Sunday of course is Valentine’s Day, and many of your favorite baseball sites will undoubtedly be doing something “love-related”, like theme teams, or baseball-oriented Valentine’s cards. Here at the VORG, we like to think of “baseball love” in terms of partnerships. We admire those great double-play combos, and we’ve written about the most frequent batterymates.
For Valentine’s Day 2016, the VORG is celebrating a slightly different partnership, the shortstop-right fielder couple on your scorecard. Yes, here is undoubtedly the first (and last) analysis of “soixante-neuf” combinations in baseball history. Using the gamelogs furnished by the fine folks at Retrosheet, we parsed out the starting 6s and 9s for both teams in all AL and NL games where lineup info was available. Below are the top ten pairs based on games started.
|Shortstop – Right Fielder||Games|
|Arky Vaughan – Paul Waner||1095|
|Pee Wee Reese – Carl Furillo||1037|
|Orlando Cabrera – Vladimir Guerrero||1006|
|Dick Groat – Roberto Clemente||868|
|Everett Scott – Harry Hooper||856|
|Garry Templeton – Tony Gwynn||837|
|Jimmy Rollins – Bobby Abreu||827|
|Derek Jeter – Paul O’Neill||825|
|Bert Campaneris – Reggie Jackson||815|
|Omar Vizquel – Manny Ramirez||793|
In case you were wondering, we checked the Baseball Reference Play Index Event Finder, and can find no instance of a putout going 6-9. Plenty of 9-6s, but not the other way around. Also, there have been only six players to don uniform number 69 in history, and only one of those (Jordy Mercer) played short or right.
[Please be assured that the VORG will return to more benign writing post-haste. In the meantime, enjoy the day in whatever way suits you.]