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Comments that warrant a thread => Sports => Topic started by: Harley Quinn on November 17, 2010, 04:19:45 AM

Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on November 17, 2010, 04:19:45 AM
Stumbled upon this article about the Indianapolis Colts running the Wishbone Offense (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=SG8aAAAAIBAJ&sjid=1SoEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6959,1743473&dq=triple+option&hl=en) during the 1988 NFL Season.  This blows my mind as I always assumed that the NFL rarely employed any type of Option, except for maybe a handful of plays during the season (See Vick during his Atlanta days).

Apparently they even averaged showing it 10+ times in their games against San Diego, Denver, and the Jets.

Anybody else have any facts or tidbits that are generally not known, if virtually unknown period?
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Kahran Ramsus on November 17, 2010, 02:32:09 PM
One thing that stunned me when I first learned about it, was that the best defence (as determined by fewest points allowed per game) since the NFL-AFL merger belongs to the................1977 Atlanta Falcons.  A team that went 7-7 and missed the playoffs.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on November 17, 2010, 05:07:00 PM
The 1929 Packers Played EIGHT straight road games and allowed only 22 points to be scored against them over 13 games....and managed to NOT go undefeated
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: GAYGENT OF OBLIVION on November 17, 2010, 09:54:13 PM
Georges Carpentier competed professionally at every weight class officially recognized during the course of his career and won significant European titles at every weight division from Welterweight upwards. He also held the world light heavyweight title for two years.

Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on December 27, 2010, 02:19:43 AM
Stumbled across this 1930 Account (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=8FRQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Fg8EAAAAIBAJ&pg=6492,941303&dq=green+bay+packers&hl=en) of a game between Green Bay and the New York Giants.

What's notable about it?  It mentions Green Bay utilizing a 6 man DL and 5 man Secondary in some situations.  So essentially the Nickel/Dime package could have been seen as early as the 1920's.

Also interesting is that the NFL/Pro Football was founded on committees in part due to two way players and the Single Wing/Wing T playing formations.  But formations like the Wildcat and RBBC's are throwbacks to the old way of playing football.  One could argue that Michael Vick from 2002-2005 was the re-incarnation of the old school QB/HB who would throw and run judiciously.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on January 06, 2011, 03:12:00 AM
Former Packer QB TJ Rubley (most famous for calling an audible on a run play and tossing a INT to cost the Packers a victory over the Vikings in 1995, then being cut in favor of Jim McMahon right after) is brothers in law with Sly Stallone
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on January 18, 2011, 12:33:18 AM
Watching the 1980 NLCS Game 5 program on MLB Network.

That postseason the Phillies and Astros played a three game set, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Astrodome. What makes it interesting is that the University of Houston had a football game scheduled against Texas A&M on Saturday. Change of venue?  Heck no!

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=4klPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IQMEAAAAIBAJ&dq=houston%20football&pg=4220%2C4863952 (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=4klPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IQMEAAAAIBAJ&dq=houston%20football&pg=4220%2C4863952)

Of course the Phillies/Astros game went extra innings forcing a late(r) start.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bmBQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=g1gDAAAAIBAJ&dq=houston%20football&pg=4893%2C3461059 (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bmBQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=g1gDAAAAIBAJ&dq=houston%20football&pg=4893%2C3461059)

After the football game the Astrodome crew had to again quickly convert the field from football back to baseball for game 5 that evening.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: CanadianGuitarist on January 18, 2011, 12:28:42 PM
While it's not unknown per se, it's often overlooked that Arnold Palmer was involved in every Green Jacket ceremony from 1958-1966. He won the coat in 1958/60/62/64, and gave it to Art Wall, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus twice.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on August 16, 2011, 10:57:39 AM
The Run & Shoot didn't debut with Warren Moon and the Houston Oilers in the NFL... it debuted with the 1986 Green Bay Packers?? (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XtM0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=4m0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5796,7773475&dq=run-and-shoot&hl=en) thanks to HC Forrest Gregg.

That's the earliest specific mention I can find.  Given that he tried to run it at SMU after the Death Penalty, it wouldn't surprise me if Gregg tried to incorporate somewhat of a "pure" version in 1986.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Kahran Ramsus on August 16, 2011, 11:15:29 AM
The West Coast Offence started with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1968.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: pujoljunkie on August 16, 2011, 12:32:02 PM
No one in NFL History has more Kickoff returns for touchdowns than, of all people, Leon Washington.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Thrasher on August 16, 2011, 01:44:43 PM
I don't remember how I found this game but there was a game managed by Davey Johnson:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN198607220.shtml (http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN198607220.shtml)

It went into extras and he was running out of players. Two pitchers played as outfielders and relievers. The Mets won the game.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Beer Baron on August 16, 2011, 03:19:29 PM
King Clancy played every position in a game in 1923. Back then when players need to take a break or was penalized, the player had to be replaced, including the goalie, which he was also served a penalty. Clancy played two minutes in goal, and didn't let a goal in.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Czech on August 16, 2011, 05:45:42 PM
Back then when players need to take a break or was penalized, the player had to be replaced, including the goalie, which he was also served a penalty.
Yeah, I read about that once! In fact, this exact sentence appeared in the instruction manual of the cheap DVD player I bought.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: GAYGENT OF OBLIVION on August 16, 2011, 05:51:13 PM
LLLLLLOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Wario Lemieux on August 16, 2011, 09:17:51 PM
Once he caught on to the fact that quarterbacks always tried to figure out where he was before they snapped the ball, Lawrence Taylor liked to sneak up behind them after plays and whisper in their ear, "Don't worry about where I am. When I get here, I'll let you know." This reduced Ron Jaworski to tears.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Kahran Ramsus on August 17, 2011, 03:18:23 AM
Once he caught on to the fact that quarterbacks always tried to figure out where he was before they snapped the ball, Lawrence Taylor liked to sneak up behind them after plays and whisper in their ear, "Don't worry about where I am. When I get here, I'll let you know." This reduced Ron Jaworski to tears.

Out of fear or laughter?
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on August 17, 2011, 03:30:17 AM
The West Coast Offence started with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1968.

Interestingly, it was more balanced than what came after it coaching wise.  Bill Walsh strived more for balance whereas coaches such as Andy Reid shifted it heavily more towards the passing aspect.  The same thing happened with Mouse Davis striving more for a balanced attack in the R&S (taking the run game more) whereas John Jenkins, June Jones, and Jerry Glanville leaned heavily on the passing aspect.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Vitamin X on August 17, 2011, 07:07:16 AM
The West Coast Offence started with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1968.

Interestingly, it was more balanced than what came after it coaching wise.  Bill Walsh strived more for balance whereas coaches such as Andy Reid shifted it heavily more towards the passing aspect.  The same thing happened with Mouse Davis striving more for a balanced attack in the R&S (taking the run game more) whereas John Jenkins, June Jones, and Jerry Glanville leaned heavily on the passing aspect.
and you can thank my alma mater for that! Mouse's House!
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: pujoljunkie on August 17, 2011, 07:38:08 AM
I don't remember how I found this game but there was a game managed by Davey Johnson:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN198607220.shtml (http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN198607220.shtml)

It went into extras and he was running out of players. Two pitchers played as outfielders and relievers. The Mets won the game.

You probably came across it when I posted it in TWiB two weeks ago.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Thrasher on August 17, 2011, 11:51:30 AM
I don't remember how I found this game but there was a game managed by Davey Johnson:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN198607220.shtml (http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN198607220.shtml)

It went into extras and he was running out of players. Two pitchers played as outfielders and relievers. The Mets won the game.

