BaseballReference.com oddities

10,879 Views | 109 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by Fat Bib Fortuna
agsalaska
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AG
Not sure if this thread will have any legs or not. Maybe I am the only person that can spend hours on baseballreference.com combing thru baseball statistics that will have zero positive influence on my life. But I do it all of the time.

Il give you an example of an oddball I discovered recently(I feel like I have typed this already once somewhere)

Babe Ruth made 147 starts as a pitcher, but only 4 of those were with the Yankees and there is a 9 year gap between starts 2 and 3 and a 3 year gap between 3 and 4. His last two starts were both against the Red Sox and both on the last day of the season.

1930 he thru a complete game for the 3rd place Yankees on the last day against a 100 loss Red Sox team
1933 he thru a complete game for the 2nd place Yankees against an 86 loss Red Sox team.

Won both games.

Both games were one game makeups for I am assuming rainouts and were split between Fenway in 30 and Yankee Stadium in 33.

I assume the start in 33 was to sell tickets. He was 38 years old and in his second to last season with NYY.

Odd.

TXAggie2011
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AG
Right there with you on Baseball-Reference.

That's an odd profile looking back.

I pulled up his postseason pitching gamelog. Game 1 of the 1918 World Series.

Yankees won 1-0. Complete game shutout, with just 6 hits and 1 walk. Babe hit 9th, and went 0-3 with 1K. I think I might have remebered he'd pitched a World Series shutout, but that's such an opposite profile than what we think about Babe Ruth.

My favorite odd thing about it is looking at the old school nicknames---"Stuffy" McInnis had the lone RBI and the losing pitcher was"Hippo" Vaughn.
TXAggie2011
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AG

Quote:

I assume the start in 33 was to sell tickets. He was 38 years old and in his second to last season with NYY.
Yeah. Looks like it was the last game of the year, and the AL pennant already long decided.

Tickets, and maybe a little "**** you Boston, we'll beat you with old man Babe Ruth."

Bobby Petrino`s Neckbrace
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Love that website.

Ted Radcliffe. In 1932 he caught the first game of a double header, then pitched a shutout in the second game. Damon Runyon wrote that Radcliffe was worth the price of two admissions, and the nickname Double Duty Radcliffe was born.
07ag
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https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Jot_Goar

In 1912, a sportswriter in The Toronto Globe claimed that a similar inning had actually occurred in a minor league game in 1890.
The Pittsburgh Gazette-Times called it a "Remarkable baseball stunt."
While there's no proof the story isn't apocryphal, both papers said it took place on May 30, 1890, in an Indiana League game and the members of the Anderson, Indiana team mentioned in the articles all did play for Anderson in 1890. (Although Baseball Reference doesn't list statistics or rosters for the 1890 Indiana League, all the named players are confirmed as having played for that team in a variety of contemporaneous sources.)
According to the story Benjamin Ireland led off the inning with a triple. With Ed Wiswell at the plate, the ball got away from the catcher, Ireland was out trying to score. Wiswell tripled, but was tagged out trying to stretch the triple. Rush Shumway followed with the third triple of the inning.
With Shumway on third Gene Derby bunted down the third base line that the third baseman waited to roll foul, "It stayed (fair) and (Derby) pulled up at second. (Shumway) did not try to score."
The fifth batter, Charles Faatz, also bunted. The runners held as Faatz beat out the bunt. Frank Fear was the next batter and "hit a vicious liner to right, but the ball struck Faatz on the arm."
Three triples, two singles, no runs.
A remarkable inning.
agsalaska
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AG
How about the recently deceased Tom Seaver

Started 553 games in the NL with 213 complete games and over 4100 innings. Amazing.


He hit 12 HRs and drew 108 walks in 1552 plate appearances. Career OPB of .219.

Not great, but he could hit. Anyone who makes 500 NL starts back then could at least somewhat hit I think.

agsalaska
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AG
Il stop after this.


A Gaylord Perry commercial in the Rangers game made me look him up.

He had 1220 PAs and only a .153 OBP.


