I received two emails recently from folks who know that I like sports trivia and statistical oddities. The first was from #2 son:
“Hey dad, here’s a fun trivia fact for the Curmudgeon:
The fastest player in NHL history to reach 1000 points was, of course, Wayne Gretzky. He did it in just 424 games!
Who was the second fastest to 1000 points?…
I thought about it and reasoned that it had to be a younger player because scoring in hockey 50-70 years ago was much lower than it is now. So, I thought Mario Lemieux or Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby. Turns out this is the answer:
“Answer: Technically, it was Wayne Gretzky again. He did it in his next 433 games! 😲”
So now you know that one… And a couple of days later I received another email from a friend with the following question:
What Hall of Fame player had a season with more than 600 at-bats where he had more triples than strikeouts?
My immediate thought was Joe DiMaggio because it seemed as if he never struck out and he hit with power and was fast on the bases. Seemed logical so off went that response – – which of course was wrong. The answer is:
- Stan Musial in 1943 had 617 at-bats where he struck out only 18 times and had 20 triples. By the way, Musial was voted the MVP that year at the ripe old age of 22.
As I said, my response to this question was Joe DiMaggio so I decided to check out the career strikeout records for Musial and DiMaggio.
- Musial played all or part of 22 seasons. He recorded 10,972 at-bats and struck out 696 times – – 6.34%.
- DiMaggio played all or part of 13 seasons. He recorded 6,821 at-bats and struck out 369 times – – 5.41%.
Baseball is a very different game in 2022; highly sought-after players strike out 150 times in a season. There are myriad reasons for the change and one of the reasons is that there has been a complete change in the way managers handle their pitching staffs and their bullpen. When Gaylord Perry died a few weeks ago, one of the reports about his career had this comparison in it:
“Perry completed 303 games. The next pitcher to match that could be current career leader Adam Wainwright, age 41, who plans to retire after the 2023 season. Adam has 28. …”
Wainwright’s 28 complete games in a career that has spanned all or part of 17 seasons so far and has caused him to start 390 games needs to be juxtaposed to another MLB statistic from times past.
- Starting in 1952 and stretching into 1953 Robin Roberts started and completed 28 consecutive games including one game that went 17 innings.
Indeed, as Bob Dylan reminds us, the time’s they are a-changin’…
Since today’s rant has been based on email exchanges, let me continue along that path with another one from Gregg Drinnan – – author and creator of the blog, Keeping Score which you can find here. I had asked him recently about the CFL expansion team that had been planned for the Maritime Provinces in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Atlantic Schooners got caught up in the COVID confusion of 2020 and I had heard nothing about any plans to revive interest in a team further east in Canada beyond Montreal.
I got an email from Gregg Drinnan yesterday with a link to an event called Touchdown Atlantic 2023. The CFL will play a regular season game in July 2023 at a college football stadium in Halifax. I did not realize that they did that last season as well, but the report on Touchdown Atlantic 2023 indicates that they did. Perhaps the idea of an eastern expansion for the CFL is still alive – – possibly on life support but still among us.
Doing a bit of reading on the matter, it seems that there is not sufficient political support in Halifax for the expenditure to build a stadium there to house a CFL team permanently. Halifax is a city with a population of about 420,000 and it appears to be the largest Canadian city east of Quebec. [Aside: The college football stadium for Touchdown Atlantic 2023 has a seating capacity of 1100; clearly that is not a permanent home for a CFL franchise.] Evidently, people involved in the expansion planning also considered building a stadium in Moncton, New Brunswick to no avail. That may have been a blessing in disguise for a putative expansion team because the population of Moncton is only 75,000 people and the greater metro area there has only about 150,000 people.
Many years ago, my long-suffering wife and I took a driving vacation in eastern Canada that took us to Moncton and to Halifax, but it was sufficiently long ago that I did not recall if the two cities were close enough such that a stadium in one of the cities might be supported by a significant number of fans from the other city. Thanks to Google Maps, I think the answer to that speculation is – – Unlikely. The driving distance is 243 km (about 145 miles), and the driving time is 2 hours and 51 minutes – – one-way.
I am certainly no expert on Canadian Football economics, but it appears to me that if there is going to be a CFL team in “Atlantic Canada” – however you draw the boundaries on that area of the map – it is going to be in the greater Halifax area if it is going to have a chance to survive.
Finally, since today’s rant centered on email exchanges, let me close with this observation by Judith Martin – – perhaps more widely known as “Miss Manners”:
“For email, the old postcard rule applies. Nobody else is supposed to read your postcards, but you’d be a fool if you wrote anything private on one.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………
2 thoughts on “Email Exchanges…”
Stan is not the only HOF player who qualifies – my first thought was Joe Sewell – 1925, he had 7 triples – but only 4 Ks. 608 AB. League leader, Marty McManus, had 69.
Wow. Only 4 strikeouts in 608 at-bats. Impressive…
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