You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Blog >

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all B-R content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing B-R blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Baseball-Reference.com » Sports Reference

For more from Andy and the gang, check out their new site High Heat Stats.

Archive for the 'Leaders' Category

Leading the League in Complete Games, Shutouts, and … Saves?

Posted by Neil Paine on May 16, 2011

B-R reader Nash noticed something interesting about Mordecai Brown's black ink this weekend:

"Everyone talks about unbreakable records (DiMaggio's 56, Cy Young's 511, etc.), and I know that this is in the context of the 'dead ball' era, so I don't know how relevant this is -- but in 1910, Mordecai Brown led the league in CG, SHO, and ... SAVES.

Don't think that anyone will pull THAT off again anytime soon!"

Keep in mind that the save policy we're using for pre-1950 seasons is the so-called "encyclopedia rule" (a pitcher who finished a game his team won, but did not get the win himself, is awarded a save). Still, Brown is just one of four pitchers since 1901 to lead his league in complete games, shutouts, and saves in the same season:

Player Year Lg CG SHO SV
Cy Young 1903 AL 34 7 2
Christy Mathewson 1908 NL 34 11 5
Ed Walsh 1908 AL 42 11 6
Mordecai Brown 1910 NL 27 6 7

Like Nash says, this is one club that's unlikely to expand beyond its four current members anytime soon.

19 Comments | Posted in History, Leaders, Mailbag, Stats

Mailbag: Biggest Differences Between HR Leader and Runner-Up

Posted by Neil Paine on January 11, 2011

Here's a question from Ehud:

"Jose Bautista was the AL home run king in 2010, while the second-place HR leader (Paul Konerko) had 15 homers less. Is that the biggest difference in history of HR kings?"

Not quite. While the 15-HR gap between Bautista and Konerko is impressive, it actually pales in comparison to some of the leads Babe Ruth had in his HR races.

In 1920, the same year he famously had 4 more HR by himself than any other AL team, Ruth also placed a 35-HR gap between himself and runner-up George Sisler. And the following year, Ruth repeated that feat, hitting 35 more HR than Ken Williams. All told, Ruth owns 5 of the 6 biggest differences between a league HR leader and the runner-up. Here's the full list of biggest disparities between #1 and #2:

81 Comments | Posted in History, Home Runs, Leaders, Mailbag, Stats

Walk-Off Home Runs

Posted by Raphy on November 3, 2010

One of the nice new features of the PI event finders is the ability to search multiple years when the sample is small enough. Here are the career leaders in Walk-Off  Home Runs since 1950. (Due to the addition of the new "OR" feature, the search for walk-offs has changed. You now need to select "Go Ahead", "Home", Inning "9" and Inning "10+")

39 Comments | Posted in Event Finders, Leaders

Data Dump: Postseason Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio Leaders

Posted by Neil Paine on October 21, 2010

B-R user Simmy Cohen noticed that we don't have a K/BB leaderboard on our all-time playoff pitching leaders page, and asked if I could post one today. Here you go... Career K/BB ratio leaders (along with some other stats), in the postseason, minimum 30 innings pitched:

7 Comments | Posted in Data Dump, Leaders, Mailbag, Postseason

Overall WAR Leaders Added to League Batting and Pitching Leaders

Posted by Sean Forman on July 15, 2010

2010 Major League Baseball Batting Leaders - Baseball-Reference.com.

A pretty minor bug fix, but previously we had no way to see the top ten in the league in WAR, and this now presents that data among our full list of league leaders.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcements, Leaders

All-time Progressive Hits Leaders

Posted by Andy on May 13, 2010

This plot shows the year-to-year ratios of the active career hits leaders. Please take a look at my recent similar post for strikeout leaders to understand how it's done. Basically, I take the number of hits for the active leader at the end of each season and divide by the total for the year from the previous season.

(click on the image for a larger version)

As with the strikeout chart, the big dips occurs when the active leader retires and the new leader has a much lower total.

