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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-5-2014

Toledo News-Bee, February 5, 1914:

Charley Faust is out again. The champion jinx-killer of the Giants of 1911 showed up [in New York] on Wednesday. He told Secretary Foster the Federals had been after him, but he wouldn’t take advantage of McGraw and jump. Faust has given up the idea of being a star pitcher and now says he is the greatest catcher that ever wore a mask.

It was Faust’s final Spring in baseball. He was institutionalized by July 1914, spent most of the next year in mental hospitals, and died of tuberculosis in June 1915.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 08:50 AM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, victory faust

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   1. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4651888)
Two obvious Hall of Famers and a rock-solid left side of the infield make today's Birthday Team a contender.

C: Mike Heath
1B: Lee Thomas
2B: Roberto Alomar
3B: Don Hoak
SS/Manager: Roger Peckinpaugh
LF: Max Flack
CF: Chuck Diering
RF: Hank Aaron

SP: Al Worthington
SP: Jack Lynch
SP: Chris Brock
SP: Roberto Rodriguez
SP: Cy Buker
RP: Eric O'Flaherty

Owner: Joan Payson
   2. BDC Posted: February 05, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4651912)
Roger Peckinpaugh was a very prominent player for somebody who hit .259 lifetime and never showed much power even after the advent of the lively ball. He is best known for making errors in the 1925 Series, but his defensive numbers by both WAR and DRA are outstanding, with the result that he turned in a 45-WAR career as seen by modern metrics, roughly corroborating contemporary evaluation that he was a very valuable player.

Al Worthington is another interesting player. He was probably helped as much as any other single pitcher by the 1963 revision of the strike zone. He had pretty much played out the string as a starter and swingman over a dozen years or so, rising from the minors and falling back there by his mid-30s. Then came '63 and wham, he was striking out everybody in sight and establishing himself as an ace reliever at an age when even he had to have projected himself as being retired. He ended up staying in the majors till he was 40.
   3. Davo Dozier Posted: February 05, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4651933)
Don Hoak is the third baseman who made the error in the 13th inning to end Harvey Haddix's perfect game. Since that was the only thing I'd ever heard about him, it's surprising to see that he actually had a decent career.
   4. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4651940)
Hoak was a pretty good defensive third baseman, too. He wasn't Brooks Robinson out there, but he was above average.

He was no star, but you could do worse than a third baseman who hits .265, gets on base, pops 30 doubles a year, and can field his position.
   5. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4651958)
From Hoak's Wikipedia article:

"After his playing career ended, Hoak was a Pirates' broadcaster for two years, a coach for the Phillies in 1967, and a manager in the Pirates' farm system for the next two years.[citation needed] He died on October 9, 1969, of a heart attack while chasing his brother-in-law’s stolen car. Earlier that very day the Pirates had re-hired Danny Murtaugh as the manager — a position for which Hoak had believed himself a contender."

Hoak was one of the Reds chosen for the All Star team when Cincy stuffed the ballot box in 1957, but he wasn't an egregious choice. He had a good season, with a 125 OPS+. Eddie Mathews had a better season (154), but their first halves weren't that far apart, with Mathews at 160 and Hoak at 147.

The Pirates had Don Hoak as a player and then an announcer and organization man for most of the 1960s. The Steelers had running back Dick Hoak for the whole decade. They seem to be the only people named Hoak who have Wikipedia articles.

   6. zonk Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4651969)
The Cubs have supposedly signed James MacDonald to a minor league contract.... I'd post it, but 1)apparently, no one in the media actually cares enough to write it up, and 2)zzzzzzzz
   7. Moeball Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4651970)
I can't believe Hank Aaron is 80 years old today.

That's impossible. I watched him play most of his career. If he's 80, that means I'm...old (sigh).
   8. BDC Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4651972)
It's fixed in my mind that Don Hoak served in the Marine Corps, and the first eight or ten Google results for him also say that. But his B-Ref page shows him as playing pro ball steadily from ages 19-35, not leaving much time for a Marine hitch.

An essay by Jack V. Morris in the book Sweet '60 (available on Google Books) says that Hoak enlisted in the Navy at age 17 in 1945, and was discharged a year later when his father died. I guess that might have been amplified by legend into Marine service.
   9. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4651988)
Miguel Cabrera is 30, and he's Aaron's Most Similar by Age each year from ages 21-30 except 28. Cabrera is second behind Frank Robinson at 28. Anyway, Miguel Cabrera is pretty good, I guess.
   10. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4651995)
An essay by Jack V. Morris in the book Sweet '60 (available on Google Books) says that Hoak enlisted in the Navy at age 17 in 1945, and was discharged a year later when his father died. I guess that might have been amplified by legend into Marine service.


