BluGrass Baseball Record Book: Assorted

Major League Baseball
Pete Browning

Pete Browning

When compiling the record book I found a number of categories that didn’t fit anywhere else. For instance, what about all-star game appearances? For a long time there wasn’t an all-star game, and a player obviously couldn’t appear in more than one in a season. I wanted to do on-base percentage, but the logistics of compiling the single-season list ended up being too daunting. If I figure it out I’ll still pass it along, but until then here are some record lists that didn’t quite fit in any other post:

Career All-Star Game Appearances

  1. Pee Wee Reese — 1940-1958 — 10
  2. Jim Bunning — 1955-1971 — 9
  3. Paul Derringer — 1931-1945 — 6
  4. Travis Fryman — 1990-2002 — 5
  5. Stan Spence — 1940-1949 — 4/Gus Bell — 1950-1964 — 4

Career On-Base Percentage (Minimum 1000 games)

  1. Pete Browning — 1882-1894 — .403
  2. Earle Combs — 1924-1935 — .397
  3. George Harper — 1916-1929 — .380
  4. Bobby Veach — 1912-1925 — .370
  5. Stan Spence — 1940-1949 — .369

Career Slugging Percentage (Minimum 1000 games)

  1. Jay Buhner — 1987-2001 — .494
  2. Pete Browning — 1882-1894 — .467
  3. Mike Greenwell — 1985-1996 — .463
  4. Earle Combs — 1924-1935 — .462
  5. George Harper — 1916-1929 — .455

Career Winning Percentage (Minimum 200 decisions)

  1. Jesse Tannehill — 1894-1922 — .629
  2. Carl Mays — 1915-1929 — .622
  3. Howie Camnitz — 1904-1915 — .556
  4. Jim Bunning — 1955-1971 — .549
  5. Gus Weyhing — 1887-1901 — .532
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Bluegrass natives eligible for All-Time 9 Teams

Major League Baseball
SI Cover March 18, 1996

SI Cover March 18, 1996

MLB.com and Major League Baseball are running a new promotion where fans can vote on the All-Time 9 Team for each franchise.  The concept is simple, fans are offered a selection of the best individual season at each position in franchise history and vote for their favorite, in much the same way they vote for the All-Star team. A few Kentucky natives are eligible for the voting in case your interested:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks — Brandon Webb — SP — (2008) .149, 11 RBI
  • Arizona Diamondbacks — Mark Reynolds — 3B –(2009) .263, 44 HR, 101 RBI
  • Atlanta Braves — Bill Sweeney — 1B — (1912) .344, 1 HR, 100 RBI
  • Cincinnati Reds — Gus Bell — OF — (1953) .300, 30 HR, 105 RBI
  • Detroit Tigers — Bobby Veach — OF — (1921) .338, 16 HR, 128 RBI
  • Florida Marlins — Dan Uggla — 2B — (2008) .260, 32 HR, 92 RBI
  • Los Angeles Dodgers — Pee Wee Reese — SS — (1949) .279, 16 HR, 73 RBI
  • Seattle Mariners — Jay Buhner — OF — (1996) .271, 44 HR, 138 RBI
  • Washington Nationals — Austin Kearns — OF — (2007) .266, 16 HR, 74 RBI

BluGrass Baseball Record Book: Batting Average

Uncategorized
Pete Browning

Pete Browning

We’re back to offensive categories in the Record Book series with batting average. This was a little more difficult to compile, but I’m fairly certain this is the accurate list. To qualify for the career list, the player had to play in at least 1,000 games and for the single-season list he had to appear in at least 100 games. Remember, we’re using the “Lincoln Rule” which limits the record book to players born in Kentucky.

Career Batting Average Leaders

  1. Pete Browning — 1882-1894 — .341
  2. Earle Combs — 1924-1935 — .325
  3. Bobby Veach — 1912-1925 — .310
  4. George Harper — 1916-1929 — .303/Mike Greenwell — 1985-1996 — .303

Single-Season Average Leaders

  1. Browning — 1887 — .402
  2. Browning — 1890 — .373
  3. Jimmy Wolf — 1890 — .363
  4. Browning — 1885 — .362
  5. Combs — 1927 — .356

BluGrass Baseball Record Book: Runs

Major League Baseball

Pee Wee Reese with Jackie Robinson

Pee Wee Reese with Jackie Robinson

Career Runs Leaders

  1. Pee Wee Reese — 1940-1958 — 1338
  2. Earle Combs — 1924-1935 — 1186
  3. Fred Pfeffer — 1882-1897 — 1094
  4. Pete Browning — 1882-1894 — 954
  5. Bobby Veach — 1912-1925 — 953

