Author Topic: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread  (Read 12315 times)

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Offline Mr. S£im Citrus

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #100 on: February 05, 2017, 03:53:34 AM »
Thought I'd interrupt y'all's football wankfest for a minute... I know you all hate women's basketball, so I'll keep my facts about the NBA:

- Most people know Jerry West as "The Logo." Slightly fewer people know that he's the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP from the losing team (1969, vs. Boston Celtics).
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the only player to be named Finals MVP for two different teams (Milwaukee, Los Angeles).
- Jo-Jo White and Cedric Maxwell are the only two eligible players to have been named Finals MVP who are not in the Hall of Fame.
- As a player for the Boston Celtics, Bill Russell only lost two playoff series in his entire career: 1958 NBA Finals, vs. St. Louis (Atlanta) Hawks, and 1967 Eastern Division Finals, vs. Philadelphia 76ers. Both teams were coached by Alex Hannum.


So, since I posted this 4 years ago...
  • LeBron James has joined Kareem as the only other player to be named Finals MVP for two different teams.
  • I'm pretty sure that Andre Iguodala is going to join Jojo and Cornbread on that Finals-MVP-not-in-the-HOF list. The jury is still out on Chauncey; he was still playing when I posted that, so I wasn't prepared to speculate as to whether or not he'd finish strong enough to make the cut.

And a couple I left out:
  • The seventies were the only decade in NBA history in which no team repeated as champion.
  • The nineties were the only decade in NBA history in which neither the lakers nor the Celtics won the NBA championship.
  • The Portland Trailblazers are the only team in NBA history to win a championship in their first-ever trip to the playoffs.
  • The 1994-95 Houston Rockets are the only team in NBA history to win the NBA Championship without having home court in any round of the playoffs.
  • Isaiah Thomas is the only player ever to be picked last in the NBA draft to be selected to the All-Star team (please note that I specifically said "last" and not "60th." The distinction is important because the NBA draft used to go 4 and 5 rounds).

And, one for the ladies, because I just can't help myself:
  • The WNBA's Washington Mystics are the only active franchise that has never competed in the WNBA Finals.

Offline Richard

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #101 on: February 13, 2017, 06:22:12 PM »
The New York Giants are the only team to win a Super Bowl on all 4 networks (XXI on CBS, XXV on ABC, XLII on FOX, and XLVI on NBC). The Steelers and Broncos have played Super Bowls on all 4, but have only won on 3 (Pittsburgh is 0/1 on FOX while Denver lost their lone ABC game).

Offline DRUGS, BUD.

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #102 on: February 13, 2017, 11:13:23 PM »
JoJo finally went into the Hall since Slim's OP as well, class of 2015
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Offline Richard

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #103 on: February 14, 2017, 07:51:17 AM »
  • The WNBA's Washington Mystics are the only active franchise that has never competed in the WNBA Finals.

The Houston Comets have the most titles of any WNBA team, and they haven't existed in 9 years. LOL

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #104 on: March 20, 2017, 01:22:06 AM »
Watching the Race For the Record video released by MLB via Youtube and was surprised at Vinny Castilla briefly leading in 1998 with 17 HRs at one point. Looked and he finished with just 46 HR in a career year with a .589 SLG and .951 OPS.

Offline Baby Shoes

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #105 on: March 20, 2017, 03:00:11 AM »
I didn't realize Castilla had the lead at that point but they had some hitters with Castilla, Walker and Bichette.  Baby Todd Helton.  Think there was someone else I am missing too, outside my love for Ellis Burks.
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Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #106 on: March 20, 2017, 02:08:19 PM »
Tippy Martinez picked off three runners in one inning in a game in 1983. He never picked off three runners in any other full SEASON.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #107 on: June 10, 2017, 12:35:11 PM »
The 2003 Boston Red Sox were pretty mediocre to bad on the road: .263/.328/.456 compared to an insane .316/.392/.527 line at Fenway Park.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #108 on: June 12, 2017, 09:21:17 AM »
Could Mike Piazza have finished with 500+ HRs if he had hit in better home ballparks?

