By The Numbers – 99

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 begin our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams, starting with #99.  A grand total of 3 players have donned #99 while playing in Chicago, 1 for the White Sox and 2 for the Cubs.

Manny Ramirez spent a little more than a month with the White Sox, acquired off waivers from the Dodgers at the end of August in 2010.  The White Sox were hoping there was still some life in the 38-year old slugger as they hoped to make up a 4 game deficit and overtake the Twins for the AL Central title, but he managed just a single home run and only 2 RBI.  Following the season, he became a free agent.

On the north side of town, of the two instances of a player wearing #99, the nod has to go to So Taguchi.  Appearing in 6 games in 2009, Taguchi hit .273 as he wound down his career.

Red Sox All Time Leaders – Through 2019

redsoxWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue things today with the Boston Red Sox.

I’ve seen the Red Sox play 31 times at 4 different stadiums, first in the White Sox home opener in 1985, through the 2005 ALDS, and, most recently, in last May.  The game total would have been 2 higher, if the corona virus hadn’t put the kibosh on my early April weekend trip to Fenway Park.

Home Runs

Name Total
David Ortiz 6
Mike Lowell 4
5 tied with 3

Hits

Name Total
David Ortiz 22
Mike Lowell 17
Kevin Youkilis 15

Runs

Name Total
David Ortiz 16
Dustin Pedroia 9
Mike Lowell 8
Kevin Youkilis 8
Jacoby Ellsbury 8

RBI

Name Total
David Ortiz 19
Mike Lowell 13
Kevin Youkilis 12

Doubles

Name Total
David Ortiz 6
Manny Ramirez 4
Mookie Betts 4

Triples Continue reading →

Dodgers All Time Leaders – Through 2019

dodgersWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue today with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers began life in Brooklyn in 1883, moving to their current home on the west coast , along with their rival Giants, in 1957.  I’ve seen them play 19 times, including the first two games of their 2008 NLDS sweep against the Cubs and their pennant-clinching victory in the 2017 NLCS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Kike Hernandez 5
Matt Kemp 2
James Loney 2
Manny Ramirez 2

Hits

Name Total
James Loney 20
Matt Kemp 14
Russell Martin 14

Runs

Name Total
James Loney 12
Russell Martin 8
Rafael Furcal 8

RBI

Name Total
James Loney 12
Matt Kemp 9
Kike Hernandez 9

Doubles

Name Total
James Loney 5
Matt Kemp 3
Juan Pierre 3

Triples Continue reading →

Entering The Hall

All eyes turned towards the small hamlet of Cooperstown, New York yesterday, as the votes were tallied and two new members were announced as the Hall of Fame class of 2020: Derek Jeter and Larry Walker.  Jeter, in his first year of eligibility, came 1 vote short of joining his former teammate Mariano Rivera as the only players to be elected with 100% of the vote.  Walker, in his tenth and final year of eligibility, found himself on 76.6% of the ballots, 6 votes above the threshold for enshrinement.

Four others tallied greater than 50% of the vote, led by Curt Schilling, who jumped up to 70%.  Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds saw very modest increases, which makes their eventual induction by the BBWAA unlikely with only two more elections for each.  Omar Vizquel saw a nice increase in his third go-around, going from 42.8% to 52.6%.

Bobby Abreu is the only first timer who will return, earning 5.5% of the vote, just above the 5% cutoff.  Of the local contingent, former White Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez finished with 28.2%, Andruw Jones earned 19.4%, and Cub outcast Sammy Sosa garnered 13.9%.  Paul Konerko got a mere 10 votes, Alfonso Soriano got 6, and J.J. Putz and Adam Dunn snagged a vote apiece.

As for the newest Hall of Famers, I’ve seen Jeter play 18 times, followed by a mere 3 career games for Walker.  These two, along with Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, who were elected by the Veteran’s Committee in December, will enter the Hall on Sunday, July 26.

Derek Jeter’s numbers in games I’ve attended were: Continue reading →

2020 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Holdovers


baseballhof
The BBWAA recently released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2020. The results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 21st, with induction taking place July 26th.  After Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, Edgar Martinez, and Roy Halladay were elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 14 holdovers along with 18 newcomers, which may potentially continue the logjam caused by the current BBWAA rules which limit the number of votes on one ballot to 10 and the ongoing refusal by some writers to vote for players tainted by PEDs, leaving too many qualified candidates fighting for limited spots.

Let’s take a look at the returning candidates today before moving on to the newcomers.

Barry Bonds
Years on ballot: 7
2019 Percentage: 59.1

The all time home run champion saw his vote percentage rise for the fifth straight time last year, so the PED bias holding him back may be slightly subsiding.  But, with only 3 more shots with the writers, it remains to be seen if he has enough time to get up to 75%.

