Swinging away: 3-0 counts are a changin’

The 3-0 pitch is possibly one of the most predictable events in baseball, a short interlude in which the competitive game usually takes a break. We’ve all seen it – the hitter resting his bat on his shoulder and affecting body language that tells everyone in the ballpark that he won’t be swinging. And, the pitcher responding by grooving a center cut fastball. Heck, even the umpire gets into the act, expanding his strike zone to include anything even close to being a strike. After this, the game resumes, with the batter suddenly dialed in and looking to do some damage to the still vulnerable pitcher. As familiar as that scenario seems, things have been changing in recent years, as more hitters are taking their cuts on 3-0 offerings. More after the jump. 

A few years ago, I posted a piece titled “Pivotal Pitches” that looked at how transitions in the ball-strike count (e.g. going from a 1-1 count to a 2-1 or 1-2 count) affect the expected outcome a plate appearance. Among other things, that piece identified how often a ball is put into play on each count, and the damage done (or not) by those balls in play. It will surprise nobody that fewer balls are put in play on a 3-0 count than any other, and it will probably also not be surprising that more damage is done when a ball is put in play on a 3-0 count than in any other. Which, of course, begs the question “if a BIP on a 3-0 count is so richly rewarded, why aren’t more hitters going after that pitch?”.

For the current 2018 season, the BIP results by count look like this. The percentage numbers should be interpreted as batted balls in play (incl. HR) on each count as a percentage of all PAs that included that count. The 3-0 count has the lowest BIP% by far, less than half of the next lowest mark, on the first pitch of a PA. But, it may surprise you to learn that that lowly 4.0% BIP on a 3-0 count is more than 50% higher than the 2.5% mark in the 2009 season, just nine years ago.

In fact, BIP rates on 3-0 counts have shown fairly wide swings in the 30+ seasons that such things have been recorded, as shown in the chart below.The BIP rate for 3-0 counts is shown by the blue line which, after 15 years of decline, has been on the rebound in the current decade, a rare occurrence of increasing BIP in a period of rising strikeouts and declining balls in  play. More significant than the rise in 3-0 BIP however has been what hitters have done with those balls in play, showing major improvements over the past five years in BA, SLG and OPS over rates posted for all PA including a 3-0 count. The current 2018 mark of a .562 OPS bulge is virtually tied with the .563 mark in 2010 for the highest of the past 30+ seasons.

The traditional rationale for taking the 3-0 pitch has gone something like “if the pitcher is trying to walk you, then let him”.  That’s fine if a walk is your objective. But, with the BA, SLG and OPS advantages seen in the previous chart, perhaps sights should be set higher. Taking a shot on a 3-0 pitch and, perhaps, fouling it off, doesn’t really hurt you, since the likelihood of eventually drawing a walk remains about the same, as shown in the chart below. While there may not be a particular advantage in working a walk on the 3-0 pitch versus later in the count, the chart above does show a steady decline in walks on a 3-0 count, more clearly depicted in the chart below.Part of the decline in 3-0 walks is indicated by the similar decline in IBBs on 3-0 counts (the brief upward bump in IBBs in the middle of the period is likely related to a certain slugger aptly bearing the initials “BB”). What’s also notable about this trend is that it has been steady throughout the past 30 seasons, despite BIP% on a 3-0 count showing distinct upward and downward trends over that period. The explanation could be that pitchers became more aggressive on 3-0 when batters were more passive, while both batters and pitchers have become more aggressive in that count over the past 8 or 9 years.

Getting back to the 2018 season, here are the teams that have been most successful in putting the ball in play on a 3-0 count.The chart plots BIP% against OPS for the 3-0 count, with half of teams in the shaded blue area and the identified outliers outside of it. The OPS numbers are quite volatile and subject to significant change; Texas is the prime example, with its 5.000 OPS coming on a home run in the team’s only 3-0 ball in play. At the other extreme are the Blue Jays who hit their sixth home run on a 3-0 count on June 15th, more than one-quarter of the major league total of 22 and tying the team record for a full season since 1988.

Among active players, only these two have compiled 40 ABs with a 3-0 count.