314 wins and only two post season starts. Thats also amazing.
AggieEP
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Sometimes I stare at Barry Bonds's page and wonder if it's real or not. In 2004 he walked 232 times and had an OBP of over 600. And perhaps more amazing than that, he still managed to drive in 100 runs even while being walked that often.

And, 122 of the walks were IBB... What the actual hell
Mathguy64
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AggieEP said:

Sometimes I stare at Barry Bonds's page and wonder if it's real or not. In 2004 he walked 232 times and had an OBP of over 600. And perhaps more amazing than that, he still managed to drive in 100 runs even while being walked that often.

And, 122 of the walks were IBB... What the actual hell
Thats because his head had grown to the size of a small moon and he was slugging .812.
Fat Bib Fortuna
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In high school in the early 1990s, I bought a baseball almanac from Half-Priced Books that had every team's stats for every season from 1901-1988. That was my baseball-reference before baseball-reference.com, which I have used probably everyday since I found it.

If you want to see some unbelievable stats overshadowed by Babe Ruth, check out guys like Hack Wilson and Lefty O'Doul and Chuck Klein in the 20s and 30s.

One of my favorite things on there is that Archibald Moonlight Graham from Field of Dreams was a real person, played in 1 game, no at-bats.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/grahamo01.shtml
CampingAg
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I forget what it's called, but it's that thing where you put in Player A and Player B and it will tell you "Player A played with this player, who played with this player . . . who played with Player B. Never found one that didn't work.
Fat Bib Fortuna
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CampingAg said:

I forget what it's called, but it's that thing where you put in Player A and Player B and it will tell you "Player A played with this player, who played with this player . . . who played with Player B. Never found one that didn't work.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bass?
AgRyan04
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AggieEP said:

Sometimes I stare at Barry Bonds's page and wonder if it's real or not.


It's not real.
W
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AG
one interesting thing for all the analytics guys, advanced metric guys, WAR-riors out there...

Lou Brock only had a career WAR of 45.4 in 19 major league seasons.

He was a first ballot Hall of Famer --- first ballot. A legendary player is his era due to the 3,000 hits, stolen bases, and WS heroics.

yet the WAR metric basically hated his game. Where is the disconnect?
agsalaska
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AG
That doesnt make any sense.

Bert Campaneris who had a stellar career but finished behind Brock in all major career categories had a WAR of 53.1.


I get what it is but I have never really paid attention to WAR. Now you have sent me down a wormhole.
07ag
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AG
looks like lou brock played below average defense for much of his career (statistically).
W
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AG
what's funny...

Curtis Granderson has a career WAR of 47 in 16 seasons.

so Cardinal fans should have wanted Granderson's career over Brock's.

what?
TXAggie2011
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AG
Lou Brock's defense significantly harms his WAR and other holistic stats.

He also didn't walk a ton, so he never touted the on base percentage that so many people want to see from a lead-off hitter.

agsalaska
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AG
Wow.

Brock had a Fld% of .959.

RIckey Henderson- .979
Trout is at .993.


That's pretty bad. I had no idea Brock was a sup par outfielder. I was 2 when he retired and all of the highlights are always on the bases. Maybe that's why.
AggieEP
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A 950 fielding percentage for an outfielder is almost impossibly bad. I wonder if official scorers during his time were just incredibly harsh or was Brock really just incapable of catching the ball. Even a guy like Eloy Jimenez who gets roasted for poor defense only had 3 errors last year and a fielding percentage of 980.
_lefraud_
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Check this page out

https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/g/gretzwa01.html
Fat Bib Fortuna
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07ag said:

looks like lou brock played below average defense for much of his career (statistically).
Probably no one here saw him play, but could it be that he had a lower fielding position because he was getting to balls because of his speed that otherwise would have been hits, and not being able to make a catch?

I feel like at some point Ryne Sandberg had a really long errorless streak going, but some writers took notice that as he got older he wasn't quick enough to get to a lot of balls and they were being counted as hits when a quicker fielder would have gotten there.

The Milkman
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One thing I keep my eyes on regularly on BR for some reason is hitters' BB to K ratio.

