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The death of Jim Bouton prompted me to seek out Ball Four, that seminal book of my youth (on many levels). I am pleased to report -- Bouton recorded it HIMSELF for Audible:  
Worth joining Audible all by itself. Here he is, arguing for money from the Yankees, every year, in the fat days of the 60s  
-- Bouton's AUDIO IMPRESSIONS of various Yankees  
-- Wise observations about sports (and life) ABOUT EVERY THREE MINUTES  
-- Funny funny anecdotes  
And I cannot emphasize how wonderful to hear it in Bouton's own voice. He's obviously in his 60s or so when doing it, but it's history, and he tells it with conviction and humor.  There are several times when his voice catches, chuckling, because he is STILL LAUGHING over a particular story. Again, this is a MUST, guys.
Asked by: garywmaloney

Answered: 7/21/2019


RE: Draft in WWII. Don't know anything about Musial, but can relay my father's experience. He was 18 on Dec 7th 1941 and at some point in Dec or Jan went down to volunteer. They refused him on the grounds that he had a spot on his chest x-ray, assuming that he might have TB or something. A year later he was drafted, saw the same draft Dr with the same x-ray (that spot was on every chest x-ray he had for the rest of his life, never figured out what it was) and was approved for induction. Obviously, by Jan 1943 they needed bodies. Perfection wasn't a requirement. Thanks.
Asked by: RanBricker

Answered: 7/21/2019
 That's right; that's the way it was.  What was a draft exemption in 1941 was not a draft exemption in 1943.   Thanks.  


I imagine I'm not the first to send this your way, but here's the game with Frank White's walk-off triple to complete the cycle -  
He actually reached base 5 ways that game: via single, double, triple, homer, and error.
Asked by: Brian

Answered: 7/21/2019
 Thanks.  Somebody else did send it, but I appreciate it all the same.  


Did you ever run a tracer on the Ernie Lombardi story where he claimed to have been thrown out at first on a line drive off the left field wall?  I used baseball-reference's tools to make a list of all 3546 of his non-strikeout outs, and none of them appear to match up.  No LF-1B putouts, or LF-(other stuff)-1B putouts at all.  I checked CF-1B and RF-1B, too, and nothing.
Asked by: jwilt

Answered: 7/21/2019
 Interesting.   Thanks.  Sounds like a lot of work.  


About game-winning hits:  
Rule 9.06(f): Subject to the provisions of Rule 9.06(g), when a batter ends a  
game with a safe hit that drives in as many runs as are necessary to put his team in the lead, the official scorer shall credit  
such batter with only as many bases on his hit as are advanced  
by the runner who scores the winning run, and then only if the  
batter runs out his hit for as many bases as are advanced by the  
runner who scores the winning run.  
Rule 9.06( f ) Comment: The official scorer shall apply this  
rule even when the batter is theoretically entitled to more bases  
because of being awarded an "automatic" extra-base hit under  
various provisions of Rules 5.05 and 5.06(b)(4).  
The official scorer shall credit the batter with a base touched in  
the natural course of play, even if the winning run has scored  
moments before on the same play...If the batter-runner reaches second base [before the run scores], the official scorer shall credit the batter with a two-base hit.  
Asked by: DanaKing

Answered: 7/21/2019


Did you know that the Villisca murder house was famous as a "ghost house"?  I drove past it early in the year and saw a sign that suggested a museum was present, but apparently it closed.  https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/12163
Asked by: bertrecords

Answered: 7/21/2019
 Yeah, they have a little museum there.  They've actually done a beautiful job of restoring the house.  Blood tourism.  I haven't toured the house; I spoke in Villisca this summer but didn't get a chance to go through the house.  Don't believe in ghosts, but you know. . there's a lot of things in the universe that I don't understand.  


My favorite is Robin Ventura hitting a walkoff grandslam single (with the Mets, might have been a playoff game).  He just decided he didn't want to round the bases, so stopped after he touched first.  And it's especially noteworthy because Ventura has a historically high Grand Slam total.
Asked by: tangotiger

Answered: 7/21/2019
 If it wasn't you, Tom, I'd need a little documentation for that event.  That's pretty remarkable.  


Regarding the Frank White game where his walkoff hit was scored as a triple to complete the cycle… It would have been this 1982 game.:  
Frank also hit for the cycle in a 1979 game against the Angels, incidentally, but that was in Anaheim.
Asked by: ajmilner

Answered: 7/21/2019
 Thanks.  That's the game.  


This follows my earlier post (answered on 7/13) about hitters, this one shows strikeout totals for pitchers on the same three teams:  
1927 Yankees  
Waite Hoyt led with 86, followed by George Pipgras (81), Wilcy Moore (75), Herb Pennock (51), and Dutch Ruether (45).  
1961 Yankees  
Whitey Ford led with 209, followed by Bill Stafford (101), Luis Arroyo (87), Ralph Terry (86), and Rollie Sheldon (84).  
1998 Yankees  
David Cone led with 209, followed by David Wells (163), Andy Pettitte (146), Orlando Hernandez (131), and Hideki Irabu (126).  
It seems that strikeout totals have increased over time, or at least were very low around 1927. I was surprised at how few strikeouts the 1927 Yankee pitchers had. I’m used to seeing starting pitchers with at least 100 strikeouts. Some pitchers have even struck out 300 hitters in a season, however.
Asked by: jerpol

Answered: 7/21/2019
 Yes, strikeouts have been increasing since the early 1920s, almost always increasing.  There have been short periods when they have gone down.  


