Fibonacci Seasons and Careers

At the VORG, we’re not just geeked on odd names.  We like numbers too.  We bestow the annual “Pi Young Award“.  We’ve looked at prime number linescores.  We’ve looked at perfect square linescores.  Now its time to tackle Fibonacci numbers.

In mathematics, Fibonacci numbers are the numbers in the following integer sequence:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 . . .

By definition, the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two.

As described by Wikipedia:

The Fibonacci sequence is named after Leonardo of Pisa, who was known as Fibonacci. Fibonacci’s 1202 book Liber Abaci introduced the sequence to Western European mathematics, although the sequence had been described earlier in Indian mathematics.

Applications include computer algorithms such as the Fibonacci search technique and the Fibonacci heap data structure, and graphs called Fibonacci cubes used for interconnecting parallel and distributed systems. They also appear in biological settings, such as branching in trees, phyllotaxis (the arrangement of leaves on a stem), the fruit spouts of a pineapple, the flowering of artichoke, an uncurling fern and the arrangement of a pine cone.

So, today the VORG investigates the players with Fibonacci numbers in certain traditional important offensive stat categories.

First up, batters with a Fibonacci batting average, homer and RBI total in a season (non-pitchers):

Todd Hollandsworth 1995 (.233, 5, 13): 1995 was Hollandsworth’s MLB debut.  He won the NL Rookie of the Year the following year.

Frankie Hayes 1946 (.233, 5, 34): He still made the All-Star team that year.

Craig Worthington 1995 (.233, 3, 8): Slugged 15 homers in his rookie season, and 18 more in the following five.

Walt Weiss 1989 (.233, 3, 21): Weiss’s 162-game lifetime averages: .258/3/42.  He managed to play 14 seasons with that production.

Jim Gleeson 1941 (.233, 3, 34): The only major leaguer from Rockhurst University.

John Stefero 1986 (.233, 2, 13): Backup catcher to Orioles’ Rick Dempsey during 1986.

Chad Hermansen 1999 (.233, 1, 1): Selected 10th by the Pirates in the first round of the 1995 draft.  Matt Morris went two picks later, and a certain Roy Halladay went with the 17th pick.

Hal Lanier 1971 (.233, 1, 13): Career OPS+ of 50.  Less than 150 extra-base hits in a career of approximately 4,000 plate appearances.  But his defense at shortstop was stellar.

Tommy Heath 1937 (.233, 1, 3): Reserve backstop for the St. Louis Browns in the mid-1930s.

19 different players had a season of .233, no homers and some Fibonacci number of RBI.

Rene Rivera 2011 (.144, 1, 5): Played for the Mariners from 2004-2006.  Next played in the majors for the Twins in 2011, in which he got 114 plate appearances to put up a .144/.211/.202.

John Jaha 2001 (.089, 0, 8): The final ride for Jaha, who slammed 30+ homers with 100+ ribbies twice in a ten-year career.

Bret Barberie 1996 (.034, 1, 2): He homered in his first plate appearance of the year, then went 0-28 the rest of the season.

1470 different player-seasons of .000, no homers and some Fibonacci number of RBI.

Next up, batters with a Fibonacci batting average, homer and RBI total in a career (non-pitchers):

Charlie Jones (.233, 5, 144): CF for the Washington Senators and others in the early 1900s.

Jeff McKnight (.233, 5, 34): Utility man for Orioles and Mets, 1989-1994.

Mike Colangelo (.233, 2, 8): Appeared in games for three different California teams (SD, ANA, OAK) between 1999 and 2002.

Rube DeGroff (.233, 0, 5): 16 games with the Cardinals between 1905-6.

William Suero (.233, 0, 0): 33 games with the ’92-’93 Brewers.  Died at age 29.

Doug Gwosdz (.144, 1, 8): A career OPS+ of 28.  Nicknamed “Eyechart”.

Chick Keating (.089, 0, 0): Appeared in four games with the Cubs in 1915 at age 23.  Next appeared in the majors 11 years later, at age 34, again for four games.

Roy Luebbe (.000, 0, 3): Got into eight games as a catcher late in the year with the 1925 Yankees.  Managed to drive in those three runs with something other than a hit (sac flies were not kept back then).

Harry Bostick (.000, 0, 2): Made it into two games with the 1915 Philadelphia A’s.

26 different players (.000, 0, 1): From Lou Shippacasse in 1902 to Yohanny Valera in 2000.

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