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)
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
New York Times
New York Herald
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.
- Jonathan Frankel
- 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.
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