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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Robin Yount

Eligible in 1999.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 06, 2007 at 05:53 PM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 06, 2007 at 05:55 PM (#2355944)
Holy first-year HoM induction, Batman!
   2. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 06, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2355953)
When does his brother become eligible?
No one ever made contact with his pitches in the majors!
   3. OCF Posted: May 06, 2007 at 07:27 PM (#2356107)
In his career records, he has the advantage over a lot of people in that he got to do his growth and development at the major league level. But you know what? If it came down to a head-to-head, either-or choice of Yount or Ripken, I'd take Yount.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 06, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2356189)
But you know what? If it came down to a head-to-head, either-or choice of Yount or Ripken, I'd take Yount.


I'd take Ripken because he played many more games at short than Yount. But it's close.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2007 at 05:30 AM (#2356828)
Lowest OPS+ among players with 3,000 hits:

Robin Yount 115
Cal Ripken 112
Lou Brock 109
   6. DL from MN Posted: May 07, 2007 at 02:08 PM (#2357018)
I'm having a hard time getting too excited about Yount. He came up young and didn't really have a good season until 1978. He was a very good but not great player from 78 until he really broke out in 1981. There's an outstanding 4 year peak from 81-84 and then a slide back to very good until he put together 88-89 back to back. 115 WARP1 over a 20 year, 11,000 plate appearance career really isn't spectacular. He spent a lot of time in the outfield and really wasn't a great defender in CF or at SS. If I voted mainly on 5 year peak he'd impress me more but I don't. Compare Yount's 80-85 to Ernie Banks 55-60 and Banks wins hands down. Yount does have the 2 year bump up in production late career that Banks didn't have but I'd take Ernie Banks over Yount. He'll have to wait a year to get into my PHOM considering the quality of the competition.
   7. sunnyday2 Posted: May 07, 2007 at 02:30 PM (#2357042)
I have a "toy" called Reputation Monitor. It is what it says. It incorporates stuff like HoF Monitor and Standards, and Ink and so on. I use it more for gross comparisons and creating consideration sets, etc., than as a final ranking. A rating of 200 generally means HoF, I mean like almost always, though Jim Rice scores a 200 even. Anyway, at SS:

1. Wagner 414
2. Ripken 288
3. Yount 242
4. Banks 232
5. Ozzie 227--I said it's a reputation monitor

But anyway, I gotta take Ripken over Yount, while Yount and Banks to me are in the margin of error, which is a perfectly fine endorsement for Yount and not faint praise.

6. Vaughan 213
7. Cronin 211
8. Dahlen 211
9. G. Davis 207
10. J.M. Ward 208--including pitching value; these 5 are all within the margin of error

11. Appling 201

A rating of 175-199 is often (50 percent or more) good enough to make the HoF; they might not make my perfect small hall but they're way good enough for Cooperstown.

12. Reese 195
13. Boudreau 191
14. Jennings 183
15. Wallace 180

16. Glasscock 177

Then come the borderliners' borderliners or, unless you are a waaay big hall person, the "mistakes" among those who are in the HoF.

17. Aparicio 174--though this is probably hair-splitting
18. Stephens 170
19. Sewell 168
20. Trammell 162

21. Rizzuto 158--this is with no WWII credit, so he belongs
22. Bancroft 153

Anybody below 150 who is in the HoF is a huge mistake, and that means Maranville, Tinker and especially T. Jackson who is below 100. The word "mistake" doesn't even begin to describe the <100 crowd. Friend of Frankie Frisch is more like it, I mean, Rick Ferrell even has > 100. Chick Hafey has >100. The really execrable choices are G. Kelly, T. Jackson, Lindstrom, L. Waner, McCarthy, Hoyt, Bender, Pennock, Haines, Marquard.

But anyway, bottom line, I can get pretty excited about Robin Yount. The idea that he could be discussed in the same post as Cal Ripken says a lot.
   8. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2357066)
DL:

Well, let's think about Robin Yount for a moment.

He played regularly in the major leagues at age 18. You can count the number of legitimate every day players who have done that in major league history on less than two hands.

He reinvigorated the idea of a power-hitting shortstop.

He was one of if not THE best baserunner of his era. Not basestealer. BaseRUNNER. Multiple folks have done different studies on a player's ability to take the extra base, etc. and Yount always grades out among the best.

