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Archive for February, 2011

Miguel Cabrera

17th February 2011

Miguel Cabrera has been charged with drunk driving. This is not the first alcohol-related problem for Cabrera, and it makes me fear that he's not getting the help he needs.

Should Cabrera's career trajectory continue, he'll end up as one of the greatest players of all time.

Check out his similarity scores through Age 27:

Similar Batters through 27
  1. Frank Robinson (930) *
  2. Hank Aaron (928) *
  3. Ken Griffey (922)
  4. Hal Trosky (891)
  5. Mickey Mantle (884) *
  6. Albert Pujols (883)
  7. Orlando Cepeda (879) *
  8. Al Kaline (870) *
  9. Andruw Jones (862)
  10. Joe Medwick (861) *

That's a pretty impressive list.

I was just chatting with Neil and said that I fear Cabrera's career will not continue as it has if his issues with alcohol co untreated. Neil said it's like Darryl Strawberry 2.0.

It's a good point, but Strawberry was never as good as Cabrera. Strawberry's top OPS+ came in his last exceptional season: 165 OPS+ in 1988, his Age 26 season. Although he had a couple of very good years in 1990 and 1991, they weren't quite as good as his 1988, and he only played more than 63 games in a season once after that. After 1988, Strawberry's most similar player through Age 26 was Jose Canseco.

Cabrera just had his best season, a 179 OPS+ at Age 27. He's comparing favorably to Aaron, Robinson, Mantle, and Pujols. If he doesn't get control of his alcohol issues, will they affect his play on the field, and how far might he fall?

Posted in Uncategorized | 40 Comments »

Pitchers Hitting Inside-the-Park Home Runs

16th February 2011

Here are all the inside the park home runs by pitchers that are registered in the batting event finder.  (Due to the limits of play by play data collection  this is obviously not a complete historical list even within the batting event time frame.) It looks like no pitcher has done it since Joaquin Andujar in 1979.  Also of note was Mel Stottlemyre's inside-the-park grand slam in 1965. As has been mentioned by Statboy and Gerry in the comments of an earlier post, Stottlemyre and Deacon Phillippe are the only pitchers in MLB history to accomplish this feat.

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1954-05-15 Jim Hearn NYG CHC Johnny Klippstein down 2-0 b3 -2- 1 2 0.18 1.58 1.44 Inside-the-park Home Run to CF; Lockman Scores
2 1 1955-07-09 Jim Hearn NYG BRO Clem Labine ahead 0-8 b5 1-- 2 5 (3-1) 2 0.01 1.87 .03 Inside-the-park Home Run to CF (Line Drive); Westrum Scores
3 1 1956-04-17 Frank Lary DET KCA Alex Kellner tied 0-0 b5 --- 1 1 0.15 1.00 .88 Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
4 1 1956-08-11 Mickey McDermott NYY BAL Hal Brown down 10-4 b9 --- 1 1 0.00 1.00 .01 Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
5 1 1965-07-20 Mel Stottlemyre NYY BOS Bill Monbouquette ahead 1-2 b5 123 0 4 0.11 2.19 1.64 Inside-the-park Home Run to CF (Fly Ball to Deep CF); Pepitone Scores; Boyer Scores; Repoz Scores
6 1 1966-05-10 Bob Gibson STL @CHC Ted Abernathy ahead 0-4 t7 --- 2 1 0.03 1.00 .18 Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
7 1 1969-05-30 (2) Tom Griffin HOU @PIT Bob Moose down 4-2 t2 --- 2 1 0.10 1.00 .38 Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
8 1 1970-08-08 Skip Pitlock SFG HOU Wade Blasingame down 3-0 b5 --- 2 1 0.09 1.00 .40 Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
9 1 1979-08-14 Joaquin Andujar HOU MON Bill Lee tied 0-0 b2 1-- 2 2 0.21 1.88 .85 Inside-the-park Home Run to LF; Howe Scores
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 2/16/2011.

Posted in Event Finders | 20 Comments »

How many Hall of Famers and All-Stars have a given birthday?

16th February 2011

A commenter recently pointed out that the team of best players with a Valentine's Day birthday isn't very good.

I guess when we look up any particular day, we hope to find a few Hall of Fame players and a whole bunch of All-Star caliber players.

Here's a bit of a reality check, though.

The Hall of Fame has 295 members. That total includes 60 people who made it as a manager, pioneer, execute, or umpire, meaning there are only 235 Hall of Fame players. That works out to an average of just about 0.65 Hall of Famers per day, and since a few probably have the same birthday I'm guessing as many as 40% of the days of the year have no Hall of Famers born that day.

