Throwback Thursday – Batting Leaders Of The 2000s

Our Throwback Thursday feature continues, as we point the wayback machine back to the turn of the 21st century and put our focus on the offensive leaders of the decade of the 2000s.  As a reminder, I’ve identified 518 games that I attended during this time period, when I would have been ages 25 through 34.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 57
Jermaine Dye 39
Aramis Ramirez 38
Derrek Lee 38
Jim Thome 35
Sammy Sosa 35

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 234
Aramis Ramirez 215
Paul Konerko 211
Jermaine Dye 168
A.J. Pierzynski 154

Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 131
Paul Konerko 129
Aramis Ramirez 110
Jermaine Dye 103
Sammy Sosa 90

RBI

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 143
Paul Konerko 141
Derrek Lee Continue reading →

The Heroes Of Opening Day

This week I attended my 21st consecutive (except for the pandemic year of 2020 that had no fans) Opening Day at Comiskey Park II/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field, and my 38th overall.  From my first, at old Comiskey Park in 1985, to my first as a Cubs season ticket holder at Wrigley Field in 2002, to road trips to Shea Stadium, in 2003, and Great American Ballpark, in 2004 and 2006, Opening Day remains a spring holiday proclaiming the theoretical beginning of summer.  This seemed like a good time to see who the best performers were on both sides of the ball from those 38 contests.

Home Runs

Name Total
Corey Patterson 3
Paul Konerko 3
Alejandro de Aza 2
Ray Durham 2
Jose Valentin 2
Joe Crede 2
Jim Thome 2

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 15
Jermaine Dye 9
Aramis Ramirez 8
Victor Martinez 8
Mark Grudzielanek 8

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 7
Derrek Lee 7
Alex Gonzalez 6
Joe Crede 6

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 10
Corey Patterson 8
Moises Alou 8

Doubles

Name Total
Michael Barrett 4
Paul Konerko 3
Moises Alou 3
Jose Valentin 3
Victor Marinez 3
Alex Rios 3
Jose Abreu 3
Miguel Olivo 3
Jeromy Burnitz 3
Carlos Lee 3

Triples Continue reading →

Against The White Sox All Time Leaders – Through 2021

cws_logoIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs. We finish things off today with the hometown Chicago White Sox.

I’ve seen the White Sox play 642 times at 14 different stadiums in 10 different cities, including every home playoff appearance in 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2021 except for Game 1 of the 2005 World Series.

Home Runs

Name Total
Victor Martinez 9
Miguel Cabrera 9
Aramis Ramirez 8
Sammy Sosa 8

Hits

Name Total
Victor Martinez 44
Joe Mauer 39
Eric Hosmer 31
Derrek Lee 31

Runs

Name Total
Joe Mauer 19
Miguel Cabrera 19
Jhonny Peralta 19

RBI

Name Total
Victor Martinez 27
Sammy Sosa 27
Aramis Ramirez 22
Salvador Perez 22

Doubles

Name Total
Alcides Escobar 10
Derrek Lee 8
Melky Cabrera 8
Alfonso Soriano 8
Coco Crisp 8

Triples Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 16

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #16.  65 different players have donned #16 while playing in Chicago, 24 for the White Sox, who retired the number in 1987, and 41 for the Cubs.

Aramis Ramirez switched to his familiar #16 shortly after being acquired by the Cubs from the Pirates.  Ramírez finished the 2003 season strong, appearing in 63 games down the stretch and hitting 15 home runs while helping the Cubs capture their first division title since 1989.  He managed 11 hits during the post-season, including 4 home runs and 10 RBIs and hitting the first playoff grand slam in Cubs’ history during Game 4 of the NLCS.  The following year, Ramirez became the 14th player in baseball history to hit 3 home runs in 2 different games in the same season.  While his offense remained strong, posting a .951 OPS, his defense was a bit of a liability, as he posted the lowest range factor among all third basemen.

Ramirez was elected to his first All-Star Game in 2005.  He finished the season with 31 home runs and 92 RBIs despite missing the last month of the year with a strained quadriceps femoral muscle.  While his defense continued to suffer in 2006, with his third straight season with the lowest range factor, his offense continued to carry the load.  He collected his 1000th hit in July against the Mets and ended up with 38 home runs, 119 RBIs, and an OPS of .912.  A free agent at the end of the season, he re-signed with the Cubs, scoring a 5-year, $73 million contract.

In April of ’07, Ramirez launched his 200th career home run.  His continued offensive presence helped lead the Cubs back to the post-season in 2007 and 2008, winning division titles both seasons.  Unfortunately, Ramirez, like his teammates, went cold in both series as the Cubs were swept in the NLDS each season.  In 2009, Ramirez christened the season with his 250th career home run on Opening Day against Roy Oswalt.  He followed that with #300 in July of 2011 against the White Sox.  Following that season, he declined his portion of a mutual option and became a free agent.

Julio Cruz wore #16 on the southside following his June 1983 acquisition from the Mariners, when he gave the White Sox the spark they were looking for, helping the team go on a 72-31 run to finish the season and go from 6 1/2 games back to 20 games ahead.  Cruz scored the winning run on a Harold Baines sacrifice fly against, of all teams, the Mariners on September 17, clinching the first division title in White Sox history.  Cruz hit .333 during the ALCS against the Orioles, swiping 2 bases in the 4-game series.  Heading in to the 1984 season, Cruz re-signed with the White Sox with a 6-year deal, thought to be worth between $3.6 to $4.8 million.  Unfortunately, time, and injuries, were starting to take their toll.  1984 was the best year of the deal, and Cruz saw his average drop to .222 and he stole only 14 bases, a career low to date.  Following that season, Cruz changed his number from #16 to #12.