He was a two-time MVP at different positions. Again, the number of players in major league history who have done that are few.

He popularized weight training among ballplayers. Robin and Brian Downing were regularly used as examples by media/commentators of players who used lifting weights as part of their training regimen. Now some may retroactively suggest or outright accuse Yount of using steroids. However, there is no evidence to support that claim and in fact Yount is the same size now at age 50 as he was at his retirement. In case anyone is wondering about dramatic weight loss, etc.

He played with both Henry Aaron and Gary Sheffield.

He was at the vanguard of hitting the ball with power to the oppposite field. Folks have to understand that after his shoulder injury his shoulder was held together by hope and silly string. What was not known at the time and took AL pitchers several years to figure out was that the shoulder injury destroyed Robin's ability to turn on an inside fastball with authority. Robin adapted by hitting with power to right field. He could fight off the inside pitch for singles and the intermittent double down the line but Yount's new power zones were center to right. After winning the 1989 MVP AL pitchers began busting him inside and Yount was never able to recover. His shoulder just wouldn't cooperate. Bill James did a quick study that suggested that Yount's 1990 season was due to bad luck in the hits not falling but I would disagree.

Yount had a varied and fascinating career. At his "first peak" Robin Yount was not just the best player in the American League but on track to be one of the best players of all time factoring in offense, defense, baserunning, and leadership. That he suffered a serious injury and came back to be a "very good" player is testimony to the man and the talent base that existed.

Clearly I am incredibly biased. But there is nothing in this post that cannot be substantiated by independent sources.

Robin Yount was the type of player that fans desperately want on their team. He played hard each and every PLAY, he played WELL, and he quietly laid expectations in his teammates.

If you can't get excited about Robin Yount you can't get excited about baseball.
   9. DL from MN Posted: May 07, 2007 at 03:15 PM (#2357094)
I agree he's clearly in, it's just that I have him 4th among the new eligibles. You mention defense, I agree he played very good defensive positions (SS and CF) but I haven't seen any evidence that he played them WELL. WARP has him as an average defender most years, out of his mind in 1981 and significantly below average 4 separate years.

He did play regularly at age 18 and 19, he also posted a WARP1 of 1.8 and 2.4. He's getting zero credit for these years in my spreadsheet.

I'll go back to liking Ernie Banks more. Here's some comments from the Banks thread:

"The new, improved version of George Sisler"

"Banks looks like a HoMer but seriously overrated in mythology."

"I consider Banks, like Sisler, to be seriously overrated. I have Sisler ranked # 47. Banks was better than that--I tentatively have him slotted at # 21. Banks had only 6 outstanding seasons. He was a C defensive shortstop. His years at first base weren't any better than Joe Judge (actually, not as good). A player could make the top of my ballot with only 6 great seasons, but those seasons would have to have been a notch higher than Banks, more like Vaughan 1933-38."

I wouldn't put either player ahead of Brett, Ryan or Fisk.
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2007 at 03:32 PM (#2357117)
DL:

Well, he was a good defensive shortstop. His hands were just ok but his range was excellent along with having a very good arm. That combo worked pretty well for me. And if you happen to talk to anyone from that era they will state the same thing. I cannot account for the disconnect between other evaluation techniques and personal observation, however biased it may seem. I believe Bill James handbook had Robin as a B+ shortstop, and I think that's about right.

No credit for playing regularly in the major leagues? To each his own but even if the player in question is mediocre or even bad by the club's estimation he is the best option available. And that counts for something. Regarding Milwaukee specifically the shortstop prior to Yount was Tim Johnson, the same Tim Johnson who later lost his managerial job for lying about his war record. Johnson was a horrible player. So the team improved from horrible to below average. That helped the team. So why doesn't it matter?

George Brett was a far superior player. But Fisk? I like Carlton as much as anyone but the guy is all career with nary a "peak". Robin has him coming and going unless you are going to label Fisk's defense as "world-class". I won't speak to Ryan since very few folks have demonstrated any ability to speak about Nolan in a calm and reasonable manner, and I am not interested in generating a war of words in case you are one of the "true believers".

