About Me

I am a long time baseball fan who became interesting in documenting the "missing" batter strikeouts a few years back as an outgrowth of my interest in the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. Grew up w/ the Big Red Machine. I now follow them and my new hometown, Detroit Tigers. Member of SABR off and on since 1979.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

1910 Nap Lajoie and Intentional BB's

A couple of years ago, when I was going through the 1910 Philadelphia Evening Telegraph as part of my batter strikeout research, I started noticing many references to the intentional passing of Napoleon Lajoie in the play-by-play accounts.   Further looking at Lajoie's career stats shows that the 1910 season stands out as an aberration in regards to his walk totals - he had 60, his next most was 47, while most were in the 30's.

I made a mental note that I should sometime look into this.

Well, recently I was in a discussion on one of the Tigers message boards and it was suggested that I do some research on intentional bb's and that triggered me to take a second look at the 1910 Lajoie season (thanks Lee Panas).

What I am looking for in my research is keywords such as "intentionally" or "purposely" passed.   Now I understand that true Intentional Walks as they are perceived nowadays - with the catcher stepping out, may not have existed (not up on my IBB history) and that these IBB's could well be defined as "pitching around" rather than true IBB's, the fact that the newspaper verbiage is explicit is leading me to define them as IBB's for this study.

In addition to my Lajoie research, I hope to make observations of other players that have similar play-by-play verbiage to frame my Lajoie research.

I have just restarted my research and have gone through the following newspapers:

Philadelphia Evening Telegraph (play-by-play - pbp)
Chicago Tribune
Boston Globe
Washington Post
St. Louis Republic
St. Louis Globe Democrat
Detroit Times (pbp)
New York Evening World (pbp) (no pbp in August/Sept)
New York Evening Telegram  (pbp) (no pbp in August)

The big ones I still need to do are the hometown papers (via GeneologyBank.com):

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland Leader

also:
Philadelphia Inquirer
New York Times
Boston Herald
New York Herald
Washington Times

There may be another Chicago paper I need to check - need to check my notes for which ones to look at (hopefully with some help from my Chicago friends).

I am sure I am missing a few other papers I should/need to check.

So far, I have found 21 occurrences of IBB's of the 47 walks I have found. 

One thing that I am making sure I am doing is cross-checking each game/walk across multiple sources to see if there is confirmation.  If there is not confirmation, it does not necessarily.

Once I get all of my data, I will publishing a detailed account of my findings.
As part of it, I also plan on framing the IBB data around the infamous Cobb/Lajoie batting race.
Will need to look at Cobb's game data as well.

If anyone has any additional resources or research, I would appreciate it.

Thanks again for reading my posts.

JF

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mt Clemens Ballplayer rehab - the research begins!

Well, I started in in earnest on my Mt. Clemens - Baseball Rehab research a couple of weeks ago.


I did a search of the term "clemens" in the "Sporting Life" archives at the LA84 site and got 60 pages of hits.

I tried a similar search in "The Sporting News", but as many have already known or found out, the search feature in The Paper of Record scans is poor and after going through a couple of pages of results, I found about 90% false finds.  I may go back and go though it again, but for now I am going to pass.
As for searching other newspapers, I am not sure how well that is going to go.  Searching for "Clemens" in this era in a non-sporting paper is going to get me alot of Samuel Clemens citings, which although he may well have gone to Mt. Clemens himself, is not going to do me much good.
When I expanded the search to "Mt Clemens" or "Mount Clemens", I get alot of folks coming or going to Mt. Clemens and other stories related to Mt. Clemens.   I could go down that search path, but I am not sure I want to spend that much time looking for those needles in the haystack.

In the meantime, I trekked over to Mt. Clemens, about a 45 minute drive East of where I live to do some "reconnaissance" on what materials and people there might be of help.

I first went to the Mt. Clemens Library and was directed to their research room and talked with one of their volunteers (Dennis) and he directed me to their microfilm, primarily a newspaper called the Mt. Clemens Monitor.  This paper was one of the precursors (is this the right word) to the current day Macomb Daily.   Unfortunately, it has not been scanned, and will require quite a bit of scanning/staring to gain any useful info.  I did look at some pages of 1904 just to get a feel for the day to day (or was it week to week) content of the paper to see if there was any types of typical information I could look for when I dove in in earnest.   One possible area is a section which documents visitors to the various bathhouses for a given week.   These may well be just listing those people whose social standing made it "important" to be documented as being there.   I have noticed over the years of my various research that in that era (late 19th/early 20th), it was typical of local papers to have a social section which documented people either visiting the city or locals going to visit another locale.   Seems rather quaint nowadays for a local paper (at least in the bigger cities), but was quite normal at the time.

