Friday, August 28, 2009

Baseballs Top Awards

baseball awards

A walk through the top awards given out by Major League Baseball to those who make significant contributions to the game of Baseball.  Each award will be presented with a short history, a description of the award and some facts of interest. Enjoy.

Cy Young Award:

The Cy Young award was first introduced by Commissioner Ford Frick in 1956 to honor the best pitcher in all of baseball. The Baseball Writers Association of American has made the decision since the beginning since there were so many problems in the past when choosing the winner of the Chalmers Award.

From 1956 through 1966 the award was only given to one pitcher. After Ford Frick retired the rule was changed to award the best pitcher in both American and National League.

Ford C. Frick Award:

The Ford C. Frick Award is given out to recognize a broadcasters contributions to baseball over the microphone.

First given out in 1978, the Ford C. Frick Award recipient is selected by a committee of baseball executives and media personnel and is handed out during the annual Hall of Fame inductions.

See Award Winners Here.

Manager of the Year Award:

The Manager of the Year Award is given to the Manager who takes the talent given to him by the team and surpasses expectations.

First given out in 1983, winner shave included the likes of World Series Winners to managers who have taken teams from the cellar and put them in the playoff hunt.

Winner is chosen by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Sportsman of the Year Award:

Not exactly a MLB Award but in 1954 Sports Illustrated began announcing there annual Sportsman of the Year awards. The editors at Sports Illustrated pick the selections, male and female, from every sport and judge them on their contributions to the game, their performance in their chosen sport and their off field activities.

Rookie of the Year Award (Jackie Robinson Award):

The Rookie of the Year Award was first introduced in 1947 and is given to the player who has the best rookie season pitching, hitting or fielding. In order to become eligible a rookie was formally defined in 1971 as follows; a player with less than 130 at-bats, a pitcher with less then 50 innings, or anyone with less than 45 days on a major league roster.

In 1947 and 1948 only one award was given out. From 1949 on two awards, one for each league, are given out respectively. Starting in 1980 the Baseball Writers Association of America began naming three players on a ballot. Points are awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place votes. Most points wins.

Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award:

The Relief Man of the Year is an award given to to top relief pitchers in both the American and National League.

The winner is decided based on stats instead of votes. A save is worth 3 points; a win is worth 2 points; and a loss is worth -2 points. Starting in 1987, -2 points were given out for blown saves and in 2008 a point is given out for a "tough save". A "tough save" happens when a relief pitcher enters the game already having a tying run on base, and gets the save.

Roberto Clemente Man of the Year Award:

Starting in 1971, Major League Baseball has  presented an award to recognize a player who combines outstanding skills on the field with devoted work in the community. In 1973, the award was named in honor of Clemente, who died on December 31, 1972 during a humanitarian mission to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

During the season, each Major League club selects a local Roberto Clemente Award nominee. The local honoree is then eligible for the national Roberto Clemente Award, which is presented annually at the World Series. A panel  including Commissioner Bud Selig, Vera Clemente, the wife of the late Roberto Clemente and David D'Alessandro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Financial Services, selects the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by John Hancock from the 30 club nominees.

The national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award receives a trophy and a $25,000 donation in his name from John Hancock Financial Services to the charity of his choice. John Hancock also makes a $30,000 contribution in the name of the winner to Roberto Clemente Sports City in Puerto Rico.

See Award Winners Here. 

Most Valuable Player Award:

The third installment of this award, simply known to us as the MVP Award but whose full name is the Baseball Writers Most Valuable Player Award. First given out in 1931, it symbolizes the top of a players personal achievements during any single season of play.

The first "MVP" award was named the Chalmers Award and was given out from 1911 to 1915. The League Award followed from 1922 to 1929.

See Award winners Here.

Tip O'Neil Award:

The Tip O'Neil award is presented to the Canadian baseball player who is seen to have excelled in individual achievement as well as team contribution while adhering to baseballs highest ideals. Award recipients are chosen by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Longest Day in Baseball History

Supposedly the deadball era was over and the quicker, louder modern baseball had taken hold of a nation. On May 1, 1920 though, the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers showed that a little of the deadball era still hung around the ballparks when they played a 26 inning game which resulted in a 1-1 tie. This game stands as not only the longest in Major League history but likely forever will be the longest game to NOT be played to a decision. It wasn't so much the incredible length of the game that made it most feel like a throwback to the old deadball era but the fact that both starting pitchers, Leon Cadore of the Dodgers and Joe Oesehger of the Braves, went to entire distance. The following day Brooklyn 13 innings against the Phillies and lost a 2-1 decision to the Braves the next day in 19 innings. Brooklyn's three game total of 58 innings (about 6.5 games), is a record that has not and most likely will not ever be broken.

