Simply Baseball Notebook: Cover Stories

Did you know?

April 2003

did you know?

Al Spalding won nearly 80% of his games.

Hall of Famer Al Spalding fashioned an unfathomable 253-65 career record.  His winning percentage of .796 is an all time record.  In 1875, the right-hander posted a 55-5 record for the Boston Red Stockings of the National Association.

Will White of the Cincinnati Reds had one of the most incredible seasons ever in 1879.  The rubber-armed hurler started and finished a single season record 75 games (tied by Pud Galvin in 1883) for a record 680 innings.  He went 43-31 with a 1.99 ERA that season.  During his career, White won over 40 games in a season three times, and finished with a 229-166 record in 10 seasons.

Hall of Famer Charley Radbourn won a single season record 59 games against 12 losses in 1884 for the Providence Grays. Radbourn, who won 48 games in 1883, compiled a 309-195 record in 11 seasons.

On the flip side, John Coleman of the Philadelphia Quakers lost a record 48 games in 1883.  He won 12 games that season, and finished his career with a 23-72 record in six seasons.

Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Philadelphia Phillies chalked up a remarkable 16 shutouts in 1916.  The Hall of Famer posted a 33-12 record that season, and finished his career third on the all time wins list with 373.

Matt Kilroy of old American Association's Baltimore Orioles struck out an amazing 513 batters in 1886.  Remarkably, he still finished with a losing record, 29-34.  Kilroy went 46-19 in 1887 and finished his career with 141-133 record.

Hall of Famer "Smiling" Tim Keefe posted a microscopic 0.86 ERA for the Troy Trojans in 1880.  Amazingly he finished with only a 6-6 record in 105 innings.  In his 14 year career, Keefe won 342 games.

Reliever Mike Marshall appeared in a record 106 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974.  The right hander went 15-12 that season with 21 saves.  

Earl Webb hit 67 doubles in 1930.

Boston Red Sox OF Earl Webb smacked a record 67 doubles in 1931.  A career .306 hitter, Webb never hit more than 30 in any other season.

Hall of Famer Tris Speaker holds the all time record with 792 doubles.  In his 22 seasons, Speaker reached the 50 double plateau five times, including a career high 59 in 1923.  He ranks sixth all time in triples with 222.
Pittsburgh Pirates' OF Chief Wilson legged out a single season record 36 triples in 1912.  He played from 1908-16 and never hit more than 14 three baggers in any other season.

Hall of Famer Sam Crawford holds the career record of 309 triples, it will never be broken.  No current major leaguer ranks in the top 100 all time.  The active leader, Steve Finley, has 98. 
The diminutive Hugh Nicol (5-4 145lbs) swiped a record 138 bases in 1887 for the Cincinnati Red Stockings.  The light hitting Nicol (.235 career average) finished his career with 383 steals.

"Sliding" Billy Hamilton of the Philadelphia Phillies crossed home plate a record 192 times in 1894.  The Hall of Famer retired in 1901 with a record 912 stolen bases (since passed by Lou Brock and Rickey Henderson) in 14 seasons.

-David Zingler


Simply Baseball Notebook

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