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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

2016 World Series: lowest per game attendance since 1946?

Due to low seating capacity in both ballparks, Cleveland Indians v. Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series may be averaging fewer than 40,000 fans per game.

Wrigley Field, the Cubs park, is old but the Indians park is pretty new but it's one of those clever modern parks built to have the features of parks from 100 years ago, including exposure to the elements, like rain, wind and cold. It's also small to keep tickets scarce and expensive.

After some common sense checking it appears that the most recent World Series with a lower average attendance is probably 1946: Cardinals v. Red Sox. The Cardinals were still playing in their old small park and Fenway Park in Boston had yet to add those monstrous seats above the 37 foot high Green Monster wall in left.

Of course, Wrigley Field, where the Cubs play, was the last park to not have lights, which were added in the 1980s to accommodate night playoff games on television.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Played in 5 consecutive World Series: 17 Yankees, 2 sets of years, no repeats.

1949 NY1950 NY1951 NY1952 NY1953 NY
BerraBerraBerraBerraBerra
RizzutoRizzutoRizzutoRizzutoRizzuto
WoodlingWoodlingWoodlingWoodlingWoodling
BauerBauerBauerBauerBauer
MizeMizeMizeMizeMize
RaschiRaschiRaschiRaschiRaschi
ReynoldsReynoldsReynoldsReynoldsReynolds
LopatLopatLopatLopatLopat

HowardHowardHowardHowardHoward
RichardsonRichardsonRichardsonRichardsonRichardson
BoyerBoyerBoyerBoyerBoyer
LopezLopezLopezLopezLopez
MantleMantleMantleMantleMantle
MarisMarisMarisMarisMaris
BlanchardBlanchardBlanchardBlanchardBlanchard
FordFordFordFordFord
TerryTerryTerryTerryTerry
1960 Pit1961 NY1962 NY1963 LA1964 StL

Winning team is listed. Click this link to see other WS in which they played and other Yankees who were close to five consecutive WS.

Start and win games 1, 4, 7 in World Series: Coveleski, Gibson, ... Kluber?

Corey Kluber started, pitched six innings and won game one of the 2016 World Series for the Cleveland Indians against the Chicago Cubs three days ago. Can Kluber also start and win games 4 and 7? A Cleveland starting pitcher did it 96 years ago.

Pitchers winning three games in a World Series. Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's amazing how many people still cling to the fantasy that a pitcher can start and win three games in the World Series: games one, four and seven.  Thirteen pitchers have won three games in a World Series, none more than once, three in the first two WS, only one since 1968.  Eight of the 13 occurred between 1903 and 1920.  Since 1920 only three started and won three games: Lew Brurdette 1957, Bob Gibson 1967 and Mickey Lolich 1968.  The only pitcher ever to start and win games 1, 4, 7 in a best of seven: Bob Gibson 1967. Stan Coveleski did it in a best of nine: 1920. These pitchers won a game in relief: Wood, Faber, Brecheen and Randy Johnson, the most recent three game winner (2001).
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1964 World Series: Bob Gibson emerges. Saturday, November 1, 2014

In 1967 and 1968, Gibson pitched complete games 1, 4, 7.  Gibson is still the only pitcher to start and win those games in a best of seven World Series. (1967)
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Indians - Dodgers 1920: the forgotten World Series. Saturday, October 22, 2016

In the 1920 World Series Stan Coveleski was the pitching star for Cleveland: three complete game victories in three starts: ERA 0.67. In the regular season he was second to Bagby, Sr. in innings with 315 and 24-14, ERA 2.49. He won World Series games 1, 4, 7. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.
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Joe DiMaggio September 1939 eye infection: no primary source found yet.

Joe DiMaggio: when did he get that eye infection in September 1939 that cost him a .400 batting average? Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Added at the bottom of that post:

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Added Oct. 28, 2016:

from: Clifford Blau
to: Ken Matinale
date: Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 4:57 PM
subject: Re: Radical Baseball: Joe DiMaggio .400 batting average lost in 1939 due to: eye infection, manager, himself?

I searched in the Sporting News and ProQuest Historical Newspapers on "Joe DiMaggio" and "eye" September to December 1939 and didn't find anything.

