There are simply some records over at Baseball-reference.com that are more fun to look at than others. Russell Branyan has one of those records. Russell the Muscle just signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees. If Branyan manages to crack the Yankees' line up, it will be the eleventh franchise for which the slugger has played. So far, he has homered at least once in each of his stops. Branyan now has played parts of fourteen seasons. But his Baseball-reference.com page is 25 lines long. That seemed like a lot. And so hours were culled on B-R to see how unique that figure is. This research has resulted in yet another new statistic called, "Baseball-reference Lines Per Years Played." Obviously, we need an acronym: BRLPYP.
And it turns out that Russell Branyan is not the record holder for BRLPYP. He is among the leaders but he doesn't come out on top. Our all time record holder for BRLPYP is Bobo Newsom. Newsom pitched for nine teams over his twenty year career from 1929 to 1953. A right-handed pitcher, Newsom won 211 games. But he lost 222. Even so, his career ERA+ was 107, so he was pretty good. Newsom's Baseball-reference.com record is 38 lines long. From what research can tell during this journey, that is also a record. The longest B-R records were: Newsom (38), Deacon McGuire (35), Rickey Henderson (33) with David Weathers, Terry Mulholland and Hoyt Wilhelm all tied at 32. Newsom's 38 lines for 20 seasons gives him a BBLPYP of 1.9 even.
Second all time in BBLPYP is Willie Montenez at 1.857. Montenez played for parts of fourteen seasons for nine different teams between 1966 and 1982. He was originally signed by the Cardinals but they lost him in the Rule 5 draft to the Angels who gave him back to the Cardinals less than a year later. Montenez is also part of MLB history because he was the player the Cardinals sent to the Phillies when Curt Flood refused to be part of that deal. Thus began Flood's fight against Major League Baseball. Montenez was a useful hitter for a long time but never stayed in one place very long. Amazingly, he played for multiple teams in the same seasons on six different occasions. His B-R record is 26 lines long.
Branyan comes in third all time with a BBLPYP of 1.796. Following Branyan on our all time BBLPYP list are:
- Bob Miller - 1.705 (29 lines for 17 seasons)
- Ocavio Dotel - 1.692 (22 lines for thirteen seasons). Dotel will set a record if he plays for the Tigers this season as his thirteenth franchise.
- David Weathers - 1.684 (32 lines for 19 seasons)
- Chuck McElroy - 1.615 (21 lines for 13 seasons)
- Terry Mulholland - 1.6 (32 lines for 20 seasons)
This new statistic is sure to rock the very foundation of the Sabr community.