HeyBill, there is a very good JFK analysis in Season 2, Episode 6 of Unsolved History, available on Amazon Prime for free. They gathered film from 14 different cameras, film and snapshots, that were in Dealey Plaza, and did a very interesting computer simulation combining them all. Far more visual documentation than I realized was available. Just say thanks.
Asked by: OldBackstop

Answered: 7/21/2019
 I'll look for it.  THere are a dozen or more films related to the event which are pretty easy to access.  I've watched them all dozens of times.  


Hey Bill, what are your thoughts on the big Mets/Mariners trade last off-season? Or what you've heard of others' opinion of it? I'm fascinated by it because as a Met fan it's by far the most ridiculous trade I've ever seen or could even imagine. Thanks.
Asked by: manhattanhi

Answered: 7/21/2019
 The Mets and Mariners made a trade?  Who was involved? 


It's not like the great defensive play thing. The thing I was trying to say is that a walkoff double is rare because by definition the game ends during the course of the play and the value of the extra base is essentially nil and does not affect any outcome. It's closer to a bookkeeping nicety. If you watch Harper two nights ago the on-field ecstasy is already well underway by the time he reaches second base, and there isn't really any point to him completing the double, the only thing that matters is reaching first base successfully.
Asked by: wovenstrap

Answered: 7/19/2019
 Well, what about a double-off walk.  Let's suppose that there are runners on second and third, three balls on the batter, and the pitcher throws what looks like a wild pitch.   The runners both break to advance, but the ball bounces right back to the catcher, which happens sometimes, not often, but we've all seen it.   The catcher picks up the ball, tags the runner trying to score from third, and throws to third.  The third baseman tags out the runner trying to advance from second.  Then you've got a double-off walk.   


Hey Bill,  
"I am trying to measure the SUPPORT for each candidate.  Donald Trump, in that sense, is no different than any other candidate."  
I understand the difference between support now and actual votes sixteen months from now.  In no way, however, is a sitting President the same as any other candidate.  Trump has more support than 8-10% versus a thousand candidates, let alone 25. I rule you checked your swing - barely. Next pitch?  
Asked by: BrianNash

Answered: 7/19/2019
 That's not quite true, is it.  Trump's "support" is position.  His great advantage in the election contest is that he is almost certain to be on the ballot in 2020.  Other candidates will drop off, be unable to compete, unable to win a nomination, thus most of them will not be THERE on November whatever, 2020.  They won't be somebody you can vote for.   Trump will be.  That makes his position stronger.
But is that actual "support"?   I would argue that it isn't.  


Inspired by your writings and rankings, I was wondering what might have happened to the Astros of the early 1970s if they didn't trade Joe Morgan and had hung on to John Mayberry, who quickly blossomed with your beloved Royals. Ballpark effects and other tangibles and intangibles aside, here are the OWAR numbers for the 1972 Astros with Morgan and Mayberry rather than Helms and May, compared to some other formidable starting eights:  
1972 OFFENSIVE WAR per Baseball Reference  
8.4 Morgan (Helms 1.3)  
7.6 Cedeno  
6.5 Wynn  
5.7 Mayberry (May 4.3)  
4.6 Watson  
2.7 Rader  
2.1 Edwards  
0.6 Metzger  
38.2  — 4.775 per player!  
O WAR Comparison - Starting eight position players  
41.5 1927 Yankees  
40.1 1953 Dodgers  
39.4 1976 Reds  
38.2 1972 Astros  
38.2 1982 Brewers  
33.8 2001 Mariners  
32.8 1998 Yankees  
32.2 1999 Indians  
29.3 1962 Giants  
29.2 1993 Blue Jays  
That's pretty lofty company. Any thoughts about the "what if" ramifications of that trade?  
Thanks and Cheers,  
Mark P
Asked by: slaughterhouse9

Answered: 7/19/2019
 Interesting.  Thanks.  


December 6th, 1941 USC played UCLA in a football game at the coliseum. There was a poll done, and almost 90% were against getting involved in the war. The next day’s poll was basically a mirror image, with 90% wanting to enter the war.  
Admiral Yamamoto was entirely correct in his statement: "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."  (In defense of Japan the US had done everything in its power to cut off their oil supply while they were involved in a war in China).  
That giant hasn’t slept much since. Eisenhower tried to warn us with his "military industrial complex" term that this might become a permanent state of affairs. He seems to also have been quite prescient.  
On a side note, Ho Chi Minh showed up at Versailles asking for Vietnam to get sovereignty... but since the French controlled it they convinced us not to listen. When we don’t live up to our stated ideal of self-determination we pay a horrible price.
Asked by: Christopher

Answered: 7/19/2019
 You may be interpreting more history than you need to interpret there to make your point, thus perhaps asserting things that are not necessarily true along with things that are, but I appreciate your thoughts.  


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