Donie BushDonie Bush was the regular Tiger shortstop for 12 seasons, from 1909 to 1920. Over his career, Bush compiled totals exceeding 1800 hits, 1200 runs, 1100 walks and 400 stolen bases. Yet, he managed only a 91 career OPS+.

So, I wondered what other players there might be like Donie Bush. Let’s find out.

First, let’s look at those milestone levels I mentioned – 1800 hits, 1200 runs, 1100 walks and 400 stolen bases. Probably not many players with careers like that, but let’s see what sort of OPS+ scores they may have had.

Rk Player OPS+ H R BB SB From To Age G PA 2B 3B HR RBI SH BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Donie Bush 91 1804 1280 1158 406 1908 1923 20-35 1948 8746 186 74 9 436 337 .250 .356 .300 .656 *6/54 DET-TOT-WSH
2 Brett Butler 110 2375 1359 1129 558 1981 1997 24-40 2213 9545 277 131 54 578 147 .290 .377 .376 .753 *87/9D ATL-CLE-SFG-LAD-TOT
3 Craig Biggio 112 3060 1844 1160 414 1988 2007 22-41 2850 12504 668 55 291 1175 101 .281 .363 .433 .796 *4287/D9 HOU
4 Tim Raines 123 2605 1571 1330 808 1979 2002 19-42 2502 10359 430 113 170 980 39 .294 .385 .425 .810 *78D/49 MON-CHW-NYY-OAK-TOT-FLA
5 Rickey Henderson 127 3055 2295 2190 1406 1979 2003 20-44 3081 13346 510 66 297 1115 30 .279 .401 .419 .820 *78D/9 NYY-TOT-OAK-SDP-NYM-BOS-LAD
6 Joe Morgan 132 2517 1650 1865 689 1963 1984 19-40 2649 11329 449 96 268 1133 51 .271 .392 .427 .819 *4/7D58 HOU-CIN-SFG-PHI-OAK
7 Eddie Collins 142 3315 1821 1499 741 1906 1930 19-43 2825 12040 438 187 47 1300 512 .333 .424 .429 .853 *4/69875 PHA-CHW
8 Tris Speaker 157 3514 1882 1381 436 1907 1928 19-40 2790 11991 792 222 117 1529 309 .345 .428 .500 .928 *8/3971 BOS-CLE-WSH-PHA
9 Ty Cobb 168 4189 2246 1249 897 1905 1928 18-41 3034 13078 724 295 117 1938 291 .366 .433 .512 .945 *89/73145 DET-PHA
10 Barry Bonds 182 2935 2227 2558 514 1986 2007 21-42 2986 12606 601 77 762 1996 4 .298 .444 .607 1.051 *78/D9 PIT-SFG
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used Generated 1/19/2013.

As expected, a short list. Probably most similar is Butler, but he had 500+ more hits and was almost 20 points higher in OPS+.

Looking just at the speed factors, runs and stolen bases.

Rk Player OPS+ H R BB SB From To Age G PA 2B 3B HR RBI SH BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Omar Vizquel 82 2877 1445 1028 404 1989 2012 22-45 2968 12013 456 77 80 951 256 .272 .336 .352 .688 *65/4D379 SEA-CLE-SFG-TEX-CHW-TOR
2 Luis Aparicio 82 2677 1335 736 506 1956 1973 22-39 2601 11230 394 92 83 791 161 .262 .311 .343 .653 *6 CHW-BAL-BOS
3 Ozzie Smith 87 2460 1257 1072 580 1978 1996 23-41 2573 10778 402 69 28 793 214 .262 .337 .328 .666 *6 SDP-STL
4 Donie Bush 91 1804 1280 1158 406 1908 1923 20-35 1948 8746 186 74 9 436 337 .250 .356 .300 .656 *6/54 DET-TOT-WSH
5 Johnny Damon 104 2769 1668 1003 408 1995 2012 21-38 2490 10917 522 109 235 1139 57 .284 .352 .433 .785 *87D9/3 KCR-OAK-BOS-NYY-DET-TBR-CLE
6 Kenny Lofton 107 2428 1528 945 622 1991 2007 24-40 2103 9235 383 116 130 781 72 .299 .372 .423 .794 *8/7D9 HOU-ATL-CLE-TOT-NYY-PHI-LAD
7 Max Carey 108 2665 1545 1040 738 1910 1929 20-39 2476 10770 419 159 70 800 290 .285 .361 .386 .747 *879 PIT-TOT-BRO
8 Lou Brock 109 3023 1610 761 938 1961 1979 22-40 2616 11240 486 141 149 900 47 .293 .343 .410 .753 *798 CHC-TOT-STL
9 Brett Butler 110 2375 1359 1129 558 1981 1997 24-40 2213 9545 277 131 54 578 147 .290 .377 .376 .753 *87/9D ATL-CLE-SFG-LAD-TOT
10 Frankie Frisch 110 2880 1532 728 419 1919 1937 20-38 2311 10099 466 138 105 1244 229 .316 .369 .432 .801 *45/6 NYG-STL
11 Craig Biggio 112 3060 1844 1160 414 1988 2007 22-41 2850 12504 668 55 291 1175 101 .281 .363 .433 .796 *4287/D9 HOU
12 Ichiro Suzuki 113 2606 1204 518 452 2001 2012 27-38 1911 8723 308 80 104 660 33 .322 .365 .419 .784 *98/D7 SEA-TOT
13 Roberto Alomar 116 2724 1508 1032 474 1988 2004 20-36 2379 10400 504 80 210 1134 148 .300 .371 .443 .814 *4/D6 SDP-TOR-BAL-CLE-NYM-TOT
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used Generated 1/19/2013.

