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Monday, September 09, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-9-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 9, 1919:

Boston defeated New York in both sections of a double header here [yesterday], the scores being 3 to 1 and 3 to 0.

In the eighth inning of the first game, Ruth hit a home run in the right field for his twenty-sixth home run of the year, breaking the established major league record. Freeman of the Washington National League club, had held the record for years when he hit 25 home runs in 1899.

Clearly a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. It’s tough to imagine anyone hitting more than 26 or 27 home runs in a season.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 09, 2019 at 10:34 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: babe ruth, dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 09, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5877713)
A strong Birthday Team today. Three Hall of Famers and no weaknesses.

C/Manager: Frank Chance (45.7 WAR)
1B: Alvin Davis (20.0 WAR)
2B: Frankie Frisch (70.4 WAR)
3B: Todd Zeile (19.4 WAR)
SS: Dots Miller (18.3 WAR)
LF: Abner Dalrymple (18.5 WAR)
CF: Non-Sliding Billy Hamilton (8.6 WAR)
RF: Jerry Mumphrey (22.3 WAR)

SP: Waite Hoyt (52.6 WAR)
SP: Mike Hampton (28.2 WAR)
SP: Johnny Marcum (16.8 WAR)
SP: Joey Hamilton (14.2 WAR)
SP: Edwin Jackson (9.3 WAR)
RP: Felix Rodriguez (8.6 WAR)

Losing Pitcher: Hugh Mulcahy (3.8 WAR)
Fun names: Ambrose Puttmann, Joey Terdoslavich, Tiny Graham, Johnny Lazor
Not that one: Tom Foley
Not that one: Earl Averill
Not that one: Reggie Sanders
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 09, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5877720)
Losing Pitcher: Hugh Mulcahy (3.8 WAR)

One of the cruelest nicknames of all time. No attempt to be humorous or clever, just a simple statement of fact. :-(
   3. Itchy Row Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:05 AM (#5877736)
Now that they're teammates with Frankie Frisch, Jerry Mumphrey and Todd Zeile will be Hall of Famers.
   4. eric Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:22 AM (#5877744)
In the eighth inning of the first game, Ruth hit a home run in the right field for his twenty-sixth home run of the year, breaking the established major league record. Freeman of the Washington National League club, had held the record for years when he hit 25 home runs in 1899.

So when and how did Ned Williamson get retconned to 27 HR in 1884?
   5. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5877749)
So when and how did Ned Williamson get retconned to 27 HR in 1884?

If memory serves, this was less a retcon and more a lack of readily available statistics from 1884.
   6. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5877751)
Just got through 1934 in the SP rankings, and it's my favorite year so far. The year-end top 6 (Dean, Hubbell, Gomez, Harder, Bridges, Warneke) were ridiculously good; Warneke's end-of-season rating (562.6) would usually be good for a significantly better finish than 6th.

More importantly, though, this year had the best finish to date. On September 23, Carl Hubbell threw a good game to slightly improve his #1 rating to 610.1; Lefty Gomez threw a gem and substantially improved his #2 rating to 600.3. Dizzy Dean sat at #3, with a 583.2, a number that had already climbed by almost 40 points in the preceding month (6-2, 1.89 for that month, and that undersells how good he was as a starter; his relief outings for this period totalled 6 innings, 6 runs allowed.)

At this point, Hubbell and Gomez were done for the year. Dean, meanwhile, having last started on 9/21 and having relieved in both ends of a doubleheader on 9/23, threw a 6-hit, 2-run complete game on 9/25, followed by consecutive 7-hit shutouts on 9/28 and 9/30. (The Cardinals edged the Giants for the pennant by 2 games; I'm not really sure why Hubbell didn't get another start down the stretch.) This additional run of excellence boosted Dean to #2, ahead of Gomez and slightly behind Hubbell (609.4 to 605.2).

The World Series began on October 3, with Dean (of course) starting Game 1 on 2 days' rest. He threw a solid complete game win in Game 1, closing to within a point and a half. His complete game loss in Game 5 scores slightly worse, improving his rating only fractionally, and corresponds with the 14th day since Hubbell's last appearance, resulting in the following ratings for the top 2:

Hubbell 608.23
Dean 608.21

And two days later, Dean threw a shutout, claiming the #1 spot for the first time in Game 7 of the World Series.
   7. bobm Posted: September 09, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5877753)
[4,5] On Williamson's 27 HR, from the 1972 Baseball Research Journal:

[...] the then president of the club, William Hulbert, negotiated a lease with the city for the return to Lake Park and from 1878 through 1884, the National games in Chicago took place on the lakefront.