I don't understand the reasoning, and why anyone is posting pathetic cheap shots at Ernie Banks in a Yount thread escapes me completely.
   11. DL from MN Posted: May 07, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2357140)
I meant to contrast the reception given to Banks v. the reception given to Yount. I'd play the race card but I really don't think it's applicable. Those _aren't_ my comments, I voted Banks #1.

Nolan Ryan is an overrated player in the context of Seaver, Carlton, Niekro, Perry and even Blyleven. That said, he played well forever and I admire that. How many pitchers have 1643 PRAR or more? Six so far if you include Joe Williams. Paige might make 7.

Fisk - pure catcher bonus but he deserves it.
   12. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: May 07, 2007 at 04:03 PM (#2357158)
He reinvigorated the idea of a power-hitting shortstop.

Hmmm . . it this actually true? I don't remember that. He had no power in the 1970s and went to the OF in the mid-1980s. In his peak window, he broke 20 homers twice, 25 once, and 30 never.

(Checks what the SS did in 1977 to make sure)

OK, nevermind me, then. Not a single shortstop hit double-digit homers that year. None. The high (with a whopping 8 big dingers) was a tie between inside-the-park king Garry Templeton, Bucky Dent (!), and yes, Davey Concepction (!?!?). Added bonus: 1977 was one of baseball's silly ball years. I guess hitting 18 homers a years would constitute reinvigorated the idea of a power-hitting shortstop. Well I'll be damned. Those 1970s shortstops couldn't hit for power at_frickin'_all_.

To HW's list above I'd add:

Yount was ahead of Pete Rose's hit pace for many years. Yes, that's almost entirely caused by his early start, but it's still way cool when you think about it.

Not only was he a member of one of the greatest infields of all-time, he was it's most important member. Cooper, Gantner, Yount, Molitor.

Random question to throw out there for everyone -- what are some of the greatest infields of all-time? Of the top of my head I'd say the Cey-Russell-Lopes-Evil LA bunch, the TInkers-Evers-Chance-Whatshisname troupe, and the 1890s Boston defensive dynamos.
   13. Mark Donelson Posted: May 07, 2007 at 04:12 PM (#2357175)
what are some of the greatest infields of all-time?

Well, you'd have to include the $100,000 Infield, though largely because it included two inner-circle guys in Baker and Collins...I guess McInnis wasn't chopped liver.

I think I'd take Chambliss-Randolph-Dent-Nettles over Evil-Lopes-Russell-Cey, too. Of course, I am a Yankee fan. :)
   14. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2007 at 04:18 PM (#2357181)
Chris:

Well, powerhitting isn't just hitting home runs. Yount led the AL in extra base hits twice, led the league in slugging in '82, and three times was in the top ten for total bases all as a shortstop.

Also, Milwaukee County Stadium was a pitchers park. If one reviews the home/road split of Milwaukee hitters up to about 1987 the typical Brewer hit 55% of his homers on the road. In Yount's 29 homer season of 1982 he hit 20(!) on the road. The one exception was Gorman Thomas who was able to take advantage of the short left field line as a pull hitter. But if you were a gap guy the deep alleys were a hindrance.
   15. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 04:54 PM (#2357212)
Yount was ahead of Pete Rose's hit pace for many years. Yes, that's almost entirely caused by his early start, but it's still way cool when you think about it.


Alex Rodriguez started this season 343 hits ahead of Rose's pace. Rose was just getting warmed up by age 30 of course, but even if little Alex loses 30 hits to Rose each year, it will take 10 more years for Rose to "pass" him.

Not only was he a member of one of the greatest infields of all-time, he was it's most important member. Cooper, Gantner, Yount, Molitor.

Random question to throw out there for everyone -- what are some of the greatest infields of all-time? Of the top of my head I'd say the Cey-Russell-Lopes-Evil LA bunch, the TInkers-Evers-Chance-Whatshisname troupe, and the 1890s Boston defensive dynamos.


Perez-Morgan-Concepcion-Rose was pretty darned good for 2 years.

In the NBJHBA, James rates all time infield seasons by win shares. He ranks the top 40 or so, every infiled with 95 or more win shares by the 4 players. The $100,000 infield has 3 entries in the top 6, and every season from 1909-1914 rates in the top 40. The 70's Dodgers did not make a single entry, but the Boys of Summer did, 4 times.

