Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5,000 Views and Strikeouts 7/31/12

Hey Guys!

I just reached my 5,000th view on my blog! I want to thank all of you guys who have been reading my blog for the past few months and for recommending it to other people to read. Now, in honor of view number 5-0-0-0, I would like to talk about one of the the most significant five thousands in baseball history:

On August 22nd, 1989, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers, as a 42-year old and 21-year veteran in America's national pastime, started the game needing 6 strikeouts to get to 5,000. In the top of the fifth, who else but The Man of Steal, Rickey Henderson, worked the count to 3-2, as he had done so much throughout his career. He fouled off two pitches, but struck out on a 96-mph fastball to give Nolan Ryan the title as the first pitcher to get to 5,000 strikeouts. Ryan ended his career in 1993 with 5,714 strikeouts, by far the most in history (in second place is Randy Johnson with 4,875).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And The Winner Is.... 7/29/12

Hey Guys!

As you know, I have been posting surveys over the past six weeks about who had the greatest nickname in baseball history. Just to recap, the first five surveys were grouped by fielders, base stealers, pitchers, hitters and all-around nicknames. The final survey, which was posted about two weeks ago, contained the nicknames that won their respective surveys. Anyway, the results are in! According to my latest survey, the baseball player with the greatest nickname was............ The Sultan of Swat (Babe Ruth)! Ruth beat The Wizard of Oz (also known as Ozzie Smith) 20 votes to 19. In third came Mr. October (Reggie Jackson) with 12 votes, in fourth was Dr. K (Dwight Gooden) with three votes, and in last place with no votes was Larcenous Lou (Lou Brock). Anyway, let me tell you all a little bit about Babe, one of the greatest players ever in America's pastime:

Ruth started out as a pitcher for the Red Sox in 1914. He was actually a pretty decent one, but because of the shortage of players due to World War I, he was moved to the outfield in 1918. After the 1919 season, Babe was shipped out to New York to play for the Yankees. He helped them to their first World Series victory, which came in 1923 against the Giants. In 1926, he made the last out of the World Series when he was caught stealing second. That was the only time the World Series has ended on such a play. In 1927, he broke the all-time home run record at the time (which was actually set by himself in '23 when he hit 54 dingers) when he hit 60 home runs. He continued to post great numbers through the years. In the third game of the 1932 World Series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, he took two called strikes from pitcher Charlie Root, and then supposedly pointed to center field as if saying "I'm gonna hit the next pitch into those seats," and he did (check out the photo below). It is one of the most disputed gestures in baseball, but the "Called Shot" was said to be true by Ruth himself. In the first ever All-Star Game in 1934 at Comiskey Park in Chicago, he hit the first ever All-Star game homer. He ended his career with 714 homers and a .342 batting average. He was one of the first five players elected into the Hall of Fame in 1936 (along with Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner) and is considered one of the best players in baseball history.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Awesome Al, Birthday Pal 7/24/12

Hey Guys!

I know all of you have heard about great shortstops in baseball history such as Ozzie Smith and Ernie Banks, but how about a certain shortstop who played his entire career with the Tigers who was an excellent fielder and hitter, but isn't well known among the best? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Alan Trammell.

Trammell played his entire career with the Detroit Tigers from 1977-1996. He made it to six All-Star Games and also won seven gold gloves. A contact hitting shortstop, Alan hit for a career batting average of .285 and had an average of 80 runs in a season. He won a championship with Detroit in 1984 as they beat the Padres four games to one, and was named MVP of the Series, hitting .450, with two homers and six RBIs. The sad part about his career though, is that he has not been elected into the Hall of Fame yet. However, if the trend of votes for his election doesn't change, and it keeps increasing at its current pace, he will be in the Hall by 2017! The reason I'm so excited about him getting elected is because we share a birthday. Honestly, wouldn't it be awesome to have a Hall of Famer share a birthday with you?  Send me a comment and tell me your baseball birthday buddy. Also, don't forget to vote on my all time favorite nickname survey, as there are still a few days left and it's coming down to the wire between The Sultan of Swat (Babe Ruth), The Wizard of Oz (Ozzie Smith) and Mr. October (Reggie Jackson).  Just remember that your vote could make the difference. The survey is in the right column above the Blog Archive.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bo in baseball, Bo in football 7/17/12

Hey Guys!

I know I've been focusing a lot on players' nicknames lately, but I wanted to tell you guys about a baseball player who didn't just run the bases, but also ran for yards:

From '86-'94 with the Royals, White Sox, and Angels (he did not play in '92), Bo Jackson had a pretty respectable career in the MLB, hitting 141 homers and 415 RBIs. He also had a 4-year career in the NFL with the Los Angeles Raiders (now in Oakland) from 1987-1990 as a running back, rushing for 2,782 yards. He was the first player to become an all-star in both sports, and won the Heisman Trophy in 1985 (trophy given to the best college football player). He's not Hall of Fame-worthy in either of the sports, but he was still a very exciting player to watch. Bo knew baseball.

PS - Don't forget to vote in the final round of the all time nickname survey in the right column above the Blog Archive, and tell all your friends.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Let the Final Nickname Battle Begin!!! 7/15/12

Hey Guys!

The All-Around Athletes group nickname survey is now closed and the winner is.....Mr. October (Reggie Jackson) by a slim margin over Stan the Man (Stan Musial).  Do you know what that means?  Well, it means that we've just finished the last of the group nickname surveys.  To refresh your memories, here are all the group winners:  Larcenous Lou (Lou Brock), The Wizard of Oz (Ozzie Smith), Dr. K (Dwight Gooden), The Sultan of Swat (Babe Ruth) and now Mr. October.  So we have two Cards, two Yankees and a Met.

