Mystery Milestone Games

Most player milestone games are well documented, at least for the past 75 years or more. That, of course, is because the milestone is anticipated, often making the game when the milestone is reached somewhat anti-climatic. But, I’ll be looking at a different type of milestone game in this post, milestones that are not anticipated, not even by the players involved. More on these mystery milestones are after the jump.

Following up from the last post on the 2019 home run surge, here is a look back at the evolution of certain “mystery” milestone home run games, those which were the first game in which 2, 3, 4, or more players appeared who had then reached various milestones in career home runs.

In contrast to today’s game, hitting 200 home runs in a career was once a notable accomplishment. In fact, it wasn’t until 1955 that there were more than 10 active players at the level, and not until 1971 were there more than 10 active players at the 300 home run level. Beyond 300 home runs, significant numbers of active players are relatively rare. For example, there are only three active 400 home run players today, a level that was first reached only in 1963, as shown in the chart below.

Nevertheless, at certain times in the game’s history, there have been larger numbers of such players and, when a couple or more end up on the same teams, and when those teams play each other, the chance exists for a milestone game such as the ones I’ll be identifying here.

Following then are the games and players involved the first time different numbers of players appeared in the same game who had already reached career milestones of 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 home runs. While there is nothing notable about what transpired in most of these games, and most often the players involved were in the twilight of their careers and well past their primes, I’ve nevertheless found it interesting to identify the fate and circumstances that brought these players together to appear in these games.

While I believe the games below are the milestone games I’ve purported them to be, there’s no guarantee of that. So, if you’re aware of earlier occasions, I welcome your feedback to identify those games.

Two players

Babe Ruth became baseball’s career home run leader in 1921, a mantle he held for more than 50 years. He reached the milestones of 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 home runs in 1923, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1931 and 1934, respectively. The second player to reach each of those milestones did so 3 years after Ruth (200), 9 years after (300 and 400), 11 years after (500), 38 years after (600), and 70 years after (700).

AL Two Players NL
Babe Ruth (577), Lou Gehrig (200) NYY 06-20-1931 200 06-24-1927 NYG Rogers Hornsby (204)
  SLB PHI Cy Williams (216)
Gehrig’s homer made him the fifth player to reach 200, just two days after Hack Wilson had become number 4. After a 35-30 start, the Yankees finished the season 59-29 but gained only 1½ games on the high-flying A’s who claimed their third straight pennant. Hornsby homered and doubled in this game in his only season as a Giant. At age 39, Williams launched 30 round-trippers this season, the oldest player to lead his league in home runs.
Babe Ruth (689), Lou Gehrig (300) NYY 04-30-1934 300 06-29-1939 BSN Al Simmons (300)
  WSH NYG Mel Ott (354)
Gehrig homered and doubled in this game, edging out Hornsby by 18 days in the race to become the second player (and second Yankee) to reach 300. Gehrig’s opponent this day, the Senators/Twins are, 85 years later, still waiting for the franchise’s second 300 HR man. Simmons was still at 300 almost two months after reaching that milestone; he would be traded to the Reds before season’s end. Ott reached 100 walks for the seventh time, overtaking (by one) Jimmy Sheckard as the NL career walks leader.
Jimmie Foxx (402) BOS 07-03-1938 400 06-04-1942 NYG Mel Ott (422)
Lou Gehrig (477) NYY CHC Jimmie Foxx (524)
Yankees won 9-3 for their eighth straight win, closing within 1½ games of the front-running Indians. New York would finish the season 59-28 to easily claim their third straight pennant. Ott led his league in runs, walks and home runs in this season, his only time with that trifecta. In his first NL season, Foxx stole the last base of his career (but not in this game); thus emboldened, he would finish the season with three unsuccessful attempts.
Eddie Mathews (509) DET 09-25-1967 500 08-05-1945 PHI Jimmie Foxx (531)
Mickey Mantle (518) NYY NYG Mel Ott (502)
Both principals manned first base as the ninth place Yanks took this late-season tilt from Detroit. But, the leading Twins also lost to keep the Tigers in the thick of a wild four-team pennant chase. Ott was still going strong (151 OPS+), while Double-X was reinventing himself as a pitcher in his final season (had a nice 1.59 ERA in 22 IP). But, no one would have guessed that Master Melvin would play only 35 more games after this campaign.
Alex Rodriguez (626) NYY 08-21-2011 600 04-27-1971 SFG Willie Mays (633)
Jim Thome (601) MIN ATL Hank Aaron (600)
This meeting almost didn’t happen as it was the last game of the season between these clubs, and A-Rod’s first game back after missing 38 games to injury. These players also did not meet in Thome’s last season in 2012. The two principals were front and center with an Aaron home run to reach 600, and a 10th inning game winning hit for Mays.

