Author Archives: Doug

All I want for Christmas is …

In the spirit of the season, here’s a rundown of some of the more notable transactions occurring on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Possibly the most important Christmas signing occurred in 1964 when the woeful Kansas City A’s began putting together the pieces of a future dynasty, acquiring an undrafted 18 year-old pitcher with the unlikely name of Rollie Fingers. That 1964 season also saw the A’s debuts of Dave Duncan and Blue Moon Odom, two other teenagers who would figure prominently in the first of Oakland’s three 1970s championship seasons.

Continue reading

MVP Elections – 1981 AL

rollie-fingersDr. Doom here (via Doug), back for more MVP re-voting!

If your jam was 1970s baseball… well, I’m sorry that we were only there one year.  It’s not that the ’70s didn’t have their share of interesting MVP races.  They certainly did!  What they didn’t necessarily have was the years I was looking for:  the ones with multiple good candidates, any of whom could be called the MVP.

Thankfully, if you’re a fan of ’70s baseball, you’re probably also a fan of ’80s baseball.  And if you are, boy oh boy are you in for a good few posts.  This is the first of SEVEN posts in which we’ll be examining 1980s baseball.

Continue reading

2016 Year in Review – Records You Didn’t Hear About

Scanning baseball’s statistical leaderboards for the 2016 season will tell you the players who turned in the best or worst performances last year. But, for some context, I’ve looked at some of those leading players to consider the significance of their accomplishments over a longer period than just last season. For example, you probably weren’t aware that Bryce Harper‘s .243 batting average last year was the lowest by a player leading his league in IBB, breaking the old mark of .249 by White Sox catcher Ed Herrman in 1972.

More on last season’s statistical leaders after the jump.

Continue reading

World Series Game 7

It comes down to one game for all the marbles tonight. Mother Nature is cooperating with a second night of almost summer-like weather in November, so it figures to be a showcase evening that will see one long world championship drought ended … and another extended.

More after the jump.

Continue reading

MVP Elections – 1974 NL

steve-garveyHey HHS folks! Dr. Doom here. I love Captain America – an odd thing for the REAL (fictional) Dr. Doom to say, perhaps, but true nonetheless. In fact, as I type this, I’m wearing a Captain America t-shirt. And you, Steve Garvey, are no Captain America. But Captain America or not, Mr. Garvey is at the center of this next post.

Well, that’s my opinion anyway. Whether you share it or not, it’s time to dig in on the 1974 NL MVP race!

Continue reading

MVP Elections – 1967 NL

orlando-cepeda1967 was an odd year for MVPs.  There was a unanimous choice that year, which certainly happens, but I think most baseball fans, if they’re not familiar with irregularities in MVP voting, would assume that Carl Yastrzemski would have earned that distinction with his AL Triple Crown season (alas, some writer chose the Twins’ Cesar Tovar, of all people, leaving Yaz one vote shy of a clean sweep). Instead, the unanimous selection came in the NL in the person of Orlando Cepeda, which some will cite as one of the more egregious examples of the “RBI leader + Pennant winner = MVP” trope.  To others, though, this is an example of leadership being provided by an outstanding player in a new and difficult circumstance, justifying his MVP selection and creating a narrative worthy of the award.  So let’s step back to 1967 in the NL.

Continue reading

The Mount Rushmore of the St. Louis Cardinals

stan-musial

This much belated post finishes our first pass of each franchise in the Mount Rushmore series.

The St. Louis Cardinals franchise traces its origins to the American Association and the St. Louis Brown Stockings who began play in that league’s inaugural 1882 season. In addition to four AA pennants, the Cardinals have also enjoyed the most success among NL franchises, with 19 pennants and 11 World Series titles. Your task is to choose the four players who best represent this franchise that has operated continuously and always in St. Louis for the past 135 seasons. Have fun!

Continue reading

MVP Elections – 1963 AL

elston-howardHowdy, everyone! It’s our first AL post – though, admittedly, we’re still stuck in the early-60s.

1963 was oddly typical (that may be an oxymoron, but I’m going to let it stand). The Yankees won the AL for the 13th time in 15 years (they’d win the next year, too), so that was no change. A Yankee was named MVP for the 10th time in that 15 year span – so again, nothing new, particularly since Yankees catchers won more MVPs in this stretch than their teammates at other positions. Pythagoras had the Yankees and White Sox two games apart, but the Yanks actually won it by 10 in the win column, with each team missing its expected wins by four, but in opposite directions.

Continue reading

Quiz – HOF Sluggers … and some other guys (solved)

What do three HOFers have in common with several other less celebrated players? In fact, all of them share the distinction of a certain seasonal batting accomplishment of which no others can boast. What is it?

Congratulations to Voomo Zanzibar! He knew that these players have hit the most home runs in a season from each of the nine batting order positions.

The list of players is after the jump.

Continue reading