November 21, 2017

Comments on The SABR Baseball List and Record Book, Part 9

March 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is Part 9 of my postings (updated from original posting at my personal blog in 2007) on what I find interesting and worthy of comment while browsing through the 2007 SABR book, The SABR Baseball List and Record Book (available at Amazon). This time around I comment on a variety of lists, including several about teammates.

List 305 is “Batters with 200 Hits and Less than a .300 Batting Average”. This has been done 8 times, by 8 different players through 2006. The lowest average was Juan Pierre with .292 and 204 hits in 2006. Before that the most recent was Bill Buckner with .299 and 201 hits in 1985. It happened three times in the 1970s: Buddy Bell (1979, .299, 200 hits), Ralph Garr (1973, .299, 200 hits), and Matty Alou (1970, .297, 201 hits). It happened twice in the 1960s, as these have the highest hit totals on the list: Lou Brock (1967, .299, 206 hits) and Maury Wills (1962, .299, 208 hits). Before that it happened just once, as Jo-Jo Moore hit .295 with 201 hits in 1935.

List 334 is “Most Home Runs by Three Teammates in a Season”. This list shows the top 5 trios. Can you name them? I’ll give the answers at the bottom of this post.

List 339 is “Most Career Home Runs by Two Brothers (Each having at least one)”. All long-time baseball fans know the initially tricky answer to this question. Its the Aaron brothers of course, since Tommie Aaron belted 13 to go with brother Hank’s 755. That isn’t very satisfying though. So what about a list of the top brother HR duos where each brother has at least 100? The top five (only five?) are shown as part of this list. Can you name them? Again, I’ll list them at the end of this post.

List 356 is “Teams with Most Batters with 100 RBI in a Season”. An interesting list. Through 2006, there have been 24 teams that have had 4 batters with 100+ RBI. But only once has a team had five such hitters: the 1936 Yankees. They had Gehrig (152), DiMaggio (125), Lazzeri (109), Dickey (107), and the less well known George Selkirk (107). Studying 25 teams with 4 or more 100+ RBI hitters, we can again see the rise and fall of offensive eras over time. From 1922 – 1940 there were 12 such teams. From 1941 – 1995 there were only 2 such teams — and those weren’t until the 1977 Red Sox (Rice, Hobson, Fisk, Yaz) and the 1982 Brewers (Coopers, Yount, Thomas, Oglivie). Then from 1996 – 2006 there have been the other 11 such teams. 1999 was a particularly big year in this regard, as five teams managed this feat: Indians, Yankees, Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Rockies. That is pretty incredible.

List 357 is similar, as it is “Teams with Most Batters with 200 Hits in a Season”. Through 2006, there have been 10 teams with three such players, but only two have had four such players. The first was the 1929 Phillies: Lefty O’Doul (254), Chuck Klein (219), Fresco Thompson (202), and Pinky Whitney (200). Remember Fresco Thompson? No? He was the 2B for the club, but only played four full seasons in the majors. And Pinky Whitney not ring a bell? He played mostly 3B for the Phillies and the Boston Braves, and had a pretty good career: .295 Avg, 4 seasons with 100+ RBI even with limited power, and had 200+ hits twice. And O’Doul’s total of 254 that year is of course impressive. He was an interesting case. After not making it as a big league pitcher, he made a comeback as an outfielder starting at age 31, and had several fine years. He ended up with a .349 career average, and that 1929 season was impressive: 254 hits, 152 runs, 32 HR, 122 RBI, and a .398 average.

The other time four teams had four 200 hit batters was the 1937 Tigers: Gee Walker (213), Charlie Gehringer (209), Pete Fox (208), Hank Greenberg (200). And again, considering the 12 teams on this list, I note that 9 of them were from the years 1920 – 1937. The other three were 1963 Cardinals, 1982 Brewers (again!), and the 1991 Rangers.

OK, now for the trivia answers. First, I’ll admit that list 334 was a bit of a trick. The most HRs by three teammates in a season? Naturally it is 143 by the 1961 Yankees’ Maris (61), Mantle (54), and Skowron (28). But then the next three on this list are also from the 1961 Yankees, just substituting other players for Skowron: Berra (22), Blanchard (21), Howard (21). That team hit a lot of Homers! Then fifth is, as you might have guessed, the 2001 Giants with 132 HR from Bonds (73), Aurilia (37), and Kent (22).

And the other question I posed was for list 339, limiting it to most career homeruns by two brothers who each had 100+. Top on this are Joe and Vince DiMaggio, who had 361 and 125, respectively (by the way, Dom had only 87). Then next are Ken and Clete Boyer, with 282 and 162. Then Bret and Aaron Boone, who through 2006 had 252 and 115. Then Roberto and Sandy Alomar who have 210 and 112. And fifth on this list are Bob and Irish Meusel with 156 and 106.

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