You probably came across it when I posted it in TWiB two weeks ago.
Did you attach a blog post about it? I read it off a blog that led me to the box score and I couldn't remember how I came across it.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: pujoljunkie on August 17, 2011, 03:42:29 PM
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/silver-anniversary-davey-johnson-runs-out-of-players/ (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/silver-anniversary-davey-johnson-runs-out-of-players/)

25 years ago today Davey Johnson literally ran out of players and still won a game 6-3 in extra innings. Cool read.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on August 18, 2011, 01:25:53 AM
The Wishbone offense adopted by Emory Bellard was really a merging of Homer Rice's Veer option attack and Gene Stalling's Triple Option out of the slot I Formation.  The initial formation of the offense came about in the 1950's at the high school level thanks to coaches such as Charles Cason and Ox Emerson.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: CanadianChris on August 18, 2011, 02:19:28 AM
Jack Nicklaus finished out of the top 10 in a major only 5 times during the 1970s.  5 times in 40 majors.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Thrasher on August 18, 2011, 03:02:40 AM
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/silver-anniversary-davey-johnson-runs-out-of-players/ (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/silver-anniversary-davey-johnson-runs-out-of-players/)

25 years ago today Davey Johnson literally ran out of players and still won a game 6-3 in extra innings. Cool read.
There it is.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: chuck on August 18, 2011, 05:59:21 AM
If the 3 point line was used, based on the number jump shots he made from that range, Pete Maravich would have averaged 57 points per game in college.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Beer Baron on August 18, 2011, 06:36:22 AM
Jeff Reese holds the record for most points by a goalie in a single game with three.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: treble on August 18, 2011, 07:56:21 AM
Jeff Reese was my favourite goalie when I was 8 years old.  Pretty bummed when they traded him for Doug Gilmour.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: MFer on August 23, 2011, 02:01:47 AM
Quote
According to a blog on baseball-reference.com, (Austin) Jackson became the first centerfielder to make a game-ending catch-and-throw-home in 23 years. The last time it had happened, Jim Leyland also was the winning manager. His Pittsburgh centerfielder, Andy Van Slyke, made the throw for the center-to-home double play to save a win over St. Louis in 1988.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: pujoljunkie on August 23, 2011, 02:59:58 AM
Pretty sure I remember Tsuyoshi Shinjo actually doing that for the Mets against the Braves a couple years ago...
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Smues on August 23, 2011, 03:38:43 AM
It was a game ender, but it wasn't a catch it was a single by Julio Franco to center and then he threw Chipper out at home to end the game.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL200305230.shtml (http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL200305230.shtml)
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on August 31, 2011, 12:34:37 PM
Eddie Robinson coached at Grambling State for 56 years!

In order for Joe Paterno to match that, he'd have to coach through the 2023 season.  That'd also make Paterno 98 years old by then.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Beer Baron on August 31, 2011, 02:46:23 PM
The only time Gordie Howe had a 100 point season was when he was 41 years old.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Richard on September 01, 2011, 07:53:36 AM
Quote
During the 1991 Gulf War, when the MLB decreed all players would wear both the Canadian and U.S. flags on their batting helmets as a patriotic gesture, Van Slyke scraped the Maple Leaf off his helmet because, in his words "Canada is a pacifist, socialist country." Van Slyke's insult to Canadian veterans and the country itself did not sit well with MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent, who ordered that the Canadian flag decal be re-inserted onto the helmet.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on September 21, 2011, 06:45:21 AM
Was looking at the 1966 Green Bay Packers PB and found this fascinating given the changes over the years... Speed is the 40 Yard Dash times in shorts.

Split End (Weakside WR): Most reliable receiver and the 3rd Down go to option.  Speed = 4.80
Strong End (Tight End): Blocker who can catch in a crowd.  Speed = 5.0
Wing/Flanker (Strongside WR): The burner or deep threat receiver.  Speed = 4.80
Offensive Tackle: Pass Protection #1 quality.  Speed = 5.40
Offensive Guards: Need speed/agility to pull and stand up to "260 pound" defensive tackles.  Speed = 5.20
Offensive Center: Leader of the OL, calls the blocking assignments.  Speed = 5.30
Quarterback: Must be able to throw well long and short.  Leadership, intelligence, and poise are key to success.
Fullback: Blocks like a guard with power running capabilities.  Speed = 4.90
Halfbacks: Fast, durable runner who can catch the ball as well as a WR.  "Smaller" RBs with good speed can be utilized as "Spot" players (sound familiar?) Speed = 4.80
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Vitamin X on September 21, 2011, 07:46:49 AM
SE was Antonio Freeman and Flanker was Robert Brooks on that team if I remember correctly. There was so much depth on that team it was crazy.. after Brooks and Freeman you had Andre Rison, Keith Jackson, and Don Beebe, Mark Chmura and Keith Jackson at tight end, William Henderson, Edgar Bennett, and Dorsey Levens running the ball... reminds me a lot of the current offense, actually, just much younger. Most of the starters on that team were in their 30s or upper 20s on both sides of the ball, a stark contrast to last year's championship team.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: GAYGENT OF OBLIVION on September 21, 2011, 07:58:31 AM
Check that year again, bro
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: #sorrynotsorry on September 21, 2011, 08:08:20 AM
LOL
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Vitamin X on September 21, 2011, 08:45:12 AM
HA! 1996, 66.. It's a bit confusing when you've won more than one Super Bowl!
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Byron The Bulp on September 21, 2011, 09:39:27 AM
What, did quarterbacks not have to run the 40 back then?
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on September 21, 2011, 09:44:14 AM
According to Vince Lombardi they didn't... or it didn't matter enough to him.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Vitamin X on September 21, 2011, 09:46:11 AM
The offensive line was good enough in 66 it didn't matter how fast Bart Starr was. That, and defenses weren't as fast back then.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: GAYGENT OF OBLIVION on September 21, 2011, 12:49:57 PM
NO ONE was as fast back then, except for like, Jim Brown. The real olde tyme comedy line there is 260lb defensive tackles.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Wizard of Maz on September 21, 2011, 12:55:45 PM
I'm a Defensive Tackle in 66.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on September 22, 2011, 01:49:41 AM
Bears/PACK week fun fact:

Kicker Chester Marcol had one of the most memorable plays ever, when he caught his own blocked FG in overtime and ran it in for a TD vs The Bears in 1980, later that year the Packers cut Marcol and he stayed living in GB...The Oilers came to town, with their Kicker being hurt late in the week, signed Marcol because he was close, let him play one game (vs The Pack) and then cut him. Marcol never left town.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: "Dot Com" Matt Postin (heel) on September 22, 2011, 02:11:05 AM
Marcol never left town.

That's just as depressing as the Quantum Leap ending.
Title: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on October 11, 2011, 01:06:17 PM
Walter Payton's bar had a back room that was there specifically for Payton to fuck patrons.

Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on March 11, 2012, 05:25:59 AM
Many know of Urban Meyer as the guy who made Alex Smith a star QB destined for HOF greatness coming out of Utah (and later turned Tim Tebow into Touchdown Jesus at Florida).

I knew he had coached at Bowling Green prior to Utah but had no idea how prolific he made Josh Harris.  In 2002, he threw for 2,425 yards with 19 TD vs 11 INT.  He also ran for 737 yards with 20 TD.

Compare those numbers to Woody Dantzler's 2001 season at Clemson (where Rich Rodriguez was implementing his own spread option attack as OC).  Dantzler threw for 2,360 yards with 17 TD vs 11 INT.  He also ran for 1,004 yards with 10 TD.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on September 15, 2012, 04:43:54 AM
The San Francisco 49ers introduced the Shotgun Formation to the NFL in 1960 (and 1961).

