Saturday, January 30, 2010

More Quizzes For You

Remember my Sporcle quizzes on the All Star third basemen? Well, I've just made two more! This time the All Star position is shortstop. Try your hand at both the National and the American, and feel free to let me know how you did!

PTWSW #43: The 1946 St. Louis Cardinals

Manager: Eddie Dyer
Record: 98-58
Ballpark: Sportsman's Park
Owner: Sam Breadon
GM: William Walsingham, Jr.
Coaches: Mike Gonzalez, Buzzy Wares

Future Hall of Famers: Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter

All-Stars: Whitey Kurowski, Marty Marion, Stan Musial, Howie Pollet, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter

Team Leaders, Batting

Stan Musial, .365 (NL leader)
OBP: Stan Musial, .434
SLG: Stan Musial, .587 (NL leader)
OPS: Stan Musial, 1.021 (NL leader)
2B: Stan Musial, 50 (NL leader)
3B: Stan Musial, 20 (NL leader)
HR: Enos Slaughter, 18
RBI: Enos Slaughter, 130 (NL leader)
BB: Stan Musial, 73
SB: Red Schoendienst, Harry Walker, 12

Team Leaders, Pitching

Howie Pollet, 21 (NL leader)
SO: Harry Brecheen, 117
ERA: Howie Pollet, 2.10 (NL leader)
IP: Howie Pollet, 266 (NL leader)
CG: Howie Pollet, 22
SHO: Harry Brecheen, 5 (NL leader)
K/BB: Harry Brecheen, 1.75
SV: Howie Pollet, 5


Oldest Player:
Terry Moore (b. May 27, 1912)

Youngest Player: Joe Garagiola (b. February 12, 1926)

First to Leave Us: Al Brazle (d. October 24, 1973)

Last Survivor: Red Schoendienst (d. June 6, 2018)

First in Majors: Terry Moore (debut April 16, 1935)

Last in Majors: Stan Musial (final game September 29, 1963)

First to Play For the Franchise: Terry Moore (April 16, 1935)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Stan Musial (September 29, 1963)

Pre-union Team: The 1943 Phillies had Buster Adams and Danny Litwhiler, and the 1943-45 Braves had Red Barrett and Clyde Kluttz.

Reunion Team: The 1952 Pirates had six: Murry Dickson, Erv Dusak, Joe Garagiola, Red Munger, Howie Pollet and Ted Wilks. Branch Rickey was Pittsburgh GM by that time, and all six of those guys were signed by the Cards during his tenure in St. Louis. The 1947 Phillies are also notable with five (Buster Adams, Blix Donnelly, Freddy Schmidt, Emil Verban and Harry Walker).


Stan Musial, NL MVP

Season Summary

In 1945 Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter wore military uniforms while the Cardinals finished in second place; in 1946 both were back in Cardinal uniforms and providing the majority of St. Louis' offense. Indeed, Whitey Kurowski was the only other Cardinal to post an OPS+ above 100 that year (unless you count Nippy Jones, who only made 14 plate appearances). The lowest of the three was Slaughter at 133, and the production that went with Musial's 183 OPS+ earned him his second MVP award. Despite a lack of lineup depth, the Cards led the NL in runs scored, doubles and batting average, and they were second in OPS+ and homers. Their pitching staff allowed the fewest runs per game and led the league in ERA+ and strikeout-to-walk ratio. They had depth to go with strength, as most of their key pitchers had an ERA+ above 100.

Most of the season was a two-way race between the Cardinals and Dodgers. The top two spots were occupied by those two teams almost from Day One. So close were the squads that they finished their schedules in a first-place tie, necessitating a best-of-three series to determine the pennant winner. The Cards proved their superiority by sweeping it in two games to earn the flag.

The experts didn't give the Cardinals much chance to beat the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. The National League was seen as far inferior to the American at the time, and the Redbirds didn't have the look of an especially great club. As it turned out, the Series was a fairly even match. The Bosox and Cards alternated wins in the first six games, with only Game 4 being a blowout. Game 7 was a thriller that provided the Series' most memorable moment. With two out and the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, St. Louis had Enos Slaughter on first. When Harry Walker lined one into center, Slaughter shocked everyone in the ballpark by running non-stop all the way around the bases to score the winning run. The play became known as "Slaughter's Mad Dash," and Harry Brecheen set down Boston in the ninth to win the game.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

Thursday, January 28, 2010

PTWSW #42: The 1945 Detroit Tigers

Manager: Steve O'Neill
Record: 88-65
Ballpark: Briggs Stadium
Owner: Walter O. Briggs
GM: Jack Zeller
Coaches: Art Mills

Future Hall of Famers: Hank Greenberg, Hal Newhouser

All-Stars: Hank Greenberg, Eddie Mayo, Hal Newhouser

Team Leaders, Batting

Eddie Mayo, .285
OBP: Roy Cullenbine, .398
SLG: Roy Cullenbine, .451
OPS: Roy Cullenbine, .849
2B: Roy Cullenbine, 27
3B: Doc Cramer, 8
HR: Roy Cullenbine, Rudy York, 18
RBI: Roy Cullenbine, 93
BB: Roy Cullenbine, 102
SB: Skeeter Webb, 8

(Note: Hank Greenberg would've led in each of the slash stats had he had enough at-bats to qualify.)

Team Leaders, Pitching

Hal Newhouser, 25 (AL leader)
SO: Hal Newhouser, 212 (AL leader)
ERA: Hal Newhouser, 1.81 (AL leader)
IP: Hal Newhouser, 313.1 (AL leader)
CG: Hal Newhouser, 29 (AL leader)
SHO: Hal Newhouser, 8 (AL leader)
K/BB: Hal Newhouser, 1.93
SV: Stubby Overmire, 4


Oldest Player: Chuck Hostetler (b. September 22, 1903)

Youngest Player: Art Houtteman (b. August 7, 1927)

First to Leave Us: George Caster (d. December 18, 1955)

Last Survivor: Milt Welch (d. February 9, 2019)

First in Majors: Doc Cramer (debut September 18, 1929)

Last in Majors: Billy Pierce (final game October 3, 1964)

First to Play For the Franchise: Tommy Bridges (August 13, 1930)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Virgil Trucks (September 9, 1956)

Pre-union Team: The 1935 Athletics with four: Al Benton, George Caster, Doc Cramer and Paul Richards.

Reunion Team: The 1948 Athletics (Skeeter Webb and Rudy York), 1952 Red Sox (Al Benton and Dizzy Trout), 1953-55 White Sox (Billy Pierce and Virgil Trucks), 1954-55 Indians (Art Houtteman and Hal Newhouser) and 1957 Orioles (Art Houtteman and Dizzy Trout) each had two. Perhaps not coincidentally, the White Sox and Orioles were managed by Paul Richards, who served as both catcher and interim manager for the 1945 Tigers.


Hal Newhouser, AL MVP
Hal Newhouser, Pitching Triple Crown

Season Summary

By 1945 the war had depleted just about every roster in the Majors. Teams had to employ second-rate players and washed-up veterans just to get by. The Tigers were no exception: their middle infielders, Skeeter Webb and Eddie Mayo, were both 35 years old and center fielder Doc Cramer turned 40 during the season. Fortunately for Detroit, Mayo, known mainly as a glove man, put up a career-best 113 OPS+ and finished second in MVP voting. Hal Newhouser, the Bengals' ace of staff, finished first after an outstanding Triple Crown-winning performance.

The Tigers' only real team strength was pitching. Their 118 ERA+ and 588 strikeouts both led the league. They didn't have the best control, as their high wild pitch, walk and hit batsman totals can attest. Their offense scored the second-most runs per game, but their 94 OPS+ was only league-average thanks to the hitter's park they played in. Their DER was about average, though that may also have been attributable to the ballpark.

The pennant race was close all year long. The Tigers were never more than 2.5 games out of first, and once they finally got there themselves they never had a lead greater than five games. On July 1 the Tigers got a boost when Hank Greenberg returned from the war. He hit a home run in his first game back, and proved to be their best hitter in the half-season he played. After mid-August it was essentially a two-team race between Washington and Detroit. The Tigers held first place the entire time, but the Senators stayed hot on their trail. The Tigers went into the final game of the season (on the road in St. Louis) needing a win to clinch the pennant. A loss would force a playoff with the Senators. Like Greenberg before him, another star returned from the war to help out Detroit: Pitcher Virgil Trucks. Trucks started that final contest and allowed only one run in 5.1 innings before giving way to Newhouser. The Browns led 3-2 in the top of the ninth, but Greenberg, the veteran hero, came through with a grand slam which gave the Tigers a 6-3 lead and wrapped up the pennant.

