Quiz – Crazy Eights (solved)

What distinguishes these eight players from baseball’s other greats? That’s for you to tell me when you find the career accomplishment that distinguishes these players from among all others?

Hint: the active player (assuming he can find work) who is closest to joining this group is Ichiro Suzuki.

Congratulations to David P, John Autin and bstar! They teamed up to identify that only these eight players had eight of more consecutive seasons scoring 100+ runs, and also had eight or more games in their careers scoring four or more runs. Those seasons and games are after the jump.

Here are the 100 run seasons for these players, each one including at least eight seasons consecutively (seasons lost to military service not counted).

Rk ▴ Name Yrs From To Age
1 Hank Aaron 15 1955 1970 21-36 Ind. Seasons
2 Alex Rodriguez 13 1996 2008 20-32 Ind. Seasons
3 Lou Gehrig 13 1926 1938 23-35 Ind. Seasons
4 Willie Mays 12 1954 1965 23-34 Ind. Seasons
5 Stan Musial 11 1943 1954 22-33 Ind. Seasons
6 Jimmie Foxx 11 1929 1940 21-32 Ind. Seasons
7 Ted Williams 9 1939 1951 20-32 Ind. Seasons
8 Earle Combs 8 1925 1932 26-33 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/14/2014.

And, their games scoring four or more runs.

Charlie Gehringer just missed this group with eleven 4-run games and 7 consecutive 100 run seasons. Ichiro has a chance to join this group with one more 4-run game. Would be a nice way to cap a career, and it wouldn’t be the first time a 40 year-old has done so.

Rk Player Age Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO ROE BOP Pos
1 Dave Winfield 42.237 1994-05-28 MIN DET W 10-9 6 3 4 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 5 DH
2 Ozzie Smith 41.251 1996-09-02 STL HOU W 8-7 6 5 4 3 1 0 1 3 1 1 0 1 SS
3 Bob Thurman 40.133 1957-09-24 (2) CIN CHC W 11-9 5 4 4 3 1 1 1 3 1 1 0 2 LF
4 Reggie Jackson 40.123 1986-09-18 CAL KCR W 18-3 6 4 4 3 0 0 3 7 2 0 0 4 DH
5 Rickey Henderson 40.103 1999-04-07 NYM FLA W 6-0 5 4 4 4 2 0 2 2 1 0 0 1 LF
6 Paul Waner 40.085 1943-07-10 BRO PIT W 23-6 5 4 4 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 RF
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/14/2014.

In the game at the top the list, Dave Winfield scored the walk-off run for the Twins in the 10th inning, and also scored the game-tying run in the 9th with none out, with Detroit escaping that frame with the bases loaded  (Mike Henneman of the Tigers had come on for the save and ended up pitching all of the 9th and 10th innings to pick up the blown save and the loss).

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31 Comments on "Quiz – Crazy Eights (solved)"

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David P
Guest

Earle Combs is wondering how he was again ended up in such an august group: “I thought the Hall of Fame was for superstars, not just average players like me.”

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

What? This is facetious, yes, with the average?
6500 PA and a 19.6 WAA, from a Centerfielder?
This is not average.

Daryl Hamilton, he was average.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hamilda02.shtml

John Autin
Editor

Easy, Voomo — That was an actual quote from Combs himself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earle_Combs

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Awww, poor Earle. Guess he hadn’t heard about WAR components in 1970.

Richard Chester
Guest

Combs is one of a handful of players with 3000 PA to have a lifetime BA of .300+ after each and every PA of his career.

Richard Chester
Guest

I was going to say 7+ consecutive seasons of 110+ runs scored but the statement about Ichiro seems to preclude that.

Richard Chester
Guest

Well, at least Mays and Aaron didn’t do it either

Doug
Guest

On the right track

David P
Guest

I’m going to guess that one of the criteria is at least 8 seasons of 100+ runs scored. Given the title of the quiz and the fact that Combs and Ichiro each have exactly 8 such seasons.