The three players whom Bush bests in OPS+ all played much longer and logged many more hits, though none could match Bush’s walks. The two players closest to Bush in career length are Lofton and Ichiro. Suzuki and Bush have almost the same career OBP, though they went about it quite differently, with Ichiro basically substituting a hit (and a bit) for every extra walk that Bush had. Lofton has much superior totals, save for walks, as evidenced by his 16 point bulge in OPS+.

Bush has an unusual Hit to Walk ratio right around 1.5 to 1. Let’s look at those players.

Rk Player OPS+ H BB From To Age G PA R 2B 3B HR RBI SH SB BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Donie Bush 91 1804 1158 1908 1923 20-35 1948 8746 1280 186 74 9 436 337 406 .250 .356 .300 .656 *6/54 DET-TOT-WSH
2 Tony Phillips 109 2023 1319 1982 1999 23-40 2161 9110 1300 360 50 160 819 69 177 .266 .374 .389 .763 47569D/83 OAK-DET-CAL-CHW-TOT
3 Eddie Yost 109 1863 1614 1944 1962 17-35 2109 9175 1215 337 56 139 683 98 72 .254 .394 .371 .765 *5/37964 WSH-DET-LAA
4 Lu Blue 109 1696 1092 1921 1933 24-36 1615 7223 1151 319 109 44 695 168 151 .287 .402 .401 .803 *3/8 DET-SLB-CHW-BRO
5 Harlond Clift 116 1558 1070 1934 1945 21-32 1582 6893 1070 309 62 178 829 53 69 .272 .390 .441 .831 *5/467 SLB-TOT-WSH
6 Darrell Evans 119 2223 1605 1969 1989 22-42 2687 10737 1344 329 36 414 1354 34 98 .248 .361 .431 .792 *53D/76 TOT-SFG-DET-ATL
7 Rickey Henderson 127 3055 2190 1979 2003 20-44 3081 13346 2295 510 66 297 1115 30 1406 .279 .401 .419 .820 *78D/9 NYY-TOT-OAK-SDP-NYM-BOS-LAD
8 Jim Wynn 129 1665 1224 1963 1977 21-35 1920 8011 1105 285 39 291 964 32 225 .250 .366 .436 .802 *897/D65 HOU-LAD-ATL-TOT
9 Joe Morgan 132 2517 1865 1963 1984 19-40 2649 11329 1650 449 96 268 1133 51 689 .271 .392 .427 .819 *4/7D58 HOU-CIN-SFG-PHI-OAK
10 Jack Clark 137 1826 1262 1975 1992 19-36 1994 8230 1118 332 39 340 1180 9 77 .267 .379 .476 .854 *93D/875 SFG-STL-NYY-SDP-BOS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/19/2013.

These are players with at least 1500 hits and walks of more than 63% of their hits. There are 11 others on the list with higher OPS+ scores, but they have names like Killebrew, Schmidt, McGwire, Mantle, Bonds and Ruth. So, I thinks it’s the above players we want to look at.

