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Short Term Sluggers

Posted by Steve Lombardi on December 12, 2010

Who in baseball history played 1,000 games or less in their career but showed power when they played?

To answer this question, I used Play Index and asked it to show me:

From 1901 to 2010, Retired (or inactive) Players with G<=1000, HR>=90 and HR<.33*AB, sorted by greatest Home Runs.

And, here's that list:

Rk Player HR G AB From To Age PA R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Steve Balboni 181 960 3120 1981 1993 24-36 3440 351 714 127 11 495 273 21 856 19 1 27 67 1 2 .229 .293 .451 .743 *3D NYY-KCR-TOT-TEX
2 Jim Gentile 179 936 2922 1957 1966 23-32 3479 434 759 113 6 549 475 54 663 45 5 32 69 3 1 .260 .368 .486 .854 *3 BRO-LAD-BAL-KCA-TOT
3 Ron Kittle 176 843 2708 1982 1991 24-33 3013 356 648 100 3 460 236 20 744 38 0 31 53 16 16 .239 .306 .473 .779 7D/398 CHW-TOT-NYY-CLE
4 Tony Conigliaro 166 876 3221 1964 1975 19-30 3591 464 849 139 23 516 287 28 629 33 19 31 63 20 23 .264 .327 .476 .803 *9/78D BOS-CAL
5 Henry Rodriguez 160 950 3031 1992 2002 24-34 3343 389 784 176 9 523 276 33 803 11 2 23 53 10 14 .259 .321 .481 .802 *7/39D LAD-TOT-MON-CHC-NYY
6 Chris Hoiles 151 894 2820 1989 1998 24-33 3338 415 739 122 2 449 435 17 616 44 11 28 65 5 7 .262 .366 .467 .833 *2/D35 BAL
7 John Jaha 141 826 2775 1992 2001 26-35 3285 470 730 126 5 490 430 15 686 50 6 24 71 36 17 .263 .369 .465 .834 *3D/475 MIL-OAK
8 Bo Jackson 141 694 2393 1986 1994 23-31 2626 341 598 86 14 415 200 20 841 14 2 17 40 82 32 .250 .309 .474 .784 *7/D89 KCR-CHW-CAL
9 Joe Crede 140 888 3101 2000 2009 22-31 3377 392 787 159 5 470 199 6 459 38 8 31 69 4 12 .254 .304 .444 .748 *5/D6 CHW-MIN
10 Earl Williams 138 889 3058 1970 1977 21-28 3431 361 756 115 6 457 298 31 574 32 12 31 103 2 5 .247 .318 .424 .742 *23/5D ATL-BAL-TOT-OAK
11 Matt Nokes 136 902 2735 1985 1995 21-31 2997 310 695 96 4 422 200 32 395 26 10 26 72 8 7 .254 .308 .441 .750 *2D/3795 SFG-DET-TOT-NYY
12 Jim Presley 135 959 3546 1984 1991 22-29 3818 413 875 181 14 495 210 18 859 19 12 31 104 9 14 .247 .290 .420 .710 *5/3D6 SEA-ATL-SDP
13 Ken Harrelson 131 900 2941 1963 1971 21-29 3364 374 703 94 14 421 382 33 577 6 12 23 95 53 30 .239 .325 .414 .740 *39/7 KCA-TOT-BOS-CLE
14 Mike Epstein 130 907 2854 1966 1974 23-31 3393 362 695 93 16 380 448 43 645 70 3 18 53 7 17 .244 .358 .424 .782 *3 BAL-TOT-WSA-OAK-CAL
15 John Romano 129 905 2767 1958 1967 23-32 3256 355 706 112 10 417 414 27 485 29 13 33 69 7 9 .255 .354 .443 .797 *2/73 CHW-CLE-STL
16 Hank Thompson 129 933 3003 1947 1956 21-30 3568 492 801 104 34 482 493 6 337 22 35 15 46 33 15 .267 .372 .453 .825 *54/8796 SLB-NYG
17 Wally Westlake 127 958 3117 1947 1956 26-35 3495 474 848 107 33 539 317 1 453 33 26 2 98 19 7 .272 .345 .450 .795 987/5 PIT-TOT-CLE-PHI
18 Corey Koskie 124 989 3399 1998 2006 25-33 3950 516 936 223 13 506 458 45 795 56 3 34 75 71 36 .275 .367 .458 .825 *5/D9 MIN-TOR-MIL
19 Ken Phelps 123 761 1854 1980 1990 25-35 2287 308 443 64 7 313 390 28 449 21 1 21 25 10 7 .239 .374 .480 .854 *D3/9 KCR-MON-SEA-TOT
20 Ellis Valentine 123 894 3166 1975 1985 20-30 3392 380 881 169 15 474 180 9 462 7 5 34 81 59 37 .278 .315 .458 .773 *9/87D MON-TOT-NYM-CAL-TEX