Currently, the only hitter in the MLB with more career walks than strikeouts is Albert Pujols. I'm always blow away by that considering all the recent players I think of as great contact hitters (Ichiro, Altuve, Vlad, Mookie Betts etc) aren't even very close.

Granted the last 8 years he has had more Ks than walks so that is moving closer to flipping to the negative, but just goes to show how insanely great of a hitter he was for so long.
The Milkman
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AggieEP said:

Sometimes I stare at Barry Bonds's page and wonder if it's real or not. In 2004 he walked 232 times and had an OBP of over 600. And perhaps more amazing than that, he still managed to drive in 100 runs even while being walked that often.

And, 122 of the walks were IBB... What the actual hell
The one I can't believe anytime I really dig into is Tony Gwynn.

  • The only season (in a 20 year career) he hit below .300 was his rookie, when he went .289.
  • More doubles than K's
  • More 4 hit games than 2+ strikeout games (Only once did he strike out 3 times)
  • Hit over 300 when behind in the count.

I really wish I had gotten to see and appreciate more of his career while it was happening. Being born in '87, I didn't really start watching MLB until the mid 90's and at that point it certainly wasn't alot of Padres games.
94chem
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W said:

one interesting thing for all the analytics guys, advanced metric guys, WAR-riors out there...

Lou Brock only had a career WAR of 45.4 in 19 major league seasons.

He was a first ballot Hall of Famer --- first ballot. A legendary player is his era due to the 3,000 hits, stolen bases, and WS heroics.

yet the WAR metric basically hated his game. Where is the disconnect?
Brock 's career SB% was 75%. Rickey was 81%. Tim Raines' was 85%. Tim Raines rookie season was Brock's last year.

Okay, I'll say it. Tim Raines was better than Lou Brock. Raines' only mistake was playing at the same time as Rickey Henderson.
W
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AG
Raines got into the Hall on the 10th ballot. Lou Brock on the 1st ballot.

Brock has a statue outside Busch Stadium.

there are disconnects with the stats
W
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and one thing that creates the disconnect...is a player's shuffling around to too many teams.

it downgrades a player's resume and gives the impression he's just there to put up stats and then get out of town. (i.e. didn't really care about the franchise or winning)
Fat Bib Fortuna
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W said:

Raines got into the Hall on the 10th ballot. Lou Brock on the 1st ballot.

Brock has a statue outside Busch Stadium.

there are disconnects with the stats
Lou Brock's post-season in the World Series magnifies his career immensely as discussed on the RIP Lou Brock thread.

21 world series games, .391 average, 13 RBI, 14 stolen bases, .655 slugging, 1.079 OPS.

He was active at a time when there was maybe a game of the week on TV, but 95% of baseball fans never got to see him play unless they went to a game in person, until the World Series, which people were avidly watching all over the country. And he wan't just good or even great in those World Series, he was all-time great and helped the Cardinals win two World Series tiles (64, 67) after they hadn't won one since 1946.

Previous poster is spot on about Raines - he wasn't as good as Rickey and he was a helluva leadoff man, but he wasn't in Tony Gwynn's class either.

Then Vince Coleman came along and he wasn't the fastest guy in the NL anymore either. It also doesn't help his case that everyone knows he was not only using cocaine, but sliding head first while stealing bases to avoid breaking the cocaine vials he was carrying his hip pocket.
AggieEP
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Tony Gwynn's page is awesome too. I bet if you take guys born after 1985 most wouldn't know that two Tony Gwynns actually exist. Super athletic svelte Gwynn and Fat Gwynn. The first guy was a basketball star and once stole 56 bases in a year along with playing gold glove defense while the second guy looked like he wandered over from a beer league softball game. It's kind of odd because that kind of huge change in body type isn't typical for professional athletes. (Well as previously mentioned we do have Barry Bonds' ever growing head as another example)

Most people only remember fat Gwynn though and think of him as nothing more than a maestro with the bat. Fact is that he spent about 8 years as one of the best all around ball players in the game before settling in as just the best contact hitter of his generation in the latter part of his career.
AggieEP
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And since we are doing oddities here, Gwynn was only hit by 24 pitches in his whole career. For context Biggio (an all time great at getting plunked, had 4 individual seasons with more than that)

