1967 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.
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!
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.
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.
We just finished up our discussion on the 1960 NL MVP, so you’d figure that we’re going to zip ahead a few years, maybe switch leagues. But here’s the thing – the next really interesting election is in the same league, just two years later. Which brings me to our next election: the 1962 National League.
Marlins’ star right-hander José Fernandez has died tragically in a boating accident, aged only 24. The Cuban-born Fernandez, whose family arrived in America only after three attempts to defect, won the 2013 RoY, underwent successful Tommy John surgery in 2014 from which he returned to action in 2015, and posted a stellar 2016 season, leading the majors in FIP and SO/9.
More after the jump on the brief but brilliant career of José Fernandez.
At the end of the COG, a lot of us were talking about a “next” project. Nothing has yet emerged or, more accurately, I haven’t found the time to follow-up some of the suggestions that were made. Thus, I’m delighted to introduce a new series authored by Dr. Doom, whom many of you will know from his frequent contributions as an HHS reader.
So, without further ado, I’ll let Dr. Doom introduce himself, after the jump.
Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez has been a sensation since his call-up at the beginning of August. So much so that, on Saturday’s Yankees-Red Sox telecast, Fox broadcaster John Smoltz (whom I much admire for his easy-to-listen-to voice and his thoughtful and often insightful commentary) uncharacteristically gushed something to the effect that Sanchez’s month-and-a-half of stellar play leading the Yankees back into the pennant chase was pretty much unheard of for a rookie. That seemed like quite a bold claim and one that would be worth looking into.
After the jump, more on Sanchez and other rookies who started their careers with a short season but a memorable one.
The new look Yankees have gone 17-9 since August 9th to join the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Orioles in the hunt for the AL East title. Both AL wild card spots are currently held by these teams, but with most of their remaining games against each other, that may not be the case much longer. For the AL East, it could well be just like the old days: win or go home.
A look at what should be a memorable pennant chase after the jump.
On a recent post, one of our regular HHS readers wondered about whether today’s highly specialized relief corps really helped preserve wins or prevent losses. That seemed like an interesting idea for a post, one that I’ll look at in two installments. Part 1 looks at starters and relievers across all teams, while Part 2 will focus in on individual pitchers.
More after the jump.