Kings of Particular Spots in the Batting Order

The Retrosheet gamelogs contain a wealth of information, including full starting lineups for over 170,000 games in MLB history.  Using these files, the VORG has determined the top three players for most games started from each slot in the batting order.

Some highlights:

  • Rickey Henderson started 2,890 games in his Hall of Fame career, and not surprisingly 99.5% of those games saw him batting leadoff. His next highest count? He batted third eight times.
  • Charlie Grimm is the only player to finish in the top three at two different slots (6th, 7th).  These accounted for 88% of his total games started.
  • Ken Griffey, Sr. batted third a mere 239 times, roughly 1/8th Junior’s total.  Griffey Sr. batted second most often.
1ST Frequency
Rickey Henderson 2875
Pete Rose 2300
Lou Brock 1893
2ND Frequency
Nellie Fox 1711
Omar Vizquel 1570
Ozzie Smith 1529
3RD Frequency
Stan Musial 2253
Ken Griffey, Jr. 2014
Carl Yastrzemski 1978
4TH Frequency
Eddie Murray 2038
Fred McGriff 1825
Willie McCovey 1607
5TH Frequency
Harry Heilmann 1275
Ernie Banks 976
Robin Ventura 918
6TH Frequency
Charlie Grimm 892
Graig Nettles 832
Travis Jackson 789
7TH Frequency
Charlie Grimm 976
Everett Scott 894
Jimmy Dykes 768
8TH Frequency
Al Lopez 1363
Jim Hegan 1317
Ray Schalk 1207
9TH Frequency
Ozzie Guillen 1095
Gary Disarcina 853
Bucky Dent 826

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The VORG’s Valentine’s Day Gift to You

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. … Read more

Catchers Working Doubleheaders Behind the Dish

During Saturday’s SABR Day event in New York City, panelists Dave Anderson, Dave Kaplan and Lindsay Berra (eldest granddaughter of Yogi Berra) were discussing the magic that was Lawrence Peter Berra. Among all his awards and statistical records, it was noted that Berra started and played catcher in both games of 117 doubleheaders.

This stat floored most of the audience, myself included.  I knew that back in the day, men were men and catchers routinely caught 150+ games in a year.  But I also knew there were many more scheduled doubleheaders and why wouldn’t a manager rest his number one backstop for one of those games. I decided to check on the accuracy of that 117 doubleheader stat.

I parsed out all the doubleheaders from the Retrosheet game logs of 1911-2015 (which includes those with complete lineups), and then searched for instances in which the catcher in game one was the same one in game two.  Not only did Berra catch both ends of 117 doubleheaders, by my count, he caught 28 more, for a staggering total of 145.

Here is the list of all players to catch both games of a doubleheader, along with the number of times they did that.  Note that the current poster boy for indefatigability, the Royals Salvador Perez, hasn’t been called upon to catch both ends of a twinbill:

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Greatest Difference in Age of Opposing Starting Pitchers

One of the cool facts of the upcoming Super Bowl is the record 13-year age difference between the starting quarterbacks (Peyton Manning is 39 while Cam Newton is 26). That got the VORG wondering what the regular season record is for age difference between starting pitchers.  With the Retrosheet gamelogs accessed, here is the answer: … Read more

Most Future Managers in a Lineup

Here’s a topic that was brought to me by friend of the VORG Kurt Blumenau: @dianagram (This inspired by ’62 Mets, who had four appear in their first-ever game. Probably not a record but it got me thinking.) — Kurt, still. (@kblumenau) December 7, 2015 Well it turns out that while four is quite a … Read more

The VORG’s Thanksgiving Message for 2015

Its Thanksgiving Eve, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the following people/entities for making my baseball blogging world a better place (in no particular order): Baseball Prospectus: The folks I followed (Kahrl, Jaffe, Goldstein, Lindbergh, Sheehan, Goldman) are gone, but they continue to find great writers/analysts. From prospect talk to fantasy baseball … Read more

Here are today’s scores … 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1 and 2-1.

Friend of the VORG Doug Kern from ESPN tweeted out the following a week ago … This is the first day in baseball history where four games ended with a final score of 9-4. Only time I even found three was May 5, 1995. — Doug Kern (@dakern74) September 3, 2015 Which I responded to: … Read more

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