VORG Crossword Puzzle #9

Its been a while since we’ve put out a baseball crossword puzzle, so here we go …. you can also solve it/print out a PDF online:

vorgpuzzle081614

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Across
1. Microsoft product
5. Don ___, led NL in losses (15) in 1989
11. TV ET
14. Winningest manager in Expos history
15. One of a group of Eastern Christians
16. Prefix with ware or content
17. Diamondbacks 1st round pick in 2004
19. Bill ___, the Science Guy
20. Cash in
21. Descendant
23. Daisylike bloom
26. Descriptive of Rangers’ Rougned?
28. 1966 NL MVP
32. Simile center
33. 16th president, familiarly
34. Posting ___ (payment for some players from Japan)
35. Cutting remark
37. Corset tightener
39. ESPN Sunday Night Baseball color man
43. Mesa Solar Sox and Peoria Javelinas play in it
45. ___ Berkow, writer of documentary “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story”
46. “Not ___ bet!”
47. Defense positioning with runner on first, less than two out
53. Jake ___, Cubs starting pitcher
54. Ancient Greek theater
55. Marsh bird
56. Kevin ___, won 32 games for Twins between 1991-2
60. ___ Solo of “Star Wars”
61. Mariano Rivera’s singular pitch (var.)
66. In-flight info, for short
67. Forever, poetically
68. Dustin Pedroia’s middle name
69. ___ Ennis, led NL in RBI in 1950
70. Mark ___, 16-year vet infielder (’98-’13) with .358 average in postseason
71. Barely managed, with “out”

Down
1. Functioned as
2. Mike ___, last of 1st round picks of Rangers in 2010
3. Baseball’s Preacher
4. Marcus ___, subject of ESPN 30 for 30: “The Best that Never Was”
5. Ball hit off the end of the bat
6. Actress Hathaway
7. Carnival attraction
8. Carlos ___, reliever who struck out 16 per 9 innings in 2010
9. Absorbed, as a cost
10. Dick ___, won 19 as a 31 year old rookie for Red Sox in 1943
11. Embryonic sac
12. Floor plan
13. Strip off, as blubber
18. Tom ___, last NLer to drive in 100+ with fewer than 10 homers in season
22. Stream
23. Kuwaiti, e.g.
24. 1998 NL MVP
25. Alpine transport
27. Bear part of, as costs
29. Brian ___, journeyman reliever for Indians, Blue Jays, Cardinals 2002-11
30. Baseball stat that is sometimes “weighted”
31. Brett ___, 1st round pick of Blue Jays in 2007
36. Chris Johnson’s .394 led all MLBers in 2013 in this saber stat
38. One part of “Pitching Triple Crown” (abbr)
40. Lasso
41. “Do ___ others as…”
42. Roger ____, “Boys of Summer” author
44. Swindled
47. Like some races and hopes
48. Victorian, in a way
49. Subject of Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain”
50. Sideshow spiel
51. “Stop that!”
52. Like some mushrooms
57. Oscar Gamble’s most notable attribute, arguably
58. Lousy reviews
59. Fishing, perhaps
62. University of Utah athlete
63. Arctic bird
64. Deception
65. Dock Ellis stated he pitched no-hitter under influence of this

 

ANSWER
vorgpuzzle081614solu

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VORG’S International Left-handers Day Salute

Did you know that August 13 is Lefthanders Day?

As per Wikipedia:

As the name suggests, it is meant to promote awareness of the inconveniences facing left-handers in a predominantly right-handed world. It celebrates their uniqueness and differences, who are from seven to ten percent of the world’s population. Thousands of left-handed people in today’s society have to adapt to use right handed tools and objects.

To celebrate, here are the single-season and career stat leaders amongst lefties.  For hitters, I’ve made it a bit more strict, as the player has to both throw and hit lefty.  For pitchers, just throwing lefty is enough.  Enjoy!

