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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-6-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, February 6, 1914:

Cyril Slapnicka is going to show the public that it is just as easy to balance chairs, lamps, and tables with his good twirling arm as it is to strike out Minneapolis batters. Slap is going to do a vaudeville turn at a theater next week and says he is going to open the eyes of baseball fans with his versatility. Slap is successful as a pitcher, a saloonist and a vaudeville actor. One of the local fight clubs will sign him up pretty soon.

Please see rule #1 re: Fight Club.

As it turned out, Slapnicka was even more versatile than the people of 1914 could have known. He spent six years as the Indians’ General Manager and was the scout who signed Bob Feller and Bob Lemon. All while balancing chairs, lamps, and tables with his right arm.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:07 AM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cy slapnicka, dugout, history

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   1. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4652526)
Say, that right fielder is pretty good.

Birthday Team:
C: Smoky Burgess
1B: Dale Long
2B: Frank LaPorte
3B: Pedro Alvarez
SS: Glenn Wright
LF: Richie Zisk
CF: John Potts
RF/SP: George H. Ruth

SP: 1870s Bobby Mitchell
SP: Bob Wickman
SP: Travis Wood
SP: Mark Hutton
RP: Bill Dawley

Umpire: Larry Young
Play-By-Play: Ronald Reagan
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4652527)
Minor league deals:

BAL: DH Jack Cust, RHP Evan Meek
CLE: 1B Bryan LaHair
LAD: IF Justin Turner
MIA: RHP Chaz Roe
OAK: OF Sam Fuld
WAS: C Koyie Hill
   3. BDC Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4652530)
B-Ref's picture of birthdayer John Potts is very much a football photo (so much so that I thought "1914 Packers" was some proto-Green-Bay semipro outfit before I realized it was the Kansas City Federal League club). Seems to have played college football and then been a decent minor-league baseball player, but no baseball records for him after 1914. Were some of the lesser talents who played in the FL then blackballed by the majors? It would be interesting to know what the man did with the rest of his long life (he died in 1962).
   4. AndrewJ Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4652541)
A disproportionate number of Pirates on this Birthday Team.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4652543)
Two former All-Stars signing minor league deals on the same day.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4652546)
More on 8 rWAR seasons:

Since 1950, seven teammates have put up 8 rWAR seasons together, where one was a hitter and one was a pitcher. Can you name them?

One pair did it twice.
One pair kinda did it - one of the players was acquired mid-season, but put up an 8 rWAR season overall.
   7. BDC Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4652551)
Well, I guessed Wilbur Wood and Dick Allen (1972) yesterday, so I can trot that one out again :)
   8. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4652552)
Kershaw and Kemp?
   9. BDC Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4652553)
Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt (1980) might be another.
   10. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4652554)
Randy Johnson/Luis Gonzalez?
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4652555)
Wood/Allen in '72 is correct.

Carlton/Schmidt in '80 is correct.

Kershaw/Kemp and Johnson/Gonzalez are incorrect.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4652557)
Say, that right fielder is pretty good.

But that first baseman shares a home run record that the Babe never even approached. And Ken Brett holds another one.
   13. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4652566)
Clemens and Boggs.

Matthews and Spahn. Aaron and Spahn.

The guy who was traded in the middle of the season--Randy Johnson and Craig Biggio?
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4652571)
Davo got two I missed!

Spahn and Matthews in '53.

Boggs and Clemens in '87. Darnit!

Makes me wonder if there are others I missed.

So there's nine pairs (so far). Four have been guessed correctly.

Gonzalez/Johnson comes close, but Luis earned 7.9 WAR that year.

Jonson/Biggio is not correct.
   15. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4652575)
Jonson/Biggio is not correct.


Blergh! How about we go back in time one year a year, and say Johnson/Griffey in '97 (Griffey's MVP season)?
   16. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4652581)
Pedro and Nomar?
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4652593)
Nomar's best year was 7.2 WAR

Johnson/Griffey in '97 is correct.
   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4652595)
Walter Johnson and that guy who was his teammate for longer than any other pair of teammates? Clem something?

--oh, you said since 1950.
   19. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4652598)

Walter Johnson and that guy who was his teammate for longer than any other pair of teammates? Clem something?