Well, the Marines are technically part of the Navy, so he could have enlisted in the Navy and been assigned to the Marines.

Wiki also says he played a year in Cuba, and that he batted against law student Fidel Castro. This had to be in 1946, as his minor league records start in 1947 with full seasons, and 1946 would fit in with Castro's timeline
   11. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4651999)
Hoak wrote an article with Myron Cope about the day he batted against Castro, appropriately titled "The Day I Batted Against Castro." It says it was in the winter of 1950-1951.

Apparently the direct link doesn't work, but you can search for "Hoak" in the box on the left. It starts on page 161.
   12. BDC Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4652025)
he could have enlisted in the Navy and been assigned to the Marines

I guess that's an outside possibility. (Midshipmen go from Annapolis into either Navy or Marines, for instance, though that's not relevant to Hoak.) But the Navy and Marines have distinctly separate and quite elaborate recruiting systems, and did so during WW2. It would be very unusual to say you'd enlisted in the Navy (especially as a kid straight out of high school) and then immediately become a Marine.
   13. AndrewJ Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4652046)
In Ball Four Hoak was also credited (when he managed in the minors) with the most inspirational clubhouse pep talk in baseball history.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4652114)
Don Hoak is the third baseman who made the error in the 13th inning to end Harvey Haddix's perfect game. Since that was the only thing I'd ever heard about him


Never saw the film "City Slickers"?


Bonnie: I like baseball. I just never understood how you guys can spend so much time discussing it...I’ve been to games, but I don’t memorize who played third base for Pittsburgh in 1960.

Mitch, Ed, Phil (in unison): Don Hoak.
   15. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4652139)
I occasionally like to say this whenever Hank Aaron pops up in a situation like this thread. I have a historical league going in OOTP, started in 1901, and it is now in 1970. When preparing for the rookie draft each year I check out the BBRef pages for every single player. The only guy whose stats had me mesmerized was Hank Aaron. We all know about him, how good he was, etc. We also all accept that he wasn't quite as good as, say, Willie Mays or Ted Williams or Barry Bonds. Knowing this, I was not prepared to look at his career. It is something else.

Go ahead - look for yourself.

The guy was an MVP candidate for 19 years in a row.

I look at those numbers and think,"At some point in time, a guy did that." It blows my mind.
   16. Good cripple hitter Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4652143)
In Ball Four Hoak was also credited (when he managed in the minors) with the most inspirational clubhouse pep talk in baseball history.


That's my favourite bit from Ball Four, but I never remembered that it's Hoak who was the speech giver. I've been playing strat-o-matic games with the 1960 Pirates, now I'm going to chuckle whenever Hoak gets a hit.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4652144)
Hank Aaron and Eddie Matthews put up an 8 rWAR season together twice - '59 and '63. Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth are the only other pair of position player teammates to do this more than once (four times!)

Can you name the seven pairs of position player teammates that put up an 8 rWAR season together since Aaron and Matthews in '59?

   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4652149)
Joe Morgan and Pete Rose once
Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench once

(I looked those up, they were my first guess)
   19. JJ1986 Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4652150)
Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent?
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4652153)
Crispix is correct. Morgan/Rose in '73, Morgan/Bench in '72.

Kent is a good guess, but he topped out at 7.3 rWAR in his MVP year.

Every pair involved at least one HOF or slam-dunk future HOFer. I don't think any of them have two slam-dunk HOFers though.
   21. Good cripple hitter Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4652154)
A-Rod and Griffey.
Maybe Boone and Ichiro in 2001.

ETA: come to think of it, Pujols and somebody on the Cards must've done it once. Pujols and Edmonds? Pujols and Rolen?
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4652158)
A-Rod and Griffey in '96
Pujols and Rolen in '04 (last ones to do it)

Just three more. All came in the AL.
   23. JJ1986 Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4652162)
Robinson and Robinson?
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4652164)
Mantle and Maris?
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4652167)
Maris topped out at 7.5 WAR in 1960.

Brooksie had 8 WAR seasons in '64 and '68, but Frank had his only 8 WAR season in '62, with Cincy. He did put up a 7.9 WAR season in '64 though, so very close.
   26. BDC Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4652173)
Wilbur Wood and Dick Allen, 1972.

Oh hell, you asked for position players. Still, I guessed it :-D
   27. Davo Dozier Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4652197)
Darin Erstad and Troy Glaus the year Darin Erstad hit .350?

Sal Bando and Reggie Jackson the year Jackson won the MVP (1973?)