The Tigers entered the World Series as underdogs (cats?) to the Chicago Cubs. Newhouser got shelled in Game 1, which the Cubs won 9-0 behind Hank Borowy. The Tigers won three of the next four to take a 3-2 Series lead, but they'd lose Game 6 in extras while Borowy held them scoreless the last four innings in relief. The Cubs started Borowy in Game 7 on only a day's rest, and the Tigers took advantage of his fatigue. Borowy lasted only three batters (who all singled) before being removed. Paul Derringer couldn't put out the fire, and the Tigers led 5-0 after the first half-inning. It was all they needed, as Detroit would win by a final score of 9-3.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

Monday, January 25, 2010

PTWSW #41: The 1944 St. Louis Cardinals

Manager: Billy Southworth
Record: 105-49
Ballpark: Sportsman's Park
Owner: Sam Breadon
GM: William Walsingham, Jr.
Coaches: Mike Gonzalez, Buzzy Wares

Future Hall of Famers: Stan Musial

All-Stars: Walker Cooper, Whitey Kurowski, Max Lanier, Marty Marion, Red Munger, Stan Musial

Team Leaders, Batting

Stan Musial, .347
OBP: Stan Musial, .440 (NL leader)
SLG: Stan Musial, .549 (NL leader)
OPS: Stan Musial, .990 (NL leader)
2B: Stan Musial, 51 (NL leader)
3B: Stan Musial, 14
HR: Whitey Kurowski, 20
RBI: Ray Sanders, 102
BB: Stan Musial, 90
SB: Johnny Hopp, 15

Team Leaders, Pitching

Mort Cooper, 22
SO: Max Lanier, 141
ERA: Mort Cooper, 2.46
IP: Mort Cooper, 252.1
CG: Mort Cooper, 22
SHO: Mort Cooper, 7 (NL leader)
K/BB: Max Lanier, 1.99
SV: Freddy Schmidt, 5


Oldest Player: Pepper Martin (b. February 29, 1904)

Youngest Player: Al Jurisich (b. August 25, 1921)

First to Leave Us: Mort Cooper (d. November 17, 1958)

Last Survivor: Stan Musial (d. January 19, 2013)

First in Majors: Pepper Martin (debut April 16, 1928)

Last in Majors: Stan Musial (final game September 29, 1963)

First to Play For the Franchise: Pepper Martin (April 16, 1928)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Stan Musial (September 29, 1963)

Pre-union Team: The 1939-41 Giants had Harry Gumbert and Ken O'Dea.

Reunion Team: The 1946 Braves, under Billy Southworth, had five: Mort Cooper, Johnny Hopp, Danny Litwhiler, Ken O'Dea and Ray Sanders. Also of note were the 1947 Phillies (Blix Donnelly, Al Jurisich, Freddy Schmidt and Emil Verban).


Marty Marion, NL MVP

Season Summary

Though World War II was going on, the Cardinals still had many of their stars on the roster in 1944. MVP Marty Marion, icon-in-the-making Stan Musial, the Cooper brothers, Max Lanier and Whitey Kurowski, all key players on the 1942 champs, remained with the club. Is it any wonder then, that the 1944 Cardinals were simply without peer? Their OPS+ of 108 was 10 better than the closest competitor and their 132 ERA+ was 14 better than the next-best team. They also led the league in homers, doubles, the three slash stats, pitchers' strikeout-to-walk ratio and DER. The pennant race wasn't close either. The Cards nearly led wire-to-wire, and their lead was already in double digits halfway through the season.

The 1944 World Series will always be remembered as the only instance of an all-St. Louis Fall Classic. The American League's Browns, with whom the Cardinals shared Sportsman's Park, won the only pennant in their history that year. The Browns were a comparatively weak team, with a sturdy pitching staff their only major strength. The Brownies led 2-1 after the first three games, their only loss being an extra-inning defeat in Game 2. The Cardinals used the next three games to prove that the Browns weren't as close in quality as they appeared, winning them all. The Series was dominated by pitching; the Cardinals outscored the Browns 16-12 in the six games, and both teams had cumulative ERA's below two.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

Friday, January 22, 2010

PTWSW #40: The 1943 New York Yankees

Manager: Joe McCarthy
Record: 98-56
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Jacob Ruppert Estate
GM: Ed Barrow
Coaches: Earle Combs, Art Fletcher, Johnny Schulte

Future Hall of Famers: Bill Dickey, Joe Gordon

All-Stars: Tiny Bonham, Spud Chandler, Bill Dickey, Joe Gordon, Charlie Keller, Johnny Lindell

Team Leaders, Batting

Billy Johnson, .280
OBP: Charlie Keller, .396
SLG: Charlie Keller, .525
OPS: Charlie Keller, .922 (AL leader)
2B: Nick Etten, 35
3B: Johnny Lindell, 12 (AL leader)
HR: Charlie Keller, 31
RBI: Nick Etten, 107
BB: Charlie Keller, 106 (AL leader)
SB: Snuffy Stirnweiss, 11

Team Leaders, Pitching

Spud Chandler, 20 (AL leader)
SO: Spud Chandler, 134
ERA: Spud Chandler, 1.64 (AL leader)
IP: Spud Chandler, 253
CG: Spud Chandler, 20 (AL leader)
SHO: Spud Chandler, 5 (AL leader)
K/BB: Spud Chandler, 2.48 (AL leader)
SV: Johnny Murphy, 8


Oldest Player: Jim Turner (b. August 6, 1903)

Youngest Player: Tommy Byrne (b. December 31, 1919)

First to Leave Us: Tiny Bonham (d. September 15, 1949)

Last Survivor: Tommy Byrne (d. December 20, 2007)

First in Majors: Rollie Hemsley (debut April 19, 1928)

Last in Majors: Tommy Byrne (final game September 21, 1957). Byrne actually played his last game in the World Series that year.

First to Play For the Franchise: Bill Dickey (August 15, 1928)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Tommy Byrne (September 21, 1957)

Pre-union Team: The 1938-40 Indians had four: Oscar Grimes, Rollie Hemsley, Roy Weatherly and Bill Zuber.

Reunion Team: The 1950-51 Tigers had three: Hank Borowy, Charlie Keller and Aaron Robinson. Tiger manager Red Rolfe, a former Yankee, evidently wanted to give guys from his old organization a chance.


Spud Chandler, AL MVP

Season Summary

America was at war, and many of baseball's biggest stars were serving in the U.S. Armed Forces rather than playing ball. The Yankees lost Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Red Ruffing and Tommy Henrich to Uncle Sam, but they carried on to win a third straight AL pennant. The race was tight between the Senators and Yankees through early July. The Yankees then went on a 15-2 run and it was never in doubt after that. They won the pennant by 13.5 games.

The Bombers' home run attack was the AL's most potent as usual, as was their 108 team OPS+. They were just barely outscored on a per-game basis by the speedy Senators though, who stole 142 bases to the Yankees' 46. Their pitching staff, led by MVP Spud Chandler, allowed the fewest runs per game and showed remarkable control: a league-leading 1.34 K/BB ratio, the fewest walks per game, the fewest hit batsmen and only 20 wild pitches, third-best in the AL. Their DER was also tops.

The World Series was a rematch of the previous year: Yankees vs. Cardinals. Last year St. Louis had handled the Yankees in just five games; this time New York would return the favor. The only win the Cardinals could get was in Game 2. Chandler continued his season-long mastery with complete game victories in both the opener and the clincher. He allowed only one earned run between the two starts.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Like the New Header?

So I spent a lot of time creating this new header, since I thought my blog needed some flair. I know photo collages aren't especially groundbreaking, but they're visually engaging, doggone it! It consists of 38 different images, and I found something to represent every single Major League franchise. Feel free to try to identify each image, and an extra special thanks if you're the one who uploaded the image to the internet.

