Jackie Bradley Jr. made walk-drawing history in opener

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Jackie Bradley Jr. went hitless in his Red Sox debut yesterday, but the 22-year-old outfielder drew three walks in five plate appearances against the Yankees to become the first player with three or more walks in his MLB debut since 2000.

And since 1950 only seven players have drawn three or more walks in their first MLB game:

Jackie Bradley Jr.    2013
Danny Ardoin          2000
Danny Klassen         1998
Jorge Piedre          1991
Larry Walker          1989
Joe Lahoud            1968
Dick Donovan          1950

I’d have guessed that most of the players who were capable of drawing three or more walks in their MLB debut were pretty damn good hitters, but it turns out not so much. Larry Walker was a stud and Joe Lahoud had some decent years, but Danny Ardoin, Danny Klassen, Jorge Piedre barely had MLB careers and Dick Donovan was a pitcher.

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com’s must-have “Play Index” for the ability to look stuff like this up.

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.