A few things to notice:

  • The highest point on this graph is in 1953, when Stan Musial registered a ratio of nearly 1.10. This is pretty much an artifact of how the plot works. Between 1952 and 1953, Musial posted 200 hits, running his career total from 2,023 hits to 2,223 hits. When Joe DiMaggio stepped aside after 1951, he left Musial as the active hits leader with a fairly total total. Most other times in baseball history, the active career leader has been around 3,000 hits. So when Musial had that 200-hit season in 1953, he boosted his own career total by about 10% and jumped to the top.
  • Jim O'Rourke managed to stay as the active hits leader despite not adding any hits at all from 1894 to 1903. He didn't play in the majors during that time.  He came back to play in 1 game in 1904 so he gets credit for being active the whole time and amazingly nobody had a higher total than he did the entire time.
  • The plot shows lots of bumps in the last 10 years. This is because of lots of changes in the active hit leaders. After Gwynn took over from Molitor, there was Cal Ripken, Rickey Henderson, Rafael Palmeiro, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey, and the current leader, Derek Jeter.


6 Comments | Posted in Leaders

Using the New PI to Sort Splits

Posted by Raphy on November 12, 2009

One of the interesting new features of the PI is the sortable summary provided when using the game finder. This summation provides the total statistics of the games found can be ranked by a variety of different stats. I find this very exciting because it represents the first step in searching splits. Let me explain with an example.

Suppose we wanted to find the player with the most hits on the road in a single season.

  1. Use the Game Finder called Player Batting.
  2. select "Find Players with Most Matching Games in a Season"
  3. Limit your search to Visitor
  4. Search for H>=1

That will provide you with this list:

Rk Player Year #Matching PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1 Lou Brock 1969 72 Ind. Games 340 319 116 23 7 6 26 18 59 .364 .398 .536 .934 1 1 8 1 2
2 Ichiro Suzuki 2001 70 Ind. Games 348 330 128 17 5 3 35 9 29 .388 .410 .497 .907 2 2 2 5 1
3 Ichiro Suzuki 2004 69 Ind. Games 344 322 145 15 5 4 40 18 23 .450 .480 .565 1.045 0 2 10 2 3
4 Bobby Richardson 1962 68 Ind. Games 345 323 117 22 3 5 33 11 12 .362 .381 .495 .876 9 2 1 0 5
5 Jim Rice 1977 68 Ind. Games 308 282 106 13 7 12 38 22 43 .376 .429 .599 1.028 0 0 2 4 6
6 Don Mattingly 1986 68 Ind. Games 328 303 131 30 2 14 53 21 16 .432 .463 .683 1.147 0 4 6 0 9
7 Felipe Alou 1968 68 Ind. Games 319 294 110 19 3 7 34 22 27 .374 .417 .531 .948 0 2 6 1 7
8 Hank Aaron 1956 68 Ind. Games 299 280 114 19 10 11 51 13 15 .407 .426 .664 1.090 1 5 4 0 9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/12/2009.

Until now we had to stop at this point and say that "Lou Brock had the most road games with a hit in a season (since 1954)". However, the new version of PI lets us take this a step further. Assuming that it is logical that the player with the most hits on the road in a season would be among the top 300 in games with a hit, we can find that player by sorting for hits. After completing the above search, simply click on the column heading "H" and you will be presented with this list:

Rk Player Year #Matching PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1 Ichiro Suzuki 2004 69 Ind. Games 344 322 145 15 5 4 40 18 23 .450 .480 .565 1.045 0 2 10 2 3
2 Don Mattingly 1986 68 Ind. Games 328 303 131 30 2 14 53 21 16 .432 .463 .683 1.147 0 4 6 0 9
3 Lance Johnson 1996 67 Ind. Games 316 293 128 19 9 8 38 19 12 .437 .470 .645 1.115 1 2 4 1 2
4 Ichiro Suzuki 2001 70 Ind. Games 348 330 128 17 5 3 35 9 29 .388 .410 .497 .907 2 2 2 5 1
5 Mark Loretta 2004 67 Ind. Games 328 292 126 24 2 5 40 24 17 .432 .466 .579 1.045 0 9 1 3 6
6 Paul Molitor 1991 65 Ind. Games 319 285 124 18 5 10 36 30 22 .435 .492 .639 1.131 0 0 8 2 1
7 Felipe Alou 1966 67 Ind. Games 321 306 123 21 6 12 34 9 29 .402 .425 .627 1.052 1 1 2 4 3
8 Matty Alou 1969 66 Ind. Games 313 299 121 23 6 0 27 12 10 .405 .431 .522 .953 0 0 3 2 2
9 Joe Torre 1971 66 Ind. Games 299 272 121 19 3 15 65 25 30 .445 .493 .702 1.195 1 0 9 1 9
10 Willie Wilson 1980 61 Ind. Games 296 287 120 14 8 1 22 6 26 .418 .434 .533 .967 1 0 0 2 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/12/2009.

