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Monday, April 27, 2009

THT: Jaffe: Dazzy Vance tracer

Putting The Lye Calculator to good use…the latest from Jaffe.

Well, digging it through, Vance started 171 games in Ebbetts Field for the Dodgers from 1922 to 1932. Even before looking at the runs/game results, an oddity emerges that doesn’t quite negate Bressler’s memory but certainly doesn’t fit into it: Vance only started 12 games in Ebbetts Field on Mondays. That seems a bit low (less than one start in 14) given that he had a brilliant plan to use that day to his advantage.

Don’t get me wrong: he shouldn’t have had one-seventh of his starts occur on Monday. Baseball traditionally likes having weekend series (when more fans can attend), causing Monday to be a frequent travel day. Also, back in those days, there were frequent doubleheaders on weekends, especially Sundays. Still, one would expect his managers to try to ensure he started Monday, when possible.

From 1922 to 1932, Brooklyn hosted 84 home games on Monday, meaning that Vance started exactly one out of every seven. On non-Mondays, he started one-fifth of their home games. Below shows how many starts Vance had in Ebbetts from 1922 to 1932, how many home games the Dodgers played on that day, and what percentage Vance was responsible for.

Repoz Posted: April 27, 2009 at 12:35 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics

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   1. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2009 at 01:09 PM (#3154316)
That impressive achievement perhaps underestimates Vance's dominance in those games, believe it or not, because in one contest he was drilled for seven runs (six earned) off of 14 hits in 6.3 innings. Remove that game and Vance posted a miniscule 0.89 ERA with only 41 hits over 81 innings. That's the sort of dominance Bressler must have been referring to.

That leads one to ponder how Vance could've been drilled so badly in the outlier game. In fact, in other rare occasions he got hammered in other home Sunday starts. I have a theory for those games: the weather. If it was drizzling or a good chance for rain existed, people wouldn't put their laundry out but the game would have to go on. I would love to see the weather reports for Vance's hittable Sundays



According to the NYT there was rain expected that day. Though it ended up not raining.
   2. AndrewJ Posted: April 27, 2009 at 01:10 PM (#3154320)
The Bressler quote, as you might have already suspected, comes from The Glory of Their Times.
   3. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2009 at 01:26 PM (#3154333)
I looked in 1927 and he had a Sunday start in Brooklyn in which he gave up 5 runs which was the most he gave up at home that year.

Fair weather was expected with showers on Monday and it had rained on Saturday. Some rain did fall in NYC that sunday.
   4. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2009 at 01:30 PM (#3154334)
On June 23, 1929 Dazzy gave up 6 runs at home. It was cloudy all day with rain expected at night. It did not rain that day.
   5. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2009 at 01:35 PM (#3154338)
On May 13, 1923 Vance got dinged for 6 runs at home. There was rain in the morning on that Sunday
   6. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: April 27, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3154605)
Cool - thanks for the info McCoy. I'm surprised how well his rough Sundays matched up with rainy Sundays. Maybe I shouldn't be, but things rarely work out that perfeclty.

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