Rk Player Split From To G AB PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB IBB BAbip
1 Albert Pujols 3-0 Count 2001 2018 572 98 645 14 37 9 1 7 28 2 2 547 0 .378 .905 .704 1.610 69 293 .330
2 Victor Martinez 3-0 Count 2002 2018 261 60 285 11 25 3 0 5 20 0 0 223 0 .417 .870 .717 1.587 43 108 .351
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/22/2018.

They are among 29 players since 1988 with 40 ABs with a 3-0 count, all of whom posted at least a 1.300 OPS in that split. The top performers are these fifteen who batted .350 and slugged .750. Of this group, only Bonds (obviously) and Palmeiro failed to record at least a 10% BIP on 3-0 counts, while McGriff, Sosa and Gonzo topped 20% (and the Big Hurt would have too, with one more BIP).

Rk Player Split From To G AB PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB IBB BAbip
1 Fred McGriff 3-0 Count 1988 2004 394 122 439 21 53 8 2 13 46 0 0 313 0 .434 .836 .852 1.688 104 148 .357
2 Frank Thomas 3-0 Count 1990 2008 482 107 539 22 39 10 0 11 31 0 0 430 0 .364 .872 .766 1.638 82 154 .289
3 Ken Griffey 3-0 Count 1989 2010 526 77 585 18 29 3 1 9 26 1 0 508 0 .377 .918 .792 1.710 61 232 .294
4 Sammy Sosa 3-0 Count 1989 2007 320 69 343 24 35 9 1 15 36 2 0 274 0 .507 .901 1.319 2.220 91 146 .370
5 David Ortiz 3-0 Count 1998 2016 402 65 445 16 27 8 0 6 18 0 0 380 0 .415 .915 .815 1.730 53 194 .356
6 Jeff Bagwell 3-0 Count 1991 2005 382 62 430 18 31 6 0 11 28 1 0 367 0 .500 .928 1.129 2.057 70 132 .392
7 Jim Thome 3-0 Count 1991 2012 459 62 497 28 30 6 0 17 34 0 0 431 0 .484 .930 1.403 2.333 87 159 .271
8 Barry Bonds 3-0 Count 1988 2007 867 56 1088 22 22 7 0 10 33 0 0 1030 0 .393 .967 1.054 2.020 59 629 .250
9 Bernie Williams 3-0 Count 1991 2006 325 56 355 18 21 4 0 7 22 0 1 299 0 .375 .901 .821 1.723 46 89 .286
10 Carlos Delgado 3-0 Count 1994 2009 378 54 425 15 21 4 0 12 33 0 0 369 0 .389 .922 1.130 2.052 61 173 .214
11 Juan Gonzalez 3-0 Count 1990 2004 193 46 209 16 23 4 0 10 24 0 0 163 0 .500 .890 1.239 2.129 57 69 .361
12 Lance Berkman 3-0 Count 1999 2013 343 43 386 9 18 2 2 3 16 0 0 341 0 .419 .930 .767 1.697 33 152 .357
13 David Justice 3-0 Count 1989 2002 245 42 269 15 17 4 0 6 18 0 0 227 0 .405 .907 .929 1.836 39 78 .306
14 Jeromy Burnitz 3-0 Count 1993 2006 243 42 257 7 15 5 0 5 13 0 0 215 0 .357 .895 .833 1.728 35 67 .270
15 Rafael Palmeiro 3-0 Count 1988 2005 384 42 430 15 17 0 0 6 20 0 0 386 0 .405 .937 .833 1.771 35 155 .289
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/22/2018.

My thanks, as always, to baseball-reference.com for making available the data used to prepare this analysis.

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60 Comments on "Swinging away: 3-0 counts are a changin’"

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e pluribus munu
Guest
Typically terrific, Doug., and a great follow-up to your 2015 post on ball-strike count outcomes that you link to in the second paragraph here. Rereading that piece too, I notice you wrote there (in the discussion comments): Similarly, hitters are helpful to pitchers by letting them groove pitches down the middle 3-0, usually without apprehension of those pitches being swung at. Which I think is crazy. If you have a disciplined hitter who can recognize and react to a center-cut fastball, why not let him swing 3-0? Sure, he may pop it up – but he could also do that… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

I was going to say the same as epm. Great work, Doug.