Brock drops down to #22 and Ichiro now tops the leader board!
Let's do the same thing for hits at home:

Rk Player Year #Matching PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1 Darin Erstad 2000 70 Ind. Games 328 304 135 21 1 11 57 22 37 .444 .479 .628 1.107 0 2 2 0 3
2 Kirby Puckett 1988 66 Ind. Games 293 279 131 26 5 13 58 11 32 .470 .491 .738 1.230 0 1 3 2 3
3 Wade Boggs 1985 71 Ind. Games 328 281 130 24 2 6 38 43 31 .463 .535 .626 1.162 1 1 2 2 9
4 Ellis Burks 1996 65 Ind. Games 310 275 129 31 6 23 78 29 45 .469 .521 .876 1.397 1 2 2 3 8
5 Dante Bichette 1998 65 Ind. Games 293 279 128 25 2 17 78 12 20 .459 .481 .746 1.227 0 1 2 1 8
6 Jeff Cirillo 2000 67 Ind. Games 317 273 128 36 1 9 74 36 24 .469 .525 .707 1.232 1 5 1 2 7
7 Kirby Puckett 1989 67 Ind. Games 294 278 128 28 2 7 51 12 18 .460 .480 .651 1.131 0 3 5 1 6
8 Eric Young 1996 62 Ind. Games 310 277 127 13 4 7 55 22 10 .458 .506 .610 1.117 0 3 1 8 2
9 Kirby Puckett 1986 64 Ind. Games 297 280 127 21 6 14 49 9 34 .454 .481 .721 1.203 2 0 2 6 3
10 Rod Carew 1977 69 Ind. Games 318 280 126 23 8 8 53 32 23 .450 .502 .675 1.177 1 4 8 1 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/12/2009.

Clearly, this technique is limited. It can't be used for stats that usually occur in bunches (most pitching stats). It also can't be used for rate stats like batting average. However, for a lot of hitting stats it can be a fun and useful new tool.

7 Comments | Posted in Game Finders, Leaders, Site Features, Splits, Tutorials

Andy Pettitte notes

Posted by Andy on November 5, 2009

Wow...what a World Series!

Lots to talk about. Let's start with Andy Pettitte.

From the post-season leaders page, we can see some of Pettitte's all-time post-season rankings.

He's first in wins:

Wins

Rank Player W IP
1. Andy Pettitte 18 249.0
2. John Smoltz 15 209.0
3. Tom Glavine 14 218.1
4. Roger Clemens 12 199.0
5. Greg Maddux 11 198.0
Curt Schilling 11 133.1
7. Whitey Ford 10 146.0
Dave Stewart 10 133.0
David Wells 10 125.0
10. Catfish Hunter 9 132.1
Orlando Hernandez 9 106.0

Those 18 wins came over 249 IP in 40 games and starts. So that's a little over one regular season's worth of starts, and he's managed 18 wins, which is very good. (Remember that in the post-season, you're facing all good teams, so he has no doormats with which to pad his win total. Winning at a rate of 15-16 games for a full-year equivalent is impressive.)

Pettitte is also up there in losses:

Losses

Rank Player L IP
1. Tom Glavine 16 218.1
2. Greg Maddux 14 198.0
3. Andy Pettitte 9 249.0
Randy Johnson 9 121.0
5. Roger Clemens 8 199.0
Whitey Ford 8 146.0
Mike Mussina 8 139.2
Jerry Reuss 8 62.2
9. Tim Wakefield 7 72.0
Charlie Leibrandt 7 57.1

At 18-9, he's won twice as often as he's lost, which again is very good.

