Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ben Revere Homers! What's Next for Sports Fans?

So Ben Revere last night hit his first home run.  Not of the season. Not of the month.  Of his big league career!  

In honor of Revere's accomplishment, here's a list of four sports achievements we're still waiting for as fans, one for each base Revere touched last night in his first career round-tripper:

1.  The Cubs win the World Series.  Sorry Cubs fans, but I couldn't leave this one out.  I mean, seriously, how could I make a list about "things we're waiting for as sports fans" and not mention a World Series drought of over a century?

2.  A horse takes the triple crown.  The Belmont Stakes happens on June 7, so fingers crossed for California Chrome.

3.  The Maple Leaps bring the Stanley Cup back to Toronto. They haven't won the Cup since the 1966-'67 season, the longest drought among any of the Original Six franchises.

4.  The city of Cleveland wins a championship.  Maybe they can adopt the Denver Broncos?  Or the Oakland A's?  Or the Miami Heat!?  Oh yeah ... never mind that last one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The 4000-Hit Club

So I want to start blogging again and the first thing I want to do is "correct" something that I wrote last year about the 4000-hit club.  

On August 31, 2013, I published a blog post (that you can find here) in which I ranked the six batters in the 4000-hit club from least great to most great based on statistics like on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG).  

And what I'm doing today is noting that I was wrong in that ranking.

In fact, there are at least nine members of the 4000-hit club if you count all professional baseball leagues.  Last August I ranked Jigger Statz, Ichiro Suzuki, Pete Rose, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, and Ty Cobb, but what I didn't realize is that you can add Derek Jeter, Julio Franco, and Minnie Minoso to this list as well if you add postseason hits and hits from other foreign leagues (besides the 1278 hits Ichiro hit as a member of the Orix Blue Wave, which I believe were taken into account for my post last year).

I found this out by reading this article by Scott Simkus on He notes, among many other stats, that Jeter and Franco enter the 4000-hit club thanks to their number of postseason hits and that Minoso is a member of this fraternity because of his combined total of 4073 MLB, minor league, Mexican League, Negro League, and Cuban League hits. **

You can say what you want, of course, about whether foreign leagues are "major" or "minor" and exactly how many players are in the 4000-hit club can differ depending on your perspective (hence my adding quotation marks to the word "correct" at the beginning of this post).  

But since I personally ranked the players with 4000 knocks previously in this blog, and counted hits from a very wide range of professional leagues, I think it's best for me to have pointed out Jeter's, Franco's, and Minoso's achievements as well as those of Cobb et al.  

And perhaps the membership in the 4000-hit club is not yet complete.  After all, Simkus notes that his list "may not be comprehensive."  Maybe he's talking about the hit totals of the players on it or maybe he thinks there are more members yet to be discovered.

Maybe he thinks both. *** 

But you can be sure about one thing: If I find out about any more members of the 4000-hit club, I will blog about it.

**-Simkus also adds to the hit totals knocks by Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron that occurred not in MLB or in the minors, but in Cuba (for Cobb) and in a Puerto Rican league and a Negro League (for Aaron).

***-In fact, I found a note on a message board on SB Nation that says Ichiro had 156 Japanese minor league hits, which would further increase his professional hit total (I don't think Simkus added those hits to Ichiro's total).  I have not yet tried to confirm Ichiro's Japanese minor league hit total, however.