Single Season Runs Leaders

  1. Earle Combs — 1932 — 143
  2. Earle Combs — 1927 — 137
  3. Fred Pfeffer — 1884 — 135
  4. Fred Pfeffer — 1887 — 133
  5. Pee Wee Reese — 132 — 1949

BluGrass Baseball Record Book: RBI

Major League Baseball
Bobby Veach

Bobby Veach

In the third installment of the BluGrass Baseball Record book we look at RBI.  While RBI have come under fire from sabermatricians of late, they are still recognized as one of the three big offensive stats by most casual baseball fans.  Remember, we’re using the “Lincoln Rule” which says a player must have been born in Kentucky to qualify for the record book.

Career RBI Leaders

  1. Bobby Veach — 1912-1925 — 1166
  2. Travis Fryman — 1990-2002 — 1022
  3. Fred Pfeffer — 1882-1897 — 1019
  4. Jay Buhner — 1987-2001 — 965
  5. Gus Bell — 1950 — 1964 — 942

Single Season RBI Leaders

  1. Jay Buhner — 1996 — 138
  2. Bobby Veach — 1921 — 128
  3. Bobby Veach — 1922 — 126
  4. Jay Buhner — 1995 — 121
  5. Gus Bell — 1959 — 115

BluGrass Baseball Record Book: Hits

Major League Baseball
Hall of Famer Earle Combs

Hall of Famer Earle Combs

In the second installment of the record book series we’ll look at Kentucky’s all-time hits leaders for a career and single-season.  Remember we’re following the “Lincoln Rule,” so all players have to have been born in Kentucky.

Career Hits Leaders

  1. Pee Wee Reese — 1940-1958 — 2170
  2. Bobby Veach — 1912-1925 — 2063
  3. Earle Combs — 1924-1935 — 1866
  4. Gus Bell — 1950-1964 — 1823
  5. Travis Fryman — 1990-2002 — 1776

Single-Season Hits Leaders

  1. Earle Combs — 1927 — 231
  2. Bobby Veach — 1921 — 207
  3. Bill Sweeney — 1912 — 204
  4. Earle Combs — 1925 — 203
  5. Earle Combs — 1929 — 202/Bobby Veach — 1922 — 202

The Curious Case of Bobby Veach

Major League Baseball

Bobby Veach

If your first reaction to the headline of this post was “Who is Bobby Veach?” don’t worry at least 95% of the general public has the same reaction, and until last week so did I.  Veach was a left-fielder who played 14 seasons, most of which were with the Detroit Tigers.  For our purposes Bobby becomes relevant because he was born in St. Charles, Ky., and was chosen last week as a member of the All-Time BluGrass Baseball Team.  While researching Kentucky natives for that team I stumbled upon Veach for the first time and, frankly, I was shocked I’d never heard of him before.

Veach is the only player in Kentucky history with 2,000 hits and 1,000 RBI.  He led the league in RBI three times, doubles twice, games played twice, hits once and plate appearances once.  In 1919 Veach batted .355 with 65 extra base hits and 101 RBI.  Veach lead the league that season in hits, doubles and triples.  The only two players who finished above Veach in hits, total bases, RBI and extra-base hits in 1919 were a few guys you might have heard of named Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth.  And that’s where Bobby Veach’s anonymity starts to become a little clearer.

All-Time BluGrass Team

Major League Baseball

Bobby Veach

Yesterday’s post about Kentucky Hall of Famers made me think about who would make an All-Star team composed of only Kentucky natives.  With the help of the wonderful database at Baseball-Reference.com I set out to make such a team.  Each player’s playing time is listed next to his name along with the team or teams he spent most of his career with.  The second bullet under each name lists the players batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage, and his rankings among relevant categories are listed in bolded parentheses next to that category.

C — John Grimm (1888-1899) — Louisville Colonels/Brooklyn Grooms

  • The running for greatest catcher in Kentucky history wasn’t a hotly contested one.  Grimm leads Kentucky players who spent the majority of their career behind the plate in hits and games played, but ranks only in 28th and 30th place among all Kentucky natives in those categories.  Grimm was born in Lebanon, Ky.  His best season came in 1894 for the Louisville Colonels when he hit .298 with 7 home runs and 70 RBI.
  • .267/.302/.359 — 705 hits (28), 706 games (30), .943 Fielding %