21 Brad Wilkerson 122 972 3187 2001 2008 24-31 3753 500 788 193 28 399 492 30 947 25 24 25 36 53 43 .247 .350 .440 .790 7389/D MON-WSN-TEX-TOT
22 Marty Cordova 122 952 3419 1995 2003 25-33 3833 480 938 192 18 540 329 16 730 50 2 33 110 57 36 .274 .344 .448 .792 *7D/98 MIN-TOR-CLE-BAL
23 Nick Esasky 122 810 2703 1983 1990 23-30 3064 336 677 120 21 427 314 23 712 15 9 23 55 18 14 .250 .329 .446 .775 *35/7 CIN-BOS-ATL
24 Don Lock 122 921 2695 1962 1969 25-32 3116 359 642 92 12 373 373 19 776 15 7 26 63 30 29 .238 .331 .417 .748 *87/93 WSA-PHI-TOT
25 Jimmie Hall 121 963 2848 1963 1970 25-32 3169 387 724 100 24 391 287 35 529 2 12 20 56 38 18 .254 .321 .434 .755 879/3 MIN-CAL-TOT
26 Zeke Bonura 119 917 3582 1934 1940 25-31 4026 600 1099 232 29 704 404 0 180 17 23 0 40 19 7 .307 .380 .487 .867 *3 CHW-WSH-NYG-TOT
27 Ben Grieve 118 976 3215 1997 2005 21-29 3743 471 864 192 5 492 466 22 784 45 1 16 103 24 5 .269 .367 .442 .809 97D OAK-TBD-TOT-CHC
28 Dan Pasqua 117 905 2620 1985 1994 23-32 3000 341 638 129 15 390 335 29 642 15 9 21 43 7 10 .244 .330 .438 .768 793/D NYY-CHW
29 Kelly Gruber 117 939 3159 1984 1993 22-31 3442 431 818 148 24 443 197 13 504 36 15 35 86 80 33 .259 .307 .432 .739 *5/46978D TOR-CAL
30 Chet Laabs 117 950 3102 1937 1947 25-35 3538 467 813 151 44 509 389 0 595 10 37 0 60 32 22 .262 .346 .452 .798 798 DET-TOT-SLB-PHA
31 Chris Sabo 116 911 3354 1988 1996 26-34 3714 494 898 214 17 426 274 22 460 32 25 29 70 120 49 .268 .326 .445 .772 *5/D9736 CIN-BAL-TOT
32 Rick Reichardt 116 997 3307 1964 1974 21-31 3685 391 864 109 24 445 263 20 672 66 25 24 90 40 41 .261 .326 .414 .740 *78/935 LAA-CAL-TOT-CHW-KCR
33 Stan Lopata 116 853 2601 1948 1960 22-34 3034 375 661 116 25 397 393 32 497 7 12 21 79 18 11 .254 .351 .452 .803 *2/3 PHI-MLN
34 Craig Monroe 115 814 2691 2001 2009 24-32 2924 368 678 146 9 433 188 12 588 12 3 30 70 19 18 .252 .301 .441 .742 *79/8D TEX-DET-TOT-MIN-PIT
35 Bob Robertson 115 829 2385 1967 1979 20-32 2742 283 578 93 10 368 317 18 546 13 1 26 51 7 9 .242 .331 .434 .766 *3/D75 PIT-SEA-TOR
36 Don Hurst 115 905 3275 1928 1934 22-28 3762 510 976 190 28 610 391 0 210 15 81 0 16 41 0 .298 .375 .478 .854 *3/8 PHI-TOT
37 Brad Fullmer 114 807 2789 1997 2004 22-29 3065 395 778 203 16 442 216 33 373 37 0 23 71 32 21 .279 .336 .486 .822 *D3/7 MON-TOR-ANA-TEX
38 Greg Walker 113 855 2864 1982 1990 22-30 3177 368 746 164 19 444 268 28 520 20 3 22 61 19 12 .260 .326 .449 .775 *3/D CHW-TOT
39 Lefty O'Doul 113 970 3264 1919 1934 22-37 3659 624 1140 175 41 542 333 0 122 23 39 0 10 36 0 .349 .413 .532 .945 *7/918 NYY-BOS-NYG-PHI-BRO-TOT
40 Dave Hollins 112 983 3346 1990 2002 24-36 3911 578 870 166 17 482 464 28 687 66 5 30 66 47 27 .260 .358 .420 .779 *5/3D96 PHI-TOT-ANA-TOR-CLE
41 Curt Blefary 112 974 2947 1965 1972 21-28 3490 394 699 104 20 382 456 47 444 29 33 25 42 24 24 .237 .342 .400 .743 739/254 BAL-HOU-NYY-TOT
42 Morgan Ensberg 110 731 2204 2000 2008 24-32 2580 340 579 102 10 347 332 18 436 21 8 15 58 22 19 .263 .362 .468 .830 *5/3D6 HOU-TOT-NYY
43 Jeffrey Hammonds 110 957 3032 1993 2005 22-34 3404 475 824 172 17 423 292 11 596 30 18 32 59 67 30 .272 .338 .449 .787 987/D BAL-TOT-CIN-COL-MIL-SFG-WSN
44 Willie Aikens 110 774 2492 1977 1985 22-30 2856 301 675 125 2 415 319 42 444 18 0 27 87 3 6 .271 .354 .455 .809 *3D CAL-KCR-TOR
