Frank Robinson

The great Frank Robinson passed away yesterday. He did so much that these are just some of the highlights:

Two time MVP – only player to win in both leagues

First African-American manager

Triple Crown in 1966

Statues outside stadiums in three cities – Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati

Manager of the year

He was the only player to hit a home run out of Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. There was a flag that said “HERE” marking where it went out.

The only time I am sure I saw him play was in 1962 when I saw the Reds play the Mets at the Polo Grounds.

Rare baseball feats

A friend pointed out that CC Sabathia is only 14 strikeouts short of 3,000. That started me thinking about other rare baseball feats. Because baseball has gone to a five man starting pitching rotation, there will be fewer exceptional pitching feats in the future.

3,000 strikeouts – 16 players

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3,000_strikeout_club

For us older folks, this doesn’t seem so rare because 15 of the 16 players accomplished it during the period we have followed baseball. I would not have guessed it was the rarest of the four feats on my list. There was almost a 51 year gap between the first one (Johnson in 1923) and second one (Gibson in 1974). Except for Schilling, these players are all in the Hall of Fame.

Four home runs in a game – 18 players

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/feats4.shtml

Only five of the 18 players are in the Hall of Fame.

Perfect game – 23 players

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/pitching/piperf.shtml

Seven of the pitchers are in the Hall of Fame. Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game has to be the best pitching performance ever.

Harvey Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings in a 1959 game and lost in the 13th. This no longer makes the list but it was legendary in my childhood.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/haddix-pitches-12-perfect-innings-but-loses

300 wins – 24 players

This will become rarer in the future because of the five-man rotation. Because some of the players hung on for many after their prime, they won #300 for teams they are not usually associated with. For example:

Randy Johnson – Giants

Gaylord Perry – Mariners

Phil Niekro – Yankees

Tom Glavine – Mets

The active leaders are Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (246). I doubt either will get to 300.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_win_club

500 home runs – 27 players

I went to a baseball autograph show in 1989 with all of the living 500 home run hitters. There were only 11 at the time. There were three who were deceased (Ruth, Foxx, Ott). 24 of the 27 have accomplished the feat in my lifetime.

This stat has been devalued because of steroids. There are people on this list that we know have cheated. In the future, people could look at the list and conclude that Sammy Sosa is better than Frank Robinson which is certainly not true.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/hi500c.shtml

Trump only cares what people think about him

He’s a narcissist. If you praise him, he likes you, even in the NFL which he has attacked.

Trump takes sides again

Trump tweeted congratulations to the Patriots for making the Super Bowl but did nothing for the Rams.  If he was the president of the whole country, he would congratulate both sides.   He just wants to divide people, even on something minor like this.

and don’t forget this: