Here’s our obligatory comment: I’ve been more-or-less totally MIA in 2021. I apologize for that. There’s no excuse, no fancy reasoning. Life is just hard. Hoping you did read my review of Joe Posnanski’s The Baseball 100. And now, with only lockout news to “comfort” us baseball fans, let’s try to keep things positive. It’s awards season! We need something to vote on before the COG elections in January, am I right?
In 2020, I did not run an awards post. The season was too short, things crept up too fast… it just didn’t happen. But I don’t want that to continue in 2021.
Look, I’m going to be the first to acknowledge: I think the vote-for-pitchers, don’t-vote-for-pitchers debate really muddied the waters in some of our last few discussions; I was thinking that, this year, we would switch from a mixed vote to separate awards for the pitchers and position players. But then, along came a player who screwed the whole thing up. So this year, my initial plan was to do separate awards for pitchers and hitters. Unfortunately, there’s one big reason we just can’t do that. So I’m not going to ask us to do so this year. Okay; without further ado, I believe we should start on the senior circuit this year, as well. So who are our candidates? (As always, description after the jump; rules at the bottom of the post.)
Over 200 players made their major league debuts this season. A few will go on to enjoy success over long careers, but most will have careers memorable only for their friends and family members. Following are some notable career debuts, some never before seen in the major leagues.
Tiger great Miguel Cabrera launched his 500th HR on Sunday, connecting off Blue Jay left-hander Steven Matz, the 346th pitcher to allow a Cabrera regular season blast. Miggy becomes just the 9th player in the 500 HR club to maintain a career .300 batting average. More after the jump.
Oriole left-hander John Meansno-hit the Mariners, facing the minimum 27 batters, with the only baserunner reaching on a strikeout on a wild pitch (he was erased attempting to steal). An “imperfect” complete game, with 9 IP, exactly 27 batters faced, and no hits, walks or hit batsmen, had been achieved only once previously, by Terry Mulholland for the Phillies against the Giants on August 15th, 1990, with the only batter reaching on an error and erased by a double play. More after the jump.
With Baseball-Reference.com gamelogs now mostly complete back to 1901, I’ve gone back to look at posts published previously, when there were no game level data prior to 1914. This post was originally published in 2016, but in its reprised version, nine new batteries with 200 starts together are identified (there was a lot more matching of catchers to elite pitchers in the early years of the modern era). More on long-term batteries is after the jump.
The baseball world was saddened by the news of Hank Aaron‘s passing, two weeks shy of his 87th birthday. Regarded with Willie Mays as one of the two greatest right-handed hitters in major league history, Aaron will forever be remembered for being the first to surpass Babe Ruth‘s career home run total, long thought to be an unbreakable record. After the jump, more on the career of Hank Aaron.
We continue our tribute to the Hall of Fame players who passed away in 2020. There were seven in total, a new record for any calendar year. In Part 1, we looked at the four whose careers spanned the 1950s, 60s and 70s. In this installment, we look at the remaining three whose careers extended into the 1980s. More after the jump.
The year just ended will long be remembered precisely because it was one we would like to forget. Baseball also took its lumps last year with a severely truncated season, experimental rules and a novel playoff format. The year 2020 was also a forgettable year for its toll on living Hall of Famers. No fewer than 7 Hall of Fame players passed away last year, several of them inner circle members of Cooperstown. After the jump, a tribute to those we lost last year.
As I write this, it’s May 29th, 2020. 15 years ago today, Roy Halladay was nearly perfect; 10 years ago today, he was. Let’s check it out. (And FYI, I really didn’t have time to compose this, so it’s quite long. I might’ve done a better job editing if I hadn’t needed to pop it out the same day I wrote it in order for it to be relevant, so I’m sorry for the length of the piece.)