Anyway, the one in the Monitor lists the visitors by bathhouse/spa/resort and as I found out from conversations with a couple of the Mt Clemens Historical Society folks, where and which spa you stayed at said alot about your social standing.

Since my visit to Mt. Clemens, I have gotten through the 60 search pages from Sporting Life and have saved off the pertinent pages.   I have about 110 citings currently, some are in essence multiple citings of the same player making the same visit (e.g.  Going to Mt. Clemens, Back from Mt. Clemens, recovered from last winter's visit, etc.)   Some citings are in regards to anticipated visits, while others are about being there for a given time period, and, of course, some are after they came back from there.

What I am thinking about doing is taking the SL citings and their dates and cross-checking those against similar dates in the Monitor to see if I can identify which spa/bathhouse each player stayed at.
Could be a longshot, depending on whether the newspapers writers/editors deemed the individual ball player "worthy"  of inclusion in their weekly rosters.   We'll see.

In the meantime, I am starting to give some thought on how I am planning on framing the research article.   Here are some of my initial thinking:

1.  Mineral Baths in the late 19th/early 20th and their recuperative powers - a history of the evolution including other prominent Mineral Springs in the US (and if earlier, outside of the US) including Hot Springs, Sulphur Springs, French Lick, etc.   

2.  Ballplayers and the mineral baths in general - Various methods of rehab in the era, Bonesetter Reese (?), Spring Training in Hot Springs, etc.

3.  Mt. Clemens Mineral Springs - a brief history of the rise of "Bath City",  There is some good info on their home page as well as an ebook history in which I downloaded the "Bath Era" section.

4.  Ballplayers and Mt. Clemens  - visits over the years (including Babe Ruth, of course).  I may try to add a "before and after" for each visit to show if the visit improved their malady/performance (not sure what metric, but will be partially playing time as well as a "SABR" metric.  Of course, will include the reason for the visit where it is documented.

5.  The decline of Mineral Baths at Mt. Clemens and all over and the reasons - advances in pharma, Depression, etc.

6.  Summary, conclusions, unanswered questions.


As always, for those who actually do read this blog (besides myself), if you have any thoughts, insight, or comments, they are always welcome.  And thanks for reading.

JF

Monday, May 6, 2013

What I am currently researching - Mt Clemens and Kid Glove

Well, it's time for my biennial (did I spell that right?) posting in my blog, or it at least feels that way.

Anyways, I wanted to document what I have been doing and what I am currently researching - all baseball.

A number of months ago, with a tremendous amount of help from Ed Morton of Philadelphia, I wrote up a bio on William Stecher for the upcoming National Pastime Philadelphia Convention publication.
The article chronicles his life and career, but also shows some of the amateur and professional teams that he was active with during his playing time.   I ran across him in my AA batter k research (and lineup database creation) and was fascinated by his mediocrity and with the Philly convention coming up, I figured I'd give a stab at writing an article around his life and career.   It turned out to be a quite fascinating life and career - a decent amateur player who got a lucky break to get on a horrible team and later, after his career was over, a prominent local politician.   Look forward to my 2nd SABR published article (I was published a few years ago on 1899 Batter K's).  

With that in the rear view mirror (except some minor footnote related revisions), I am slowly starting on my next research projects.

First,  I am looking into baseball players who visited Mt. Clemens, MI for recuperation and rest.   I have off and on over the years of my batter k research ran across mentions of this or that player going to Mt. Clemens to recuperate and wondered what that was about.  Mt. Clemens is a Detroit suburb, Northeast of the city and, honestly, I did not know much about it, and had only been there a couple of times for liquid refreshments.   It's probably about 30 miles from me as I live in the northwest suburbs and don''t tend to go to "that side of town".  What I started to find out was that Mt. Clemens was a mineral bath spa for a number of years from the mid/late 1800's into the early/mid 1900's.

So far, I am churning my way through Sporting Life key word searches of "Clemens" to find occurrences of players, umpires, and management making the sojourn.   I have quite a few so far.
I did venture out to Mt Clemens a couple of weeks ago to do some "reconnaissance" on local sources on the baths and local paper sources.   Interestingly, no one has written a book exclusively on the history of the baths.  There are some nice books and online sources that have summaries of the "Bath Era", so I have some nice resources on background when I put together that aspect of the article.