Longest Game Played to a Decision
AL - 25 innings - St.Louis 4, New York Mets 3. September 11, 1974. Also the longest night game in history.
NL - 24 innings - Philadelphia 4, Boston 1. September 1, 1906. Both Jack Coombs of the A's and Joe Harris of the Red Sox went the entire game.

Most Innings without Scoring, One Day
27 - St.Louis Cardinals, July 2, 1933. They lost the first game of the day to Carl Hubbell and the New York Giants 1-0 in 18 innings, then were shut out again by Roy Parmalee in the night cap.

Longest Game in Organized Baseball History
33 innings - Pawtucket 3, Rochester 2. International League. April 18, 1981. The game was suspended at 4:07 am after 32 innings and the score 2-2, then resumed on June 23 with Pawtucket scoring the winning run almost as quickly as the game begun.

*The longest game to be played without interruption came on June 14, 1966 between Miami and St.Petersburg of the Class A Florida State League. Miami, managed by Billy DeMars, winning 4-3 in 29 innings over Sparky Anderson's St.Petes team.

Last Team to Play Two Opponents in One Day.
In 2000, rainouts forced the Cleveland Indians in a situation where they had to play the division winning Chicago White Sox on the afternoon of September 25 at Jacobs Field, then shower, change uniforms and take the field that evening to lose a costly 4-3 decision to the Minnesota Twins.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Doubles Records

While playing for the Boston Redsox in 1931, Earl Webb hit a major league record 67 doubles. The only time in which Webb hit more than 30 doubles. In contrast, Joe Medwick (seen above), who hole the National League record with 64 in 1936, had 40 or more doubles 7 years in a row. Both records seemed safe forever until an all-time record 26 players collected 40 or more doubles in 2000.

Most Doubles Since 1931
AL - Carlos Delgado, Toronto, 2000
NL - Todd Helton. Colorado, 2000

Most Seasons League Leader in Doubles, since 1901
AL -8- Tris Speaker, last in 1923
NL -8- Stan Musial. last in 1954

Most Seasons 50 or More Doubles
AL -5- Tris Speaker, last in 1926
NL -3- Paul Waner, last in 1936; Stan Musial. last in 1953

Organized Baseball Record for Most Doubles in a Season
100 - Lyman Lamb, Tulsa (Western League), 1924

Most Doubles, Season, Team
AL -373- St.Louis Cardinals, 1930
NL -373- Boston Redsox, 1997 and 2004

Thursday, April 9, 2009

First Time for the First Timers

Expansion Team Firsts

The first victory for a major-league expansion team came on April 11, 1961 when the Los Angeles Angels beat the Orioles 7-2 in their inaugural game. In 1962, the Houston Colt 45s became the first National League expansion to earn a victory when they pounced the Cubs 11-2, also in their very first game. On the other end of the spectrum the New York Mets debuted with an 0-9 record and would eventually go on to set the 20th century record for most losses in a season. But, the Mets would become the first expansion team to win a World Series in 1969. Amazin'.

Some More...

First AL Expansion to Win Division Title - Kansas City Royals, 1976.

First AL Expansion to Win Pennant - Kansas City Royals, 1980.

First AL Expansion to Win World Series - Kansas City Royals, 1985.

First Season Two Expansions Faced Each Other in a LCS:
AL - 1982 - California vs. Milwaukee
NL - 1986 - New York Mets vs. Houston

First Expansion Team Award Winners:
NL Cy Young - Tom Seaver, New York, 1969.
AL Cy Young - Dean Chance, Los Angeles, 1964.
NL MVP - Jeff Bagwell, Houston, 1994.
AL MVP - Jeff Bouroughs, Texas, 1974.
NL Rookie of the Year - Tom Seaver, New York, 1967.
AL Rookie of the Year - Lou Piniella, Kansas City, 1969.