True Franchise Players: Pitchers Edition

I’m back with more Franchise Players goodness!

In this previous post I went on to find all position players that completed their careers with one team while posting an above-average OPS for a minimum of 1620 games.

I now present to you a list of Franchise Players consisting of starting pitchers.

Requirements for this list were (1) at least 2000 innings pitched, (2) an above-average career ERA (link), and (3) entire career played for the same franchise. Obviously.


Addie JossCleveland Indians1.89
Walter JohnsonMinnesota Twins2.17
Nap RuckerLos Angeles Dodgers2.42
Sam LeeverPittsburgh Pirates2.47
Whitey FordNew York Yankees2.75
Sandy KoufaxLos Angeles Dodgers2.76
Jim PalmerBaltimore Orioles2.86
Bob GibsonSt. Louis Cardinals2.91
Don DrysdaleLos Angeles Dodgers2.95
Mel StottlemyreNew York Yankees2.97
Carl HubbellSan Francisco Giants2.98
Red FaberChicago White Sox3.15
Steve RogersWashington Nationals3.17
Bob LemonCleveland Indians3.23
Bob FellerCleveland Indians3.25
Ron GuidryNew York Yankees3.29
Hooks DaussDetroit Tigers3.30
Hal SchumacherSan Francisco Giants3.36
Eddie RommelOakland Athletics3.54
Tommy BridgesDetroit Tigers3.57
Ted LyonsChicago White Sox3.67
Dennis LeonardKansas City Royals3.70
Vern LawPittsburgh Pirates3.77
Mel HarderCleveland Indians3.80
Paul SplittorffKansas City Royals3.81
Scott McGregorBaltimore Orioles3.99

Quite the history lesson, folks. Three pitchers in the top 10 played during the dead-ball era. Not a single one of these guys threw a pitch during the 90s!

The list of franchises by count of players, now including these pitchers, ends up like this:

New York Yankees11
Detroit Tigers7
San Francisco Giants5
Pittsburgh Pirates5
Los Angeles Dodgers5
Boston Red Sox4
Minnesota Twins4
Baltimore Orioles3
Kansas City Royals3
Chicago White Sox3
Houston Astros2
Chicago Cubs2
Cincinnati Reds2
St. Louis Cardinals2
Seattle Mariners1
Atlanta Braves1
Philadelphia Phillies1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim1
San Diego Padres1
Milwaukee Brewers1

Let’s also update the list of teams (yet) without a pitcher on this list or a position player on the previous list:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Florida Marlins
  • New York Mets
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Texas Rangers
  • Toronto Blue Jays



Testing a Canon EF 100mm macro lens.

Tags: photography

A List of True “Franchise” Baseball (Position) Players

I’ve been playing with Sean Lahman’s baseball database for a while now. Yes, Jimmy here apparently thinks he’s a “baseball analyst” and sticking to Baseball Reference or Fangraphs is not cool enough.

This “thing”, plus having the necessary technical skills, have led me to occasionally come up with research questions/topics, file them and then look for whatever time I’m responsibly able to spend on sitting down to write some queries and play with the data to attempt to answer them.

So, first blog post about one of those questions…

I’m an Atlanta Braves fan. When Chipper Jones retired last year, I thought of how rare it is when players get to complete entire, successful and long careers with a single team. Then, I told myself “let’s look for all of them”. The true Franchise Players.

I decided to focus on position players and the idea was to, not only find them, but also rank them by a “decent” offensive statistic. I went with On-base plus Slugging (OPS). It’s not a perfect stat by any means. Some people say the problem with it is that it puts the same value on On-base percentage (OBP) as Slugging average (SLG), and that OBP is actually more valuable. Still, I wasn’t looking for the flawless rank, because that’s just literally impossible to do. I just wanted to put together a ranked list that could be used as a conversation starter. Using OPS was at least better than using poor ol’ Batting average and it was relatively easy to get the script to perform the calculations.

(I won’t get into why Batting average doesn’t cut it, but you can go ahead and see how easy it is to get some Google results on the topic)

Something I went back and forth on was, how do I filter them so that I get the ones with long, good enough careers? Do I go with a certain number of seasons? I played quite a bit with this parameter and finally decided to go with games played instead. 1620 games (the equivalent of 10 full seasons) seemed like a fair number. For the “good” portion of the equation, I decided to go with a minimum OPS of .730.

For reference, a .730 OPS is considered “average” (link). If the guy played for so long and ended up with an average OPS, chances are he had a couple of great years.

