Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Most Consecutive Seasons with a Different Opening Day Starter: Left Field

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

X different Opening Day Starting Left Fielder in X Seasons (since 1914)
Browns/Orioles 19 1937-55
Reds 15 1929-43
Athletics 14 2000-13
Phillies 14 1983-96
Royals 12 2000-11
Cubs 12 1987-98
Athletics 11 1960-70
Braves 11 1922-32
Padres 10 2005-14
Yankees 10 1994-2003
Royals 10 1990-99
White Sox 10 1979-88
Dodgers 10 1965-74
Dodgers 10 1943-52
Dodgers 10 1932-41

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 19-year run by the Browns/O's is the longest of any position. Oakland gave it a good run (going all the way back to Ben Grieve!) but Yoenis Cespedes snapped the streak last year. With their winter pickup of Justin Upton, the Padres probably extend their current streak to 11 (Ryan Klesko, Eric Young, Jose Cruz, Paul McAnulty, Chase Headley, Kyle Blanks, Ryan Ludwick, Jesus Guzman, Carlos Quentin, Tommy Medica)
. The Yankees had a dominant stretch from 1994-2003 while left field was a revolving door. If not for Joe Medwick's three-year run from 1941-43, the Dodgers would have had a 21-year streak.

Here's the full list of left fielders from the teams shown above. Some interesting names here include the one-armed Pete Gray, who played 77 games for the Browns in 1945. A few players I didn't include to see in left field are Carlton Fisk, Rafael Palmeiro and John Kruk. There's also Leo Posada (uncle of Jorge), the colorful Frenchy Bordagaray and 1946 Dodger Dick Whitman (or is it Don Draper?).

Browns/Orioles 19 1937-55 Joe Vosmik, Mel Mazzera, Beau Bell, Joe Gallagher, Rip Radcliff, Roy Cullenbine, Chet Laabs, Milt Byrnes, Pete Gray, Glenn McQuillen
Jeff Heath, Whitey Platt, Al Zarilla, Dick Kokos, Don Lenhardt, Tom Wright, Jim Dyck, Sam Mele, Gil Coan
Reds 15 1929-43 Pid Purdy, Bob Meusel, Nick Cullop, Estel Crabtree, Chick Hafey, Adam Comorosky, Samuel Byrd, Babe Herman
Phil Weintraub, Dusty Cooke, Wally Berger, Mike McCormick, Jimmy Ripple, Gee Walker, Eric Tipton
Athletics 14 2000-13 Ben Grieve, Johnny Damon, Jeremy Giambi, Terrance Long, Bobby Kielty, Eric Byrnes, Jay Payton, Shannon Stewart
Emil Brown, Matt Holliday, Travis Buck, Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes
Phillies 14 1983-96 Gary Matthews, Glenn Wilson, Jeff Stone, Gary Redus, Mike Easler, Phil Bradley, Chris James, John Kruk
Von Hayes, Wes Chamberlain, Milt Thompson, Pete Incaviglia, Gregg Jefferies, Darren Daulton
Royals 12 2000-11 Johnny Damon, Mark Quinn, Chuck Knoblauch, Raul Ibanez, Aaron Guiel, Terrance Long, Emil Brown
Ross Gload, Mark Teahen, David DeJesus, Scott Podsednik, Alex Gordon
Cubs 12 1987-98 Brian Dayett, Rafael Palmeiro, Mitch Webster, Lloyd McClendon, George Bell, Luis Salazar, Candy Maldonado
Derrick May, Scott Bullett, Luis Gonzalez, Brant Brown, Henry Rodriguez
Athletics 11 1960-70 Bob Cerv, Norm Siebern, Leo Posada, Chuck Essegian, Rocky Colavito, Tommie Reynolds, Larry Stahl, Joe Rudi, Jim Gosger, Mike Hershberger, Felipe Alou
Braves 11 1922-32 Walton Cruise, Bill Bagwell, Bill Cunningham, Bernie Neis, Frank Wilson, Eddie Brown, Eddie Moore, George Harper, Wally Berger, Earl Clark, Red Worthington
Padres 10 2005-14 Ryan Klesko, Eric Young, Jose Cruz, Paul McAnulty, Chase Headley, Kyle Blanks, Ryan Ludwick, Jesus Guzman, Carlos Quentin, Tommy Medica
Yankees 10 1994-2003 Luis Polonia, Paul O'Neill, Gerald Williams, Darryl Strawberry, Chad Curtis, Ricky Ledee, Shane Spencer, Chuck Knoblauch, Rondell White, Hideki Matsui
Royals 10 1990-99 Bo Jackson, Gary Thurman, Keith Miller, Kevin McReynolds, Vince Coleman, Michael Tucker, Tom Goodwin, Bip Roberts, Hal Morris, Johnny Damon
White Sox 10 1979-88 Ralph Garr, Claudell Washington, Ron LeFlore, Steve Kemp, Tom Paciorek, Ron Kittle, Rudy Law, Carlton Fisk, Ivan Calderon, Dan Pasqua
Dodgers 10 1965-74 Tommy Davis, Lou Johnson, Bob Bailey, Al Ferrara, Andy Kosco, Bill Buckner, Dick Allen, Willie Crawford, Manny Mota, Von Joshua
Dodgers 10 1943-52 Joe Medwick, Augie Galan, Frenchy Bordagaray, Dick Whitman, Gene Hermanski, Arky Vaughan, Cal Abrams, George Shuba, Don Thompson, Andy Pafko
Dodgers 10 1932-41 Alta Cohen, Lefty O'Doul, Hack Wilson, Danny Taylor, Freddie Lindstrom, Tom Winsett, Ernie Koy, Fred Sington, Joe Vosmik, Joe Medwick

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