Quiz – Pre-Expansion Pioneers (solved)

These are the only players who, in the 1901 to 1960 period, had a career accomplishment that has become rather more common since then. What is it?

Congratulations mostly to ATarwerdi96! And a nod to Richard Chester for getting the final detail. They teamed up to identify that these are the only players to compile 600 games from 1901 to 1960 at each of two positions, with at least one of them in the infield. With expansion has come expanded opportunities for versatile players to shine all over the ball field. More after the jump.

The list of 9 players has grown substantially. Here’s the roster today, showing players to play 600 games at any two positions. First, two infield positions.

[table id=179 /]

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Now, an infield position and catcher or an outfield position or DH.

[table id=180 /]

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And, finally, any two positions from catcher, outfield or DH.

[table id=181 /]

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25 Comments on "Quiz – Pre-Expansion Pioneers (solved)"

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ATarwerdi96
Guest

All the players on the list played at least 600 games at two different positions, while Grantham and Lockman had 500+ at two.

ATarwerdi96
Guest

Well the caveat would have to be that outfield is counted as one position.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Is it 500+ games both as an IF and OF?

ATarwerdi96
Guest

Some notes:
*Stan Javier and Randy Winn are the only (known) players with at least 450 games at each outfield position.
*Shane Halter and Steve Lyons are the only two players to have played at least 2 career games at each position (including P and DH).

John Autin
Editor

Here’s a shock: No one from 1901-60 played 600+ games at both SS and 2B.

Only four have done it since — and if you can name more than two off the top of your head, I’ll bet you’re a Tigers fan.

Hartvig
Guest

Ok, I knew Dick McAuliffe right off the bat and I was almost certain about Tony Phillips & Jay Bell- and wrong on both counts. A couple minutes of thinking got me Scott Fletcher. I figured the 1960 part eliminated Gil McDougald & Junior Gilliam didn’t play short.

I’m totally stumped on the last 2.

John Autin
Editor

McAuliffe, Fletcher, Julio Franco & Mark Grudzielanek.

Jay Bell was also my first guess. I had no memory of Grudz playing SS, but his first 5 seasons were there. And I still can’t picture McAuliffe at SS — *just* before my time.

John Autin
Editor
Notable thresholds for “catcher plus ____,” going all the way back to 1871: C/1B — 700+ games at each: Joe Torre (903/787) — 600+: Gene Tenace (892/625) — 400+: Honest Jack Boyle (544/458) C/2B — 400+: Craig Biggio (428/1,989) — 300+: Tom Daly (1,058/308) — 100+: Dirty Jack Doyle (176/127; but he was mainly a 1B) C/3B — 500+: Joe Torre (903/515) — 400+: Deacon White (458/827) — 300+: Lave Cross (324/1,724), Brandon Inge (376/1,083), B.J. Surhoff (704/316), C/SS — 200+: Jack Rowe (298/657) — 100+: Bobby Bragan (140/415) Bragan is the only modern player with 30+ games at C… Read more »
Artie Z.
Guest

JA apparently doesn’t consider DH as a position 🙂

C/DH
-600+: Brian Downing (675/824)
-300+: Mickey Tettleton (872/361), Mike Stanley (751/321)
-200+: Ted Simmons (1771/278), Mike Sweeney (201/608), Victor Martinez (856/285)

I would guess that Martinez will crack the 300/300 barrier this year.

And Smokey Burgess is the only player to catch in 500+ games and PH/PR in 500+ games (I’m assuming most of those are PH appearances). Burgess caught 1139 games and appeared as a PH 577 times (at least – records are marked as incomplete).

oneblankspace
Guest

It seems like more because Yogi was in LF when Bill Mazeroski homered over his head.

And it was from playing outfield in the World Series that he said “It gets late early out there.”

JasonZ
Guest

Joe Torre.

500 games at C, 1B and 3B.

Wow!!

no statistician but
Guest

Here’s a kind of related question that might be interesting to address if someone with more statistical knowhow wants to take it up:

Average length of career in years per position, including pitcher, for full-time starters, at least 100 starts in the field, lets say, and 25 on the mound.

Mean, median, and mode, anyone?

John Autin
Editor

nsb, can you clarify what you’re after? Are you talking about actual careers of actual players? Would each player be assigned to only one position? Let’s firm up the proposal, and see if the funding comes through. 🙂

no statistician but
Guest
The more I consider what I want to know, the more unlikely any chance of finding it out seems to become. But: My curiosity was piqued by a comment on another thread a few weeks ago concerning the short shelf life of starting pitchers. For every Nolan Ryan there’s a Mark Fidrych or maybe a couple—pitchers’ arms and psyches being fragile things, or so goes the conventional train of thought. I started wondering if this were really true in the overall context of the game. Do starting pitchers, on average, have shorter careers than starting catchers, for instance. Third basemen—so… Read more »
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