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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Every WS since ‘82 has a Smoltz teammate

Since 1982, there have been 38 World Series played (no Series was played in 1994 because of the strike). That’s 38 seasons—nearly four decades of Fall Classic baseball—with the current Fall Classic being the 39th.

And for each one of those late October or sometimes early November games, there has amazingly been at least one participant who played previously with John Smoltz ... or would end up playing in the future with Smoltz. Or, John Smoltz was just playing. What we’re saying is that every World Series since 1982 has been extremely Smoltzy. Ted Simmons kicked things off in the 1982 World Series (Smoltz’s teammate in ‘88) and Charlie Morton is the 2021 World Series version (Smoltz’s teammate in ‘08).

Oddly enough, Smoltz has never appeared in a film with Kevin Bacon.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 28, 2021 at 03:27 PM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: john smoltz

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   1. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 28, 2021 at 05:06 PM (#6049695)
Looking at later Smoltz teams, here are some candidates for future years, aside from Morton:

- Jed Lowrie (2009 Red Sox)
- Jon Lester (2009 Red Sox)
- Yadier Molina (2009 Cardinals)
- Adam Wainwright (2009 Cardinals)
- Albert Pujols (2009 Cardinals)

I couldn't find anyone else who was still active from those 2009 teams or from the 2006 - 2008 Braves, but I didn't go about this systematically, so I'm not sure. It seems like there are a few who "retired" after 2019 and might still be kicking around if not for the pandemic, but guys like Martin Prado were clearly running out of gas even before that. I didn't look at any teams before then. I cross-referenced against an oldest player list, but none of those guys (other than the ones listed), as far as I could tell, played for the Braves, Red Sox, or Cardinals.

Morton is still an effective pitcher, so he's got the best shot of keeping this streak alive. He is a free agent after this season, so if he stays on a winning club, he's the prime candidate. Wainwright and Molina are also still solid options, since St. Louis is always good and those guys have contracts next year. Lowrie and Lester are kind of in the same boat - marginally effective players in their late 30's who are free agents. I could see both hanging it up after this season, but I could also see Lowrie latching on with a contender to try to get a ring. I feel like I've heard rumblings about Lester possibly retiring, but maybe I'm making that up. He already has three rings, so seems less likely to stick around.

Pujols is the wild card. I haven't read anything about him since he left the Angels, but it seems like he wants to keep playing. There were some weird social media posts from he and his wife that made it seem like this was his last year, but who knows? Up until a revival of sorts with the Dodgers, it seemed like the choice would be made for him that 2021 was the end. But he hit well with the Dodgers, still plays a decent first base, and might still want to play. Plus he's ALBERT PUJOLS. Maybe some contender picks him up as a backup 1B/DH?

I enjoy fun facts like this. Hopefully it keeps going for a few years!
   2. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 28, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6049698)
I didn't include Josh Reddick (2009 Red Sox) in the above. When you get released by the Diamondbacks and the Mets in the span of a couple weeks, it seems like you're cooked, but I suppose he's still young enough (35 next year) that he could try to hang on with someone.

I also missed Daniel Bard (2009 Sox). What a strange career. Looks fantastic for a few years, struggles a lot at age 27, pitches one inning in the majors at 28 in 2013, and then we don't see hide nor hair of him until 2020. And he wasn't awful for the Rockies this year, although he wasn't great either. I could see him getting another season at age 37 with a team looking for a low-leverage reliever who can get you some innings.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 28, 2021 at 05:15 PM (#6049699)
Cool. Now do it for Julio Franco or Jamie Moyer - you could cover every WS in history.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 28, 2021 at 05:30 PM (#6049701)
I also missed Daniel Bard (2009 Sox). What a strange career.


Red Sox fans can tell you that every so often there is just a weird Red Soxian thing that has no explanation.

He was a really good reliever, so the Sox thought it might be a good idea to try to convert him to a starter. That didn't work so well and it's as if they just broke Daniel Bard in the process and he couldn't pitch again for like 6 years. It was weird.
   5. DL from MN Posted: October 28, 2021 at 05:31 PM (#6049702)
If you include coaches this streak could go on even longer.
   6. Mike A Posted: October 28, 2021 at 06:10 PM (#6049713)
At a quick glance, Julio Franco was teammates with Steve Carlton, who played in the 1967 World Series. He was also teammates with Brian McCann, who played in the 2017 WS. Not sure about the 50 years in between.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: October 28, 2021 at 06:36 PM (#6049717)
how would Edwin Jackson do on this?

maybe "most consecutive years with multiple teammates in World Series."
   8. TJ Posted: October 28, 2021 at 07:48 PM (#6049739)
At a quick glance, Julio Franco was teammates with Steve Carlton, who played in the 1967 World Series. He was also teammates with Brian McCann, who played in the 2017 WS. Not sure about the 50 years in between.


