 hole in many occasions.

It seems logical that to get this kind of combination you need relatively good "on base" guys in front of you in the lineup and relatively poor hitters behind you. Spending the vast majority of your at bats with pitchers hitting behind you is a good way to get it done.

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