Three players

Having three players in a game at a milestone home run level means, of course, that at least two of them must be teammates. As we saw in the previous table, Ruth and Gehrig were the first teammates to reach career home run milestones and therefore figure prominently again in the first games with there milestone players. Beyond 300 home runs, milestone teammates become quite rare, with most instances identified here.

AL Three Players NL
Al Simmons (205) PHA 09-05-1932 200 06-30-1937 PHI Chuck Klein (261)
Babe Ruth (651), Lou Gehrig (254) NYY NYG Mel Ott (291), Wally Berger (201)
Simmons and Ruth both homered in this first game of a double-header. The Yankees won both to extinguish any faint hopes the defending champs may have had for a four-peat. Ott homered and Berger doubled twice as the defending champs easily handled the hapless Phils to remain a half-game back of the Cubs. New York would fall to 6½ back in mid-August, before closing on a 36-14 tear to retain their crown.
Babe Ruth (694), Lou Gehrig (311) NYY 05-28-1934 300 04-25-1958 STL Stan Musial (385)
Rogers Hornsby (300) SLB LAD Duke Snider (317), Gil Hodges (300)
Gehrig smacked 11 homers in the four weeks after reaching 300, including a pair in this game as the Yanks prevailed 13-9, going yard 5 times including one by the Babe playing his final season as a Yankee. Dodger pitchers went 2 for 3 at the plate and scored twice in a 5-3 win in the Cardinals’ first ever visit to LA.
Sammy Sosa (574), Rafael Palmeiro (551) BAL 04-08-2005 400 06-11-1964 MLN Eddie Mathews (426)
Gary Sheffield (416) NYY SFG Willie Mays (424), Duke Snider (406)
Sheffield and Hideki Matsui homered, the latter’s third in four games to begin the season. But, the Yanks were pummeled 12-8. Snider’s pinch double keyed a 3-run 9th inning rally for the Giants, but the Braves held on for a 6-5 win. Last season for Snider, and for Billy Pierce who also appeared In this game.
Ken Griffey Jr. (608), Jim Thome (532) CHW 08-17-2008 500 06-10-2005 BAL Sammy Sosa (580), Rafael Palmeiro (559)
Frank Thomas (521) OAK CIN Ken Griffey Jr. (511)
The Sox had acquired Griffey at the deadline to buttress their post-season hopes. Chicago was successful in that quest, though Griffey’s contributions were modest at best, and he and Thome were both with new teams the next season. Final season for the Big Hurt. The first ever game with three 500 HR men was this inter-league matchup in Palmeiro’s final season. The Orioles led the East by four games after a 4-3 win in this contest, but a 14-30 swoon after the All-Star break would seal their fate as also-rans.

Four players

Beyond 300 home runs, four or more players in a game are very rare. There still has not been an NL game with four 400 home run men.

AL Four Players NL
Rogers Hornsby (300), Jim Bottomley (208) SLB 05-31-1936 200 07-31-1955 BRO Gil Hodges (230), Duke Snider (226), Roy Campanella (200)
Al Simmons (260), Goose Goslin (225) DET STL Stan Musial (315)
The Browns prevailed 11-10 after a 5-run rally in the 9th that included a pinch-hit RBI from player-manager Hornsby, making the first of only two game appearances this season. Campanella and Musial homered, and the Dodgers mashed 11-2 as Don Newcombe extended his record to 18-1 en route to Brooklyn’s only world championship season.
Al Kaline (376), Frank Howard (370), Norm Cash (353) DET 04-16-1973 300 04-20-1963 MLN Eddie Mathews (400), Hank Aaron (300)
Orlando Cepeda (359) BOS NYM Duke Snider (392), Gil Hodges (370)
The Tigers had acquired Howard from the Senators the previous season to become the first team with three 300 HR men. This would be Howard’s final year, while the other three bade farewell the next season. Aaron homered in this game, but it was only the 9th of Tommie’s career and his only blast at the Polo Grounds. Final season for Hodges who played just eight more games after this one.
Gary Sheffield (428), Alex Rodriguez (401) NYY 06-27-2005 400 06-18-2002 TEX Rafael Palmeiro (460), Juan Gonzalez (401)
Sammy Sosa (583), Rafael Palmeiro (562) BAL CHC Sammy Sosa (475), Fred McGriff (459)
The Orioles traded for Sosa before this season to become the first team with a pair of 500 HR men. Palmeiro went 2 for 2 in this contest, his last career game not making an out. This inter-league tilt was the first to feature four 400 HR men. Palmeiro homered for the Rangers, but not Gonzo. Instead, another Gonzalez (Alex) replied with a walk-off shot for the Cubs.

