Player Stats Quiz

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23 thoughts on “Player Stats Quiz

    1. Voomo Zanzibar

      Good question.
      The Mick finished in ’68.
      Barry started in ’86.
      Well, who pitched from 68-86?

      Phil Neikro.
      In the NL 64-68. In the AL in 86 and 87. One final game for Atlanta in 87, not against the Pirates. Pitched against neither.

      Nolan Ryan.
      In the NL in 67-68.

      Don Sutton
      NL from 66-68

      Tom Seaver.
      In the NL 66-67
      In the AL in 86.

      Steve Carlton
      In the NL 65-68.

      Tommy John
      In the AL 86-89.

      Looks like nobody.
      Am I forgetting someone?

    2. Kahuna Tuna

      No. No pitcher pitched to both Mantle and Bonds.

      Ryan was in the NL when he first came up. He did have an encounter with the mists of antiquity when he made his first appearance in 1966, though: The third major-league batter he faced, Eddie Mathews, had debuted with the Boston Braves in 1952. Ryan struck him out looking.

      Four fathers pitched to Mantle whose sons later faced Bonds: Julio and Jaime Navarro, Dizzy and Steve Trout, Clyde and Jaret Wright, and, believe it or not, Vern and Vance Law. Mantle faced Vern Law in the 1960 World Series (single in 6 AB, two walks). Bonds doubled off Vance Law on 6/21/86 when Law, an infielder, was eating the last two innings of a 14-1 Expos loss.

  1. Doug

    A few I like:
    – Rogers Hornsby batted against Christy Mathewson and Bob Feller
    – Jim Kaat pitched to Ted Williams and Julio Franco
    – Franco and Roger Clemens faced in other in games separated by more than 24 years
    – Boom-Boom Beck faced Al Simmons in Beck’s career debut and, twenty years later, in Simmons’ final game

    1. Kahuna Tuna

      Boom-Boom had two separate four-year gaps between major-league appearances. I wonder whether anyone else did this.

      1. no statistician but

        Looking up Earl Caldwell—his final stint for the White Sox in particular—got me onto the subject of Bill Dietrich, a Sox teammate, and from there to the famous Jean Shepherd reminiscence about the difficulties of being a ChiSox fan when he was growing up.

        Turns out Shepherd was basically previewing the Donald Trump method of dealing with facts, which is to say making things up to fit the narrative: 1) Dietrich, while only of journeyman caliber, was not the perpetual loser Shepherd implies. He never lost huge numbers of games except in 1944 when his record was 16-17 for a team that went 71-83. His 1937 no-hitter, while against the Browns, was not a battle of last place contenders, but a match of the third place Sox against a good-hit, no pitching St.Louis outfit.

        There’s more calumny against Dietrich which I will not take up, but the other major rewrites of history are a) that in the year Luke Appling batted .388 he only drove in 27 runs because the rest of the team stank. Actually Appling drove in 128 of the 81-70 team’s 920 runs. b) that Catcher Mike Tresh went two full years without getting a hit. Actually Tresh was a respectable hitter for a platoon catcher of that era, batting .249 lifetime, never below .215. c) that the Sox went for years in the thirties and forties battling the Browns for last place in the AL. Actually, in the Dietrich/Tresh era—1935-48 or so—the team finished 3rd twice, 4th four times, fifth twice, 6th four times, 7th once, and 8th once. The year they finished 7th the Browns won the pennant.

        To me, a longtime White Sox hater, remember, the Sox teams of the 1935-41 are almost as interesting historically as those of the Yankees and Cleveland.

        What has all this to do with High Heat Stats? Well—playing fast and loose with the facts is something we try not to do here, I guess.

    2. Artie Z.

      Looks like the longest way to “extend” Julio Franco into the future will be through Cole Hamels.

      As Doug mentioned, Franco faced Jim Kaat (on 4/25/1982). Kaat’s debut was 8/2/59.

      Franco faced Hamels on 8/14/2006. Hamels, obviously, is still going strong in 2016.

      So Kaat to Franco to Hamels is closing in on a 60-year span of MLB history. I’m sure there are longer connections, but it’s always fun to involve Julio Franco (who might actually be batting right this minute somewhere against someone who will one day have a major league career).

  2. Doug

    In his debut season, Warren Spahn played in the same game as (but didn’t face) Mel Ott and pitched the second game of a double-header against Chicago after Jimmie Foxx had appeared for the Cubs in the first. At the end of his career, Spahn faced the likes of Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Dick Allen, Rusty Staub and Willie Stargell, and he (Spahn) and Steve Carlton pitched in the same game.

  3. Mike L

    For no reason whatsoever, I decided to look at the June 14, 1944 game where Joe Nuxhall, then 15, came in to mop up in what was, to that point, a 13-0 Cardinals game. He faced 9 batters, retiring 2 of the first 3, and then ran into problems. He didn’t return to the Majors for eight years. Here’s who he faced:
    George Fallon, a career scrub, who debuted in 1937 for a cup of coffee, and mirroring Nuxhall, didn’t make it back until 1943
    Mort Cooper, the pitching side of the Cooper Brothers Battery. Cooper actually won MVP in 1942. Cooper’s son in law, Don Blasingame, batted against Nuxhall 59 times and hit .308 against him
    Augie Bergamo, a career minor leaguer who played in the majors for 1944 and 1945.
    Debs Garms, a journeyman who managed to play in 12 ML seasons, and somehow won the 1940 NL Batting title (.355 in 385 PA)
    Stan Musial, who hung around (at the fringes) a bit longer. Interesting tidbit–although Musial singled in this game, Nuxhall, over Musial’s career, gave him a lot of trouble. He had the 6th most PA against Nuxall, and his batting average against him was .250, his lowest against any of the top 25 pitchers he faced. His OPS against Nuxhall was .670–his lowest against the top 58.
    Ray Sanders, who was also a wartime player and basically disappeared after 1946,
    Walker Cooper (the catching half) who played until he was 42. Interesting side note about him–he finished second in MVP voting in 1943, the year after his brother won it. Although the back end of Cooper’s career overlapped with Nuxhall’s for six years, he only had 17 more PA’s against him.
    Danny Litwhiler, who never had another PA against Nuxhall–he retired after 1951.
    Emil Verban, who chased Nuxhall, and also never had another PA against him.

    1. Richard Chester

      Longest gap in years between ML appearances may belong to P Paul Schreiber. He pitched for the Dodgers from 1922-1923 and faced Zack Wheat, Casey Stengel, Pie Traynor and Ross Youngs among others. Afterwards he spent several years in the minors and by the 1940s he was a coach and batting practice pitcher for the Yankees. In 1945, 22 years after his prior ML stint, he was reactivated as a player late in the season and pitched in 2 games where he faced batters such as Rudy York, Roy Cullenbine and Doc Cramer.

      1. Kahuna Tuna

        Closest I’ve been able to find to Schreiber’s 21-year gap is 15 by right-handed pitcher Clay Touchstone, who pitched a combined 10.2 innings for the 1928-29 Braves, then surfaced for 10 innings with the 1945 White Sox. Touchstone won 272 minor-league games, including 20 or more four times and 10 or more for 17 straight years (1925-42—he did not play in 1926).

        1. Richard Chester

          I found Charley O’Leary with a 20 year gap and Gabby Street with an 18 year gap. They each made a 1 PA cameo appearance at the end of the season. Schreiber and Touchstone were the real things.

    2. Mike L

      What I should have added is that while Nuxhall faced Musial in his first game in the big leagues, Musial batted against Nuxhall in his (Musial’s) second to last game before retirement, 19 years later.

  4. oneblankspace

    I set dates for the players who would appear on my quiz.

    Then, after Hank Aaron, the date suddenly disappeared and I got someone outside those dates.

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