Mattingly and Rickey! for the 1985 Yankees? Mcgwire and Rickey! for the 1990 A's?
   28. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4652202)
Al Worthington is another interesting player. He was probably helped as much as any other single pitcher by the 1963 revision of the strike zone. He had pretty much played out the string as a starter and swingman over a dozen years or so, rising from the minors and falling back there by his mid-30s. Then came '63 and wham, he was striking out everybody in sight and establishing himself as an ace reliever at an age when even he had to have projected himself as being retired. He ended up staying in the majors till he was 40.


Yes, but the reason why he went back down to the minors in his 30s is fascinating. Worthington was traded to the White Sox in September 1960, and pitched four games for them at the end of the 1960 season. At the time, the White Sox were stealing signs through stationing someone in the scoreboard with binoculars, who would relay the signs to the players. Worthington was a devout Christian, and when he found out, he felt that such stealing violated his religious beliefs. He went to General Manager Hank Greenberg, and told him that he couldn't play for a team that cheated in that manner. He then packed his bags and went home. He spent the next two seasons in the minors, and Greenberg said that he tried to trade him, but that other teams were reluctant to take him because they thought he was "some sort of cuckoo", according to Greenberg. After putting up a 15-4 season in the AA in 1962, the Reds took him in the Rule 5 draft, and he made it back to the majors. But he lost two years out of his MLB career because he felt his religious beliefs contradicted what his team was doing...
   29. AndrewJ Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4652204)
(Aaron) was an MVP candidate for 19 years in a row.

And finished no lower than 17th all 19 seasons (Willie Mays finished no lower than 6th from 1957-66).
   30. Davo Dozier Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4652205)
28--That's an amazing story!
   31. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4652208)
Yaz and Rico?
   32. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4652238)
Darin Erstad and Troy Glaus the year Darin Erstad hit .350?

Sal Bando and Reggie Jackson the year Jackson won the MVP (1973?)

Mattingly and Rickey! for the 1985 Yankees? Mcgwire and Rickey! for the 1990 A's?


Bando and Reggie is correct!

Erstad and Glaus is a great guess as Erstad topped 8.3 WAR, but Glaus just missed at 7.8

Mattingly only got 6.4 WAR in '85 and Mac got 5.6 in '90 (Rickey is at 9.9 both years!)

Rico got 10 WAR for the '69 Red Sox, but Yaz only got 5.4 that year.

The two remaining pairs both involve an infamous "cheater."
   33. Davo Dozier Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4652247)
The two remaining pairs both involve an infamous "cheater."

Norm Cash and....Al Kaline, maybe?...for the 61 Tigers?
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4652251)
Correct Davo!

The last pair involves a "cheater", although he was cleared.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4652259)
George Brett and Willie Wilson?
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4652263)
Bingo! George "pine tar" Brett and Willie Wilson in 1980.

The only other (other than Ruth/Gehrig) pre-'59 teammates:

Home Run Baker and Eddie Collins for the '12 A's

Nap Lajoie and Terry Turner for the '06 Naps
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4652265)
There have been seven pairs of pitching teammates with 8 rWAR seasons. Two did it twice. Can you name them? Four were before WWII.
   38. Davo Dozier Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4652267)
Willie Wilson had an 8-WAR season? Crazy!
   39. Davo Dozier Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4652277)
37---Well, Schilling/Johnson and Halladay/Lee for sure.

I imagine Drysdale/Koufax did it too. Newhouser/Trout for the war-era Tigers?
   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4652281)
Schilling/Johnson did it twice - '01 and '02

Halladay/Lee in 2011

Newhouser/Trout in '44

Drysdale's only 8 WAR season came in '64, when Koufax had 7.4 WAR because he made just 28 starts.

That's the three post-war pairs. Who are the four pre-war pairs? All were in the AL.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4652288)
Well, I gotta jet, the answers were:

Wes Ferrell and Lefty Grove for BOS in '35
Jim Bagby and Stan Coveleski for CLE in '17 and '20
Eddie Plank and Rube Waddell for PHA in '04

And oops, I also forgot Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity for NYG in '03.
   42. God Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4652289)
Palmer & McNally
Sam McDowell & Looie Tiant in '68

EDIT: Guess not.
   43. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4652295)
Speaking of Schilling, he's been diagnosed with cancer.

No word in the article on what kind, but I know he was addicted to chewing tobacco, so...
   44. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4652298)
Don Hoak is the third baseman who made the error in the 13th inning to end Harvey Haddix's perfect game. Since that was the only thing I'd ever heard about him

Never saw the film "City Slickers"?