1993 Dodger Stadium: .313 and 21 HR vs. .323 and 14 HR. Let's be conservative and give him 36 HR.
1994 Dodger Stadium: .275 and 13 HR vs. .358 and 11 HR. Monster on the road but let's give him 25 HR.
1995 Dodger Stadium: .302 and 9 HR vs. .384 and 23 HR. Let's be conservative and give him about 40 HR.
1996 Dodger Stadium: .320 and 14 HR vs. .353 and 22 HR. Let's be conservative and give him about 38 HR as he's starting to hit his prime.
1997 Dodger Stadium: .355 and 22 HR vs. .368 and 18 HR. We'll split the difference here and give him a very solid 40 HR.
1998 3 Ballparks: .305 and 15 HR vs. .346 and 17 HR. We'll split the difference here and give him a solid 32 HR.
1999 Shea Stadium: .282 and 18 HR vs. .323 and 22 HR. We'll split the difference here and give him a very solid 40 HR.
2000 Shea Stadium: .269 and 17 HR vs. .377 and 21 HR. Let's be conservative and give him about 36 HR.
2001 Shea Stadium: .304 and 16 HR vs. .297 and 20 HR. We'll split the difference here and give him about 37 HR.
2002 Shea Stadium: .275 and 12 HR vs. .285 and 21 HR. Still a power bat so we'll give him about 32 HR as he's starting to get older.
2003 Shea Stadium: .294 and 4 HR vs. .280 and 7 HR. Age is starting to matter but we'll split the difference and go 12 HR.
2004 Shea Stadium: .319 and 12 HR vs. .219 and 8 HR. Age is starting to matter but we'll split the difference and go 19 HR.
2005 Shea Stadium: .277 and 9 HR vs. .224 and 10 HR. Age is starting to matter but we'll split the difference and go 18 HR.
2006 PetCo Park: .223 and 10 HR vs. .332 and 12 HR. Age is starting to matter but we'll split the difference and go 21 HR.
2007 Oakland Coliseum: .227 and 2 HR vs. .315 and 6 HR. Final season but we'll split the difference and give him about 8 HR.

Real Life: 427 HR
Conservative: 435 HR
Extreme (e.g. best split doubled): 476 HR

Piazza not only would've been a feared power slugger but would've shattered the 'Best Hitting Catcher' belief, period especially as far as BA and Hits. In his peak, he was hitting well over .340 & .350 on the road, which is just crazy even acknowledging Coors Field at the time.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #109 on: June 13, 2017, 02:08:55 AM »
Piazza lost home runs due to his home parks, but it's difficult to avoid that he was still hitting in an extremely good era for hitters overall. Compare him to Johnny Bench who hit 389 home runs when almost every park was modeled like Shea, and it's a bit muddled. Baseball-Reference.com has a tool that lets you quickly create neutralized statistics. Put Piazza's career in 2000 Coors Field, he gets his 500+ home runs. But if you even put him in Arizona, he only makes it to 482.

Related query. Are there any players who missed milestones due to bad home parks? Simple methodology. Road splits, doubled, to find potential candidates.

David Ortiz: Hit 300 home runs on the road, 242 at home. Overall he hit much better at Fenway. But the park weighed down his home run totals, and it is possible he reaches 600 somewhere else.

Willie Stargell: 254 road home runs. Forbes Field was a tough home run park, a lot of Stargell's home runs became triples in the '60s. He needed 25 more home runs for 500.

Fred McGriff: 252 road HRs. He missed by seven home runs and had fairly even splits. Valid argument though that the 1994 work stoppage cost him 500.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #110 on: June 13, 2017, 04:31:35 AM »
Piazza lost home runs due to his home parks, but it's difficult to avoid that he was still hitting in an extremely good era for hitters overall. Compare him to Johnny Bench who hit 389 home runs when almost every park was modeled like Shea, and it's a bit muddled. Baseball-Reference.com has a tool that lets you quickly create neutralized statistics.

