Records falling before leaves

Hayes_90.jpgBy Trevor Hayes

August is ending, the postseason is around the corner, records are starting to fall and today’s stars are joining the legends of yesteryear.

8-28-09-Hayes_WinfieldGuerrero.jpgBack in the News:
Two weeks after becoming the sixth player to belt 400 homers with a .320 average, Vladimir Guerrero recorded his 1,000th hit for the Angels – the eighth player in franchise history to do so. With 1,215 hits as an Expo, he’s the second player to collect 1,000 hits for a single team in both leagues. As a Padre and then a Yankee, Hall of Famer Dave Winfield was the first. Aside from Guerrero, Manny Ramirez is the only active player with 1,000 for two teams (Indians and Red Sox).

Also this week – at 34 years, 194 days old – Guerrero recorded his 1,300th RBI. Since divisional play began in 1969, only eight players have reached the mark at a younger age: Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Juan Gonzalez, Ramirez, Sammy Sosa and Jeff Bagwell along with Hall of Famers Jim Rice and Eddie Murray.

Baseball’s premiere rivalry provided an offensive showcase last weekend. Friday’s 20-11 slugfest was significant. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the two clubs combined 31 runs, was the most in a single game in the over 100 year history of the rivalry. The previous mark was July 29, 1903, with the Highlanders beating the Americans 15-14 at Huntington Avenue Grounds – almost nine years before Fenway Park opened.

Hideki Matsui paced New York’s 23-hit attack with a pair of three-run jacks and seven RBI. It was the most by a Yankee at Fenway since Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig in 1930.

Not to be outdone, the Sox fired back. Kevin Youkilis contributed two homers and six RBI in a 14-1 victory over the Yankees on Saturday. Over the last 70 years, only Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk has hit two home runs and driven in at least six against the Bronx Bombers. Pudge did it on April 6, 1973 in a 15-5 rout at Fenway.

8-28-09-Hayes_Greinke.jpgA good start:
The Royals Zack Greinke is a long way away from 3,000 strikeouts, but on Tuesday night he recorded a performance that four of the members of the 3,000 strikeout club never did. Greinke sat down 15 Indians to break a single-game club record en route to recording his 700th career strikeout. And while 705 career strikeouts isn’t even a quarter of the way to 3,000, the 15 strikeouts for the 25-year-old Greinke represent a single-game feat Hall of Famers Don Sutton, Phil Niekro and Ferguson Jenkins and recent retiree Greg Maddux – all members of the 3,000 strikeout club – never accomplished.

Arms race: John Smoltz will make his second start as a Cardinal tonight. When he debuted last Sunday, he became the ninth former Cy Young Award winner to play under Tony La Russa. Between the White Sox, Athletics and Cardinals, La Russa has had two Cy Young winners make it to the Hall of Fame: Dennis Eckersley and Tom Seaver. Joe Torre is the only other manager with nine or more Cy Young winners on his staffs.

Trevor Hayes is the editorial production manager at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum


That’s good stuff on Greinke — very cool to do something that a select group of Hall of Famers never did. On LaRussa and Torre managing nine Cy Young winners — any idea who the manager is to have the most players win a Cy Young while he was their actual manager? I know Clemens won once while playing for Torre in the Bronx, and I know guys who pitched for him there had previously won the award elsewhere. I don’t know the answer but I’d think Bobby Cox would be a good guess.


I can tell you love numbers and I do too (can you tell by my recent posts?). Before I get to your question, as a Royals fan and a born and bread Kansas Citian, I must point out that Greinke followed up his 15-K performance with a one-hitter, the team’s first since 1995. I read this earlier, only three other pitchers have followed up a 15-K start with a one-hitter. They are: Pedro Martinez in 1999, Randy Johnson in 1998, and Vida Blue in 1971. It should be noted that Pedro’s next start included 17 strikeouts, but his one hit was a solo homer.

Anyway, did a little research and it turns out that Walter Alston, Bobby Cox and Earl Weaver managed the most Cy Young winning seasons. All three tied with 6. Alston used four pitchers with Don Newcombe (1956), Don Drysdale (1962), Sandy Koufax (1963, 1965, 1966) and Mike Marshall (1974). Cox’s came from three guys: Glavine (1991 and 1998), Maddux (1993-1995) and Smoltz (1996). And Weaever’s came from four: Mike Cuellar (1969), Jim Palmer (1973, 1975, 1976, ) Mike Flanagan (1979) and Steve Stone (1980). La Russa is next on the total seasons list with with four, using four different pitchers: La Marr Hoyt (1983), Bob Welch (1990), Dennis Eckersley (1992) and Chris Carpenter (2005). So, to truly answer your question, Alston, Weaver and La Russa have managed the most pitchers to win a Cy Young while playing for them, but Alston, Cox and Weaver have racked up the most total awards.

You didn’t ask, but in terms of teams, the Dodgers (with one in Brooklyn) have been taken nine Cy Young awards, the Braves have had seven (one in Milwaukee) and Baltimore, Boston and Philadelphia have each had six. Interestingly enough, the Diamondbacks, lead by four in a row from Randy Johnson, have had five Cy Young seasons in their history, same as the Athletics and Yankees.

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