LEFTY-BATTING AND THROWING HITTERS
SEASON CAREER
Player HR Year Player HR
Barry Bonds 73 2001 Barry Bonds 762
Player RBI Year Player RBI
Lou Gehrig 185 1931 Babe Ruth 2214
Player BB Year Player BB
Barry Bonds 232 2004 Barry Bonds 2558
Player IBB Year Player IBB
Barry Bonds 120 2004 Barry Bonds 688
Player SO Year Player SO
Ryan Howard 199 2008 Reggie Jackson 2597
Ryan Howard 199 2007
Player SH Year Player SH
Bob Ganley 52 1908 Jake Daubert 392
Player SF Year Player SF
Don Mattingly 15 1985 Rafael Palmeiro 119
Player BA Year Player BA
George Sisler .420 1922 Lefty O’Doul .349
Player OBP Year Player OBP
Barry Bonds .609 2004 Babe Ruth .474
Player SLG Year Player SLG
Barry Bonds .863 2001 Babe Ruth .690
Player OPS Year Player OPS
Barry Bonds 1.422 2004 Babe Ruth 1.164
Player OPS+ Year Player OPS+
Barry Bonds 268 2002 Babe Ruth 206
Player ISO Year Player ISO
Barry Bonds .536 2001 Babe Ruth .348
Player BAbip Year Player BAbip
Babe Ruth .423 1923 Mike Donlin .353
Player GDP Year Player GDP
Adrian Gonzalez 28 2011 Harold Baines 298
Player Out Year Player Out
Omar Moreno 560 1980 Rafael Palmeiro 7858
Player TB Year Player TB
Babe Ruth 457 1921 Stan Musial 6134
Player XBH Year Player XBH
Babe Ruth 119 1921 Barry Bonds 1440
Player WAR/pos Year Player WAR/pos
Babe Ruth 14.1 1923 Babe Ruth 163
Player G Year Player G
Al Oliver 163 1980 Stan Musial 3026
Willie Montanez 163 1976
Player PA Year Player PA
Lenny Dykstra 773 1993 Stan Musial 12717
Player AB Year Player AB
Juan Pierre 699 2006 Stan Musial 10972
Player R Year Player R
Babe Ruth 177 1921 Barry Bonds 2227
Player H Year Player H
George Sisler 257 1920 Stan Musial 3630
Player 2B Year Player 2B
Paul Waner 62 1932 Tris Speaker 792
Player 3B Year Player 3B
Sam Crawford 26 1914 Sam Crawford 287
LEFTY-THROWING PITCHERS
SEASON CAREER
Player Dec Year Player Dec
Wilbur Wood 44 1973 Warren Spahn 608
Rube Waddell 44 1904
Player W Year Player W
Lefty Grove 31 1931 Warren Spahn 363
Player L Year Player L
Irv Young 25 1906 Eppa Rixey 251
Patsy Flaherty 25 1903
Pete Dowling 25 1901
Player SV Year Player SV
Randy Myers 53 John Franco 424
Player G Year Player G
Pedro Feliciano 92 2010 Jesse Orosco 1252
Player GS Year Player GS
Wilbur Wood 49 1972 Steve Carlton 709
Player CG Year Player CG
Irv Young 41 1905 Eddie Plank 410
Noodles Hahn 41 1901
Player SHO Year Player SHO
Sandy Koufax 11 1963 Eddie Plank 69
Player GF Year Player GF
Billy Wagner 70 2005 John Franco 774
Player IP Year Player IP
Rube Waddell 383 1904 Warren Spahn 5243.2
Player ERA Year Player ERA
Dutch Leonard 0.96 1914 Jack Pfiester 2.02
Player FIP Year Player FIP
Rube Waddell 1.51 1908 Rube Waddell 1.93
Player ERA+ Year Player ERA+
Dutch Leonard 282 1914 Clayton Kershaw 150
Player ER Year Player ER
Snake Wiltse 172 1902 Jamie Moyer 1926
Player R Year Player R
Snake Wiltse 226 1902 Steve Carlton 2130
Player H Year Player H
Snake Wiltse 397 1902 Warren Spahn 4830
Player BB Year Player BB
Tommy Byrne 179 1949 Steve Carlton 1833
Player SO Year Player SO
Sandy Koufax 382 1965 Randy Johnson 4875
Player HR Year Player HR
Jamie Moyer 44 2004 Jamie Moyer 522
Player BF Year Player BF
Mickey Lolich 1538 1971 Steve Carlton 21683
Player WP Year Player WP
Denny Lemaster 20 1964 Tommy John 187
Player BK Year Player BK
John Candelaria 12 1988 Steve Carlton 90
Player HBP Year Player HBP
Otto Hess 24 1906 Randy Johnson 190
Eddie Plank 24 1905 Eddie Plank 190
Player BB9 Year Player BB9
Cliff Lee 0.76 2010 Noodles Hahn 1.43
Player SO9 Year Player SO9
Randy Johnson 13.41 2001 Randy Johnson 10.61
Player H9 Year Player H9
Dutch Leonard 5.57 1914 Sandy Koufax 6.79
Player WHIP Year Player WHIP
Dave McNally 0.842 1968 Clayton Kershaw 1.068
Player SO/W Year Player SO/W
Cliff Lee 10.28 2010 Cliff Lee 3.93
Player K% Year Player K%
Randy Johnson 37.40% 2001 Randy Johnson 28.60%
Player WAR Year Player WAR
Steve Carlton 12.1 1972 Lefty Grove 109.9

 

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“P”ing on the Shoulders of Giants

The San Francisco Giants have been occasionally starting five different players whose last names begin with the letter P.  One such instance occurred Thursday night at Milwaukee, when their starting nine went as follows:

This of course led the VORG to wonder if that was a record for most “P” names in a starting lineup, and then what the record was for every other letter.  With the Retrosheet gamelogs revved up, I parsed out last names from the lineups of the 160,000+ games that had such info available.  I then pulled out the first letter of each of the last names, and summed them for each team in each game.  Voila . . . here are the counts for each letter, and the date and game in which it last occurred (through 2013, with the team that did in in italics and bolded):

LETTER COUNT LAST VIS HOME
A 4 5/17/2006 FLO ATL
B 6 8/5/1999 LAN HOU
C 5 6/9/2013 HOU KCA
D 6 6/15/1987 PHI CHN
E 4 7/22/2012 LAN NYN
F 4 8/23/2009 CHN LAN
G 6 6/13/2008 KCA ARI
H 5 8/8/2005 DET TOR
I 2 9/29/2013 DET MIA
J 4 5/2/2009 HOU ATL
K 4 7/17/1965 CHN LAN
L 4 7/21/2012 ATL WAS
M 7 8/31/1938 PHI SLN
N 3 6/2/2012 LAN COL
O 3 10/6/2001 BOS BAL
P 5 9/28/2013 SDN SFN
Q 1 9/28/2013 MIL NYN
R 5 10/5/2001 BOS BAL
S 6 9/20/1926 BOS CLE
T 4 9/5/2012 NYN SLN
U 3 9/21/2013 ATL CHN
V 3 9/11/2011 CIN COL
W 5 9/4/2005 CHN PIT
X 0
Y 2 8/7/2013 CHN PHI
Z 2 9/25/2013 WAS SLN

 

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Lotta (Last Name) Letters in the Lineup

(Corrected from an earlier version)

Last week, we listed the lineups with the most letters in them (considering last AND first names).  Now we’ll consider only last names.

The starting lineup containing the most letters in the last names was achieved by the Chicago Cubs on August 23, 1946, as they hosted the Boston Braves.  Their one-through-nine tallied 81 letters, an average of 9 per man.  Here is that lineup:

The record for the fewest letters in the last names in a starting lineup is 39, achieved by the 2004 Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  On September 30th of that year, as they hosted the Tigers in the second game of a twinbill, sent out this “nine”:

The record for most letters in the last names of the starting lineups of both teams in a game is 145 144, achieved twice.  On August 20, 1949, the Cubs visited the Reds, and the teams presented these lineups:

15 seasons later, the Red Sox and White Sox tied that record on April 24, 1964 in Chicago, with the following lineups:

The record for the fewest letters in the last names of the starting lineup by both teams is 88, achieved twice.  The first such occurrence was that same September 30, 2004  Tigers-Devil Rays game we mentioned above:

The most recent game 88-letter lineup game was on June 29, 2005, as the Dodgers hosted the Padres:

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Lotta Letters in the Lineup

I’m often asked which lineup has had the most letters in it, and I’m going to partially answer that question now.

