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Luke Appling and Kirby

April 19, 2017
 2017-20

 

Luke Appling and Kirby

              Luke Appling in his Hall of Fame career had 10,243 plate appearances, and drove in 1,116 runs.   As you can easily see even if you are mad at bath, this is a little bit more than one RBI for each 10 plate appearances.   In 1936 he had 617 plate appearances.   He could, then, have been expected to drive in 67 runs, prorating his career RBI to his 1936 plate appearances. 

              In fact, though, he did not drive in 67 runs; he drove in 128 runs.   He drove in 61 runs more than we would have expected him to drive in, based on his career totals.   This is a large number.   It is, in fact, the largest number in the history of baseball. .. that is, RBI minus expected RBI, based on career RBI rate.   It’s the champion fluke season for RBI.    His career high for RBI, other than that one season, was 85.

              Second on the list is a season that some of you will remember, if you are old like me.   Tommy Davis in 1962 drove in 153 runs in 1962.   He never drove in 100 in any other season, either.   His career high, other than the year that he hit .376 with runners in scoring position and batted behind Maury Wills stealing 104 bases, was 89.

              Hack Wilson is next; he was a regular RBI man, although the 1930 season is still a little flukish.   Here’s the top 10 list, the top 10 fluke RBI years of all time:

First

Last

YEAR

RBI

RBIX

RBI

Luke

Appling

1936

128

67

60.8

Tommy

Davis

1962

153

97

56.4

Hack

Wilson

1930

191

136

55.4

Joe

Morgan

1976

111

60

51.1

Carson

Bigbee

1922

99

48

51.0

Jimmy

Sheckard

1901

104

54

49.9

Chuck

Klein

1930

170

120

49.5

Walt

Dropo

1950

144

95

49.2

Edgar

Martinez

2000

145

97

48.3

Roy

Johnson

1934

119

71

47.8

 

              There’s another way to look at expected RBI, which is to project RBI based on (TB/4 + HR), which I call the RBI fill-in formula.   By that formula, Appling "should" have driven in 73 runs in 1936, just six above his normal season.   He beat THAT number by almost as much as the other number.    That’s unusual, but everybody on the chart above, and the next 18 hitters who would be on the chart above, all exceeded their expected RBI based on the RBI fill-in formula.  

              On the other end of that list is Kirby Puckett, 1984.   Kirby Puckett in his Hall of Fame career drove in 1,085 runs—about the same number as Appling—but in far fewer career plate appearances, 7,831.   As a rookie in 1984 Puckett had 583 plate appearances, and thus could have been expected to drive in 81 runs.   He actually drove in only 31 runs.   He missed by 50.   It’s the largest shortfall in baseball history.   These are the bottom 10:

 

First

Last

YEAR

RBI

RBIX

RBI

Kirby

Puckett

1984

31

81

-49.8

Barry

Bonds

1989

58

108

-49.5

Rafael

Palmeiro

1988

53

96

-42.8

Willie

Davis

1968

31

74

-42.5

Edgar

Martinez

1991

52

93

-41.4

Honus

Wagner

1914

50

91

-40.9

Jackie

Robinson

1947

48

89

-40.7

Barry

Bonds

1988

58

97

-39.2

Jimmy

Dykes

1920

35

73

-38.0

Barry

Bonds

1987

59

97

-37.7

 

              There are quite a few rookies on that list, rookies and young players, one old player (Honus).    That’s not unexpected, but if you move on down the list just a little you get a different mix.   Johnny Bench drove in only 61 runs in 1971, 36 RBI short of his norm.   He wasn’t either old or a rookie; he just had a bad year.   Tim Salmon in 2001 drove in only 49 runs, 35 runs short of his norm.     He wasn’t either old or a rookie; he just had a bad year.  

              Edgar Martinez is on both the "good year" list and the "bad year" list.   That happens quite a bit.   Since every player is at +/- 0 for his career, a good year has to be offset by a bad year, or by a collection of bad years.  