45 Dave Duncan 109 929 2885 1964 1976 18-30 3190 274 617 79 4 341 252 20 677 14 21 18 68 5 13 .214 .279 .357 .636 *2/3D KCA-OAK-CLE-BAL
46 Shea Hillenbrand 108 943 3570 2001 2007 25-31 3816 463 1014 202 15 490 140 18 464 69 1 36 122 16 12 .284 .321 .440 .760 53D BOS-TOT-ARI-TOR
47 Jack Howell 108 941 2639 1985 1999 23-37 2982 345 632 129 16 337 300 31 626 12 18 13 39 14 15 .239 .318 .423 .742 *5/734D968 CAL-TOT-ANA-HOU
48 Fred Whitfield 108 817 2284 1962 1970 24-32 2465 242 578 93 8 356 139 34 371 16 7 19 39 7 16 .253 .298 .443 .741 *3 STL-CLE-CIN-MON
49 George Selkirk 108 846 2790 1934 1942 26-34 3322 503 810 131 41 576 486 0 319 23 23 0 10 49 32 .290 .400 .483 .883 *97/8 NYY
50 Rico Brogna 106 848 2958 1992 2001 22-31 3223 379 795 176 13 458 227 29 655 7 5 26 73 32 16 .269 .320 .445 .764 *3/D DET-NYM-PHI-TOT-ATL
51 Rip Repulski 106 928 3088 1953 1961 24-32 3378 407 830 153 23 416 207 9 433 33 20 30 90 25 29 .269 .319 .436 .755 *789 STL-PHI-LAD-TOT-BOS
52 Whitey Kurowski 106 916 3229 1941 1949 23-31 3691 518 925 162 32 529 369 0 332 36 57 0 72 19 0 .286 .366 .455 .821 *5/647 STL
53 Mark Whiten 105 940 3104 1990 2000 23-33 3521 465 804 129 20 423 378 42 712 17 5 17 81 78 40 .259 .341 .415 .756 *97/8D1 TOR-TOT-CLE-STL-NYY
54 Dave Nilsson 105 837 2779 1992 1999 22-29 3153 389 789 157 10 470 320 40 424 10 12 32 57 15 18 .284 .356 .461 .817 23D9/7 MIL
55 Bob Cerv 105 829 2261 1951 1962 25-36 2516 320 624 96 26 374 212 19 392 17 6 20 73 12 10 .276 .340 .481 .821 *7/893 NYY-KCA-TOT
56 Franklin Stubbs 104 945 2591 1984 1995 23-34 2899 323 602 109 12 348 260 38 626 10 19 19 36 74 28 .232 .303 .404 .707 *37/98D LAD-HOU-MIL-DET
57 Ivan Calderon 104 924 3312 1984 1993 22-31 3672 470 901 200 25 444 306 30 556 13 6 35 102 97 49 .272 .333 .442 .775 97/D38 SEA-TOT-CHW-MON
58 Kal Daniels 104 727 2338 1986 1992 22-28 2739 391 666 125 8 360 365 28 493 14 4 18 51 87 26 .285 .382 .479 .861 *7/3 CIN-TOT-LAD
59 Dick Gernert 103 835 2493 1952 1962 23-33 2896 357 632 104 8 402 363 12 462 17 10 13 67 10 11 .254 .351 .426 .776 *3/79 BOS-TOT-HOU
60 Randy Jackson 103 955 3203 1950 1959 24-33 3548 412 835 115 44 415 281 11 382 7 42 15 108 36 16 .261 .320 .421 .741 *5/7 CHC-BRO-TOT
61 Eric Soderholm 102 894 2894 1971 1980 22-31 3251 402 764 120 14 383 295 15 359 22 21 19 90 18 21 .264 .335 .421 .756 *5/D63 MIN-CHW-TOT-NYY
62 Geronimo Berroa 101 779 2506 1989 2000 24-35 2825 379 692 113 9 382 276 10 510 17 0 26 68 19 16 .276 .349 .449 .798 D97/3 ATL-CIN-FLA-OAK-TOT-TOR-LAD
63 George Altman 101 991 3091 1959 1967 26-34 3419 409 832 132 34 403 268 38 572 20 19 21 43 52 22 .269 .329 .432 .761 978/3 CHC-STL-NYM
64 Walt Moryn 101 785 2506 1954 1961 28-35 2802 324 667 116 16 354 251 22 393 19 8 18 57 7 7 .266 .335 .446 .781 97/8 BRO-CHC-TOT
65 Hank Leiber 101 813 2805 1933 1942 22-31 3140 410 808 137 24 518 274 0 319 21 40 0 78 5 0 .288 .356 .462 .818 *8/9731 NYG-CHC
66 Duke Sims 100 843 2422 1964 1974 23-33 2810 263 580 80 6 310 338 34 483 35 6 9 45 6 16 .239 .340 .401 .741 *2/379D CLE-LAD-TOT
67 Craig Wilson 99 698 2010 2001 2007 24-30 2311 303 527 100 14 292 198 12 643 90 2 11 47 14 7 .262 .353 .474 .827 39/72D PIT-TOT-ATL
68 Craig Paquette 99 814 2591 1993 2003 24-34 2766 304 620 128 10 377 120 6 620 12 17 26 70 27 13 .239 .274 .411 .685 *573/946D OAK-KCR-NYM-STL-DET