Clyde Milan for 16 seasons, though Sweet Lou and Tram passed them with 19 years together.

   20. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4652599)
It would be interesting to know what the man did with the rest of his long life (he died in 1962).
It appears Potts became a lawyer in Cleveland and probably figured that it was a better job than being a fourth outfielder in the Federal League. Looks to me like the top photo on page 88 of this link is him with a shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony of Cleveland Arena*. If it's not Potts, it's a guy with his name in his hometown who's his age, looks like him, and makes appearances at major sporting events.

The internet is so cool. Five minutes of digging and we can put together a tentative life story of a backup outfielder on the 1914 Kansas City Packers.

(* - Cleveland Arena is where the Cavs played before the Richfield Coliseum opened, not to mention it was the longtime home of the AHL Barons.)
   21. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4652601)
I went looking and found one (8.0 and 8.4), but I want to see if someone is going to get it.
   22. puck Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4652604)
I only remember Dale Long from when Don Mattingly broke Long's record for most consecutive games with a HR. Interesting that Long hit 27 total the season of his streak (8) and Mattingly only hit 30 the season of his (10).
   23. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4652608)
Marichal and Mays a few times?
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4652610)
Marichal and Mays is correct, and they're the only ones I found that did it twice ('65-'66)
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4652614)
Three left that I can find:

One involved a pair in which neither player had better than a 4.5 WAR season the rest of their career.

One involved a non-HOFer who bested three HOF-level players in the same lineup to put up his 8 WAR season.

One involved a position player who relied heavily on defense for his WAR. He didn't even receive MVP votes or make an All-Star team that year.
   26. JJ1986 Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4652615)
Maddux and Andruw Jones?
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4652616)
One involved a position player who relied heavily on defense for his WAR. He didn't even receive MVP votes or make an All-Star team that year.

I think that's the one I found (8.0 for pitcher, 8.4 for hitter).

The pitcher is more famous, though the hitter had a much longer career (played in MLB at 39).
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4652622)
Andruw's only 8 WAR season was 2000, when Maddux put up 6.6
   29. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4652623)
One involved a pair in which neither player had better than a 4.5 WAR season the rest of their career.


Could this be Tudor and McGee for the 85 Cardinals?

One involved a position player who relied heavily on defense for his WAR. He didn't even receive MVP votes or make an All-Star team that year.


Ben Zobrist and David Price?

Also, from a few posts back, you said one involved a guy who was traded mid-season...Tom Seaver and George Foster (in '78?)
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4652625)
The pitcher is more famous, though the hitter had a much longer career (played in MLB at 39).


Yes, that sounds like him. He didn't even win a Gold Glove that year either, he would not win one for 7 more years.

Could this be Tudor and McGee for the 85 Cardinals?


Also, from a few posts back, you said one involved a guy who was traded mid-season...Tom Seaver and George Foster (in '78?)


Bingo to both!

Zobrist and Price aren't on the list. Just one more, and it sounds like Crispix has it.
   31. Guapo Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4652626)
John Potts is also the answer to a cool trivia question- he got the first hit in the history of Wrigley Field (it was Weeghman Park back then. The Cubs didn't move in until 1916).
   32. esseff Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4652629)
Aside from the homer streak, birthday boy Dale Long also has a claim to fame as a member of the Left-Handed Catchers Club (one of only three in the past 100 years. EDIT: That's counting players who actually played the position and not those like Chris Short who were listed there in lineups but didn't actually catch).
   33. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4652630)
Mike Squires and Benny Distefano are the other two, FWIW.
   34. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4652633)
Mike Squires and Benny Distefano are the other two, FWIW.
That was going to be my answer to the WAR question.
   35. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4652638)
Close… For two years in a row, Mike Squires and a pitching teammate each had exactly 0.1 WAR.
   36. BDC Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4652641)
Dan and Guapo: Fascinating stuff on Potts, thank you for finding it. I love that there's a book called Legendary Locals of Cleveland.
   37. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4652643)
One involved a position player who relied heavily on defense for his WAR. He didn't even receive MVP votes or make an All-Star team that year.

I think that's the one I found (8.0 for pitcher, 8.4 for hitter).

The pitcher is more famous, though the hitter had a much longer career (played in MLB at 39).