              In terms of Runs Scored, the #1 fluke year for Runs Scored was by Nap Lajoie in 1901, +61 runs.   Tommy Davis and Chuck Klein, 1930, are on both lists, the RBI list and the Runs Scored list:

 

First

Last

YEAR

R

X R

R

Nap

Lajoie

1901

145

84

61.3

Al

Simmons

1930

152

97

55.2

Tommy

Davis

1962

120

75

45.5

Roger

Peckinpaugh

1921

128

84

44.5

Babe

Herman

1930

143

99

44.0

Woody

English

1930

152

111

41.4

Jay

Bell

1999

132

91

41.4

Billy

Williams

1970

137

96

41.3

Zoilo

Versalles

1965

126

85

41.2

Chuck

Klein

1930

158

117

40.8

 

              Zoilo Versalles won an MVP Award in 1965, scoring 41 runs more than he normally would have.   Lajoie barely qualified for the list from another standpoint.  I did not consider a player eligible for the list if

              1) He was still active in 2016, since this would queer the season-to-career comparison,

              2)  He came up before 1895, or

              3)  His career was centered in the 19th century, or

              4)  The relevant season was in the 19th century.

              If we did this and DIDN’T exclude 19th century seasons, almost all of the lists would be entirely dominated by 19th century players.   Nineteenth century baseball isn’t REALLY major league baseball.   They changed the rules regularly, changed scoring rules, changed equipment, changed parks.   It caused standards to jump around like UIJD (undocumented immigrant jumping beans), which would cause phony "accomplishments" from the 19th century to completely dominate these lists. The worst years for Runs Scored are often by old guys who didn’t realize until the season started that they couldn’t play anymore:  

 

First

Last

YEAR

R

X R

R

Derek

Jeter

2014

47

97

-49.7

Hank

Aaron

1975

45

85

-39.7

Harry

Rice

1933

44

83

-38.9

Craig

Biggio

1990

53

92

-38.6

Ron

Santo

1962

44

82

-38.2

Chick

Stahl

1906

63

100

-37.2

Mickey

Mantle

1968

57

93

-35.6

Nap

Lajoie

1915

40

75

-34.8

Ginger

Beaumont

1909

35

69

-34.3

Earl

Sheely

1931

30

64

-33.7

 

              The story which was told at the time about Santo’s 1962 off season was that Santo had gotten into weight training in the winter of 1961-62.    He hit .284 with 23 homers in 1961, but a friend had convinced him that if he lifted and got stronger, he could hit 40 homers.   He got bigger, but he didn’t get stronger; he got slower.   That was the story that was told at the time.   At the time, we didn’t know that Santo was a diabetic.   I don’t think Santo knew it at the time.    In retrospect, you wonder if it wasn’t the diabetes that was slowing him down, rather than the weight.

              You’ll note that there are often more Hall of Famers on the "bad year" list than on the "good year" list, which makes sense I guess.   If you have a high career norm, that makes a year when you DON’T score runs stand out from your career.  

              Let’s do.  . .let’s do doubles.  

First

Last

YEAR

2B

X 2B

2B

Earl

Webb

1931

67

42

25.4

George H.

Burns

1926

64

40

23.7

Chuck

Knoblauch

1994

45

22

23.2

Paul

Waner

1932

62

39

22.9

Gee

Walker

1936

55

33

22.4

Enos

Slaughter

1939

52

30

21.8

Hank

Greenberg

1934

63

41

21.5

Stan

Spence

1946

50

29

21.3

Bobby

Byrne

1910

43

23

20.0

Floyd

Robinson

1962

45

25

19.6

Frank

Robinson

1962

51

32

19.5

 

              Earl Webb, the record-holder for doubles in a season, is also the record-holder for "most doubles more than he would normally hit", a phenomenon which we will see two more times, at least; the record-holders for triples and homers are also the guys who hit the largest number more than they would regularly hit.    I stretched the list to 11 there so I would get both F Robinson’s 1962 on there, Floyd and Frank.   Love that Floyd Robinson season.    The leader for doubles underachieving is the careers doubles record holder, Tristram:

First

Last

YEAR

2B

X 2B

2B

Tris

Speaker

1910

20

40

-20.2

Hank

Greenberg

1938

23

42

-19.3

Kirby

Puckett

1984

12

31

-18.8

Hank

Greenberg

1947

13

32

-18.7

Honus

Wagner

1914

15

34

-18.6

Tris

Speaker

1915

25

43

-18.1

Rogers

Hornsby

1919

15

33

-17.9

Harry

Hooper

1910

9

26

-17.1

Sean

Casey

2003

19

36

-16.9

Luis

Gonzalez

2002

19

36

-16.8

 

              Tris is a double-uniquer, by the way; he’s the only "Tris" in major league history, and also the only "Speaker".   Hadn’t realized that until now.   Not counting Frank House, who was, of course, the Speaker of the House.   Owen (Chief) Wilson is the Earl Webb of triples:

 

First

Last

YEAR

3B

X 3B

3B

Chief

Wilson

1912

36

15

21.5

Larry

Doyle

1911

25

10

14.6

Bill

Bradley

1903

22

8

13.8

Dale

Mitchell

1949

23

10

13.4

Ryne

Sandberg

1984

19

6

13.3

Willie

Mays

1957

20

7

12.5

Kiki

Cuyler

1925

26

14

12.4

Adam

Comorosky

1930

23

11

11.8

George

Brett

1979

20

8

11.7

Billy

Herman

1939

18

7

11.2

 

              While the leader for NOT hitting his triples in a season is. . . .wait a minute, who do you think?   Just wanted to pause there to point out to you that you’re actually learning something here, since none of you would know the answer to this question before I give it to you.   It’s Edd Rousch in 1927:

 

First

Last

YEAR

3B

X 3B

3B

Edd

Roush

1927

4

14

-9.7

Home Run

Baker

1919

1

10

-8.6

Red

Murray

1913

3

12

-8.6

Jack

Fournier

1924

4

13

-8.5

Charlie

Gehringer

1937

1

9

-8.4

Sam

Crawford

1905

10

18

-8.4

Jimmy

Collins

1907

1

9

-8.2

Hobe

Ferris

1907

2

10

-8.2

Cy

Seymour

1908

2

10

-8.1

Hughie

Critz

1934

1

9

-8.1

 

              Four interesting things there:

              1)  Sam Crawford in 1905 hit 10 triples—but makes the list of players who DIDN’T hit as many triples as they usually do.

              2)  NONE of the players who missed their expected triples in a season by the widest margins hit zero triples, which I would have expected, and

              3)  The "expectations" for the top guys and the expectations for the bottom guys are about the same.   It’s just that one group did and one group didn’t.

              4)  One thing I like about these lists is that they are mostly distributed across time, with seasons from the dead ball era mixed in with seasons from the 1990s.   This one isn’t, though.   We don’t hit many triples anymore, so players are not EXPECTED to hit triples. 

              Home runs. . .this isn’t a surprise.   Fluke home run seasons are something people talk about a lot, so you could probably guess most of those.   I’ll do that list later; let’s do strikeouts and walks.    The leader for striking out way more in one season than he normally did is. . .hold on.

              Pausing again to point out to you that you don’t know the answer to this until I tell you.   It’s Willie Mays, 1971:

First

Last

YEAR

SO

X SO

SO

Willie

Mays

1971

123

66

57.4

Mike

Schmidt

1975

180

126

53.9

Ron

Gant

1997

162

108

53.7

Mike

Schmidt

1973

136

83

53.1

Carney

Lansford

1979

115

65

50.2

Larry

Hisle

1970

139

92

46.9

Mark

Belanger

1968

114

67

46.5

Julio

Franco

1997

116

70

46.4

Larry

Hisle

1969

152

106

46.3

Raul

Ibanez

2013

128

82

45.7

 

              Interesting about Schmidt being on the list, 2 and 4.   We all remember that he struck out a lot, but this points out that that’s really only early in his career.   By the time he was MVP his strikeout totals are not so high.  

