Friday, February 4, 2011

Best Player Born on Your Birthday

I found this interesting resource over at Wezen Ball: the best player statistically born on each day. This will allow fans to see what baseball luminaries share the same birthday. The top players are listed in order of WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

For January 26th, it’s a player named George Blaeholder, who predominantly pitched for the St. Louis Browns in the thirties.

Although Blaeholder had a career record of 104-125, his team averaged over 90 losses during his time in the big leagues. He won 15 games for St. Louis in 1933 when they lost 96 games. On May 21st, 1933 Blaeholder gave up Babe Ruth‘s 600th career homer. He was known to give up homers, surrendering 173 during his career, which included 13 by Lou Gehrig. Some also say he was one of the first pitchers to throw a slider.

One of the best days to share a birthday with a baseball player is...… January 31. Three Hall of Famers were born on that day: Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks and Nolan Ryan.

Who is the best player on your birthday? Go check it out.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Which Browns' Pitchers did Babe Ruth Face the Most??

A new service for baseball scholars has recently become available, it is called Retrosheet. It allows statistical breakdowns that were never possible before. Unfortunately for Browns historians, Retrosheet only goes back to 1919, cutting off one-third of Browns history. However, some interesting statistics can be drawn out.

For example:

When the great Babe Ruth played, which player did he face on the opposite team the most games (Think of great contemporary rivalries like Aaron-Mays, Musial-Snider, etc.). Of the Babe’s top ten rivals, half were Browns.

Here are Ruth's most frequent opponents from 1919 on:

1. Sam Rice (286)

2. Joe Judge (247)

3. Goose Goslin (246)

4. Jimmy Dykes (243)

5. Willie Kamm (232)

6. Marty McManus (224)

7. Heinie Manush (220)

8. Bing Miller (217)

9. Harry Heilmann (212)

10. Lu Blue (209)

(Browns are in bold)

In case you are wondering where George Sisler is, Sisler faced Ruth in 151 games from 1919 on. The Holy Grail for Browns fans would be to find out if any one of Sisler's 24 pitching appearances was against Ruth, as a pitcher. Since there were about 7 daily newspapers in St Louis and 10 in Boston in 1915, there are enough accounts to piece together to make a box score, it would seem. Plus Sporting News.

WE ARE LOOKING FOR A VOLUNTEER RESEARCHER TO RESEARCH THIS. SABR membership, a plus, for access to the right databases. ANY TAKERS?.

On this day, February 2, 1954 - Satchel Paige

This day, February 2.

Soon after the St. Louis Browns became the Baltimore Orioles, the franchise released Satchel Paige on this day in 1954.  Paige had a 3.28 ERA over the previous two seasons with the Browns and was coming off two All-Star appearances, but the legendary Negro Leagues star was 47 years old (though Paige's age was always in some dispute). 

Paige pitched minor league ball in the Phillies' system from 1956-58, started five games for Portland of the PCL in 1961 and then, incredibly, returned to the majors in 1965 to start one game for the Kansas City A's. 

At age 54, Paige pitched three scoreless innings against Boston, holding the Red Sox to one hit.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hall of Famers Born in Missouri

New York Giants (1947) Carl Hubbell  (Carthage)

Brooklyn Dodgers (1959) Zack Wheat  (Hamilton)

Buffalo Bisons (1965) Pud Galvin  (St. Louis)

New York Yankees (1966) Casey Stengel (Kansas City)

Pittsburgh Pirates (1971) Jake Beckley  (Hannibal)

New York Yankees (1972) Yogi Berra  (St. Louis)

Umpire (1976) Cal Hubbard (Keytesville, MO)

Baltimore Orioles (1996) Earl Weaver (St. Louis)

Oakland A's (2008) Dick Williams (St. Louis)

Did we miss any??

George Sisler of Browns Named 7th Best First Baseman of All Time in MLB

George Sisler: St. Louis Browns (1915-27), Washington Senators (1928), Boston Braves (1928-30)

First base has always been a power spot, with just a couple of exceptions. The greatest first basemen are a collection of the greatest hitters in history, with eight of the 10 in the Hall of Fame, and the other two almost certain to be in Cooperstown at some point in the 21st century.
George Sisler, the greatest player in the history of the St. Louis Browns, came up as a pitcher, but like Babe Ruth, was too good as a hitter to stay out of the everyday lineup. He was a graceful and complete first baseman, and hit .340 lifetime.

He had six seasons with more than 200 hits, 2,812 hits in his 15-year career, and his 257 hits in 1920 was the best single-season mark until surpassed by Ichiro Suzuki 84 years later but only in a longer 164 game season. He hit just 102 homers, but had 164 triples and 425 doubles. He was MVP in 1922, when he batted .420. Also had 375 stolen bases.

You can see the list of the other firstbasemen at:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Browns Club Luncheon Photos Available

Photos from the 2010 Browns Fan Club luncheon are available on Flickr at:

Click on Photos to enlarge. Featured speakers were Tommy Lasorda and Bob Costas.