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Archive for the category “All-Star Game”

Major League Baseball All-Star Game Records

The first MLB All-Star Game was played at Comiskey Park in Chicago on July 6, 1933.  Babe Ruth hit the first All-Star Game home run, leading the A.L. to a 4-2 win over the N.L.

Here are several MLB All-Star Game records which may peak your interest.

Original description: Willie Mays, standing, w...

Willie Mays batted .307 in 24 All-Star Game appearances.

Most All-Star Games played:  24 (Three players)

1)  Stan Musial

2)  Willie Mays

3)  Hank Aaron

Most All-Star Game At Bats:  75, Willie Mays

Most All-Star Game Hits:  23, Willie Mays (.307 All-Star Game batting average)

Highest All-Star Game career Batting Average (minimum, 5 games):  .500, Charlie Gehringer (10 for 20)

Most All-Star Game Runs Scored:  20,Willie Mays

Most All-Star Game Stolen Bases:  6, Willie Mays

Most All-Star Game Home Runs:  6, Stan Musial

Most All-Star Game RBI:  12, Ted Williams

Number of batters who led-off an All-Star Game with a home run:  5

1)  Frankie Frisch, N.L., July 10, 1934

2)  Lou Boudreau, A.L., July 6, 1942

3)  Willie Mays, N.L., July 13, 1965

4)  Joe Morgan, N.L., July 19, 1977

5)  Bo Jackson, A.L., July 11, 1989

Number of Grand Slams in All-Star Game history:  1, Freddy Lynn, A.L., 1983.

First inside-the-park home run in an All-Star Game:  Ichiro Suzuki, 2007.

Most home runs in one All-Star Game:  2, five players

1)  Arky Vaughan, N.L., July 8, 1941

2)  Ted Williams, A.L., July 6, 1946

3)  Al Rosen, A.L., July 13, 1954

4)  Willie McCovey, N.L., July 23, 1969

5)  Gary Carter, N.L., August 9, 1981

Most All-Star Game Total Bases:  40, Stan Musial and Willie Mays

Best single All-Star Game performance, position player:  Ted Williams, July 9, 1946.  Williams slugged two home runs, lashed a pair of singles, and drew a walk, for ten total bases.

Only All-Star Game steal of home:  Pie Traynor, on the front end of a double-steal with Mel Ott, 1934.

Most career strikeouts in All-Star Games:  17, Mickey Mantle

Most career doubles in All-Star Games:  7, Dave Winfield

Most career triples in All-Star Games:  3, Willie Mays and Brooks Robinson

Most career All-Star Game Bases on Balls:  11, Ted Williams

Most times grounding into double plays, career:  3, Joe DiMaggio and Pete Rose

Most career All-Star Game Wins:  3, Lefty Gomez

Most career All-Star Game Losses:  2, six pitchers

1)  Mort Cooper

2)  Claude Passeau

3)  Whitey Ford

4)  Luis Tiant

5)  Jim “Catfish” Hunter

6)  Dwight Gooden

Most Career All-Star Game Balks, 2, Dwight Gooden

Most All-Star Game Innings Pitched, Career:  19, Don Drysdale

Most All-Star Game Strikeouts: Pitcher, Career:  19 Don Drysdale

Most All-Star Game Innings Pitched, one game:  6, Lefty Gomez, July 8, 1935

Most hits given up in one inning in an All-Star Game:  Tom Glavine, 1st inning of 1992 All-Star Game, surrendered seven consecutive hits.  Allowed nine hits overall, the most hits given up by one pitcher in an All-Star Game.

Most consecutive strikeouts by a pitcher in one game:  5, Carl Hubbell, A.L., 1934,  and Fernando Valenzuela, N.L., 1986.

Most runs allowed in a single All-Star Game:  7, Atlee Hammaker, N.L., 1983.  All 7 runs were scored in the 3rd inning.

First player ever selected to an All-Star Game as a write-in candidate by fans:  Rico Carty, 1970

First time the Designated Hitter rule was used in an All-Star Game:  1989

Largest Attendance for an All-Star Game:  72,086, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, August 9, 1981 (This game was played on a Sunday, the only time an All-Star Game was played on a weekend.)