Stay tuned and if anyone out there has run across a Mt. Clemens visit in your own research, I would be most grateful if you could share it with me.   I plan on posting a APB as soon as I get done with my Sporting Life research on the 19th Century and Deadball lists (maybe SABR-L as well) to garner any info.   Also, I would like to talk with any Hot Springs experts to compare notes and gain any general "mineral springs" history.


A second research project will probably take a bit longer and require more help, if not done by others.

I grew up in Cincinnati in the '70's and I always remember an exhibition game called the "Kid Glove Game" in which we played the Detroit Tigers.   I never knew any of the Tigers who played (they weren't very good at the time) and the game benefited local little org called Knothole (I played little league, but was never even close to good enough for Knothole).  

The Kid Glove game has a history going back to the '40's and still is active, now as a series of 5 regular season games (no more in season exhibitions).   I got a really nice packet from the ED of the Kid Glove org a couple of months ago and may well use it for the intro and interludes as it has a great deal of good info.  I also scanned it and shared it with Chris Eckes and Greg Rhodes of the Red HOF in case they decide to do something around it as an exhibition. 

My research, I was thinking, would be more statistical and game-by-game oriented, very like Greg Rhodes' great "Opening Day" book.   Box scores of each game with contemporary accounts and statistical leaders.  

As I stated, this one will take a little more work as I live in Michigan and most of the contemporary accounts would, of course, reside in Cincinnati.  There are a couple solutions I am playing with, in lieu of me going down there - ProQuest Cincinnati Enquirer pay for article packets and also using the opponent's newspapers to get accounts.  

We'll see where this goes.  If anyone wants to assist me on this or offer suggestions, I would be grateful.

That's all for now.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Some song musings - Mary Hopkin

I have kind of been taking a break from baseball research.   A couple of months ago, with a big help from Ed Morton of Philadelphia, I wrote a article on a 1890 player by the name of William T Stecher, who had a 1 year career of 0-10 and an ERA over 10.   Both of those represent records for a career.
I wrote it to be part of the SABR Philly convention publication coming up in July/August.   Now I have to wait and see if I made the cut.   If I didn't, I figure it will be a good BioProj entry.

While I am contemplating my next baseball writing adventure, either Mt. Clemens, MI and ball players rehabbing there or a game by game history of the Cincinnati Kid Glove game, I have decided to write a little bit about my other "hobby", music.

I have sung in local choirs off and on for a number of years and have been a lover of most forms of music for many moons. 

I have 4745 "items" in my iTunes direectory - needless to say, I have not listened to every track multiple times.   Some of these are from musicals and classical arrangements that I loaded onto iTunes from my CD collection a few years ago.  

I grew up in the '70's and my earliest recollection of music goes back to when I was around 6 or 7.   In fact, I just bought a couple of songs that I remembered from this period.

The first one, Mary Hopkin "Those Were the Days", which got to #2 on the Billboard charts.   Doing a little research (via Wiki and Joel Whitburn), I founs that Hopkin was the first artist to be signed to the fledgling Apple label.   Pretty cool.

This song has always had a great haunting quality to it for me in addition to the story.    I don't remember what show I originally heard/saw this on, but I do remember it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KODZtjOIPg


While I was buying that one, I downloaded her other big hit, "Goodbye".   Again, Her voice was a wonderful haunting sound. 


That's all for today.  I will post other songs and recollections as I can.

Hope you enjoyed the songs.

Friday, November 2, 2012

August 31, 1887 - 5 pitchers for New York

As I was going through the 1887 AA games a few months back, I ran across a game that I found a bit unusual for the time period - a team that used 5 different pitchers in a single game.


The date was August 31, 1887 and the setting was Eclipse Park (I), Louisville.   The New York Metropolitans (aka Indians) of Staten Island were playing their 12th game of a Western road trip that had taken them to Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Louisville.  They had gone 1-10 on the roadtrip so far with losing scores such as 4-16, 5-15, 1-10, 8-14, and only the day before, on May 30, a rousing 5-23 loss to the Louisville club they were playing on 31st.  The Metropolitans would finish 44-89 and disappear from the AA and Staten Island.

In that 30th game, Indians pitcher Ed Cushman had gone the distance allowing 27 hits and 6 walks, in addition to the 23 runs (21 earned).   Cushman would have a 4 year career, mostly in the AA, with a 62-81 record.   He would later umpire in the NL (1898, at least).