Five players

Five or more players in a game has only been recorded at the 200 and 300 home run levels. Interestingly, the gap between the first 5 x 200 and 5 x 300 games was almost the same in both leagues, at 49 years (AL) and 50 years (NL).

AL Five Players NL
Joe DiMaggio (341), Johnny Mize (335) NYY 09-07-1950 200 05-15-1956 STL Stan Musial (330), Hank Sauer (244)
Ted Williams (290), Vern Stephens (206), Bobby Doerr (206) BOS BRO Gil Hodges (245,) Duke Snider (237,) Roy Campanella (214)
Williams returned to the lineup after a lengthy stay on the injury list as Boston outslugged the Bombers 10-8, their second of six straight wins that brought them within a game of the defending champs. But, a desultory 8-8 finish would leave the Red Sox short of the pennant, again. It was the same group from the 4 x 200 game the previous year plus Sauer, acquired from the Cubs just before the season began. St. Louis started the year well and were leading the pack despite a loss in this game. But, it didn’t last as a 6-15 slide sandwiching the All-Star Game relegated the Redbirds to also-rans.
Jose Canseco (398), Fred McGriff (358) TBD 04-05-1999 300 08-29-2006 SFG Barry Bonds (727), Moises Alou (311), Steve Finley (306)
Cal Ripken (359), Harold Baines (348), Albert Belle (322) BAL ATL Chipper Jones (333), Andruw Jones (333)
Opening day game and new hired guns Canseco and Belle both homered. Ripken’s consecutive game streak had ended, by choice, the previous September. If not then, the streak would have ended after this game, as Ripken pulled something legging out a bunt and missed the next two games. Chipper homered as did Andruw, twice, as the Braves outslugged the Giants 13-8. After 11 straight division titles, Atlanta finally finished out of the money this season, their first losing campaign in 16 years.

Six players

Six players at the 300 home run level has only occurred in the AL and only in the 2005 season.

AL Six Players NL
Johnny Callison (226), Felipe Alou (206) NYY 08-06-1973 200 06-12-1957 MLN Bobby Thomson (219), Andy Pafko (201), Eddie Mathews (200)
Al Kaline (381), Frank Howard (378), Norm Cash (366), Willie Horton (205) DET BRO Duke Snider (286,) Gil Hodges (281,) Roy Campanella (237)
You’re forgiven if you didn’t know that Callison and Alou had been Yankees; the former had but 3 games left in his career, and the latter only 39. The Tigers’ more likely 6 x 200 game this season would have been with the OriolesBoog Powell and Brooks Robinson, but those six never quite made it into the same game. The Dodger trio make it three years running with a milestone game, this one coming in their last season in Brooklyn and, tragically, the last of Campanella’s career. Mathews homered to get to 200; good thing he did as this would be the last chance for these six with Thomson being traded to the Giants two days later.
Sammy Sosa (574), Rafael Palmeiro (551) BAL 04-08-2005 300  
Gary Sheffield (416), Alex Rodriguez (382), Tino Martinez (323), Ruben Sierra (302) NYY
This game is the same contest as the AL’s first 3 x 400 game. Jason Giambi would later this season make it a Yankee team with five 300 HR men, but there would be no 7 x 300 game.

7 or more Players

There have been seven or more players in a game only at the 200 home run level, so the following table is structured to show progressive numbers of players at this single milestone level. 2003 was a notable season, and Robin Ventura the pivotal player who played for teams in both leagues that season and, consequently, appeared in three milestone games.