Now that I'm done with that I guess I'd better get back to writing my profile of the 1943 Yankees. You know, the stuff all you readers love.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

PTWSW #39: The 1942 St. Louis Cardinals

Manager: Billy Southworth
Record: 106-48
Ballpark: Sportsman's Park
Owner: Sam Breadon
GM: Branch Rickey
Coaches: Mike Gonzalez, Buzzy Wares

Future Hall of Famers: Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter

All-Stars: Jimmy Brown, Mort Cooper, Walker Cooper, Terry Moore, Enos Slaughter

Team Leaders, Batting

Enos Slaughter, .318
OBP: Enos Slaughter, .412
SLG: Enos Slaughter, .494
OPS: Enos Slaughter, .906
2B: Marty Marion, 38 (NL leader)
3B: Enos Slaughter, 17 (NL leader)
HR: Enos Slaughter, 13
RBI: Enos Slaughter, 98
BB: Enos Slaughter, 88
SB: Johnny Hopp, 14

Team Leaders, Pitching

Mort Cooper, 22 (NL leader)
SO: Mort Cooper, 152
ERA: Mort Cooper, 1.78 (NL leader)
IP: Mort Cooper, 278.2
CG: Mort Cooper, 22
SHO: Mort Cooper, 10 (NL leader)
K/BB: Mort Cooper, 2.24 (NL leader)
SV: Harry Gumbert, 5


Oldest Player:
Estel Crabtree (b. August 19, 1903)

Youngest Player: Howie Pollet (b. June 26, 1921)

First to Leave Us: Mort Cooper (d. November 17, 1958)

Last Survivor: Stan Musial  (d. January 19, 2013)

First in Majors: Gus Mancuso (debut April 30, 1928)

Last in Majors: Stan Musial (final game September 29, 1963)

First to Play For the Franchise: Gus Mancuso (April 30, 1928)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Stan Musial (September 29, 1963)

Pre-union Team: The 1935-36 Cubs (Ken O'Dea, Clyde Shoun, Lon Warneke) and 1937-41 Giants (Harry Gumbert, Bill Lohrmann, Gus Mancuso (1937-38) and Ken O'Dea (1939-41)) had three each.

Reunion Team: The 1946-47 Braves had five each (Johnny Beazley (1947), Mort Cooper, Johnny Hopp, Ken O'Dea (1946), Ray Sanders (1946), Clyde Shoun (1947) and Ernie White). Billy Southworth brought so many former St. Louis players with him to Boston that the team was sometimes referred to as the "Cape Cod Cardinals."


Mort Cooper, NL MVP

Season Summary

After a second-place finish in 1941 the Cardinals traded their best hitter, Johnny Mize, to the New York Giants. With up-and-comers Stan Musial, Whitey Kurowski and Walker Cooper joining the starting lineup they were able to absorb the loss. Third baseman Kurowski didn't become a starter until the end of May, when his predecessor Jimmy Brown was shifted to second to replace the light-hitting Creepy Crespi. They didn't hit a lot of homers, but they led the league in doubles, triples and batting average, which helped them score the NL's most runs per game. Their pitching staff also stepped it up, with an MVP season from Mort Cooper and a sensational rookie campaign from Johnny Beazley. In addition to scoring the most runs per game, they allowed the fewest. Their ERA+ was an incredible 135 and their 1.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio was league tops. Their DER was a close second to the Dodgers'.

With a record like 106-48 you'd probably think the Cardinals dominated their way to a pennant. In fact, it was a come-from-behind battle. They spent most of the season trailing the first-place Dodgers. On August 4 the Cards were ten games back before beginning an incredible pennant-winning run. They went 44-9 the rest of the way, tying the Dodgers on September 12 after sweeping them in a two-game series. Brooklyn went 10-4 for the remainder of the season, but it was no match for the Cardinals' 12-2 during the same span. Despite winning 104 games, including their last eight, the Dodgers had to settle for second place. This year belonged to the Cardinals.

The World Series pitted St. Louis against the New York Yankees, who'd won in each of their last eight World Series appearances. The Yankees' Red Ruffing pitched 7.2 innings of no-hit ball in Game 1 before allowing Terry Moore's single, and the Yankees went on to win 7-4. It would be New York's last victory of the season. The Cardinals won the next four games, with two youngsters coming up big in the finale. Beazley pitched a complete game victory, allowing only two runs, while Kurowski's two-run homer in the top of the ninth broke a 2-2 tie and provided the Cards with the winning margin.

At the end of October longtime general manager Branch Rickey, whose innovations and business sense had made the Cardinals one of the strongest organizations in baseball, signed on to run the team his Redbirds had just beaten for the pennant: The Brooklyn Dodgers.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

Sunday, January 17, 2010

PTWSW #38: The 1941 New York Yankees

Manager: Joe McCarthy
Record: 101-53
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Jacob Ruppert Estate
GM: Ed Barrow
Coaches: Earle Combs, Art Fletcher, Johnny Schulte

Future Hall of Famers: Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Lefty Gomez, Joe Gordon, Phil Rizzuto, Red Ruffing

All-Stars: Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Charlie Keller, Red Ruffing, Marius Russo

Team Leaders, Batting

Joe DiMaggio, .357
OBP: Joe DiMaggio, .440
SLG: Joe DiMaggio, .643
OPS: Joe DiMaggio, 1.083
2B: Joe DiMaggio, 43
3B: Joe DiMaggio, 11
HR: Charlie Keller, 33
RBI: Joe DiMaggio, 125 (AL leader)
BB: Charlie Keller, 102
SB: Phil Rizzuto, 14

Team Leaders, Pitching

Lefty Gomez, Red Ruffing, 15
SO: Marius Russo, 105
ERA: Marius Russo, 3.09
IP: Marius Russo, 209.2
CG: Marius Russo, 17
SHO: Spud Chandler, 4
K/BB: Marius Russo, 1.21
SV: Johnny Murphy, 15 (AL leader)


Oldest Player:
Red Ruffing (b. May 3, 1905)

Youngest Player: Jerry Priddy (b. November 9, 1919)

First to Leave Us: Tiny Bonham (d. September 15, 1949). Less than a month after pitching in his last big league game, Bonham died of complications from appendicitis.

Last Survivor: Tommy Henrich (d. December 1, 2009)

First in Majors: Red Ruffing (debut May 31, 1924)

Last in Majors: Phil Rizzuto (final game August 16, 1956)

First to Play For the Franchise: Bill Dickey (August 15, 1928)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Phil Rizzuto (August 16, 1956)

Pre-union Team: Believe it or not, there was no pre-union team for the 1941 Yankees. No team ever previously had more than one of these players on its roster.

Reunion Team: Furthering the insularity of this group, the only reunion teams had two each: The 1943 Senators (Lefty Gomez and Jerry Priddy) and the 1950-51 Tigers (Charlie Keller and Jerry Priddy). Had it not been for Jerry Priddy this bunch might've had neither reunion nor pre-union team.


Joe DiMaggio, AL MVP
Joe DiMaggio, 56-game hitting streak

Season Summary

The talk of spring training was the sensational rookie double play combo of shortstop Phil Rizzuto and second baseman Jerry Priddy. The two had been teammates in the minors, and the organization was so high on both of them that Joe McCarthy shifted star second baseman Joe Gordon to first to accommodate Priddy. The realignment didn't work according to plan; both rookies struggled with the bat during their first month in the bigs, and on May 15 the Yanks were 14-15, 6.5 games out of first. McCarthy benched both youngsters, restoring Gordon to the keystone and veteran Frank Crosetti to his old shortstop position, while rookie Johnny Sturm took over first. The Yankees snapped a five-game losing streak with the new lineup in place and began their climb back to respectability. May 15 was also the day Joe DiMaggio's famous 56-game hitting streak began, and by the time it was snapped the Yankees had taken over first place. From June 7 to August 2 the Yankees went an unbelievable 44-8, and when it was all said and done they'd won the pennant by 17 games. Priddy never made it back into the regular starting lineup, but Rizzuto reclaimed shortstop when Crosetti was injured in June, and he made the most of his second chance by improving his batting average to .307.

The Yankees' offense wasn't the best in the game, but it came pretty close. Their 102 OPS+ and 5.32 runs per game were both second to the Red Sox, and their 151 homers led the league as usual. Their 112 ERA+ was top-notch, though it was only second-best to the White Sox. Their strikeout-to-walk ratio was third-best in the AL, but their league-leading DER helped them allow the fewest runs per game.