I made a rough approximation of the total number of All-Star appearances and it looks to be about 4,000. That's the total number of times any player made the All-Star team. It looks like there have been something like 1,300 different players elected to at least one All-Star game, meaning that the average number of All-Star game appearances per All-Star player is about 3.

With about 1,300 All-Star players, that's an average of about 3.5 such players per day.

What does this mean? A typical average birth day would have 0 or 1 Hall of Famers and 3 or 4 players with a total of about 10 All-Star appearances.

So, yeah, a date with no Hall of Famers and just 1 player with 1 All-Star appearance is definitely well below average.

What dates can you find that are above or below average?

Posted in Hall of Fame | 106 Comments »

Teams With 15+ Zero Or Below WAR Position Players

15th February 2011

Since 1901, how many teams in baseball history had 15+ non-pitchers play for them in a season who had a WAR of zero or less, with minimum 25 PA per player?

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Posted in Season Finders | 19 Comments »

SABR : SABR Announces 2011 Chadwick Award Recipients

15th February 2011

SABR : SABR Announces 2011 Chadwick Award Recipients

I am deeply honored to be included in a group with such giants in baseball research and history as David Neft, Pete Palmer, Bill James, and J.G. Spink.  Their books line the walls of my office and without them none of what we've done would be possible. is now more than 11 years old, so there are many, many people who have had a hand in its success, but I'd especially like to thank Sean Lahman, Gary Gillette, the RetroSheet gang (Dave, David, Tom, Clem, and the remarkable volunteers), SABR (and my many partners, contributors, and friends there), my friends and early collaborators Don Malcolm, Jim Furtado and Greg Spira, Justin, Doug, Neil and Jay at S-R, and also Tim Berners-Lee, Michael Widenius, and Larry Wall (I'll let you look them up).  And of course, my wife Sylvia who I know spent many nights wondering, "What on earth is he doing staying up until 2am again?" and "Will he ever finish his dissertation?", but never stopped being supportive or encouraging of this unusual course we've charted together.

Posted in Announcements | 15 Comments »

Add Your Posts to Our Player Newsfeeds

15th February 2011

Automatic Player Linker / Add your site to our newsfeeds

Just a reminder that you can request for your site to be added to our player newsfeeds. To get started, all you have to do is write a post as you normally would and use our linker tool, causing baseball-reference player links to be automatically added. Then let us know you want to be included by sending us the following information:

  • The name of your site to appear in the feed (at most 25 characters)
  • The url for your rss feed (must be a full feed)
  • A contact e-mail address
  • The url of an example page with our links in place

We'll review your request, and try to get your content added as soon as we can. It's a great way to get your content out there, and it gives your readers quick access to player stats and information.

Posted in Administration, Announcements, Site Features | Comments Off on Add Your Posts to Our Player Newsfeeds

Happy Valentine’s Day

14th February 2011

There are a surprising number of major leaguers with the name Valentine.

Val Picinich 1916-1933minors
Valentine John Picinich
Val Robinson 1872minors
Alfred Valentine Robinson
Joe Stripp 1928-1938minors
Joseph Valentine Stripp  Jersey Joe
Bob Valentine 1876minors
Robert Valentine
Bobby Valentine 1969-1979minors Mgr
Robert John Valentine
Corky Valentine 1954-1955minors
Harold Lewis Valentine
Ellis Valentine 1975-1985minors
Ellis Clarence Valentine
Fred Valentine 1959-1968minors
Fred Lee Valentine  Squeaky
Joe Valentine 2003-2005minors
Joseph John Valentine
John Valentine 1883minors
John Gill Valentine
Vito Valentinetti 1954-1959minors
Vito John Valentinetti
Julie Wera 1927-1929minors
Julian Valentine Wera

And this doesn't even include players with the name Valentin, such as Javier, John, and Jose.

In looking at Jose Valentin's stats I was reminded of how overrated he was. He had some high HR totals but didn't drive in a lot of runs. In fact, he's among the all-time leaders in most seasons with 25 HR but an OPS+ below 120.

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments »

Opening Day complete games

14th February 2011

From my recent post on Opening Day starts, we saw that Ben Sheets has an Opening Day complete game. Indeed, here are the most recent complete games on Opening Day:

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Posted in Game Finders | 20 Comments »

Non-Pitcher 150+ Career Games With Zero PA

13th February 2011

How many non-pitchers have appeared in 150+ games since 1920 where they did not earn a Plate Appearance in the game?

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Posted in Game Finders | 32 Comments »

Most Seasons (Non-P) PA <= 25

12th February 2011

Which non-pitcher in baseball history, since 1901, has the most seasons (in a career) where they had 25 Plate Appearances or less?

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Posted in Season Finders | 20 Comments »