On the 31st, they took losing to a new level, losing 11-25, using 5 pitchers with Darby O'Brien playing 5 positions.  They gave up 16 hits and 16 phantom hits (remember, this is 1887 when walks were counted as hits)



Here is a copy of the game account & box from the Sept. 1, 1887, New York Herald:



Recreating the lineup and the shifting of the positions results in the following:

Starting lineup (through 1 out in 1st and 7 runs):

1. Hogan rf
2. Radford ss
3. D. O'Brien 1b
4. Jones cf
5. Hankinson 3b
6. Ryan p
7. Donahue c
8. Roseman lf
9. Gerhardt 2b

After Darby O'Brien took over Ryan at pitcher, O'Brien and Ryan swapped positions:

1. Hogan rf
2. Radford ss
3. D. O'Brien p
4. Jones cf
5. Hankinson 3b
6. Ryan 1b
7. Donahue c
8. Roseman lf
9. Gerhardt 2b

O'Brien lasted 3 2/3 innings from my account, pitching through the end of the 4th, allowing 5 runs.  In the 5th, Radford took over, O'Brien swapping positions with Radford, going to ss.

1. Hogan rf
2. Radford p
3. D. O'Brien ss
4. Jones cf
5. Hankinson 3b
6. Ryan 1b
7. Donahue c
8. Roseman lf
9. Gerhardt 2b

Radford, "trying his hand", pitched only the 5th & 6th, allowing 10 runs.   Jones then relieved Radford and pitched the 7th & 8th allowing 2 runs.   Radford went back to ss and O'Brien took over for Jones in cf.
 
1. Hogan rf
2. Radford ss
3. D. O'Brien cf
4. Jones p
5. Hankinson 3b
6. Ryan 1b
7. Donahue c
8. Roseman lf
9. Gerhardt 2b

And finally, Roseman came in in the 8th and finished out the game, allowing the last of the 25 runs.
Jones went back to cf and O'Brien shifted to his 5th position, taking over for Roseman in lf.

 
1. Hogan rf
2. Radford ss
3. D. O'Brien lf
4. Jones cf
5. Hankinson 3b
6. Ryan 1b
7. Donahue c
8. Roseman p
9. Gerhardt 2b

Quite typical of the era, players shifted around to replace instead of having a true substitution.   In fact, this was still the era when the opposing manager could dispute a substitute player entering the game (a player faking an injury to get a better pitcher into the game is an example).

I am not sure if this is the most pitchers used in a game up to this time - in the 3 AA seasons that I have researched (1887, 1888, & 1890), this is the most (small sample size).    I would be interested in learning of other occurrences with this many pitchers used and the 5 positions played by O'Brien in the game.

A couple of related notes:

I still (or someone else who would like to be very helpful) need to check the Louisville papers to get some more details. especially on the scoring of Louisville and verification of the the exact point in the game when the switches occurred as well as which O'Brien played.

I need to verify which O'Brien was used in the game. Darby O'Brien is shown in another source as the pitcher, while B-R implies that Tom O'Brien was the pitcher (allowing 5 runs).   The other source has Darby at the other 4 positions as well.  It also has Tom playing his last game on the 27th of August.  Ironically, B-R does not have Tom playing ss, but has Darby playing it (among the many positions that both played that season).  I think it was just a error in loading the database that B-R uses and I will follow up on that avenue.

Also, I need to verify who pitched the 6th inning as from the above newspaper account and B-R innings - The other source indicates the Radford pitched 1 inning after O'Brien (3 2/3) and Ryan (1/3) pitched, sending the game up through the 5th.  The other source shows Jones with 2 innings, but the game description above indicates he "pitched an inning", implying 1 inning.   Hope to find a Louisville (read local) source that can confirm the other source's information.

 If anyone has access to the Louisville papers in KY or in DC at the LOC, please let me know.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Intentional BB's - did Fielder/Cabrera do something special?

Living up here in Detroit, I have had a chance this season to see quite an enjoyable, albeit frustrating at times, Tigers team.   They did win the AL Central and got to the World Series, which is awesome, but like most all teams, they have you scratching your head during the season.   Part of what makes being a fan so much fun, I guess.

As most folks know, Prince Fielder was added to the team this season w/ a huge long term contract, bringing over his wonderful power to go with his good eye and nice hitting ability (we won't talk about running or fielding here, ok? :) ).

Stories have already been written about how the combination of Fielder and Miguel Cabrera was going to and did form a formidable duo in the middle of the lineup.   This duo did produce as Cabrera batting 3rd, produced a Triple Crown season - .330, 44 HR, 139 RBI, while Prince Fielder, batting 4th, produced a .313, 30, 108 line. 