Smallest Attendance for an All-Star Game:  25,556, Braves Field, Boston, July 7, 1936

Longest Game By Innings:  15, Anaheim Stadium, July 11, 1967 (N.L. won the game, 2-1)

Shortest Game By Innings:  5, Shibe Park, Philadelphia, July 8, 1952 – Rain.  (N.L. won the game, 3-2)

Fewest players used in an All-Star Game, one team:  11, A.L., July 6, 1942

Fewest players used in an All-Star Game, both teams:  27, A.L. (15), N.L. (12), July 6, 1938

Shortest 9-Inning Game, By Time:  1 Hour, 53 Minutes, Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis, July 9, 1940, (N.L. won 4-0).

Number of All-Star Games played:  83, the N.L. has 43 wins, the A.L. has 38 wins, and there have been two ties.

Sources:

Baseball-Reference.com

Baseball-Almanac.com

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Ten Reasons Why Yasiel Puig Deserves To Be An All-Star

There’s been a lot of talk over the past week regarding whether or not the Dodgers phenom outfielder should be allowed to make the N.L. All-Star Team, given that he’s only been in the Majors for little more than one month.  Yesterday, Phillies relief pitcher Jonathon Papelbon, who has never pitched more than 75 innings over the course of an entire season, and who’s been named to five All Star squads, made the following statement:

“The guy’s got a month, I don’t even think he’s got a month in the big leagues,” Papelbon said during the interview. “Just comparing him to this and that, and saying he’s going to make the All-Star team, that’s a joke to me.

Papelbon added that it would, in his opinion, be disrespectful to veteran ballplayers who’ve been around for years to have Puig named to the All Star team.

Dear Jon, Allow me to retort:

1)  According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, no player since Joe DiMaggio back in the 1930’s has started his career with as much early success as has Puig.  We are not talking about a normal player on a short hot streak, we are witnessing baseball history every time Puig comes to the plate.

2)  Through last night’s game, Puig is now batting .440 through his first 109 MLB at bats.  Not enough at bats to impress you?  Well, even if Puig went hitless in his next 50 at bats (about half the number he already has), he’d still be batting over .300.  Does anyone believe he’ll go zero for his next 50?  If he bats just .250 over his next 200 at bats, he’ll still be batting around .317.  Would you say a .317 batting average, with power, is enough to justify an All Star nod?  I would.

3)  Puig already has the highest WAR of any Dodgers position player, at 2.6.  Shouldn’t the best position player on a team garner serious All Star consideration?

4)  Papelbon’s argument that a Puig All Star nomination would be disrespectful to MLB veterans is patently absurd.  There have been other rookies who have made All Star teams in the past.  Just because most of them began the season in April, garnering three full months (!) instead of Puig’s one month, is hardly enough of a difference to single Puig out as somehow being not worthy of this honor.

5)  The rule that has been in place for many years that requires each team, regardless of the caliber of its players, to have at least one representative for the All Star game has resulted in many questionable “All Stars” over the years.  The idea that seems to be floating out there that the All Star Game is and always has been for only the best of the best hasn’t been true for decades, if it ever was the case at all.  Meanwhile, Puig might very well be one of the top ten, if not the top five, players in the game right now.

6)  Attendance is down throughout the Majors.  Translation:  The product is not selling as well has it has in the past.  The players, meanwhile, are the product.  They are not the marketers, nor are they the gate-keepers of what the fans “should” be allowed to spend their hard-earned money on.  Next time Papelbon cashes a paycheck, he should keep that in mind.

7)  The All-Star Game is an exhibition.  It’s primary purpose is to promote The Game.  (The charade of home-field advantage being decided for the World Series is and always has been an afterthought.)  Question:  Are the fans less likely or more likely to watch this exhibition on T.V. if Puig gets to play?  How about fans in the greater L.A. area, the second biggest market in America?