              Mays had a high-strikeout season his last year as a regular, but that type of year is not prominent on the list.   The only other one of those is Ibanez.   Larry Hisle is on the list his FIRST two years as regular; Schmidt, Lansford and Belanger were early in their careers.   Mostly this list is younger guys.   The list of guys who had seasons in which they DIDN’T strike out the way they usually did is probably more interesting:

First

Last

YEAR

SO

X SO

SO

Dave

Kingman

1985

114

163

-48.8

Ed

Brinkman

1970

41

88

-47.4

Andruw

Jones

2000

100

147

-47.1

Jim

Edmonds

1997

80

124

-43.7

Frank

Howard

1969

96

139

-43.4

Ivan

Rodriguez

1996

55

98

-43.3

Dan

Uggla

2006

123

166

-43.3

Jack

Clark

1978

72

115

-43.1

Mike

Schmidt

1988

42

84

-42.4

Bill

Hall

2005

103

144

-41.3

 

              Ed Brinkman and Dave Kingman; who would figure them for pair?   Dave Kingman and Richie Sexson are a matched set; Ed Brinkman and Roy McMillan are a matched set.   Dave Kingman and Ed Brinkman, not so much.      Willie Mays, same season (1971) is also 11th on the list of players drawing way more walks than they normally would.   Mays, 40 years old and holding on to the last of his glory, obviously decided to take more pitches that year to get on base for McCovey.  Mays’ God Son drew 100 walks more in 2004 than expected: 

 

First

Last

YEAR

BB

X BB

BB

Barry

Bonds

2004

232

125

106.8

Barry

Bonds

2002

198

124

73.8

Jimmy

Sheckard

1911

147

88

59.4

Frank

Howard

1970

132

75

56.9

Bob

Elliott

1948

131

80

51.3

Dave

Robertson

1914

70

19

51.3

Ty

Cobb

1915

118

67

51.1

Gary

Sheffield

1996

142

91

50.8

Jack

Clark

1987

136

86

50.4

Sammy

Sosa

2001

116

67

49.3

Willie

Mays

1971

112

63

49.1

Willie

McCovey

1970

137

89

48.4

Jimmy

Wynn

1969

148

100

48.2

Johnny

Evers

1910

108

60

48.0

Mark

McGwire

1998

162

117

44.9

Toby

Harrah

1985

113

69

44.5

Eddie

Joost

1949

149

105

44.1

 

              I extended that list out because I thought the names on down the list (Toby Harrah and Eddie Joost) were interesting.   Toby Harrah had that kind of a career; he was always outstanding at something, but you never knew what it would be in any given season.    The three guys I would describe as being like that, with career numbers all over the map in multiple categories, are Toby Harrah, Wally Moses and Tommy Harper.    86 of Bonds 107 unexpected walks were intentional walks:

 

First

Last

YEAR

IBB

X IBB

IBB

Barry

Bonds

2004

120

34

86.3

Barry

Bonds

2002

68

33

34.6

Barry

Bonds

2003

61

30

31.0

Willie

McCovey

1969

45

16

29.2

Don

Baylor

1986

35

9

26.4

Sammy

Sosa

2001

37

11

26.0

Willie

McCovey

1970

40

16

23.9

Craig

Biggio

2003

27

6

21.3

John

Olerud

1993

33

12

21.2

Kevin

Mitchell

1989

32

12

20.1

Spike

Owen

1989

25

5

19.7

George

Brett

1985

31

12

19.0

Roberto

Clemente

1968

27

9

18.3

Frank

Thomas

1995

29

11

18.2

Tim

Raines

1987

26

9

17.2

 

              Who would ever guess that Tim Raines would be intentionally walked 26 times in a season?   Raines was 50-for-55 stealing bases that year, but he was a great hitter, too.    Here’s another fun fact about these lists:   Did you know (and would you believe) that Willie Mays in 1971 and Barry Bonds in his incredible 2004 season (232 walks) were basically the same age?   They were.   Both of them turned 40 in mid-season, Mays in May and Bonds in July.    Just two months difference in their ages.    The list of players drawing FEWER intentional walks in a season than their career norms is the same players in different seasons, except that it is even more ridiculously Barry Bonds-dominated:

 