Gwynn somehow had 5 seasons where he wasn't hit a single time. And perhaps what makes this more amazing, is he famously used an incredibly short 31 inch bat, so it's not like he could stand really far from the plate like Mike Piazza and Michael Young (two others with really low HBP counts)

My only conclusion would be to link his lack of getting hit to the same cat like reflexes that made him a great hitter. He could recognize the ball quickly and simply moved out of the way if it was coming at him.
Fat Bib Fortuna
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AG
The San Diego fans actually had a debate on what body shape Tony Gwynn should have for his statue at petco Park. He was my favorite non-stro ever. The damn player strike in 94 kept him from a legit shot at a .400 season. He became friends with Ted Williams- also from San Diego- before Ted's health went south and there are a few videos of them talking hitting. Gwynn also played college basketball and was drafted by the clippers.
bhuff111
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Check out the 1968 pitching game log for Bob Gibson. He had a sub 1 ERA as late as September 2.
Fat Bib Fortuna
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One of my favorite seasons to marvel at ever.

Bob Gibson was 3-5 as of May 28 after losing 4 straight decisions in which he gave up 2, 1, 1, and 3 earned runs. Those 4 losses came by scores of 3-2, 1-0, 2-0, and 3-1.

Then he won 15 decisions in a row (with 1 no-decision mixed in). In those 16 starts, he gave up 11 earned runs TOTAL - 4 of those in a 6-5 no-decision against the Mets on August 4.

From June 6 to July 30, he was 12-0 with 12 complete games and 8 shutouts. he pitched 5 shutouts in a row from June 6-June 26. Over those 12 games, he walked 13 batters and struck out 83. His ERA over those 12 games was 0.22.

He lost to the Pirates 6-4 on August 24 to end the win streak, then shutout the Pirates and the Reds to get to 20-6 with an 0.99 ERA.

He lost 3 of his last 5 starts - 3-2, 1-0, 2-3. His last start of the year was a 1-0 win over the Astros for his 13th shutout and dropped his ERA to 1.12 for the year.



Bobby Petrino`s Neckbrace
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Bob Gibson was pretty much the reason they lowered the pitching mound after the 1968 season.

I saw Lou Brock play quite a bit. Saturday games of the week, Curt Gowdy & Tony Kubek. Black & white TV.
Brock was amazing, and for some reason I never thought of him as a bad fielder. He also forced a lot of balks that didn't show up in the box score as him being the cause.

The 1968 World Series was something else. The Cardinals led 3 games to 1, with Gibson going 2-0, winning games 1 (4-0) and 4 (10-1). Everyone thought it was over. Detroit came back to tie the series at 3-3, even though 30 game winner Denny McLain went 1-2 in his starts, losing to Gibson twice. Mickey Lolich was the hero for Detroit, going 3-0, and beating Gibson handily in game 7. Lolich pitched on Oct 5, Oct 7 and again on Oct 10, with each game a 9 inning complete game victory.

Al Kaline and Jim Northrup just raked in that series, each with 8 RBI and 2 HR.

This a great thread, btw.
Fat Bib Fortuna
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During his 56-game hitting streak (May 15 - July 16) Joe DiMaggio hit .408. His season average rose from .304 to .375 in that span.

The streak broke on July 17, then he started a 16 game streak where he hit .406, meaning he hit successfully in 72 of 73 games at one point.

Of course that was also the year Ted Williams hit .406. During the same time span of games (May 15 - July 16) of Dimaggio's streak, Ted Williams hit .416 (77 for 185).

The more famous story is that going into the final day of the regular season, a doubleheader vs. the Philadelphia Athletics. Williams' average was at .3995, and his manager told him the commisioner's office had called and said they were rounding it up to .4000 so if he wanted to sit out and preserve it, it was cool with them.

Ted said eff that noise, went 4 for 5 in the first game, 2 for 3 in the second, and finished at .406.
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