AL 200 Home Runs NL
Gorman Thomas (262), Ben Oglivie (233), Cecil Cooper (230) MIL 07-22-1986 7 players 07-02-1971 PIT Roberto Clemente (225), Willie Stargell (224)
Reggie Jackson (537), George Hendrick (253), Bobby Grich (220), Doug DeCinces (205) CAL CHC Ernie Banks (510), Billy Williams (307), Ron Santo (294), Johnny Callison (210), Joe Pepitone (203)
These Angels are the only team to have 7 players aged 35 or older with 90 or more games; but, that didn’t stop them from taking the division crown. This was Thomas’s first game after being reacquired by the Brewers for his farewell tour. It was also the last season for Oglivie and Grich. Cubs become first team with five 200 HR men as Ernie Banks plays his final season. Pirates went up 4 games with a win in this game; that lead would slip under 4 games only once the rest of the season.
Jim Rice (351), Don Baylor (315), Dwight Evans (291), Tony Armas (224) BOS 10-11-1986 8 Players 08-01-2003 LAD Rickey Henderson (297), Robin Ventura (284), Shawn Green (245), Jeromy Burnitz (228)
Reggie Jackson (548), George Hendrick (259), Bobby Grich (224), Doug DeCinces (221) CAL ATL Gary Sheffield (366), Chipper Jones (271), Vinny Castilla (263), Andruw Jones (211)
Yes, a post-season game, and a good one too. Angels score 3 in the 9th to tie, then walk it off in the 11th on Grich’s RBI single. Halos take a 3-1 series lead, BUT they couldn’t close the deal. Greg Maddux gets the win in his final season as a Brave; he’ll finish the season just 11 wins shy of 300. Atlanta claims its 9th straight division crown, holding down first place for the final 160 days of the season. This was Ventura’s first game as a Dodger, and his second of three milestone games this season.
Robin Ventura (280), Raul Mondesi (246), Todd Zeile (235), Jason Giambi (233), Bernie Williams (232) NYY 04-26-2003 9 Players  
Rafael Palmeiro (497), Juan Gonzalez (411), Alex Rodriguez (306), Ruben Sierra (278) TEX
Four of these players would finish the season playing elsewhere, and three others did so the next year. But, they were all on the same field on this day. 
  10 Players 09-19-2003 SFG Barry Bonds (657), Andres Galarraga (397), Benito Santiago (211), Marquis Grissom (201)
LAD Fred McGriff (491), Rickey Henderson (297), Robin Ventura (288), Shawn Green (251), Jeromy Burnitz (236), Todd Hundley (202)
The defending champion Giants had already clinched the division crown, but the Dodgers were grinding, using no fewer than six pinch-hitters. In his final career game, Rickey Henderson scored the last of his record 2295 runs.

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104 Comments on "Mystery Milestone Games"

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Bob Eno (epm)
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This is fun stuff to read through, Doug, and very nicely laid out. In regular HHS strings, you and Voomo seem to have taken on the role of alerting all of us to varieties of milestones that unobtrusively go by in games each week, and it does tend to reinforce the sense of the game as an unwinding history, drawing attention back again and again to names and eras that would otherwise fade from view.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I’ve been thinking of a template that would be the reverse of this HR milestone ascent. For example, there used to be many players with 150-250 career triples, and match-ups with multiple such players would not have been hard to locate, although never really common. But I believe now no active player has as many as 100 career triples. Searching unsystematically, I think I may have located a type of reverse-milestone game: the last (to date . . . forever?) match-up pitting two 100 career triple players. The game I have in mind was the Dodger-Giant game of 30 September… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Carl Crawford and Jose Reyes faced each other four times when both had 100+ triples, 3 times in 2013 and once in 2015 in a Sep 15 game in which Jimmy Rollins also played, for three 100 triple men. After that Sep 15 game, Dodger teammates Rollins and Crawford appeared in the same game nine more times, the last on Sep 30 when both played the entire game. I don’t think there have been any teams since WWII with three 100 triple men. Teams with three 100 triple men: – 1944 Dodgers (Paul Waner, Lloyd Waner, Ben Chapman) – 1943… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

So much for my eyeballs.

Doug
Guest

The Astros on Saturday recorded the second team no-hitter of the season; like the first by the Angels, the Mariners were the victims.

Teams to be no-hit twice in one season, since 1908.
2019 Mariners
2015 Dodgers
2015 Mets
2010 Rays
2001 Padres
1996 Rockies
1977 Angels
1973 Tigers
1971 Reds
1967 Tigers
1965 Cubs
1960 Phillies
1923 A’s
1917 White Sox

John
Guest

Interestingly, the 1917 White Sox were the World Series champs. While several World Series champions have been no-hit during their season, they are the only WS winners to be victimized twice. And the 65 Cubs 2nd victimization was Sandy Kolfax’s perfecto.

Doug
Guest

Their two no-hit games were on consecutive days (May 5-6), both against the Browns (but not in consecutive games as the second no-hit game was the second game of a twinbill).

John
Guest

The 65 Cubs’ first no no was a rare 10 inning job My Jim Maloney. In Kolfax’s perfecto, Cubs’ Bob Henley was nearly as good, throwing a 1-hitter, the lone hit coming AFTER the run scored: A walk, sacrifice, stolen base and throwing error by the catcher. Without that error, they might still be playing.

John
Guest

On Apr 14 1917 Eddie Cicotte no-hit the Browns, making 3 no nos between the 2 teams in 1917. Eddie Cicotte of course got his HOF bid waylaid a few years later by the Black Sox scandal …..

