March 20, 2005

Mantle v. Radatz

Many of the obituaries of former Red Sox reliever Dick Radatz, who died this week after a fall in his home, contained a statistical tidbit about his success against Mickey Mantle:
"... Mantle, who in 63 lifetime at-bats struck out 47 times against the reliever."
Boston Herald

"Radatz struck out Mantle 44 times in 63 attempts."
Associated Press

"Few pitchers handled baseball legend Mantle as well as Radatz, who struck out the Hall of Fame switch-hitter 44 times in 67 at-bats."
You'll notice that all three of the quotes are slightly different. And they are all wildly wrong. Retrosheet has all of the play-by-play logs of the games in which Mantle batted against Radatz and OttoC posted the info to SoSH:
AB  H  2B  3B  HR  BB  SO  RBI  AVG   OBA   SLG
16 3 1 0 1 3 12 2 .188 .316 .438
Radatz still dominated Mantle, that's for sure, but in far fewer at-bats. It's neat to see that in three of the four times Mantle didn't strikeout, he singled, doubled and homered.

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