Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Look Around the League

Tonight, August 26, 2008, marks the beginning of the last series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium before the Yanks move in across the street to their new digs.

This series is Giants/Dodgers with WAY more hype and interest on ESPN. (What's the "E" stand for, East, of course.) So anything can and will happen. In fact, I'll go on record and say, not having paid any bit of attention to Game One (of this series), that a call will be made that will hurry the installation of instant replay. It'll be a 'what are they waiting for?' type of missed call.

Unfortunately, for major league baseball, these calls happen all of the time. But nobody gives a hoot about the KC Royals, SF Giants, SD Padres, Wash Nationals, Cincy Reds, Oakland A's or least of all the Seattle "Pilot-Mariners."

This Date in Baseball*August 26th

In 1939: the first major league game was televised as WKBS brought its cameras to Brooklyn's Ebbets Field for a doubleheader between the Cincinnati Redlegs and the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers.

In 2002: A current Yankee, Derek Jeter, scored his 100th run of the season. Joining Ted Williams (1939-1949) and Earle Combs (1925-1932) as the only players in modern history to score at least 100 runs in their first seven (7) seasons.

In 1947: Brooklyn's Dan Bankhead became the first black pitcher in the majors. He homered in his first at-bat but didn't fare too well on the mound. In 3 innings of relief, he gave up 10 hits and 6 earned runs to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 2008: In Pittsburgh, Geovany Soto belted his 20th homer, a club record for a Cub rookie catcher. He broke Randy Hundley's record of 19 HRs in 1966.

On December 2, 1965, the San Francisco Giants traded Cecil Randolph Hundley, Jr. (Rebel) and William Alfred Hands, Jr. (Froggy) to the Chicago Cubs for Lindy McDaniel and Don Landrum.

Randy Hundley hit 19 his rookie year and in 1969 hit 18-HR. Bill Hands won 16, 20 and 18 games from 1968 thru 1970 inclusive.

This was a trade when first made looked like the Giants got the star player because McDaniel was a known commodity. But Lindy wasn't as dominant as his record might suggest. He was flimsy Lindy in the Candlestick wind. Lindy had a decent career with the St. Louis Cardinals, the team he began his career with (15W 9-L in 1957; 12-4 in 1960 with StL and 13-7 in 1963 with the Cubs. In his first season as a Giant his record was 10W 5L. His numbers were solid (2.66 ERA, 93-K's 35-BB...but he gagged in the clutch. (Note: When a pitcher comes in with runners on base, he is not responsible if he gives up the hit that allows those runners to score. He is only charged with runs scored against when the batter who got a hit off of him scores.)

All in all, Lindy McDaniel was not a bad deal. It's just that Bill Hands and Randy Hundley went on to have good careers and they were once Giants. Proof that sometimes the best trade is the trade not made.

If you like looking at statistical feats in baseball, things such as "firsts" and "lasts" and just are interested in any kind of kooky thing that may have happened in baseball you may be interested to know a website just might fulfill this quirky knack of yours.

For instance: The first batter at Candlestick Park, on April 12, 1960 was Joe Cunningham of the St. Louis Cardinals. (Remember him? If you do, you ARE alone!)

The first hit was a single by Bill White. He also stole the first base at the 'Stick. Who hit the first double? Willie Mays. First triple? Orlando "Baby Bull" Cepeda. Home run? Leon "Daddy Wags" Wagner

As per Giants' announcer Jon Miller the website is: retrosheet. org.
Check it out...

(thanks to the Fresno Bee for This Date in Baseball)

Kevin Marquez