69 Monte Irvin 99 764 2499 1949 1956 30-37 2893 366 731 97 31 443 351 5 220 23 9 11 81 28 7 .293 .383 .475 .858 *73/958 NYG-CHC
70 Greg Colbrunn 98 992 2769 1992 2004 22-34 3016 337 801 155 12 422 170 11 444 49 2 26 80 29 21 .289 .338 .460 .799 *3/5D92 MON-FLA-TOT-ARI-SEA
71 Ozzie Virgil 98 739 2258 1980 1990 23-33 2555 258 549 84 6 307 248 21 453 29 8 12 81 4 5 .243 .324 .416 .740 *2/D PHI-ATL-TOR
72 Butch Hobson 98 738 2556 1975 1982 23-30 2799 314 634 107 23 397 183 12 569 5 27 28 79 11 9 .248 .297 .423 .719 *5/D34 BOS-CAL-NYY
73 Pete Ward 98 973 3060 1962 1970 24-32 3511 345 776 136 17 427 371 41 539 40 12 28 39 20 17 .254 .339 .405 .744 *573/946 BAL-CHW-NYY
74 Gordy Coleman 98 773 2384 1959 1967 24-32 2603 282 650 102 11 387 177 25 333 11 13 18 47 9 8 .273 .324 .448 .772 *3 CLE-CIN
75 Ron Karkovice 96 939 2597 1986 1997 22-33 2948 336 574 120 6 335 233 8 749 26 65 27 39 24 14 .221 .289 .383 .672 *2/D79 CHW
76 Wes Westrum 96 919 2322 1947 1957 24-34 2849 302 503 59 8 315 489 9 514 19 11 8 60 10 5 .217 .356 .373 .729 *2/5 NYG
77 Ed Taubensee 94 975 2874 1991 2001 22-32 3178 351 784 151 9 419 255 29 574 9 10 30 50 11 10 .273 .331 .430 .761 *2/379D CLE-HOU-TOT-CIN
78 Larry Sheets 94 748 2284 1984 1993 24-33 2501 273 607 98 5 339 175 22 351 19 2 21 77 6 12 .266 .321 .437 .757 D79/325 BAL-DET-SEA
79 Bob Oliver 94 847 2914 1965 1975 22-32 3123 293 745 102 19 419 156 26 562 19 9 25 101 17 14 .256 .295 .400 .696 395/87D PIT-KCR-TOT-CAL-NYY
80 Brian Daubach 93 661 2025 1998 2005 26-33 2303 271 525 139 10 333 236 15 541 25 1 16 37 5 3 .259 .341 .476 .817 *3D/795 FLA-BOS-CHW-NYM
81 Gene Oliver 93 786 2216 1959 1969 24-34 2467 268 546 111 5 320 215 22 420 15 5 16 62 24 21 .246 .315 .427 .742 23/79 STL-TOT-MLN-ATL-CHC
82 Luke Easter 93 491 1725 1949 1954 33-38 1931 256 472 54 12 340 174 0 293 28 4 0 49 1 8 .274 .350 .481 .830 *3/9 CLE
83 Ron Coomer 92 911 3019 1995 2003 28-36 3238 333 827 151 8 449 177 14 429 9 1 32 131 13 7 .274 .313 .421 .734 35/D9 MIN-CHC-NYY-LAD
84 Phil Plantier 91 610 1883 1990 1997 21-28 2165 260 457 90 3 292 237 27 476 23 4 18 37 13 15 .243 .332 .439 .770 *79/D8 BOS-SDP-TOT-OAK
85 Bob Brenly 91 871 2615 1981 1989 27-35 2995 321 647 119 7 333 318 35 438 17 21 24 50 45 38 .247 .330 .403 .733 *2/35D79 SFG-TOT
86 Mike Davis 91 963 2999 1980 1989 21-30 3298 419 778 161 16 371 236 19 537 10 24 29 55 134 56 .259 .313 .415 .728 *98/7D3 OAK-LAD
87 Khalil Greene 90 736 2567 2003 2009 23-29 2835 322 628 157 14 352 190 18 556 35 6 37 59 25 6 .245 .302 .422 .723 *6/5 SDP-STL
88 Daryle Ward 90 948 2234 1998 2008 23-33 2462 242 588 131 5 379 192 36 422 9 0 27 66 1 6 .263 .320 .447 .768 37/9D HOU-LAD-PIT-TOT-CHC
89 Jim Leyritz 90 903 2527 1990 2000 26-36 2961 325 667 107 2 387 337 16 581 65 8 24 79 7 7 .264 .362 .415 .777 2D35/9746 NYY-TOT
90 Chris James 90 946 3040 1986 1995 23-32 3294 343 794 145 24 386 193 14 490 21 15 25 69 27 17 .261 .307 .413 .721 79D/853 PHI-TOT-CLE-SFG-TEX
91 Jim Pagliaroni 90 849 2465 1955 1969 17-31 2853 269 622 98 7 326 330 39 494 25 14 19 61 4 7 .252 .344 .407 .751 *2/39 BOS-PIT-OAK-TOT
92 Wally Judnich 90 790 2786 1940 1949 24-33 3207 424 782 150 29 420 385 0 298 7 29 0 45 20 24 .281 .369 .452 .822 *83/97 SLB-CLE-PIT
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/12/2010.

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Any names on this list jump out at you as some blasts from the past or guys you never heard of?

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 12th, 2010 at 9:56 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

50 Responses to “Short Term Sluggers”

  1. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    I was surprised to find Gentile and Pagliaroni on this list -- I was under the impression that both had fairly long careers.

  2. Ill take Tony C.

  3. Bo Jackson was a BEAST when he played. He played fewer games than I thought too.

  4. I'm not sure what you are trying to do with the last criteria.
    The most career HR by a player without HR< .33 * AB is 3, so you probably don't need it.

  5. Its tough with just a raw list like this because it tends to skew against players from low run scoring eras. For example, Gentile, Tony C., Mike Epstein, Curt Blefary, Don Lock, and Jimmie Hall who played in the 60's, were much better hitters than Crede, Wilkerson, Monroe, and Hillenbrand.

    A list of players with 800-999 games played ranked by highest ops+ would be an interesting list.

  6. What would Luke Easter have accomplished if he'd had a full career in the majors? Not many people know of him but he looks like he could hit 'em.

  7. Personally, though, I'd take Lefty O'Doul of anyone on this list. In an era that crushed power hitters, he still manages the highest SLG of anybody on the list!

    Also, the three most surprising players for me were Jeffrey Hammonds (overrated, overpaid), Corey Koskie (tragic - he should have beaten the minimum games threshold), and Ben Grieve (Ben Grieve. Ben Grieve? Ben Grieve?!? BEN GRIEVE?!?!?!?).

    Sure, all of them played for Milwaukee in the last decade. So maybe it's just because I'm a Brewers fan that these players caught my notice. But I have no problem with John Jaha and Dave Nilsson, so I guess it's not JUST Milwaukee bias.

    Also, congratulations to Jim Gentile! First, he wins the 1961 RBI title (and the O's gave him his bonus check, too), then he ranks high on this list (2nd by HRs, 3rd by SLG). It's been a big 2010 for him.

  8. Lefty O'Doul? I think you've misunderstood something there. He played in the greatest offensive era ever, that's why his numbers only manage to get him an OPS+ of 113, considerably below Bob Robertson territory. O'Doul's major league career was spent almost entirely between 1928 and 1934, and he was further helped by spending his two gaudiest years playing in the Baker Bowl, a notorious park for offense.

  9. Gentile was stuck behind Gil Hodges for several years when he likely should have been playing in the majors. Saw Matt Nokes play for the St.Paul Saints when he must have been 36 or 37 years old. Still catching, looked in better shape than when he was a rookie for the Tigers. There are a LOT of really fascinating stories on that list: Jim Leyritz & Khalil Greene from the recent past. Nilsson gave up an MLB career to play for the Australian olympic team. Conigliaro. Monte Irvin. Willie Mays Aikens. O'Doul. Probably 4 or 5 guys that might have been Hall of Famers IF things had worked out a little better or at least different for them.

  10. For me, the biggest surprise is Henry Rodriguez, who I thought played longer than he apparently did.

  11. Hodges had nothing to do with Gentile.

    Gentile played for Brooklyn in '57 and LA in '58 but only a combined 16 games. He was still pretty much a minor leaguer at that point.

  12. Morten Jonsson Says:

    Dave Duncan is an interesting one. A similar player to his sons, though not as patient at the plate as Chris, or as ugly as Shelley.

    I could be wrong, but my impression is that in baseball families with three or more members, they're not usually that much alike as players. The DiMaggios, for instance, were all pretty good, but quite distinct. The Boones, too. And the Alomars.

  13. As I said on the AL shortstop post, there are a lot of White Sox on this list (Kitty, Jackson, Crede, former GM Harrelson, Bonura, Pasqua, Walker, pitching coach Duncan, Calderon, Karkovice).

    @12: to say nothing of the Mathewsons and the Bretts.