The World Series pitted the Yankees against the intracity rival Brooklyn Dodgers, the first of many times this matchup would occur in the Fall Classic. The Yankees had a 2-1 lead after the first three games, with each match decided by one run. Game 4 provided the defining moment of the Series. With two outs in the ninth inning Dodger relief ace Hugh Casey struck out Tommy Henrich for what should've been a 4-3 Brooklyn victory. Instead, catcher Mickey Owen dropped the third strike and Henrich reached first base, leading to a four-run Yankee rally that gave them a 3-1 Series lead. Tiny Bonham outdueled Whit Wyatt in Game 5 to give the pinstripers their ninth World Series title.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

Friday, January 15, 2010

PTWSW #37: The 1940 Cincinnati Reds

Manager: Bill McKechnie
Record: 100-53
Ballpark: Crosley Field
Owner: Powel Crosley Jr.
GM: Warren Giles
Coaches: Hank Gowdy, Jimmie Wilson

Future Hall of Famers: Ernie Lombardi

All-Stars: Paul Derringer, Ernie Lombardi, Frank McCormick, Bucky Walters

Team Leaders, Batting

Ernie Lombardi, .319
OBP: Ernie Lombardi, .382
SLG: Ernie Lombardi, .489
OPS: Ernie Lombardi, .871
2B: Frank McCormick, 44 (NL leader)
3B: Lonny Frey, Ival Goodman, 6
HR: Frank McCormick, 19
RBI: Frank McCormick, 127
BB: Lonny Frey, 80
SB: Lonny Frey, 22 (NL leader)

Team Leaders, Pitching

Bucky Walters, 22 (NL leader)
SO: Paul Derringer, Bucky Walters, 115
ERA: Bucky Walters, 2.48 (NL leader)
IP: Bucky Walters, 305 (NL leader)
CG: Bucky Walters, 29 (NL leader)
SHO: Paul Derringer, Junior Thompson, Bucky Walters, 3
K/BB: Paul Derringer, 2.40
SV: Joe Beggs, 7 (NL leader)


Oldest Player:
Jimmie Wilson (b. July 23, 1900)

Youngest Player: Junior Thompson (b. June 7, 1917)

First to Leave Us: Willard Hershberger (d. August 3, 1940). Hershberger's suicide made him the third member of a World Series champ to die before the season ended, following Ray Chapman and Urban Shocker.

Last Survivor: Eddie Joost (d. April 12, 2011). Billy Werber and Lonny Frey, two of his fellow infielders, were also still alive at the beginning of 2009.

First in Majors: Jimmie Wilson (debut April 17, 1923)

Last in Majors: Eddie Joost (final game September 25, 1955)

First to Play For the Franchise: Ernie Lombardi (April 12, 1932)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Johnny Vander Meer (September 22, 1949)

Pre-union Team: The 1937 Boston Bees had four: Wally Berger, Vince DiMaggio, Milt Shoffner and Jim Turner.

Reunion Team: The 1946 New York Giants had four too: Morrie Arnovich, Vince DiMaggio, Ernie Lombardi and Junior Thompson.


Frank McCormick, NL MVP
Harry Craft, cycle on June 8

Season Summary

The Reds were built on an outstanding defense that committed only 117 errors and led the NL in DER by a sturdy margin. These top-notch glovemen helped their pitching staff put up a 125 ERA+, by far the league's best, and allow the fewest runs per game. Their offense was just above average in each of the slash stats, but they managed to finish with the NL's third-most runs per game. They led the league in sacrifices and were second in stolen bases, though their 89 homers (about league average) proved they weren't a pure "smallball" team. The first half of the season was a back-and-forth battle between the Reds and Dodgers; the second half saw the Reds kick into second gear and speed away with the pennant. They cemented their league championship with a 23-8 record in September.

Though the Reds were known as a team that quietly went about its business, there were some situations that put them in the spotlight that year. Flood waters from the Ohio River reached Crosley Field in April, which led to the postponement of two games with the Cardinals. It was the first time in Major League history a game had been flooded out. On a more tragic note, backup catcher Willard Hershberger committed suicide in August, suffering from severe depression. The team was in a slump at the time, and Hershberger blamed himself for one of the losses, claiming he'd called the wrong pitches. The Reds wore black armbands the rest of the season in honor of their late teammate. After Hershberger's suicide the only backup catcher the Reds had was Bill Baker, who wasn't much of a hitter. The club decided to activate 40-year-old coach Jimmie Wilson, who'd been a fine catcher in his playing days.

By the time the World Series arrived the Reds were without two of their regulars: catcher Ernie Lombardi and second baseman Lonny Frey. Wilson was pressed into starting duty for the engagement with the Detroit Tigers, while Frey was replaced by Eddie Joost, primarily a shortstop. Both proved capable substitutes; Wilson batted .353 with the Series' only stolen base while nailing both runners who attempted to steal against him, and Joost played error-free ball at second. The first six World Series games went back and forth, with Detroit winning the odd-numbered matches and Cincinnati winning the evens. None of the games was closer than two runs, but the Series as a whole certainly provided more excitement than the Yankee dominance of recent years. Game 7 was the only edge-of-your-seat thriller. Paul Derringer and Bobo Newsom staged a classic pitcher's duel, with Derringer and the Reds walking away with a 2-1 victory. Billy Myers' sacrifice fly in the seventh gave the Reds the lead, and Derringer made it stand up by allowing only one hit the rest of the way.


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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

PTWSW #36: The 1939 New York Yankees

Manager: Joe McCarthy
Record: 106-45
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Jacob Ruppert Estate
GM: Ed Barrow
Coaches: Earle Combs, Art Fletcher, Johnny Schulte

Future Hall of Famers: Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Joe Gordon, Red Ruffing

All-Stars: Frankie Crosetti, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Joe Gordon, Johnny Murphy, Red Rolfe, Red Ruffing, George Selkirk

Team Leaders, Batting

Joe DiMaggio, .381 (AL leader)
OBP: George Selkirk, .452
SLG: Joe DiMaggio, .671
OPS: Joe DiMaggio, 1.119
2B: Red Rolfe, 46 (AL leader)
3B: Red Rolfe, 10
HR: Joe DiMaggio, 30
RBI: Joe DiMaggio, 126
BB: George Selkirk, 103
SB: George Selkirk, 12

Team Leaders, Pitching

Red Ruffing, 21
SO: Lefty Gomez, 102
ERA: Red Ruffing, 2.93
IP: Red Ruffing, 233.1
CG: Red Ruffing, 22
SHO: Red Ruffing, 5 (AL leader)
K/BB: Red Ruffing, 1.27
SV: Johnny Murphy, 19 (AL leader)


Oldest Player: Lou Gehrig (b. June 19, 1903) was the oldest to play for them that year, but the oldest among those who played all season was Bump Hadley (b. July 5, 1904).

Youngest Player: Charlie Keller (b. September 12, 1916)

First to Leave Us: Again it was Lou Gehrig (d. June 2, 1941), but if you count only those who played with some degree of regularity it was Jake Powell (d. November 4, 1948).

Last Survivor: Tommy Henrich (d. December 1, 2009)

First in Majors: Yet again, take Lou Gehrig (debut June 15, 1923) out of the picture and it's Red Ruffing (debut May 31, 1924).

Last in Majors: Charlie Keller (final game September 14, 1952)

First to Play For the Franchise: Yada yada...Lou Gehrig...yada yada...Bill Dickey on August 15, 1928.

Last to Play For the Franchise: Charlie Keller (September 14, 1952)

Pre-union Team: The 1933 Indians had four: Wes Ferrell, Oral Hildebrand, Bill Knickerbocker and Monte Pearson.

Reunion Team: The 1940 Dodgers, 1941 Braves, 1942 Browns, 1943 Senators and 1946 Browns each had two.

Other: Yankee Stadium hosted the All-Star Game that year. The host team was well-represented, with ten of its men named to the squad.


Joe DiMaggio, AL MVP

Season Summary

In a whirlwind year, the Yankee franchise fielded one of its greatest teams ever. It began on a sad note, when longtime owner Jacob Ruppert died in January. That left business manager Ed Barrow in full control of the team's operations. In spring training a few months later there was another unusual development: Lou Gehrig, the Yankees' iconic first baseman, looked noticeably different. He hadn't just lost a step, he barely resembled a professional ballplayer. Sure, he was getting old, but a dropoff this severe was unprecedented. Gehrig took himself out of the lineup after eight regular season games, ending his gameday participation streak at 2,130 matches. After seeing no improvement for a month he went to the Mayo Clinic, where it was revealed that he had ALS and would never play baseball again. On July 4 the Yankees held "Lou Gehrig Day" at the ballpark, where Gehrig gave his now-famous "luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech. He remained in the dugout the rest of the season as a non-playing team captain.

