About Me

My photo

Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Aaron Judge passes Les Fleming for most walks by a rookie.

Who? Les Fleming had 106 walks in 1942, his rookie season with Cleveland. Les Fleming was 26, turning 27 August 7. He died, ironically, in Cleveland, Texas in 1980 at age 64.

In the 154 game schedule in 1942, Fleming led the American League in games with 156. They played ties in those days, rather than play in the rain with multi-hour delays. This was by far the best season of Fleming's brief major league career:
.292 .412 .432 .845; OPS+ 144

When 25 year old Aaron Judge broke the rookie walk record today in Texas the Yankees retrieved the ball. This became ironic when Judge later hit two home runs in his only two at bats bringing his homer total to 41. The only rookie to hit more was Mark McGwire with 49 in 1987.

I had never heard of Les Fleming before this. He didn't play after 1942 until August 10, 1945. He was probably in military service during World War II. He played 99 games for Cleveland in 1946 with OPS+ 136 at age 30. Then 103 games but with fewer plate appearances in 1947 and OPS+ down to 103.

December 4, 1947: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Elbie Fletcher.

He started playing pro ball in 1935 at age 19. In 1948 at age 32 Fleming played 151 games at Indianapolis in the Pittsburgh system with OPS .983. In 1949 Fleming played his final major league games: 24 with Pittsburgh but with only 38 PA.

Fleming continued to play full time in the minors, finishing in AA 1952-1955 in the Texas League, down from AAA. In 1955 at age 39: 139 games , 530 PA, OPS .955. In 1954 in the Cubs organization: 158 games, 651 PA, OPS 1.037. Go figure why Fleming didn't get more opportunities to play in the majors. He could hit. And he held the rookie walk record that hardly anyone knew about ... until today when it was broken by Aaron Judge who leads the AL in HR.

No comments: