Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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

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

X different Opening Day Starting Third Basemen in X Seasons (since 1914)

Dodgers 11 1956-66
Giants 11 1936-46
Red Sox 11 1927-37
Braves 10 1938-47
Braves 10 1923-32
Athletics 10 1914-23
White Sox 9 1950-58
Browns/Orioles 9 1949-57
Cubs 9 1925-33
Rangers 8 1970-77
Yankees 8 1966-73
Dodgers 8 1941-48
Athletics 8 1938-45
Dodgers 8 1923-30

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 Dodgers were very successful in their final seasons in Brooklyn and their first few in L.A. despite the turnover at third. The nine-player streak for the Browns/Orioles ended in 1958 when Brooks Robinson made the second of 20 consecutive Opening Day starts. The longest active streak belongs to the Angels, but with David Freese slotted at the hot corner again, it will likely stop at six (after Chone Figgins, Brandon Wood, Maicer Izturis, Mark Trumbo, Alberto Callaspo).

Here's the full list of third basemen from the teams shown above. Some interesting names here include the trio on the Sibby-Nanny-Skippy 1938-47 Braves and two longtime outfielders that turned up on the list, Bobby Murcer and the late Minnie Minoso. There's also Cookie Lavagetto, who broke up Bill Bevens' 1947 World Series no-hitter with a walk-off double; and Bob Dillinger, the last third baseman to lead his league in stolen bases (20, 1949 Browns). The most surprising name I saw was Bucky Walters. He was a standout right-handed pitcher and won the 1939 MVP for the pennant-winning Reds, but I didn't know he came up as a third baseman with the Braves. In the September after his 1934 Opening Day start with the Red Sox, he made his mound debut with the Phillies en route to 198 career wins and the 1939 N.L. MVP Award.

Dodgers 11 1956-66 Jackie Robinson, Randy Jackson, Dick Gray, Jim Baxes, Jim Gilliam, Tommy Davis, Daryl Spencer, Ken McMullen, Johnny Werhas, John Kennedy, Jim Lefebvre
Giants 11 1936-46 Travis Jackson, Lou Chiozza, Mel Ott, George Myatt, Burgess Whitehead, Joe Orengo, Billy Werber, Sid Gordon, Hal Luby, Nap Reyes, Buddy Kerr
Red Sox 11 1927-37 Fred Haney, Buddy Myer, Bobby Reeves, Otis Miller, Jack Rothrock, Urbane Pickering, Marty McManus, Bucky Walters, Billy Werber, Eric McNair, Pinky Higgins
Braves 10 1938-47 Gil English, Debs Garms, Tony Cuccinello, Sibby Sisti, Nanny Fernandez, Joe Burns, Roland Gladu, Steve Shemo, Skippy Roberge, Bob Elliott
Braves 10 1923-32 Tony Boeckel, Ernie Padgett, William Marriott, Harry Riconda, Eddie Moore, Les Bell, Joe Dugan, Randy Moore, Charlie Wilson, Fritz Knothe
Athletics 10 1914-23 Home Run Baker, Eddie Murphy, Charlie Pick, Ray Bates, Larry Gardner, Fred Thomas, Jimmy Dykes, Joe Dugan, Frank Brazill, Sammy Hale
White Sox 9 1950-58 Hank Majeski, Floyd Baker, Hector Rodriguez, Vern Stephens, Minnie Minoso, George Kell, Bob Kennedy, Bubba Phillips, Billy Goodman
Browns/Orioles 9 1949-57 Bob Dillinger, Franklie Gustine, Johnny Berardino, Leo Thomas, Bob Elliott, Vern Stephens, Billy Cox, Bobby Adams, Brooks Robinson
Cubs 9 1925-33 Bernie Friberg, Howard Freigau, Riggs Stephenson, Johnny Butler, Clyde Beck, Footsie Blair, Les Bell, Stan Hack, Woody English
Rangers 8 1970-77 Ken McMullen, Joe Foy, Dave Nelson, Joe Lovitto, Jim Fregosi, Lenny Randle, Roy Howell, Toby Harrah
Yankees 8 1966-73 Clete Boyer, Charley Smith, Mike Ferraro, Bobby Murcer, Danny Cater, Jerry Kenney, Rich McKinney, Graig Nettles
Dodgers 8 1941-48 Cookie Lavagetto, Arky Vaughan, Billy Herman, Gil English, Bill Hart, Lew Riggs, Spider Jorgensen, Billy Cox
Athletics 8 1938-45 Billy Werber, Bill Nagel, Al Rubeling, Pete Suder, Buddy Blair, Eddie Mayo, Ed Busch, George Kell
Dodgers 8 1923-30 Andy High, Jimmy Johnston, Milt Stock, William Marriott, Bob Barrett, Howard Freigau, Harvey Hendrick, Wally Gilbert

1 comment:

  1. You don't have this anymore because of Free Agency. It's the worst thing that ever happened to the game and its fans.