I was just looking at Jim Thome’s splits in that final chart; 497 PAs and a .484/.930/1.403 line? WOW. That’s just incredible. It makes you realize how integral the four-balls-makes-a-walk rule is to baseball; if it were only ONE ball to make a walk, games would have 40 runs scored in them.

oneblankspace
Guest

After the 1998 season, a lot of publications were made about McGwire’s 70 homeruns, and some of them also included Sosa’s 66 homers. Of those 136 homeruns, none occured on 3-0.

Doug
Guest

One of Sosa’s did, on Apr 24th at Dodger Stadium off Ismael Valdez. I checked just because Sosa is second only to Thome with 15 HR on 3-0 counts. He hit at least one for ten consecutive seasons (1995-2004), with a high of three is both 2002 and 2004.

McGwire is a different story, with just two 3-0 HR to his credit, in 1995 and 1999.

Richard Chester
Guest

The HR/AB ratio is generally 10% or more, far above the overall ratio of about 3%.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Doug, Can I ask for a couple of clarifications? On your calculation of IBB on 3-0, am I right that these are not cases of regular IBB (which wouldn’t make sense now, since there is no 3-0 on a regular IBB), but of an intentional ball being thrown only on the fourth pitch of an AB with a 3-0 count? (I didn’t realize B-R tracked this, or that Bonds’ high IBB totals included many such instances.) In reviewing your “Pivotal Pitches” post, focusing on 3-0 counts, it seems to me that you calculate the sum of the OPS rates for… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Good questions, epm. There is undoubtedly selection bias in the 3-0 stats in that the contributions of better hitters are over-represented in the totals. So, for lesser hitters, not taking 3-0 might be a harder decision to make. Taking on 3-0 would have an expected OPS of slightly more than 1.000, with a 40+% chance at a 1.000 OPS (from a walk) and a 55%-60% chance of the OPS for a 3-1 count (1.024 in 2014). So, you’d want to be pretty confident that your hitter would only offer at something he could handle before taking off the take sign.… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

Thanks, Doug. I appreciate the quick reply and I’ll try to get my mind properly wrapped around it.

e pluribus munu
Guest
I’m still working through the issue and your response, Doug. I think that the bottom line issue for me is that general probabilities never actually apply to particular batters: the general probabilities are a summation of all hitters, but each hitter’s unique profile relates differently to that general set, and the hitter and his manager both know something about how. (I think this is a very important question for the role of stats in baseball generally: recorded stats are always descriptive — they describe completed events — and in that realm perfectly accurate. But they can only legitimately be used… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
It’s been a few days since the silence was broken here, and I’ve thought perhaps some of the HHS regulars would take the opportunity to comment on current developments, recent statistical oddities, and so forth lookin’ especially at you, Voomo). Earlier today, I noticed an item on MLB.com titled: “Who is the best big league position player at every position?” These were the picks (Mike Trout was touted as the #1 overall, and I’m certainly not inclined to disagree): C: Buster Posey 1B: Paul Goldschmidt 2B: Jose Altuve 3B: Jose Ramirez SS: Francisco Lindor LF: Giancarlo Stanton CF: Mike Trout… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
I’m going to have a little fun because so little has been fun recently C: William Howard Taft, built like Ernie Lombardi, cerebral (before suiting up was also a Supreme Court Justice), good arm, terrific framer. Only knock against him is a reputation for being a little conservative in his play-calling. IB: George Washington: Power hitter, very mobile (considered one of the greatest horseman of his time) great in the clubhouse, surprisingly deft with the glove. Thought of as a future manager. 2B, John (Scooter) Adams: Scrappy, excels at the hidden ball trick, range is a little limited, but terrific… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
An important contribution to historical baseball analytics! –The Adams’ as a keystone combo is inspired, so long as second base umpires get combat pay (did either one of those guys ever accept anyone else’s judgment?). –It would be entertaining to see Taft assume and rise from the crouch, but I believe a sub would be needed before the first inning was over, as well as an orthopedic surgeon for the knee replacements. I’d replace him with your RHSP: even “talking catchers” like Connie Mack would have to take a back seat to Abe’s power to distract the hitter with an… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Thanks, EPM. Some serious data mining took place, especially for the late 18th Century/early 19th Century guys. See your point about George Bush. Disagree about Taft being moved to 3B–I think he’s have too many problems with bunts.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Yes, you’re right: Taft did not like bunts. “I like to see them hit it out for all that is in them,” he said, when asked his opinion of the bunt. I guess now we know why. (And, after all, who had more in him than Taft?)