Yeah. Even for the era though, I think Piazza in more favorable home ballparks could've gotten 2,500+ hits and 440+ HR compared to barely eclipsing 2,100 hits and 425 HR. He was putting up .320+ batting averages while hitting over .350 or .360 on the road alone.

It's interesting to note that Bench, while hitting 195 HR at home and 194 on the road, actually hit better for his career at home including almost .010 points better in BA and .020 better in SLG.

I did a quick Neutral Park NL in 1996 and 1998 for Bench to see how he'd compare to Piazza.
Mike Piazza Real Life Stats: .308/.377/.545 with 1048 R, 2127 H, 344 2B, 8 3B, 427 HR, 1335 RBI, 759 BB, and 1113 K in 7745 PA.
Mike Piazza Pro-Rated #s: .308/.377/.545 with 1224 R, 2485 H, 402 2B, 9 3B, 499 HR, 1560 RBI, 887 BB, and 1300 K in 9048 PA.
Johnny Bench 1996 Neutral: .285/.361/.505 with 1265 R, 2264 H, 420 2B, 24 3B, 427 HR, 1592 RBI, 984 BB, and 1292 K in 9048 PA.
Johnny Bench 1998 Neutral: .282/.358/.500 with 1243 R, 2235 H, 417 2B, 24 3B, 421 HR, 1563 RBI, 974 BB, and 1292 K in 9007 PA.

Offline Brodypedia

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #111 on: October 07, 2017, 03:14:59 PM »
From the Mr Irrelevant wiki:
"Irrelevant Week" gave so much publicity to "Mr. Irrelevant" that in 1979 the Los Angeles Rams, with the penultimate pick, intentionally passed to let the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the last pick, choose first. The Steelers also wanted the publicity and passed as well. The two teams continued to refuse to choose a player until NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle forced the teams to pick. The incident led to the "Salata Rule", which prohibits teams from passing to get the final pick

Offline Brodypedia

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #112 on: October 09, 2017, 04:30:59 AM »
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Dupree


Dupree left college after his sophomore year to play in the USFL. He suffered a serious injury before he even reached 21 and was out of football for several years. Walter Payton convinced him to get in shape for a comeback and Dupree dropped 100 pounds. He ended up making a brief run with the Rams and a few years later wrestled for the USWA(!)

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #113 on: January 12, 2018, 11:13:57 AM »
Ichiro Suzuki
- Has played 17 seasons in MLB, despite coming over at age 27 and losing 9 years playing in Japan.
- Is just 20 hits away from 3,100 if he plays the 2018 Season. Also has 509 SB and just 117 CS. He stole 56 SB vs. 14 CS from Age 39-42...
- Has 70 more hits than Wade Boggs, who "started late" at age 24 and played 18 years while hitting in a far superior home park in Fenway.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #114 on: January 16, 2018, 02:02:44 AM »
From Age 27 onwards, Ichiro is second all time in games, plate appearances and hits (all behind Pete Rose). Those stolen base totals nearly match Davey Lopes (557 SB, 114 CS), who was a basestealing wizard. Ichiro is also second in singles from 27 on, he needs 38 to pass Rose.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #115 on: January 30, 2018, 07:01:37 AM »
I never realized how good John Valentin was in 1995, to the point he probably got robbed of an MVP by teammate Mo Vaughn.