The interesting if not funny part? The Dallas Cowboys and Tom Landry re-introduced the Shotgun Formation in 1975.  Opposing coaches and players called it a "rinky dink" offense and a gimmick/fad at the time to hide Roger Staubach's ability to read a defense.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: The ghost of bps21 on September 15, 2012, 06:09:19 AM
Many know of Urban Meyer as the guy who made Alex Smith a star QB destined for HOF greatness coming out of Utah (and later turned Tim Tebow into Touchdown Jesus at Florida).

I knew he had coached at Bowling Green prior to Utah but had no idea how prolific he made Josh Harris.  In 2002, he threw for 2,425 yards with 19 TD vs 11 INT.  He also ran for 737 yards with 20 TD.

Compare those numbers to Woody Dantzler's 2001 season at Clemson (where Rich Rodriguez was implementing his own spread option attack as OC).  Dantzler threw for 2,360 yards with 17 TD vs 11 INT.  He also ran for 1,004 yards with 10 TD.

Meyer turned bowling green around immediately and his last year there, and the year after he left which was all his recruitment and josh Harriss senior year, they finished in the top 25 both years.  A feat infinitely more impressive than winning a title at Florida.   

That team the year after Meyer left lost three games.  One to #5 Ohio state (they fumbled the ball in Ohio state territory down 7 to end the game) and twice to Ben rapelisberger and his #8 Miami of Ohio team.  He torched them both times.  But still.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on November 25, 2012, 11:48:55 PM
Dick "Night Train" Lane snagged an NFL record 14 ints as a rookie CB - but wasn't named to the Pro Bowl (race is believed to be a factor)
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on November 30, 2012, 08:50:16 PM
Quote
Back in the good old days of Thanksgiving Day football, the hearts and minds of Bay Area football fans were not on dinner, but the day’s “Big Game” between the University of California and Stanford. The 1900 edition of this classic was, of course, sold out. The roofs of the buildings surrounding the stadium were crowded with budget-minded fans craning for a glimpse of the action. Twenty minutes into the game, the roof of one building collapsed. Unfortunately, the building housed a glass factory; complete with a red-hot furnace filled with molten glass. Turkeys weren’t the only things getting roasted in San Francisco that day. Twenty-two people were killed and over 80 injured in what remains the worst — and most bizarre — disaster ever to befall American sports fans.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: "Dot Com" Matt Postin (heel) on December 01, 2012, 01:36:56 AM
Quote
Back in the good old days of Thanksgiving Day football, the hearts and minds of Bay Area football fans were not on dinner, but the day’s “Big Game” between the University of California and Stanford. The 1900 edition of this classic was, of course, sold out. The roofs of the buildings surrounding the stadium were crowded with budget-minded fans craning for a glimpse of the action. Twenty minutes into the game, the roof of one building collapsed. Unfortunately, the building housed a glass factory; complete with a red-hot furnace filled with molten glass. Turkeys weren’t the only things getting roasted in San Francisco that day. Twenty-two people were killed and over 80 injured in what remains the worst — and most bizarre — disaster ever to befall American sports fans.

lol quality zinger bazinga as shelton the nerd might say
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on December 08, 2012, 06:22:10 AM
QB Jim Hardy of the 1950 Chicago Cardinals - threw 8 ints and fumbled twice in one game.  He tossed 6 TDs the next week and went on to the Pro Bowl.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on December 08, 2012, 11:50:36 AM
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/alexama01.shtml (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/alexama01.shtml)

I'm on a kick of identifying career MLB bench players. Many fans know of Herb Washington of the '74 Oakland A's. A track star brought in for the express purpose of being a pinch runner and only a pinch runner. He was famously picked off in game two of the 1974 World Series. They actually introduced the idea a year prior with "The Panamanian Express" Allan Lewis, using him for only pinch running. Though Lewis at least was a career baseball player.

The A's didn't give up on the idea after Washington though. They brought in Matt Alexander who in 1975 appeared in 63 games but only batted 11 times. What makes Alexander notable is that he filled in the pinch runner role far more than any player in history. In 1980 Alexander appeared in 37 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and batted three times. In seven different seasons Alexander's games played exceeded his plate appearances.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: oldskool on December 13, 2012, 02:08:38 PM
The Bowl Challenge Cup goes to the conference with the best winning percentage during the bowl season (minimum 3 bowls played).
The Mountain West conference has won it 4 times since its debut in 2002. In that same 10 year span, the SEC has never won it or even shared it, tying it for dead last with the Sun Belt and the WAC. C-USA & the MAC would've been included had they not tied for it last year.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: GAYGENT OF OBLIVION on December 14, 2012, 03:38:49 AM
Phil Jackson only won NBA Coach of the Year once.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on December 14, 2012, 03:51:02 AM
WR Don Hutson had only 1 season over 900 yards receiving but led the NFL in RYPG 8 times during his career.

- In 1936, WR Bill Hewitt had 15 catches for 358 yards but scored 6 TD, just 2 fewer than Hutson who had nearly 20 more catches that season.
- In 1937, WR Gaynell Tinsley led the NFL with 675 yards receiving.  He set the then record that would stand until 1939 with Hutson's 846 yards.
- In 1940, WR Don Looney would set a then record of 58 catches and finished with 707 yards.  Also the first WR to catch more than 50 passes.
- In 1941, WR Don Hutson would tie Looney's catch record of 58 and get 10 TD.  He broke his 1939 record of 9 TD and became the first WR to get double digit TD catches.
- In 1942, WR Don Hutson feasted on a war-torn era with 74 catches for 1,211 yards and 17 TD.  WR Ray McLean averaged 30 YPC with 8 TD.
- In 1945, WR Jim Benton became the second WR to top 1,000 yards (1,067) in only 9 games and scored 8 TD.  He followed that up with 981 yards and 6 TD in 1946.
- In 1947, the Chicago Bears became the first team to feature 2 WR with double digit TD catches (Jim Keane with 10, Ken Kavanaugh with 13).  WR Mal Kutner led the NFL with 944 yards that year though.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on December 14, 2012, 05:20:35 AM
John Riggins rushed for more yards after turning 30 than he did prior to 30.  This is matched by several other backs who were mere journeymen types.

IIRC RB Otis Anderson of the Cardinals/NYG had his career best game the very 1st game he played.  He went on to play many more years and I believe he still leads the Cards in career rushing.  He also nearly became the NFL's 1st 1000 yard rusher who didn't have a 100 yard rushing game during the season, but managed to barely cross the 100 mark in a late season game vs the Redskins.

Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on December 16, 2012, 02:37:16 AM
John Madden is famously afraid of flying - His wife is a licensed pilot.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: CanadianGuitarist on December 16, 2012, 05:34:37 AM
John Madden is famously afraid of flying - His wife is a licensed pilot.

Is that right? I remember having a book of his in high school, where he spoke at length about the MaddenCruiser and its origins. I'd never heard about his wife being a pilot. That's interesting.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on December 17, 2012, 05:36:45 AM
John Madden is famously afraid of flying - His wife is a licensed pilot.

Is that right? I remember having a book of his in high school, where he spoke at length about the MaddenCruiser and its origins. I'd never heard about his wife being a pilot. That's interesting.

Wikipedia wouldn't lie....
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on December 25, 2012, 04:37:02 AM
Joey Harrington started 4 seasons for Detroit and threw 60 TD vs 62 INT for bad teams despite being the 3rd pick and he's decried as a bust.

Sad part? He seemed to have turned a corner in 2004 (over 3,000 yards with 19 TD vs 12 INT.  77.5 PR).  Then came 2005 where he was still serviceable despite RB Kevin Jones falling off and WR Scottie Vines becoming a key cog at WR.  Harrington still had 12 TD vs 12 INT but Mariucci got fired after 11 games and Dick Jauron took over in a lost season.