On the field, none of this fazed the Bronx Bombers. They romped to another pennant, getting off to a 45-11 start and never looking back. According to Pythagorean calculations, their final 106-45 record was actually worse than it should have been. They left the second-place Red Sox in their dust by 17 games. The Yanks' biggest strength was run prevention. Their team 131 ERA+ and .730 DER were both miles ahead of the competition. That defense was important, as their strikeout and walk rates were only slightly better than league average. Even with Babe Dahlgren and his 76 OPS+ replacing Gehrig, the Yankees had by far the AL's best mark in that statistic. They also scored the most runs per game and outslugged the competition by 42 homers. Their patience at the plate allowed them to post the league's best OBP despite their second-best batting average.

After such a dominant season, did the Cincinnati Reds stand much of a chance in the World Series? Well, the Yankees swept, but the Reds made it closer than you'd have expected. The Yankees needed extra innings to win Game 1. They won Games 2 and 3 with relative ease, though they only got five hits in the latter. It helped that four of the five knocks were homers. The Reds had a chance to avoid the sweep in Game 4, but the Yankees rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie it, then won with three runs in the tenth.

With the Yankees having won a record fourth straight World Series after a fourth straight uneventful pennant race, the American League adopted a new rule for 1940: Teams were forbidden from making trades with the reigning pennant winner until they were no longer the defending AL Champs. It worked, as the Tigers brought an end to the Yankees' streak next year. After realizing the unintended restriction it placed on the middle-class Tigers, the owners repealed the rule in 1941.


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Sunday, January 10, 2010

PTWSW #35: The 1938 New York Yankees

Manager: Joe McCarthy
Record: 99-53
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Col. Jacob Ruppert
GM: Ed Barrow
Coaches: Earle Combs, Art Fletcher, Johnny Schulte

Future Hall of Famers: Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Joe Gordon, Red Ruffing

All-Stars: Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Johnny Murphy, Red Rolfe, Red Ruffing

Team Leaders, Batting

Joe DiMaggio, .324
OBP: Bill Dickey, .412
SLG: Joe DiMaggio, .581
OPS: Bill Dickey, .981
2B: Red Rolfe, 36
3B: Joe DiMaggio, 13
HR: Joe DiMaggio, 32
RBI: Joe DiMaggio, 140
BB: Lou Gehrig, 107
SB: Frankie Crosetti, 27 (AL leader)

Team Leaders, Pitching

Red Ruffing, 21 (AL leader)
SO: Lefty Gomez, 129
ERA: Red Ruffing, 3.31
IP: Red Ruffing, 247.1
CG: Red Ruffing, 22
SHO: Lefty Gomez, 4 (AL leader)
K/BB: Red Ruffing, 1.55
SV: Johnny Murphy, 11 (AL leader)


Oldest Player:
Lou Gehrig (b. June 19, 1903). Youngest on the 1923 champs, Gehrig was now the team's eldest statesman.

Youngest Player: Joe Gordon (b. February 18, 1915)

First to Leave Us: Lou Gehrig (d. June 2, 1941)

Last Survivor: Tommy Henrich (d. December 1, 2009)

First in Majors: Lou Gehrig (debut June 15, 1923)

Last in Majors: Joe DiMaggio (final game September 30, 1951)

First to Play For the Franchise: Lou Gehrig (June 15, 1923)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Joe DiMaggio (September 30, 1951)

Pre-union Team: The 1933 Indians had three: Wes Ferrell, Bill Knickerbocker and Monte Pearson.

Reunion Team: None had more than two.


Monte Pearson, no-hitter on August 27

Season Summary

By now it was pretty clear that the Yankees were in a class by themselves. Their hitting? Best in the AL. As a team they led the league in homers, walks and OPS+. Their pitching? Best in the AL. They allowed the fewest runs per game and had the league's best ERA+. Defense? They were best in DER. In 1938 they added baserunning to the list. Their 91 stolen bases topped the AL, and their 28 times caught stealing bottomed it. When it comes to well-balanced ballclubs, you'd be hard-pressed to find one as good as the 1938 Yankees.

Despite all this talent, the Yankees were no sure bet going into the season. Joe DiMaggio held out in April and missed the first twelve games. Their starting lineup featured two newcomers: rookie second baseman Joe Gordon and sophomore right fielder Tommy Henrich. In DiMaggio's first game back he had a nasty collision with Gordon on a pop fly that sent both of them to the hospital. DiMaggio was able to return the next day, but Gordon took time to recover. Veteran Bill Knickerbocker was a capable replacement in his absence, and Gordon didn't see action again until June 8, well after he'd healed. The Yankees were battling the Indians, Red Sox and Senators for the pennant at the time. With Gordon back in the lineup they went on a six-game winning streak that put them only a half-game out of first. They finally overtook the Indians for the lead on July 13, but the Tribe stayed close behind until the Yankees swept them in an August 5-7 series. It was then that the Yankees began to pull away. They worked their way to a 16-game lead in mid-September and coasted to the finish line easily.

The Chicago Cubs won an exciting pennant race over in the National League, but their celebration was short-lived. The Yankees made quick work of them in the World Series, outscoring them 22-9 in a four-game sweep.


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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rookie of the Year Facts

One of my first posts on this blog was a repository of fun facts about the Rookie of the Year Award. Since that post was written as a standalone piece, I thought it was necessary to create a separate post to serve as home base for any future updates.

Here's the most up-to-date information as of November 15, 2019:

ROY Winners By Franchise

The Dodgers and their tradition of homegrown players have produced twice as many Rookies of the Year as any other team with 18, and the Yankees lead the American League with half that total. The Diamondbacks are the only current team without a ROY winner to call its own, and the Pirates, whose existence predates the award itself, never had a winner until 2004.

Dodgers (18)

Jackie Robinson (1947)
Don Newcombe (1949)
Joe Black (1952)
Jim Gilliam (1953)
Frank Howard (1960)
Jim Lefebvre (1965)
Ted Sizemore (1969)
Rick Sutcliffe (1979)
Steve Howe (1980)
Fernando Valenzuela (1981)
Steve Sax (1982)
Eric Karros (1992)
Mike Piazza (1993)
Raul Mondesi (1994)
Hideo Nomo (1995)
Todd Hollandsworth (1996)
Corey Seager (2016)
Cody Bellinger (2017)

Yankees (9)

Gil McDougald (1951)
Bob Grim (1954)
Tony Kubek (1957)
Tom Tresh (1962)
Stan Bahnsen (1968)
Thurman Munson (1970)
Dave Righetti (1981)
Derek Jeter (1996)
Aaron Judge (2017)

Athletics (8)

Harry Byrd (1952)
Jose Canseco (1986)
Mark McGwire (1987)
Walt Weiss (1988)
Ben Grieve (1998)
Bobby Crosby (2004)
Huston Street (2005)
Andrew Bailey (2009)

Braves (8)
Alvin Dark (1948)
Sam Jethroe (1950)
Earl Williams (1971)
Bob Horner (1978)
David Justice (1990)
Rafael Furcal (2000)
Craig Kimbrel (2011) 
Ronald Acuna Jr. (2018)

Browns/Orioles (7)

Roy Sievers (1949)
Ron Hansen (1960)
Curt Blefary (1965)
Al Bumbry (1973)
Eddie Murray (1977)
Cal Ripken (1982)
Gregg Olson (1989)

Reds (7)

Frank Robinson (1956)
Pete Rose (1963)
Tommy Helms (1966)
Johnny Bench (1968)
Pat Zachry (1976)
Chris Sabo (1988)
Scott Williamson (1999)

Senators/Twins (7)

Albie Pearson (1958)
Bob Allison (1959)
Tony Oliva (1964)
Rod Carew (1967)
John Castino (1979)
Chuck Knoblauch (1991)
Marty Cordova (1995)

Cardinals (6)

Wally Moon (1954)
Bill Virdon (1955)
Bake McBride (1974)
Vince Coleman (1985)
Todd Worrell (1986)
Albert Pujols (2001)

Cubs (6)

Billy Williams (1961)
Ken Hubbs (1962)
Jerome Walton (1989)
Kerry Wood (1998)
Geovany Soto (2008)
Kris Bryant (2015)

Giants (6)

Willie Mays (1951)
Orlando Cepeda (1958)
Willie McCovey (1959)
Gary Matthews (1973)
John Montefusco (1975)
Buster Posey (2010) 