Check out the all-time leaders in games pitched:

Games Played

Rank Player G IP
1. Mariano Rivera 88 133.1
2. Jeff Nelson 55 54.1
3. Mike Stanton 53 55.2
4. Mike Timlin 46 50.2
5. John Smoltz 41 209.0
6. Andy Pettitte 40 249.0
7. Mark Wohlers 39 38.1
8. Paul Assenmacher 36 20.0
9. Tom Glavine 35 218.1
Roger Clemens 35 199.0
Greg Maddux 35 198.0

This table summarizes the baseball playoffs nicely. In the Wild Card era, there are so many more games that all the records belong to modern guys, and over that same period, it's been pretty much all Braves, Yankees, and Red Sox.

Pettitte is number 1 in homers allowed:

Home Runs

Rank Player HR IP
1. Andy Pettitte 29 249.0
2. Tom Glavine 21 218.1
Catfish Hunter 21 132.1
4. Mike Mussina 19 139.2
5. John Smoltz 17 209.0
Roger Clemens 17 199.0
7. Jaret Wright 16 56.0
8. Randy Johnson 15 121.0
9. Greg Maddux 14 198.0
Charles Nagy 14 84.2

However, 5 of the top 10 guys above actually allowed homers at a higher rate than Pettitte (including, obviously, Jaret Wright--wow!) Catfish Hunter sticks out as the only holdover from prior to the Wild Card era.

Anyway, the bottom line is that Pettitte has been very impressive. He's pitched in 8 World Series (including with Houston in 2005.) True, he's been lucky to be on such good teams, but A) he had a lot to do with them being so good and B) regardless of how he got the opportunities, he has done well with them.

It's interesting to debate his Hall of Fame credentials. His position as a top pitcher on 8 World Series teams goes a long way, in my opinion. He's got the 63rd-highest win total of all time, but only the 229th-highest loss total (translation: he's got a great winning percentage.) He has two 20-win seasons (actually 21 both times) and finished in the top 6 in Cy Young voting in 5 different seasons.

The marks against him are primarily these:

  • He has only 229 career wins (as mentioned, 63rd all time) which would be a very low total for a Hall of Famer.
  • His excellent W-L record seems to be at least partially a product of playing on such good teams. He came to the Yankees in 1995 when they made the playoffs for the first time in a long time and has never pitched for a poor team. His ERA+ is only 116 which, while very respectable, is not excellent. His neutralized pitching totals tell the story. They say his record should be (gulp) 162-146, a whopping 67 wins fewer than he has. This means that if he hadn't been on the Yankees, he'd be much closer to a .500 pitcher in all likelihood. This would give him numbers more like Tim Wakefield, Livan Hernandez, or Kevin Millwood. These are all good pitchers but clearly not HOFers.

What do you think?

20 Comments | Posted in Leaders, Polls, Postseason

WS Home Runs by Second Baseman

Posted by Raphy on November 2, 2009

Chase Utley's World Series Career has been relatively brief. Utley's 9 career World Series games tie him for 37th among  second baseman. Yet, no second baseman has hit more World Series home runs. Utley's Game 4, 7th inning blast was his 5th, tying him with Billy Martin for most ever by a second baseman. It should be noted that it took Martin 27 games at second to reach that total. Here are the leaders:

Billy Martin 5
Chase Utley 5
Joe Gordon 4
Tony Lazzeri 4
Davey Lopes 4

If 5 home runs doesn't sound like enough to be the all-time leader in a category, check out the leaders at third base and shortstop. Here are the  World Series Home Run leaders at the other positions:

Pitcher: Dave McNally , Bob Gibson 2

Catcher: Yogi Berra 9

1st Base: Lou Gehrig 10

Shortstop: Derek Jeter 3

3rd Base: Gil McDougald , Scott Brosius 4

Left Field: Babe Ruth 9

Center Field: Mickey Mantle 15

Right Field: Frank Robinson 8

DH: Ryan Klesko 3

Pinch hitter: Chuck EssegianBernie Carbo 2

3 Comments | Posted in Event Finders, Home Runs, Leaders, Postseason

Pitching Hero Trivia Quest

Posted by Raphy on September 23, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the players who were leading baseball in various offensive categories in the '00s. Here is the pitching version of that article. The leaders are much  more predictable than the last one.

2 Comments | Posted in Game Finders, Leaders, Season Finders

Page 1 of 41234