Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The anti-blob

A few years ago, I introduced you to the concept of "the blob," which is merely the player to make the last out in a ballgame. By extension, "the ultimate blob" is the player to make the final out in the World Series. I hope to keep that particular list going for as long as this blog exists.

But the other day, while working on a post on another blog, I began to think about "the anti-blob". The "anti" to the blob, of course, would be someone who ended a game with a hit. The always celebrated "walk-off". And the ultimate anti-blob would be someone who did that in the World Series. Bill Mazeroski, Joe Carter, Edgar Renteria, etc.

But actually, strictly speaking, the "anti-blob" would not merely be the "walk-off" variety of hit. It would be anyone who got the last hit in a game. And the ultimate anti-blob would be anyone who got the last hit in a World Series. It doesn't matter whether it ended a game. Just that it was the last hit. "Blob" = last out. "Anti-blob" = last hit.

And with that, the research began.

Who was the last person to get a hit in each World Series?

Presenting, "the anti-blob" for each World Series:

2013: Stephen Drew, Red Sox (W), 7th inning, single
2012: Marco Scutaro, Giants (W), 10th inning, game-winning RBI single
2011: Yadier Molina, Cardinals (W), 7th inning, RBI single
2010: Buster Posey, Giants (W), 8th inning, single

2009: Derek Jeter, Yankees (W), 8th inning single

2008: Dioner Navarro, Rays (L), 9th inning, single
2007: Garrett Atkins, Rockies (L), 8th inning, two-run home run
2006: Sean Casey, Tigers (L), 9th inning, double
2005: Jason Lane, Astros (L), 9th inning, single
2004: Albert Pujols, Cardinals (L), 9th inning, single

2003: Alfonso Soriano, Yankees (L), 8th inning, single
2002: J.T. Snow, Giants (L), 9th inning, single

2001: Luis Gonzalez, Diamondbacks (W), 9th inning, walk-off RBI single
2000: Luis Sojo, Yankees (W), 9th inning, game-winning two-run single

1999: Jorge Posada, Yankees (W), 8th inning, double
1998: Chuck Knoblauch, Yankees (W), 9th inning, single
1997: Edgar Renteria, Marlins (W), 11th inning, walk-off RBI single
1996: Marquis Grissom, Braves (L), 9th inning, RBI single
1995: Marquis Grissom, Braves (W), 7th inning, single
1994: (sob)
1993: Joe Carter, Blue Jays (W), walk-off three-run home run

1992: Jeff Blauser, Braves (L), 11th inning, single
1991: Gene Larkin, Twins (W), 10th inning, walk-off RBI single
1990: Herm Winningham, Reds (W), 8th inning, single

1989: Carney Lansford, A's (W), 8th inning, single
1988: Carney Lansford, A's (L), 9th inning, single
1987: Dan Gladden, Twins (L), 8th inning, RBI single
1986: Jesse Orosco, Mets (W), 8th inning, RBI single
1985: Terry Pendleton, Cardinals (L), 7th inning, single
1984: Bruce Bochy, Padres (L), 9th inning, single
1983: Eddie Murray, Orioles (W), 9th inning, single

1982: Steve Braun, Cardinals (W), 8th inning, RBI single
1981: Aurelio Rodriguez, Yankees (L), 8th inning, single
1980: Jose Cardenal, Royals (L), 9th inning, single

1979: Tim Foli, Pirates (W), 9th inning, single
1978: Thurman Munson, Yankees (W), 9th inning, single
1977: Vic Davalillo, Dodgers (L), 9th inning, bunt single
1976: Dave Concepcion, Reds (W), 9th inning, RBI double
1975: Joe Morgan, Reds (W), 9th inning, game-winning RBI single
1974: Bert Campaneris, A's (W), 8th inning, bunt single
1973: Don Hahn, Mets (L), 9th inning, single
1972: Bert Campaneris, A's (W), ninth inning, single
1971: Manny Sanguillen, Pirates (W), 9th inning, single

1970: Davey Johnson, Orioles (W), 8th inning, RBI single

1969: Ron Swobada, Mets (W), 8th inning, game-winning RBI double
1968: Mike Shannon, Cardinals (L), 9th inning, home run
1967: Carl Yastrzemski, Red Sox (L), 9th inning, single
1966: Al Ferrara, Dodgers (L), 9th inning, single
1965: Harmon Killebrew, Twins (L), 9th inning, single
1964: Phil Linz, Yankees (L), 9th inning, home run
1963: Bobby Richardson, Yankees (L), 9th inning, single
1962: Willie Mays, Giants (L), 9th inning, double
1961: Clete Boyer, Yankees (W), 8th inning, single
1960: Bill Mazeroski, Pirates (W), 9th inning, walk-off home run

1959: Chuck Essegian, Dodgers (W), 9th inning, home run
1958: Joe Adcock, Braves (L), 9th inning, single
1957: Tommy Byrne, Yankees (W), 9th inning, single
1956: Duke Snider, Dodgers (L), 9th inning, single
1955: Don Hoak, Dodgers (W), 9th inning, single
1954: Alvin Dark, Giants (W), 9th inning, single
1953: Billy Martin, Yankees (W), 9th inning, game-winning single
1952: Gil McDougald, Yankees (W), 9th inning, single
1951: Whitey Lockman, Giants (L), 9th inning, single
1950: Mike Goliat, Phillies (L), 9th inning, single

1949: Joe Coleman, Yankees (W), 9th inning, double
1948: Phil Masi, Braves (L), 8th inning, RBI double

