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Archive for February, 2010

Card of the Week: 1960 Topps #321 Ron Fairly All-Star Rookie

Posted by Andy on February 27, 2010

A few years ago, this might have been a more interesting post for many readers. In 2008, Topps released a "Heritage" set that recycled the design of the 1960 set and included an all-time All-Star Rookie set using the above design. Before Topps and the other card manufacturers went crazy reproducing old designs, these classic cards were really something special.

I love photos like the one used of Fairly. Although it's not an action shot, I like being able to see the stadium and crowd in the background. Fairly must have been out toward the outfield since everyone in the stands in looking to the right, presumably toward the infield. I do wonder a bit about the coloring of this card, as that Dodger blue isn't looking all that blue. This might be due to the age of the card or the fact that print quality wasn't nearly as good back then as it is today.

I'm not sure why Fairly received the honor of an All-Star Rookie card. He didn't hit all that well in 1959, garnering a 74 OPS+ over 284 plate appearances. He came in as a defensive replacement during the 1959 World Series and was part of the winning team but I am still surprised that he made the cut for the honor. This list of outfielders in their 1st or 2nd years in 1959 with at least 100 PAs shows some possible better choices.

In 1960, Fairly got into only 16 games and, since they were all late in the season I assume he had been relegated back to the minors and only got called up in September. He ended up doing something statistically odd, becoming the only guy since 1901 to hit 3 triples in a season without any singles:

Rk Player 3B 1B Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Ron Fairly 3 0 1960 21 LAD NL 14 45 37 6 4 0 1 3 7 0 12 0 1 0 1 0 0 .108 .250 .351 .601 /*97
2 Roberto Ortiz 3 2 1942 27 WSH AL 20 48 42 4 7 1 1 4 5 0 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 .167 .271 .405 .676 /97
3 Wally Pipp 3 2 1913 20 DET AL 12 34 31 3 5 0 0 5 2 0 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 .161 .235 .355 .590 *3
4 Eugenio Velez 2 1 2007 25 SFG NL 14 13 11 5 3 0 0 2 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 4 0 .273 .385 .636 1.021 /47
5 Mark Johnson 2 0 1998 22 CHW AL 7 24 23 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 .087 .125 .261 .386 /*2
6 Jeff Stone 2 1 1983 22 PHI NL 9 4 4 2 3 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 .750 .750 1.750 2.500 /8
7 Chico Walker 2 0 1983 24 BOS AL 4 5 5 2 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .400 .400 1.200 1.600 /*7
8 Karl Pagel 2 1 1981 26 CLE AL 14 19 15 3 4 0 1 4 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .267 .421 .733 1.154 /3
9 Gary Moore 2 1 1970 25 LAD NL 7 16 16 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 .188 .188 .438 .625 /*93
10 Bill Connelly 2 0 1952 27 NYG NL 11 12 11 2 4 2 0 3 1 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 .364 .417 .909 1.326 *1
11 Bobby Estalella 2 0 1936 25 WSH AL 13 13 9 2 2 0 0 0 4 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 .222 .462 .667 1.128
12 Cecil Bolton 2 0 1928 24 CLE AL 4 15 13 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .154 .267 .462 .728 /*3
13 Babe Ellison 2 1 1917 20 DET AL 9 37 29 2 5 1 1 4 6 0 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 .172 .333 .448 .782 /*3
14 Limb McKenry 2 0 1916 27 CIN NL 6 5 5 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .400 .400 1.200 1.600 /*1
15 Ed Irwin 2 0 1912 30 DET AL 1 3 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 2.000 2.667 /*5
16 Mike O'Neill 2 0 1907 29 CIN NL 9 32 29 5 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 .069 .129 .207 .336 /*7
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/23/2010.

These guys all had more triples than singles and, as such, either had poor batting averages or played in a vanishingly small number of games.

In the end, Fairly had a very solid major-league playing career including a series of good years with the Expos and a very nice season towards the end of his career with the first-year expansion Toronto Blue Jays.

I had the opportunity to hear Fairly call numerous TV games as a broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners and, I have to say--I found him to be an awful broadcaster. He had a long career on TV so I bet my opinion is in the minority but I always found him to be the master of saying the plainly obvious. I was also bugged by the fact that despite having a long and successful playing career, he seemed to rarely offer any insight about the game from the perspective of a former player.

22 Comments | Posted in Card of the Week

Orioles => Highlanders redux

Posted by Sean Forman on February 26, 2010

From the discussion that ensued in the previous post about this topic, it is pretty clear that while it may be a justified decision to split them, I'm going to need to study this a bit more. It seems to me that there are many such circumstances in baseball's primordial past that warrant further study. So my decision is to punt and do nothing. I'm going to leave it as is until we can come up with a reasonable process to study each and every one of these issues. Perhaps this would be a good job for the SABR Executives and 19th Century committees. Just a thought. Thank you to everyone who commented.

