Three Strikes: Hall of Fame Tag-Team Edition
January, 28, 2009
Every once in a while I just have to turn these blogs over to the readers, because you folks are so ingenious, you deserve your own blog. So here goes: STRIKE ONE -- HALL OF FAME TAG TEAM DEPT.: In the last edition of Three Strikes, I passed along my favorite little Jeff Kent pearl -- that his career and Greg Maddux's career ended in the same game (NLCS Game 5), and, in fact, Maddux's farewell came when Kent pinch-hit for him. So the question was: If they both turn out to be Hall of Famers, how unique would that be? Well, the great thing about having such an astute audience is that all I had to do to find out was something that always pays a better rate of return than my money-market account: I turned this research project over to all you Useless Infomaniacs out there. And two of my most loyal readers -- Trent McCotter and Pete Ridges -- spent hours trying to determine whether any other Hall of Famer's career had ended when he was pinch-hit for by another Hall of Famer. Here are their identical findings:
- There have been 15 Hall of Famers who finished their careers with the same team. The most recent: Bill Mazeroski-Roberto Clemente (1972 Pirates).
- But only one other pair ended their careers in the same game (regular season or postseason): Bill Terry and Travis Jackson, for the New York Giants, in Game 6 of the 1936 World Series.
- Since neither of those two pinch-hit for the other, however, Maddux would be the only Hall of Famer to have his career conclude when another Hall of Famer pinch-hit for him. For now, anyway.
- Oh, and McCotter reports that the next-closest call involved Mazeroski and Clemente, who ended their careers one day apart in '72.
- Oct. 3, 1993: Robin Yount and George Brett
- Sept. 30, 1956: Monte Irvin, Bob Feller and Jackie Robinson
- Sept. 29, 1935: Rabbit Maranville and Earle Combs
- Sept. 2, 1918: Bobby Wallace and Hughie Jennings
- Sept. 4, 1916: Christy Mathewson and Mordecai Brown
- Sept. 5, 1910: Willie Keeler and Vic Willis
- The last player to steal a base against Gary Carter was Andre Dawson, who now appears HOF-bound.
- The last pitcher Bill Mazeroski faced (in the regular season) was Bob Gibson. Gibson won that duel (groundout to first base).
- Since 2000, baseball has had eight different champions. The NFL has had seven. (That would go to eight if the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, obviously.)
- Since 1970, baseball has had 18 different franchises win the World Series. The NFL has had 15 win the Super Bowl. (Again, the Cardinals could make that 16.)
- Also since 1970, baseball has had 25 different franchises appear in the World Series. The NFL has had 24 appear in the Super Bowl.