Inaugural Babies

Major League Baseball players born on the day a U.S. President was inaugurated:

–The first major leaguer born on an Inauguration Day was born on March 4, 1861, the day Abraham Lincoln was sworn in (until the mid-20th century, scheduled inaugurations usually took place on March 4). The player born that day was apparently the child of patriotic parents because they named their brand new baby after the brand new president. Abraham Lincoln Wolstenholme was born in Philadelphia, cradle of the nation. Abe Westenholme grew up to play in three games in 1883 for the brand new National League franchise in Philadelphia, which eventually became the Phillies but was then known as the Quakers. The other MLB players born on the day a U.S.president was sworn into office were: Continue reading

Today’s Young Guns and WAR Contribution by Age

Followers of the game will be aware that baseball today is awash in young talent, including the group below, showing their career totals through their age 22 seasons.

Rk Player Year WAR/pos From To Age G PA R H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Carlos Correa 2016 10.1 2015 2016 20-21 252 1092 128 266 42 164 115 217 .276 .354 .475 .829 *6/H HOU
2 Francisco Lindor 2016 10.3 2015 2016 21-22 257 1122 149 304 27 129 84 157 .306 .356 .454 .810 *6/HD CLE
3 Bryce Harper 2015 19.8 2012 2015 19-22 510 2143 328 528 97 248 279 449 .289 .384 .517 .902 978/HD WSN
4 Manny Machado 2015 17.7 2012 2015 19-22 451 1979 252 511 68 215 128 330 .281 .330 .458 .787 *5/6 BAL
5 Mike Trout 2014 28.6 2011 2014 19-22 493 2195 373 572 98 307 269 489 .305 .395 .549 .945 *87/D9H LAA
6 Jason Heyward 2012 14.7 2010 2012 20-22 428 1730 226 392 59 196 200 373 .261 .352 .447 .799 *9/H8 ATL
7 Giancarlo Stanton 2012 12.4 2010 2012 20-22 373 1498 199 358 93 232 150 432 .270 .350 .553 .903 *9/HD8 FLA-MIA
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/6/2017.

In fact, the players above all compiled 10 or more WAR by age 22. What may surprise you to learn, though, is that these 7 players from just the current decade represent fully one-sixth of all such everyday players since 1901. But, will they continue to produce handsome WAR dividends for their teams as their careers progress? To answer in a few words, for most of them, it’s very, very likely.

After the jump, more on being very good when very young, and projecting that success over a career.

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MVP Elections – 1984 AL

willie-hernandezGreetings again, HHS-ers!  Dr. Doom here, via Doug again.

You’re going to notice a pattern here:  whenever a reliever wins an MVP, I’m going to give it the sideways eyes and have us re-examine, because… I’m just not sure I buy relievers being that valuable.

So that leads us to 1984.  I feel like every time I look at one of these years, the BIG story in baseball is something going on in the other league.  We looked at the AL in 1981, when the NL was the real mess.  We looked at the NL in 1967, when the greatest pennant race in history was in the AL.  Finally, with 1984, we rectify that trend.

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Quiz: Who Am I ? (solved)

As we await this month’s HoF balloting, here’s a little diversion in a bit different format from most of my quizzes.  Here are the clues:

  1. I pitched primarily in relief in a career of more than both 10 seasons and 500 innings
  2. I never pitched in the post-season, but was twice traded in mid-season from teams that made the playoffs
  3. I pitched in both leagues, but played in the AL only for expansion teams

Congratulations to Jim! He knew that our mystery player was none other than Frank DiPino, (mostly) an NL reliever from the 1980s and early 1990s. More on DiPino after the jump.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Homering in both ends of a double-header on your birthday

On August 31 of this past season, the Rockies’ Stephen Cardullo homered in both ends of a doubleheader AND it was his birthday. He’s just the 4th guy to accomplish this feat since 1913, and there’s a good chance nobody else did it before then.

Players to HR in both ends of a double header on their birthday since 1913:

Stephen Cardullo 8/31/2016
Tony Perez 5/14/1972
Joe Rudi 9/7/1970
Eddie Joost 6/5/1949

Double headers are so rare right now (the Rockies/Dodgers one this year was likely because of a rainout on a Tuesday as both games were played on a Wednesday) that it seems pretty unlikely anybody will ever again achieve this–although I would have said the same before this season 🙂

Mookie Betts’ remarkable season

Mookie Betts had a 2016 for the ages. Since 1901, here are the only guys to post 29+ fielding runs and 29+ batting runs. As with Mookie this year, most of these guys didn’t win their league MVP award.

Rk          Player Year Rbat Rfield Age  Tm     Pos
1     Mookie Betts 2016 29.8   32.0  23 BOS    *9/H
2      Chase Utley 2008 30.0   31.0  29 PHI    *4/3
3    Albert Pujols 2007 51.3   31.0  27 STL    *3/H
4      Scott Rolen 2004 40.2   30.0  29 STL      *5
5    Ichiro Suzuki 2004 35.7   30.0  30 SEA   *9/DH
6      Ken Griffey 1996 39.8   32.3  26 SEA    *8/D
7        Al Kaline 1961 39.3   29.2  26 DET *98/H75