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COG 1909 Results Report: We’re Feelin’ Ott Ott Ott!

Ott Ott Ott!

Mel Ott’s great years were before World War II; he died as a relatively young man almost sixty years ago; his franchise left New York, where he played his whole career, before most current fans were born; and his career total of 511 homers no longer seems as stupendous as it once did. All these factors mean he may not be remembered by casual fans (other than crossword puzzle aficionados) as much as other ballplayers of comparable stature. But that didn’t stop the Circle’s voters from embracing Ott overwhelmingly. By a wide margin, Mel becomes the 78th inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on Master Melvin, and the voting, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

‘O Slugger, Where Art Thou?’

After a five-year slide in scoring landed on the lowest mark since 1981, everyone’s scrambling for offense. That’s a natural response, but maybe not a sensible one.

Stating the obvious, there’s no fixed scoring level that wins ballgames. You just have to score more runs than you allow. And the “pythagorean formula,” which predicts winning percentage from runs scored and allowed, has two corollaries that speak to the most efficient path to improving a team’s record:

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Quiz – Crazy Eights (solved)

What distinguishes these eight players from baseball’s other greats? That’s for you to tell me when you find the career accomplishment that distinguishes these players from among all others?

Hint: the active player (assuming he can find work) who is closest to joining this group is Ichiro Suzuki.

Congratulations to David P, John Autin and bstar! They teamed up to identify that only these eight players had eight of more consecutive seasons scoring 100+ runs, and also had eight or more games in their careers scoring four or more runs. Those seasons and games are after the jump.

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2014 Team Firsts – NL Edition

Following up from the post on the AL teams, here is a team-by-team look at some singular statistical markers from the 2014 season.

More after the jump.

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2014 Team Firsts – AL Edition

Here’s a look back at the 2014 season, identifying singular statistical accomplishments for each team. This first installment looks at the American league.

More after the jump.

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There’s the Sultan of Swat, Hammerin’ Hank, and one of the Bash Brothers. All three certainly didn’t get their nicknames from being slap hitters, knocking singles through the infield. What they do have in common is that Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Mark McGwire are all part of the top 10 all-time home run list for Major League Baseball. Deep fly balls and rocket line drives soaring over the fence, are what fans best remember these 10 players by, but the real question is, who out of the top 10, is the greatest overall hitter of the group? Do you go with the player who had the highest career batting average? That would be Ruth, who hit .342 for his career. Or is it the player who had the most career hits out of the greatest home run hitters in baseball history? Here, Aaron reigns supreme, with his 3,771 career hits to go along with 755 home runs.

The offseason is a time for awards and other sports fans getting mad that we’re still talking about baseball. But, part of the beauty of baseball is that is seems to never stop. In the offseason, the hot stove is turned up with free agent and trade rumors that have to do with a team’s future, yet we still love to talk about the past. In this case, the hot stove is a wood burner of the past.

Perhaps, there is a different way to look at this question. I broke down the hit rates for each player in the top 10, showing what type of hit they produced most and least often over the duration of their career.

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2014 Golden Era Mock HOF Election

The Golden Era (1947-72) committee meets on Monday to consider players from that era who meet Hall of Fame eligibility requirements but have not yet been elected. Just for fun, thought we might run our own mock election using the same rules.

More after the jump.

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Quiz – some time with the 09ers (stumped)

As a companion to the current Circle of Greats election, here are some of the players featured on this week’s ballot.

They didn’t strike the mother lode like the famous 49ers, but these are the only players born in 1909 to have a particular season batting feat that at least their mothers could be proud of. What is it?

This was a tough one. The solution is all of these players were born in 1909 and had a season of 100+ games played with twice as many walks as doubles and more strikeouts than RBI. More after the jump.

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The Mount Rushmore of the Atlanta Braves

Hank-AaronThe Braves are one of the National League’s founding franchises, operating continuously since 1876. But, its origins go back even further than that, to the Boston Red Stockings of the National Association, a team that was itself formed from the remnants of the Cincinnati Red Stockings when that club, baseball’s first all-professional team, folded prior to the National Association’s first season in 1871.

The Red Stockings changed their nickname to the Beaneaters in 1883, to the Doves in 1907, the Rustlers in 1911 and finally the Braves in 1912. Except for the 1936 to 1940 seasons when Boston was known as the Bees, the Braves nickname has remained in use ever since, even through two franchise moves, first to Milwaukee in 1953 and then to Atlanta in 1966.

The Braves are the fifth of the original NL clubs in our Mount Rushmore series. Your task is to choose the four players who best represent this franchise. Have fun!

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Josh Donaldson: The Curious Trade of a Unique Player

Josh Donaldson, one of the best two-way players in baseball, has been dealt to Toronto.

With 15.4 WAR in 2013-14 (second to Mike Trout), Donaldson ties Chuck Knoblauch for the most age 27-28 WAR of any player who changed teams going into or during age 29. Even if you don’t buy his top-notch defensive metrics, Donaldson ranked 6th in offensive WAR for the last two years. He’s a player.

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