The '82 Brewers rank 5th, and the '83 Brewers 14th.
   16. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: May 07, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2357216)
So the 100K, Harveys' Wallbangers (the team) - do you still have the book in front of you? Who were the other teams in the top two? Big Red Machine?
   17. OCF Posted: May 07, 2007 at 05:08 PM (#2357228)
One comparison I've always liked is between Yount's peak 1982 season and Alex Rodriguez's breakout 1996 season. Both played SS, both batted mostly 2nd in a high-scoring lineup. In comparing them, you have to allow for the differences in era and ballpark. One way to do that is bbref's stat neutralizer. In a 750-run context:

Yount, 1982: .354/.402/.619, XBH 51-13-32, 15 SB, 150 R, 133 RBI.

Rodriguez, 1996: .346/.402/.607, XBH 51-1-34, 14 SB, 148 R, 135 RBI.

Rodriguez led the league in runs scored; Yount didn't lead the league in runs scored, but he had a lot to do with that himself, as he batted behind a healthy Paul Molitor and Molitor led the league in runs with Yount second.

As for where I stand in HW's debate: I expressed my opinion up in post #3.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2007 at 05:09 PM (#2357230)
In the NBJHBA, James rates all time infield seasons by win shares. He ranks the top 40 or so, every infiled with 95 or more win shares by the 4 players. The $100,000 infield has 3 entries in the top 6, and every season from 1909-1914 rates in the top 40. The 70's Dodgers did not make a single entry, but the Boys of Summer did, 4 times.

The list:
1. 1914 Philadelphia A's
2. 1908 Pittsburgh Pirates
3. 1912 Philadelphia A's
4. 1934 Detroit Tigers
5. 1913 Philadelphia A's
5. 1982 Milwaukee Brewers
7. 1927 NY Giants
7. 1975 Cincinnati Reds
9. 1946 St. Louis Cardinals
10.1976 Cincinnati Reds
11.1906 Pittsburgh Pirates
11.1906 Chicago Cubs
11.1936 NY Yankees
14.1933 Philadelphia A's
14.1983 Milwaukee Brewers
16.1987 St. Louis Cardinals
17.1924 NY Giants
17.1951 Brooklyn Dodgers
17.1996 Houston Astros
20.1909 Philadelphia A's
20.1996 Baltimore Orioles
   19. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 05:13 PM (#2357233)
So the 100K, Harveys' Wallbangers (the team) - do you still have the book in front of you? Who were the other teams in the top two? Big Red Machine?


Top 10

1914 A's
1908 Pirates (a creature of Wagner's 59 WS season. Their firstbaseman had 5)
1912 A's
1934 Tigers (Gehringer, Greenberg)
1913 A's tied with
1982 Brewers
1927 Giants (Raja's only season with the team, along with Bill Terry and 2 HOF mistakes)
1975 Reds
1946 Cardinals (a firstbase season for Musial)
1976 Reds
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 07, 2007 at 05:23 PM (#2357247)
I like Carlton as much as anyone but the guy is all career with nary a "peak".


Hmm...I probably would make it a tie.

Fisk did have a peak, statistical and from my memory. You could even make a case for him as the 1978 AL MVP among position players (I would go with Guidry among all players, though).

He was MVP material a few other years, too.
   21. AROM Posted: May 07, 2007 at 05:34 PM (#2357259)
The high (with a whopping 8 big dingers) was a tie between inside-the-park king Garry Templeton, Bucky Dent (!), and yes, Davey Concepction (!?!?).

Bucky F. Dent was a legendary power hitter.
   22. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 07, 2007 at 06:27 PM (#2357319)
Can the '99 Mets sub their catcher for SS in the great infield discussion?
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2357353)
John:

I know Fisk was a fine player, but I struggle to see a "peak" unless you are pointing to 1977-78. Granted, as a catcher Carlton was impacted by injuries but the fact remains the guy wasn't in the lineup on a regular basis from year to year.

Here is what I don't understand about some of the reasoning. Folks give Carlton credit for playing a long time as a catcher which is certainly noteworthy. But Robin played a long time as well at critical defensive positions. But then folks DISCOUNTSthe early part of Robin's career but credit Carlton for the back end of his career. And at the end of the day Fisk had his career extended thanks to the DH while Yount was used as a DH on a very sporadic basis.