While no actual measurements of the park are available, there is much evidence of the short right field fence, probably both as to its height and distance from home plate. It was probably no further than 230 feet from home plate, and not just short at the foul line corner, but right across the field. The right fielder generally stood against the fence. In any event, during the years prior to 1884, the prevailing ground rule provided that a ball batted over the fence was to be scored as a two-base hit.

In 1883 when the league operated on a 98-game schedule, Chicago played 49 games at Lake Park and a total of 317 two base hits were batted, a majority probably over the short right field fence. Chicago hatters (sic) accounted for 188 of these doubles and the visiting hitters scored 129. Williamson led with a record 49 (some sources still say he hit 50). There were a total of 17 home runs hit in Lake Park in 1883, of which 11 were by the White Stockings and 6 by the opposition.

Conversely, in the 49 games Chicago played on the road in 1883, they batted only 86 doubles and 2 home runs while their opponents came up with 103 doubles and 15 homers. All these various statistical facts are cited simply to indicate the comparative strength of the Chicago team in their home park, and their proven ability to take advantage of a friendly right field fence. Since they won the NL flag in 1880, 1881, and 1882, and were second to Boston in 1883, the technique of tailoring a team's batting ability to its home surroundings was never more fittingly illustrated.

With that background, let's get on with the home run story. Sometime before the start of the 1884 season, some brilliant strategist in the Chicago camp, recognizing the ability of the Chicago batters, both right and left-handed alike, to punch balls over the right field fence, and with the evidence of the 1883 two-base hit superiority at Lake Park before him, decided to go all-out and legalize an over the right field fence hit as a home run. Then the fun started.[...] Williamson's three Memorial Day homers were his first of the 1884 season, but he want on to hit 27 (all but 2 at Chicago), a record which would stand until Ruth hit 29 real fourbaggers in 1919. Another righthanded hitting teammate, Fred Pfeffer (who had hit only 1 homer in 1883), hit 25 roundtrippers, all of them at Lake Park. He and Williamson, therefore, held the record with 25 homers hit at home until Ruth hit 29 at the Polo Grounds in 1920. Actually, the top four home run hitters in the NL in 1884 played for Chicago -- Williamson with 27, Pfeffer 25, Dalrymple 22, and Anson 21.

As evidence that Williamson had indeed been practicing the art of arching balls over the right-field fence, his two-base hit total had risen from 27 in 1882 to 49 in 1883. Of thin 49 figure, 36 were hit in Lake Park. He thus was well prepared when the ground rule change took effect and he could now be credited with a home run for the same blow that netted him a twobagger in 1883. An expected, his double total fell in 1884 to only 19. His consistency in batting the ball over that right field fence in probably the most outstanding feature of this 1883-84 comparison.

Another note on Williamson's home run hitting. His 27 hits in 1884 were made in 417 official at bats in 107 games, a frequency of a homer every 15.4 times up. In his previous six years of big top experience, Williamson had belted eight home runs in 1,975 times at the plate in 480 games. In the six years that followed is great year, Williamson batted 28 more circuit driven in 2,161 at bats, winding up his career with the Chicago Players League Club in 1890. He had a career total of 63 homers, almost one-half hit in 1884. He died in 1894 at the age of 37.

SABR: Clarifying An Early Home Run Record

ETA, also from SABR:

Although the [October 2, 1899] Washington Post predicted that "his triumph at skirting the bases for homers will stand as a red-letter record for many a season to come," Freeman's 25 round-trippers were not technically the major-league record. In 1884, Chicago's Lakefront Park boasted distances of 180 feet to the left-field fence and 196 feet to right. Four White Stockings took advantage of these cozy dimensions to post 20-homer seasons, led by Ed Williamson with 27. Until 1899, they were the only four 20-homer seasons in major-league history, and because of their illegitimate nature, Freeman's mark of 25 in 1899 was widely considered the standard until Babe Ruth arrived.