Then Marinelli and Mike Martz came in and schlepped Harrington off to the Miami Dolphins where in essentially 9 games, he threw 12 TD vs 13 INT but was pretty much done.

Really highlights the fact that Harrington actually could have had a halfway decent career if he had gotten drafted into a better organization or at least had Mariucci as HC for another season or two.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Byron The Bulp on December 25, 2012, 02:58:18 PM
Joey Harrington fucking sucked.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: MFer on December 25, 2012, 03:35:32 PM
Harrington wasn't a top-5 QB bust or anything like that, but he still wasn't any good. He was Captain Checkdown way before Trent Edwards or Matt Leinart. The Lions great pass blocking numbers at that time were misleading because Joey Blue Skies kept getting happy feet and dumping the ball off short. Case in point, his yards per attempt were as follows: 5.3, 5.2, 6.2, 6.1, 5.8, and 6.4. For being in a West Coast offense, his completion percentages were very poor as well (mid-50s on average). Maybe he would've fared better in a different organization, but I doubt it. I am surprised that he didn't spend his 30s as a backup at least though. He started at least 10 games every year of his career yet didn't play a game past 29.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Monsoon Classic on December 26, 2012, 03:29:12 AM
Tim Couch is the only QB in NFL History to complete two 50+ yard hail maries to win games as time expired (99 in NO; 02 in JAX).
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: CanadianGuitarist on December 26, 2012, 04:06:38 AM
Tim Couch is the only QB in NFL History to complete two 50+ yard hail maries to win games as time expired (99 in NO; 02 in JAX).

Great find. My guess would have been probably four, and it certainly wouldn't have been Tim Couch.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on December 29, 2012, 05:28:08 AM
The Cowboys and Steelers played in 1962 - The Cowboys tossed a 99 yard TD - it was called back for holding- in the end zone - a safety... The Cowboys went on to lose by 2 pts....
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Mr. S£im Citrus on December 29, 2012, 09:11:06 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: CanadianGuitarist on December 29, 2012, 04:40:03 PM
- 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).

I believe this has only happened twice in the NHL - Hextall in '87 and Giguere(!) in '03.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: MFer on December 29, 2012, 04:45:00 PM
Only time it happened in the NFL was Chuck Howley of the Cowboys in Super Bowl V. The game was so bad that Mike Curtis of the Colts refused to wear his SB ring.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Richard on December 29, 2012, 05:02:21 PM
Bobby Richardson was the only World Series MVP from a losing team (1960 Yanks)
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Flik on December 29, 2012, 09:29:29 PM
Some NHL Tidbits:
Jean Beliveau holds the record for most times on the cup. A total of 17: 10 as  a player, 7 as a staff member.

Jacques Plante has amazingly had his name spelt wrong 5 times on Lord Stanley.

The H on the Canadiens jersey does not stand for Habitat like some would think, but actually for Hockey. The proper name of the Montreal Canadiens is actually Club de Hockey Canadiens.

Hockey pucks are frozen before use as the rubber they are made with would make them too bouncy if played with otherwise.

Jacques Plante loves to knit. Seriously? Yup.

Overtime was actually negated during World War II and only re-instated in the 83-84 season.

The Calgary Flames could've had Martin Brodeur but blew their pick by trading it and then selecting bust Trevor Kidd.

There was once a rule stating that the Captain of the team must be on the ice all the time. Hockey loves its weird rules. Like kicking pucks.

Henri Richard was only 10 years old, but had played in the league for 20 years and won 11 championships (most by a player) by the time his tenth year rolled around. Think on it, you'll get it eventually.

Ted Lindsay can be credited with the Lord Stanley Victory lap that occurs now after every cup win.

Denver, Colorado is 1,996 miles away from Quebec. Guess what happened in 1996?

Not really an NHL fact, but involved NHL players. The QMJHL "Les Trois Denis" was made up of Denis Cyr, Denis Savard and Denis Tremblay. But did you know that not only do all of them share the same name; they also share the same birthday and neighbourhood?

What was used before the whistle by referees? A cowbell.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on January 05, 2013, 04:08:12 AM
Nick Saban's 2005-2006 Miami Dolphins staff was littered with big name coaches...

- Derek Dooley (TEs in 2005 & 2006. Was Tennessee Volunteers HC)
- Jason Garrett (QB in 2006.  Currently Dallas Cowboys HC)
- Hudson Houck (OL in 2005 & 2006.  Longtime Dallas Cowboys OL Coach from 1993-2001 & 2008)
- Will Muschamp (Co-DC in 2005.  Currently Florida Gators HC)
- Kirby Smart (Safeties in 2006.  Currently Alabama Crimson Tide DC)
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: The King of Trash on January 05, 2013, 04:17:16 AM
If he didn't split prematurely I think he could have made some noise there.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: The King of Trash on January 05, 2013, 04:27:10 AM
Imagine if Saban SWERVED everybody and after a swaggy as fuck national title win he announces that he's going to accept offers to coach in the NFL? He seems like the kind of guy who would do that.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Byron The Bulp on January 05, 2013, 06:34:07 AM
If he didn't split prematurely I think he could have made some noise there.

Imagine if they'd signed Brees instead of Culpepper.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Spaceman Spiff 🚀 on January 05, 2013, 06:46:25 AM
:'(
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Beer Baron on January 06, 2013, 06:34:17 AM
- 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).

I believe this has only happened twice in the NHL - Hextall in '87 and Giguere(!) in '03.

Roger Crozier, Glenn Hall and Reggie Leach also won the Conn Smythe and not won the Stanley Cup.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on January 19, 2013, 07:17:25 AM
According to a 1978 players poll, almost 86% of NFL players claimed they played w/o a cup
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on January 24, 2013, 09:58:08 AM
Never knew that the reason the Patriots never matched the Jets offer was due to a poison pill.

Quote
Then the enmity intensified that week two years ago when Parcells, as coach of the Jets, signed one of the Patriots' best players, running back Curtis Martin, to a six-year contract. Worse, the $36 million contract included a poison pill that was a $3.3 million roster bonus. If New England matched the deal for Martin, a restricted free agent, it could wreck its salary cap.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: CanadianGuitarist on February 01, 2013, 01:41:21 PM
A player who records a goal, assist and fight in the same hockey game is said to have notched a "Gordie Howe hat trick". In the 148 years the namesake Howe played in the NHL and WHA, he accomplished this feat twice.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: The Amazing Rando on February 01, 2013, 02:29:21 PM

Henri Richard was only 10 years old, but had played in the league for 20 years and won 11 championships (most by a player) by the time his tenth year rolled around. Think on it, you'll get it eventually.


This is pretty awesome.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Mr. S£im Citrus on February 01, 2013, 03:45:39 PM
Leap Day babies who take that shit seriously need to be hit in the face with a snow shovel. You're forty, not ten, you prick.*


*Please note that I'm speaking in general; I'm not singling out Monsieur Richard, so you hockey fans can relax.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on February 11, 2013, 03:07:48 AM
QB Ricky Santos of New Hampshire should go down as one of the best FCS QBs ever (helped by Chip Kelly).