Richard Chester
Guest

In yesterday’s (Friday) Yankee-Red Sox game which was a 4-2 Yankee victory, all runs were scored in the first inning. The highest number of runs scored, all in the first inning (1901-2018), I found to be 11 by the A’s and White Sox on 9/11/1929 with the A’s being the victors by a 7-4 score. All told I found 14 games in which all runs were scored in the first inning, 6 runs minimum, That’s for 9 inning games only. Extra inning games would have to end in a tie.

Doug
Guest

In Walker Buehler’s CG win on Saturday, 9 of his 15 strikeouts were accomplished in 3 or 4 pitches. He becomes just the 15th pitcher with a season since 1908 including a pair (or more) of 15 strikeout CGs. Randy Johnson had 6 such seasons, Ryan 4, and two each for Pedro and Sandy. Bob Feller had four such CGs in his career, all of them as a teenager.

Mike L
Guest

Interesting point about Feller, and the arc of the game. Feller led the league in K/9 for 4 consecutive years before he went off to war. In 1947, he led it again–with just 5.9. The final 5 years of his career, he never got it over 3.8.

Doug
Guest

Five Yankee HR on Monday pushed the season HR allowed by the Orioles to 223, just 35 shy of the record total of 258 allowed by the 2016 Reds. At its current pace, Baltimore will reach record territory by Aug 24, and will end the season having allowed 324 home runs, 25% more than the current mark. But, the Orioles are not alone; though well back of Baltimore, the Mariners and Phillies are also on pace to eclipse the current record.

Voomo
Guest

Gurriel of the Astros just got eight RBIs.
He did so with one homerun and the only one other hit. The homerun wasn’t even a grand slam. I’ve found only two other instances of eight RBIs with One home run and just 2 hits

It was last done in 1932, by Lou Gehrig

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET193209091.shtml

The other occasion was also a Yankee, but it was so long ago that it was a Highlander:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLA/SLA191107120.shtml

Doug
Guest
Roy Hartzell was the player for the earlier game. His 8 RBI were twice as many as in any other game of his career. Hartzell’s RBI totals for 1908-14 read 32, 32, 30, 91, 38, 38, 32 in seasons where his PA ranged from 468 to 650. His 8 RBI game and the eye-catching RBI total of 91 came in his best season in 1911, but certainly not a season so far and away better than the others as to make sense of that RBI total. 1911 was Hartzell’s first season in New York and the Highlanders’ last full season… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Gurriel had twice as many hits in the Astros’ 23-2 shellacking of Baltimore, but only a single RBI. The unusual line score in that game was 5-4-3-7 by DH Yordan Alvarez, just the fourth searchable game with that combo; the first three were all notable players: Cy Williams (1923), Ted Williams (1949) and Justin Morneau (2009, in a 14-13 loss).

Doug
Guest

Bo Bichette on Wednesday extended his batting streak to 10 games to start his career, totaling 18 hits including 11 for extra-bases. The former figure is the most among players playing their first 10 games all on the road, and the latter figure is tied with Pete Alonso for the most by any searchable player over the first 10 games of a career, home or away.

Doug
Guest

Two more XBH’s for Bichette in game no. 11. He becomes the first player to double in 9 straight games at any point in a career, and first rookie since Ted Williams with an XBH in 9 straight games.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Bichette’s bat has quiet the last two nights for the first time, but there were two other rookies who each had 3 HR games: Yordan Alvarez and Aristides Aquino. Alvarez’s line for 2019, his debut year, includes 17 HR and 31 XBH in 192 PA, for a slash line of .353/.452/1.175. His OPS+ is 203 (Bichette’s is now 200). Aquino had his start in August 2018, came up to bat, struck out, and was seen no more until August 1 this year. He was 0-for-6 in his first two games, but over his next seven, including last night’s three-dinger adventure,… Read more »
Doug
Guest
A for Alonso too. Cavan Biggio is another B who’s impressed. He’s a bit older and that maturity shows, as he carries himself like a veteran, all business and hustles on every play. Biggio has played mostly at second, but also at first and in the OF, and has looked very competent everywhere he’s played. His BA is underwhelming, partly because his batting eye is too good, taking close pitches that are balls, but being rung up because, well, he’s a rookie. Despite a .208 BA, he has a respectable .718 OPS thanks to a healthy number of walks (16%… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Bichette had his first four-hit game on Monday and his 10th multi-hit game, the latter tied with Curtis Goodwin and Yasiel Puig for the most in the first 15 games of a career.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Well, this is an egregious case of Small Sample Size, but…

Kyle Higashioka was returned to his AAA post.
If he does not get another plate appearance this season (unlikely, given September and all), he will obliterate the all-time record for highest slugging percentage with an OBP of .250 or under, minimum 40 PA:

.590 … Higashioka
.526 … Joe Koshansky
.500 … Steve Avery

.487 … J.R. Phillips
.487 … Dane Sardinha
.486 … Tommy Byrne
.483 … Bill Schroeder
.474 … John Mayberry (Jr.)