What has not been talked about too much is the Intentional Walks that they were issued - Fielder, 18 and Cabrera, 17.   This gave them the #1 & #2 positions in the AL. 

This got me thinking as to how often this has occurred in MLB history.   Well, first of all, IBB's have only been "officially" recorded since 1955 (based on what I see in B-R), so I had to limit myself to 1955 to date - no checking on Crawford/Cobb; Ruth/Gehrig, though these and other combos may well have been 1-2 in their leagues.

After going through all of the leader boards from 1955 to present, I found 4 other seasons in which the top 2 players in IBB's were from the same team:

Note - I have not researched the  pitching hand of the pitcher/batter in this research,which can be a  significant factors for a manager in deciding to issue an IBB.

1.   1964 - NY Yankees:  Mickey Mantle (18), Elston Howard (14)

Team finish:  1st in AL

Primary Batting Positions:
Mantle -  4th (109 of 132 starts)
Howard - 7th (56), 5th (40), 6th (32) of 141 starts

Times batting back to back - 54 times

Men on Base:
Mantle: -2-, 9; -23, 5 (-2- means runner on 2nd only, -23, means runners on 2nd & 3rd only)
Howard: -2-, 8 -23, 5
 
 Batting Position and hitter after on IBB:
 Mantle (18) (.303, 177 OPS+)
4th, Tom Tresh (.246, 105 OPS+, SwHit) - 8 times
4th,  Howard - 8
                                    
Howard (14)  (.313, 127 OPS+)
7th, Clete Boyer (.218, 58 OPS+) - 5
5th, Joe Pepitone (.251, 90 OPS+, bats L) - 4 (1 other time w/ EH batting 5th)

Side note -  B-R total shows 12 IBB for Howard, but game logs add it up to 14 - error request has been sent to B-R

About half of Mantle's IBB were followed by a much more inferior hitter in Tresh, while Howard was the next hitter in the same number - some of these may have been matchup walks, but I think that it had mostly to do w/ an open base and a 177 OPS+ staring at the opposing pitcher.
As for Howard, who moved around the lineup a bit, both Boyer and Pepitone definitely represented much lesser threats.   The 54 times that Mantle & Howard hit back-to-back was 2nd in this "survey" to the Cabrera/Fielder combination.


2.  1973 -  SF Giants:  Willie McCovey (25), Dave Rader (23)

Team finish:  3rd in NL West

Primary Batting Positions:
McCovey -  4th, 116 of  116 starts (130 total games)  
Rader- 8th all 135 starts

Times batting back to back - 0

Men on Base:
McCovey: -2-, 10; -23, 9
Rader: -23, 9; -2-, 8; --3, 6

 Batting Position and hitter after on IBB:
 McCovey (25) (.266, 162 OPS+)
4th, Ed Goodson (.302, 112 OPS+, LH) - 15 times
                                    
Rader (23 (.229, 84 OPS+)
8th, Pitcher

The first of 2 1-2 IBB leaders in which one of the 2 hitters was the 8th place hitter.   Willie McCovey was IBB'ed a lot in his career, in fact he held the season total record (since 1955) of 45 in 1970 until Barry Bonds came along.   Ed Goodson hit behind him and actually was hitting pretty good for the 1st part of the season.  A young 3b by the name of Dave Kingman also hit behind McCovey on a few occasions and in fact had 5 rbi's on a 3 run homer and 2 run single after 2 IBB's in a May 6th game.
As for Rader, your typical NL #8 hitter - good field, no hit, catcher or ss.


3.  1980 - Montreal Expos:  Warren Cromartie (24), Chris Speier (18)

Team finish:  2nd in NL East

Primary Batting Positions:
Cromartie -  5th, 80; 6th, 45; 7th, 34 of  160 starts 
Speier - 8th, 115 of 122 starts

Times batting back to back - 18 times

Men on Base:
Cromartie: -2-, 16; -23, 5; --3, 4
Speier: -2-, 9; -23, 7
 Batting Position and hitter after on IBB:
Cromartie (24) (.288, 116 OPS+)
6th/5th - Larry Parrish (.254, 104 OPS+) - 11
5th/6th - Gary Carter (.264, 126 OPS+) - 7
                                    
Speier (18) (.265, 92 OPS+)
8th, Pitcher

I was very surprised to see Cromartie as the leader in IBB's.   I do remember the name and that was about it (they were all up North in that ugly place called Olympic Stadium).  He had a decent year, but nothing that would shout out IBB!   And look at the hitters behind him, both names that you have heard of.  Granted Parrish's numbers are nothing special, but still.   I did a little more digging on Cromartie and saw that he hit .353 in June and .321 in July, surrounded by mostly sub .270 numbers.  What happened in June & July for Cromartie, I am not sure, but he received half of his 24 IBB's in those 2 months,  He received 9 more in Sept/Oct when he had an OPS of .713.