2004-2007: Threw for 13,212 yards with 123 TD vs 33 INT.  He also ran for 1,415 yards with 30 TD.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on May 01, 2013, 04:22:30 AM
In the 1981 All-Star Game, manager Jim Frey ran out of position players. Pitcher Dave Stieb was forced to bat in the 9th inning. Clad in his Blue Jays jersey and a borrowed Mariners helmet.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on September 18, 2013, 02:19:50 PM
Griffith Stadium is kind of a forgotten pitchers' park. It was the home field for the Washington Senators from 1911-1960. It was around 400' to most of left/center field before the team finally built a shorter fence. Check out these numbers.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=VVZ3F

Essentially, before they moved the fences in the Senators had five seasons where they even hit 20+ home runs at home. Ossie Bluege hit 43 career home runs in an 18 year career with the Senators. Six of them came at home. George Case hit 21 home runs for the Senators, 2 at home. Even left handed batters hit twice as many home runs on the road. Notably Goose Goslin and Mickey Vernon.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on May 06, 2014, 08:35:40 AM
Here's how insane Oklahoma's Wishbone attack was on the ground... Running for 315-320 yards a game! was considered a down year.  Not like you could argue defensive speed as by the mid to late 80's they were still averaging almost 400 a game.

1971: Averaged 469.6 yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry
1972: Averaged 338.1 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry
1973: Averaged 361.4 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry
1974: Averaged 438.8 yards per game and 5.9 yards per carry
1977: Averaged 320.7 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry
1978: Averaged 392.4 yards per game and 6.5 yards per carry
1979: Averaged 322.3 yards per game and 5.9 yards per carry
1986: Averaged 401.5 yards per game and 6.3 yards per carry
1987: Averaged 393.1 yards per game and 6.5 yards per carry
1988: Averaged 314.8 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry

For comparison's sake to show you how insane those numbers are...
2013 Oregon: 273.5 yards per game and 6.3 yards per carry
2012 Oregon: 315.2 yards per game and 6.0 yards per carry
2011 Oregon: 299.2 yards per game and 6.7 yards per carry
1995 Nebraska: 366.5 yards per game and 7.0 yards per carry
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on July 30, 2014, 01:42:56 AM
Most baseball fans with knowledge of the 1970s have heard of Herb Washington. Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley had the bright idea of hiring a track star with the sole purpose of pinch running. Washington was picked off in game 1 of the 1974 World Series, and the idea died. Except it didn't. Running a search on pinch runners, it's immediately apparent how committed Finley was to the concept.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=2rrcI

Four of the top seven played for the Athletics in the 1970s. Before Washington there was Allen Lewis. And after Washington Finley carried two at the same time, Matt Alexander and Larry Lintz. I love Lintz's 1976 season. He only came to the plate four times. Once he bunted, twice he walked. This guy at the plate who is on the team solely to run, and two pitchers still couldn't throw him strikes.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on August 02, 2014, 04:39:51 AM
Huh... Rich Rodriguez and West Virginia almost didn't land their most prized weapon from their 2004-2007 dominant run.

Quote
Quarterback/athlete Pat White pulled a signing day surprise by switching his allegiance from 2003 national champion LSU to West Virginia, signing his letter-of-intent this morning at Daphne High School. The Mobile, Ala., native committed to LSU, where he would have been a wide receiver, in late January, but had a change of heart and will now be a quarterback for the Mountaineers.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on August 21, 2014, 11:34:36 PM
The 1994 49ers have to be one of the most prolific free agency movers and shakers ever. Here's a list of some of the short term players added that off season:

Charles Mann
Richard Dent
Deion Sanders 
Ed McCaffrey
Ricky Jackson
Ken Norton jr
Tim Harris

On top of that they drafted William Floyd, Bryant Young, LB Kevin Mitchell and Lee Woodall that year as well


That's a crazy influx of talent, even if some guys were long in the tooth
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on January 23, 2015, 06:37:01 AM
Defended the 1972 Miami Dolphins Undefeated Season (http://culturecrossfire.com/sports/football/chalk-dust-xs-and-os-in-defense-of-the-1972-miami-dolphins/#.VMKvly4nJrs) as being a team that deserves its praise as one of the best Super Bowl teams ever.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Spaceman Spiff 🚀 on January 23, 2015, 07:10:49 AM
Of course!  However, all 4 uses of "whom" in the article should be "who" instead.  Whom is your editor :) ?
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on January 25, 2015, 04:56:42 AM
The more things change, the more they stay the same.  I kind of wish we knew the in-depth history of the NFL similarly in the way that we know MLB.

- John Alexander became the first outside linebacker in NFL history in a game with the Milwaukee Badgers against the Chicago Cardinals on 10/01/1922.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on April 25, 2015, 12:22:48 AM
Fun look at Jimmy Johnson's manipulation of the 1989 (and 1990 NFL Drafts). And you though Belichick traded a lot...

1989
- Dallas sends C Steven Wisniewski (selected 2x01 - #29) & #140 to Oakland Raiders for #39 (FB Daryl Johnston), #68, and #119, picks.

1990
- Dallas gives up 1x01 to select QB Steve Walsh in 1989 Supplemental Draft.
- Dallas sends #47 and #68 to San Francisco 49ers for Terrence Flagler, Daniel Stubbs, #81, and #304. Dallas sends Darrin Nelson to San Diego Chargers for #116. Dallas sends RB Herschel Walker, #54, #116, #249, and 1991 #68 to Minnesota Vikings for 4 Players, #21, #47, #158, 1991 #11, 1991 #38, 1992 #13, 1992 #40, and 1992 #71. Dallas sends #21 and #81 to Pittsburgh Steelers for #17 (RB Emmitt Smith)
- Dallas sends Kevin Brooks and #82 to Denver Broncos for #80. Dallas sends #80, #120, and #166 to New England Patriots for #64, #143, and #197
- Dallas sends Steve Pueller to Kansas City Chiefs for #68 and 1991 #106 (Conditional Pick)
- Dallas sends Daryle Smith to Seattle Seahawks for #230. Dallas sends Zefross Moss to Indianapolis Colts for #259. Dallas sends #158, #197, #230, #259, and #304 to Los Angeles Raiders for Stan Smagala.
- Dallas sends Steve DeOssie to New York Giants for #163. Dallas sends #138, #143, and #163 to San Diego Chargers for 1991 #62.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Richard on April 25, 2015, 06:27:02 AM
LA Raiders


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on June 26, 2015, 04:40:48 AM
http://listverse.com/2015/06/26/10-sporting-events-plagued-by-human-rights-abuses/

Of course, the Cup of Nations does have something of a track record when it comes to letting monstrous dictatorships host. Take the 1982 tournament, which was held in Muammar Gadhafi’s Libya, already a something of a regional pariah for its military intervention in Chad. Ironically, Gadhafi hated football and had even closed the Libyan league down from 1979–1982. (In one version of the story, the dictator became insanely jealous after seeing the names of popular footballers written on a wall in Tripoli.) He agreed to host the 1982 Cup to further his diplomatic goals but still insisted on opening the tournament with the stirring words: “All you stupid spectators, have your stupid game.”

Sadly, not everyone in Gadhafi’s family felt the same way. His son Al-Saadi actually loved football so much he decided to become a professional player. He wasn’t talented enough, but you don’t need talent when you’re a rich maniac with your dad’s army to back you up. Soon Al-Saadi was the star striker in a Libyan league so heavily rigged in his favor that announcers were forbidden from saying the names of any other players. If a team tried to protest the obvious cheating, they would be forced to keep playing at gunpoint. Al-Saadi’s glittering career only took a nose-dive when he leveraged Libya’s oil money to engineer a hilariously corrupt move to the Italian top division, where he played for less than half an hour over three years, failed a drug test, and was voted the league’s worst player ever. He is currently on trial in Libya for murdering a rival footballer.

Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on October 24, 2015, 08:32:48 PM
Griffith Stadium is kind of a forgotten pitchers' park. It was the home field for the Washington Senators from 1911-1960. It was around 400' to most of left/center field before the team finally built a shorter fence. Check out these numbers.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=VVZ3F

Essentially, before they moved the fences in the Senators had five seasons where they even hit 20+ home runs at home. Ossie Bluege hit 43 career home runs in an 18 year career with the Senators. Six of them came at home. George Case hit 21 home runs for the Senators, 2 at home. Even left handed batters hit twice as many home runs on the road. Notably Goose Goslin and Mickey Vernon.