Doug
Guest

Three 1-0 games on Sunday. First time this year, and only the 10th time in the past 25 seasons.

Richard Chester
Guest

From 1901-2018 there have been 2 dates with 4 games of 1-0, 9/2/2001 and 7/2/2013. That’s for the AL and NL combined only, no FL.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Including the FL might well change the picture. The reason there was not a single date from 1901-1960 with four 1-0 games is probably that, except for Sundays and holidays, there were generally no more than 8 games on any given day. Since 1998 the norm has been 15, and that increase probably counterbalanced the rise in offense in recent decades.

. . . And, after checking, indeed, if the FL is included, add September 18, 1915.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

If his season ended today, where Ryu stands in this good old fashioned stat:

Lowest ERA since 1920, minimum 140 IP:

1.12 … Bob Gibson
1.45 … Hyun-Jin Ryu
1.53 … Gooden
1.56 … Maddux
1.57 … Jim Kern

1.60 … Tiant
1.63 … Maddux
1.64 … Chandler
1.65 … Chance
1.66 … Hubbell
1.66 … Greinke

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Each of the above listed seasons, ranked by RA/9:

1.45 … Gibson
1.66 … Gooden
1.67 … Maddux
1.74 … Greinke
1.81 … Chance
1.82 … Ryu
1.85 … Tiant
1.96 … Maddux
2.01 … Hubbell
2.20 … Kern
2.21 … Chandler

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Voomo, If you look at the list of top seasons of ERA+ since the mound was moved its present position, Ryu keeps his rank as second, but the surrounding pitchers change: 291…Pedro 284…Ryu 279…Dutch Leonard 271…Mad Dog 260…Mad Dog 259…Big Train 258…Gibson 253…Three Finger 243…Big Train 243…Pedro Leonard, of course, was pre-1920, and his 0.96 ERA would lead your ERA chart (except that with a 140 IP threshold, you’d have to add Ferdie Schupp’s 0.90). But I think it’s good to use 1893 as a starting point for ERA+, since it shows how exceptional Ryu’s season has been. We’re far… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Here is the b-r page for Charles Faust: https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/faustch01.shtml What appears to be a career of zero consequence. However, I just read the following except from the book ‘The Glory of Their Times’: “In 1911, Charles Victory Faust told John McGraw that a fortune teller had guaranteed the New York Giants would win the pennant if he pitched for them. Although Faust had no skill whatever as a pitcher, McGraw kept him on the Giants’ payroll from 1911 to 1913 as a good luck charm. Faust warmed up for every game (though he never started) and the Giants did win… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Faust even has a SABR player bio.
https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/d1ee8535

Apparently, McGraw was very superstitious. Probably a good thing for him that he didn’t have any advanced analytics to deal with.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

A good thing, indeed — look what happened when the Giants left Faust behind in 1914! Everyone thinks of the Miracle Braves, but which was the first-place team that collapsed after early July to let the last-place Braves sweep by them?

But don’t forget that McGraw was also the kid whose ability to apply analysis to the game shocked Ned Hanlon in 1892, when Hanlon thought he’d invented the approach.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Voomo, You are a lucky man if you haven’t yet read “The Glory of Their Times” in its entirety. There is no better book experience than that first read-through — complete with the picture of Charlie Faust in full windup, without a ball.

(Faust’s story is told in great detail by Fred Snodgrass. For some reason — not entirely mysterious — when my two boys were very little, whenever I’d mention Fred Snodgrass, they’d double up in gales laughter. Sometimes one would just say “Fred Snodgrass” and they’d collapse against one another in the back seat of the car.)

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I haven’t read it at all.
Someone just gave me a book called ‘Baseball and Philosophy.’
I opened it to a page that used the above-quote from Glory.

I will buy the book right now.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

I’ll guarantee or your money back!

Doug
Guest

Gleyber Torres launched 3 home runs in a Monday double-header against the Orioles, raising his season total against Baltimore to 13, the most against the Browns/Orioles in a season, and tied with four others for the second highest total against any one opponent in a season. Torres has two more games against the Orioles on Tue and Wed to try to match or exceed the record.
Most HR in Season Against One Opponent

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Really, Torres is the current reigning champion, his rate being so far beyond Gehrig’s — and Gehrig got an extra game because of a tie: his 14th HR came in that 23rd game against the Indians. But Torres will need at least one shot in those two games to get by Adcock in terms of rate. Adcock’s total is really special. Not only did he get all those dingers while — inexplicably — sitting out five games against the Bums, but he produced them against a pennant-winning pitching staff. His secret was Ebbets Field, where he his seven HRs in… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Doug and Bob, I’d like to see more Gleyber home runs just to experience Gary Thorne in the Orioles broadcast booth. Brings me back to The Murph, who varied from “Popped Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!” to “Pohhhhhhhpppped Uhhhhhpp” depending who was at the plate.