As for Speier, see Dave Rader above.  Ironically, Speier was on the '73 team w/ McCovey and Rader.  He was IBB'ed 4 times that season.


4.  1988 - Boston Red Sox:  Wade Boggs (18), Mike Greenwell (18)

Team finish:  1st in AL East
                
Primary Batting Positions:
Boggs -  1st, 91; 3rd, 63 
Greenwell - 4th, 99; 5th, 55 of 158 starts

Times batting back to back - 18 times

Men on Base:
Boggs: -23, 9; -2-, 5; --3, 4
Greenwell: -2-, 11; -23, 4
 
 Batting Position and hitter after on IBB:
 Boggs (18) (.366, 168 OPS+)
1st - Marty Barrett (.283, 85 OPS+) - 10
3rd - Jim Rice (.264, 102 OPS+) - 4
                                    
Greenwell (18) (.325, 160 OPS+) (BL)
4th, Ellis Burks (.294, 132 OPS+) - 12

The Boggs/Greenwell combination represents the best duo OPS+ of the 5 teammates with Boggs at  168 and Greenwell at  160 (2nd and 4th).  Both Boggs and Greenwell sat in 2 different lineup positions during the season. pretty much revolving around Ellis Burks.  Boggs batted 3rd in the lineup for a good deal of the 1st 2 months while Burks was batting 1st.  When Burks switched out of the top spot, Boggs became the primary leadoff hitter, Burks moved down to 5th and shifted Greenwell from 5th to 4th.   Boggs led the AL in IBB's 6 straight seasons from 1987-1992, something that I guess I didn't expect since he is not a "slugger", but when you think about it, Boggs was as dangerous as any slugger if a runner was in scoring position in this time period.  And needless to say, Marty Barrett represented a much smaller threat to the pitcher.   Interestingly a veteran Jim Rice, in his penultimate season was up next after Boggs' IBBs 4 times.  Greenwell raised another type of situation.  He was in his peak season, although he had some other nice seasons and 1 year younger and sophomore player in Burks batted after him.   For those that are familiar with the 1988 Red Sox, they were a solid team all the way through and lead the league in BA, OBA, SLG, OPS+.   In addtion to Boggs and Greenwell, Dwight Evans (136) and Burks (132) had OPS+'s over 130.   Unfortunately, they ran into a superhot A's team and were swept 4 straight in the ALCS.


5.  2012 - Detroit Tigers:  Prince Fielder (18), Miguel Cabrera (17)
        
Team finish:  1st in AL Central
                
Primary Batting Positions:
Cabrera -  3rd, 161
Fielder - 4th, 162

Times batting back to back - 161 times

Men on Base:
Cabrera: -2-, 9; --3, 5
Fielder: -2-, 10; -23, 5
 
 Batting Position and hitter after on IBB:
 Fielder (18) (.313, 152 OPS+) (BL)
4th - Delmon Young (.267, 89 OPS+) - 10
4th - Brennan Boesch (.240, 77 OPS+) - 5
                                    
Cabrera (17) (.330, 165 OPS+)
3rd, Fielder - 17

To me, what makes the Cabrera/Fielder feat unique this year is that they batted back-to-back ALL season.   Without looking up the actual numbers, I know that the main reason (if not for all of the occurrences) that Cabrera was IBB'ed, was to set up a lefty-lefty matchup.   Fielder's Lefty-Righty splits seem to bear out the relative wisdom as his slash lines were:

vs. RHP: .328//439/.579 - 1.017
vs. LHP: .289/.363/.445 - .808

Still not bad, but definitely worth the risk to Int walk Cabrera.
BTW, Fielder has been the IBB leader now in both leagues, having led the NL in 2011 w/ 32 IBB's
Cabrera led the AL in IBB's in 2010 w/ also 32.

Not sure, but this may be the only time that 2 teammates have both had 30 IBB seasons on the same team (different seasons of course).  I haven't checked, so if anyone else knows if there are others, please let me know.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

One project I would love to explore in the future (unless someone else has already) is the result after the IBB is issued.  Who were the best and worst hitters in that spot;  which managers had the best/worst "luck" w/ issuing an IBB. 

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