8)  Baseball is also about winning, correct?  When the Puig joined the Dodgers in early June, they were at or near the bottom of the standings in the N.L. West.  Now, they are just 2 1/2 games out of first place, and have won ten of their last eleven games.   Certainly, this dramatic turnaround has not all been attributable to Puig.  Yet, if Puig was still languishing down in the minors, do you really think the Dodgers would now be this close to the top of the standings?  I don’t.

9)  No one remembers entire All-Star games, but they do remember individual, specific moments.  People remember Bo Jackson in ’89, or Dave Parker’s throw to the plate in ’79, or Ted Williams walk-off homer in ’41.  Isn’t it as likely as not that Puig will do something in this year’s All Star Game that fans will remember for years to come?  There’s no way to know, unless he gets to play.

10) Finally, if Papelbon’s point of view that Puig has not yet proven himself worthy of playing in an All-Star Game is widely shared by other veteran ballplayers (and one has to wonder what Puig’s Dodger teammates think of all this), then why not let the veterans show us in the All-Star Game itself how inferior Puig truly is?  Let Justin Verlander or Yu Darvish or Matt Moore or someone else face him down and attempt to strike him out.  After all, isn’t that the whole point of sports in general, and baseball in particular?  Let it be settled it between the chalk lines, not the airwaves, Jonathon.

My Early All-Star Game Ballot

I know it is exceedingly early to be doing this, but MLB.com sent me an on-line invitation to cast my votes for this season’s All-Stars, and I couldn’t resist.  I’m sure some of my picks might very well change several weeks from now, but then again, I have a feeling that several of them would not.  Here’s my early ballot for 2013:

American League:

1B  Chris Davis –          .356 / 7 / 22

2B  Robinson Cano –    .325 / 6 / 14

3B  Miguel Cabrera –   .367 / 2 / 19

SS  Jed Lowrie –           .366 / 3 / 14

C  Joe Mauer –              .366 / 2 / 8

OF Michael Bourne –   .333 2 / 2  (well, he doesn’t get paid to drive in runs)

OF Alex Gordon –        .338 / 1 / 11

OF Adam Jones –         .345 / 3 / 16

DH Lance Berkman –  .345 / 2 / 14

Starting Pitcher:  Matt Moore – 4-0, 1.04 ERA, 0.923 WHIP

Two months from now, I’ll still probably be voting for Cano, Cabrera, Mauer, Gordon and Jones.  Davis will still be a reasonable possibility, though let’s not rule out Albert Pujols.   Gordon has been the most underrated player in the A.L. for the past two seasons.  All Berkman ever does is hit.  HOF, anyone?

Michael Bourne could also still make my ballot, though I have to wonder if Mike Trout or Josh Reddick will bump him off by then.  Adam Jones is a fine young player in his prime.  Lowrie always gets off to a hot start, and may be the player most likely to exit this list at a later date.  I know we don’t get to vote for pitchers, but Matt Moore would be my choice.

National League:  

1B  Paul Goldschmidt –   .329 / 4 / 16

2B  Daniel Murphy –       .347 / 2 / 13

3B  David Wright –          .309 / 2 / 16

SS  Brandon Crawford – .320 / 4 / 10

C  Yadier Molina –          .308 / 2 / 14

OF  Carlos Gonzalez –     .320 / 4 / 12

OF  Shin-Soo Choo –      .392 / 3 / 9 (Has already been hit by pitches 10 times this year, and sports a .534 on-base percentage!)

OF  Bryce Harper –        .351 / 7 / 15

SP  Matt Harvey –         4-0, 1.54 ERA, 0.686 WHIP  (Harvey vs. Moore, now there’s a 21st-Century match-up.)

How about that outfield?  Carlos Gonzalez would look good in a Mets uniform.  As a Mets fan, you may think that I voted for Murphy, Wright and Harvey (again, I didn’t actually “vote” for Harvey) because they play for the Mets.  Not so.  There have been recent seasons when I didn’t vote for a single Mets player.  If you suck, you suck.  I don’t care which uniform you wear.  But, at this point, Wright and Murphy are legitimate choices.

