If you’ve been a regular reader since I started writing for the site, you’re familiar with this feature, in which I wax on (and on, and on) about a fun season in Major League history.
I want to turn back to 1967. I feel like 1968 gets all the love when we talk about the late 1960s. People want to talk about Denny McLain winning 30 or Bob Gibson posting the microscopic ERA, and then the resultant rule changes – the lowering of the mound, the eventual introduction of the DH, etc. But the previous, lesser-known season featured one of the greatest pennant races in history. For that reason alone, it’s worth a look. But there’s plenty more than that going on in 1967, as you’ll see below. Check out the rest of the post for more.
The 120th season of baseball’s modern era is finally underway, a season like no other … yada, yada, yada. No, I’m not going to assault you with yet another piece on the uniqueness of the 2020 campaign. Instead, I’m going to look at the uniqueness of every season, hopefully from a new angle. More after the jump.
Well, if the last post was from before I was born, you know this one is from before then, too. So all the regular caveats about my own lack of personal experience with this particular season of Major League Baseball.
(Also, sorry for the length of this post, and sorry for taking so long to post. But it took me a couple weeks to research and write.)
So… why 1959? Is it because that was Mickey Mantle‘s worst offensive season from 1954-1964 (“only” a 151 OPS+)? Or maybe just that his Yankees actually didn’t win the pennant that year? Well, in part, yes; I thought it would be more interesting to cover a year in the ’50s that WASN’T the “usual suspects.” But the Senior Circuit featured one of the greatest three-team pennant races of all-time (including a season-ending three-game playoff), and some of the great individual performances of the 20th century. So I’ll give us a cursory look at the American League, and then spend the bulk of our time in the National. Hope you enjoy!
First things first: unlike 1997, our first post in the series, I was not alive for 1980. Still six years from being born, I’m writing here as an amateur baseball historian/enthusiast/guy-who-spends-too-much-time-on-Baseball-Reference.com. Therefore, your comments and discussion are particularly appreciated on this post. Also, I want to have, here in my opening paragraph, a shout-out to Tom Ra for the suggestion (and you really should click that link, because Tom pointed out a bunch of cool/interesting things about 1980 in his post; Doug added some other interesting tidbits below it). Without any further ado…
If you’re like me, you know all about scanning box scores for unusual line scores. Typically, I’m looking for players who had big games, with some crooked numbers in the H and RBI columns, but just as interesting are the line scores that leave you scratching your head. This post is about those games. More after the jump.
Well, Doug posted a quiz about sluggers; here’s one where you won’t find any of those. What career accomplishment do these Live Ball era players have in common? (I hope I caught them all, but I’m not 100% sure, so I make no promises!)
This is a different take on a quiz, with an added variable of ranking. I’ll give you the ranked list, and you get to figure out the statistic that produces that list. In other words, just like a regular quiz, but with the added criterion of ranking.
So, here’s the list, showing the top 10 sluggers in a particular statistic. What is it? .
I have to say how little the subject matter of this post matters to me. As I’ve said before, batting average doesn’t super matter; we all know this. 1983 is before I was born. I have no emotional attachment or interest in any of the subjects of this post. And this took a tremendous amount of research.
But… all of that goes to show you that a good baseball story, is a good baseball story. Because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this race, a batting title chase for the ages among four players: Bill Madlock of Pittsburgh, Jose Cruz of Houston, and teammates Lonnie Smith and George Hendrick of St. Louis. (To be clear, I started this post the day before MLB.com decided to feature an article about the Cruz family; it’s just a happy coincidence that there’s something fun there to link while I was writing about the eldest in the family.)
“Replacement-level.” In certain corners of the baseball internet, it’s a dirty word. In other corners, it’s a given. But what does it mean, truly, to be a “replacement-level hitter” in 2020? Is “replacement-level” a provable concept? Do you need an advanced math degree? Are there real examples of such hitters? Read on to find out!
As I write this, it’s May 29th, 2020. 15 years ago today, Roy Halladay was nearly perfect; 10 years ago today, he was. Let’s check it out. (And FYI, I really didn’t have time to compose this, so it’s quite long. I might’ve done a better job editing if I hadn’t needed to pop it out the same day I wrote it in order for it to be relevant, so I’m sorry for the length of the piece.)