Friday, September 18, 2009

Awesome night card, pt. 51

Recently, a certain shortstop in a certain city broke a certain record, and certain people celebrated and certain people scoffed. I tried to stay out if it. I mean, Derek Jeter doesn't really bother me. He's wearing a Yankee uniform, so I like almost anyone in major league baseball more than him, but at least he's not A-Rod or Teixeira.

The record? If you're a Yankee fan, it's a big deal. Otherwise, why is anyone supposed to care? No one has given me a good reason for that. I don't think they can. The media -- especially television media -- sensationalizes what it wants, supporting arguments be damned.

The hoopla really looks silly when you consider some of the greatest records in all of baseball. I mean if we were treated to all of that Jeter-mania for a franchise hit record, what would happen if a Yankee approached Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak? They might have to close the city down. Play their games in an empty ballpark. I don't think even New York could take it. It would implode from the force of all the coverage.

For me, there are two records that I think of when people mention baseball's unbreakable marks. I think of DiMaggio's hitting streak second. The first is Johnny Vander Meer's consecutive no-hitters.

I can barely even comprehend the thought of back-to-back no-hitters. But they say Cincinnati's Vander Meer, a career under-.500 pitcher, did it on June 11 and June 15 of 1938, no-hitting the Boston Braves and my Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Reds' game against the Dodgers was the first night game at Ebbets Field, a fact that may have aided Vander Meer on his way to his second no-hitter. Vander Meer actually walked eight batters during the game, including walking the bases full with one out in the ninth inning with the Reds up 6-0. I wonder how many current managers would leave a pitcher in after walking the bases full in the 9th inning?

Perhaps the thing that I find most interesting about Vander Meer is he actually started out in the Dodgers' organization. He had lots of potential, but was wild and eventually purchased by the Reds, then sold to the Braves, then bought by the Reds again. So Vander Meer played in the minors for both of the teams he no-hit.

Vander Meer was also a lefty. You've got to like that.

To me, the feat is so crazy that it seems like it needs to be debunked. Like it didn't really happen, and people have been telling a tall tale all these years.

Here are some other records that people say will never be broken. In no particular order:

1. Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2,632 consecutive games played
2. Chief Wilson's 36 triples in 1912
3. Ty Cobb's .367 career batting average
4. Cy Young's 511 career wins
5. Rickey Henderson's 130 stolen bases in 1982
6. Pete Rose's 4,256 career hits
7. Nolan Ryan's 5,714 career strikeouts
8. Walter Johnson's 110 career shutouts
9. Ron Hunt's 50 hit-by-pitches in 1971
10. Nap Lajoie's .426 batting average in 1901
11. Babe Ruth's 177 runs in 1921
12. Hack Wilson's 191 RBI in 1930
13. Orel Hershiser's 59 consecutive scoreless innings in 1988
14. Sam Crawford's 309 career triples
15. Barry Bonds' 73 home runs in 2001

Did I miss anything? All of the records are very impressive. But not as impressive as throwing back-to-back no-hitters. If that ever happens again, I hope ESPN isn't around anymore.

(Thanks for the card, Jim).

4 comments:

  1. All of those records are impressive but there is one record that is so far out there that it will never EVER be touched. The record I am talking about is Cy Young's complete game record. He had an astonishing 749 of them. Just think about how crazy that number is. Look at the active leaders and you will see what I mean:

    1. Randy Johnson 100
    2. Tom Glavine 56
    3. John Schmoltz 53
    4. Roy Halladay 47
    4. Levan Hernandez 47
    6. Pedro Martinez 46
    7. Tim Wakefield 32
    8. Bartolo Colon 31
    8. Jamie Moyer 31
    10. Sidney Ponson 29
    11. Chris Carpenter 28
    12. CC Sabathia 28

    Out of a handful of future HOFers only Johnson got more than 10% of the way there. Only 650 more to top Cy.

    I know the game is different but it doesn't matter to me a record isa record.

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  2. i would also throw in connie mack's years as a manager. unless mark cuban buys a team and installs himself as manager for the next 51 years, it's not going to be broken.

    in other news, greg - i received the opc and dodgers you sent recently. i have been remiss in posting about the stuff you have sent and will have a post up early next week. apologies and thanks all at once.

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  3. It also seems weird to me that no one mentions that Jeter had over 600 more at bats than Gehrig. Not that I want to take anything away from Jeter, I'm just sayin'.

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  4. That cartianly is an awesome night card!

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