First

Last

YEAR

IBB

X IBB

IBB

Barry

Bonds

1987

3

33

-30.3

Barry

Bonds

1986

2

26

-24.4

Barry

Bonds

1988

14

34

-19.5

Barry

Bonds

1990

15

34

-18.9

Barry

Bonds

1989

22

37

-15.1

Barry

Bonds

1999

9

24

-14.7

Vladimir

Guerrero

2011

3

16

-13.2

Vladimir

Guerrero

2010

5

18

-12.7

Barry

Bonds

1995

22

35

-12.7

Chipper

Jones

1996

0

12

-11.6

Willie

McCovey

1965

5

16

-11.2

Barry

Bonds

2000

22

33

-11.1

George

Brett

1990

0

11

-10.9

Eddie

Murray

1993

0

11

-10.9

Willie

McCovey

1963

5

16

-10.9

 

              The list for hits above/below average and the list for batting average are sort of generally the same list, although not entirely.   I’ll do the batting average list first, and I’ll extend this out to 50 players because batting average is a focal point.    I considered a player eligible for this list if he had 400 plate appearances in a season:

 

Rank

First

Last

YEAR

Avg

Margin

Career

1

Tito

Francona

1959

.363

.091

.272

2

Norm

Cash

1961

.361

.089

.271

3

Nap

Lajoie

1901

.426

.088

.338

4

George

Brett

1980

.390

.085

.305

5

George

Watkins

1930

.373

.085

.288

 

       

 

 

6

Andres

Galarraga

1993

.370

.082

.288

7

Jimmy

Sheckard

1901

.354

.080

.274

8

George

Sisler

1922

.420

.080

.340

9

Luke

Appling

1936

.388

.077

.310

10

Germany

Schaefer

1911

.334

.077

.257

 

       

 

 

11

Heinie

Zimmerman

1912

.372

.076

.295

12

Miguel

Dilone

1980

.341

.076

.265

13

Cy

Seymour

1905

.377

.074

.303

14

Mariano

Duncan

1996

.340

.073

.267

15

Darin

Erstad

2000

.355

.073

.282

 

       

 

 

16

Elston

Howard

1961

.348

.073

.274

17

John

Knight

1910

.312

.073

.239

18

Bill

Sweeney

1912

.344

.072

.272

19

Barry

Bonds

2002

.370

.072

.298

20

Paul

O'Neill

1994

.359

.071

.288

 

       

 

 

21

Jeff

Bagwell

1994

.367

.071

.297

22

Johnny

Evers

1912

.341

.071

.270

23

Roger

Bresnahan

1903

.350

.070

.279

24

Bill

Bradley

1902

.340

.069

.271

25

Josh

Hamilton

2010

.359

.069

.290

 

       

 

 

26

Rich

Reese

1969

.322

.069

.253

27

Sam

Crawford

1911

.378

.069

.309

28

Walton

Cruise

1921

.346

.068

.277

29

John

Olerud

1993

.363

.068

.295

30

Babe

Herman

1930

.393

.068

.324

 

       

 

 

31

Freddy

Lindstrom

1930

.379

.068

.311

32

Arky

Vaughan

1935

.385

.067

.318

33

George

Sisler

1920

.407

.067

.340

34

Chief

Meyers

1912

.358

.067

.291

35

Rico

Carty

1970

.366

.067

.299

 

       

 

 

36

Mickey

Mantle

1957

.365

.067

.298

37

Mickey

Vernon

1946

.353

.067

.286

38

Larry

Walker

1999

.379

.066

.313

39

Charlie

Hickman

1902

.361

.066

.295

40

Harry

Walker

1947

.363

.066

.296

 

       

 

 

41

Chuck

Klein

1930

.386

.066

.320

42

Jason

Giambi

2001

.342

.066

.277

43

Joe

Torre

1971

.363

.065

.297

44

Bret

Boone

2001

.331

.065

.266

45

Rogers

Hornsby

1924

.424

.065

.358

 

       

 

 

46

Jorge

Posada

2007

.338

.065

.273

47

Carlos

Delgado

2000

.344

.065

.280

48

Rob

Wilfong

1979

.313

.064

.248

49

Barry

Bonds

2004

.362

.064

.298

50

Goose

Goslin

1928

.379

.063

.316

 

              Lot of first-year regulars on that list, lot of MVPs, lot of batting champions.   This is the list for worst batting averages relative to career, which includes a lot of guys named "Charles":

 

First

Last

YEAR

Avg

Margin

Career

Chuck

Klein

1940

.218

-.103

.320

Charlie

Jamieson

1918

.202

-.101

.303

Charlie

Gehringer

1941

.220

-.100

.320

Nap

Lajoie

1916

.246

-.092

.338

Joe

Dugan

1918

.195

-.086

.280

Clyde

Milan

1909

.200

-.085

.285

George H.