#1: Scored over 100 Runs and had over 100 RBI.
#2: Got on base 91 times (81 BB + 10 HBP) while striking out just 67 times. Also hit into just 7 double plays.
#3: Put up a .298/.399/.533 line while hitting 27 HR and stealing 20 bases (with just 5 CS)
#4: Played Gold Glove level defense at SS that year (+23 RFielding and 3.0 dWAR at BRef)
#5: Mo Vaughn played 5 more games yet had 10 fewer runs, just 10 more hits, and 24 more RBI

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #116 on: February 02, 2018, 05:45:41 AM »
I find it amazing that someone looked at the '95 Indians and determined their most valuable player (and of the whole league) was Jose Mesa.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #117 on: February 04, 2018, 05:01:58 AM »
Been reading some thoughts in which people have rated Mickey Mantle as better than Willie Mays, which is an interesting argument given Mays' prowess especially as a fielder & the old belief that Mays was superior to Mantle.

PlayerYear StretchGamesPAHits2B3BHRRRBISB/CSBB + HBPKSlashOPS+WARoWARdWAR
Willie Mays1951-1968244610386281244612958717631654299/93 (76.3%)11501147.308/.384/.578160139.8119.719.3
Mickey Mantle1951-19682401990724153447253616761509153/38 (82.7%)17461710.298/.421/.557172109.7116.0-10.1

Mantle grounded into far fewer double plays and got on base a lot more (although Mays was the greater power hitter). Mantle had the much higher OPS+ and was arguably the better runner (Mays was no slouch in this department) but Mays the far superior fielder.

An interesting look at players who overlapped during the same time period and how the growing evolution of statistics has muddied what were once believe to be obvious argument winners.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #118 on: February 05, 2018, 01:14:44 AM »
It's a classic hitter vs. all around player argument. DiMaggio vs. Williams, Cabrera vs. Trout, etc. WAR really hurts Mantle here as it pegs the difference between their defensive prowess at 29 wins. That's an awful lot of ground to make up on the bat, and Mays was nearly at Mantle's level there. But it really depends on how much faith you put in defensive statistics in defense in general.

Other little things. Mays missed a season and a half to military service. He averaged 16 more games played per season, while the Yankees lost 200-300 points of OPS when Mantle couldn't play.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #119 on: February 08, 2018, 04:59:43 AM »
Making a list of baseball's greatest bench players and I come across someone I never heard of before. Alfred "Chubby" Dean. Dean was signed by the Philadelphia Athletics out of Duke University as an amateur free agent in 1936. The A's at this point are terrible and don't really have a farm system, so Dean goes right into the majors. The incumbent first baseman Lou Finney splits time between first base and the outfield, so Dean starts about 70-75 games each of his first two seasons when Finney is in the outfield.

Dean's OPS+ is 78. Not good enough to play first base in the majors but he's just 22. He's relegated to the bench, pinch hits ten times and takes the mound six others. He becomes a pitcher full time. Thing is, he's not a particularly good pitcher. His career record is 30-46 with a 5.08 ERA. What I found interesting is he actually pinch hit more than he pitched. 234 career pinch hitting appearances compared to 162 pitching appearances. Kind of the Brooks Kieschnick of his era.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #120 on: February 08, 2018, 05:33:28 AM »
Interesting. He made 216 PA from 1938-1940 (started pitching dominantly by 1939) and hit a pretty solid .316/.396/.358 in that span.

In my OOTP18 play through as GM/Manager of the Red Sox starting in 1941, I had a LF named Stan Spence whom I ended up making a "super sub" (for lack of a better term) since he was behind Ted Williams. From 1944-1948 he mostly had 100-200 PA but had OPS+ of 171, 125, 94, and 85.

I find stories of players like that mold simply fascinating. Darren Bragg was a guy who came to mind for me as that type. Never quite great with the bat but useful enough to play a role off the bench in the early 2000s.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #121 on: February 08, 2018, 05:56:32 AM »
Spence IRL did quite well for himself. He was traded to the Washington Senators and became their regular center fielder, making four all star teams.

Another player I discovered through this process: Red Lucas. He was a starting pitcher for the Reds and Pirates, winning 157 career games with an above average ERA. He also pinch hit on his off days 505 times, hitting .281 over his career.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #122 on: February 09, 2018, 05:45:38 AM »
Most casual fans are familiar with Herb Washington. In 1974, Charlie Finley employed a world class sprinter with no professional baseball experience to pinch run. Washington was completely fooled and picked off by Mike Marshall in the 1974 World Series.