Using the gamelogs from Retrosheet, I have complete batting orders/lineups for roughly 168,000 games from 1911-2013.  I’ve stripped out dashes, spaces, periods, hyphens and other extraneous marks, and present to you the most (and fewest) total letters in a team lineup.  This time out, we are considering first AND last names, as listed in Retrosheet.  (We’ll consider only last names in a future post)

The starting lineup containing the most letters was achieved by the Montreal Expos (rest in peace) on September 12, 1999 in a game at San Diego.  Their one-through-nine tallied a whopping 127 letters, an average of 14 per man.  Behold the beauty, and imagine Vin Scully or the late Bob Sheppard reading this list to the crowd before the game:

The record for the fewest letters in a starting lineup is 73, achieved twice by the same team.  The 1954 Cleveland Indians trotted out the same group of nine “short-named” players twice within five days.  On August 8 of that year, they hosted Philadelphia and sent out this “ennead” in the second game of a twin-bill:

The same nine took the field on August 12 at Detroit, with a minor change in the order:

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The record for most letters in starting lineups by both teams in a game is 241, achieved twice:

August 1, 2011: Cleveland at Boston

July 21, 2013: Chicago at Colorado

The record for the fewest letters in a starting lineup by both teams is 159, achieved by the Senators and Indians in a game at Cleveland on June 23, 1950:

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Drop a Letter and You Still Have a Name

Andy, owner of the terrific High Heat Stats and friend of the VORG, asked the following question this afternoon:

Oswaldo Arcia makes me wonder how many MLB players have a surname the same as another, minus the first letter (i.e. Garcia)… @dianagram?

So with the Lahman Baseball Database fired up, here are the names of players that have a last name “partner” if you drop the first letter of the last name.  (The “Match” column shows only the first match, alphabetically)

Continue reading

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The “First Half” Record Holders

A couple of weeks ago on Sunday Night Baseball, John Kruk mentioned how the “first half” of the season doesn’t really match up with the “All-Star Break” anymore.  Now, loyal readers of the VORG will remember that we covered this in detail last year.  The phrase “Most ____ by the All-Star Break” is relatively meaningless when that Break changes from year-to-year.

So, if we were going to discuss the best “first half” performances of all-time, lets restrict them to the first 81 games of seasons since 1961.  Then you’d have the following record-holders (with the 154-game season from 1920-1960 [77-game 1st half] records below them):

HOMERS

Rk Player Year HR
1 Barry Bonds 2001 39
2 Mark McGwire 1998 37
3 Reggie Jackson 1969 34
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/13/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 32 by Babe Ruth in 1928 and 1930)

RBI

Rk Player Year RBI
1 Juan Gonzalez 1998 96
2 Manny Ramirez 1999 88
3 Carlos Delgado 2003 88
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/13/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 103 by Hank Greenberg in 1935)

HITS

Rk Player Year H
1 Darin Erstad 2000 130
2 Ichiro Suzuki 2001 125
3 Ichiro Suzuki 2007 124
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/13/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 139 by George Sisler in 1922)

DOUBLES

Rk Player Year 2B ▾
1 Edgar Martinez 1996 41
2 Manny Machado 2013 37
3 Chuck Knoblauch 1994 36
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 37 by Paul Waner in 1932)

TRIPLES

Rk Player Year 3B ▾
1 Curtis Granderson 2007 15
2 Jose Reyes 2011 15
3 Rod Carew 1977 14
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 14 by four players)

STRIKEOUTS

Rk Player Year SO ▾
1 Adam Dunn 2012 127
2 Chris Davis 2009 114
3 Ryan Howard 2008 112
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 78 by Wally Post in 1956)

WALKS

Rk Player Year BB ▾
1 Barry Bonds 2004 119
2 Barry Bonds 2002 104
3 Frank Thomas 1995 86
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 97 by Ted Williams in 1947)

INNINGS PITCHED (ONLY AS STARTER)

Rk Player Year IP ▾
1 Wilbur Wood 1973 213.0
2 Wilbur Wood 1972 198.0
3 Gaylord Perry 1972 194.2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 191.3 by Pete Alexander in 1920)

INNINGS PITCHED (ONLY AS RELIEVER)

Rk Player Year IP ▾
1 Mike Marshall 1974 99.0
2 Eddie Fisher 1965 94.1
3 Mike Marshall 1973 88.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 91 by Hoyt Wilhelm in 1953)

STRIKEOUTS (ONLY AS STARTER)

Rk Player Year SO ▾
1 Nolan Ryan 1977 214
2 Nolan Ryan 1973 188
3 Steve Carlton 1972 182
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2014.

(154-game season first-half record: 190 by Bob Feller in 1946)

WINS (AS STARTING PITCHER)

(154-game season first-half record: 16 by three players)

SAVES

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