Cliff Blau


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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

30 home runs in 2016: impact on success and scoring.

38 players hit at least 30 Home Runs (HR) in 2016 . There are 30 teams but some teams, such as the Yankees, had no players with 30 HR. Here are the top ten:

Rk Player HR Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Mark Trumbo 47 2016 30 BAL AL 159 667 613 94 157 27 1 108 51 1 170 3 0 0 14 2 0 .256 .316 .533 .850 *9D/37
2 Nelson Cruz 43 2016 35 SEA AL 155 667 589 96 169 27 1 105 62 5 159 9 0 7 15 2 0 .287 .360 .555 .915 *D9
3 Edwin Encarnacion 42 2016 33 TOR AL 160 702 601 99 158 34 0 127 87 3 138 5 0 8 22 2 0 .263 .357 .529 .886 *D3
4 Brian Dozier 42 2016 29 MIN AL 155 691 615 104 165 35 5 99 61 6 138 8 2 5 12 18 2 .268 .340 .546 .886 *4/HD
5 Khris Davis 42 2016 28 OAK AL 150 610 555 85 137 24 2 102 42 0 166 8 0 5 19 1 2 .247 .307 .524 .831 *7D/H
6 Chris Carter 41 2016 29 MIL NL 160 644 549 84 122 27 1 94 76 1 206 9 0 10 18 3 1 .222 .321 .499 .821 *3/HD
7 Nolan Arenado 41 2016 25 COL NL 160 696 618 116 182 35 6 133 68 10 103 2 0 8 17 2 3 .294 .362 .570 .932 *5
8 Todd Frazier 40 2016 30 CHW AL 158 666 590 89 133 21 0 98 64 1 163 4 1 7 11 15 5 .225 .302 .464 .767 *5/3D
9 Robinson Cano 39 2016 33 SEA AL 161 715 655 107 195 33 2 103 47 8 100 8 0 5 18 0 1 .298 .350 .533 .882 *4/D
10 Kris Bryant 39 2016 24 CHC NL 155 699 603 121 176 35 3 102 75 5 154 18 0 3 3 8 5 .292 .385 .554 .939 *579/386D
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/26/2016.

They represent ten different teams. Of the ten tournament teams, only three had a top ten HR hitter: Baltimore, Toronto, Chicago Cubs.

In 2015 only 20 players hit at least 30 HR, so the number almost doubled. In 2015 Baltimore also had the player with the most, also 47 HR, but he was Chris Davis, not Mark Trumbo. In 2015 Nelson Cruz was also second.

In 2014 the number of players with at least 30 HR was 11. Nelson Cruz was the only player with at least 40 HR: 40. Cruz was then with Baltimore.

In 2013: 14; Chris Davis 53.

So in the three most recent seasons the number has about doubled twice: 11, 20, 38.

In 2016, teams with multiple 30 HR players:
Three:
Baltimore: Trumbo, Davis, Machado
Boston: Ortiz, Betts, Ramirez
Seattle: Cruz, Cano, Kyle Seager

Toronto had the functional equivalent of three: Encarnacion and Donaldson, plus Jose Bautista (Joey Bats) who hit 22 in only 423 at bats (AB); 2010-2015: 54, 43, 27 (332 AB), 28 (452 AB), 35, 40. Bautista was healthy for the 2016 tournament and hit 2 HR in 33 AB.

In 2016 these teams had two 30 HR players: Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, New York Mets (plus Jay Bruce 33: 25 Reds, 8 Mets), Tampa, Texas.

Eleven of the thirty teams had multiple 30 HR players: six teams in top ten in scoring, three in bottom ten.

Seven of the ten tournament teams had multiple 30 HR players: Baltimore, Boston, Toronto, Cubs, Cleveland, Mets, Texas.

No tournament team had only one 30 HR player. These three tournament teams had zero 30 HR players: Giants, Dodgers, Washington.

Both teams in the finals had two 30 HR players:
Cubs: Kris Bryant (39), Anthony Rizzo (32)
Indians: Mike Napoli, Carlos Santana - both 34

Of the top ten in team HR, only St. Louis and Colorado had only one 30 HR player. The rest had multiple.