Paul E
Guest

https://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=27376121

Here’s Thorn if you can get through the advertisements….Torres failed to homer today

Doug
Guest

No more homers for Torres, but the Yanks won their 17th game against the Orioles, the most wins against the same opponent in the expansion era. Other expansion era teams to win 17 games against the same opponent:
– 1962 Phillies (Colt .45s). Phillies were 31-5 against Houston and the Mets, 44-81 against everyone else.
– 1965 Twins (Red Sox)
– 1974 Braves (Padres)
– 1986 Mets (Pirates)
– 2006 A’s (Mariners)
– 2013 Rangers (Astros)
– 2013 Indians (White Sox)

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Gleyber’s rate of HR is even more ridiculous than it seems. He hasn’t played 16 games vs the bad Birds. He’s played 14.5 On May 23rd he entered as a pinch hitter in the 9th (earning a Walk and scoring the winning run). And on August 6th he left with an injury after 2 PA. And really, his 0-5 on August 5th can be looked at askew. His injury occurred in the August 4th game, which he was removed from. He was at the hospital deep into that night getting tests. If the opponent on the 5th had been anyone… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Well, Voomo, fair is fair: Adcock also had fewer games.

He had one game where his only PA was as a pinch hitter in the 8th (he homered), and he was removed with one PA remaining in another game, so, calculating as you have, he played only 15.75 games against the Dodgers.

If Torres finishes with, say, “16.5” G against the O’s, he’d still need a HR to top Adcock’s rate — heck, Torres already has three more PAs vs. the O’s than Adcock got vs. the Bums.

But, on the other hand, who cares?

Doug
Guest
Rafael Devers had a 6 for 6 game on Tue and followed it up with hits in his first two PA on Wed. Rennie Stennett had hits in 9 straight PA on Sep 16-17, 1975, a streak that, at the time, was said to be a record. Does anyone know if that’s still the longest streak? Devers’ 6-1-6-3 box score line on Tue was just the fifth since 1908, but the second of this season; Phil Ervin of the Reds had the same totals against Colorado on July 13th. Devers’ 6 hits included 4 doubles, the 46th game with 4… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Walter Dropo had 12 hits in 12 consecutive PA on 7/14/1952 and 7/15/1952 (a double-header). Overall he had 15 hits in 17 PA.

Doug
Guest

Wow. Thanks, Richard. Were you in attendance at the first of those games, Dropo’s 5 hit game against the Yankees?

If you go back to the July 13 game, Dropo actually reached base in 14 straight PA, 13 hits and one ROE.

Paul E
Guest

I thought there was a significant Pinky Higgins stretch as well, IIRC?

Richard Chester
Guest

Higgins had 2 BB during his 12 hit streak in June 1938.

Paul E
Guest
Doug
Guest
The article on Higgins’s streak mentions that it broke Tris Speaker’s record of 11 straight hits on July 8-10, 1920. Bernie Williams also had 11 straight hits on Aug 14-17, 2002. 10 hit streaks belong to: – Harry McCurdy, Sep 6-10, 1926 – Joe Medwick, Jul 19-21, 1936 – Woody Williams, Sep 5-6, 1938 – Bip Roberts, Sep 19-23, 1992 – Frank Thomas, May 16-20, 1997 – Joe Randa, Jun 8-12, 1999 – Andre Ethier, Aug 22-25, 2012 – Mel Ott and Chris Stynes also had 10 hit streaks, but I would put an asterisk beside them since they were… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest
I think McNair can be eliminated for 12 straight hits. He got 9 straight hits on July 3 and in the first game of a double-header on July 4. In the second game of the DH he was 3 for 4 but he had to have gotten a hit on his last AB in the 9th inning. The last pitcher for the opposing Browns, Bob Harris, faced 3 batters, including McNair. Harris gave up 2 hits, 1 to the next-to- last batter, Norm Schlueter, and did not give up a hit to the last batter, Clint Brown. McNair had to… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

The 5 hit game was on a Monday and there was a double-header on the Sunday before. I went to about 15 games that year and if anything I would have gone to the Sunday game because it was a double-header.

Doug
Guest

In Thursday’s 19-5 pounding of the Yankees, each Indian starter had at least 2 hits. 29th such game since 1908 but first for Cleveland. The Dodgers have the most such games with 4, but only one of those since moving to LA.