Burns

1917

.226

-.081

.307

Nap

Lajoie

1914

.258

-.080

.338

Jimmy

Williams

1909

.195

-.080

.275

Billy

Williams

1976

.211

-.079

.290

Steve

O'Neill

1917

.184

-.079

.263

Adam

Dunn

2011

.159

-.078

.237

Rogers

Hornsby

1918

.281

-.077

.358

Jimmy

Collins

1908

.217

-.077

.294

Stan

Musial

1959

.255

-.076

.331

 

              Here’s the top 15 by hits over expectation in a season:

 

First

Last

YEAR

Avg

H

Margin

Career

Jimmy

Sheckard

1901

.354

57.2

.080

.274

Nap

Lajoie

1901

.426

51.6

.088

.338

Darin

Erstad

2000

.355

48.4

.073

.282

Mickey

Vernon

1946

.353

45.1

.067

.286

Miguel

Dilone

1980

.341

42.5

.076

.265

George

Sisler

1922

.420

42.0

.080

.340

Joe

Torre

1971

.363

41.9

.065

.297

Chuck

Klein

1930

.386

41.8

.066

.320

Bill

Bradley

1902

.340

41.8

.069

.271

Andres

Galarraga

1993

.370

41.6

.082

.288

Earl

Averill

1936

.378

41.2

.060

.318

Bret

Boone

2001

.331

41.2

.065

.266

George

Sisler

1920

.407

41.1

.067

.340

Cy

Seymour

1905

.377

40.4

.074

.303

Topsy

Hartsel

1901

.335

40.3

.059

.276

 

              1901 was an expansion year; baseball went from one eight-team league to two eight-team leagues, so a lot of guys had good years.   It is kind of the end of the 19th century instability.   Here are the players who are short by the most hits. . .mostly Hall of Famers hitting a wall:

 

First

Last

YEAR

Avg

H

Margin

Career

Charlie

Gehringer

1941

.220

-52.9

-.100

.320

Charlie

Jamieson

1918

.202

-41.7

-.101

.303

Honus

Wagner

1914

.252

-40.2

-.076

.327

Chuck

Klein

1940

.218

-38.8

-.103

.320

Nap

Lajoie

1908

.289

-38.7

-.049

.338

Hank

Aaron

1975

.234

-37.9

-.071

.305

Dave

Bancroft

1916

.212

-37.8

-.067

.279

Joe

Kuhel

1943

.213

-37.1

-.064

.277

Nap

Lajoie

1914

.258

-37.1

-.080

.338

Clyde

Milan

1909

.200

-36.2

-.085

.285

Hank

Greenberg

1947

.249

-36.2

-.065

.313

Nap

Lajoie

1916

.246

-36.0

-.092

.338

Fielder

Jones

1906

.230

-35.4

-.055

.285

Joe

Dugan

1918

.195

-35.3

-.086

.280

Wade

Boggs

1992

.259

-34.6

-.069

.328

 

 

              I’m running a little long here; I’d better cut through some of these quickly.    The record for singles in a season, more than expected, is by Stan Spence in 1942; Spence hit .323 that year with only four homers, whereas he usually hit around .280 with 15 homers.    Second on the list is Willie Montanez, 1976.      At the bottom of the list was Fielder Jones, 1906, short by 40 singles.   But he had a good year, anyway; he was the player/manager for the 1906 World Champions, the Hitless Wonders.   The leader for Extra Base Hits in a season over expectation is Brady Anderson, 1996, +37, followed by Adam Comorosky, 1930, +35.    Most Extra Base Hits UNDER expectation is Kirby Puckett, 1984, negative 34.  