With all due respect to Buster Posey, Yadier Molina is the best catcher in the Majors.  And though the Mets John Buck has already swatted seven homers, I’ll take Molina as my All-Star starting catcher.

Goldschmidt could very well be my choice two months from now, but let’s not forget that Joey Votto is still one of the best players in the game.  Brandon Crawford is my current choice, subject to change.  I doubt that outfield will change at all.  (What ever happened to Matt Kemp?)  And Matt Harvey?  Unless he blows his arm out, God forbid, he may be my choice for years to come.

What are your thoughts about the early season All-Star favorites?

My Picks for the All-Star Game – 2010

Being a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA), we have been asked by this organization to post a list of our picks for this year’s All-Star game.  Those members who post primarily about one team will submit picks for the league in which their favored team plays.  So a Mets blogger will, for example, post their N.L. All Star picks.

Unencumbered by such limitations, I chose to list my picks for each league, with accompanying commentary.

So here they are.  I’ll be curious to hear what you think.  Feel free to let me know if you agree or disagree with my picks, and why.

National League:

1B  Albert Pujols –  This has not been his finest season to date, but he is still the best player in baseball until someone else proves otherwise.

2B  Chase Utley – Brandon Phillips has better numbers so far, but Utley will pull away in the second half.

SS  Hanley Ramirez – I had been planning on picking Troy Tulowitzki, but he just went on the D.L. for the next six weeks.

3B  Scott Rolen – This was a tough call because Ryan Zimmerman is having a nice season, and David Wright, despite his huge strikeout numbers, has been productive.  But Rolen is crushing the ball in a way we haven’t seen from him in years.

C  Yadier Molina – N.L. players at this position are not having an outstanding year in ’10, but this Molina brother is the best choice.

OF Ryan Braun – Got off to a great start in April; has been merely good since then.

OF  Andrew McCutchen – Yes, this Pirate really does deserve to go to the All-Star game.

OF Andre Ethier – Just keeps getting better and better each season.

Starting Pitcher:  Ubaldo Jimenez – Simply off to one of the best starts to a season we have ever seen.

American League:

1B  Justin Morneau – In my Pre-Season Picks blog post, I stated that if any currently active player was to win the Triple Crown, it would be Miguel Cabrera.  Ironically, even though Cabrera is having a fine season, Justin Morneau is posting Triple Crown worthy stats.

2B  Robinson Cano – Having one of the best seasons by any second baseman in history.

SS  Derek Jeter – No A.L. shortstop is having a great season, but Jeter has earned this honor, regardless.

3B  Evan Longoria – With a strong second half, has a chance to win A.L. MVP Award.

C  Joe Mauer –  You were expecting, perhaps, Kelly Shoppach?

OF  Josh Hamilton – I was wrong.  I thought he would be a bust.   And I’m glad I was wrong.

OF  Vernon Wells – Very nice, and certainly unexpected, comeback year.

OF  Alex Rios – Finally putting forth the monster season long predicted.

DH  Vlad Guerrerro – Perhaps the most unappreciated super-star in the history of baseball.

SP  Jon Lester – David Price got off to the better start, but Lester could win the Cy Young this year.

If you feel I left out any obvious candidates, please let me know.

Next post:  Wednesday, June 23rd:  Best Forgotten Baseball Seasons: Part 6 – The Brooklyn / L.A. Dodgers.

If Babe Ruth Were Alive Today

If Babe Ruth were alive today…

…he’d appear on billboards advertising the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

… he’d be the wealthiest, most famous athlete in the world.

… his wife would throw him out of his house for having numerous affairs with other women.

… there would be at least two paternity suits pending against him, which would eventually be settled out of court.

…. he would hold a press conference apologizing to “Baseball fans all over the world, especially you kids out there,” for letting them down with his irresponsible behaviors.

… he’d make the All-Star team every season, whether he deserved it or not.

… he would have a cameo in an ABC after-school drama about the importance of staying in school.

… we can’t say for sure that he wouldn’t have used Performance Enhancing Drugs.

… he would be the unanimous, first overall pick in every fantasy baseball draft around the country, ahead of Albert Pujols.