Some combination of Paul Blair/Bobby Grich and Jim Palmer/Dave McNally/Mike Cuellar?

Sal Bando and Vida Blue?

Jim Fregosi and Dean Chance the year Dean Chance won the CYA?
   38. Sweatpants Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4652659)
Graig Nettles and Gaylord Perry?
   39. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4652660)
The year was 1964.
   40. JJ1986 Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4652665)
Don Drysdale and Maury Wills?
   41. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4652670)
Don Drysdale and Willie Davis?
   42. AndrewJ Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4652672)
I looked it up. It's Davis and Drysdale.
   43. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4652673)
Correct Davo! Willie put up 3.4 dWAR that year, for an 8 WAR season despite hitting just .294/.316/.413 in 1964.
   44. BDC Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4652675)
Interesting. Drysdale also led the NL in runs scored by a pitcher in 1964 (10) and was second in RBI (8), for 0.4 WAR as a batter – not nearly his best year, but fairly typical for him.
   45. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4652681)
If we let Willie Davis play his entire career over again, but this time let him do it in 1999 Dodger Stadium, he hits .304/.337/.445, with 2,897 hits, 20 homers, and 450 steals.

His 1964 season is a .323/.347/.455, with 26 doubles, 14 homers, 207 hits, and 48 steals.
   46. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4652682)
1964 was also the only year between 1960 and 1966 that Maury Wills didn't get MVP votes, but that was because he had a down season.
   47. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4652688)
Drysdale, Wills, and Davis had long careers and retired a long time ago, but at some point they were unknown rookies Vin Scully was telling people in LA or NY about.
   48. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4652749)
There are three teams that made the post-season in the expansion era despite (because of? I don't want to alienate any fan bases) a roster consisting entirely of players born in the United States. They are:

* The 1963 LA Dodgers.
* The 1966 LA Dodgers.
* The 1977 Philadelphia Phillies

The aforementioned 1964 Dodgers had no foreign-born players, either, which is what got me looking.
   49. BDC Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4652755)
The 1977 Philadelphia Phillies

Who were then bounced from the playoffs by Vic Davalillo and Manny Mota. I accept "despite" :)
   50. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4652756)
The last team to make it through an entire season with a roster of only American-born players was the 1992 Detroit Tigers.

The last World Series between two teams with no foreign players was in 1950 (Yankees swept the Whiz Kid Phillies 4-0).
   51. JJ1986 Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4652758)
The 1988 Mets were an extremely American team. They had only 14 innings thrown by Ed Nunez (Puerto Rican).
   52. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4652759)
1976 Phillies had only 26 PA by Tony Taylor.
   53. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4652768)
The 1988 Mets were an extremely American team. They had only 14 innings thrown by Ed Nunez (Puerto Rican).
So he was born in the United States.
   54. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4652775)
Only one foreign-born player (Newt Randall) has been part of a Cubs World Series-winning team, but he was traded away in June of that year.
   55. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4652777)
The last team to make it through an entire season with a roster of only American-born players was the 1992 Detroit Tigers.

Can you look for all-American-born pitching staffs?

Oakland, for example, seems to have practically abandoned the concept of Latin American pitchers.

2010: 23 pitchers, 2 foreign-born (Henry Rodriguez, Edwar Ramirez)
2011: 26 pitchers, 6 foreign-born (and that includes 2 Canadians and 1 Australian)
2012: 25 pitchers, 7 foreign-born (3 Australians this time)
   56. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4652784)
Except for 17.2 innings in 1990 from Steve Chitren (born in Japan) the 1988-1990 A's had All-American-born pitching staffs.
   57. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4652792)
In contrast, the 2005 Baltimore Orioles had a starting staff made up of pitchers from five different countries. None of those players came from the U.S. Bruce Chen (Panama), Erik Bedard (Canada), Rodrigo Lopez (Mexico), Daniel Cabrera (Dominican Republic), Sidney Ponson (Aruba).

   58. Davo Dozier Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4652795)
One of the all-time great pitching teams of the past 20 years (the 1997 Braves) had no foreign-born pitchers.

From 1993 to 1997, every pitcher who started a game for the Braves was born in the USA.
   59. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4652796)

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