Results tagged ‘ Pete Rose ’

Size Matters: Top 10 “Biggest” In MLB History

Anyone who says size does not matter has clearly missed out on some key moments in baseball history.

In the early 1900’s, President Roosevelt borrowed an old African proverb by stating, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” And while he may not necessarily have been referring to baseball, the saying seems to have made impact on the sport anyway.

The following is a list of the top 10 “big” moments, statistics and feats in baseball throughout the years.

The Biggest Bat

Babe Ruth played in the major leagues for 22 seasons, from 1914 to 1935. The 714 home runs he hit in that time span were smacked using the biggest bat in baseball history.

The 52 ounce bat swung by Ruth is the largest recorded bat size ever. Most players today use bats that average around 34-36 ounces in weight.

The Biggest Paycheck


A-Rod1.jpgBig is always better, especially when money is involved. Third baseman for the New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez, signed the biggest baseball contract in MLB history in 2007.

The 10-year, $275 million contract broke A-Rod’s previous record of $252 million.

The Biggest Stature

The tallest player in Major League history is relief pitcher Jon Rauch, who measures six-feet, eleven inches in height.

Currently a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Rauch first took the field on April 2, 2002. This year, Rauch will be competing for the closer role with the Jays.

The Biggest Mass

In 2005, first baseman Walter Young crushed the competition, weighing in at a whooping 322 pounds with a body mass index of 38.2, also the biggest in baseball.

Officially the heaviest player ever to grace a major league field, Young played only 15 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 and batted .303.

Young played in the minor leagues until 2009.  Currently, Young serves as a shift sergeant at the county jail for the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department in his home state of Mississippi.

The heaviest current MLB player is pitcher CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees who weighs in at 290 pounds.

The Biggest Home Run


509px-Mantle_ny.jpgA topic of much debate, the biggest home run in major league history was said to have been hit by New York Yankee Mickey Mantle on September 10, 1960.

Considered “the longest home run ever,” this ball is estimated to have travelled around 643 feet and was hit against the Detroit Tigers at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan.

However, the longest verifiable home run distance is about 575 feet, which was hit by Babe Ruth on July 18, 1921, to straightaway center field at Tiger Stadium (then called Navin Field). It landed across the intersection of Trumbull and Cherry.

Since 1982, when the technology for accurately measuring home runs was put in place, the longest homer stands at 535 feet. That ball was hit by Adam Dunn against Jose Lima of the Dodgers on August 10, 2004.

The Biggest Dollar Amount Ever Shelled Out For A Baseball

Mark McGwire’s 70th home run baseball, which was hit on September 27, 1998 off pitcher Carl Pavano, fetched a gigantic $3,054,000 dollars at Guernsey’s auction house in New York City.

Sold on January 12, 1999 to action figure and comic book creator Todd McFarlane, his collection also includes McGwire’s #1, 63, 67, 68 and 69 home run Balls, along with Sammy Sosa’s #33, 61 and 66 home run balls.

The over $3 million dollar payment is the most money ever shelled out for a baseball.

The Biggest Payroll

In the year 2010, the New York Yankees continued their streak of breaking the bank with a total team payroll of $206,333,389.

The next closest payroll was that of the Boston Red Sox at $162,447,333. That is a difference of almost $44 million dollars.

The Biggest Arm

Prior to the 2010 season, the fastest reliable recorded speed which a baseball had ever been pitched was 100.9 mph by Nolan Ryan of the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium in California on August 20, 1974.

Since that time, Ryan’s record was broken by Reds rookie Aroldis Chapman on September 24, 2010 at PETCO Park in San Diego. That pitch was clocked at 105.1 mph.

The Biggest Hitting Streak

Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees began an unprecedented hitting streak on May 15, 1941.  56 games later on July 16, the streak ended.  This record still stands today.

The only other player who came close was Pete Rose in 1978.  His 44 games hit streak lasted from June 14 to August 1, just 12 games short of the record set by DiMaggio.

The Biggest Determination

He is not called the “Iron Man” for no reason. Third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken Jr. set the record for the most consecutive games ever played with 2,632. The streak lasted from May 30, 1982 until September 19, 1998, spanning 16 seasons.

This feat blew away the previous record which was set by Lou Gehrig from 1925 to 1939 with 2,130 consecutive games.

Ripken played his entire career with the Orioles and retired after the 2001 season.

 

A-Rod photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Mantle photo by Wikimedia Commons

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

A Blast From The Past, 80’s Style

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While rooting through some old piles of baseball memorabilia, I came across an old Phillies program from 1982.  Although the cover, which is shown to the right, is in color, most of the magazine was black and white.  Note the price on the cover, which is only $1.00.  The All-Star second baseman on the cover is Manny Trillo, who played for the Phillies from 1979-1982.

Inside the magazine is the usual stuff; player profiles, coach’s information, rosters, short stories and tons and tons of advertising.  At least some things never change.  What has changed a great deal in 27 years are the ticket prices.  The most expensive regular seat in 1982 was $7.00.  The same seat today is $60.00.  Click on any photo to see an enlarged version:

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And here is one of the player profile pages featuring Pete Rose and Marty Bystrom.  I love how their facsimile signatures are added to the descriptions:

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You have to love the page with the “Lesson in Baseball Language.”  Perfect for the baseball novice who does not know what a spitball is or what will happen if a pitcher throws one.  According to this, not only is the spitball illegal, but you are told that “a great fuss will result” if one is thrown.  Good to know.  A home run is defined as “The bane of a pitcher’s existence.”  Read the others and you will see that humor was not dead in the 80’s, as is also evident in the book title shown below the definitions: “Philadelphia Phillies: The Team That Wouldn’t Die; World Champions 1980.”

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And my favorite part of the magazine was the retail section, showing the odd fashions from the 80’s.  The black and white print does not do the hideousness of these polo’s and tee shirts justice:

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So while we are older and wiser and have finally learned to dress ourselves appropriately, I suppose the retro-look still comes in handy for Halloween or scaring away annoying relatives. ;o)

I hope you all enjoyed a short trip back to baseball in the 80’s.  Now I will go see what else I can dig up…

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

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