Richard Chester
Guest

Here’s an oddity. Someone I follow on Twitter posted that Elias Sports Bureau found that P Edwin Jackson, who recently joined his 13th team, has 98 career victories but not more than 19 for any one team and that that is the record for most career victories without at least 20 wins for any one team. I did my own analysis and found these pitchers with at least 50 career victories but not with more than 19 for one team.

98 ….. Edwin Jackson
88 ….. Julian Tavarez
69 ….. Brandon McCarthy
68 ….. Mark Redman
67 ….. Glendon Rusch
63 ….. Ted Abernathy
61 ….. Ron Villone
59 ….. Elias Sosa
56 ….. Jeff Parrett
52 ….. Doug Brocail
52 ….. Jerome Williams
51 ….. Terry Adams
51 ….. Rich Hill
51 ….. Allen Watson
50 ….. Elmer Jacobs

e pluribus munu
Guest
What a list! There are a few pretty good pitchers there (Abernathy, Brocail), but the general sense is of survivalist mediocrity. Thinking of Jackson pursuing a career like that for thirteen teams feels pretty melancholy . . . at least until you look at his salary stats: even incomplete, he still grossed over $64m in the 10 of his 16 seasons that B-R has records for. I don’t think I’d feel melancholy about that. It’s a reminder too of how rare MLB-level talent is: even an average of 0.6 WAR per season can make you member of (as we used… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Abernathy was a useful pitcher for most of his career. Did you notice that he managed 6.2BWAR in 106 IP in 1967? Wow. What’s the highest seasonal WAR/9 IP with 100 minimum?

Richard Chester
Guest

Here are the top 6 in seasonal WAR/9 IP.

John Hiller .064 in 1973
Bruce Sutter .06162 in 1977
Goose Gossage .06161 in 1975
Ted Abernathy .058 in 1967
Pedro Martinez .054 in 2000
Lindy McDaniel .052 in 1960

So Abernathy is in with some very fine company.

Richard Chester
Guest

That’s for a minimum of 100 IP.

e pluribus munu
Guest

The fact that Pedro — a starter — is in that company is pretty amazing too.

e pluribus munu
Guest
I was an Abernathy fan when I was young. The reason was that his lifetime record when I began to track him in his days as a starter with the Senators was 8-22 — in itself worthy of attention — and then he had somehow become transformed into a dynamite submarine reliever a few years later. (Turns out he copied Dick Hyde’s delivery, another Senator pitcher I liked because I thought the idea of a submarine pitch was cool.) There’s no good reason Abernathy didn’t win 20 games total for the Royals at the end of his career. His final… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

epm: I did not use the BR PI. I retrieved a list of pitchers by team from Fangraphs, put it into an Excel spreadsheet and manipulated it. It’s cumbersome to explain but it did not take that long.

e pluribus munu
Guest

My hat’s off to you, Richard. (And not just because I’m indoors.)

Richard Chester
Guest

Thanks. And my hat is off to you for your recent articles.

Richard Chester
Guest
epm: For nostalgia’s sake here is our first interaction on the old BR blog. “14 June 18, 2012 at 10:51 am In the 5th inning of the 1st game of a double-header between the Phils and the Giants on 10-5-29 Lefty O’Doul hit a HR which was his 251st hit of the season breaking Rogers Hornsby’s seasonal NL record. The next batter, Chuck Klein, hit his 43rd HR breaking Hornsby’s NL seasonal HR record. 15 e pluribus munu says: June 18, 2012 at 11:30 am Good Lord, Richard! How do you find these things? Or did you just know this… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

And how many times since have I responded the same way to your invocation of some cool fact that by rights no one should now recall?

One example just popped into my mind from last fall, where my response was, “Richard, How in the world did you have that insanely obscure factoid ready to deploy instantly with such splendid effect?” (Doug mentioned Curly Ogden and minutes later you noted that Ogden was born in Ogden.)

After that first exchange, I used Charlton’s Chronology online often, and felt lost when it was shuttered. Nothing I know of quite replaces it.

Richard Chester
Guest

I have a book entitled “The Baseball Maniac’s Almanac” which has records up to 2015. There is a listing of players with same surname as town of birth. There are 10 players on the list including Ogden and his brother Jack. The town have been named after one of their ancestors.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Yup. That’s what you told me then. We all get our information from somewhere. For me, fun facts in books like your almanac stay in the book and surprise me as much on second reading as the first. What startled me then and startles me now is that when Doug mentioned Ogden, you still had that info loaded and sitting in the chamber, ready to fire off.

Richard Chester
Guest
Looking through my old comments I found a couple about Curly Ogden that I had posted not too long ago. Here it is. And I just discovered that Curly Ogden holds the record for fewest batters faced by a starting pitcher in a WS game. In game 7 of the 1924 WS between the Senators and the Giants he faced just 2 batters. Warren Harvey “Curly” Ogden became part of World Series lore in 1924 when Washington manager Bucky Harris started him in Game Seven as a ploy to fool Giants manager John McGraw. The idea was to get McGraw… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

With his most recent incarnation, I could swear Hill had to be much closer to 100 wins let alone a mere 100 decisions.
But, thank God for the comfort if $50M in lifetime/guaranteed remuneration

no statistician but
Guest
Since I lost my wife in February I haven’t had the right kind of energy to make any comments here. This is a tentative restart. The list above provided by epm seems, as he say, reasonable. What strikes me, though, is how at two of the positions, and possibly three, the “best” player is hardly having a banner year and yet there’s no one in either league to challenge him. I’m talking about catcher and first base, with left field thrown in, although there is a challenger to Stanton in Eddie Rosario. A further general remark: a few days back… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
That’s awful, NSB. I know that there’s nothing that can offer comfort, but I’m glad to see you back. As to baseball, I wonder if we aren’t seeing another secular change in the way the game is played. I remember reading somewhere that it’s not inability to hit the breaking pitch that’s the problem for hitters who don’t quite make it, it’s inability to hit a good fastball. Could the serial use of high-octane arms throwing one or two innings at a time just be a little too much for hitters–the average ones slipping, the marginal ones getting closer to… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

Please accept my condolences, nsb. I’m sure I’m not the only one here who has missed your presence, and I’m so sorry to learn the reason that you’ve been away.

As always, your comment brings fresh and substantive material to the discussion. I could hardly have hoped for a more interesting response.

Paul E
Guest

I’m sorry for your loss. Here’s to hoping the sadness lifts and soon sweet memories will prevail

no statistician but
Guest

Epilepsy
Acute sinusitis
Acute nephritis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Skull fracture
Apendicitis/Tonsillitis
Exostosis
Osteomyelitis
Aviophobia
Tuberculosis
Diabetes
Degenerated ulnar collateral ligament
Retinal blood vessel occlusion

Unlucky thirteen.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Hmmmm. Ok. Here are some thoughts:

Tony Lazzeri (or Sherry Magee)
George Sisler
Ross Youngs
Lou Gehrig
Ray Chapman
Tiny Bonham
. . . . ? (exotosis)
Mickey Mantle
Jackie Jensen
Red Schoendienst
Lou Brock
Tommy John
Kirby Puckett

Richard Chester
Guest

Also Pete Alexander for epilepsy.

no statistician but
Guest

Hints: Chronological order; impact during playing career.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Well, nsb, Magee predates Alexander, but since Alex’s illness was tied to his alcoholism, while Magee’s seemed just to enhance his nastiness, perhaps we should choose Alex (whose earlier epilepsy thus strikes out Lazzeri). Sisler, Youngs, and Gehrig are all chronologically in order, but Chapman, despite the rather profound impact of his condition on his career, does not fit chronologically as well as Reiser. Bonham’s appendicitis ended his career by ending his life, but I don’t know of a tonsillitis connection, so maybe that’s not whom you were thinking of. Still Bonham (died 1949) fits well between Reiser (1942 fracture)… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

Epilepsy—Alexander
Acute sinusitis—Sisler
Acute nephritis—Youngs
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—Gehrig
Skull fracture—Reiser
Apendicitis/Tonsillitis
Exostosis
Osteomyelitis—Mantle
Aviophobia—Jensen
Tuberculosis—Schoendienst
Diabetes—Santo
Degenerated ulnar collateral ligament—John
Retinal blood vessel occlusion—Puckett