Against The Brewers All Time Leaders – Through 2021

In the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs. We continue today with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers began life in 1969, joining the American League as the Seattle Pilots.  After one year, they moved to Milwaukee and were re-christened the Brewers.  In 1998, the Brewers became the first team to switch leagues when they moved to the National League as the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined the American League.  I’ve seen them play 41 times, first in 1993 battling the White Sox at their old home of Milwaukee County Stadium and most recently in July of 2019, battling the Cubs at Miller Park.

Home Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 6
Sammy Sosa 5
Aramis Ramirez 5

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 27
Aramis Ramirez 21
Corey Patterson 16

Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 18
Moises Alou 11
Ryan Theriot 11

RBI

Name Total
Derrek Lee 23
Aramis Ramirez 18
Moises Alou 12

Doubles

Name Total
Derrek Lee 5
Aramis Ramirez 5
Sammy Sosa 4

Triples Continue reading →

All Time Batting Leaders – Through 2021

Earlier this week, we took our annual look at the all-time leaders in pitching stats for the 1007 games I’ve attended (and identified) between 1984 and 2021.  With spring training games finally starting after the resolution of the long lockout, it’s time to move over to the other side of the ball and take a look at the offensive stat leaders for those games, starting with our first category:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 93
Jose Abreu 45
Sammy Sosa 42
Aramis Ramirez 41
Derrek Lee 40
Jermaine Dye 40

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 366
Alexei Ramirez 300
Derrek Lee 255
Jose Abreu 242
A.J. Pierzynski 239

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 200
Derrek Lee 140
Alexei Ramirez 134
Aramis Ramirez 120
Jose Abreu 116

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 235
Aramis Ramirez 158
Jose Abreu 144
Alexei Ramirez 140
Derrek Lee 134

Doubles Continue reading →

Against The Reds All Time Leaders – Through 2021

redsIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams.  This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.   We continue today with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds began life in 1882 as a charter member of the American Association, joining the National League in 1890.  I’ve seen them play 40 times against 5 different teams at 4 separate stadiums.

Home Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 6
Sammy Sosa 3
Aramis Ramirez 3

Hits

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 26
Derrek Lee 25
Ryan Theriot 17

Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 20
Aramis Ramirez 15
Sammy Sosa 10

RBI

Name Total
Derrek Lee 20
Aramis Ramirez 16
Todd Walker 11

Doubles

Name Total
Todd Walker 5
Derrek Lee 4
Aramis Ramirez 4
Sammy Sosa 4
Geovany Soto 4
Michael Barrett 4
Alfonso Soriano 4

Triples Continue reading →

Against The Cardinals All Time Leaders – Through 2021

cardinalsIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.  We continue today with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals began life in 1891, joining the National League the following year after the dissolution of the old American Association.  They took on the Cardinal name starting in 1900.  I’ve seen them play 33 times at 3 different stadiums, including the 2015 NLDS and, most recently, last May at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Home Runs

Name Total
Moises Alou 6
Michael Barrett 4
Sammy Sosa 3
Aramis Ramirez 3

Hits

Name Total
Moises Alou 16
Derrek Lee 15
Michael Barrett 14
Aramis Ramirez 14
Corey Patterson 14

Runs

Name Total
Moises Alou 12
Sammy Sosa 12
Aramis Ramirez 10

RBI

Name Total
Moises Alou 14
Michael Barrett 10
Aramis Ramirez 9
Alex Gonzalez 9

Doubles

Name Total
Derrek Lee 6
Alex Gonzalez 4
Ryan Theriot 4

Triples Continue reading →

Against The Pirates All Time Leaders – Through 2021

pirates-primaryIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.  We continue today with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates began life in 1887 as the Alleghenys, before taking on the Pirates moniker in 1891.  I’ve seen them play 46 times, including a double header sweep in 2003, enabling the Cubs to clinch their first NL Central title and a work outing in 2008 against the White Sox.

Home Runs

Name Total
Sammy Sosa 6
Alfonso Soriano 4
Jermaine Dye 3
Corey Patterson 3
Aramis Ramirez 3

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 17
Aramis Ramirez 16
Sammy Sosa 15
Alfonso Soriano 15

Runs

Name Total
Sammy Sosa 14
Aramis Ramirez 10
Derrek Lee 8
Alfonso Soriano 8
Corey Patterson 8

RBI

Name Total
Sammy Sosa 12
Alfonso Soriano 8
Aramis Ramirez 7
Derrek Lee 7
Jermaine Dye 7

Doubles

Name Total
Geovany Soto 5
Michael Barrett 5
Aramis Ramirez 4
Carlos Zambrano 4

Triples Continue reading →

Against The Mets All Time Leaders – Through 2021

21st-CENTURY-METS_01In the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams.  This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.  We continue today with the New York Mets.

The Mets began life in 1962, joining the National League following the abandonment of the New York market by both the Dodgers and Giants in 1957.  I’ve seen them play 16 times, all against the Cubs and including Tom Glavine’s 300th career victory, their pennant clinching victory in the 2015 NLCS, and, most recently, on my first post-pandemic visit to Wrigley Field on April 22, 2021.

Name Total
Corey Patterson 4
Aramis Ramirez 2
12 tied with 1

Hits

Name Total
Corey Patterson 10
Aramis Ramirez 10
Moises Alou 8
Mark Gruzielanek 8

Runs

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 5
Derrek Lee 5
Corey Patterson 4
Moises Alou 4
Michael Barrett 4
Sammy Sosa 4

RBI

Name Total
Corey Patterson 10
Aramis Ramirez 7
Michael Barrett 6

Doubles

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 4
Michael Barrett 3
Moises Alou 2
Jorge Soler 2
Derrek Lee 2
Mark Grudzielanek 2
Neifi Perez 2

Triples Continue reading →