Quiz – Tom Glavine

Tom Glavine was among the finest pitchers of his time, compiling a distinguished 20-year, 300-win career likely to be recognized with his enshrinement in the HOF. Among Glavine’s many accomplishments was a season performance which, at the time, had not been achieved in either league in almost 60 seasons. What was this accomplishment?


      • When Glavine became the ninth pitcher since 1901 to achieve this feat, he was (like most who had done it before him) past age 30
      • The eight pitchers preceding Glavine accomplished this feat within a span of just 23 seasons. None of them are in the HOF.
      • A tenth pitcher achieved this feat  before Glavine retired, becoming the oldest pitcher to do so. Like Glavine, he is probably destined for the HOF.
          • Besides Glavine, there is only one other lefthander among these ten pitchers

Congratulations (and welcome back) to Raphy, with an assist from Richard Chester. Raphy identified search criteria satisfying the above clues. The season I had in mind was Glavine’s 2004 campaign with 200+ IP, ERA+ >= 100, zero wild pitches and zero hit batsmen. The list of pitchers to do this since 1901 satisfies the above clues.

43 thoughts on “Quiz – Tom Glavine

  1. 1
    Jim says:

    Is it “punching Mark Lemke in the throat”?

  2. 2
    oneblankspace says:

    In 2003, Glavine gave up 10 triples.

    • 3
      oneblankspace says:

      Which was the most since Ryan Dempster gave up 11 in 2002.

      • 4
        Hartvig says:

        There had to be a lot of guys back in the dead ball era who did that though- of the top 20 career leaders in triples all but a handful played most of their careers in that era and only 2 of them had careers that started after 1920. Couple that with guys routinely pitching 300 and some even 400 innings and you have to have more than just 8 guys that gave up double figures in triples in a season.

  3. 6
    Doug says:

    I’ll give you another hint.

    The accomplishment is actually something (or two things) that Glavine didn’t do.

    • 7
      • 8
        • 10
          Hartvig says:

          Cha-ching! That’s got to be it!

        • 13
          Doug says:

          So close, Raphy.

          There’s one piece that’s missing. And, your IP filter is off slightly.

          Also, your list has the last player before Glavine more than 60 years prior, not almost 60 years before as per the clue.

          • 14
            Richard Chester says:

            The last player might be Fred Hutchinson.

          • 15
            Richard Chester says:

            How about 200 or more IP and fewer than 100 ER.

          • 16
            Richard Chester says:

            # 15 continued. Along with 0 WP and 0 HBP.

          • 17
            Doug says:

            #14, #15 and #16 are all right, except for the 100 ER bit.

          • 18
            Richard Chester says:

            Doug: The only other thing I can find is fewer than 10 GF.

          • 19
            Doug says:

            Something more obvious than that. Very commonly used stat, especially on this site.

          • 20
            Richard Chester says:

            The other stat is WAR > 2.0.

            And how come if my reply is too short I am requested to submit a longer response whereas others have posted short comments and have had them posted?

          • 21
            Doug says:

            Well, Richard, that almost works – meets the requirements of all the clues, except one.

            Your query has only one left-hander in it – Glavine.

            The missing left-hander (or someone with his name) was known for (among other things) feeding the animals at the Central Park Zoo. You may remember his funeral when you were a boy.

          • 23
            Ed says:

            Is the other criteria ERA+ greater than 110?

          • 24
            Richard Chester says:

            It’s got to be Al Smith who did it in 1943 for the Indians but I haven’t figured out what the other criterion is. The animal feeder was the Al Smith who was governor of NYS. And I don’t remember his funeral. I’m eating breakfast now, I will try to find the other criterion later.

            I went to the PI under Pitching Seasons, selected 1924-1946, LH, WP = 0, HBP = 0, IP > 200 and sorted by date of death. Up came one name, Al Smith.

          • 32
            Doug says:

            Governor Al Smith died in New York on the day the 1944 World Series opened.

            Here’s a photo of him with Babe Ruth.

        • 25
          Doug says:

          A little too restrictive, Ed. Leaves out a couple, including the guy who followed Glavine.

      • 12
        Doug says:

        Hey, Raphy.

        Long time, no post.


    • 9
      Richard Chester says:

      He had 0 WP, 0 HBP and 0 BK.
      Is Ken Raffensberger the other LH pitcher?

    • 22
      Raphy says:

      Thanks for the welcome.

      This probably isn’t what you had in mind,but I’m pretty sure it meets all of the original criteria:

      200+ IP
      No more than 10 relief appearances
      0 HBP
      0 WP


      • 26
        Doug says:

        You’re right that it isn’t what I had been looking for, and it doesn’t produce the same list, but it does satisfy all of the clues I identified, so that’s good enough for me.

        The criteria I had in mind was ERA+ >= 100 instead of GR <= 10.

        • 27
          Hartvig says:


          Bob Smith had an ERA+ in 1926 of just 94 so that doesn’t meet the criteria.

        • 30
          John Autin says:

          And fittingly, Maddux was the next (and last) to do that.

          • 34
            Ed says:

            Color me confused Doug. If Raphy’s suggestion produces a different list of pitchers how does that count but my suggestion in #23 gets rejected? Mine was closer to your original idea and leaving out Maddux isn’t actually germane since Maddux was only a clue, not actually an essential part of the criteria.

          • 35
            Doug says:

            Ed, it’s because Raphy’s list satisfies the 4 clues I identified for the post.