More Griffith Field goodness.

In 1918, Babe Ruth hit three home runs in 30 plate appearances at Griffith Field. The rest of the league hit four home runs in 5,674 plate appearances there.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on March 11, 2016, 05:26:40 PM
The first team to ever have 4 players achieve 1,000 yard seasons in one year was the 1995 Atlanta Falcons.  Bert Emanuel, Terrance Mathis and Eric Metcalf went over 1,000 receiving and Ironhead Heyward surpassed the 1,000 mark rushing. Despite this, Jeff George still wanted out.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on February 05, 2017, 12:53:21 AM
Just learned this as I do up coaching staffs for NFL teams but Bill Belichick coached alongside a defensive coach from the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers (Woody Widenhofer, who served under Belichick in Cleveland) and an offensive coach from the (early 1959-1964) 1960s Green Bay Packers (Bill Austin, who served as offensive line coach for the Giants from 1979-1982).

Nick Saban also coached under George Perles at Michigan State (DL Coach of the Steelers from 1972-1977 and DC in 1978) and alongside Widenhofer for the 1994 season (LB Coach of the Steelers from 1973-1978 and DC from 1979-1983).
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Mr. S£im Citrus 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...

And a couple I left out:

And, one for the ladies, because I just can't help myself:
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Richard 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).
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: THE TUGSTER on February 13, 2017, 11:13:23 PM
JoJo finally went into the Hall since Slim's OP as well, class of 2015
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Richard 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
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Baby Shoes 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia 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
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia 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(!)
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on February 04, 2018, 05:01:58 AM
Been reading (http://www.realclearsports.com/articles/2014/02/11/in_hindsight_mantle_better_than_mays.html) some thoughts (https://www.baseball-fever.com/forum/general-baseball/history-of-the-game/18315-mickey-mantle-v-willie-mays) 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.

https://youtu.be/vWb80Qz75bk

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.

Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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

Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: sfaJack 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper 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.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn 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).
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on May 25, 2018, 08:47:23 AM
Sean Payton was a QB in the AFL in 1987 and Jimbo Fisher was a QB in the AFL in 1988, both for the Chicago Bruisers franchise.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on October 08, 2018, 08:03:28 AM
Was looking at random 1980s/1990s players...

Chili Davis (1988-1992 with CAL/MIN 91/92): 2936 PA, 698 Hits, 96 HR, 400 RBI, 346 BB vs 509 K, .274/.357/.444/.802 and 124 OPS+
Chili Davis (1993-1997 with CAL/KC in '97): 2825 PA, 684 Hits, 131 HR, 467 RBI, 400 BB vs 493 K, .285/.385/.499/.884 and 129 OPS+

Most interesting is the latter was done when Davis was 33 to 37 years old. Chili was always a capable 25-30 HR guy going back to his San Francisco days but from roughly 1991-1997 he was virtually a lock for 20+ HR and 85+ RBI a year.

I'm always fascinated by players like this because it makes me wonder how much of an effect "plate discipline"/selective hitting actually has on the production of a hitter. In theory, it's obvious. Work counts, hammer the pitches you can handle, and it should work itself out over a long run.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on October 13, 2018, 04:20:44 AM
1942 what a snub of Williams. He also got beaten out in 1941 by Joe DiMaggio (although that was somewhat legitimate) and 1947, which most argue is the biggest snub as he again lost to DiMaggio. Fun Fact: He finished behind DiMaggio again in 1948 (3rd Place) and finished in 13th place in 1951.

1942
J. Gordon: 8.2 WAR - 88 R - 18 HR - 103 RBI - 79 BB - 0.322/0.409/0.491 - 154 OPS+ - 2.5 dWAR
Williams: 10.6 WAR - 141 R - 36 HR - 137 RBI - 145 BB - 0.356/0.499/0.648 - 216 OPS+ - -0.2 dWAR
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on October 14, 2018, 11:39:42 AM
Some weird MVP results in those years. Marty Marion winning the 1944 NL MVP stands out. Voters in that era values defense and didn’t quite know how to measure it. And frankly even today with our advanced stats I’m not sure we have it right. I think those MVP voters absolutely would’ve chosen Trout over Cabrera in 2012.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on October 15, 2018, 12:18:26 AM
Some weird MVP results in those years. Marty Marion winning the 1944 NL MVP stands out. Voters in that era values defense and didn’t quite know how to measure it. And frankly even today with our advanced stats I’m not sure we have it right. I think those MVP voters absolutely would’ve chosen Trout over Cabrera in 2012.

I like WAR but I do tend to have quibbles in how it rates defense. There are times I feel it weighs infielders (particularly 2B and SS) too highly and doesn't adequately rate 1B or 3B. 1B in particular it seems to just hate in part because it's hard to have the "range" that a 2B gets because as a 1B you do need to, in essence, be tied to the bag.

Fun Fact: B-Ref has Greg Maddux as 0.1 dWAR.

Frank Thomas: -22.5 dWAR and -68 Total Zone
Mark McGwire: -12.2 dWAR and -25 Total Zone
Cecil Fielder: -12.1 dWAR and -27 Total Zone
Rafael Palmeiro: -10.6 dWAR and +68 Total Zone
Will Clark: -10.1 dWAR and +1 Total Zone
Don Mattingly: -6.2 dWAR and +33 Total Zone
Mark Grace: -5.0 dWAR and +71 Total Zone
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on October 18, 2018, 05:58:14 AM
Question that crossed my mind a few weeks ago.

Who was the worst player ever to play in a World Series?

You search the internet and you see lists populated with guys who weren't good who had the fortune to play on a World Series winner. But many of them did not play in their teams' World Series. I'm looking for players who actually played in a World Series. The players who actively played in baseball's elite event. It's a work in progress, but I thought I would share some of the names I came across.

When looking for bad players it's tempting to look at WAR. That's useful, but the players who played a paltry amount of games are probably worse than players who had full careers with a negative WAR. I looked for players with a low number of MLB games to see what I could come up with.

Jack Sheehan (1920 World Series): Sheehan had played three major league games going into the World Series with the Brooklyn Robins. When third baseman Jimmy Johnston got hurt, Sheehan started the last three games. The Robins scored one run in those three games and lost to the Cleveland Indians. Sheehan played in five more games in his pro career. Despite his short MLB tenure, Sheehan enjoyed a long career of over 2,500 games in the minors.

Harry Lunte (1920 World Series): When your shortstop is killed by a pitched ball, you're forced to scramble. Lunte was the fill-in after Ray Chapman's death until the Indians found a permanent solution in Joe Sewell. Lunte game into game two as a defensive replacement. In the regular season, Lunte amassed an embarrassing 19 OPS+ in 159 plate appearances.

Paddy O'Connor (1909 World Series): Backup catcher for the Pirates, O'Connor got most of his MLB playing time in the Federal League. He only saw 53 career plate appearances in the bigger two leagues.

Cy Block (1945 World Series): Block played well in nine games in 1942, but since he missed 1943 and '44 I assume his absence was World War II related. He came back in time for two games at the end of the season, and made a pinch running appearance in the Series. Block played just six more games the next season before finishing his career in the minors.