"Beat ya!"
   45. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4652307)
(Aaron) was an MVP candidate for 19 years in a row.

And finished no lower than 17th all 19 seasons (Willie Mays finished no lower than 6th from 1957-66).


What's crazy is that for someone who retired as the all-time home run leader, how many times would you think he led his league in homers? 7 or 8? Maybe 9 or 10? No, 4. His consistency was amazing--he never hit 50 or 60 home runs, just 37-44 home runs for about 17 years straight. Incredible.
   46. Karl from NY Posted: February 05, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4652422)
Don Hoak is the third baseman who made the error in the 13th inning to end Harvey Haddix's perfect game. Since that was the only thing I'd ever heard about him, it's surprising to see that he actually had a decent career.

Bill Buckner would empathize. 2700 career hits and all anybody knows is one dang error.
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4652437)
What's crazy is that for someone who retired as the all-time home run leader, how many times would you think he led his league in homers? 7 or 8? Maybe 9 or 10? No, 4.


The guy who replaced him as the all-time champ only did it twice, though his route to the top of the leaderboard wasn't as metronomic as Ol' Henry's.
   48. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:28 AM (#4652468)
The guy was an MVP candidate for 19 years in a row.

One of my favorite random Aaron facts is that he finished exactly third in the MVP voting six different times, the last of which came 15 years after the first. I have no intention of checking this, but I expect that's easily the most times anyone has finished third.
   49. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4652528)
Yes, but the reason why he went back down to the minors in his 30s is fascinating. Worthington was traded to the White Sox in September 1960, and pitched four games for them at the end of the 1960 season. At the time, the White Sox were stealing signs through stationing someone in the scoreboard with binoculars, who would relay the signs to the players. Worthington was a devout Christian, and when he found out, he felt that such stealing violated his religious beliefs. He went to General Manager Hank Greenberg, and told him that he couldn't play for a team that cheated in that manner. He then packed his bags and went home. He spent the next two seasons in the minors, and Greenberg said that he tried to trade him, but that other teams were reluctant to take him because they thought he was "some sort of cuckoo", according to Greenberg. After putting up a 15-4 season in the AA in 1962, the Reds took him in the Rule 5 draft, and he made it back to the majors. But he lost two years out of his MLB career because he felt his religious beliefs contradicted what his team was doing...


Jim Bouton also quotes this story in Ball Four, but there's no particular reason to believe it's true.

Worthington was traded to Boston before the 1960 season. He was terrible in 10 relief appearances for the Red Sox, then was sent to the minors where he put up good numbers for Minneapolis (in its last season as a minor league team) as a swingman. The White Sox took him on a conditional deal, but it looks like he was injured in 1961; he pitched in only 23 games for San Diego, again as a swingman, and was so-so. He recovered nicely at Indianapolis in 1962 but by then he was turning 34. The Reds took a gamble on him in the Rule 5 draft and when Jim Brosnan stumbled coming out of the gate, Worthington took over Brosnan's role as the righty counterpart to Bill Henry and Brosnan was moved to the White Sox.

Worthington did have trouble throwing strikes, and I'm inclined to agree that the change in strike zone in 1963 helped turn him into a useful reliever.

-- MWE
   50. Morty Causa Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4652621)
I can't believe Hank Aaron is 80 years old today.

And today is Babe Ruth's birthday.

One wondrous thing about Hank Aaron is how durable he was (Willie Mays, too). The guy must not have ever had a serious injury.
   51. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4652732)
Jim Bouton also quotes this story in Ball Four, but there's no particular reason to believe it's true.

Worthington was traded to Boston before the 1960 season. He was terrible in 10 relief appearances for the Red Sox, then was sent to the minors where he put up good numbers for Minneapolis (in its last season as a minor league team) as a swingman. The White Sox took him on a conditional deal, but it looks like he was injured in 1961; he pitched in only 23 games for San Diego, again as a swingman, and was so-so. He recovered nicely at Indianapolis in 1962 but by then he was turning 34. The Reds took a gamble on him in the Rule 5 draft and when Jim Brosnan stumbled coming out of the gate, Worthington took over Brosnan's role as the righty counterpart to Bill Henry and Brosnan was moved to the White Sox.

Worthington did have trouble throwing strikes, and I'm inclined to agree that the change in strike zone in 1963 helped turn him into a useful reliever.

-- MWE


It's possible that his performance may not have been good enough to return to the majors, but both Worthington himself, and Greenberg, who was the ChiSox GM at the time, confirm that Worthington refused to pitch for the White Sox because of his beliefs, and was assigned to the minors because of that.

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