SABR

Fall 2012

Volume 41, Issue 2

  • Ripken’s Record for Consecutive Innings Played By Trent McCotter

    Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2,632-consecutive-game streak is one of the most famous numbers in sports. Often forgotten is that Ripken also compiled an amazing record for consecutive innings played. The entry is not in any record book. We don’t know whose mark Ripken broke, nor the names of the other men with long streaks. This article presents the top such streaks in major league history. It turns out that Ripken did not play in 8,243 consecutive innings. It was even longer.

  • Lou Gehrig’s RBI Record: 1923–39 By Herm Krabbenhoft

    In a previous BRJ article, Krabbenhoft discovered (and corrected) more than 30 RBI errors in Lou Gehrig's official baseball records from 1923 to 1930. In this article, he presents the results of his research into the second half of Gehrig's major league career.

  • Anomalies of Protested and Suspended Baseball Games By Stephen D. Boren

    Most major league baseball games that are protested or suspended do not result in unusual situations. Most protests are quickly dismissed by league presidents. Many suspended games are merely resumed the next day, or perhaps two days later. However, there have been some very peculiar box scores and results after protested/suspended games were finally finished. Here are some highlights from those games.

  • Beyond Player Win Average: Compiling Player Won-Lost Records By Tom Thress

    While the implementation of pitcher wins as a measure of  effectiveness is less than ideal, nevertheless the concept is perfectly sound. The ultimate measure of a player’s contribution—be he a pitcher, a hitter, a baserunner, or a fielder—is in how much he contributes to his team's wins. Using play-by-play data compiled from Retrosheet, the author has constructed a set of player won-lost records that attempt to quantify the precise extent to which individual players contribute directly to wins and losses on the baseball field.

  • Game Scores: Matches, Correlations, and a Possible Umpire Bias By Peter Uelkes

    Game scores were introduced by Bill James as a single number which gives an indication of the quality of a starter’s performance and is calculated from standard box score items. Here the author analyzes some properties of game scores, including the correlation to its constituent variables, relation to the won/loss decision for the starting pitcher, and the issue of a possible bias toward the home starter regarding the calling of balls and strikes.

  • Racing the Dawn: The 29-Inning Minor League Marathon By Sam Zygner

    Baseball is one of the few sports not dictated by a time clock, but its beautiful symmetry is what makes it unique: the ultimate game of equal opportunity. Countless contests in history have extended into extra innings. In some cases, overtime matchups have turned into drawn-out affairs leaving only the most ardent fans waiting for the conclusion. This is the story of one of those contests and the players who fought it out.

  • The History of Baseball in Altoona, Pennsylvania By Brock Helander

    Since the formation of the National League in 1876, many cities have failed to retain their major league teams. Fifteen such cities were represented in the majors before 1900. Most cities persevered in the minor leagues, but few suffered longer without professional baseball than Altoona, Pennsylvania, whose sole stint in the majors came with the Union Association of Professional Base Ball Clubs in 1884.

  • Braves Field: An Imperfect History of the Perfect Ballpark By Bob Ruzzo

    In the midst of the Deadball Era, a jewel box ballpark rose a few miles west of the center of Boston’s downtown, accessible by excellent streetcar service. The park was universally acclaimed upon its opening. Serendipitously, it hosted a World Series in its inaugural year. But this story is about Braves Field, not Fenway Park.

  • The Browns get it right: Winning the World Series rematch in 1945 By Roger A. Godin

    Six months after the Cardinals and Browns met in the 1944 World Series, the two St. Louis rivals met again for the regional City Series. This time, the Browns prevailed.

  • The Elysian Fields of Brooklyn: The Parade Ground By Andrew Paul Mele

    Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs of New York City and if considered as a separate entity would rank fourth in the country in sending players to the major leagues, behind Chicago, Philadelphia, and the other four non-Brooklyn boroughs combined. There is a 40-acre tract of amateur playing fields lying in the Flatbush section—just a fungo hit away from where Ebbets Field once stood—that has been a nexus for the baseball-hungry borough to showcase its youth.

  • Durocher the Spymaster: How much did the Giants prosper from cheating in 1951? By Bryan Soderholm-Difatte

    In the summer of 1951, the New York Giants under manager Leo Durocher began to employ an elaborate sign-stealing scheme. The Giants needed to overcome a 13.5-game deficit to the Brooklyn Dodgers to set up a historic playoff. The question is not whether the Giants stole signs, but what effect the sign-stealing had on the Giants' remarkable comeback.

  • Two days in August 1971: Tom Seaver and Dave Roberts By Scott Schleifstein

    For two days in the summer of 1971, Tom Seaver dueled with another dominant hurler, splitting the games by scores of 1–0 and 2–1. The interesting part is Seaver’s competition. His foil wasn’t a fellow Hall-of-Famer like Fergie Jenkins, Bob Gibson, or Steve Carlton. Who was it? Dave Roberts, southpaw for the San Diego Padres.

  • Mike Piazza By the Numbers: The Hall of Fame Case By Chuck Rosciam

    Are Mike Piazza's 427 career home runs enough for him to be elected into the Hall of Fame? The author argues that Piazza's first decade in the major leagues comprise 10 offensive years by a catcher never seen before.

  • Henry Chadwick Award: Robert Creamer By Daniel R. Levitt

    Creamer was a prolific baseball writer whose 1974 biography of Babe Ruth stands as a monument of the craft. A writer and senior editor for Sports Illustrated from its 1954 inception until 1984, Creamer also wrote Stengel: His Life and Times and Baseball in ’41, and contributed to several other baseball histories.

  • Henry Chadwick Award: Tom Heitz By Steve Gietschier

    Heitz was National Baseball Hall of Fame Librarian for 12 years beginning in 1983. He oversaw a construction project that greatly enlarged the building and made it a modern facility, grew the collections and services, provided for the conservation of materials and expanded access to researchers.

  • Henry Chadwick Award: F.C. Lane By Rob Neyer

    Lane was editor and a prolific writer for Baseball Magazine from 1912 through 1937.

  • Henry Chadwick Award: Ray Nemec By Mark Armour

    Nemec was a founding member of SABR and the first chairman of SABR's Minor Leagues Research Committee.

  • Henry Chadwick Award: David W. Smith By Lyle Spatz

    Smith founded Retrosheet in 1989 and has been its leader ever since. A prolific researcher in his own right, Smith’s dream of collecting the play-by-play for thousands of games has been surpassed.

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