  14. When I read the premise here, I initially thought of Bo. Glad to see my suspicions were confirmed.

  15. Raphy - yeah, that was me trying to be smart/cute when I was playing around with this, today. I should have lifted that from the filter.

    Brad Fullmer stands out to me. He was a cover boy for Baseball American at one time. Back in the day, someone in one of my (then) fantasy leagues drafted him based on his prospect status. And, when questioned on the selection, the owner said "Brad Fullmer, chicks really dig him." And, that became a running joke in our league for a few years.

    Geronimo Berroa is a name I haven't thought about in a long time too.

    And, of course, Phil Plantier. Didn't Bill James once peg him to be the leading HR hitter in the '90s?

  16. Chuck- As a 22 year old in AA Gentile hit 40 home runs, walked as often as he struck out & had an OPS over 1.000. At that point he had over 650 minor league games under his belt and a total of 140 home runs in the minors, most of them at the AA level. He then spent 3 more full seasons in AAA and put up almost identical numbers to what he would put up in his first five seasons in the majors (except 1961, of course). True he didn't do much in 2 brief ML trials but that was only 40 plate appearances. Even Willie Mays only hit .048 in his first month in the majors. I don't think he was better than Hodges at that point but I think he could have played in the majors.

  17. I'm thinking I missed something.

    Marcus Thames.

    600 games, 1700 AB, 113 HRs

  18. Barkfart - He was still active in 2010.

  19. thanks Raphy. I knew I missed something. Just watching the Lions win kinda scrambled my brain.

  20. I figured someone like Cory Snyder would be on this list, but he's not. He played in a few too many games.

  21. Dick "Dr.Strangeglove" Stuart was the first name I looked for but he was over on games too.

  22. Conigliaro and Rick Reichardt were- in the mid-sixties- projected to be the "next Mickey Mantles" of the American League. What derailed Tony C's career is well-known. Reichardt was having an excellent first half in 1966 when he was sidelined with a career-altering kidney ailment.

  23. Wow, I had never heard of Tony Conigliaro before. What an amazing start his career had.

    I'm a little puzzled though at how he was so good in 1970 but was completely done in 1971. Baseball careers have that happen all the time for somewhat unknown causes, but I guess there are a variety of reasons a player can slip from all star caliber to AA caliber in a year.

  24. Jimbo - You might want to read this: http://www.bostonspastime.com/tonycbeaning.html

  25. Sid Bream is another who barely misses this list.

  26. From this group, the top 3 by HR%:

    1. Ron Kittle, 5.84%
    2. Ken Phelps, 5.38%
    3. Bo Jackson, 5.37%

    Through 1992, all 3 were among the top 17 in career HR% (min. 100 HRs).
    Now, only Kittle remains in the top 30.

  27. @Jimbo (#23) The cause of Tony Conigliaro's career problems is one of sadder stories of the game. Late in the 1967 season he was the victim of one of the more gruesome beanings in baseball history. Prior to that moment he was the brightest young star in the American League, if not the majors. Tony C's left eye took the brunt of the injury and it permanently effected his vision. He was able to make a comeback in 1969 and even had a good year in 1970, but the reality was that he facing a losing battle as his vision took a toll on his skills. It is a testemant to his grit and determination that he was able to even have any career after the beaning. But as has been stated, it was an uphill climb up a slippery slope. He was only going to get so far until it was over.

  28. Gotta love Zeke Bonura, 704 ribbies in 917 games, 7 years, .307, .380, .487, Wheaties box cover, then falls off the face of the baseball earth. Due to the war I assume...

  29. The story of Tony Conigliaro is a tragic one. A bright future cut short due to a beaning.

    As a Pirates fan, I'm glad to see Thor, aka Craig Wilson, make the list!

  30. Rico Petroceli Says:

    Who the heck is Bonura? 35 doubles a year? Did the war end his career? He raked in his seven-season career, posted a .307 batting average with 119 home runs and 704 RBI in 917 games played. And chased COmisky's daughter

    One of "banana nose's" more noteworthy athletic accomplishments has nothing to do with the sport of baseball. In June 1925, at the age of sixteen, Bonura became the youngest male athlete ever to win an event at the National (AAU) Track and Field Championships. Young Zeke threw the javelin 65.18 meters (213-10) to claim the title. Bonura's winning effort was a meet record by nearly twenty-feet; a prodigious mark that remained on the books until 1930.

  31. Speaking of Jim Gentile, whose 136 OPS+ is 3rd among this group ... The Dodgers wound up trading him to Baltimore for $50,000, 33-year-old washed-up SS Willie Miranda and minor-league non-prospect OF Bill LaJoie.

    Miranda was one of the worst offensive players ever to amass 2,000 career PAs, with a career 55 OPS+ and .221 BA; for good measure, he was thrown out 16 times in 29 career SB attempts. (He was reputed to be a superb glove man, though in 3 years as starting SS for Baltimore he produced little statistical evidence of that ability.) Miranda didn't make the cut with the Dodgers, who sent him to AAA; he played 2 years there but never made it back to the bigs.