Mets (6)

Tom Seaver (1967)
Jon Matlack (1972)
Darryl Strawberry (1983)
Dwight Gooden (1984)
Jacob deGrom (2014)
Pete Alonso (2019)

Red Sox (6)

Walt Dropo (1950)
Don Schwall (1961)
Carlton Fisk (1972)
Fred Lynn (1975)
Nomar Garciaparra (1997)
Dustin Pedroia (2007)

White Sox (6)

Luis Aparicio (1956)
Gary Peters (1963)
Tommie Agee (1966)
Ron Kittle (1983)
Ozzie Guillen (1985)
Jose Abreu (2014)

Tigers (5)
Harvey Kuenn (1953)
Mark Fidrych (1976)
Lou Whitaker (1978)
Justin Verlander (2006)
Michael Fulmer (2016)

Indians (4)

Herb Score (1955)
Chris Chambliss (1971)
Joe Charboneau (1980)
Sandy Alomar (1990)

Marlins (4)

Dontrelle Willis (2003)
Hanley Ramirez (2006)
Chris Coghlan (2009)
Jose Fernandez (2013)

Phillies (4)

Jack Sanford (1957)
Dick Allen (1964)
Scott Rolen (1997)
Ryan Howard (2005)

Royals (4)

Lou Piniella (1969)
Bob Hamelin (1994)
Carlos Beltran (1999)
Angel Berroa (2003)

Angels (3)

Tim Salmon (1993)
Mike Trout (2012)
Shohei Ohtani (2018)

Astros (3)

Jeff Bagwell (1991)
Carlos Correa (2015)
Yordan Alvarez (2019)

Expos/Nationals (3)

Carl Morton (1970)
Andre Dawson (1977)
Bryce Harper (2012)

Mariners (3)

Alvin Davis (1984)
Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000)
Ichiro Suzuki (2001)

Rays (3)

Evan Longoria (2008)
Jeremy Hellickson (2011)
Wil Myers (2013)

Blue Jays (2)
Alfredo Griffin (1979)
Eric Hinske (2002)

Brewers (2)

Pat Listach (1992)
Ryan Braun (2007)

Padres (2)

Butch Metzger (1976)
Benito Santiago (1987)

Rangers (2)

Mike Hargrove (1974)
Neftali Feliz (2010)

Pirates (1)

Jason Bay (2004)

Rockies (1)

Jason Jennings (2002)

Diamondbacks (0)

Interestingly enough, the White Sox and Reds had their first three winners in the same three years: 1956, 1963 and 1966.

The Dodgers hold the two longest streaks of winning the award, five from 1992 to 1996 and four from 1979 to 1982. Besides them, only the Athletics from 1986 to 1988 have won as many as three in a row.

Pat Listach was the first Brewer to win the ROY. Before him, no former or future winner had ever even played for the Brewers.

ROY Winners By Geography

Which non-U.S. country has had the most native sons receive the trophy? That would be the Dominican Republic, whose seven winners currently beat out Puerto Rico's six. As you can see, the recent influx of Dominican and Japanese players has produced many a rookie sensation.

Dominican Republic (7)

Alfredo Griffin (1979)
Raul Mondesi (1994)
Rafael Furcal (2000)
Albert Pujols (2001)
Angel Berroa (2003)
Hanley Ramirez (2006)
Neftali Feliz (2010)

Puerto Rico (6)

Orlando Cepeda (1958)
Benito Santiago (1987)
Sandy Alomar (1990)
Carlos Beltran (1999)
Geovany Soto (2008)
Carlos Correa (2015)

Cuba (5)

Tony Oliva (1964)
Jose Canseco (1986)
Jose Fernandez (2013)
Jose Abreu (2014)
Yordan Alvarez (2019)

Japan (4)

Hideo Nomo (1995)
Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000)
Ichiro Suzuki (2001)
Shohei Ohtani (2018)

Venezuela (3)

Luis Aparicio (1956)
Ozzie Guillen (1985)
Ronald Acuna Jr. (2018)

Canada (1)

Jason Bay (2004)

Mexico (1)

Fernando Valenzuela (1981)

2000 and 2001 saw repeats in both leagues for the country the ROY came from: Japan for the AL and the Dominican Republic for the NL.

Interestingly, the only Venezuelan ROYs had been White Sox shortstops until Ronald Acuna won the award in 2018.

What about the American-born players? Among U.S. States, California leads the way with 21 ROYs born there.

Twenty-one winners


Nine winners

New Jersey

Eight winners


Seven winners


Six winners


Five winners

New York

Four winners


Three winners

North Carolina

Two winners


One winner

South Carolina
Canal Zone

Since the Canal Zone was officially U.S. territory until 1979, Rod Carew qualifies as an American-born ROY.

ROY Winners and the Hall of Fame

16 winners are currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame: Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Luis Aparicio, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams, Tom Seaver, Rod Carew, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Andre Dawson, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr., Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell.

Both winners from 1956 (Frank Robinson and Aparicio), 1967 (Seaver and Carew) and 1977 (Dawson and Murray) have been enshrined. 2001 (Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki) has a good chance of joining this list someday.

ROY Winners and the World Series

25 players have played in the World Series the same year they won the ROY: Jackie Robinson, Alvin Dark, Don Newcombe, Willie Mays, Gil McDougald, Joe Black, Jim Gilliam, Tony Kubek, Tom Tresh, Jim Lefebvre, Fred Lynn, Pat Zachry, Fernando Valenzuela, Dave Righetti, Walt Weiss, Chuck Knoblauch, Derek Jeter, Dontrelle Willis, Justin Verlander, Dustin Pedroia, Evan Longoria, Buster Posey, Neftali Feliz, Cody Bellinger, and Yordan Alvarez.

Vince Coleman's 1985 Cardinals won the pennant, but he didn't participate in the World Series due to injury.

Only three World Series since 1946 have not featured a ROY winner: 1950, 1974 and 1982.

Three World Series (1951, 1981 and 2010) have pitted the teams of both leagues' winners against each other.

Managerial ROY Winners

Thirteen ROY winners have gone on to be Major League managers: Alvin Dark, Harvey Kuenn, Bill Virdon, Frank Robinson, Frank Howard, Pete Rose, Jim Lefebvre, Tommy Helms, Lou Piniella, Mike Hargrove, Ozzie Guillen, Walt Weiss, and Sandy Alomar.

Five of those thirteen led teams to a pennant, and three (Dark, Piniella, Guillen) captured a World Series title.

Seven players have won the ROY in a season where they were managed by a former ROY winner: Chris Chambliss, Darryl Strawberry, Chris Sabo, Gregg Olson, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Ichiro Suzuki and Geovany Soto.

Chris Sabo was actually managed by two former winners during the season he won: Pete Rose and Tommy Helms. If you think two in one year is something, Helms was succeeded by Lou Piniella, meaning three straight Cincinnati managers were former ROY winners.

ROY Teammates

Which teams have had the most ROY winners suit up for them? The record by a single team is the 1997 Los Angeles Dodgers with seven. Several others have had enough to form a ROY clique.

Seven winners:

1997 Dodgers (Murray, Worrell, Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, Hollandsworth)

Six winners:

1995-96 Dodgers (Worrell, Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, Hollandsworth)
2005 Cubs (Hollandsworth, Garciaparra, Wood, Grieve, Williamson, Soto)

Five winners:

1961-65 Giants (Mays, Kuenn, Sanford, Cepeda, McCovey)
1993 Dodgers (Strawberry, Worrell, Karros, Piazza, Mondesi)
1998 Dodgers (Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, Hollandsworth)
2000 Yankees (Gooden, Canseco, Justice, Knoblauch, Jeter)
2016 Angels (Pujols, Street, Soto, Bailey, Trout)

Four winners:

1954-55 Dodgers (J. Robinson, Newcombe, Black, Gilliam)
1959-60 Giants (Mays, Sanford, Cepeda, McCovey)
1960-61 White Sox (Sievers, Score, Aparicio, Peters)
1970-71 Yankees (Hansen, Blefary, Bahnsen, Munson)
1972 Mets (Mays, Agee, Seaver, Matlack)
1977 Reds (Rose, Seaver, Bench, Zachry)
1979 Yankees (Piniella, Munson, Chambliss, Righetti)
1981 Dodgers (Sutcliffe, Howe, Valenzuela, Sax)
1982 Indians (McBride, Hargrove, Sutcliffe, Charboneau)
1983 Dodgers (Zachry, Howe, Valenzuela, Sax)
1985-86 White Sox (Seaver, Fisk, Kittle, Guillen)
1987 Athletics (Griffin, Canseco, McGwire, Weiss)
1988 Orioles (Lynn, Murray, Ripken, Olson)
1991 Dodgers (Murray, Griffin, Strawberry, Karros)
1993 Orioles (Sutcliffe, Valenzuela, Ripken, Olson)
1994 Dodgers (Worrell, Karros, Piazza, Mondesi)
1996 Yankees (Howe, Strawberry, Gooden, Jeter)
2004 Cubs (Hollandsworth, Garciaparra, Wood, Grieve)
2017 Angels (Pujols, Street, Bailey, Trout)

ROYS by Position

In compiling this list, it had to be clear to me that the player was truly identified with one specific position. If he was moved all over the field or spent more than roughly a third of his time at a position other than his primary one, I didn't include him. Nine players (Sievers, McDougald, Kubek, Blefary, E. Williams, Charboneau, Ripken, Justice and Pujols) fall into that category.