But I’m assuming there’s some sort of career component as well since Ichiro’s not yet part of the group.

Paul E
Guest

??? In addition, they’ve all done something exactly 8 times:
Aaron & A Rod – 40 HR’s x 8
Lou Gehrig – .450 OBA x 8
Willie Mays – 165 OPS+ x 8
Stan Musial – 1.000 OPS x 8
Jimmie Foxx – .440 OBA x 8
Ted Williams – Led AL in BB x 8

This attempt to solve Doug’s riddle is what as known as a “stretch” or in some parlance a “reach”

David P
Guest

Seems to me the key is what puts Combs in (the one non-power hitter) and Ichiro out. And what makes it challenging is that it’s a career accomplishment and Ichiro’s career was much longer than Combs’.

BTW, since we’re talking about runs and 8’s, Gehrig scored exactly 1,888 runs.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Dont know the answer. Thought maybe it had to do with triples, but Alex Rod eliminates that. Noticed, though, just how many XBH Jimmie Foxx had for a 9676 PA career. Sorted by XBH, players with less than 8.75 PA per extra base hit: 1356 … (7.83) . George Ruth 1190 … (8.12) . Louis Gehrig 1122 … (8.71) . Manual Ramirez 1117 … (8.66) . Jimmie Foxx 1097 … (8.42) . Albert Pujols ? 1031 … (8.58) . David Ortiz ? 881 …. (8.71) . Joe DiMaggio 847 …. (8.45) . Juan Gonzales 791 …. (8.44) . Albert Belle… Read more »
brp
Guest

I think you just ruined Doug’s upcoming Mark Funderburk quiz. Way to go… 🙂

John Autin
Editor
Besides Doug’s eight, only four others had 8 straight years of 100+ runs (since 1901): — Mickey Mantle — Frank Thomas (you know which one) — Johnny Damon — Ichiro Testing if the runs threshold might be higher: Aaron (in) had a low of 102 runs in his streak. Mantle and Thomas (both out) had lows of 104 and 102 in their streaks. So the basic criterion can’t be a higher threshold for the runs streak. Also, Doug’s hint that Ichiro is the closest active player to “joining this group” implies that he actually has a chance to join the… Read more »
John Autin
Editor

Correcting myself: The second criterion can’t be another threshold for those same 100-run seasons, since Ichiro has a chance to join the group.

David P
Guest

BTW John, right now you’re at exactly 5,555 comments! Crazy 5’s! 🙂

David P
Guest

John – Since Arod is still active, it also implies that the other criteria can’t be lost (i.e., a ratio). Unless it’s a ratio that Arod is so far above it would be impossible for him to lose.

robbs
Guest

Could it be 8 seasons of 100 runs plus 8 seasons of at least 30 doubles and triples in same seaon?

robbs
Guest

My answer works (Ichiro has only seven seasons with 30 combined doubles and triples) and the others have at least eight, though I doubt that was what you were going for.

John Autin
Editor

Alas, robbs, Johnny Damon meets that extra criterion for all 10 of his consecutive 100-run years. Gotta keep the Caveman out of this one.

Richard Chester
Guest

I think it has to be something unrelated to the the consecutive season string.

PaulE
Guest

Like Ichiro breaking 600 career BBs or a certain amout of XBHs?

Richard Chester
Guest

Something like that but it can’t be BB or XBH, he’s way behind Mantle. I thought perhaps it was a lifetime BA of .300 but Frank Thomas batted .301, Mantle and Damon were below .300.

robbs
Guest

In trying to solve this I looked up Rickey Henderson. Didn’t have 8 straight seasons due to strike and/or injuries, buthe did have 13 plus 100 run seasons separated by 18 years (1980 to 1998).

The Goof
Guest

I was leaning toward 8 OBP seasons of .360, but Mantle shatters that.

bstar
Guest

Doug, is it scoring 4 runs in a game at least 8 times, plus the 8 straight seasons of 100+ runs scored? I notice Ichiro has 7 games of 4 runs scored.

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