Roger Clemens
Years on ballot: 7
2019 Percentage: 59.5

Roger Clemens, he of the 354 career victories and 7 Cy Young awards, also found himself with a fourth consecutive rise after his seventh run through the voting process.  For some odd reason, perhaps by having played for more teams, Clemens continues to get marginally more support than his fellow PED poster child Barry Bonds.

Todd Helton
Years on ballot: 1
2019 Percentage: 16.5

A fine first showing for Helton, but it looks like he’s going to suffer from the same Colorado bias as Larry Walker.

Andruw Jones
Years on ballot: 2
2019 Percentage: 7.5

If voters were to stick to his first 11 seasons, Jones looks like a shoe-in for the Hall.  His last 7 seasons, though, were so bad that it makes it hard to consider him.  Based on his initial vote total, those final seasons seem to be holding sway.

Jeff Kent
Years on ballot: 6
2019 Percentage: 18.1

Continue reading →

#9 – Magglio Ordonez

Name: Magglio Ordonez

Rank: 9

Position: RF

Years With White Sox: 1997-2004

Signed by the White Sox as an amateur free agent in 1991.  Starting in 1992, he worked his way up the ladder, making his major league debut on August 29, 1997, going 2-3 in the interleague victory against the Astros at Comiskey Park.  Appearing in 21 games down the stretch, Ordonez hit .319 with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs.

Ordonez made the White Sox roster out of spring training in 1998.  He appeared in 145 games, and finished the year with a .282 average, 14 home runs, and 65 RBIs.  Those totals were good enough for him to finish in 5th place in AL Rookie of the Year voting, behind winner Ben Grieve and teammate Mike Caruso.

1999 was a breakout year for Ordonez.  Earning his first All Star selection, he went 0-1 in the AL’s victory at Fenway Park.  He finished the year hitting .301 with 30 home runs, 117 RBIs, and an OPS of .858.

Ordonez’s hot streak continued in to 2000.  In his second straight All Star game, he doubled and hit a sacrifice fly in his 2 plate appearances, driving in one run.  When the season ended, he had a .315 average with 32 home runs and 126 RBIs.  With the White Sox winning their first division title since 1993, Ordonez hit .182 in the ALDS against the Mariners, joining his teammates in not hitting at all during the 3 game sweep.  After the season, Ordonez won the Silver Slugger award and finished 12th in MVP voting.

While the White Sox failed to replicate their success in 2001, Ordonez kept up his end of the bargain.  He earned his third straight All Star nod, going 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored at Safeco Field.  Missing only 2 games, Ordonez ended up hitting .305 with 31 home runs, 113 RBIs, and a .914 OPS.

Ordonez saw his streak of All Star appearances snapped in 2002, mostly due to his .320 average, career high 38 home runs, 135 RBIs, and a .978 OPS.  Following the season, he came in 8th place for MVP voting and earned his second Silver Slugger award.

2003 was another excellent year for Ordonez.  He was named to his fourth All Star team, going 0-1 in his home stadium of US Cellular Field.  He hit .317 with 29 home runs and 99 RBIs, his lowest totals since his rookie year.  Even with that, he finished 18th in MVP voting.  During the off-season, Ordonez was nearly traded to the Red Sox, contingent on the Red Sox acquiring Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers for outfielder Manny Ramirez.  The Red Sox would then send Nomar Garciaparra to the White Sox for Ordonez.  When the Rodriguez-for-Ramirez trade fell through, the Ordonez deal was off as well, and he remained with the White Sox.

Ordonez’s 2004 season was on track to match his career norms when, during the May 19 game against the Indians, he collided with second baseman Willie Harris on Omar Vizquel’s popup to right field.  Two trips to the disabled list and two surgeries on his left knee later, his season was over after only 52 games.  Following the season, he became a free agent and his White Sox career came to an end.

Ordonez’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

Continue reading →

2019 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Holdovers


baseballhof
The BBWAA released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2019 yesterday. The results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 22nd, with induction taking place next July. After Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, and Trevor Hoffman were elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 15 holdovers along with 20 newcomers, which may continue the logjam caused by the current BBWAA rules which limit the number of votes on one ballot to 10 and the ongoing refusal by some writers to vote for players tainted by PEDs, leaving too many qualified candidates fighting for limited spots.

Let’s take a look at the returning candidates today before moving on to the newcomers.

Barry Bonds
Years on ballot: 6
2018 Percentage: 56.4

The all time home run champion saw his vote percentage rise for the fourth straight time last year, so the PED bias holding him back may be subsiding.  With only 4 more shots with the writers, it remains to be seen if he has enough time to get up to 75%.

Roger Clemens
Years on ballot: 6
2018 Percentage: 57.3

Roger Clemens, he of the 354 career victories and 7 Cy Young awards, also found himself with a fourth consecutive rise after his sixth run through the voting process.  For some odd reason, perhaps by having played for more teams, Clemens continues to get marginally more support than his fellow PED poster child Barry Bonds.

