(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


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Monday, May 12, 2008

Keeping Stats on the Most Curious Things (Baseball)

Last week, the Phils' Jamie Moyer got two hits in a game that he won. I heard on ESPN that he was only one of 3 pitchers in the past 75 years who got 2 hits in a game at the age of 45 or over. Which led my wife to ask the following question: how many pitchers over the past 75 years were there over the age of 45? Put differently, what was the denominator? We thought the whole comment was kind of silly, although getting 2 hits at the age of 45 in a game is very impressive if you're a pitcher.

But it's not as rare, apparently, as any pitcher's getting over 350 wins in a career if you starting pitching after 1911. Apparently, only 3 pitchers have accomplished this feat -- Warren Spahn, Roger Clemens and now Greg Maddux. Thousands of pitchers have been eligible, and only 3 have done so. Mike Greenberg was probably right on ESPN Radio this morning when he said that we're probably not going to see another pitcher win 350 games in his career in our lifetime. Much has to go right for any pitcher to do so. To me, this is a better stat to consider, because we're talking about pitchers who are at the pinnacle of the sport.

In any event, if you want to know how many lefthanded first basemen hit 3 or more homers in a game ever or how many Major Leaguers were born in Paris, someone, somewhere, will be able to provide that information, and rather quickly too.


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