Yount was still an ok player in his last season. But he wasn't playing up to his expectations so he hung up his glove. Why should a man be penalized for leaving on his own terms?

Somebody has to help me out because the logic doesn't mesh for me.

By the way, one of Tony LaRussa's most underrated moves in his entire managerial career is putting Fisk in the number two hole in the 1983 season. Brilliant decision.
   24. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2357354)
The 2005 Yankees just squeak into the top 20 (actually, top 22 as three are tied for 20th), and the 2006 Yankees are one point behind, if you count Giambi as a firstbaseman. The DH/firstbase platoon thing complicates matters.
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 07, 2007 at 07:05 PM (#2357386)
I know Fisk was a fine player, but I struggle to see a "peak" unless you are pointing to 1977-78.


1972 was his best season. '83 was damn good, too.

Does your definition of "peak" include consecutive seasons? That might be why we disagree somewhat because consecutive seasons don't matter to me.

Here is what I don't understand about some of the reasoning. Folks give Carlton credit for playing a long time as a catcher which is certainly noteworthy. But Robin played a long time as well at critical defensive positions. But then folks DISCOUNTSthe early part of Robin's career but credit Carlton for the back end of his career. And at the end of the day Fisk had his career extended thanks to the DH while Yount was used as a DH on a very sporadic basis.

Yount was still an ok player in his last season. But he wasn't playing up to his expectations so he hung up his glove. Why should a man be penalized for leaving on his own terms?


I personally don't believe in discounting any seasons due to quality, so I'm in agreement with you there. Yount may not deserve a lot of credit for the early part of his career, but he deserves something, IMO.

Both players were great, great players who deserve to be on the fast track to the Hall of Merit.
   26. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 07:05 PM (#2357387)
And at the end of the day Fisk had his career extended thanks to the DH while Yount was used as a DH on a very sporadic basis.


Not true. In the last six years of his career, ages 40-45, Fisk caught 465 games and DH'd in 42. In the last six years of his career, Yount DH'd in 52. In his entire career, Fisk was a DH only 166 times, a mere 28 more than Yount.
   27. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2007 at 07:12 PM (#2357398)
Misir:

Thanks for the correction. My eyes failed me. I read that as 266. Grrrr.

That seemed about right to me as I had it in my head that he did DH a bit more at the end even though like Reggie Fisk was on record for disliking the DH role.
   28. Al Peterson Posted: May 07, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2357417)
By the way, one of Tony LaRussa's most underrated moves in his entire managerial career is putting Fisk in the number two hole in the 1983 season. Brilliant decision.


Tony LaRussa was also the one who put 38 year old Fisk out in Left Field at the beginning of the 1986 season. I went to one game in Detroit, got there early for BP. I don't know if I've ever seen a guy so unhappy to be shagging flyballs. Carlton didn't seem sold on the outfield idea.
   29. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 07:34 PM (#2357427)
Tony LaRussa was also the one who put 38 year old Fisk out in Left Field at the beginning of the 1986 season. I went to one game in Detroit, got there early for BP. I don't know if I've ever seen a guy so unhappy to be shagging flyballs. Carlton didn't seem sold on the outfield idea.


I thought that was more of a Ken Harrelson move. Granted, the field manager has more say over where a guy plays than the GM, but I'm under the impression that Hawk was the one to push for the move.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 07, 2007 at 07:50 PM (#2357445)
I thought that was more of a Ken Harrelson move. Granted, the field manager has more say over where a guy plays than the GM, but I'm under the impression that Hawk was the one to push for the move.


If Harrelson was the culprit, that might have been another reason that "he gone" from the GM position.
   31. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: May 07, 2007 at 08:00 PM (#2357460)
I thought that was more of a Ken Harrelson move. Granted, the field manager has more say over where a guy plays than the GM, but I'm under the impression that Hawk was the one to push for the move.

That was Harrelson's idea all the way. LaRussa was the manager but the GM ordered that move to free up room for the great Joel Skinner. Hawk never liked LaRussa much back then. That's why he fired LaRussa in mid-season.