Doug
Guest
The Astros and A’s both launched 5 homers in Oakland’s 7-6 win on Thursday, with all 13 runs scoring via the long ball. Just the 14th game with both teams having 5+ HR, but the lowest hit total by far of those games, with just 15 total hits between the clubs compared to a previous low of 22. It was also only the 13th game with both starters allowing 4 home runs, and only the fourth such game in which those starters both logged 6 IP or less. To make it weirder still, the game was scoreless after 3 innings… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Did anyone else hear something along the order of, “the 9 players in one day having a multiple homer game is an MLB record” ?…..set on a less than full slate, no less.

Richard Chester
Guest

According to baseball-reference it tied a record set on 7/2/2002.

Doug
Guest

But, there were 16 games on July 2, 2002, compared to only 10 yesterday.

Also, the Astros-A’s game yesterday was the first searchable game with both teams having a pair of players with multi-HR games (sort of a triple double, if you will).

Paul E
Guest

If it’s this “bad” now, what’s going to happen when AAA starters for also-rans are called-up to start against loaded lineups in Houston, Minnesota, NYY, Boston, LAD, etc….? But, I have to believe the baseball, itself, is the culprit. Guys have been swinging from the heels for the last 5-10 years and it has never been this out of hand. Has to be the ball, no?

Paul E
Guest

Doug,
Thanks ! A 60% increase in HR/G over the most ‘outlying’ recent year – 2014. Testing started in 2007, I believe, and that only shows a 10% decline from prior year.

Doug
Guest

Not sure 2014 was an outlier year as much as it was the end of a trend in declining home runs since the peak year of 2000. Certainly, I recall talk in the early part of this decade of pitching dominance and speculation of how much more dominant it could become (i.e. was this a return of 1960s dominance?). And then, suddenly, pitching was dominating no longer.

Doug
Guest

The Mariners’ Wade Leblanc was the ersatz starter following an opener tonight. Finished the game, going 7 innings despite allowing 4 home runs and taking the loss against Toronto. First such searchable relief appearance by a pitcher when earning a decision.

Doug
Guest
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Yaz double Jr hit 3 HRs in his 70th career game.
Granddaddy didnt even get a 2 HR game until his 240th game.
His only 3 HR game occurred in game number 2294.

Doug
Guest

Reds’ outfielder Aristides Aquino on Friday set a new record for the fastest to 10 career homers, doing so in his 16th career game, one game quicker than Rhys Hoskins.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Not to cast shade on Aquino — he’s got a terrific hot start (as did Hoskins) — but the significance of that HR record is somewhat attenuated this year by the sense that the ball is as much a factor as the rookie.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I wonder whether we’ve already noted, but I had missed, the fact that Don Mossi died last month. I just leaned of it, noticing his name on the B-R site’s In Memoriam list. Mossi was one of my favorite players when I was a kid, and not just because I could look at his baseball card and feel confident I was better looking than at least one other person. During the years when I was forced to go to games at Yankee Stadium, because the Polo Grounds was empty and Ebbets Field demolished, my primary goal was to choose games… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

With a lull in activity on HHS it’s a good time for a trivia quiz. What feat have only the following players achieved (1901-2018)?
Ted Wlliams, Ferris Fain and Alvin Davis. I would say that Bob Eno has a good chance of solving this.

Paul E
Guest

i was thinking bats left and BB related but, then, who the heck is Les Fleming?

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

The first commonality that jumps out is a season with 2x BB/SO………………………

Mike L
Guest

One thing that’s sort of fascinating about Alvin Davis is that his best year (WAR) was his rookie year. No obvious connection to the other two, but I wonder how frequent that is.

Richard Chester
Guest

Here is an incomplete list of players with their highest WAR in their first season:
Mitchell Page 6.1
Alvin Davis 6.0
Lou Klein 5.8
Charley Hollocher 5.0
Eric Hinske 4.0

Doug
Guest

Well, a debut season with 7 HR and 95 BB includes only these three players. But, I’m guessing it’s something else you’re looking for.

Richard Chester
Guest

You’re getting warm.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Juan Soto just had a game of
4 Hits
4 Runs
0 RBI

Not especially uncommon.
Very uncommon, however, for a hitter batting 4th.

He’s the 17th searchable cleanup hitter to do it.
Been done twice in the last 15 years.

2014.06.05 … Casey McGahee
2010.09.29 … Troy Tulowitski

Oddity:
It was done twice by Freddie Lindstrom.
On the same date six years apart, both times during doubleheaders.
1928.07.31 – 1934.07.31

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