Enough with the talking. The results:

Ted WilliamsBoston Red Sox1.116
Lou GehrigNew York Yankees1.080
Mickey MantleNew York Yankees0.977
Joe DiMaggioNew York Yankees0.977
Stan MusialSt. Louis Cardinals0.976
Jeff BagwellHouston Astros0.948
Mel OttSan Francisco Giants0.947
Edgar MartinezSeattle Mariners0.933
Chipper JonesAtlanta Braves0.930
Mike SchmidtPhiladelphia Phillies0.908
Bill TerrySan Francisco Giants0.899
Willie StargellPittsburgh Pirates0.889
Charlie GehringerDetroit Tigers0.884
Tim SalmonLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim0.884
Bill DickeyNew York Yankees0.868
Bernie WilliamsNew York Yankees0.858
George BrettKansas City Royals0.857
Al KalineDetroit Tigers0.855
Jim RiceBoston Red Sox0.854
Jorge PosadaNew York Yankees0.848
Kent HrbekMinnesota Twins0.848
Tony GwynnSan Diego Padres0.847
Carl YastrzemskiBoston Red Sox0.841
Kirby PuckettMinnesota Twins0.837
Roberto ClementePittsburgh Pirates0.834
Don MattinglyNew York Yankees0.830
Ernie BanksChicago Cubs0.830
Tony OlivaMinnesota Twins0.830
Bobby DoerrBoston Red Sox0.823
Johnny BenchCincinnati Reds0.817
Barry LarkinCincinnati Reds0.815
Carl FurilloLos Angeles Dodgers0.813
Luke ApplingChicago White Sox0.798
Pie TraynorPittsburgh Pirates0.797
Craig BiggioHouston Astros0.796
Stan HackChicago Cubs0.791
Lou WhitakerDetroit Tigers0.789
Cal RipkenBaltimore Orioles0.788
Robin YountMilwaukee Brewers0.772
Travis JacksonSan Francisco Giants0.770
Alan TrammellDetroit Tigers0.767
Roy WhiteNew York Yankees0.764
Bill FreehanDetroit Tigers0.752
Pee Wee ReeseLos Angeles Dodgers0.743

We can go ahead and have some extra fun. Teams by count of players on the list:

New York Yankees8
Detroit Tigers5
Boston Red Sox4
San Francisco Giants3
Pittsburgh Pirates3
Minnesota Twins3
Houston Astros2
Chicago Cubs2
Cincinnati Reds2
Los Angeles Dodgers2
Baltimore Orioles2
St. Louis Cardinals1
Seattle Mariners1
Atlanta Braves1
Philadelphia Phillies1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim1
Kansas City Royals1
San Diego Padres1
Chicago White Sox1
Milwaukee Brewers1

As a bonus, the unlisted teams:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Colorado Rockies*
  • Florida Marlins
  • New York Mets
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Texas Rangers
  • Toronto Blue Jays
  • Washington Nationals


Since this is ranking based solely on an offensive stat and a minimum value requirement was set, a guy like Brooks Robinson doesn’t make the list. He was so good defensively and played for so long, that everyone would still consider him an Orioles Franchise Player. Not to mention he’s a Hall of Famer.


*Watch for Todd Helton


A couple of pictures taken in Palmar de Ocoa back in January

Tags: photography

Let’s preview the NL East

This won’t be hard for the baseball world to reach consensus on.

1) Nationals
2) Braves
3) Phillies
4) Mets
5) Marlins

The Washington Nationals will come from a 98-win campaign and a good offseason. They’re arguably the team to beat in the majors. A full season of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper looking to improve on his rookie season, Rafael Soriano closing games are some of the things to watch out. This is a talented club, all around. Simply put, they’re easy World Series candidates.

The Atlanta Braves had a very good club on the field last year, and they didn’t necessarily got better with their offseason. Their mission was to not get worse by the expected departure of Michael Bourn, which they countered by signing BJ Upton. They have the best bullpen in the majors, depth in the rotation and a young core lead by Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons that is not expected to take any steps back. Most show pessimism about Brian McCann, but I don’t. I expect him to have a good free agency year. This club is poised to repeat as good opponent for the Nationals and get another attempt in a Wild Card showdown.

The Philadelphia Phillies will still boast a rotation led by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Even if you don’t expect the Doc to put up a sub-3 ERA campaign ever again, he still had almost a full run of ERA-FIP and was sided by an injury, so he should be better. Cliff Lee will not be as unlucky (ate 211 innings with a 3.16 ERA but ended up with a 6-9 record) and Cole Hamels should still be great. That’s still a 1-3 to have respect for. Their problem lies on their aging, well past their prime, big-name position players. It will be interesting to see what’s left on Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Carlos Ruiz was their MVP last year, but was suspended and will not play the first 25 games. Still, I don’t see this club having a problem beating down the rest of the division.

The New York Mets only made news when they locked their franchise player, David Wright, to a long-term contract. They lost their no. 1 starter and Cy Young award winner, RA Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays and now greatly depend on whatever is left of Johan Santana, Jon Niese repeating his success and a successful arrival of Zack Wheeler. This club is not expected to contend, but should have no problem in beating down the next group of guys.

The Florida Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton in a minor league ballclub. Enough said. They cut ties with José Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and Omar Infante and they will be painful to watch.

"Rusty Hinge"

"Rusty Hinge"

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Thank you, Chipper.


Thank you, Chipper.


Random pictures around the city of Chicago

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"Kid K" + East Coast Baseball

Kerry Wood has retired. If you’re interested in baseball in any measure, enjoy watching pitchers dominate and want to know a bit more about him, Schoenfield’s post on his 20-K game is a good read.

For the actual dose of electricity, go ahead and watch the highlights of the game in question.

On another note, it’s no secret that the East divisions are the best in the business. Some interesting observations according to where things stand right now: Every team in the AL East has a positive run differential and every team in the NL East has a winning record


Tags: baseball