When you look at the A's of that era, it's amazing how far their pinch running fetish extended. From 1967-73 they had Allan Lewis, who made 139 pinch running appearances and batted 31 times. He logged all of 48 innings in the field. Blue Moon Odom, a starting pitcher, pinch ran over 100 times in this period as well. 1974 was the Herb Washington show. In 1975 they used Don Hopkins, who pinch ran 77 times and batted eight times. They also started using Matt Alexander who had a little more baseball skill and was allowed to bat and field occasionally. Alexander holds the MLB record for pinch running appearances with 271, 163 of those with the A's. Larry Lintz joins the team in 1976 and they're using him as a pinch runner as well. All those players were gone by 1978 so they made pinch running a team effort, 164 pinch runners used over the course of the season. On average a pinch runner every single game! By comparison the Yankees used 27 pinch runners that season.


Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #123 on: February 09, 2018, 05:51:51 AM »
In trying to figure out somewhat a timeline when "Closers" (in a sense, as relievers would throw a lot more innings well before the 1970s) and it's interesting stuff.

A guy named Clint Brown is credited with 18 Saves for the White Sox in 1937 & 1939, an era when 10-11 could lead the majors. Johnny Murphy of the Yankees may be the first unofficial 'Closer' putting up 62 Saves from 1939-1943 while routinely throwing 58-68 IP outside of 77.1 in 1941. His innings prior were the common 100-110 range but then it changed pretty hard. Worth mentioning that the Yankees for the next 2-3 Decades really were at the forefront of this late inning reliever style of pitcher (multiple guys with 16-19 Saves while throwing just 60-80 IP in a season).

It really wasn't until the late 1950s that the 'Closer' seemed to be coming more en vogue. From 1958-1962 for Pittsburgh, Roy Face had 99 Saves while averaging 95 IP a year. He had a league leading 28 Saves in 1962. From 1959-1964 with the Cardinals & Cubs, Lindy McDaniel had 104 Saves while averaging 105 IP.

Wayne Granger of Cincinnati was the first player to notch 35 Saves in 1970, along with a 2.66 ERA and finished 8th in Cy Young voting. By 1972 and 1973, two more players had hit 37 and 38 Saves respectively. By the late 1970s & especially the mid 1980s, the Closer was basically here to stay as far as how we associate them & their relation to the Save statistic.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #124 on: February 09, 2018, 11:46:17 AM »
I was looking at Tris Speaker and it's amazing how much League Park (while he was part of the Cleveland franchise) favored him as a LH hitter (with a 280 foot line leading to a 40 foot wall). People talk about Fenway Park/Coors Field or even Gavvy hitting at the Baker Bowl but it's insane to study Speaker.

At League Park (with the B-Ref splits that we know of), he hit a torrid .382 BA and .574 SLG for his career. At Fenway he hit .337/.466 by comparison and it further spotlights how important a home park can be to a hitter.

On the flipside, Harry Hooper largely got screwed by Fenway Park hitting just .270 with a woeful .368 SLG. He basically hit .290+ at every other ballpark (except the Polo Grounds & Griffith Stadium) while being capable of slugging .410-.430.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #125 on: February 11, 2018, 01:42:08 PM »
As far as closers, it’s been a steady progression over the last century. Doc Crandall was the first pitcher who I would say made a career of relief pitching. Firpo Marberry was important in the 1920s, and Wiley Moore was a big part of the ‘27 Yankees. Jerome Holtzman, a Chicago sportswriter, invented the save statistic in 1969. Managers started managing to the stat and I think they’ve found both that it’s a good way to manage innings, and that relievers are more effective in short bursts.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #126 on: February 11, 2018, 01:43:50 PM »
I’ll hit more on home/road splits if I get time, but let me note for now that Chuck Klein and Bobby Doerr are probably in the Hall of Fame thanks to their home parks. Rico Petrocelli and Cy Williams are eye popping as well.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #127 on: February 12, 2018, 12:40:15 AM »
Platoon splits.