Not surprisingly, the most common position among winners is pitcher. No fewer than 38 hurlers have won the award, better than a quarter of all winners. After that, shortstops lead the way with 17 winners.

Pitcher (38)
Shortstop (17)
Center Field (14)
First Base (14)
Left Field (13)
Second Base (10)
Third Base (10)
Right Field (9)
Catcher (8)
Designated Hitter (4)

The four DH's were Eddie Murray, Bob Hamelin, Shohei Ohtani, and Yordan Alvarez, in case you were wondering.

The last position to get off the board was catcher (the DH doesn't really count, and it didn't exist yet when the award began). In 1968, the ROY's 22nd year of existence, Johnny Bench finally brought home the hardware for his fellow backstops.

Six center fielders won the award in the 1950's, one won it in the 1960's, and three won it in the 1970's. Since then, only four have won it.

ROY Uniform Numbers

Every number from 1 to 46 has been worn by a player the year he won the ROY. 48, 49, 51, 55, 57, 58, 79, and 99 have all made appearances too. The most commonly worn number for a ROY is 5, with eight.

Eight wearers

5: Jethroe, Lefebvre, Bench, Horner, Bagwell, Garciaparra, Pujols, Seager

Seven wearers

15: Sievers, Tresh, Allen, Munson, Alomar, Salmon, Pedroia

Six wearers

3: Dropo, Hansen, Blefary, Sax, Hamelin, Longoria
20: Moon, F. Robinson, Fidrych, Walton, Street, Alonso

Five wearers

1: Agee, Bumbry, Whitaker, Furcal, Correa
16: Hubbs, Gooden, Listach, Nomo, Fernandez
34: Kubek, Charboneau, Valenzuela, Wood, Harper

Four wearers

2: Dark, Castino, Jeter, Ramirez
9: Virdon, Piniella, Samtiago, Myers
17: Sabo, Rolen, Bryant, Ohtani
19: Gilliam, Helms, Lynn, Righetti
26: Kuenn, Allison, B. Williams, Montefusco
32: E. Williams, Matlack, Jennings, Fulmer
36: Newcombe, Matthews, Metzger, Beltran

The only two ROYs to wear number 7 have been Walt Weiss and Bobby Crosby, both shortstops for the Athletics.

21 ROYS have had their numbers retired, including Frank Robinson with three different teams and Rod Carew and Carlton Fisk by two different teams. Jackie Robinson's #42, of course, is retired by all of Major League Baseball.

Anything else you want to know?

PTWSW #34: The 1937 New York Yankees

Manager: Joe McCarthy
Record: 102-52
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Col. Jacob Ruppert
GM: Ed Barrow
Coaches: Earle Combs, Art Fletcher, Johnny Schulte

Future Hall of Famers: Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Red Ruffing

All-Stars: Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Johnny Murphy, Red Rolfe

Team Leaders, Batting

Lou Gehrig, .351
OBP: Lou Gehrig, .473 (AL leader)
SLG: Joe DiMaggio, .673 (AL leader)
OPS: Lou Gehrig, 1.116 (AL leader)
2B: Lou Gehrig, 37
3B: Joe DiMaggio, 15
HR: Joe DiMaggio, 46 (AL leader)
RBI: Joe DiMaggio, 167
BB: Lou Gehrig, 127 (AL leader)
SB: Frankie Crosetti, 13

Team Leaders, Pitching

Lefty Gomez, 21 (AL leader)
SO: Lefty Gomez, 194 (AL leader)
ERA: Lefty Gomez, 2.33 (AL leader)
IP: Lefty Gomez, 278.1
CG: Lefty Gomez, 25
SHO: Lefty Gomez, 6 (AL leader)
K/BB: Lefty Gomez, 2.09 (AL leader)
SV: Johnny Murphy, 10


Oldest Player: Pat Malone (b. September 25, 1902). This makes the 1937 Yankees the first World Series champion with all its members born in the 20th Century.

Youngest Player: Joe DiMaggio (b. November 25, 1914)

First to Leave Us: Lou Gehrig (d. June 2, 1941)

Last Survivor: Tommy Henrich (d. December 1, 2009)

First in Majors: Lou Gehrig (debut June 15, 1923)

Last in Majors: Joe DiMaggio (final game September 30, 1951)

First to Play For the Franchise: Lou Gehrig (June 15, 1923)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Joe DiMaggio (September 30, 1951)

Pre-union Team: None had more than two.

Reunion Team: The 1939 Browns had Joe Glenn, Don Heffner and Myril Hoag.


Lefty Gomez, Pitching Triple Crown
Joe DiMaggio, cycle on July 9
Lou Gehrig, cycle on August 1

Season Summary

The Yankees were again the best offensive team in the AL, but the Tigers narrowed the previous year's gap a bit. The Yankees only averaged .21 runs per game more than Detroit, and their 106 team OPS+ was only slightly better than the Tigers' 104. The Yankees topped the AL in home runs, with Detroit only 24 behind them. It may have been an imbalance issue. Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich and George Selkirk all posted an OPS+ of 140 or more, while no one else was above 100. The Yankee pitching staff was even better than in 1936. Despite a remodeled, more hitter-friendly ballpark, the pinstriped twirlers allowed fewer runs per game than before, improved their team ERA+ to 122, and led the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio. One weakness of the 1936 staff was a tendency to allow free passes; the 1937 staff allowed the fewest walks per nine innings and actually improved their strikeout rate.

The pennant race was similar to 1936 too, albeit slightly closer. There was the same early-season sorting-out that took place before the Yanks found their way to first and stayed there the remainder of the course. They took longer than their 1936 counterpart to begin running away with it, as their lead was only five games on August 1. That was also the first day of a nine-game winning streak which brought their lead into double digits and effectively put away the competition. Their final lead was 13 games.

Continuing the similarities to 1936, the World Series was a rematch with the Giants with the same end result. The Yankees won the first two games by 8-1 scores and then got a 5-1 victory in Game 3. Only a six-run inning in Game 4 prevented the Giants from being swept; Lefty Gomez picked up his second victory in Game 5 to clinch the Series. With this, their sixth World Series title, the Yankees now stood atop the Major League leaderboard in championships, where they've remained ever since.


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Friday, January 8, 2010

PTWSW #33: The 1936 New York Yankees

Manager: Joe McCarthy
Record: 102-51
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Col. Jacob Ruppert
GM: Ed Barrow
Coaches: Earle Combs, Art Fletcher, Johnny Schulte

Future Hall of Famers: Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Red Ruffing

All-Stars: Frankie Crosetti, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Monte Pearson, George Selkirk

Team Leaders, Batting

Bill Dickey, .362
OBP: Lou Gehrig, .478 (AL leader)
SLG: Lou Gehrig, .696 (AL leader)
OPS: Lou Gehrig, 1.174 (AL leader)
2B: Joe DiMaggio, 44
3B: Joe DiMaggio, Red Rolfe, 15 (AL leaders)
HR: Lou Gehrig, 49 (AL leader)
RBI: Lou Gehrig, 152
BB: Lou Gehrig, 130 (AL leader)
SB: Frankie Crosetti, 18

Team Leaders, Pitching

Red Ruffing, 20
SO: Monte Pearson, 118
ERA: Monte Pearson, 3.71
IP: Red Ruffing, 271
CG: Red Ruffing, 25
SHO: Red Ruffing, 3
K/BB: Johnny Broaca, 1.27
SV: Pat Malone, 9 (AL leader)


Oldest Player:
Ted Kleinhans (b. April 8, 1899)

Youngest Player: Joe DiMaggio (b. November 25, 1914)

First to Leave Us: Lou Gehrig (d. June 2, 1941)

Last Survivor: Frankie Crosetti (d. February 11, 2002)

First in Majors: Lou Gehrig (debut June 15, 1923)

Last in Majors: Joe DiMaggio (final game September 30, 1951). DiMaggio actually bowed out after playing in that year's World Series.