Well, Franco played with Carlton, which covers the 1967 and 1968 Series. Franco also played with Nolan Ryan in Texas, which gets us through the 1969 World Series…
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: October 28, 2021 at 08:24 PM (#6049747)
Pete Rose gets 1970, but I don't think there is someone for 1971.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: October 28, 2021 at 09:36 PM (#6049763)
Consecutive is of course impressive but so is span and I assume Franco will be hard to beat on 67 to 17.

I assume folks know about the Oracle of Baseball
   11. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 28, 2021 at 09:48 PM (#6049764)
Morton is still an effective pitcher, so he's got the best shot of keeping this streak alive. He is a free agent after this season, so if he stays on a winning club, he's the prime candidate

He already signed an extension with the braves.
   12. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 28, 2021 at 09:51 PM (#6049765)
how would Edwin Jackson do on this?

maybe "most consecutive years with multiple teammates in World Series."


Consecutive years with teams he played on in the series could be a good one for him.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: October 28, 2021 at 10:07 PM (#6049767)
Franco is directly connected to 659 players. (Seems kinda low actually) Looking just at some "older" guys

Rose 70, 72, 75, 76, 80. 83
McGraw 73
Hough 74, 77, 78
Gossage 78, 81, 84
Murray 79, 83, 95
G Frazier 81, 87
G Thomas 82

That's 67-70, 72-84, missing 1971 ... somebody can pick it up there.
   14. JJ1986 Posted: October 28, 2021 at 10:20 PM (#6049768)
Consecutive years with teams he played on in the series could be a good one for him.

I don't know how this compares to anyone else, but Jose Vizcaino can go back 13 years from now on this.
   15. Mike A Posted: October 28, 2021 at 11:27 PM (#6049782)
Found a 53-year span with Phil Niekro.

1964 teammate Warren Spahn pitched in the 1948 World Series. 1987 teammates Jay Bell and Greg Swindell both played in the 2001 WS for Arizona.

It might be even longer - both Niekro and David Wells (2003 World Series) played for the Blue Jays in 1987, but I'm not sure they were ever teammates as their game logs don't cross.
   16. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 28, 2021 at 11:36 PM (#6049783)
For Franco:
Bud Black in 85
Calvin Schiraldi 86
George Frazier 87
Orel Hersheiser 88
   17. The Duke Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:30 AM (#6049796)
This is quite enjoyable
   18. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:44 AM (#6049799)
Ron Hassey 89, 90 -- on roster, didn't play in 89
Tom Glavine 91, 92, 95, 96, 99
Pete Incaviglia 93
Jose Mesa 97
Chad Curtis 98
Robin Ventura 00
Greg Swindell 01
Jeff Kent 02
I-Rod 03 06
Manny 04 07
Russ Springer 05

so that's to 2007
   19. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 29, 2021 at 02:21 AM (#6049807)

08: Jamie Moyer
09: Migy Cairo (DNP)
10, 11: Darren Oliver
   20. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 29, 2021 at 02:51 AM (#6049808)
12 Xavier Nady
13 17 Beltran
14 Jason Vargas
15 David Wright, Bartolo Colon
   21. Walt Davis Posted: October 29, 2021 at 03:31 AM (#6049809)
09: Mark Teixeira subbed for Cairo. (Atl 2007 barely)

EDIT: 2016 looks like a bust
EDIT2: Somebody can double-check but his time in Japan and Korea don't seem to help. He was a teammate of the Fat Toad thought.
   22. oscar madisox Posted: October 29, 2021 at 08:57 AM (#6049817)
Minnie Minoso has a 52-year span. Joe Gordon in 1938 to Harold Baines in 1990. Not as long as Niekro, though.
   23. Rally Posted: October 29, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6049823)
Even Franco misses out on the 1994 series. Though so does Smoltz. Thanks Bud.
   24. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 10:22 AM (#6049837)
At a quick glance, Julio Franco was teammates with Steve Carlton, who played in the 1967 World Series. He was also teammates with Brian McCann, who played in the 2017 WS. Not sure about the 50 years in between.

Actually Franco was teammates on the 2007 Mets with Joe Smith, who pitched in the 2019 World Series for Houston.