Howard Battle (1999 World Series): Battle was a pinch hitter in three seasons for the Blue Jays, Phillies and Braves. His pinch hitting appearance in the 1999 World Series was spectacularly brief. Inserted to hit against Mike Stanton, Yankees manager Joe Torre removed Stanton for Mariano Rivera and the Braves countered by hitting Keith Lockhart for Battle.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on October 18, 2018, 06:48:02 AM
Another notable contender

SS Jack Barry (1914 World Series) for the Philadelphia Athletics. Went a whopping 1/14 with just 1 BB in that World Series after putting up a .592 OPS and 81 OPS+ over 555 PA in the regular season.

He had a few decent years hitting wise but was a subpar fielder in general and had some really atrocious years OPS+ wise even for a position that wasn't focused for the hitting.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on October 19, 2018, 06:57:59 AM
Another notable contender

SS Jack Barry (1914 World Series) for the Philadelphia Athletics. Went a whopping 1/14 with just 1 BB in that World Series after putting up a .592 OPS and 81 OPS+ over 555 PA in the regular season.

He had a few decent years hitting wise but was a subpar fielder in general and had some really atrocious years OPS+ wise even for a position that wasn't focused for the hitting.
Besides that Barry was consistently a 4 win player in his best years, the Red Sox paid $10,000 for Barry in the middle of the 1915 season. You could argue him below average, but certainly not bad.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on October 19, 2018, 07:17:05 AM
One of the oddities of pre-1950 baseball is that a player could have a real career in the minor leagues. By Speece pitched an inning in the 1924 World Series and only pitched 167 major league innings, mostly as a mop-up reliever. Open up his minor league record though and you see he won 229 career games. He's winning 20 games a season in a league where 60-75% of the players once reached the majors (or would in the future). The guy obviously had talent.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on October 26, 2018, 01:00:40 AM
I'm going to preface this one right off the bat. It's all bullshit.

I saw a blogpost headline that referred to Whitey Ford as "the Greatest Living Yankee." We know intrinsically that Ford doesn't earn that distinction simply by being the best player. He's also one of the last living legends from that generation. I figured I would run an equation to multiply a player's WAR by 1.XX, XX being whatever their age is. For the Yankees...

1. Whitey Ford 108.11
2. Derek Jeter 104.26
3. Willie Randolph 88.56
4. Mariano Rivera  83.89
5. Roy White 81.9

Like I said, bullshit. But it gets you statistically where you want to be in the conversation.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on October 30, 2018, 07:01:40 AM
Sweetwater Clifton was a basketball legend, one of the players who integrated the NBA. Turns out, he played minor league baseball in my home city of Wilkes-Barre!

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=clifto001nat
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Mr. S£im Citrus on November 02, 2018, 12:49:05 PM
I was today years old when I learned that Michael Buffer's net worth is $400M.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Saints_Fan_H on November 02, 2018, 12:54:16 PM
How much of that was gained from WCW appearances? I know the appearance fee was pretty up there.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on November 23, 2018, 09:05:49 PM
Be gentle with me if this one is known:

I'm reading a book on Bart Starr's failed run as Packers coach. In 1977, Lynn Dickey suffered a broken leg. NFL rules at the time did not allow the Packers to sign either if the two QBs they had released during the pre-season because you could not sign someone you had earlier cut unless they were signed elsewhere first.

What in the name of what was this rule for?!!?!
--

It was also illegal at the time for teams to ask players from different colleges to meet at one spot to do a pre-draft tryout. The Saints and Packers violated this rule in back to back years. The Saints were penalized $5,000, while the Packers were stripped of a 4th round pick.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on November 23, 2018, 09:23:23 PM
Be gentle with me if this one is known:

I'm reading a book on Bart Starr's failed run as Packers coach. In 1977, Lynn Dickey suffered a broken leg. NFL rules at the time did not allow the Packers to sign either if the two QBs they had released during the pre-season because you could not sign someone you had earlier cut unless they were signed elsewhere first.

What in the name of what was this rule for?!!?!
--

It was also illegal at the time for teams to ask players from different colleges to meet at one spot to do a pre-draft tryout. The Saints and Packers violated this rule in back to back years. The Saints were penalized $5,000, while the Packers were stripped of a 4th round pick.

Interesting stuff. The latter I think was a rule partly in place to let teams only work players out at their local college campuses.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on April 04, 2019, 11:28:23 PM
Just finished a book covering the Packers under Dan Devine, the only non Lombardi disciple to coach for GB until 1987.

- Devine's 1972 Packers made the Playoffs behind a young bull at fullback named John Brockington. QB was largely a mess, with 2nd year 6th round pick Scott Hunter manning the spot most of the year.  Despite having still been an active player the year before, Bart Starr was named OC. The media loved him, and gave him praise and attention instead of Devine for the success.
When the playoffs came, Devine took away Starr's playcalling, and spent the whole game running into a 5 man front, instead of allowing Hunter to audible and throw. The Pack lost a boring 13-3 game to Washington. Starr could be seen standing alone, far from the action in the middle of the game.  Devine and Starr agreed to part at this point. Devine was so livid over not getting the glory, he actually resigned and had to be talked back. Starr went on to turn down other coaching offers, with his eyes on the Packers prize.
Devine had two more poor season's, culminating in Oct. of 1974 when Time magazine did a feature on Devine, where he revealed the locals accused his wife of being an alcoholic (she had MS), the kids called his daughters whores, and he implied that irate fans shot the family dogs. (He admitted 30 years later that it was an accident). 
So with the head coach burying the team, the official Packer PR man Chuck Lane was given room to respond, he said "The Players hate Devine and want him gone."  Turns out Lane was a double agent for Starr and was actively trying to get Devine to be fired/quit so Bart could take over.
Devine would go on to trade a 1st, 2nd in 75 and a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in 76 for 34 year-old John Hadl. Hadl had just been benched after playing poorly against...the Packers.  The kicker ended up being that Hadl saw all those picks and refused to report without a big raise, so the Rams and Packers agreed to give him 200 grand each to get the matter passed.
The team was so fed up that they mutinied the last week of the year and almost decided to forfeit the game. Lombardi coach Dave Hanner was still coaching defense for Devine and lead the charge against him.

 
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Brodypedia on May 02, 2019, 03:45:30 AM
Between 1955 and 1957 the Steelers drafted Johnny Unitas and Len Dawson, as well as picked up Jack Kemp on waivers from the Lions.  All went on to big time careers elsewhere while the Steelers sunk into mediocrity.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on July 22, 2019, 07:19:33 AM
Decided to rewatch some classic baseball innings. Not as time consuming as games, but more in depth and context than a simple baseball highlight. I think it will make sense when I dig in.

1986 World Series Game 6: Bottom of 10th Inning

Most of us know the basics here. Red Sox haven't won a Series in 58 years but they lead 5-3 in the bottom of the tenth and they hold a 3-2 series lead. It's in Shea. Vin Scully is on the mike, Joe Garagiola is doing color. Dave Henderson hit the go ahead home run and they tacked on another run. Roger Clemens went seven innings. Calvin Schiraldi is on the mound for the Sox.

Scully never puts this one in the bag for the Sox. Nor does he ever mention their long championship drought. He is very good at keeping the game in the moment and not trying to overdramatize it. We get our share of camera shots of players in the dugout but not close-ups of fans.

Two quick outs. Backman and Hernandez both fly out to center and right, respectively.

Gary Carter gets a line drive single to left. Kevin Mitchell follows with a liner to center, kind of a jam shot. Schiraldi gets two strikes on Ray Knight but Knight lines another to center, scoring one. 5-4 Red Sox, Mitchell at third and Knight at first.

At this point, McNamara gets Stanley from the bullpen. Stanley battles Mookie Wilson, working him to a 2-2 count. Stanley throws one inside, catcher Rich Gedman fails to grab it and Mitchell scores from third. Tie game, full count. Mookie pops it foul. Mookie barely gets ahold of the next pitch to line it foul. On a replay, Joe Garagiola notes Gedman was out of position trying to catch the wild pitch. Mookie either gets a new bat or adds some substance. Next pitch, grounder, Buckner whiffs and we get the famous call.