… his name would be attached to a summer camp for at-risk youth.

… he would break both Barry Bonds’ career and single-season home run records.

… both political parties would court him to speak at their party fundraisers around the country, though Ruth himself wouldn’t have any idea who these candidates actually were.

… he would star in his own T.V. reality show in which we would learn that Mrs. Ruth would often get annoyed that The Babe would drink orange juice right out of the carton while standing in his boxer shorts in front of an open refrigerator.

… he would NOT review his at-bats on videotape.

… he would require a rub-down before and after every game with a professional Swiss masseuse as part of his contract.

… his favorite movies would be “Raiders of the Lost Ark,”  “Ghostbusters,” and, of course, “The Natural.”

… he would be available to pitch out of the bullpen.

… he would have greeted President Obama with a slap on the back and a “How ya doin’, kidd0?”  VP Joe Biden couldn’t help but laugh.

… Roger Clemens would buzz him with a high & tight fastball.  Ruth would hit Clemens’ next pitch into the upper deck for a game-winning home run.  After the game, Ruth would tell the press that Clemens fastball “was nothing special.”

… he would still, at some point in his career, play for the Yankees.

… he’d wonder why “all the dames wear pants.”

… he’d fart loudly during manager Joe Girardi’s initial club-house meeting, thereby undermining Girardi’s authority for the rest of the season.

…he’d play regular season baseball games against, and with, African-Americans for the first time.

… he’d go to a Denny’s Restaurant every Saturday morning for the Grand Slam Breakfast.

…he would own a Hummer.

… he would play his first night baseball game.

…he’d max out a dozen credit cards.

… 21st Century America wouldn’t have any more idea how to contain him than did 20th Century America.

… we’d realize how small and inconsequential our modern celebrities have become.

… America would once again realize what it is like to have a Hero.

Selig’s Monument

When Sir Christopher Wren (architect, astronomer, mathematician) died in 1723, his epitaph read as follows:  “If you seek his monument, look around you.”

Wren had designed St. Paul’s Cathedral, as well as over fifty other churches and public buildings in and around London.

His legacy was his work; therefore, a statue honoring him would have been redundant.

A man’s life is revealed primarily in his work.  It is what we do, and how well we do it, that defines who we are, and how we are remembered.

In addition to their work, some are also honored and immortalized in great works of literature, song, poem, or sculpture.  A blind poet, Homer, has kept Odysseus’s memory alive long after his body has perished, in The Odyssey.  The faces of four American presidents:  Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt may survive the next Ice Age gazing at the horizon from atop Mt. Rushmore.

Even here in Greenville, South Carolina, a bronze statue of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson serves as a cautionary tale of Man’s weakness in the face of temptation.  Jackson’s legacy was his life’s work, overshadowed by scandal.

This August, Bud Selig, Commissioner of Baseball for the past 17 years, will be honored outside of Miller Stadium in Milwaukee, with a seven foot statue of his own.  At such a moment, it is useful and proper to examine a man’s legacy.

Generally, statues and monuments are erected posthumously, allowing a person’s legacy to be weighed and measured over time.  In some cases, heroes of one era fade quickly and become irrelevant to the next.  In other cases, one’s reputation grows into something far more substantial than anyone who was a contemporary of that individual ever could have foreseen.

Therefore, it is sensible, in most cases, to wait several years, or even decades, after a person passes away before something as permanent as a statue should be unveiled.

Not all statues remain permanent, however, even while the subject of the monument is still alive.  The people of Iraq, for example, toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein, denying him immortality even as he was about to be deposed and eventually executed.

Happily, most monuments and statues do not follow behind such a malignant legacy, like a shadow behind a crypt.  Instead, they tend to be of the innocuous variety, a bland businessman with no apparent overriding moral compass.

They tend to be more like a statue to Bud Selig.

Selig’s work, then, is his legacy, even as his statue awaits its grand exhibition to an upper mid-western public.

