Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Sweet or Sour?
2008-06-11 13:58
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to



Joe P takes on Joe D and Junior Griffey.  This is a good one. 

The 13 strikeouts just boggles the mind. 

2008-06-11 14:26:26
1.   tommyl
13 strikeouts? For an entire season, while hitting that many HRs in the old Yankee Stadium, where A-Rod's CF moonshots would just scrape over the fence? Hell, I think in one game Cano, Betemit and Duncan can K that much.

Jeebus, that is unreal.

2008-06-11 14:51:25
2.   OldYanksFan
Yanke Stadium killed Joe D. (and many others). If you are not old enough to have attended a game at the 'old stadium', you really can't get a feel for just how huge it was.

Talk about ramdon coincidence:
"Griffey hit his 500th career homer on June, 20, 2004, in St. Louis off Matt Morris of the Cardinals.

Appropriately, it occurred on Father's Day — with Ken Griffey Sr. in attendance. It was the 2,143rd hit of Junior's career — the precise number produced by his father in his 19-year career."

2008-06-11 15:23:47
3.   Sliced Bread
I recently brought up DiMag's 13 K season to my pop, who reminded me Yogi had a 12 K season in 1950 I think it was.
Swung at balls over his head, in the dirt, half-way home to St. Lou, and never missed.
2008-06-11 16:49:10
4.   Zack
Reading those comments brought me to go peruse over the Mick's career #s. I think more than anyone, I wish I could have watch Mantle's career unfold. Having grown up post-Mantle and only heard the hype, I tended to do that same SOHU thing with him--I simply overlooked Mantle and gravitated towards Gehrig, Ruth, and Dimaggio as the "greatest Yankees," chalking the Mantle love up to a generation of family who actually saw him play. But as I've gotten over, of course, and really studied the game more and its intricacies and statistics, my appreciation for Mantle has soared.

I was always told that Mantle retired too late and was a shell of himself in his last 4 seasons, which is probably true. Yet you look over the #s, and he still never had an OPS+ under 135. For his career (save year #1). 1956 and 1957 absolutely blow my mind (and to think Ted Williams had a higher ops+ in '57!!)...

So as I have gotten older, DiMaggio's legacy has definitely faded as Mantle's has risen in my mind, fair or not. Its not that I undervalue Joe D., its just that it seems pretty hard for me to imagine anyone not named Ruth or Bonds equaling Mantle...

But, um, wow, 13 strike outs. I think Ryan Howard did that in one game the other day...

2008-06-11 17:53:29
5.   rbj
Hell, Reggie struck out 13 times in 12 consecutive PA.
There was a time when it was considered bad form to strike out, if not in fact evidence of immoral character.

You couldn't go wrong with either DiMaggio or Junior.

2008-06-11 17:54:11
6.   JL25and3
4 My dad saw Gehrig, Ruth and Dimaggio play. But it was only when he talked about the young Mickey Mantle that he got this funny sort of dreamy look in his eyes...

No, Mantle wasn't that player for long enough, and I saw him mostly when he was the hobbled hero. But he was awful damn good, for plenty long enough.

2 You can get some feel for the size of the old Stadium, because the wall is still there. Out past the left-centerfield fence, all the way past the bullpens to the facing of the leftfield bleachers - that was the outfield wall. The monuments and the flagpole were on the field.

To be fair, the left-field line was a little shorter, and the rightfield porch was even friendlier. On both sides, the fence in front of the grandstand was considerably lower.

2008-06-11 18:05:22
7.   Alex Belth
Yogi whiffed just 12 times in 151 games in 1950. Emily just asked me, "How can that happen?"

Quite honestly, I'm not sure.

2008-06-11 18:29:46
8.   OldYanksFan
4 Did you notice Mickey's SB%? This was a man with no legs.

Mickey was a tremendous teammate. He would never do anything selfish, but my guess is if he batted lefty against most LH pitchers in Yankee Stadium, he would have had better power numbers.

My feeling is, and this has been echoed by many of Mantle's contemporaries, is Mantle could have been the greatest player ever. Mickey WAS the Natural. 80 power, 80 speed, great arm. Due to both injury and alcoholism, he never reached his potential, and was 'only' maybe one of the top 10 baseball players.

When you look at Mantle's numbers, remember he was hurt to some degree his entire career after his 1st year. Mickey once said... "Hitting the ball was easy. Running around the bases was the tough part."

"I always loved the game, but when my legs weren't hurting it was a lot easier to love."

"Sometimes I think if I had the same body and the same natural ability and someone else's brain, who knows how good a player I might have been."

2008-06-11 18:40:57
9.   rsmith51
I always thought there was a big drop off from Dimaggio to the next best CF.

Mays, Mantle, Cobb,

then Dimaggio,

then Junior??

2008-06-11 18:46:28
10.   OldYanksFan
6 Both lines were very short. One under 300 (280 in LF), one just over (301 in RF). Mickey was a pull hitter lefty, but not an extreme pull hitter like Giambi or many other LH batters. The stadium probably helped him a bit late in his career, but stole a bunch of HRs to LF and CF. It was very deceptive. A fly out 410' to CF (463') looked like a lazy fly, as the CFer was nowhere near the wall when he caught it.

I saw one game (on TV) in '65 where the LFer was playing at about 400' and Mickey still got it by him in the gap (457').

Did you know in 1927, the stadium capacity was 80,000? When I first went, it was a mere 65,000.

2008-06-11 18:53:17
11.   OldYanksFan
2008-06-11 19:12:18
12.   OldYanksFan
In terms of career OPS+ and WinShares, it goes Mantle (6th, 3rd), Cobb, Mays, Joe (a bunch of OFers) and Junior.

It should be noted that Cobb played 24 seasons (with a 112 OPS+ in his last year), Willy 22 seasons (the last pretty much a dud), Mantle 16 and Joe D. played 13.

B... Ruth 195.6 WS in 22 seasons
HWagner 179.0 WS in 21 seasons
MMantle. 178.4 WS in 16 seasons
Ty Cobb 173.6 WS in 24 seasons
W. Mays 164.6 WS in 22 seasons
Joe D.... 150.9 WS in 13 seasons

Imagine... Cobb play 50% longer then Mickey and almost twice as long as Joe D. Imagine if Joe and Mickey could have played 20 years.

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