Kentucky All-Star Game Facts and Figures

Major League Baseball

Pee Wee Reese baseball card

Bowling Green native and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart introduced himself to casual baseball fans last night with his impressive home run derby first-round, but he’ll look to add to his reputation tonight when he starts the MLB All-Star game for the National League. Tonight marks Hart’s second all-star selection putting him in an exclusive club of Kentuckians with multiple all-star appearances. Check out that state and others below in an All-Star edition of facts and figures:

  • In total, 16 players born in Kentucky have been selected as MLB all-stars.
  • Just 11 have been selected to multiple all-star teams.
  • Hall-of-famer Pee Wee Reese leads all Kentuckians with 10 all-star selections.
  • Ashland native and Arizona Diamondbacks right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb leads active Kentuckians with three selections.
  • Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, born in Louisville, and Colorado Rockies right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook, born in Fort Campbell, are the other active Kentuckian all-stars.
  • Former MLB outfielder David Justice, who was born in Cincinnati but attended high school in Covington and college at Thomas More was selected to three all-star games.
  • Webb (UK), Justice and Paul Derringer (Georgetown College) are the only alumni of Kentucky colleges to be selected as all-stars.

Check out the full list of all-stars born in Kentucky with number of appearances below with active players in italics:

  • Pee Wee Reese — 10
  • Jim Bunning — 9
  • Paul Derringer — 6
  • Travis Fryman — 5
  • Stan Spence — 4
  • Gus Bell — 4
  • Brandon Webb — 3
  • Dan Uggla — 2
  • Mike Greenwell — 2
  • Woodie Fryman — 2
  • Corey Hart — 2
  • Aaron Cook — 1
  • Len Barker — 1
  • Jay Buhner — 1
  • Vern Bickford — 1
  • Paul Byrd — 1

* Stats are via Baseball-Reference.com

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

BluGrass Baseball Record Book: Home Runs

Major League Baseball
Photo by angela n. via Flickr

Photo by angela n. via Flickr

We started the Record Book series almost three weeks ago with home runs. Now that the 2009 season is over that list looks a little different. Since Diamondbacks third baseman and Pikeville-native Mark Reynolds finished the season with 44 home runs he joins Jay Buhner as a single-season Kentucky home run record holder. I’ve included the career list again which should change in 2010 since Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla is five home runs from cracking the top five. Austin Kearns could also crack the top five with a 20-home run season in 2010. Reynolds is currently 13th on the list with 89 home runs.

Top Five Home Run Seasons

  1. Mark Reynolds — 2009 — 44/Jay Buhner — 1996 — 44
  2. Jay Buhner — 1997 — 40/Jay Buhner — 1995 — 40
  3. Brad Wilkerson — 2004 — 32/Dan Uggla — 2008 — 32

Career Home Run Leaders

  1. Jay Buhner — 1987-2001 — 310
  2. Travis Fryman — 1990-2002 — 223
  3. Gus Bell — 1950-1964 — 206
  4. Mike Greenwell — 1985-1996 — 130
  5. Pee Wee Reese — 1940-1958 — 126


    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: 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: 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

    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 %

    Bluegrass Hall of Famers

    Major League Baseball

    Jim Bunning

    With Sunday’s induction of outfielders Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice into the Baseball Hall of Fame and Monday’s announcement from hall of famer Jim Bunning that he wouldn’t seek re-election to the U. S. Senate I thought we’d profile Kentucky’s four hall of famers.  Clicking on each player’s name will take you to his official Hall of Fame entry.

    Jim Bunning, RHP, Detroit Tigers

    • Bunning is perhaps more famous for his political career as a U. S. representative (1987-1999) and U. S. senator (1999-present) today, but before he was a nationally prominent politician he was a hall of fame pitcher.  Bunning pitched from 1955-1971 for Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.  Over his career Bunning was 224-184 with a 3.27 ERA and 2855 strikeouts.  Bunning was the first pitcher to record both 100 wins and 1,000 strikeouts in the American and National League and pitched a no-hitter in each league.  He was a seven-time All-Star and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996 by the Veteran’s Committee.

    Pee Wee Reese, SS, Brooklyn Dodgers

    • “Pee Wee” was born Harold Henry Reese in Ekron, Ky., in 1918.  The defensive whiz spent his entire career with the Dodgers organization and played along side Jackie Robinson for most of his career.  Reese was the captain of the Dodgers during their dominant run through the National League in the 1950s and 1960s.  Pee Wee is most famous for his embrace of Robinson during pre-game warmups in Cincinnati during Robinson’s first season in baseball.  As Reese, a white man, embraced his black teammate on the field the crowd that was heckling Robinson quited.  The moment was immortalized in a statue in Brooklyn in 2005.
    • Reese led the National league in putouts four times, double plays twice and fielding percentage and assists once each.  Reese helped lead Brooklyn to seven pennants and never missed a inning of the seven World Series he participated in.  Reese only batted over .300 once in his career and finished his playing days with a .269 average, 2170 hits and 1338 runs scored.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984 by the veterans committee.

    Friday Links: Cox Stars

    College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

    Zach Cox

    Thursday saw a chance for some of the brightest college baseball stars to showcase their skills on won of the most historic fields in the country.  See which former Kentucky high school star took home MVP honors in the Cape Cod All-Star game at Fenway Park in today’s links:

    • PRP alum and current Arkansas third baseman Zach Cox was the star of the rain-shortened Cape Cod League All-Star game with 2 RBI Thursday.  Baseball America reports Cox was named the MVP of the game.
    • The Legends split a double header with Lake County.
    • Anthony Scelfo hit two home runs in Bowling Green’s 10-5 victory over Hagerstown.
    • Ben Jukich wasn’t quite Mark Buehrle, but he was perfect through five innings in Louisville’s 3-1 victory over Buffalo.
    • The Reds’ official Web site profiles Louisville outfielder Chris Hesiey.
    • Thursday was the 91st anniversary of the birth of Kentucky baseball legend Pee Wee Reese.