Using Baseball Reference's Play Index, Firstman has been searching for rare batting lines from 1918-2011 that might look something like this: 0-1-0-3: 0 official at-bats, 1 run scored, 0 hits, 3 runs batted in. Her only criteria is that the player must have started and finished the game.
So far, she has posted The Zero ABs, The One ABs, and The Two ABs.
As a linescore addict, I love this kind of stuff. Here are some box score lines that have happened only once in major league history:
AB R H RBI Player Date 0 1 0 3 Clyde Barnhart September 13, 1923 (G2) 1 0 1 4 Doc Lavan June 7, 1918 1 1 0 3 Nick Punto August 5, 2006 1 2 0 3 Glenn Wright August 13, 1930 2 1 2 6 Chris Gomez May 17, 1994 2 4 0 2 Frank O'Rourke May 30, 1929 (G2) 2 5 0 0 Joe Morgan June 30, 1977 2 5 1 5 Roy Cullenbine July 31, 1941 (G1) 2 6 2 1 Mel Ott April 30, 1944 (G1)***
Here are some articles about the growing use of shifts and the radical stuff going on in Tampa Bay.
Dave Hruska, Joe Maddon, Spray Charts, and Defensive Shifts: Part I, The Cutoff Man, May 2, 2012We are often told how pitchers "reach back" for extra velocity when they are in trouble. Is it true? Baseball Prospectus' Max Marchi took a look: Reaching Back for a Little Extra.
Dave Hruska, Defensive Shifts Part II: New York at Kansas City, The Cutoff Man, May 8, 2012
Dave Hruska, Defensive Shifts Part III: The Blue Jays Use of Brett Lawrie, The Cutoff Man, July 2, 2012
Hunter Atkins, Rays' Joe Maddon is the King of Shifts, New York Times, May 8, 2012
Rob Neyer, How Many Runs Are Joe Maddon's Shifts Really Saving?, SB Nation, May 8, 2012
Colin Wyers, Who Gives A Shift?, Baseball Prospectus, May 30, 2012
John Thorn, Whitman, Melville and Baseball, Our Game, June 15, 2012
Larry Granillo, The 1930 Cardinals Telegram Mystery, Baseball Prospectus, July 18, 2012:
On September 9, 1930, the St. Louis Cardinals, helmed by skipper Gabby Street, found themselves tied for second place, 2.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs. That morning, Street received a telegram that read:And, finally, a quote:
Do not worry, you will lose today, regardless of your pitching choice; you will win the next three.That afternoon, the Cards lost to the Giants 2-1 before winning the next three. The next day, at the start of St. Louis' series against the Boston Braves, Street received another telegram:
Everything O.K. You will win two and lose one.Over the next two days, the Cardinals won two and lost one, just as the telegram predicted. For the remainder of the month, as St. Louis fought its way towards the pennant, the telegrams continued. According to all published reports, the telegrams were never wrong. Cardinals players began to "accept as gospel" the mystery telegrams.
"The day it becomes uncool to boo the Yankees is the day we need to reevaluate what the national pastime is all about."
Joe Posnanski, July 10, 2012