First to Play For the Franchise: Lou Gehrig (June 15, 1923)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Joe DiMaggio (September 30, 1951)

Pre-union Team: None had more than two. Most of these guys were originally brought up by the Yankees.

Reunion Team: Two teams from 1939 had three. The Browns had Joe Glenn, Don Heffner and Myril Hoag. The Giants had Jumbo Brown, Tony Lazzeri and Bob Seeds.


Lou Gehrig, AL MVP
Lou Gehrig, 400 career home runs
Tony Lazzeri, two grand slams in one game, May 24
182 home runs, new Major League record

Season Summary

Everything clicked for the Yankees in 1936. They allowed the AL's fewest runs per game and had its best DER. They were partially aided by their pitcher-friendly ballpark, which meant their 112 ERA+ was only second in the league. On offense no one was close. Their 115 OPS+ and 6.87 runs per game were both easily atop the pack. Their main weapons were the good old-fashioned Sabermetric principles of on-base percentage and slugging. They led the league in both categories, and outhomered the second-best Indians by 59 (thanks to a new Major League record 182 round-trippers).

With rookie Joe DiMaggio roaming the outfield and just about every other regular improving on his 1935 performance, the Yankees took less than a month to make their way into first place, where they'd remain the rest of the year. In late June they began to run away with the lead, never letting it get below seven games in the last three months. When it was all said and done they had 19.5 games on their closest competitor.

The Yankees faced their rivals across the river, the Giants, in the World Series. The Giants won Game 1 behind their ace, Carl Hubbell, but the Yankees answered with an 18-4 blowout in Game 2, a Fall Classic record for run-scoring prolificacy that still stands. The only other victory the Giants managed was an extra-inning win in Game 5. The Yankees finished them off with another blowout in Game 6. Overall, the Yanks outscored the Giants 43-23 for the Series.


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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Quiz For You

Do you like to test your knowledge? Do you feel especially proud when you can name every item on a list? If so, the website Sporcle may be just the thing for you, if it isn't already one of your favorites.

They have a wide selection of topics to quiz yourself on, and there's no shortage of baseball-related mini-exams. You think you can name every pitcher to throw a no-hitter? There's a quiz for that. What about each team's home run leader? There's a quiz for that. The top RBI seasons in MLB history? Quiz for that.

After using the site for so long, I finally decided to create a few quizzes of my own. Have you ever looked at past All Star Game starters? You'll be surprised at some of the obscure names you find. My quizzes challenge you to name the ASG's starting third basemen. There's one for the National League and one for the American. Sound easy? Give it a try and see!

A Birthday Oddity

You'll never believe what I just found! Get this...this is really cool. I was on Baseball Reference, right? I was on Baseball Reference and I was looking at the 1908 births page. I sort them by birth date and at the bottom of the list I find that there were three of them born on December 25. Yeah, that's right. Christmas 1908. Who are they? Alphabetically, Ben Chapman, Alta Cohen and Jo-Jo Moore. Well, all right. Three men with the same birthdate. Not especially unusual is it? Yes, yes, well let me explain...

Since I did this post recently I'd achieved some degree of familiarity with New York's three-team arrangement from the old days, right? I look at these three Christmas babies and suddenly it hits me...they've each played for one of the three New York teams! And on further inspection, they all played in town at the same time! Do you believe this?

And to top it all off (oh, this is great) they were all outfielders! In fact, in 1932 each New York team had one of those men play left field at some point! Chapman did it for the Yankees, Cohen did it for the Dodgers and Moore did it for the Giants! Three teams in one city and they each find a way to put one of these Yuletide bundles of joy from crazy '08 in the left garden. How do you like that? What are the odds, right?

Soooooooooo...yeah. That's incredible. I believe I'm the first one to make this discovery, so...excuse me while I take some credit. Anyway...uh...that's it. Hope you enjoyed that fun little tidbit. Did I relay it well, or did I come across something like this guy?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

PTWSW #32: The 1935 Detroit Tigers

Manager: Mickey Cochrane
Record: 93-58
Ballpark: Navin Field
Owner: Walter O. Briggs and Frank Navin
Coaches: Del Baker, Cy Perkins

Future Hall of Famers: Mickey Cochrane, Charlie Gehringer, Goose Goslin, Hank Greenberg

All-Stars: Tommy Bridges, Mickey Cochrane, Charlie Gehringer, Schoolboy Rowe

Team Leaders, Batting

Charlie Gehringer, .330
OBP: Mickey Cochrane, .452
SLG: Hank Greenberg, .628
OPS: Hank Greenberg, 1.039
2B: Hank Greenberg, 46
3B: Hank Greenberg, 16
HR: Hank Greenberg, 36 (AL leader)
RBI: Hank Greenberg, 170 (AL leader)
BB: Mickey Cochrane, 96
SB: Jo-Jo White, 19

Team Leaders, Pitching

Tommy Bridges, 21
SO: Tommy Bridges, 163 (AL leader)
ERA: Tommy Bridges, 3.51
IP: Schoolboy Rowe, 275.2
CG: Tommy Bridges, 23
SHO: Schoolboy Rowe, 6 (AL leader)
K/BB: Schoolboy Rowe, 2.06 (AL leader)
SV: Chief Hogsett, 5


Oldest Player:
Firpo Marberry (b. November 30, 1898)

Youngest Player: Hank Greenberg (b. January 1, 1911)

First to Leave Us: Clyde Hatter (d. October 16, 1937). Hatter's demise at the age of 29 was reported as a heart attack, but teammate Marv Owen claimed he actually drank himself to death.

Last Survivor: Elden Auker (d. August 4, 2006). The 27 men who played for Detroit in 1935 were a surprisingly long-lived bunch. After Hatter, none died for another 23 years (Schoolboy Rowe on January 8, 1961). Five of them made it to the 21st Century: Chief Hogsett, Ray Hayworth, Frank Reiber, Billy Rogell and Auker.

First in Majors: Goose Goslin (debut September 16, 1921)

Last in Majors: Schoolboy Rowe (final game September 13, 1949)

First to Play For the Franchise: Charlie Gehringer (September 22, 1924)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Hank Greenberg (September 29, 1946)

Pre-union Team: The 1930 Washington Senators had four: Alvin Crowder, Carl Fischer, Goose Goslin and Firpo Marberry.

Reunion Team: No team had more than two. If you're curious, they were the 1938 Senators, 1938-39 White Sox, 1940 Browns, 1942 Browns and 1944 Reds.


Hank Greenberg, AL MVP

Season Summary

The Tigers won primarily with offense. Their 6.05 runs per game average was over half a run better than the second-best Yankees. Their 109 OPS+ led the league, as did each of their team slash stats. Their run prevention wasn't the league's best, but it was pretty darn good. Their 110 ERA+ was good for third in the AL, their strikeout-to-walk ratio and runs allowed per game were second-best and their DER was also a third-bester.

The Bengals got off to a slow 2-9 start, and by June 25 they'd only climbed their way into the middle of the standings: fourth place with a 33-28 record. They caught fire after that, going 52-16 over their next 68 games. By the end of that stretch it was September 7 and the Tigers had a ten-game lead. From there on they coasted, finishing the season on an 8-14 run. Only a three-game lead remained when it was all over.

Their World Series opponent was the Cubs. Chicago won Game 1, but the Tigers stormed right back to win the next three. They did it despite losing Hank Greenberg, their best hitter, to a fractured wrist after Game 2. Following another Cub victory in Game 5, Detroit won Game 6 in dramatic fashion. The game was tied going into the bottom of the ninth. With two out and Mickey Cochrane on second, Goose Goslin singled off Larry French to drive in the winning run.

The franchise would be dealt a sad misfortune before the year was over. Barely a month after his Tigers finally brought a World Series title to Detroit, longtime owner Frank Navin died of a heart attack.


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