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Something To Root For In ’09? How’bout Another Year For Billy Werber & Lonny Frey?

Posted by Steve Lombardi on December 31, 2008

I was just playing around with Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Season Finder...looking to see who were the oldest surviving  "regulars" among big league ball players...and I set the controls for "For single seasons, From 1901 to 2008, (requiring birth_year<=1910, death_year=0, PA>=502, and birth_year>=1899), sorted by greatest OPSp."  And, I got this list:

  Cnt Player            OPS+ BrYr DeYr  PA Year Age Tm
+----+-----------------+----+----+----+---+----+---+---+
    1 Lonny Frey         124 1910      585 1939  28 CIN
    2 Billy Werber       119 1908      716 1934  26 BOS
    3 Billy Werber       113 1908      663 1940  32 CIN
    4 Lonny Frey         112 1910      588 1935  24 BRO
    5 Lonny Frey         110 1910      620 1942  31 CIN
    6 Billy Werber       108 1908      707 1939  31 CIN
    7 Lonny Frey         108 1910      556 1934  23 BRO
    8 Billy Werber       103 1908      576 1937  29 PHA
    9 Lonny Frey         101 1910      663 1940  29 CIN
   10 Lonny Frey          99 1910      607 1936  25 BRO
   11 Lonny Frey          98 1910      667 1943  32 CIN
   12 Lonny Frey          98 1910      629 1941  30 CIN
   13 Billy Werber        96 1908      599 1938  30 PHA
   14 Billy Werber        96 1908      549 1935  27 BOS
   15 Lonny Frey          94 1910      557 1938  27 CIN
   16 Billy Werber        90 1908      639 1936  28 BOS

Seasons/Careers found: 16.

What's really cool about Werber and Frey is that they played in the infield, together, for the 1939 Reds.

It would be nice to see Cincy have a day for these two in 2009 - since it's the 70th anniversary of when they were teammates there.  And, of course, it would be nice to see these two get another year of watching baseball in 2009.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 2:44 pm 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.

6 Responses to “Something To Root For In ’09? How’bout Another Year For Billy Werber & Lonny Frey?”

  1. If you set death_year>=2005 or so, do they start to move down the ranks? How far back before they're not the best oldest players?

  2. How strange. Do good players die earlier? They made more money and spent it on booze?

  3. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    I do seem to recall once seeing a study that determined that "successful" people (in all walks of life) die earlier, on average. I don't think this was just looking at people who earn law degrees and make six figures with a happy family, who you'd expect might live longer, as presumably they had a healthy childhood. It was more about the very upper echelon -- presidents and the like. Maybe whatever it takes to reach the pinnacle of whatever one chooses to do also causes one to eventually break down sooner than expected.

  4. The following numbers are not exact. I subtracted birth year from death year to get my "age".

    I compared players who had at least 3000 career PA and were no longer alive. The top 200 in OPS+ lived an average of 67.52 years. The bottom 200 lived an average of 71.69 years.

    The average lifespan of the 144 HOF who are no longer alive was 71.68 years.
    Al Lopez who died at 97 in 2005 was the oldest Hall of Famer ever. Currently, Bobby Doerr and Bob Feller are the oldest living Hall of Famers at the age of 90. ( http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/xCzZ )

  5. [...] the story. I’m pretty sure this makes Lonny Frey the oldest living ex-Yankee. January 22, 2009 | Filed Under Yankees [...]