Making the whole affair even more bizarre, Hawk traded away CF Rudy Law before the season began. He also lost Rule V guy Bobby Bonilla.
   32. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2007 at 08:17 PM (#2357483)
Chris is absolutely correct. Harrelson publicly stated that learning the outfield was "no big deal".

Fisk hated it and by mid-May the experiment was over. Embarrassed by the failure and using the team's record as an excuse Harrelson lashed out by firing TLR. One of if not THE most pathetic GM action of the 80's.
   33. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 08:26 PM (#2357505)
Shouldn't this be moved to the Fisk thread which has all of 5 posts?
   34. Juan V Posted: May 07, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2357564)
Well, what can I say? We are discussing Fisk in the Yount thread, while the Fisk thread remains deserted. And we are discussing Koufax and other great pitching peaks in the Ryan thread. Eerie....
   35. sunnyday2 Posted: May 07, 2007 at 09:33 PM (#2357591)
Hey, it was organic.
   36. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:13 PM (#2357644)
Trivia question: Only 3 men have played shortstop in the Major Leagues as an 18-year-old*. Obviously, Yount is one. Who are the other two? (Hint: You don't have to look far to find them.)

(*I wouldn't be shocked if this is only post-1900, but it didn't say that.)
   37. Juan V Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:19 PM (#2357656)
The Rod and....
   38. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:20 PM (#2357661)
Granny hamner and Dick Schofield
   39. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:23 PM (#2357664)
OK, so that's 4. Any more?
   40. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:26 PM (#2357671)
Lew Malone
   41. BDC Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:29 PM (#2357675)
Sibby Sisti? Possibly. I wrote the Sibby Sisti Keltner List, back in the day ... knew that research would pay off sooner or later.
   42. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:34 PM (#2357680)
John McGraw
Tony LaRussa
Sibi Sisti
Bobby Henrich
Wayne Causey
Clete Boyer

Tommy Brown and Frank O'Rourke played SS younger than 18, but not at 18.

And probably a whole bunch more.
   43. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:38 PM (#2357683)
Kevin Collins
Alfredo Griffin
Jimmy Sheckard
   44. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 08, 2007 at 01:19 AM (#2357821)
Danny Almonte?
   45. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: May 08, 2007 at 02:09 AM (#2357873)
Wow, TLR played short at 18? I wouldn't have guessed.

What was the deal there? I see that he held his own for 53 PA (85 OPS+, OBP-heavy), and given his position...was he a well-regarded prospect? What happened with him as a player?
   46. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 08, 2007 at 02:12 AM (#2357878)
Danny Aiello?
   47. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 08, 2007 at 03:07 AM (#2357946)
You know, I should have known that was B.S. - I heard it from 2 different sources (an in-game trivia question through my mom, and this article when I Googled today to double-check), but now I'd guess that (b) was the source of (a). It didn't really sound right to me, but I have a bad habit of assuming a reasonable level of fact-checking. Yount, A-Rod and TLR was the answer I was going for (and my hint was because they'd all been mentioned in this thread). I wouldn't be shocked to find out it's actually true if you limited it enough (post-1900, or 1920, or 1947 or 1960, and required a certain number of games), but I'm not going to that well again.
   48. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 08, 2007 at 01:20 PM (#2358174)
Wow, TLR played short at 18? I wouldn't have guessed.


From that legendary cradle of managers, the early 60's KC A's

LaRussa
Howser
Herzog
Dick Williams

I wouldn't be shocked to find out it's actually true if you limited it enough (post-1900, or 1920, or 1947 or 1960, and required a certain number of games), but I'm not going to that well again.


Post-1960, 10 or more games would probably limit it to those three. But it's a pretty lame question if you have to put so many qualifications on it. Clete Boyer played 12 games in 1955, Dick Schofield played 15 in 1953, and Alfredo Griffin played 6 in 1976. They aren't different from LaRussa's 14 in 1963 in any meaningful sense.
   49. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: May 08, 2007 at 01:28 PM (#2358182)
Reminds me of a time back in the old primer dugout one person asked who is the only pitcher to be on the top ten wins list for two different franchises, only to find out there's at least a half-dozen guys at the time who could make that claim.

From that legendary cradle of managers, the early 60's KC A's

LaRussa
Howser
Herzog
Dick Williams


And in 1964 they also had Charlie Lau & Dave Duncan.

