July 20, 2009

TSW & OBP

SoSHer Rough Carrigan, quoting Bill Nowlin's "Day by Day with the Boston Red Sox":
For more than 10 years, Williams never had back to back games where he did not get on base safely, from July 14, 1940 to September 26, 1950.
I need to repeat that:
For more than 10 years, Williams never had back to back games where he did not get on base safely, from July 14, 1940 to September 26, 1950.
Even considering Williams's lifetime OBP of .482 -- the best in the sport's long history -- and the fact that he missed all of 1943, 1944 and 1945, this nearly defies belief.

I emailed Nowlin (he is, among many other things, the main editor of When Boston Still Had The Babe, a biography project on the 1918 Red Sox that I was part of) and this was Bill's reply:
The research which revealed that 10-year stretch was done by Herm Krabbenhoft of SABR, working from the daily records at the Hall of Fame. He was working on an article he published where he found that Ted holds the record for CGOBS (Consecutive Games On Base Safely): 84.

Actually, the 10-year stretch properly reads: From July 14, 1940, through Sept. 26, 1950, Williams never had back-to-back games without reaching safely, if a couple of pinch-hit appearances in 1941 and '48 are discounted.

But on Sept. 27, 1950, he failed to reach base in a doubleheader - again, his lapse confined to one day. It was nearly four years later, in September 1954, that he went two straight games without reaching base. It happened just twice more, once in 1958 and once in his final season, 1960.
So: Williams went back-to-back games without reaching base only four times over 18 seasons -- nearly his entire playing career.

10 comments:

L-girl said...

This. Is. Insane.

Wow. "Wow" doesn't really touch it.

redsock said...

Nowlin was not sure if only hits and walks were counted, or if things like HBP or reaching on an error were also considered.

9casey said...

Did you guys see the Documentary on HBO yet. About Ted Williams.

CaKeY said...

It's hard to even wrap my head around how incredible that is.

I truly believe if this man had a park tailor-made for him and had not missed THREE FREAKING SEASONS IN THE PRIME OF HIS CAREER he might just be considered the greatest of all-time along with Ruth.

L-girl said...

We don't have HBO. We'll have to wait for it to come out on DVD, which happens quickly these days.

Amy said...

Wow. Wow.

And without steroids.

FenFan said...

"Wow" doesn't really touch it.

Yet I can't think of anything more original than that to describe such an accomplishment.

vrictare said...

I have always been a believer that Teddy Ballgame was the greatest hitter of all time. Sure, he couldn't run and he was a sub-par fielder but...

The man could flat-out hit, and imagining his career WITH those three prime seasons, well, it gives me the shivers.

tim said...

Are you fucking kidding me? Goddamn. Wow indeed.

he might just be considered the greatest of all-time along with Ruth.

Still was to me and this reaffirms it!

redsock said...

Many consider him a better hitter than Ruth, though Ruth was the best complete player.

When I say this "nearly defies belief", I mean it DOES defy belief. We've been watching baseball for years and doing this MUST be impossible. Hitting should not be as easy as Williams's performance makes it seem.

When he was 38, he batted .388 with a .526 OBP and .731 SLG. At 38 -- a few hits away from batting .400.