EDIT: 2016 looks like a bust

Joe Smith also pitched for the 2016 Cubs, although not in the postseason.
   25. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6049841)
For those wondering about 1994, a quick Lahman query suggests that Smoltz had teammates on every NL team, as well as every AL team except MIN and KC. So that year likely would have qualified too. (Franco had teammates on every 1994 club.)
   26. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 10:37 AM (#6049845)
Found a 53-year span with Phil Niekro.

1964 teammate Warren Spahn pitched in the 1948 World Series. 1987 teammates Jay Bell and Greg Swindell both played in the 2001 WS for Arizona.

It might be even longer - both Niekro and David Wells (2003 World Series) played for the Blue Jays in 1987, but I'm not sure they were ever teammates as their game logs don't cross.

My Lahman query (using your Wells criteria, just matching regular season appearances for the same team/season) shows Niekro with a consecutive streak from 1954 to 2001, in addition to the 1948 and 2003 non-consecutive years.
   27. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 10:50 AM (#6049850)
Nolan Ryan's consecutive streak with a teammate who appeared in the World Series is 1959 to 2003, with non-consecutive years going up to 2011. (Like Franco and Joe Smith, Ryan had teammates who appeared in the regular season but not the WS for WS teams from 1956-1958, not sure whether they were rostered.)

Edit: Niekro's streak, with the added criteria requiring a WS appearance (not just a regular season appearance for a WS team), shifts to 1960-1999. (Rickey Henderson was released by the Mets during the 2000 season.)
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 29, 2021 at 11:02 AM (#6049853)
missing 1971
Yeah, 1971 breaks Franco’s streak. Sad.
   29. Itchy Row Posted: October 29, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6049857)
Mike Morgan and Rickey Henderson played forever and moved around a lot, but their early A's teams didn't have many old guys and their last teams didn't have many young guys. Morgan debuted in 1978 when the A's had Willie Horton, who played in the 1968 WS. Rickey started the next year and the A's didn't have anyone over 31. Dave Hamilton, with the 1972 A's, might be the earliest from the '79 team. Rickey's last team, the 2003 Dodgers, did have Adrian Beltre, who played in the 2011 WS.
   30. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 29, 2021 at 11:28 AM (#6049863)
It's interesting that Smoltz was able to generate this many connections while playing 20 years with a single team (plus two half-years with two other teams). When I think about this type of thing I would assume it's the Edwin Jacksons (as mentioned above) and Matt Stairses that could pull it off.

Checking Smoltz's minor-league teammates, he has a near miss for 1981: Juan Espino (teammates on the 1988 Richmond Braves) was in the Yankees system in 1981 but didn't get his first call-up until 1982. Also Jeff Jones (teammates on the 1987 Glens Falls Tigers) played for the Oakland A's in 1981, and made it as far as the ALCS (swept by the Yankees).

Lonnie Smith (also teammates on the 1988 Richmond Braves) played in the 1980 World Series.
   31. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 29, 2021 at 11:46 AM (#6049869)
Lonnie Smith (also teammates on the 1988 Richmond Braves) played in the 1980 World Series.

D'oh! Of course, Lonnie Smith was also Smoltz's teammate on the ATLANTA Braves for 5 years. Forgot about that.
   32. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:04 PM (#6049874)
Still more with Smoltz:

1981 - Alejandro Pena LAD (teammates on 1992 Braves) -- he didn't pitch in the World Series and probably was not on the roster, but he did pitch in the NLCS. He would've gotten a World Series ring, if that counts for anything.

1979 - Gary Roenicke BAL (teammates on 1988 Braves)
1978 - Mike Heath NYY (teammates on 1991 Braves)
1977 - No one
1975, 1976 - Ken Griffey CIN (teammates on 1988 Braves)

The trail seems to definitely end there, though.
   33. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:15 PM (#6049878)
1981 - Alejandro Pena LAD (teammates on 1992 Braves) -- he didn't pitch in the World Series and probably was not on the roster, but he did pitch in the NLCS.

Per his SABR bio, it sounds like Pena was on the roster, at least for the first 2 games of the 1981 World Series: "He did not play in the World Series win over the Yankees after being diagnosed early in the Series with a bleeding ulcer. He had collapsed after the second game and was admitted to a Los Angeles area hospital for observation."