On Baseball-Ref there's a stat called tOPS+, which simply measures the OPS of a player's split against his total OPS. It can help find players whose home/road splits are wildly divergent. One fun player I discovered was Chico Fernandez, a shortstop whose meager .240/.292/.329 stat line was accomplished thanks to an OPS more than 100 points higher at home. But I don't want a whole bunch of players like that. So I set a minimum of 2500 road plate appearances. Rather than throw in a lot of stats, I can tell you that you can search these names on Baseball-Reference.com and check out their splits if you're so inclined.

PLAYERS MOST HELPED BY HOME PARKS
1. Bobby Doerr
Right handed hitter in Fenway Park
2. Cy Williams
Left handed hitter in the Baker Bowl
3. Dante Bichette
Coors Field
4. Rico Petrocelli
Right handed hitter in Fenway Park
5. Chuck Klein
Left handed hitter in the Baker Bowl
6. Jerry Lumpe
Left handed hitter feasted on Kansas City's Municipal Stadium
7. Hank Greenberg
Right handed hitter in Navin Field/Briggs Stadium (later known as Tiger Stadium)
8. Larry Walker
Coors Field
9. Rudy York
Right handed hitter in future Tiger Stadium
10. Todd Helton
Coors Field
11. Tim McCarver
Did his best hitting at Old Sportsmans Park. Also Busch Stadium and the Vet

PLAYERS HURT MOST BY HOME PARKS
1. Gil McDougald
Right handed hitter in pre-renovated Yankee Stadium
2. Johnny Logan
Right handed hitter in Milwaukee County Stadium
3. James Loney
Left handed hitter in Dodger Stadium (maybe helped by many road games in Denver and Phoenix?)
4. Brady Anderson
Camden Yards. His offensive production actually accelerated when the Orioles left Memorial Stadium
5. Willie Davis
1960s Dodgers Stadium
6. Buddy Lewis
WWII era Griffith Stadium
7. Mike Piazza
Dodgers Stadium and Shea Stadium
8. Dwayne Murphy
Oakland Coliseum
9. Curtis Granderson
Comerica, new Yankee Stadium, Citi Field. Citi Field put him on this list.
10. Dave Martinez
Played in nine different home parks. Candlestick hurt the most
11. Adrian Gonzalez
Petco and Dodger Stadium mostly


Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #128 on: February 12, 2018, 03:11:33 AM »
Interesting stuff although I'm not too surprised at the heavy Fenway/Coors/Navin Field (underrated as a hitter's park in the 1920s/1930s pantheon tbh). I only mentioned Tris Speaker because it stood out in such a stark way and delving deeper, the short line + 40 foot wall no doubt helped. One could argue he was a LHH proto-Wade Boggs.

It's interesting to note how some ballparks would change to accommodate sluggers. Fenway moved LF in from 324 in 1921 to the common 312-315 by 1936 with Jimmie Foxx. CF moved in from 488 in 1922 to just 389 by 1934. The RF line moved from 332 in 1936 to the common 304 by 1940, right when Teddy Ballgame entered the picture.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #129 on: February 12, 2018, 05:38:23 AM »
I never realized League Park was such a hitters' haven. What's really interesting is that from 1932-46 the Indians had both League Park and Cleveland Stadium. The Indians' ERA over that span was a full run higher at League Park.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #130 on: February 12, 2018, 06:57:16 AM »
I never realized League Park was such a hitters' haven. What's really interesting is that from 1932-46 the Indians had both League Park and Cleveland Stadium. The Indians' ERA over that span was a full run higher at League Park.

Yeah, it made me start looking at other hitters of the time and it's quite astonishing. Other parks like Sportsman's Park are pretty well known but League Park & Navin Field seem to have flown under the radar quite a bit.

