Cooperstown’s Seamhead Notes: Stats, Beast Mode and Journeymen

By TREVOR HAYES

Last week kicked off the first Seamhead Notes of the season and we talked about Jamie Moyer’s age and artifacts which have already arrived at the Hall of Fame in 2012.

Jamie Moyer pitching for the Seattle Mariners. (National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

Before we get in to this week’s cliff notes, there was a stat about Moyer having faced 8.9 percent of all major league batters. So, while I’m admittedly terrible at math, let me throw some numbers at you. Moyer has faced 1,430 batters at least once (totaling 17,374 plate appearances against him). As of today, 17,751 players have played in the majors, however not all have been “major league batters” thanks mostly to relief specialists, the designated hitter rule and in some part to guys who maybe played one or two games as a pinch runner or defensive replacement only. How many players have played in the majors to never get a plate appearance? There have been 1,690. Subtract that from the total number of players, then divide Moyer’s batters faced by the result: 8.9 percent of all MLB hitters since 1871.

Couple other quick residual facts from that research: Toronto’s Jason Frasor has appeared in the most games without a plate appearance at 482 and counting, followed by Arizona’s J.J. Putz. Most plate appearances without an AB award goes to Jose Parra with four (walking twice with two sac hits). Who has Jamie Moyer faced most? Former NL West rival Garrett Anderson (112 PA), while Manny Ramirez has taken him deep most (10 times) and Bernie Williams has the most hits (35 to Anderson’s 34).

Okay, the last week in history: 

Quick Hits: The Blue Jays broke the longest active triple play drought on Friday, turning three for the first time since 1979 – the third longest in history behind the Dodgers 47 years and 50 day drought from 1949 to 1996, and the Yankees’ 41 years and 323 days, from 1968 to 2010… Josh Willingham matched but could not break a Twins franchise record, etching his name next to two Hall of Famers in the process. He hit in 15 consecutive team games to start the season, equaling Goose Goslin in 1927 and Kirby Puckett in 1994… On Tuesday, Chipper Jones belted his fifth career birthday home run – this one marking his 40th b-day celebration. He is the seventh player go deep on his 40th-or-older birthday since 1900, including Hall of Famers Joe Morgan (1983) and Wade Boggs (1998) and current Phillie Jim Thome (2011)… On Wednesday, Paul Konerko passed Andres Galarraga and Hall of Famer Al Kaline on the all-time list with his 400th home run.

Willie Mays staggering career statistics include 3,283 hits and 660 home runs. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

KeMVP?: If Matt Kemp was in Beast Mode last season when he made a run at the Triple Crown and finished second in MVP voting, he’s cranked Beast Mode up to full blast. Playing in his 14th game last Friday (April 20), he collected three hits and two RBIs, bringing him to 26 hits and 20 RBIs. In the span of 50 years, two other players reached 25 hits and 20 RBIs by their 15th game: Hall of Famer Willie Mays in 1962, who finished second in the MVP race, and 1997 MVP Larry Walker.

Furthermore, the following day Kemp and his partner Andre Ethier each drove in two more, giving them 22 and 21 respectively. The 1949 Red Sox are the only other team to boast teammates with more than 20 RBIs in their team’s first 15 games as Hall of Famer Ted Williams and Vern Stephens each had 21. Williams would win the AL MVP that season.

To go along with his 22 RBIs, Kemp had 27 hits and nine homers by the end of play on Saturday, April 21. Willie Mays in 1964 is the only man that can top those numbers through the first 15: 29 hits, 10 homers, 25 RBI.

New in Cooperstown: New this week in artifacts arriving at the Hall of Fame was the cap worn by Detroit’s Octavio Dotel on April 7 when he made his debut for the Detroit Tigers. A 19-year vet, Dotel has now pitched for a record 13 major-league teams, passing Matt Stairs, Ron Villone and Mike Morgan, who each played for 12 teams.

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

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