    Bill Lajoie (no apparent relation to Nap) spent 9 years in the minors but not a day in the majors. His second career was more successful: he was GM of the Tigers from 1984-90, after 5 years helping build the club as assistant GM.

    Hodges had enjoyed a bounce-back year in 1959 at age 35, and the Dodgers may have figured he had a couple of good years left. He didn't, and by '61 LA's main 1B was Norm Larker, who hit .270 with 5 HRs as the Dodgers finished 4 games behind the Reds.

    Gentile, meanwhile, was an instant hit in Charm City; he made the All-Star team as a rookie and placed 2nd in the 1960 ROY vote. In '61, at the magical age of 27, he exploded for a 187 OPS+, 46 HRs (30 of them on the road) and 141 RBI (that figure was recently adjusted and recognized as tying Maris for the league lead), and he ran 3rd in the MVP vote. In 1961-62 combined, Gentile hit 26 HRs at home, 53 away.

    Gentile would have 4 more good years after '61, but didn't approach that level again; he never did hit lefties well, and his playing time gradually declined. The O's dealt him to KC for Norm Siebern. He had a good '64 there, in the only park that ever really gave him a home-field edge (he hit 33 career HRs in 474 PAs in KC, with a.937 OPS). In '65, 1/4 into the season, Gentile had 10 HRs and a 137 OPS+ when the A's sent him to Houston in a curious trade for a couple of nobodies.

    Welcome to the Astrodome, Diamond Jim. He hit 7 more HRs that year, all on the road. In '66, Gentile hit well as a part-timer for the Astros, but they sent him on to Cleveland in July for another player who would never play again in the bigs; Gentile served mostly as a PH for Cleveland and didn't hit at all, and that was the end of his big-league career. He spent '67 with Philly's AAA club, producing an .898 OPS that led his team and ranked 7th in the PCL (he was 5th in the league with 21 HRs), but he never got another look in the majors.

  32. Rico Petroceli Says:

    In 1936 Bonura set the single season RBI record for the White Sox with 138 RBIs. The record stood for 62 years before finally being broken in 1998 by Albert Belle

    Love this game

  33. Zeke Bonura:

    -- One of the better hitters out of New Orleans, home port of the Autins (though he was no Mel Ott).

    -- 6th modern player with 110+ RBI in his first season. Six have done it since.

  34. DoubleDiamond Says:

    I see a few names associated with the 1961-1971 expansion Washington Senators team:

    Ken Harrelson

    Mike Epstein (stuck in AAA behind Gentile's 1B successor up the road in Baltimore, Boog Powell, before being traded to the Senators)

    Don Lock

    George Selkirk - General Manager of the team, 1963-1968

    I also saw a few names of guys who were with the Phillies in the years in which I've lived in the Philadelphia area:

    Dave Hollins - Who is the Phillies' all-time best Rule 5 draft pick? Is it a switch hitter who spent some time in the Padres' system before becoming a Phil and who grew up in an area perhaps better known as a vacation destination (such as, say, Hawaii or Niagara Falls)? And appeared in an All Star Game during a year in which the Phillies eventually lost the World Series? If you said Shane Victorino, you may be right, but it could also be Dave Hollins.

    Rico Brogna

    Chris James - Traded for John Kruk and Randy Ready

    Mark Whiten

    Other names:

    Franklin Stubbs - One of those 104 home runs was an inside-the-park job that was connected to the tragically short career of Phillies right-fielder Ron Jones. Jones had already hurt one knee and come back from it when he hurt the other one while chasing the ball that Stubbs hit his way. I don't think Jones ever played again. He died at a fairly young age, too - early to mid-40s.

    Gordy Coleman - From Rockville, MD, according to his baseball card. Rockville is now a sprawling suburb of DC, but when he was born, it was probably a sleepy little county seat separated from the nation's capital by farms and other villages.

    Various Orioles from my days as a fan:

    Jim Gentile - Once had four homers in a game.

    Chris Hoiles - August 1, 1993, was a good day for catchers wearing #23 and playing for one of my favorite teams as both he and Phillies second-string backstop Todd Pratt did well that day.

    Earl Williams - The other "Earl W." The O's traded Davey Johnson and others to Atlanta for him, but he was a big disappointment. He was supposed to be their catcher, but he ended up playing DH (a luxury they could afford because they had two other catchers) and sometimes spelling an aging Brooks Robinson at 3B.

    Larry Sheets

  35. Another player who looks like he shouldn't have made the list was Chris Hoiles. A career .833 ops, and he had no real decline in his career when he retired, putting up an .833 ops in his final year at age 33. Seems surprising that he didn't continue to play.

  36. Also interesting about Bonura was that he drove in 138 runs, in a year when he had only 12 home runs, and walked 94 times. Those 3 stats produced in the same year seem very unlikely.