I am now announcing that the UNPRECEDENTED FINAL ALL TIME BASEBALL NICKNAME SURVEY is up in the right column above the Blog Archive and all you need to do is vote for one of the names I've listed above to see who will get the title of the greatest baseball nickname ever!  So please go ahead and tell your families, tell your friends and even tell strangers to vote in this very important final contest.  Like they say on TV, you gotta be in it, to win it.  Thanks for voting!!!!

PS - I have a very interesting post coming out in a couple of days.  I'll give you a hint -- this guy was good at a lot of things.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Greatest Pitchers You've Never Heard Of 7/10/12

Hey Guys!

While all of you have heard of the records of Cy Young (511 career wins) and Nolan Ryan (5,714 career strikeouts and seven no-hitters), today I am going to blog about some other all-time pitching records that I doubt will ever be broken, and all of those records are owned by Hall of Fame pitchers whose names you probably have never even heard of.  Here we go:

Kid Nichols:
Nichols was the fastest pitcher to ever get to 300 wins, doing it with the Boston Beaneaters when he was just 30 years old!!  He played from 1890-1906 with the Beaneaters, Cardinals, and Phillies. In his career, he had seven 30+ win seasons and eleven 20+ win seasons. Pretty impressive for someone who isn't very well known. His career record was 361 - 208.

Ed Walsh:
Ed has the lowest career ERA in baseball history.  It is a minuscule 1.82.  In a 13 year career with the White Sox from 1904-1916, he had a 195-126 record, and only allowed 598 earned runs. That's amazing. He only pitched 13 years years because his arm basically was shot from so many innings pitched.

Addie Joss:
Joss holds the record for the lowest career WHIP (walks+hits given up per inning) with a WHIP of 0.968. He also has the second-lowest career ERA with 1.89. He played nine years from 1902-1910 with the Indians, and is the only Hall of Famer who played for less than 10 years (he died of meningitis at age 31). He had a 160 - 97 record. Can you imagine what his numbers would've been if he lived longer??

Al Spalding:
In a seven-year career with the Red Stockings and Cubs from 1871-1877, Al had a record of 252-65 (that's right, almost 200 games over .500), which means that his win-loss percentage was .795, the highest in baseball history. These are the amount of games he won each year of his career: 1871:19, 1872: 38, 1873: 41, 1874: 52, 1875: 54, 1876: 47, 1877: 1. Wow!!!!  He also started the Spalding sporting goods company.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame as a pioneer/executive in 1939.

Old Hoss Radbourn:
In an 11-year career from 1881-1891, Hoss set the record for most wins in a season with 59 in 1884 (and he pitched 678 2/3 innings that year, the 2nd highest ever).  Some books even say that he won 60 games in 1884.  He won 309 games and lost only 194 in his career. Can you believe that he did this in just 11 years? To compare his 59-win season to some of the all time greats in their highest victory seasons, Cy Young won 36 games in 1892, Walter Johnson had 36 wins in 1913, and Christy Mathewson had 37 wins in 1908. Those three pitchers are considered among the best all time, and Hoss had the most wins ever in a season by far. Isn't that funny?

P.S.  - If you haven't yet done so, please don't forget to vote in the last semifinal of the group nicknames survey round, this time for All-Around Athletes. The contestants include Stan the Man (Stan Musial), The Say Hey Kid (Willie Mays), Charlie Hustle (Pete Rose), Mr. October (Reggie Jackson) and The Iron Horse (Lou Gehrig).  As usual, the survey appears in the right column above the Blog Archive.  Next week, once we have the winner of this week's survey, we will add the winner into the final round survey for the greatest baseball nickname ever, along with the other finalists, Larcenous Lou (Lou Brock), The Wizard of Oz (Ozzie Smith), Dr. K (Dwight Gooden) and The Sultan of Swat (Babe Ruth)!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Booming Batters Survey Results and All-Around Athletes Survey Announcement 7/8/12

Hey Guys!

In the latest group nickname survey, the winner of the Booming Batters nicknames survey by a big margin was.........The Sultan of Swat (Babe Ruth).  The Big Hurt (Frank Thomas) was second followed closely by The Splendid Splinter (Ted Williams).  As always, thanks to all of you who voted.  

I'm also announcing that the poll is now up for the last of the five nickname group surveys, about All-Around Athletes nicknames.  The survey appears in the right column of my blog above the Blog Archive, and there are some great choices (Stan the Man, The Say Hey Kid, Charlie Hustle, Mr. October and the Iron Horse), so please go ahead and vote.  

Since this is the last of the five group surveys, once these results are in, each of the five winners will then be entered to compete in the unprecedented final best overall nickname survey.

Please tell all of your friends about the survey, especially now that we are coming to the end!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Proficient Pitchers Survey Results and Booming Batters Survey Announcement 7/1/12

Hey Guys!

In the latest survey, the winner of the Proficient Pitchers (see part one and part two) nicknames survey was.........Dr. K (Dwight Gooden).  The Big Train (Walter Johnson) and The Barber (Sal Maglie) tied for second.  Thanks to all of those who voted.  

I'm also announcing that the poll is now up for the fourth of the five nickname group surveys, about Booming Batters nicknames.  (Once again, there are no Cardinals.)  The survey appears in the right column of my blog above the Blog Archive, and there are four really good choices (The Splendid Splinter, The Big Hurt, Hammerin Hank or The Sultan of Swat), so please go ahead and vote.  This survey will be followed by the survey of the last nickname group, All-Around Athletes.  

Finally, when all of the group surveys are done, each winner will then be entered to compete in the unprecedented final best overall nickname survey.

Please tell all of your friends about the survey, especially now that we are coming to the end!!!!!!!!