Friday, December 11, 2009

Post Number 1000

Today, the FanDome celebrates its 1000th post. While that number has no significance in the world at large, it's still a milestone of sorts for this here Fan. In honor of the milestone, here are some facts concerning Major League Baseball that center around the 1000 number. Enjoy.

OPS and OPS+ seem to be the new benchmarks for stat-oriented people. While OPS+ has its detractors, OPS is pretty straightforward and it's simply a combination of On Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage. It's funny how baseball stats get into language. For example, a person's batting average, if at .310, is always spoken as, "Three-ten." Nobody says that the batter is hitting 31% or, "Point three one zero." We say "Three-ten." The same goes for OPS. Barry Bonds has the highest OPS ever recorded when he posted a 1.4217 in 2004. Say what you want about how he got there, but that's a pretty incredible number. But we don't say that Bonds posted an OPS of, "One point four two one seven." We say that his OPS was "one thousand four two one seven." And so the stat fits the Fan's purposes and will work. There have been 389 seasons for players who finished with an OPS higher than 1.0000. Gary Sheffield is the only player ever to finish with an OPS of exactly 1.0000. He pulled off that rare feat in 2001. Of the top twelve OPS seasons ever, all of them belong to Bonds, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. Bonds had four of the top twelve. Ruth had six of the top twelve and Ted Williams had the other two. The interesting thing about Ted Williams' two best OPS seasons? The first one was at age 22 and the second at age 38.

Okay, here is quiz #1: Which two players had a season in the top 20 OPS seasons of all time: Mark McGwire, Mickey Mantle and Jeff Bagwell? Answer at the bottom of the post.

There have been 220 players in MLB who have walked a thousand or more times in their career. Bonds holds the record followed by Rickey Henderson. Eddie Stanky just missed with 996.

Quiz #2: Which current player (defined as active in 2009) is in the top ten in career walks? Answer below.

254 players in major league history have struck out more than 1000 times. Shawon Dunston and Jeffrey Leonard ended their careers with exactly 1000. Four players have topped the 2000 strikeout mark: Reggie Jackson (2597), Jim Thome (2313), Sammy Sosa and Andres Galaragga (2003). If Mike Cameron plays regularly for two more years, he'll get there as will Manny Ramirez if he keeps playing. Alex Rodriguez is currently 18th on the list and sits at 1736. If he plays seven or eight more seasons, he has an outside shot of setting this record.

Quiz #3: Of the Top Ten in all time strikeouts, how many of the ten were true first basemen? How many of the others in the Top Ten played significant time at first base? Answers below.

Thirty-five players in MLB history have totaled 1000 or more extra base hits with Hank Aaron on top of the list with 1477. Jim Thome goes into the 2010 season with exactly 1000 extra base hits.

Quiz #4: What Hall of Famer is Ken Griffey Jr. currently tied with for extra base hits (seventh on the all time list)? Answer below.

Only one player in history has stolen more than 1000 bases. Of course it's Rickey Henderson. His 1406 stolen bases is a record that may stand forever.

Only four players in history have a career total of Adjusted Batting Runs over 1000: Babe Ruth (1388), Barry Bonds (1301), Ted Williams (1137) and Ty Cobb (1037). The only current MLB ball player capable of beating Ruth is Albert Pujols, who sits at 580 at the age of 29.

Only fourteen pitchers have made over 1000 appearances. Jesse Orosco is the record holder with 1252. Of these 14, only one, Hoyt Wilhelm, was not from the recent era. Just goes to show how the bullpen usage has changed over the years. Trevor Hoffman should hit the 1000 mark this coming season with David Weathers a good bet to get there as well.

Quz #5: The top three pitchers in appearances for all time are lefties. Of the following eleven on the list, how many pitched left-handed? Answer below.

121 pitchers compiled a thousand or more walks in their career with Nolan Ryan the all time leader with 2795. That's another record that may never be broken. Jim Bunning finished with exactly 1000 walks. No current pitcher has even the remotest chance of finishing in the Top Ten. Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson are 12th and 13th respectively, but don't figure to crack the Top Ten in the little time (if any) they have left.

Well, that's our celebratory list. And below you will find the quiz answers.

Quiz #1: Bagwell and McGwire
Quiz #2: Jim Thome (tenth place)
Quiz #3: Three - Five.
Quiz #4: Lou Gehrig.
Quiz #5: One. The rest were all right-handed.


eyebleaf said...

Congrats, mate.

Josh Borenstein said...

1000 posts IS a milestone. Congrats.