Again, nobody is really close to Bush in OPS+. Nor in slugging, with Bush trailing the next lowest score by over 70 points. I know he played in the dead-ball era, but still – how does a guy with a .300 SLG mark (and speed, too) walk so much? More especially given his proclivity for getting home.

Finally, let’s look at season counts. Here are the players with the most seasons with 80+ runs, 30+ stolen bases, and an OPS+ below 100.

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Juan Pierre 7 2001 2010 23-32 Ind. Seasons
2 Jimmy Rollins 5 2001 2012 22-33 Ind. Seasons
3 Eric Young 5 1993 2001 26-34 Ind. Seasons
4 Bert Campaneris 5 1966 1973 24-31 Ind. Seasons
5 Maury Wills 5 1961 1969 28-36 Ind. Seasons
6 Donie Bush 5 1911 1915 23-27 Ind. Seasons
7 Tony Womack 4 1997 2000 27-30 Ind. Seasons
8 Tom Goodwin 4 1996 2000 27-31 Ind. Seasons
9 Otis Nixon 4 1991 1997 32-38 Ind. Seasons
10 Vince Coleman 4 1985 1989 23-27 Ind. Seasons
11 Willie Wilson 4 1983 1988 27-32 Ind. Seasons
12 Omar Moreno 4 1978 1982 25-29 Ind. Seasons
13 Luis Aparicio 4 1959 1964 25-30 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/19/2013.

This list may be giving us a better picture of the type of player Bush was. One HOFer, some other good players, and a few not so good.

And, players with seasons of 120+ hits, 70+ walks and an OPS+ below 100.

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Donie Bush 7 1911 1920 23-32 Ind. Seasons
2 Jim Gilliam 5 1955 1962 26-33 Ind. Seasons
3 Billy Rogell 5 1934 1938 29-33 Ind. Seasons
4 Ozzie Smith 3 1980 1988 25-33 Ind. Seasons
5 Lyn Lary 3 1935 1938 29-32 Ind. Seasons
6 Willie Kamm 3 1927 1932 27-32 Ind. Seasons
7 Roger Peckinpaugh 3 1920 1924 29-33 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/19/2013.

It’s a pretty unusual combination, with just this handful of players with even 3 seasons like this. Again, a HOFer and some good ballplayers.

I think these last two lists have probably identified our man as closely as possible. Bush is basically a cross between the guys on these two lists. Which is to say he’s pretty unique and also a pretty valuable ballplayer to have around, OPS+ or no OPS+.

Lastly, just for fun, here are the players with a season scoring 50% more runs (min. 80 runs) than OPS+ (weird, I know, but another example of making the most of your OPS). Not many players, but one (not Bush) seemed to specialize pulling off this quirky feat.

Rk Player R OPS+ Year Age Tm G PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Red Rolfe 143 86 1937 28 NYY 154 741 648 179 34 10 4 62 90 53 4 .276 .365 .378 .743 *5
2 Woody English 131 72 1929 23 CHC 144 699 608 168 29 3 1 52 68 50 13 .276 .352 .339 .691 *6
3 Frankie Crosetti 127 73 1937 26 NYY 149 718 611 143 29 5 11 49 86 105 13 .234 .340 .352 .692 *6
4 Donie Bush 126 75 1911 23 DET 150 692 561 130 18 5 1 36 98 65 40 .232 .349 .287 .636 *6
5 Frankie Crosetti 109 66 1939 28 NYY 152 743 656 153 25 5 10 56 65 81 11 .233 .315 .332 .647 *6
6 Neifi Perez 108 62 1999 26 COL 157 732 690 193 27 11 12 70 28 54 13 .280 .307 .403 .710 *6
7 Hughie Critz 108 55 1930 29 TOT 152 707 662 172 20 13 4 61 30 32 8 .260 .292 .347 .639 *4
8 Vince Coleman 94 62 1986 24 STL 154 670 600 139 13 8 0 29 60 98 107 .232 .301 .280 .581 *78
9 Ernie Johnson 85 57 1922 34 CHW 144 673 603 153 17 3 0 56 40 30 21 .254 .304 .292 .596 *6
10 Frankie Crosetti 84 52 1940 29 NYY 145 632 546 106 23 4 4 31 72 77 14 .194 .299 .273 .572 *6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/20/2013.

Subscribe to: RSS feed