  37. Being the modern geek and all, I had to see these by Batting Runs:

    Rk Player Rbat
    1 Lefty O'Doul 211
    2 Jim Gentile 144
    3 George Selkirk 140
    4 Kal Daniels 128
    5 Zeke Bonura 125
    6 Mike Epstein 118
    7 Whitey Kurowski 112
    8 Monte Irvin 97
    9 John Romano 95
    10 Ken Phelps 91

    and WAR:

    1 Lefty O'Doul 26.0
    2 Whitey Kurowski 24.1
    3 Corey Koskie 23.7
    4 Chris Hoiles 23.4
    5 Hank Thompson 23.3
    6 John Romano 22.7
    7 George Selkirk 22.6
    8 Zeke Bonura 21.7
    9 Pete Ward 21.3
    10 Monte Irvin 20.5

    Some of the beloved 80s guys don't fare so well on these lists, but gosh did I love 'em. First guy I thought of was Balboni, so nice to see him top the HR list. Great post. Love stuff like this.

  38. Chris James is also the guy who had to follow Mike Schmidt at 3B in Philadelphia.

  39. @8 -
    Whoops! I guess I shouldn't have gone off of memory alone when thinking of Lefty O'Doul. I had him like 8 years earlier than he was, mostly playing in the teens and twenties. Yikes. That makes a difference. I do feel a little vindicated by the WAR and Batting Runs post @37, however. Regardless, I'll try to fact-check before I make such an outrageous claim next time. Thanks for catching it.
    Interesting about O'Doul, though. You correctly pointed out that he had great years in Philly in '29 and '30... but his OPS+ numbers from those years are off the charts (160 and 146)! Admittedly, they're not TOO far from his career average, but I wonder about the park factors, and if they're a little too low. On the other hand, those Phillies teams in the early thirties were known for hitting without pitching, so I'm not sure. On the road in 1929, for example, his OPS+ was still a robust 157... but not as high as his 209 at home. So I'm not sure what to think. Enough rambling.

  40. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #27/rick Says: "@Jimbo (#23) The cause of Tony Conigliaro's career problems is one of sadder stories of the game. ...Tony C's left eye took the brunt of the injury and it permanently effected his vision. He was able to make a comeback in 1969 and even had a good year in 1970, but the reality was that he facing a losing battle as his vision took a toll on his skills."

    It's amazing that he had 36 HR/ 116 RBI in 1970, basically looking out of one good eye to bat. It was rather prescient of the Red Sox to trade Tony C. to the Angels before 1971...

    Something unique about his career was that he doesn't seem to have improved in his first four years, from age 19 to age 22. I mean, he was great for a 19 year-old, but he never seemed to progress from that. I'm also not sure he would've had an especially long career, as he stood on top of the plate, and that wasn't the first time he missed games due to getting hit by a pitch; I think he got his arm broken by a HBP in 1965.

  41. @6, Casey -- Luke Easter could hit 'em, indeed, well into his 40s. After his MLB career was over, he played another decade in AAA. He was one of the best sluggers in the league every year through age 46, when he was the oldest hitter in the International League by 8 years.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=easter001lus
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Luke_Easter

  42. If he retired today, Russell Branyon would lead this list with 189 homeruns in 991 games.

  43. @ #10

    Henry Rodriguez was dubbed "Oh Henry" big the Expos fans. He sure could hit the long ball.

    Other notable Expos:

    - Brad Wilkerson, I saw him weeping after the last game in Expos history....

    - Brad Fullmer, with a Grand Slam in his 1st AB...

  44. Fullmer - homered not a Grand Slam...

  45. @ 3

    I'm waiting on Andy to craft a "What if..." for Bo Jackson:

    "What if Bo Jackson, after declining to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, never played in the NFL?"

  46. I should add that I was a huge Bo Jackson fan and have a bias, but I think he may have been able to put together a HoF caliber career, though I feel that it might've gotten a tiny bit lost in the noise of the high-offense era. If Andy ever posts a "What if..." of that nature I'd be sure to make a well-detailed case in support. Or perhaps I'll finally fix my blog and post it there.

    I haven't read all the comments yet as I wanted to respond to 3, so excuse me if someone has already mentioned this, but I either immediately forgot the criteria when looking at the table because the first thing I thought was "Where's Branyan?" He leads for players not currently under contract with 189 HRs in 991 games, but he's doubtful to go unsigned and not play 9 more games.

  47. @ 42 I see you beat me to it. Well played, sir.

  48. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Speaking of Tony Congliaro, I came this on YouTube a few months ago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5whptzs1g8

    And here's another one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfZ1vkUM-Es

  49. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #48/DoubleDiamond Says: "Speaking of Tony Congliaro, I came this on YouTube a few months ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5whptzs1g8
    And here's another one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfZ1vkUM-Es"

    Yes, Tony Conigliaro had a sideline as a pop singer, recording a number of 45s, mostly on local labels (and the one on RCA you linked to). There's also a Youtube of him singing "I Aint Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" (Young Rascals) on the Merv Griffin show.

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