Frankel: On intentional walks and the Miguel Cabrera/Prince Fielder combo

From SABR member Jon Frankel at Batter K on October 31, 2012:

Living up here in Detroit, I have had a chance this season to see quite an enjoyable, albeit frustrating at times, Tigers team.   They did win the AL Central and got to the World Series, which is awesome, but like most all teams, they have you scratching your head during the season.   Part of what makes being a fan so much fun, I guess.

As most folks know, Prince Fielder was added to the team this season w/ a huge long term contract, bringing over his wonderful power to go with his good eye and nice hitting ability (we won’t talk about running or fielding here, ok? 🙂 ).

Stories have already been written about how the combination of Fielder and Miguel Cabrera was going to and did form a formidable duo in the middle of the lineup. This duo did produce as Cabrera batting 3rd, produced a Triple Crown season – .330, 44 HR, 139 RBI, while Cecil Fielder, batting 4th, produced a .313, 30, 108 line.  

What has not been talked about too much is the Intentional Walks that they were issued: Fielder, 18 and Cabrera, 17.   This gave them the #1 & #2 positions in the AL.  

This got me thinking as to how often this has occurred in MLB history. Well, first of all, IBBs have only been “officially” recorded since 1955 (based on what I see in B-R), so I had to limit myself to 1955 to date – no checking on Crawford/Cobb; Ruth/Gehrig, though these and other combos may well have been 1-2 in their leagues.

After going through all of the leader boards from 1955 to present, I found 4 other seasons in which the top 2 players in IBB’s were from the same team.

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Originally published: October 31, 2012. Last Updated: October 31, 2012.