4 Comments | Posted in Administration, Announcements, History

More Than Just A Pinch

Posted by Steve Lombardi on February 26, 2010

Since 1954, how many teams have used 8+ pinch-hitters in a game? Here's the answer via Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Team Batting Game Finder:

Rk Tm Opp Date #Matching  
1 OAK CHW 1972-09-19 10  
2 STL CIN 1997-09-25 9  
3 SFG LAD 1986-09-28 9  
4 MON PIT 1975-09-05 (2) 9  
5 LAD STL 1982-09-01 9  
6 LAD STL 1959-09-22 9  
7 LAD NYM 1985-09-08 9  
8 ATL MON 1993-09-21 9  
9 WSH NYY 1960-09-20 8  
10 STL LAD 1959-04-16 8  
11 SFG ARI 2000-09-23 (1) 8  
12 SFG ATL 1987-10-02 8  
13 SDP SFG 1986-09-16 8  
14 PIT MON 1990-09-09 8  
15 PHI CHC 1991-10-01 8  
16 PHI NYM 1975-09-26 (2) 8  
17 PHI PIT 1985-06-21 8  
18 NYM STL 1992-09-16 8  
19 NYM ATL 1996-09-14 8  
20 NYM HOU 1998-09-14 8  
21 MIN SEA 1996-09-13 8  
22 LAD SFG 1981-09-09 8  
23 LAD SFG 1983-09-18 8  
24 HOU ATL 1989-09-20 8  
25 CLE KCA 1966-09-13 8  
26 CIN HOU 1984-09-28 8  
27 CHC COL 2006-09-30 8  
28 CHC MON 1978-09-04 (2) 8  
29 BAL CHW 1954-05-28 (1) 8  
30 BAL NYY 1984-09-25 8  
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/25/2010.

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Figures that the record holder here would be a pre-DH and post-September 1st extra inning affair. That was some game for the A's huh? They sent everyone up to the plate in that one with the exception of Pinchy and Mr. Krabs.

9 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Non-All-Star Play Beneficiaries

Posted by Steve Lombardi on February 25, 2010

A fun little list via Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Game Finder - players who have reached base via an error in two or more All-Star Games -

Rk Player #Matching PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB ROE 6 HBP GDP
1 Billy Herman 3 Ind. Games 12 12 5 1 0 0 0 0 2 .417 .417 .500 .917 0 0 0 3 0 0
2 Al Kaline 3 Ind. Games 7 7 3 0 0 2 4 0 1 .429 .429 1.286 1.714 0 0 0 3 0 0
3 Yogi Berra 2 Ind. Games 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 2 0 0
4 Rocky Colavito 2 Ind. Games 9 8 1 0 0 1 5 0 1 .125 .111 .500 .611 0 1 0 2 0 0
5 Darin Erstad 2 Ind. Games 4 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 2 0 0
6 Stan Musial 2 Ind. Games 7 6 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .167 .167 .167 .333 1 0 0 2 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/25/2010.

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Related, that first All-Star Game of 1961, at Candlestick, where Kaline, Berra and Colavito all reached via an error, was a mess. Five players reached base via an error in that contest - where seven errors, in total, were made on the day. More on these types of games, via Play Index's Team Batting Game Finder:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB ROE SO HBP SH SF ROE 6 GDP SB CS LOB #
1 1961-07-11 ALS NLS L 4-5 73 38 4 4 1 0 1 3 2 0 5 12 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 6 36
2 2008-07-15 ALS NLS W 4-3 65 57 4 14 3 0 1 4 7 2 4 17 0 0 1 4 1 6 1 17 20
3 1960-07-11 ALS NLS L 3-5 78 34 3 6 0 0 1 3 5 0 3 7 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 9 46
4 1962-07-30 ALS NLS W 9-4 77 37 9 10 2 0 3 9 4 0 3 8 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 6 39
5 1983-07-06 ALS NLS W 13-3 46 38 13 15 3 2 2 13 4 2 3 8 0 1 3 3 0 0 0 9 26
6 1937-07-07 NLS ALS L 3-8 41 41 3 13 3 0 0 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 11 19
7 1941-07-08 NLS ALS L 5-7 38 35 5 10 3 0 2 5 1 0 2 7 0 2 0 2 1 0 1 6 22
8 1943-07-13 ALS NLS W 5-3 35 29 5 8 2 0 1 4 3 0 2 10 1 2 0 2 3 0 0 6 14
9 1949-07-12 ALS NLS W 11-7 46 41 11 13 5 0 0 10 5 0 2 5 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 8 20
10 1958-07-08 ALS NLS W 4-3 35 31 4 9 0 0 0 3 3 1 2 4 0 1 0 2 3 0 0 7 17
11 1959-07-07 ALS NLS L 4-5 78 36 4 8 1 0 1 4 3 0 2 9 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 8 41
12 1969-07-23 NLS ALS W 9-3 43 40 9 11 2 0 3 8 3 0 2 10 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 7 23
13 1980-07-08 NLS ALS W 4-2 33 31 4 7 0 0 1 3 2 0 2 4 0 0 0 2 1 2 0 5 24
14 1983-07-06 NLS ALS L 3-13 36 35 3 8 1 0 0 2 1 0 2 6 0 0 0 2 2 2 0 6 24
15 1987-07-14 ALS NLS L 0-2 50 42 0 6 1 0 0 0 5 0 2 7 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 11 26
16 1999-07-13 NLS ALS L 1-4 36 32 1 7 2 0 0 1 4 0 2 12 0 0 0 2 2 0 2 8 19
17 2000-07-11 ALS NLS W 6-3 43 38 6 10 3 0 0 6 4 0 2 7 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 10 29
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/25/2010.