Seems to be confirmed by this contemporaneous news report too.
   34. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:30 PM (#6049880)
Darren Oliver appears to have a good active streak as well. Based on common team/season appearances (without checking if they overlapped within the season), Oliver has had teammates appear in consecutive WS dating back to 1984. If we credit Kevin Gross for being on the 1983 Phillies postseason roster but not appearing in a game, Oliver's streak would go back to 1982 (although as noted above, then Smoltz's would extend to 1981 1978). And of course Oliver's non-consecutive span dates back to 1969 and Nolan Ryan.

Edwin Jackson's streak dates to 1993 and is still active in 2021 as well. (Could have dated to 1989 but Jeff Kent was traded away from the Blue Jays during the 1992 season.)
   35. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6049881)
(although as noted above, then Smoltz's would extend to 1981)

1978, actually.
   36. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#6049882)
Mike Morgan's consecutive streak is 1974-2007, although he was also teammates with Willie Horton (1968) and David Ortiz (2013).
   37. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#6049883)
35 -- yes you are correct, I missed the Lonnie Smith post above.
   38. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:43 PM (#6049885)
Matt Stairs had a streak back to 1985, but I suspect it ended after 2019.

Pujols's goes back to 1988 (McGwire) and is still active (Jesse Chavez, at least).
   39. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 29, 2021 at 12:53 PM (#6049887)
Yeah, 1971 breaks Franco’s streak. Sad.


It only cuts off the first four years, though, not like it randomly comes in the middle of the streak.
   40. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 29, 2021 at 01:22 PM (#6049894)
Minnie Minoso has a 52-year span. Joe Gordon in 1938 to Harold Baines in 1990. Not as long as Niekro, though.


Minoso was teammates with Phil Cavaretta on the 1954-55 White Sox. Cavaretta played in the 1935 World Series for the Cubs, so Minoso's span goes 55 years.
   41. Mike A Posted: October 29, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#6049910)
Good catch on Joe Smith and Julio Franco.

I guess Minoso is now the span leader, though it's kinda based on a publicity stunt.

After more research, I do not believe Niekro and Wells were ever teammates on the 1987 Blue Jays. Wells pitched in a couple of games in June and July before being sent back to the minors. Niekro was traded to the Jays on August 7th and pitched three games before being released August 31st (then going back to the Braves for one last start, another kinda publicity stunt). Wells was a September call-up, pitching 16 games down the stretch for the Jays who were battling it out for the division title with the Tigers.

I even listened to Morten Andersen's podcast where he talked with Wells about Niekro and David did not mention them being teammates.

So Wells and Niekro appear to have missed crossing paths by a day, which means Niekro stays at 53 years.

If the Mets had won the NLCS in 2006, Glavine and Julio(!) would have stretched Niekro to 58 years.
   42. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 29, 2021 at 02:29 PM (#6049920)
32 - Pena has no entry for the 1992 postseason, whereas Hassey 89 and Cairo 09 have entries with no appearance data.

I like Franco's streak more then Smoltz's because he was never in a series himself.
   43. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 02:54 PM (#6049929)
32 - Pena has no entry for the 1992 postseason, whereas Hassey 89 and Cairo 09 have entries with no appearance data.

I think he was just referring to Pena about 1981. Smoltz had plenty of teammates in the 1992 World Series without Pena. :)
   44. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 29, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#6049930)
I like Franco's streak more then Smoltz's because he was never in a series himself.
You mean Franco has not yet been in a World Series.
   45. tonywagner Posted: October 29, 2021 at 03:21 PM (#6049933)
For consecutive, running a big script, so far it's returned Jerry Reuss, Bob Newsom, and Red Ruffing in the lead at 45 series each. Smoltz is the active leader at 39. Vizquel and Thome both have active streaks at 38. Look like Moyer just had a streak stopped at 42 after 2019.
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: October 29, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6049935)
If the Mets had squeaked by the Cardinals in 2006 and kept him on the roster, he would have been the oldest to play in the World Series. He might be the oldest to play in the postseason, but I'm not sure.
   47. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 29, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6049942)
43 -- yes, thanks tonywagner

46 - It appears so. Jack Quinn at 46 seems to be the oldest. If Moyter had made the 2009 Phillies roster, he'd have been within a month of 47, but 06 was Franco's age-47 year.
   48. . . . . . . Posted: October 29, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6049944)
I wonder what the answer for longest one generation span is without the world series modifier. I.e., what is the largest span of years bridged by the (regular season teammates of a single player)? Aka, John Tyler's baseball grandsons.
   49. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 29, 2021 at 04:35 PM (#6049946)
I like Franco's streak more then Smoltz's because he was never in a series himself.


It's tough to hold him to this standard; Franco was already past his prime when the World Series began.

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