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

Heisey, Alonso lead team to victory; Webb breakdown

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Chris Heisey

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

The Hot Stove league continues to heat up with rumors about possible moves and contract extensions, but the showcase of future prospects in the desert Saturday was the lead story of the day. Check out which Kentucky minor leaguers led their team to victory in the Arizona Fall League All-Star game.

  • 2009 Bat Chris Heisey was 2-3 with a home run and two RBI in the AFL Rising Stars game. Teammate Yonder Alonso was 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
  • In his latest column Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com touches on a couple of BluGrass Baseball storylines. Firs he mentions that 2009 Bat Travis Wood could compete for the Reds’ fifth starter job in Spring Training.
  • The he had this about Lexington-native Travis Fryman’s managerial interview with the Indians from GM Mark Shapiro:
  • “He was a huge surprise — he blew us away. He was surprisingly clear in the way he would build a staff and run the team. The further into the interview he got, the more excited he became by the potential of managing. We left the interview believing he will be an impact major-league manager someday. The timing just wasn’t right.”
  • Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports the D’Backs acknowledged the risk in picking up UK Hall of Famer Brandon Webb’s contract option, but think the move has high reward.
  • If the D’Backs fall out of contention in 2010, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney predicts Webb will be a top midseason trade option. (subscription required)

Travis Fryman a candidate for Indians job

Major League Baseball

frymanLexington-native Travis Fryman is believed to be a finalist for the Cleveland Indians manager job, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Fryman interviewed with the Indians in Arizona last week, but wasn’t sure if he would interview again this week, according to a previous Plain Dealer report. Former Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine are believed to be the front runners for the job.

If selected, Fryman, who attended high school in Pensacola, Fla., would be the first Kentucky native to manage a major league team since Eddie Haas managed the Atlanta Braves to a 50-71 record in 1985. Only three Kentucky natives have managed a major league team, none for more than one season or with winning record. (Read more)

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


    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

    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 %