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9 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Feature Watch: Updated Bio Section

Posted by Neil Paine on February 25, 2010

If you haven't had a chance to look at it yet, the Bio section of the site (which is tucked away under the "more [+]" drop-down menu) got a little bigger when we updated the site last week.

In case you're unfamiliar, on that page we break down every player by their place of birth, and using the links at the top of the page, you can sort the batting, pitching, and managing totals for those born in every U.S. state and every country. You can also see more detailed breakdowns for each state/foreign country/territory, including a sortable list of every player born there and his career MLB stats.

In addition, we still provide the same tools/breakdowns for each player's place of death -- and since you may have noticed that deceased MLB players now have burial data on their profile pages, we've also added a new section to the Bio page that gives the breakdowns described above for players based on their place of burial. So if you ever wanted to know which players were laid to rest in Wyoming (hint: there's only 4 of them), this is the feature for you.

Also, I should note that the death and burial data is not complete, so if you come across someone with missing data and you have citable documentation regarding their correct info, please let us know via email.

1) What is the birth state of the most Hall of Famers?
2) Who has the most career HR among Rhode-Island-born players?
3) Name the 2 Hall of Famers who died in Canada.
4) Who is the only MLB player buried in Alaska?
5) Pitchers born in which country have the lowest combined ERA?
1) New York
2) Paul Konerko
3) Ed Delahanty and Don Drysdale
4) Charlie Fisher
5) Scotland

(See more Baseball-Reference Tutorials here.)

Comments Off | Posted in Announcements, Site Features, Tutorials

Introducing College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

Posted by Neil Paine on February 25, 2010

Today we're pleased to announce the launch of College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com, the latest addition to the Sports Reference family of web sites. We've had plans to launch a college basketball site for quite some time, but for one reason or another we always ran into roadblocks, most of them data-related. However, thanks to the efforts of researcher extraordinaire Kevin Johnson, we've finally been able to put together a college basketball database that we think is second-to-none. At the same time, Basketball-Reference's Justin Kubatko put a lot of time and effort over the past few months into building a website around that data, and the result is a site that we hope will become your go-to destination for stats and info about College Hoops. Let's take a look at what the site does (and doesn't) have at the moment:

2 Comments | Posted in Announcements

At least 1 RBI per game

Posted by Andy on February 24, 2010

Below is a list of the last 49 times in which a player had at least 1 RBI for every game played in a season. (To be clear, this is a simple calculation of RBI >= G and doesn't mean that he got at least 1 RBI in each and every game of that season.) I listed 49 because 3 guys did it in 1935 and I didn't want to expand the list to 52 seasons.

Click through to see the list and some observations.

22 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Trivia Time – Lots of Homers; Lots of Teams

Posted by Raphy on February 23, 2010

In Yesterday's  "Who am I" post,  Andy mentioned that  Russell Branyan has averaged over 30 home runs per 162 games during his career.  Among the reasons that Branyan's home run proficiency is surprising is the number of franchises that he has played for during his career. In fact, Branyan is one of three players to average at least 30 hr per 162 games and play for  8 different franchises. There have also been 3 such players who each played for 7 different  franchises and 4 who played for 6.

Your challenge today is to see how many of the remaining 9 players you can name.

Lets spread the joy and limit it to only 1 player guessed per commenter. I will update the answers as people post them.

32 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Orioles to Highlanders: One Francise or Two?

Posted by Sean Forman on February 23, 2010

This is pretty far down in the weeds, but a lot of what we do when posting these numbers is far down in the weeds. At the prodding of an interested party, I've been asked whether the 1901-1902 Orioles should be part of the New York Yankees history. He argues no. We have shown them as such. I noticed that Palmer/Gillette now show them as not part of the Yankees history in their last ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Here is a response Gary sent to me when I asked him about it.

