Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Most Consecutive Seasons with a Different Opening Day Starter: Second Base

The series continues (SPC1B2BSS, 3B, LF, CF, RFDH) as we look at teams that had long stretches with a different Opening Day second baseman:

X different Opening Day Starting Second Basemen in X Seasons (since 1914)
Red Sox 11 1994-2004
Rockies 10 2005-14
Athletics 10 1935-44
Red Sox 10 1918-27
Cubs 10 1914-23 *
Phillies 9 1930-38
Braves 8 1922-29
Giants 7 2008-2014
Athletics 7 1998-2004
Padres 7 1983-89
Athletics 7 1976-82
White Sox 7 1965-71
Mets 7 1962-68
Pirates 7 1943-49
Dodgers 7 1923-29
Phillies 7 1916-22

Baseball-Reference takes us back until 1914 and while Retrosheet provides starting pitchers in their game logs, it doesn't have that for other positions.

The 10-year streak for the 1914-23 Cubs actually extends one year further. Johnny Evers was Chicago's mainstay at the keystone corner until he was dealt to the Braves (and won the 1914 World Series in his first season with his new club), He started the 1912 and 1913 openers before ten others followed over the next decade.

Colorado's revolving door will likely end this year with a repeat start by LeMahieu. During their decade-long streak, Rockies second basemen have posted a .264/.316/.377 slash line. Their MLB rank in BA, OBP and SLG over that span: 18th, 26th, 21st. That's with playing half their games at Coors Field.

With Joe Panik lined up at second this year for the Giants, they'll probably become the eighth team in the last century to reach eight in a row.

Here's the full list of second basemen from the teams shown above. Some interesting names here include Bill Wambsganss (turned an unassisted triple play in the 1920 World Series), Crash Davis (played three uneventful seasons with the A's before having the main character in one of the most famous baseball movies ever named after him), Jocko Conlon (not to be confused with Hall of Fame umpire Jocko Conlan) and Danny Murtaugh (bounced around as an infielder in the 1940s before he managed his Pirates to titles in 1960 and 1971):

Red Sox 11 1994-2004 Scott Fletcher, Luis Alicea, Wil Cordero, John Valentin, Donnie Sadler, Jeff Frye, Jose Offerman, Chris Stynes, Rey Sanchez, Todd Walker, Mark Bellhorn
Rockies 10 2005-14 Aaron Miles, Luis Gonzalez, Kaz Matsui, Jayson Nix, Ian Stewart, Clint Barnes, Jose Lopez, Marco Scutaro, Josh Rutledge, DJ LeMahieu
Athletics 10 1935-44 Dib Williams, Rabbit Warstler, Bill Cissell, Dario Lodigiani, Joe Gantenbein, Benny McCoy, Crash Davis, Bill Knickerbocker, Pete Suder, Irv Hall
Red Sox 10 1918-27 Dave Shean, Jack Barry, Mike McNally, Eddie Foster, Del Pratt, Norm McMillan, Bill Wambsganss, Billy Rogell, Mike Herrera, Bill Regan
Cubs 10 1914-23 * Bill Sweeney, Art Phelan, Steve Yerkes, Larry Doyle, Pete Kilduff, Charlie Pick, Buck Herzog, Zeb Terry, Marty Krug, George Grantham
Phillies 9 1930-38 Fresco Thompson, Bernie Friberg, Les Mallon, Neal Finn, Irv Jeffries, Lou Chiozza, Mickey Haslin, Del Young, Heinie Mueller
Braves 8 1922-29 Hod Ford, Jocko Conlon, Cotton Tierney, Red Lucas, Doc Gautreau, Herb Thomas, Rogers Hornsby, Freddie Maguire
Giants 7 2008-14 Ray Durham, Emmanuel Burriss, Juan Uribe, Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Theriot, Marco Scutaro, Joaquin Arias
Athletics 7 1998-2004 Scott Spiezio, Tony Phillips, Frank Menechino, Jose Ortiz, Randy Velarde, Mark Ellis, Marco Scutaro
Padres 7 1983-89 Juan Bonilla, Alan Wiggins, Mario Ramirez, Bip Roberts, Joey Cora, Randy Ready, Roberto Alomar
Athletics 7 1976-82 Phil Garner, Rodney Scott, Steve Staggs, Mike Edwards, Rob Picciolo, Shooty Babitt, Davey Lopes
White Sox 7 1965-71 Don Buford, Al Weis, Jerry Adair, Tim Cullen, Sandy Alomar, Syd O'Brien, Mike Andrews
Mets 7 1962-68 Charlie Neal, Larry Burright, Amado Samuel, Bobby Klaus, Ron Hunt, Jerry Buchek, Ken Boswell
Pirates 7 1943-49 Pete Coscarart, Lee Handley, Frankie Gustine, Jimmy Brown, Billy Herman, Monty Basgall, Danny Murtaugh
Dodgers 7 1923-29 Ivy Olson, Joe Klugmann, Andy High, Milt Stock, Jay Partridge, Harry Riconda, Jake Flowers
Phillies 7 1916-22 Bert Niehoff, Oscar Dugey, Patsy McGaffigan, Harry Pearce, Dots Miller, Johnny Rawlings, Frank Parkinson

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