Joe Judge: .340/.419/.499 in 612 PA with a tOPS+ of 129 (compared to 103 at Griffith Stadium, his longtime home park)
Babe Ruth: .372/.528/.728 in 724 PA with a tOPS+ of 117 (compared to 104 at Yankee Stadium and 77 at Fenway Park)
Ty Cobb: .378/.449/.508 in 623 PA with a tOPS+ of 101 (same as Navin Field with virtually identical numbers)
Shoeless Joe Jackson: .367/.430/.548 in 946 PA with a tOPS+ of 114 (compared to 99 at Comiskey Park). Joe had a 117 at Navin Field too.

Also fascinating to take cases like George Sisler and Rogers Hornsby, who basically crafted HOF careers in large part thanks to Sportsman's Park. Hornsby slugged something like .660 there lifetime while Sisler hit .365 and slugged .529, the only ballpark he went over the .500 mark at while he also hit over .350 at Comiskey Park and League Park.

If it wasn't for those 3 parks, Sisler was sitting at roughly a .315-.325 batting average for most of his career. Those 3 parks combined he fashioned a BA of 0.362, which is just crazy.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #131 on: February 13, 2018, 02:58:43 AM »
Been looking at the effect of Yankee Stadium in the 1930s/1940s on DiMaggio and his teammates and it's really interesting. Thinking of doing out an article but just looking at the LHH there's an obvious boost to HR but not to BA, Doubles, or Triples. If anything, there's a greater disparity to the latter numbers. It actually makes me question if Ted Williams actually would've been hurt more by going to Yankee Stadium than most realize.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #132 on: February 13, 2018, 04:31:12 AM »
Yankee Stadium overall I think was a pitchers' park. Its quirk is that it didn't hurt left handed hitters but it slaughtered righties. I noted Gil McDougald above. He is probably the player most hurt by his home park in the history of the majors.

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #133 on: February 13, 2018, 05:06:49 AM »
Yankee Stadium overall I think was a pitchers' park. Its quirk is that it didn't hurt left handed hitters but it slaughtered righties. I noted Gil McDougald above. He is probably the player most hurt by his home park in the history of the majors.

Yeah but a lot of times I read that Williams would've done as well at Yankee Stadium as if both DiMaggio and Williams would've been 1:1 transplants, when I don't think it's necessarily the case. Williams definitely would have hit more HRs but Fenway Park really helped him as far as BA and Doubles. It's worth noting that he hit .428 at Fenway Park in 1941 and .485 in just 45 PA at Yankee Stadium but with only 3 Doubles (obvious caveat being the pitching talent he faced).

From 1950 on, it's blatantly insane how much Fenway Park was aiding Ted Williams as a hitter. Even towards the end of his career, Williams was hitting 0.25+ better at Fenway than on the road. I find it hard to believe he'd have finished with close to the number of hits that he had if he'd been traded to Yankee Stadium.

1950: .356 vs. .282 (+4 HR at Fenway)
1951: .403 vs. .232 (+6 HR at Fenway)
1954: .371 vs. .320 (+3 HR at Fenway)
1955: .390 vs. .318 (+2 HR at Fenway)
1956: .361 vs. .328 (-4 HR at Fenway)
1957: .403 vs. .374 (-14 HR at Fenway)
1958: .329 vs. .328 (-6 HR at Fenway)
1959: .276 vs. .232 (-4 HR at Fenway)
1960: .329 vs. .301 (+1 HR at Fenway)

David Ortiz ran into a similar situation in that he probably got robbed of legit 50+ HR seasons thanks to Fenway Park but also hit for a much higher average than he might have in a different ballpark.