We discussed this at length when we did the first edition of our new encyclopedia in 2004. IIRC, the deciding factor was that the Baltimore franchise went bust during the season and was turned over to the league. After the season, the league then sold a new franchise to investors in New York City. We felt that wasn't really a relocation or a transfer; it was simply filling the gap in the league that was opened when the Orioles' franchise disintegrated.

Of the 39 players who appeared for Baltimore in 1902, only five appeared for New York in 1903. Jimmy Williams was the regular second baseman for both clubs. Herm McFarland, a utility player in '02, became a regular outfielder in '03. Ernie Courtney played one game for Balto. in 1902, then 25 for NY in 1903. Harry Howell was the only pitcher of consequence to make the transition. Snake Wiltse (4 G in '03) also appeared for both.

So right now, I'm probably going to switch the 1901 and 1902 Baltimore teams to their own franchise and have the Yankees start in 1903. Anyone want to convince me otherwise?

31 Comments | Posted in Administration, Announcements, History

More Walks than Hits

Posted by Raphy on February 23, 2010

Yesterday, reader JDV noted that during his career, Mickey Lolich amassed more walks than hits. The concept of players with more walks than hits in a single season has  already been addressed in the comments section of the blog (here and here), but I don't think that we've discussed players who have done it for an entire career. Here are the players with at least 40 career hits and more career walks than hits:

Rk Player H BB From To Age G PA AB R 2B 3B HR RBI IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Frank Fernandez 145 164 1967 1972 24-29 285 902 727 92 21 2 39 116 9 231 6 1 4 16 4 4 .199 .350 .395 .744 *2/97 NYY-OAK-TOT-CHC
2 Jim French 119 121 1965 1971 23-29 234 741 607 53 17 4 5 51 10 78 1 7 5 10 3 6 .196 .328 .262 .590 *2/7 WSA
3 Willie McGill 97 101 1890 1896 16-22 169 587 480 68 19 2 0 40 0 79 3 3 0 0 9 0 .202 .344 .250 .594 *1/9 CLE-TOT-CIN-CHC-PHI
4 Mickey Lolich 90 105 1963 1979 22-38 592 1017 821 63 5 2 0 31 0 362 5 85 1 20 1 1 .110 .215 .121 .335 *1 DET-NYM-SDP
5 Tony Smith 90 95 1907 1911 23-27 170 633 500 46 12 2 1 26 0 60 3 35 0 0 13 0 .180 .314 .218 .532 *6/54 WSH-BRO
6 Marty Hopkins 80 85 1934 1935 27-28 136 480 379 48 12 0 4 48 0 54 1 15 0 1 1 3 .211 .357 .274 .631 *5/4 TOT-CHW
7 Jack Kramer 72 76 1939 1951 21-33 322 618 501 43 12 0 5 39 0 162 1 40 0 10 0 1 .144 .258 .198 .455 *1 SLB-BOS-NYG-TOT
8 Mickey Harris 54 60 1940 1952 23-35 271 366 288 40 3 1 0 16 0 82 0 18 0 11 1 0 .188 .328 .205 .532 *1 BOS-TOT-WSH
9 Herman Pitz 47 58 1890 1890 24-24 90 346 284 43 0 0 0 9 0 0 4 0 0 0 39 0 .165 .315 .165 .481 /*2579684 TOT
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/22/2010.

Lolich is fourth on the list. The leader is Frank Fernandez, who by far has the most AB of anyone to post a career batting average <.200 and an OPS+ of at least 100.

There are some active players with more walks than hits, as well. Here are the players with at least 5 hits.

Rk Player H BB From To Age G PA AB R 2B 3B HR RBI IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Josh Whitesell 23 25 2008 2009 26-27 53 142 115 8 7 0 2 15 4 31 2 0 0 2 0 0 .200 .352 .313 .665 /*3 ARI
2 Chris Gimenez 16 17 2009 2009 26-26 45 130 111 12 2 0 3 7 0 36 0 1 1 3 1 1 .144 .256 .243 .499 /3729 CLE
3 Brian Bocock 11 12 2008 2008 23-23 32 93 77 4 1 0 0 2 0 29 0 4 0 2 4 2 .143 .258 .156 .414 /*6 SFG
4 Brian Moehler 8 9 1996 2009 24-37 314 222 192 4 2 0 0 5 0 90 3 18 0 1 0 0 .042 .098 .052 .150 *1 DET-CIN-HOU-FLA
5 Anibal Sanchez 5 6 2006 2009 22-25 50 102 86 2 0 0 0 2 0 36 0 10 0 1 0 0 .058 .120 .058 .178 /*1 FLA
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/22/2010.

3 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

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