1947: Eddie Miksis, Dodgers (L), 9th inning, single
1946: Bobby Doerr, Red Sox (L), 9th inning, single
1945: Roy Hughes, Cubs (L), 9th inning, single
1944: Walker Cooper, Cardinals (W), 7th inning, single
1943: Danny Litwhiler, Cardinals (L), 9th inning, single
1942: Johnny Beazley, Yankees (L), 9th inning, single
1941: Joe DiMaggio, Yankees (W), 8th inning, single

1940: Mike McCormick, Reds (W), 8th inning, bunt single

1939: Frank McCormick, Reds (L), 10th inning, single
1938: Billy Jurges, Cubs (L), 9th inning, single
1937: Hank Leiber, Giants (L), 8th inning, single
1936: Joe DiMaggio, Yankees (W), 9th inning, single
1935: Goose Goslin, Tigers (W), 9th inning, walk-off single
1934: Charlie Gehringer, Tigers (L), 9th inning, single
1933: Joe Cronin, Senators (L), 10th inning, single
1932: Babe Herman, Cubs (L), 9th inning, single
1931: Doc Cramer, A's (L), 9th inning, RBI single
1930: Chick Hafey, Cardinals (L), 9th inning, RBI double

1929: Bing Miller, A's (W), 9th inning, walk-off double
1928: Andy High, Cardinals (L), 9th inning, single
1927: Mark Koenig, Yankees (W), 9th inning, bunt single
1926: Chick Hafey, Cardinals (W), 8th inning, single
1925: Kiki Cuyler, Pirates (W), 8th inning, 2-RBI game-winning double
1924: Earl McNeely, Senators (W), 9th inning, walk-off double
1923: Ross Youngs, Giants (L), 8th inning, single
1922: Lee King, Giants (W), 8th inning, RBI single
1921: Waite Hoyt, Yankees (L), 7th inning, single

1920: Zack Wheat, Dodgers (L), 9th inning, single

1919: Eddie Collins, White Sox (L), 9th inning, single
1918: Amos Strunk, Red Sox (W), 7th inning, single
1917: Nemo Leibold, White Sox (W), 9th inning, RBI single
1916: Casey Stengel, Dodgers (L), 9th inning, single
1915: Harry Hooper, Red Sox (W), 9th inning, game-winning home run
1914: Butch Schmidt, Braves (W), 6th inning, single

1913: Christy Mathewson, Giants (L), 6th inning, single
1912: Tris Speaker, Red Sox (W), 10th inning, single
1911: Buck Herzog, Giants (L), 9th inning, single
1910: Jimmy Archer, Cubs (L), 9th inning, single

1909: Jim Delahanty, Tigers (L), 9th inning, double
1908: Joe Tinker, Cubs (W), 9th inning, single
1907: Claude Rossman, Tigers (L), 9th inning, single
1906: Solly Hofman, Cubs (L), 9th inning, RBI single
1905: Roger Bresnahan, Giants (W), 8th inning, double
1904: no series
1903: Lou Criger, Red Sox (W), 6th inning, single

 Those are all of your ultimate anti-blobs.

Some observations:

1. It's hard to keep a good offense down. The earliest a last hit occurred in a clinching World Series game was the sixth inning and that happened only three times (and no earlier than 1914).

2. The walk-off last hits in a World Series are the most memorable performances by an anti-blob. They include Luis Gonzalez (2001), Edgar Renteria (1997), Joe Carter (1993), Gene Larkin (1991), Bill Mazeroski (1960), Goose Goslin (1935) and Earl McNeely (1924).

3. Some other last hits -- the game-winning variety that didn't end a game -- are not as well known but no less impressive: Marco Scutaro (2010), Luis Sojo (2000), Joe Morgan (1975), Ron Swoboda (1969), Billy Martin (1953), Kiki Cuyler (1925) and Harry Hooper (1915). (I need to recheck my research here and make sure I didn't miss anything).

4. The following anti-blobs provided a home run for the last hit of the World Series: Garrett Atkins (2007), Joe Carter (1993), Mike Shannon (1968), Phil Linz (1964), Bill Mazeroski (1960), Chuck Essegian (1959), Harry Hooper (1915).

5. Five players have been the ultimate anti-blob twice: Chick Hafey (1926, 1930), Joe DiMaggio (1936, 1941), Bert Campaneris (1972, 1974), Carney Lansford (1988, 1989) and Marquis Grissom (1995, 1996). Only two have done it back-to-back (Lansford and Grissom) and only two have done it for teams that only won the World Series (DiMaggio and Campaneris).

6. Glad to see some pitchers ended up the ultimate anti-blob: Jesse Orosco, Waite Hoyt, Christy Mathewson. May pitchers forever be allowed to hit!

7. Finally, the greatest bit of useless trivia ever: Six players in history have been both the ultimate blob and ultimate anti-blob in their careers. Here they are:

Goose Goslin  (blob: 1925, anti-blob: 1935)
Davey Johnson (blob: 1969, anti-blob: 1970)
Carl Yastrzemski (blob: 1975, anti-blob: 1967)
Carney Lansford (blob: 1990, anti-blob: 1988, 1989)
Jorge Posada (blob: 2003, anti-blob: 1999)
Edgar Renteria (blob: 2004, anti-blob: 1997)

Now THAT is truly knowing the peak and the valley of a career.


  1. Nice research and cool concept. I certainly remember some more than others, especially since some had no meaning on the game or series.

    Also, when I was probably 6 or 7, my mom let me rent The Blob on video tape from the local library. That was not her finest moment as a parent.

  2. This post is amazing ! Love the idea