Vin Scully holds the silence for a full 1:45 as the broadcast gives us the crowd noise and visuals and replays. Buckner is never mentioned by name but we see him clearly hobbling off the field. Of course it's delirium in Shea, an all time great Mets franchise moment.

A couple takeaways:

-Of course Buckner has always carried the blame, but the score was tied when he made the error. It was still a costly play, the second most important of the game according to Win Probability Added.

-That said, Buckner clearly should not have been out there. He had just batted, he would have been due up eighth if the game continued. Clear, clear spot for a defensive replacement.

-Smart fans look at the summary and say of course the wild pitch was the clear miscue. But Stanley didn't even bounce the pitch. Gedman deserves just as much blame, IMO.

-Bob Stanley overpowered Mookie Wilson. He nearly struck out Wilson and induced a weak grounder, actually the weakest ball the Mets hit in the inning.

-The lions' share of the credit really should go to the Mets' bats. The Red Sox made two crucial mistakes during the Wilson at bat, but the Mets got three key hits to get to that point.

-Vin Scully is the man. Credit to the broadcast team though for doing a great job around him.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: strummer on July 25, 2019, 11:10:50 AM
Great write up Al

Can't believe how many people still believe the Red Sox were still winning the game when Buckner's error occurred.  It was tied damnit!! In fact within the last year a caller to the Michael Kay show made the same mistake before being corrected.

Also I've seen a bunch of people incorrectly believe this was a series clinching win for the Mets
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on July 30, 2019, 04:25:05 AM
Really great video of Dante Hall discussing his Human Joystick return era

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTfHkGxUMcA
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on August 14, 2019, 05:35:25 AM
1985 World Series Game 6: Bottom of the 9th inning

The St. Louis Cardinals are in Kansas City, playing the Royals. The Cards are up three games to two and hold a 1-0 lead in game six. The Cards had won a World Series in 1982, the Royals had never won a World Series.

Ken Dayley, a lefty, is the pitcher of record for the Cardinals. Whitey Herzog waits for the Royals to use Darryl Motley as a pinch hitter before bringing in righty Todd Worrell. Dick Howser counters with another pinch hitter, lefty Jorge Orta.

Orta watches one and fouls two. 0-2 count. Orta hits a weak chop, Clark fields it, throws to Worrell, safe. One of the most famous blown calls in World Series history. Three quick replays confirm Orta was out. The Cardinals argue and Whitey Herzog comes out. The biggest surprise in all this is that it took 1:10 from Orta hitting the bag to Steve Balboni stepping up to the plate. The call barely interrupted the flow of the game.

Now we've got Balboni, the power bat of the Royals. Announcers Al Michaels and Tony Kubek speculate on a bunt, but Balboni could win this game on one swing. First pitch is a pop up. Darrell Porter and Jack Clark converge near the 1B dugout and Clark whiffs on the pop up. It's precariously close to the dugout, there's no fence or barrier to keep players from falling in. Michaels notes that Clark was a career right fielder. "He came off the base and I'm not saying he made a mistake with the Motley ball..."

Todd Worrell is just throwing fastballs and trying to blow it past batters. The Royals are barely fouling these off. Balboni fouls the second pitch as Michaels notes Balboni is aiming for the freeway. But on the third pitch Balboni reaches and hits a hard grounder to LF. Orta to 2nd.

The most obvious move in the world. Onix Concepcion pinch runs for Balboni at first as the potential winning run. Herzog comes out for a mound conference. Worrell has thrown seven pitches, seven strikes.

Jim Sundberg is up to bunt. Two balls. Mound conference. One bunt foul lands in the seats. Second rolls foul on the first base line. Fifth pitch sees Sundberg lay down a two strike bunt. It bounces to the third base side of Worrell where he picks it and throws it to third. Orta is out at third, one out. Concepcion to second, Sundberg on at first base.

Hal McRae pinch hits for Buddy Biancalana. (The DH rule was not used in this World Series.) Ball one, low and outside. Second pitch is a rare slider. Porter clanks it, runners move up to second and third. Passed ball. The decision to go ahead and walk McRae is obvious.

That brings up Dan Quisenberry's spot, and Dane Iorg pinch hits. John Wathan pinch runs for McRae. (Wathan as a catcher once stole 36 bases in a season. His son Dusty stole 24 in his minor league career and I'm surprised he had that many.) The Cards are still up one, a double play wins the World Series. Taking stock of Worrell, he has thrown 16 pitches, 10 strikes.

First pitch to Iorg is low. Second pitch is lined to right, Andy Van Slyke is playing way too deep. Concepcion scores. Sundberg scores as the throw comes in but Porter can turn and make a tag fast enough. "He scores, we go to a seventh!" as Kansas City sets off the loudest celebration in their team's history.

My takeaways:

-The missed Orta call hurt, sure. By Win Probability Added it wasn't one of the five most important plays of the game.

-The Cardinals made two, maybe three key mistakes in that inning. The missed pop fly, the passed ball, and perhaps the Orta hit. It was like the Armando Galarraga play where the umpire's mistake compounded the original mistake that the first baseman fielded a ball the second baseman could've, and thrown to a pitcher running to the bag.

-The Royals had five offensive substitutions in that inning. Imagine that in today's game.

-There was absolutely no baserunning game at work here, beyond pinch runners. No runner stole or bluffed a steal, Worrell never threw over.

-Finally, this game was absolutely winnable for the Cardinals. They blew the World Series because they scored one run in their last 26 innings of baseball.

Postscript: The Cardinals shit the bed in game seven. John Tudor didn't make it out of the third inning. A sixth run fifth chased both Joaquin Andujar and Whitey Herzog. Bret Saberhagen pitched a complete game shutout as the Royals won their first World Series.
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: Harley Quinn on August 14, 2019, 06:32:57 AM
Great stuff, Al. I always love looking back at games in hindsight and wondering the 'little' moments that changed a game from win to loss. Out of curiosity, what were the win expectancy for the situations you mentioned?
Title: Re: Interesting Rarely Known Sports Facts/Tidbits Thread
Post by: alkeiper on August 14, 2019, 06:55:32 AM
Some of these are off 1% because of rounding

Start of Inning: Royals have 20% chance of winning

Orta 1B (Blown Call): 34% (+13%)
Balboni 1B: 52% (+18%)
Sundberg FC: 34% (-18%)
Passed Ball: 54% (+21%)
McRae IBB: 54% (-1%)
Iorg 1B: 100% (+46%)

That's what actually happened. I'm going to take a look at a win expectancy chart for some what if's.

If Orta's 1B becomes an out:
BEFORE: 20%
AFTER: 34%
IF OUT: 11%

If you look at win expectancy that way, you can argue it was a way more important play. Not as big as the final single, but big.

If Jack Clark catches Balboni's popup:
BEFORE: 34%
AFTER: 34% (It was a non-event)
IF OUT: 21%

Not catching that pop up and allowing Balboni to follow up with a single was a 30% swing.

If you include the what ifs, here's about where the most important plays rank:
1. Iorg's single. Can't be emphasized enough. If he rolls over on that ball and hits it to short the Cardinals are World Champions.
2. Jack Clark misses the pop-up. Because Balboni singled.
3. Brian Harper's go ahead single in the top of the 8th. Two outs, that was clutch.
4. Orta reaches on Denkinger's missed call.
5. The passed ball during McRae's at bat.

One last addition. I find it a little amusing that knowing a double play could end the game, the Royals still decided against having Hal McRae in there to take out the second baseman.