Longest Player Name for each Franchise

Friend of the VORG Doug Kern alerted me to the following:

OFFICIAL: #Rays call up left-handed reliever @CJRief, whose 12-letter last name ties Jason Isringhausen for longest in club history.

That @CJRief is C.J. Riefenhauser, and he (and Doug) inspired this list.  Here is each franchise/team in baseball history, with the player(s) holding the record for longest last name.  For simplicity sake, the player will be listed next to most if not all versions of the franchise, even if they didn’t play for a particular version.  For example, Al Hollingsworth didn’t play for the Minnesota Twins, but he DID play for their progenitor, the Washington Senators.  Also, the last name length excludes periods, apostrophes, hyphens and spaces.  With that in mind, here is the list:

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
Posted in factoids, frivolity, Lahman Baseball Database, Names, records | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Giving new Meaning to “Win Streak”

Loyal VORG reader David Branson tweeted at me yesterday:

@dianagram Joe Niekro had single season win totals of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17. Any idea if this is the longest string?

I thought that was a really cool find, and decided to investigate further.  Using the “pitching” table from the Lahman Baseball Database I not only determined the record for longest sequence of win totals, but also the most unique season win totals in a career.  As it turns out, Niekro holds both records.  The 6 through 17-win seasons do set the record for longest sequence at 12, and when you add in his seasons with 1, 2, 3, 4, 20 and 21 wins, he has a record 18 different season win totals.  Here is the list of those pitchers with a sequence of at least 10 and also 10 different season win totals:

Name Sequence Unique
Joe Niekro 12 18
Mike Morgan 11 15
Red Faber 10 17
John Candelaria 10 15
Mike Mussina 10 11
Tom Burgmeier 10 10
Dick Coffman 10 10

For completeness’ sake, here is the Google Drive document listing all pitchers from 1871-2013, with win totals, longest sequences and unique season win totals.  An “X” in a column means that the win total was achieved at least once.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
Posted in factoids, Lahman Baseball Database, pitchers, records, won-loss | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A Pitcher’s Best Friend, times 1.5

Last night, the Yankees pulled off a triple play, the third one completed in back of CC Sabathia in the last four years.

This got me wondering what the record is, from the pitcher’s perspective, for most triple plays “induced”.  Using the Baseball Reference Play Index (a fantastic resource and well-worth your purchase), I collected all the triple plays for which it had details, and sorted it by pitcher.

It turns out that Sabathia has tied Bill Faul and Chris Short for this “record”, as follows:

Sabathia:

Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
2010-04-22 NYY @OAK b6 12- Ground Ball Triple Play:3B-2B-1B(Weak 3B)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.
Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
2013-04-12 NYY BAL t8 12- Triple Play: Groundout: 2B-SS-3B-SS-3B;Machado out at 2B/3B-1B-2B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.
Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
2014-04-17 NYY @TBR b2 12- Ground Ball Triple Play:3B-2B-1B (Weak 3B)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.

Short:

Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
1964-05-17 PHI @HOU b5 12- Triple Play: Groundout:1B-SS-1B-C
1964-10-02 PHI @CIN b4 12- Triple Play: Flyball: LF;Pinson out at 2B/LF-SS-2B;Robinson out at 1B/2B-1B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.
Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
1968-05-04 PHI PIT t8 12- Line Drive Triple Play:SS-2B-1B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.

Faul:

Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
1965-07-14 (2) CHC MLN t2 1-3 Triple Play: Foul Popfly:C-SS-P-2B
1965-07-25 (2) CHC PIT t4 12- Line Drive Triple Play:2B-SS-1B
1965-10-03 CHC @PIT b5 12- Line Drive Triple Play: 1B; Alley out at 1B/1B;Mazeroski out at 2B/1B-SS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.

And since I know you are wondering, the record for the BATTER hitting into the most triple plays?  Its the FOUR by Brooks Robinson, which is two more than anyone else.  Here are the four:

Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
1958-06-02 BAL WSH b6 12- Line Drive Triple Play:SS-1B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.
Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
1964-09-10 BAL @WSA t5 123 Ground Ball Triple Play: SS-2B-1B;Adair Scores; Aparicio out at Hm/1B-C
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.
Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
1965-08-18 BAL BOS b1 12- Triple Play: Groundout:3B-2B-1B-3B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.
Date Tm Opp Inn RoB Play Description
1967-08-06 (2) BAL CHW b5 12- Ground Ball Triple Play:3B-2B-1B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/18/2014.
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
Posted in factoids, game events, pitchers, Play Index mining, records | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

More Errors than Strikeouts in a Season

As with many prior posts, it began with an innocent tweet:

David Schoenfield @dschoenfield

Andrelton Simmons still with no strikeouts and no errors on the season. Which will come first? #Braves

. . . which elicited this response from me:

dianagram @dianagram

@dschoenfield oh you’re going to inspire me to find players with more Es than Ks in a season! :-)

. . . which elicited this response from David:

David Schoenfield @dschoenfield

I was thinking the same thing. Good luck! RT @dianagram oh you’re going to inspire me to find players with more Es than Ks in a season! :-)

So, I fired up the Lahman Baseball Database (which readers of the VORG should be supporting with donations from time to time, please) and lined up the fielding data table with the batting data table.  I decided to limit the search to 1914 forward (so the last 100 seasons), since the error totals in the late 1800s to early 1900s were of course significantly larger than they are now.  I then looked for all players with season error totals greater than strikeouts.

In the Division Play era (1969 to 2013), we have a tie at nine more errors than Ks.  The first such player is Gary Sutherland, who was an original Montreal Expo.  He was a middle infielder taken in the 1969 Expansion Draft off of the Phillies roster.  For his career, he struck out in only 6.5% of plate appearances, and compiled fielding percentages of .971 at second and .936 at shortstop.   In 1971, Sutherland appeared in 111 games, amassing 331 plate appearances.  He struck out a mere 12 times (3.6%), while committing nine errors in 56 games at second and 12 more in 46 games at shortstop, for a total of 21 miscues.

22 years later, Indians shortstop Felix Fermin duplicated the feat.  Normally a sure-handed fielder, Fermin made 23 errors in 580 chances for a career-low .960 fielding percentage.  His batting eye was still keen though, as he bettered his career 4.8 K% by striking out in a career-low 2.7% of his plate appearances (14 out of 514).

For the record-holder over the last 100 seasons, we turn to Hall of Famer shortstop/third baseman Joe Sewell.  From 1925-1933, Sewell came to the plate 5,539 times and struck out in a mere 48 of them (0.8%)!  He has the most plate appearances, by far, of anyone with as low a career K% (1.45%).  He was also blessed with terrific range at shortstop. He finished first or second in range factor at the position seven times, as well as leading in assists and putouts four times each.  On the flip side, he also placed in the top five in errors six times.   In 1923, Sewell struck out 12 times in 686 plate appearances, while committing a career-high 59 errors at short.  Thus, he holds the record for largest error-strikeout differential of the last 100 years at 47.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
Posted in factoids, Lahman Baseball Database, records | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Heavyweight Pitching Matchups

In Atlanta this evening, 285-pound Bartolo Colon is facing off against 260-pound Aaron Harang.  That got Stuart Johnson thinking, and good friend of the VORG Mark Simon putting out the “bat signal” . . .

Stuart Johnson @stujo11

Bartolo Colon (listed 285 lbs) and Aaron Harang (260 lbs) square off tonight. Wonder what the heaviest pitching matchup ever is? @msimonespn

Mark Simon @msimonespn

@stujo11 Paging @dianagram & @TomTheIntern – my guess is Jumbo Brown vs someone

Using the height and weight data from the Lahman Baseball Database, and the starting pitcher data from the Retrosheet game logs, I was able to research this question.  The results are available in this Google Drive document, but here are the highlights:

At a combined 575 pounds, CC Sabathia (290) and Colon (285) are the record-holders for the weightiest matchup.  They’ve met four times between 2004 and 2013.

In terms of BMI, which takes into account height and weight, Colon (BMI of 38.6) is again part of the record matchup.  His duels with Tommy Hunter (35.0) combine for a record 73.6 BMI.  They met twice in 2012.

So Harang and Colon will have to go back to the buffet to get closer to the record.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
Posted in demographics, frivolity, Lahman Baseball Database, records, Retrosheet | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

An Appreciation of Strat-O-Matic

Over at the ESPN Sweet Spot, I have an appreciation for the tabletop version of Strat-O-Matic baseball.

I’ll have a review of the new season’s card set and game soon right here.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
Posted in essay, linkapalooza | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Scrabble-acceptability of 2014 Opening Day Rosters

With the first full weekend of games upon us, its time for the VORG to once again present the list of Scrabble-acceptable player names on each team’s Opening Day/week roster.

The player’s first or last name is deemed “acceptable” if it can be found in the “bible” of organized Scrabble, the Official Tournament and Club Word List.  If the player’s name is seven letters or more and a valid Scrabble word, it is referred to as a  “bingo”. The total below each team’s roster gives the team’s tally of qualifying names.

See the Google Drive chart for all the details.

The A’s and Reds are tied for the most first acceptable first names (12), while the Mets trump all others in last names (11).  The team with the longest nickname (Diamondbacks) happens to have an MLB-best 15 players with a first and/or last name that is acceptable. The Angels (thanks in part to “Mike Trout” … is there NOTHING he can’t do?) lead the league with four players with acceptable first AND last names.   The Royals have a league-leading six “bingo” names.  The Tigers’ Joba Chamberlain possesses the longest acceptable Scrabble word on anyone’s 25-man roster, as a “chamberlain” is an officer who manages the household of a sovereign or noble.  Meanwhile, the Rockies’ Franklin Morales is once again the only player to have both his first and last name be “bingos”.

===========================================================

Today marks the third anniversary of the VORG.  Regardless of how long you’ve been a reader of the site, I want to thank you for your support.  Its been a blast!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail
Posted in frivolity, Opening Day, rosters, Scrabble | Tagged , , | Leave a comment