Andruw Jones
Years on ballot: 1
2018 Percentage: 7.3

If voters were to stick to his first 11 seasons, Jones looks like a shoe-in for the Hall.  His last 7 seasons, though, were so bad that it makes it hard to consider him.  Based on his initial vote total, those final seasons seem to be holding sway.

Jeff Kent
Years on ballot: 5
2018 Percentage: 14.5

The 2000 NL MVP saw his vote percentage go in the wrong direction last year.  He still has a long way to go and not a whole lot of time left, so the future does not look good for him.

Edgar Martinez
Years on ballot: 9
2018 Percentage: 70.4

The longtime DH for the Mariners saw another big jump last year, but has 1 last shot to make up that remaining 5%.

Fred McGriff
Years on ballot: 9
2018 Percentage: 23.2
Continue reading →

Single Game Batting Leaders Revisited Revisited

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersIt’s been 3 years (to the day) and 121 games since we last looked at the single game leaders in offensive categories for all the games I have attended in person.  There are some new names of the list that weren’t there when we first looked in 2012 and again in 2015.

Home Runs

Name Total Date
Sammy Sosa 3 6/5/1996
Moises Alou 3 7/4/2003
Manny Machado 3 8/7/2016
Enrique Hernandez 3 10/19/2017
119 with 2 Most recently on 6/16/2018

Hits

Name Total Date
Scott Rolen 5 4/22/2007
Mike Fontenot 5 6/25/2007
Mark DeRosa 5 9/17/2007
Alfonso Soriano 5 5/17/2008
Derrek Lee 5 6/28/2008
Ryan Braun 5 8/2/2010
Prince Fielder 5 8/2/2010
Danny Santana 5 8/3/2014
Melky Cabrera 5 6/21/2015

Runs

Name Total Date
Chris Burke 5 6/13/2006
Gary Ward 4 8/14/1984
Paul Konerko 4 6/28/2002
Continue reading →

2018 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Holdovers

baseballhofThe BBWAA released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2018 yesterday. The results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 24th, with induction taking place next July. After Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez were elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 14 holdovers along with 19 newcomers, which may continue the logjam caused by the current BBWAA rules which limit the number of votes on one ballot to 10 and the ongoing refusal by some writers to vote for players tainted by PEDs, leaving too many qualified candidates fighting for limited spots.

Let’s take a look at the returning candidates today before moving on to the newcomers.

Barry Bonds
Years on ballot: 5
2017 Percentage: 53.8

The all time home run champion saw his vote percentage rise for the third straight time last year, so the PED bias holding him back may be subsiding.  Having hit the halfway point in his election cycle, whether he has enough time to get up to 75% remains to be seen.

Roger Clemens
Years on ballot: 5
2017 Percentage: 54.1

Roger Clemens, he of the 354 career victories and 7 Cy Young awards, also found himself with a third consecutive rise after his fifth run through the voting process.  For some odd reason, perhaps by having played for more teams, Clemens continues to get marginally more support than his fellow PED poster child Barry Bonds.

Vladimir Guerrero
Years on ballot: 1
2017 Percentage: 71.7

The former Expo and Angel should have no issue getting in this year, considering he was only 15 votes short last year.

Trevor Hoffman
Years on ballot: 2
2017 Percentage: 74.0

One of only 2 pitchers with over 600 saves, Hoffman missed election last year buy a mere 5 votes.  I would expect him to break through this year.

Jeff Kent
Years on ballot: 4
2017 Percentage: 16.7

The 2000 NL MVP managed a slight increase in vote percentage last year, but has a long way to go and not a whole lot of time left, so the future does not look good for him.

Edgar Martinez
Years on ballot: 8
2017 Percentage: 58.6

The longtime DH for the Mariners saw another big jump last year, but has only 2 elections left and may not have enough time to build up to the necessary 75%.  His long career as a DH in the Pacific Northwest may be holding him back.

Fred McGriff
Years on ballot: 8
2017 Percentage: 21.7 Continue reading →

Playoff Batting Leaders

The Cubs continue their title defense tonight in Washington against the Nationals with a 1-0 lead in the NLDS.  With that in mind, it’s time to take an updated look at the offensive leaders from the now 26 post-season games I have attended since 2000.  So, without further ado, we start off with:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 3
B.J. Upton 3
Dexter Fowler 3
Kris Bryant 3
Moises Alou 2
Miguel Cabrera 2
Chipper Jones 2
Eric Karros 2
Daniel Murphy 2
A.J. Pierzynski 2
Scott Podsednik 2
Manny Ramirez 2
Kyle Schwarber 2
Jorge Soler 2
Anthony Rizzo 2

Hits

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 10
Kris Bryant 9
Moises Alou 9
Anthony Rizzo 8
Javier Baez 8
Juan Uribe 8
Derrek Lee 8

Runs

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 7
Paul Konerko 6
A.J. Pierzynski 5
Continue reading →