SABR: Buck Freeman bio

   8. eric Posted: September 09, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5877761)
Thanks, bobm. That's exactly what I was looking for. That greatly explains Ned's HR season-by-season totals of:


Looking at Buck Freeman's bio, I see:

Freeman didn't need short porches to pad his home-run totals; he was noted for holding distance records at several different ballparks. In 1899, Buck slugged what Ned Hanlon and others described as the longest home run ever hit at Brooklyn's Washington Park. "The ball sped far over a canvas awning in the right center corner of the lot," the Washington Post reported, "and was picked up by a small boy on the opposite side of the street, in front of a row of tenement houses half a block from the grounds."8 Although Freeman claimed the pitch was eight inches outside, he still had enough plate coverage to pull it to deepest right field. Meanwhile, in Louisville that year, a Freeman drive hit the wall of a distillery 50 feet behind the outfield fence. In Washington, he smashed two opposite-field drives off the distant left-field scoreboard. On August 20, 1903, Freeman became the first man ever to hit the ball completely out of Chicago's South Side Park. And at Philadelphia's Columbia Park, he once hit a ball so far that it reportedly sailed out of the stadium, over several houses, and through an open second-story window.

All this from a guy listed at 5'9, 169 lbs.
   9. salvomania Posted: September 09, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5877801)
RF: Jerry Mumphrey (22.3 WAR)

Mumphrey played for 5 teams in his 15-season MLB career, and despite never being a star---he started at least 2/3 of his team's games just four times---he put up at least one 2.5+ WAR season for all five teams, which I imagine is pretty rare.
   10. base ball chick Posted: September 09, 2019 at 02:56 PM (#5877806)
eric Posted: September 09, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5877761)

Freeman became the first man ever to hit the ball completely out of Chicago's South Side Park. And at Philadelphia's Columbia Park, he once hit a ball so far that it reportedly sailed out of the stadium, over several houses, and through an open second-story window.

All this from a guy listed at 5'9, 169 lbs

see wynn, jimmy at (giggle) 5-8, hitting a ball clear out of crosley field in cincy

see also jose altuve hitting a ball clear OVAH the traintracks

ain't the SIZE of the Dog in the fight you kjnow
   11. salvomania Posted: September 09, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5877834)
RF: Jerry Mumphrey (22.3 WAR)

Mumphrey came up as one of those 1970s Cardinals who could run, but with the exception of one seaon, his base-stealing performance was pretty unremarkable: not including 1980, he stole 122 bases in 197 attempts over 11 full seasons, a less-than-stellar 62% success rate. In those seasons he was in double digits in steals six times, with a high of 22 (twice), and double digits in caught stealing three times.

But somehow in 1980, with the Padres, Mumphrey stole 52 bases while being caught just 5 times. And he only finished third in steals on his own team!
   12. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 09, 2019 at 09:27 PM (#5877925)
The Cardinals edged the Giants for the pennant by 2 games; I'm not really sure why Hubbell didn't get another start down the stretch.

Hubbell threw eight innings on only two days rest in his start at Boston on Sunday, September 23, his final start of the season. The Giants then had a day off before returning home to play the Phillies on Tuesday and Wednesday. Bill Terry chose to start his other two ace pitchers, 18-game winner Freddie Fitzsimmons on Tuesday, and 23-game winner Hal Schumacher on Wednesday. Each was pitching those games on three days rest; Hubbell did pitch two innings in relief on Wednesday, but it made perfect sense to have Schumacher start that game on regular rest. The Giants lost both games, though.

They then had two days off before playing the Dodgers on Saturday and Sunday. It rained on Saturday. There was a huge question over whether the Saturday game would be played, or if a double-header might be needed on Sunday. They finally did play on Saturday, but the game was delayed, and due to the rain, only 13,774 fans showed up, a good percentage of them rooting for Brooklyn. Apparently, the weather was awful, and the Giants expected that the game might not be completed, so they started Roy Parmelee, on the assumption that it would be foolish to burn either Hubbell or Schumacher in a game that might not get to five innings when they would need both if a double header was played on Sunday. As it turned out, the Saturday game was completed, and the Giants lost. So that left Hubbell, Fitzsimmons, and Schumacher available for the single game on Sunday, and Terry chose to go with Fitzsimmons. Up until now, all of Terry's decisions had a certain logic to them. But while Freddie was a fine pitcher, I have no clue why Terry chose him over the two 20-game winners in a final game the Giants had to win. Both Hubbell and Schumacher got in the game in relief, but the Dodgers won in ten innings, and the Giants were toast.
   13. Eric L Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:47 PM (#5877954)
It’s late in the day but I want to mention that today was the 50th anniversary of the greatest game I ever got to see in person: The black cat game at Shea stadium against the Cubs. What a time to be a rabid 10 year old Mets fan.
   14. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5878090)
Not that it means anything, really, but I just discovered that BBREF now has coaching staffs listed for each team each season.

It's pretty hilarious and cool.

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