And what, exactly is Selig’s life’s work?  There is the bureaucrat, and there is the leader.  One has to assume that whoever decided to commission this statue views Selig as an important leader, at least to the local Milwaukee community.  After all, bureaucrats are seldom immortalized.

Nevertheless, Selig has been overwhelmingly a bureaucrat.  Now, we need bureaucrats to get things done, and Selig has done that.

Financially speaking, baseball has consistently prospered under his reign, even if some teams claim to be losing money.  Selig’s introduction of the Wild Card system has significantly changed the playoff dynamic, ensuring greater competition and, therefore, more fan interest during the month of September than ever before.

Even interleague play, as difficult as it may be to justify in a serious, competitive sense, has, measured by attendance figures, brought more fans into the parks.  And the players, of course, are richer than ever.

If baseball was in dire economic straights, it would not be populated by hundreds of millionaire athletes anxious to shoot drugs into their systems to ensure future access to ever larger sums of money.

And this is precisely where the other half of Selig’s legacy, that of the amoral enabler, comes in.

Now, one might argue that it is not the job of a businessman, even a CEO, to act as mother-superior to the broader community.  What matters is the bottom-line; morality is irrelevant here.

And yet recent history, including this morning’s headlines regarding Toyota, remind us of the true cost levied on an organization that believes business and morality make strange, uncomfortable bedfellows.

Toyota is currently enveloped in a scandal not all that unlike baseball’s own steroid scandal of the past decade or so.  Corners are cut; Secrets are kept; Denials are made; Eventually, a semblance of truth and contrition are offered.  The pattern has become all to familiar in recent years, affecting Presidents, athletes, and businessmen.

Therefore, Selig’s monument is, inadvertently, an appropriate national symbol reflecting the excesses and selfishness of our contemporary society.

But is his statue an appropriate symbol in the classical sense of honoring a hero?

Commissioner Selig is plainly guilty of allowing, even encouraging, a performance-enhancing drug scandal to develop and virtually overtake our National Pastime on his watch.

His refusal to even acknowledge that a serious problem existed until Congress became involved reveals a depth of denial regarding not only the problem itself, but also his own responsibility in the matter, that can only be judged as gross negligence.

Obviously, Selig the Businessman was quite satisfied with the state of the game throughout the ’90’s  and on up to the early years of this century.  Therefore, what need was there for a Moral Leader to get involved who might only muck things up?

In my very first blog post, I stated that there are two essential questions important to both American history and to baseball history:

1.  Who deserves to be remembered?

2.  How do they deserve to be remembered?

The answers to these questions, I stated further, comprise the collective historical mythology that we pass down through the generations, from father to son.  Because baseball is, after all, a shared experience that evolves away from the realm of history to that of mythology as the decades turn to dust.

Question #1 has apparently already been answered:  A fellow bureaucrat in Milwaukee has a decided that Commissioner Selig deserves to be honored and remembered.

Question #2, therefore, becomes more specifically:  How does Bug Selig deserve to be remembered?

Images of used needles, Congressional Committees, contrite apologies by players, and home run records rendered meaningless  dot the landscape of Selig’s Realm.

Clearly, then, if you seek Selig’s monument, look around you.

Under the Radar: Part 3

This is the third installment of a series of blog posts called “Under the Radar.”  This series is a periodic examination of the careers of contemporary players who have achieved success in their major league careers, but who are not household names, like Jeter, A-Rod, or Griffey.

In Part 1 of this series (12/28/09), I took a look at the careers of Roy Oswalt and Carlos Beltran.  In Part 2 (1/14/10), I further examined the careers of Aramis Ramirez and Joe Nathan.  In this blog post, we will re-evaluate the relative success of Scott Rolen, third baseman for the Reds, and Jamie Moyer, currently toiling away with the Phillies.

Let’s begin with soon to be 35-year old Scott Rolen.

When Scott Rolen burst onto the scene as a 22 year-old kid back in 1997, he was touted in some circles as the Ssecond Coming of Mike Schmidt.  This appeared to be apropos, as Rolen was a rookie third baseman with the Phillies who had hit with power in the minor leagues.