              Five players have exceeded their normal total bases in a season by 100, while only one has ever missed his norm by 100.   The five who beat their normal total bases by 100 are Brady Anderson, 1996 (+124), Luis Gonzalez, 2001 (+116), Jimmy Sheckard, 1901 (+104), George Sisler, 1920 (+102) and Nap Lajoie, 1901 (+101).    So we know that George Sisler was definitely using steroids.  The one who missed by 100 was Hank Aaron in 1975, -102.    Mark McGwire, 1991, is second on that list at -93.

              The worst season for Grounding Into Double Plays was Brad Ausmus in 2002; he grounded into 30, whereas his expectation based on career numbers would have been 14, so that’s +16.     On the other end of that is Joe Torre, 1969.   Torre was always fat, as a young player.   He came to a career crisis in 1968, caused in part by not being in shape, worked hard, lost a lot of weight, and was also traded that winter to St. Louis, which had artificial turf.    He grounded into only ten double plays that year, as opposed to an expectation of 21.9 (-11.9).    And has kept the weight off ever since.  

              The leader in Hit Batsmen over expectations is Ron Hunt, 1971, +25; he was the subject of a recent profile by Craig Wright.     On the other end is Minnie Minoso, 1960, at -13. 

              Bill Bradley in 1908 was credited with SIXTY sacrifice hits, sac bunts, whereas his norm would have been 27.    Seems like 27 is quite a few, but anyway, Bradley was +33.    Second on that list is Bert Campaneris, 1977, +28, a season I remember.   The Rangers signed the 35-year-old Campaneris to be their shortstop, although he had lost a step.   He had always been a leadoff hitter, but the Rangers batted him second behind Mike Hargrove, who had a .420 on base percentage but was very slow, and then used Campy to bunt him to second. 

              That was a tremendously interesting team; somebody should write a book about them, although I don’t know if you could find an audience, but you could find a good book.   Lenny Randle lost his job at second base to a rookie, Bump Wills, and punched out his manager (Frank Lucchesi) at the end of spring training.   Lucchesi had mishandled the situation, referring to Randle in a press interview as a punk—not appropriate—and then Lucchesi was fired in mid-season.   It was a tremendously talented team, basically a team of near-All Stars with two Hall of Fame pitchers in the rotation, but with a fabulously dysfunctional clubhouse, in spite of which they won 94 games.  They played .500 ball for 62 games until Lucchesi was fired, caught fire under the new manager, Billy Hunter, who was an excellent manager.   I think Hunter eventually moved Wills into the leadoff spot and put Hargrove behind Campy, so Campy wound up with only 40 sacrifice bunts, but it looked for most of the season like it was going to be 50.

              Sac Flies. . .Roy White in 1971 had 17 against an expectation of 6, +11.3.   Frank Thomas in 1991 had 2 against an expectation of 8, -6.4.

              You actually can do this with Games Played, as well; it is a little bit different conceptually, but the same mathematically (Career Games/ Career Plate Appearances, times season Plate Appearances, subtracted from actual games played.)     Jerry Martin in 1976 was Greg Luzinski’s glove.    The ’76 Phillies had a great defensive center fielder but Luzinski and Jay Johnstone in left and right, which is one more defensive problem than you can live with, so they carried Jerry Martin to pinch hit if the team was behind or to play defense if the team was ahead.    He wound up the season with 130 games played but only 129 plate appearances, which is +85 in games played.   Dave Collins in 1990 was +76, and the recently lost Otis Nixon was +73 in 1986.    On the other end is Dick Hall in 1954.   Hall was an outfielder in 1954, a pitcher the rest of his career (and it was a long career), so he is -176 games in 1954, given his career ratio of at bats to games.  

              Dick Hall for many years after he retired would attend Orioles games, wearing his old Orioles’ uniform from his playing days.    Maybe he still does, I don’t know, but anyway, you have to love that.    Next to Hall on that list is Greg Gross, 1974, -125.    Gross is the opposite of Martin.   Martin was a pinch hitter/reserve outfielder his first year and a half, a regular after that, so his ratio of plate appearances/games is very low at the start of his career, whereas Gross, from the same generation, was a regular for a year or two, then had a career as a pinch hitter/reserve outfielder.