And I did not realize that Hawk Harrelson & Tony LaRussa had been teammates together. They may have been teammates in the minors together. Duncan & LaRussa were almost certainly sat together on many a minor league benches.
   50. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 08, 2007 at 01:35 PM (#2358193)
I heard it from 2 different sources (an in-game trivia question through my mom, and this article when I Googled today to double-check),


That linked article says "started a game" at SS, not merely played a game. Griffin never started a game at SS at 18, and neither did Kevin Collins. Retrosheet only goes to 1957, so can't check on Schofield or Boyer. I'm reasonably sure Hamner started at least a few games.
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: May 08, 2007 at 01:39 PM (#2358201)
Well, oddly enough (I say that because baseball is always talked up as having this great sense of history to it), the kinds of people who write trivia questions and who do other "trivial" kinds of things have no sense of history whatsoever. SI runs these little features online--the 10 most controversial, the 25 best, the whatever--and they are always just absolutely laughable. Currently, the 15 biggest upsets in NBA playoff history. Not a one before 1975.

So when there's any kind of "trivial" history in the mass media, you can pretty much assume that "all-time" = "in my personal memory." And not a thought is given to the idea that maybe something happened somewhere before I was aware of it, or of qualifying the category chronologically. No. If I don't remember it, it never happened. Arrgghh.
   52. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 08, 2007 at 01:58 PM (#2358222)
SNY screwed up their triva question a couple of weeks ago. They asked which two players have hit a homer in the 4 NY ballparks (Shea, Yankee, Ebbets, Polo Grounds). One of the two answers they gave was wrong, and there were at least four guys.
   53. OCF Posted: May 08, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2358502)
Here's a look at Yount and Banks in my favorite context-scaled RCAA-based system, same units as always:

Yount SS 73 51 35 30 16 14 --2-10-18-23
Banks SS 52 52 51 43 41 34 15  3 
-2
.
Yount CF 63 42 33 26 16 14 14  8 -9
Banks 1B 18 17 15  3  1  1  0 
---


Combine the two lines into one overall line for each to get

Yount  73 63 51 42 35 33 30 26 16 16 14 14 14  8 ---9-10-18-23
Banks  52 52 51 43 41 34 18 17 15 15  3  3  1  1  0 
---


Yount's bad offensive years aren't as early in his career as I'd thought. That -23 is for 1976 and the -18 for 1979 - what was wrong with him in 1979? The 73 is, of course, 1982, which was quite a year (even if a 20-year-old A-Rod essentially matched it.)
   54. DavidFoss Posted: May 09, 2007 at 02:26 AM (#2358989)
Yount's youth and durability have made him the all-time leader "by age XX" for several numbers.

Games:
ages 20-24,34-38

AB:
ages 20-38

PA:
ages 20-24, 31-38

Outs:
ages 20-38

Hits:
age 20

Singles:
ages 20-21

CS:
ages 18-19

K:
age 19

SF:
ages 19,36-39

Yount retired after age 37, so holding he had quite a lead in the numbers he held onto through ages 38 & 39.
   55. DCW3 Posted: May 09, 2007 at 06:58 AM (#2359144)
According to BR's Play Index, twenty-four players played at least one game at short in their age-18 seasons. There are probably also a number of players who started at the position in their age-19 seasons when they were still actually 18.
   56. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 09, 2007 at 01:34 PM (#2359249)
SS is an extremely athletic position. And you don't need power. I wonder if that makes it more or less likely that 18 years old non-C position players would be SS than other positions.

Of course Yount was no Joe Nuxhall.
   57. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: May 09, 2007 at 01:49 PM (#2359267)
According to BR's Play Index, twenty-four players played at least one game at short in their age-18 seasons. There are probably also a number of players who started at the position in their age-19 seasons when they were still actually 18.


And there are some (Kevin Collins is one), who played at SS in their age 18 season, but after their 19th birthday.
   58. AROM Posted: May 09, 2007 at 01:56 PM (#2359279)
I wonder if that makes it more or less likely that 18 years old non-C position players would be SS than other positions.

Most position players were shortstops in high school. If they make it to the majors at age 18, they probably haven't had time to go through a position change.

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