Giveaway hint: 6 MVPs

Paul E
Guest
NSB: Would Joe DiMaggio be your “Exostosisi” guy with his heel problems? While checking the MVP hint, I came across this strangely accurate voting in the NL MVP race in 1949: 1) J.Robinson 1st in WAR 2) Stan Musial 2nd in WAR 3) Slaughter 6th in WAR 4) Ralph Kiner 3rd in WAR 5) P. W. Reese 4th in WAR Regarding appendicitis, some little known info about laporascopy: “…..It first allowed doctors to examine women’s reproductive organs for disease, do tubal ligations and extract eggs from ovaries for in vitro fertilization.”
e pluribus munu
Guest

I see. Forgot one, never knew about the other. I looked these up, so let’s see whether anyone whose memory is better wants to chime in.

Richard Chester
Guest

According to his SABR bio when Reiser fractured his skull in 1947 he was in such bad condition that he was given last rites. He was confined to a hospital for 5 days.

Paul E
Guest

Durocher claimed Reiser was better than Cedeno….and Willie Mays. But, I’d guess you’d have to be pretty old to remember Reiser in his prime

e pluribus munu
Guest

Reiser’s prime ended with his first cracked skull, on a Sunday in mid-1942. They took him to the hospital and the doctors told him he couldn’t play again that season. Durocher put him in to pinch-hit with a man on in extras on Tuesday. Reiser knocked in the runner and passed out crossing first. A new team of doctors at a different hospital said he couldn’t play any more that year. He was back in the regular line-up in three weeks. Someone should have gone to jail and it wasn’t the doctors.

no statistician but
Guest
Just to wrap up, the two remaining medical issues are, yes, somewhat different from the others, insofar as they weren’t long term. Musial’s 1947 season, though, wasn’t just a random subpar year, but one caused by physical conditions that drained him and that were corrected by surgery over the following winter. DiMaggio’s bone spur was famous in its time—referenced in Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea— and although it’s associated with the 1949 season, it developed the previous year. DiMaggio’s importance to the team in ’49 is evidenced by the fact that he led his teammates in WAR, even though… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

Nicely done, nsb.

Richard Chester
Guest
In 1949 DiMaggio had pneumonia the week before the final 2 crucial games with the Red Sox. In the top of the 9th inning of the final game the Yankees held a 5-0 lead with two men on, one out and Bobby Doerr at bat. He hit a fly ball to CF that DiMaggio could not track down due to his weakened condition. The Sox scored 2 runs on that play. At that point DiMaggio very graciously ran off the field and had himself removed from the game. The Yankees held on for a 5-3 win and the pennant. Incidentally… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

35 years ago, in a sweltering Yankee Stadium, I saw Dave Righetti pitch the first no hitter for the Yankees since Don Larsen. The old joint was rocking as he made his way through the later innings, literally vibrating in the 9th.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Saw this earlier, Mike, but envy kept me quiet for a while.

Mike L
Guest

It was unquestionably a cool experience. But didn’t match my mother’s, who was at the first of the two 1949 Yankees Red Sox games referred to above. That was “Joe D. Day”, and his first time back in the line up after pneumonia.

Paul E
Guest

Mike L.
Speaking of the NY baseball experience, I believe I read somewhere, no kidding, that Zero Mostel witnessed 5 no hitters in his days as a Dodgers fan. I believe the article may have been in Baseball Digest…..I’m really reaching here because I’m fairly certain he was alive when the article was written (interview tone to the article) and he’s been dead over 40 years.

Maybe someone else recalls this?

Mike L
Guest

I didn’t know that. Wow. Well, Zero was a more talented observer than I was. And “The Producers” remains one of the dumbest, silliest, funniest movies of all time.

Richard Chester
Guest

The first of those 2 games produced one of the most important forgotten Yankee HRs. Johnny Lindell’s 8th inning HR broke a 4-4 tie to give the Yankees a 5-4 win. Closer Joe Page walked the first 2 batters he faced with the bases loaded in the third inning and then pitched 6.2 innings of 1 hit ball for the victory.

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