              There are 21 players in history who have hit twenty home runs more than we would have expected them to hit, based on career numbers.   Nine of those 21 did it between 1996 and 2003:

 

First

Last

YEAR

HR

XHR

HR

Barry

Bonds

2001

73

40

32.9

Luis

Gonzalez

2001

57

24

32.5

Brady

Anderson

1996

50

19

31.4

Roger

Maris

1961

61

33

28.2

Davey

Johnson

1973

43

16

26.8

Hack

Wilson

1930

56

31

24.9

Tilly

Walker

1922

37

13

23.6

 

       

 

Jay

Bell

1999

38

16

22.3

Andre

Dawson

1987

49

27

22.1

Carl

Yastrzemski

1967

44

22

22.0

Todd

Helton

2001

49

27

21.8

Sammy

Sosa

1998

66

44

21.6

Cy

Williams

1923

41

20

21.4

George

Foster

1977

52

31

21.3

 

       

 

Hank

Greenberg

1938

58

37

21.0

Javier (c)

Lopez

2003

43

22

20.8

Ted

Kluszewski

1954

49

28

20.6

Sammy

Sosa

2001

64

44

20.2

George

Bell

1987

47

27

20.2

Goose

Goslin

1930

37

17

20.1

Shawn

Green

2001

49

29

20.1

 

              The list of players NOT hitting their usual number of homers also has a steroid division and a non-steroid division.   Many or most of the players below are steroid players before they discovered better living through chemistry.    The record-holder in the non-steroid division is Lou Gehrig, 1926:

 

             

First

Last

YEAR

HR

XHR

Diff

Mark

McGwire

1991

22

45

-22.5

Barry

Bonds

1989

19

41

-22.0

Rafael

Palmeiro

1989

8

30

-21.9

Rafael

Palmeiro

1988

8

30

-21.7

Sammy

Sosa

1990

15

36

-20.6

Lou

Gehrig

1926

16

36

-19.5

Gary

Gaetti

1984

5

24

-18.6

Hank

Aaron

1975

12

29

-17.4

Rafael

Palmeiro

1990

14

31

-16.8

Adam

Dunn

2011

11

28

-16.5

Mark

McGwire

1988

32

48

-16.3

Vladimir

Guerrero

2011

13

29

-16.2

Carlos

Lee

2012

9

25

-16.1

Ken

Caminiti

1990

4

20

-16.0

Jeff

Bagwell

1991

15

31

-15.9

Ralph

Kiner

1954

22

38

-15.9

Ted

Kluszewski

1949

8

24

-15.7

Kirby

Puckett

1985

4

20

-15.7

Frank

Thomas

1999

15

31

-15.5

Gary

Sheffield

1990

10

25

-15.4

Kirby

Puckett

1984

0

15

-15.4

 

              When I became a baseball fan in 1960, Ty Cobb held the "modern" record for stolen bases, with 96.    His record was beaten by Maury Wills, 1962, with 104, and then Wills was beaten by Lou Brock, 1974, with 118, and then by Rickey Henderson, 1982, with 130.   They’re 1-2-4-5 on the chart below:

 

First

Last

YEAR

SB

X  SB

Margin

Rickey

Henderson

1982

130

69

60.9

Lou

Brock

1974

118

59

59.5

Eric

Davis

1986

80

28

52.4

Maury

Wills

1962

104

54

50.4

Ty

Cobb

1915

96

48

48.2

Clyde

Milan

1912

88

40

47.9

Marquis

Grissom

1991

76

29

47.4

Marquis

Grissom

1992

78

34

44.1

Maury

Wills

1965

94

50

43.9

Tim

Raines

1981

71

28

42.7

 

              61 is the magic number here.   Appling was +61 in RBI, Lajoie +61 in runs scored, Rickey was +61 in stolen bases.  Those having seasons in which they DIDN’T steal the bases they usually do is the same players:

 

First

Last

YEAR