2004: 17 HR and .325 vs. 24 HR and .274
2005: 20 HR and .322 vs. 27 HR and .278
2006: 22 HR and .300 vs. 32 HR and .275
2007: 16 HR and .365 vs. 19 HR and .298

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #134 on: February 17, 2018, 11:03:43 PM »
In 1941, Joe DiMaggio had a 16 game hit streak (July 18th-August 2nd) hitting 0.426 starting the game after his 56 game streak was broken.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #135 on: February 22, 2018, 07:10:58 AM »
Baseball-Reference.com added box scores going back to 1908. I'm sure there is a bunch of good information but for one thing, we have a box score of this gem:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHA/PHA191205180.shtml

Ty Cobb is suspended, the Tigers' players strike and the club fields a team of amateurs. For eight of the players, it is their only MLB game. Best I can tell only one of those even played pro minor league ball.

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #136 on: February 22, 2018, 07:34:39 AM »
If you want a sense of how good Babe Ruth was as a pitcher, especially in the "clutch" end of the season...

1915 (8/14 - 10/06): 1.40 ERA in 90 IP with an 8-2 Record and 55 K vs 31 BB
1916 (8/12 - 10/03): 0.88 ERA in 122.2 IP with an 8-3 Record and 55 K vs 39 BB
1917 (8/03 - 10/03): 1.89 ERA in 123.2 IP with an 7-7 Record and 37 K vs 38 BB
1918 (7/05 - 8/31): 1.76 ERA in 97 IP with an 9-2 Record and 31 K vs 28 BB. He basically pitched just 8 times prior to July but again, was elite in the home stretch.

As legendary as his hitting would become, one wonders what could've been if Ruth had stayed strictly as a pitcher who dabbled in hitting.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #137 on: February 28, 2018, 02:28:48 AM »
I mentioned Baseball-Ref had boxscores to 1908. We also have Play By Play data to 1925. I wanted to look for some high scoring games and found this gem:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS192709051.shtml

The first place Murderers Row Yankees visited the last place Red Sox in Fenway Park for a Labor Day doubleheader. Game one goes eighteen innings with the Yankees tying it with two out in the ninth and both teams scoring three in the 17th before the Red Sox win 12-11. Of particular note in this game is eleven ground rule doubles! A posted attendance of 36,000 would fill Fenway Park today. In 1927 before the grandstand had a second deck I am guessing an overflow crowd stood in the outfield. Game two started at 6:20 and they got five innings in 55 minutes before I presume darkness called the game. No ground-rule doubles, guess the fans had enough excitement in game one.

Offline sfaJack

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #138 on: February 28, 2018, 06:40:35 AM »
Time of game is 4:20 and Red Ruffing throws 15 innings.  Old time baseball is awesome.

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #139 on: February 28, 2018, 07:20:42 AM »
More amazing is the Yankees go from a 4% win chance (Top 9th, 2 Outs) all the way to 95% win chance (Top 17th, RBI Single by Gehrig makes it 11-8) only for the Red Sox to storm back and win.

Then the Top 18th, Lazzeri gets thrown out trying to steal 2nd with 1 out and the Sox win thanks to back to back ground rule doubles in the Bottom of the 18th.

Offline alkeiper

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #140 on: February 28, 2018, 11:52:12 AM »
Time of game is 4:20 and Red Ruffing throws 15 innings.  Old time baseball is awesome.
Twelve strikeouts, eleven walks. Ruffing went 39-96 with the Red Sox. The Red Sox usually finished last in runs scored and their defense must have been awful. Ruffing was traded to the Yankees and finished 100 games over .500 the rest of his career. A remarkable turnaround. He also hit 36 HRs in his career.

Another note I spotted. One of the umpires for this game was Bill Dinneen, best known for winning three games in the 1903 World Series.

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Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
« Reply #141 on: April 23, 2018, 08:30:25 AM »
Looking at the past NFL Combine results and TE Shannon Sharpe was a freak at 221 pounds: 4.67 40, 34" Vertical Jump, 122" Broad Jump, and a 4.55 Shuttle (solid time for a guy who probably never did that drill in his life before).