Magglio Ordonez’s retirement inspired Trent McCotter of SABR to note that Ordonez ended his career with an 18-game hitting streak. That’s the longest streak at the end of a career ever, eclipsing the previous record holder, Ed Delahanty, who ended his career with a 16-game streak.
This in turn led to some Twitter talk about the great Ed Delahanty, who is probably one of the more overlooked Hall of Famers ever.
Delahanty was a slugger among sluggers in the late 19th century. He led the league with 19 homers in 1893, which was a pretty significant total for the day. He did so again in 1896. Five times he led the NL in slugging. He thrice led the NL in RBI, with 146, 126 and 137. And he was not a one-dimensional hitter. He got on base at an amazing clip, leading the league with a ridiculous .500 OBP in 1895, and finishing his career with a .411 OBP. He led the NL in OPS five times.
But the reason why his being overlooked is damn nigh criminal is not because of his baseball prowess — he was inducted to the Hall, after all — but because the way he broke into the major leagues and the way he died is unknown by so many. There are books with long colorful descriptions of Delahanty’s life and hard times, but in the interest of saving time and hassle, I quote Wikipedia:
Delahanty also played minor league ball in Wheeling, West Virginia before the Phillies obtained him as a replacement for Charlie Ferguson. Ferguson had died early in 1888 from typhoid fever, and Ed was originally brought in to fill in for him at second base …
Delahanty died when he was swept over Niagara Falls in 1903. He was apparently kicked off a train by the train’s conductor for being drunk and disorderly. The conductor said Delahanty was brandishing a straight razor and threatening passengers. After being kicked off the train, Delahanty started his way across the International Bridge connecting Buffalo, NY with Fort Erie (near Niagara Falls) and fell or jumped off the bridge (some accounts say Ed was yelling about death that night). Whether “Big Ed” died from his plunge over the Falls, or drowned on the way to the Falls is uncertain.
If you got your job because of a typhoid fever death and had your career end because of a booze-fueled plunge over Niagara Falls, you have to be the most 19th Century baseball player of all time. At the very least it’s between him and Old Hoss Radboun.
Magglio Ordonez was unable to latch on with a new team after rehabbing his second ankle surgery and Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that the six-time All-Star will make his retirement official Sunday at “Magglio Ordonez Day” in Detroit.
Ordonez spent his first eight seasons with the White Sox and his final seven seasons with the Tigers, hitting .309 with 294 homers, 2,156 hits, and an .871 OPS to rank among the best right-handed hitters of the past 20 years.
He struggled last season after coming back from ankle surgery, hitting .255 for the first sub-.280 batting average of his career, and then re-fractured his ankle during the playoffs, forcing him into retirement at age 37.
According to Beck the Tigers will honor Ordonez with a pregame ceremony at Comerica Park.
When the Cubs beat the Braves 1-0 on Wednesday, they did it sending a total of 26 men to the plate. It was the first time since 2007 that a team had won a nine-inning game without every spot in the order getting three plate appearances.
Of course, to pull off such a feat a team needs to be at home, meaning it wouldn’t have to bat in the ninth. It would have to score at least one run, meaning the fewest number of plate appearances the team could have is 25. The Cubs had 26 today.
What’s really incredible is that the Cubs actually had five hits. However, the first two singles were erased on double plays and Starlin Castro was thrown out at home trying to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park home run. As a result, Tim Hudson faced the minimum through six.
The Cubs went on to get their run in the seventh on a single, a sac bunt, a groundout and another single. The first runner scored, while the second was left on base, the lone runner left on base for the team. The Cubs then went down in order in the eighth before holding on to win 1-0.
The last team to win a nine inning game while sending 26 men to the plate was the Tigers, against the Indians, on Aug. 21, 2007. They won 2-1 on a pair of solo homers from Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen.
The 1992 Braves were the last team to win a nine-inning game sending 25 men to the plate. They beat the Pirates 1-0 on July 25 on a David Justice homer, the only hit allowed by Danny Jackson.
We saw Buster Posey play all spring, but last night was his first official major league game since he suffered a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments in a home-plate collision with Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins last May 25.
Posey told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that he “felt normal,” even though the season opener didn’t go exactly as he would have hoped.
Posey made a key error in the bottom of the sixth inning, bobbling a tapper out in front of the plate which allowed Jason Kubel to reach first base. The next batter, Ryan Roberts, then hit a two-run double to put the Diamondbacks in front. Posey had a chance to redeem himself in the top of the ninth with the tying run on second and two outs, but closer J.J. Putz was able to get him to ground out to shortstop to end it.
It wasn’t all bad news for Posey, though. He went 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk and now owns a 14-game hitting streak dating back to last year. That’s the longest active hitting streak in MLB if you don’t count Magglio Ordonez (18-game hitting streak), who is unsigned and appears headed for retirement.
The current plan calls for Posey to catch each of the Giants’ next two games before potentially getting a start at first base on Monday against the Rockies.