In fact, Rolen’s career began significantly better than that of Mike Schmidt.  Whereas Schmidt actually produced a batting average under .200 in his second season, Rolen won the N.L. Rookie of the Year Award in ’97.  Rolen  hit 21 homers, drove in 92 runs, scored 93 runs, had an .846 OPS, and even threw in 16 stolen bases.

In Rolen’s second season, he won the first of his seven gold gloves.

In fact, any conversation about Rolen needs to begin with his defense.  Rolen has been the best defensive third basemen of his generation, and probably one of the top dozen fielding third basemen of all-time.  Although his skills have deteriorated from what they were earlier in his career, he has exhibited excellent range, sure hands, and a strong arm.

Rolen has also been generally more athletic than many third basemen; he has stolen 114 bases in his career.  Although this is not an awesome total, he has helped break the stereotype of the slow-footed, plodding third-sacker that was especially common in the middle of the twentieth century.

As a hitter, Rolen has a respectable .284 career batting average, a .370 on-base average, and he has slugged nearly .500 for his career.  In fact, his career OPS of .868 is better than every significant third baseman in history, other than Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, and Chipper Jones.

Rolen’s OPS+ (which takes ball-park factors into consideration) is 124.  Only Schmidt, Mathews, Jones, George Brett and Wade Boggs are significantly higher.  Rolen’s score is about the same as Ron Santo’s.

Rolen as five 100 RBI seasons to his credit, six seasons of at least 35 doubles, seven seasons of at least 25 home runs, and he has made five All-Star teams.

Finally, Rolen has also amassed 446 doubles, 283 homers, over 1,100 RBI’s, and over 1,000 runs scored.

Does Scott Rolen belong in the Hall-of-Fame?  Although his counting numbers at this point in his career do not rate amongst the all-time greats (just 1,810 hits, for example), there is no question that Rolen’s combination of hitting ability, defensive prowess, and general athleticism all rate in his favor.

When all is said and done, although there will be many who will argue that Rolen’s career didn’t finally measure up to his initial perceived potential, it will be quite likely that Scott Rolen will be considered one of the top ten or twelve third basemen of all-time.

Now let’s turn our attention to a pitcher who was already 34-years old when Scott Rolen was breaking into major league baseball.

Jamie Moyer, now 47-years old, is certainly an anomaly in baseball history.  His career trajectory looks nothing like the vast majority of the pitchers who have ever stepped up onto a pitcher’s mound.

Basically, Moyer’s career breaks down into three distinct segments.  Segment one was his initial nine seasons in a big-league uniform (ages 23-32) when he posted a career won-lost record of 59-76.  Now, at that point, the vast majority of pitchers would have seen the hand-writing on the wall, and would have set about identifying a post-baseball career for themselves.

Instead, Moyer suddenly achieved significant success as a pitcher.  Once he began pitching for the Seattle Mariners in the mid-1990’s, everything changed for him.  For eight seasons, from 1996-2003, Moyer enjoyed an astonishing won-lost record of 126-56, posting a .692 win-loss percentage.

In fact, he first became a 20-game winner at the age of 38, then topped that total with 21 victories at the age of 40!

Over the past six seasons, however, in the third segment of his career, Moyer has re-emerged as a mere mortal, posting a record of 73-63 during that time.

Overall, then, Jamie Moyer has won 258 games, while losing 195 in his career.  His career ERA of 4.22 makes it all but impossible, however, that no matter how many victories he ends up with, he will never make it into the Hall of Fame.  And, at age 47, it is extremely unlikely that he will ever see 300 victories.

Still, just ten more wins will tie Moyer with Jim Palmer for 35th on the all-time wins list, and fifteen more wins will tie him with Hall of Famer Red Ruffing for 32nd place.

Considering how poorly Moyer’s career began, and almost ended at age 32, Moyer has been Exhibit A regarding  the potential rewards of persevering through even long-term failure and disappointment.

At the age of 40, Moyer enjoyed his first and only invitation to pitch in an All-Star game.

It is impossible to imagine this honor tasting any sweeter than it must have to Moyer that year.

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