            I think the clues are germane. If the criteria you come up with doesn’t satisfy one or more of the clues, I don’t think you can say it’s the right answer. 🙂 Someone else might have had the same criteria but declined to post it, knowing that it didn’t satisfy all the clues.

            It’s the same idea for the more normal approach of giving you the list first. If someone comes up with a set of criteria different from what I had in mind, but it produces the same result, that’s good enough for me.

          • 38
            Ed says:

            I see your point Doug but IMHO what should take precedence over anything else is what your original idea was. Accepting a completely different idea, one that is completely unrelated to what you were looking for and in many ways is superfluous to the accomplishment AND results in a different list of pitchers, doesn’t make much sense. If we were really, really far away from solving the quiz, perhaps, but we weren’t.

          • 39
            Doug says:

            Fair enough, Ed.

            But, you should know that there was just one pitcher different between my list and Raphy’s. So, it wasn’t a completely different list.

  4. 29
    Doug says:

    Congratulations to Raphy, with a big assist to Richard Chester. They identified that Glavine was the first pitcher to have a season matching the clues identified at the top of the post.

    Glavine’s 2004 season included 200+ IP, ERA+ >= 100 and zero WP and HBP. Pitchers to do this since 1901 are:

    Rk Player Year ERA+ WP HBP IP Age Tm
    1 Greg Maddux 2006 109 0 0 210.0 40 TOT
    2 Tom Glavine 2004 119 0 0 212.1 38 NYM
    3 Fred Hutchinson 1946 119 0 0 207.0 26 DET
    4 Al Smith 1943 122 0 0 208.1 35 CLE
    5 Jim Turner 1937 149 0 0 256.2 33 BSN
    6 George Blaeholder 1934 117 0 0 234.1 30 SLB
    7 General Crowder 1932 129 0 0 327.0 33 WSH
    8 Huck Betts 1932 135 0 0 221.2 35 BSN
    9 Red Lucas 1931 103 0 0 238.0 29 CIN
    10 Red Lucas 1927 114 0 0 239.2 25 CIN
    11 Jesse Barnes 1924 118 0 0 267.2 31 BSN
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 11/14/2012.

    – Glavine was the first pitcher in 58 years to have such a season
    – The first eight pitchers to do this all accomplished the feat in a span of just 23 seasons (1924-1946)
    – Greg Maddux joined this group two years after Glavine, at age 40 the oldest to accomplish this feat
    – Besides Glavine, Alfred Smith is the only lefthander in the group

    Notable is General Crowder, accomplishing this feat while leading the league with a hefty 327 IP. That’s a lot of pitches without a wild one or a plunking.

    • 31
      John Autin says:

      Milkman Jim Turner, the 33-year-old rookie, ERA champ and 20-game winner for the 5th-place Boston Bees!

      • 33
        Richard Chester says:

        And Al Smith, along with Jim Bagby, stopped Joe D’s 56 game hitting streak.

        • 36
          topper009 says:

          Most of credit should go to Milwaukee native Ken Keltner of course

          • 37
            Doug says:

            That 1941 season was Keltner’s first of four seasons leading AL third basemen in assists. He was 1st or 2nd a total of 6 times in each of putouts, assists and fielding percentage.

  5. 40
    Richard Chester says:

    It looks like Paul Derringer holds the record for most consecutive IP without a WP or HBP. From 9-14-36 to 9-7-38 he pitched in 83 games for a total of 506 innings without either. For the games immediately prior to and after the 83 games it cannot be determined exactly when he had a WP or HBP. So his streak is at least 506 IP.

    • 41
      Doug says:

      Evidently, pitchers in the 20s and 30s were throwing scared. While batters in the dead-ball era could be (and were) intimidated, usually with impunity, those days were now gone.

      After Walter Johnson retired in 1927 with 205 career HBP, there was no active leader in career HBP over 150 until Don Drysdale in 1968, and only one year with an active leader above 100 HBP (Earl Whitehill at 101 in 1939) from 1937 to 1963. In contrast, prior to Walter Johnson, you have to go back to Tony Mullane in 1890 to find an active leader below 150. Similarly, active leaders have been above 100 HBP every year since 1974.

      • 42
        Brent says:


        Rapid Robert Feller is an example of how pitchers did not throw inside in the 30s and 40s. Although he could never be mistaken for someone with great control, hence the post 19th century record for walks in a season in 1938 with 208 (and his 1941 season of 194 is 4th (with 2 Nolan Ryan seasons in between)), he never hit more than 7 batters in a season, with only a career 60 hit batsmen (compared to 1764 walks, which is 5th alltime). I think those stats make it clear that when Rapid Robert missed the strike zone (which was often), he made sure that it missed low and away and not up and in.

        • 43
          Doug says:

          Good point, Robert. It would be interesting to look at how closely HBP correlates with wildness.

          Don Drysdale ranks 90th highest and 93rd lowest (about 10th percentile) among live-ball pitchers in career (min. 1000 IP) WP and BB/9. But, in HPB, he ranks 8th highest. So, for Don, HPB seems much more intentional than as a result of wildness.

          Bob Gibson was basically league average BB/9 (461st best at 3.10 vs. 3.08 median) but ranked 38th in HBP and 36th in WP. That seems both deliberate (high HBP relative to BB/9) and accidental (high WP relative to BB/9) unless the high WP came from batters getting out of the way of his intended HBP pitches (which may well be the case).

          An then there’s Nolan Ryan who looks completely accidental, ranking 1st, 6th, and 8th worst in WP, HBP and BB/9.

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