Of the top ten in team runs scored (Boston most: 878), only Washington did not have a 30 HR player. Six had multiple 30 HR players: Boston (3), Cubs, Cleveland, Seattle (3), Texas, Toronto. Three teams had one: Colorado, St. Louis, Arizona.

Of the ten teams scoring the fewest runs (680 or fewer: Yankees), three had two 30 HR players:
Tampa (Longoria, Brad Miller) 672
Milwaukee (Chris Carter, Braun) 671
Mets (Cespedes, Granderson) 671

Oakland had one: Khris Davis 42. Including the Yankees, none of the other six in the bottom ten had even one 30 HR player.

Bottom line: it sure helps to have multiple 30 HR players but teams need other things.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nick Testa: no plate appearances.

There's a too long article in The Times about Maurice Lerner. Maury Lerner played 482 minor league games in eight seasons but never played a single major league game. Lerner evolved into a mob hit man and spent 18 years in prison. In the stuff about baseball in the article is a mention of a teammate, Nick Testa:
PositionsCatcher and Pinch Runner
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 5' 8", Weight: 180 lb.
Born: June 291928 in New York, NY (Age 88.118)
High School: Christopher Columbus HS (Bronx, NY)
Schools: Bergen Community College (Paramus, NJ)New York University (New York, NY)University of Delaware (Newark, DE)University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
Debut: April 23, 1958 (Age 29)
TeamGiants 1958
Last Game: April 23, 1958 (Age 29)
Notice that debut and last game have the same dates. Nick Testa played in one major league game but never came to the plate. Testa was almost 30 years old. Testa started in D ball in 1946 and finished in A ball in 1964. He did not play in 1953, presumably because he was in the U.S. Army. In 1962 at age 34 Testa played 57 games in the Japan Pacific League. Then back to the U.S. to play in Reno and Yakima.

From 1947 through 1958 Testa was in the Giants minor league system. They were the New York Giants for all but the last of those seasons. So, Testa was playing for one of his hometown teams.

In 1958 he played only with the San Francisco Giants; he did not play in the minors. This was the first Giants season in San Francisco after leaving New York. Testa's one and only game in 1958:

Wednesday, April 23, 1958, Seals Stadium
Attendance: 14,715, Time of Game: 3:01
Giants 8, Cardinals 7
Hall of Famers: Musial, Mays, Cepeda.

Nick Testa must have been the number three catcher for the Giants. In the bottom of the fourth the Giants trailed 5-0. They scored a run and with two outs had a runner on third with Valmy Thomas coming up. Whitey Lockman pinch hit for Thomas and flied out to center. Lockman was replaced by Bob Schmidt.

In the bottom of the eighth trailing 6-2 the first two Giants made outs. Then single, single, walk. The Cardinals replaced starting pitcher Sam Jones with Phil Paine and the Giants had Ray Jablonski pinch hit for their second catcher of the day Bob Schmidt. Jablonski singled to left driving in two runs. Andre Rodgers pinch hit for pitcher Ray Crone and Nick Testa pinch ran for Jablonski. Rodgers struck out ending the 8th inning: Cardinals 6, Giants 4.

In the top of the 9th inning Marv Grissom came on to pitch for the Giants and pinch runner Nick Testa stayed in the game as the Giants catcher. Del Ennis was the fourth Cardinal batter and Testa dropped his foul pop for an error. However, Ennis flied out to right, so no damage was caused by Testa's error. It was his only fielding chance. The Cardinals scored a run and led 7-4.

In the bottom of the 9th the Giants rallied for 4 runs to win 8-7. the final two batters:
- Orlando Cepeda tripled to drive in two runs
- Daryl Spencer homered to drive in Cepeda with the tieing run and then Spencer scored the winning run.

Nick Testa was two spots below Spencer in the lineup. Had Spencer and the next batter walked, Testa could have had a chance to be the hero with a single.

Why didn't Testa play in any other games in 1958, even in the minor leagues? Maybe he was injured. But at least Nick Testa had that one opportunity to play in a major league game, no matter how briefly, no matter how inconsequential. It was more than Maury Lerner, who wound up doing very hard time for nearly two decades.