Sunday, February 27, 2011

RIP, Duke Snider

Saddened just now to read about the passing of Brooklyn Dodgers Great, Duke Snider. An early rival of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays in New York, Snider was at the core of a nucleus of Hall of Famers that lead Brooklyn to its only championship in 1955. The Duke was a copmpetitor of the utmost class and charecter and every time another one of icon liek him passes, I'm reminded of the fact that the game as it stands today continues to look less like a game and more like an industry. There may have been (and will be) better players, but there was ever only one Duke.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cool Babe Ruth mosaic

I was looking some baseball card pictures to out with some of the teams, iconic ones like the Honus Wagner, or the '52 Mantle, when I found this really cool mosaic of Babe Ruth:




This picture of Ruth is made up entirely of Yankee Baseball Cards. It hangs between the first and second floor of the ESPN Zone in Times Square.

I'm not sure if this was done by the same artist but, as I was looking for more information about it, I came across some stories about Rich Cronin, who had an autistic son who passed away in 2002 (I have two sons with autism myself) and now does artwork like this for various charities to raise awareness and money for autism related research. He's done several of these, though I could only find his version of the same picture of Ruth, though from the youtube video I don't think it's the same piece.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Orioles Pitchers, 1968-1980

I was looking at the 1971 Orioles team a couple days ago. That’s the year they had four 20-Game Winners; which is the only time that’s happened since the 1920 White Sox. Then I started looking at the teams surrounding those years, and I found something that kind of blew me away. Look at how many 20-Game Winners the Orioles had from 1968 to 1980:

1968:
Dave McNally: 22-10, 1.95

1969:
Mike Cuellar: 23-11, 2.38
Dave McNally: 20-7, 3.22

1970:
Mike Cuellar: 24-8, 3.48
Dave McNally: 24-9, 3.22
Jim Palmer: 20-10, 2.71

1971:
Mike Cuellar: 20-9, 3.08
Pat Dobson: 20-8, 2.90
Dave McNally: 21-5, 2.89
Jim Palmer: 20-9, 2.68

1972:
Jim Palmer: 21-10, 2.07

1973:
Jim Palmer: 22-9, 2.40

1974:
Mike Cuellar: 22-10, 3.11

1975:
Jim Palmer: 23-11, 2.09
Mike Torrez: 20-9, 3.06

1976:
Wayne Garland: 20-7, 2.67
Jim Palmer: 22-13, 2.51

1977:
Jim Palmer: 20-11, 2.91

1978:
Jim Palmer: 21-12, 2.46

1979:
Mike Flanagan: 23-9, 3.08

1980:
Scott McGregor: 20-8, 3.32
Steve Stone: 25-7, 3.23

That's thirteen years in a row that the Orioles had at least one 20-Game Winner. In six of those they had more than one and in that time they had twenty-two overall! Nine different guys! From 1968 to 1971 they added another 20-Games winner each year! And the overall streak might have had a chance to go on even a season longer, without the strike: In 1981, Denny Martinez finished in a four-way tie for the league lead in wins with Jack Morris, Steve McCatty and Pete Vuckovich with 14, despite the cancellation of 57 scheduled games.

Now, granted, a 20-Win season was more common then than it is now, with Pitchers typically going only 6 or 7 innings these days, but still… one team, thirteen years in a row? That's astounding. I haven’t looked into it very thoroughly yet, and I will be, but I can't imagine any other team coming even close to that. I’m just going by memory right now, but I’d bet you have to go back the to 1800’s to find something like that, back when teams only HAD 2 or 3 pitchers, and 20 wins didn’t really mean anything.

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As a side note, the All-Time Yankees and All-Time Dodgers now have pictures posted for every player.