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.

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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.

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MVP Elections: 1962 NL

maury-willsWe 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.

The NL in 1962 had its first ten-team, 162-game season.  Everyone knows that this was the year of the Mets‘ miserable 40-120 season.  But what else do you know about 1962?

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José Fernandez 1992-2016

jose-fernandezMarlins’ 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.

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1960 NL MVP – Who Will Win the HHS Vote?

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.
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Gary Sanchez – So Good, So Soon

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.

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Numbers Show Cubs’ Dominance

Whether or not it culminates in a championship, this has been a spectacular season for the Chicago Cubs. They entered Saturday with an MLB-best 90-50 record, and even that understates the team’s dominance.

So in this week’s contribution to USA Today Sports Weekly, I took a look at all the ways that the Cubs have lapped the rest of the league and went searching for comparable clubs. Maintaining their current pace for the next few weeks would put them in impressive company.

Aside from the link above, you can find this column in the print version of the magazine.

AL East Heats Up

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.

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