PDA

View Full Version : Reds SS History Post WW2



westofyou
05-29-2005, 11:48 AM
http://www.deadballart.com/redszone/ss.jpg
Being a Cincinnati fan you canít be anything but aware that the Reds have had essentially 4 shortstops since 1951. From 1950-2004 sixty-seven men have played shortstop for the Reds, a total of 8680 games.

The amazing fact within this fact is that 80% of those games were played by only four men, equally amazing is 51% of them were played by only two men.

Spoiled is the Reds fan in his shortstop history, but how spoiled are we?

Here are the American League and National League games leaders for shortstops since 1950.

GAMES G AB AVG OBA SLG RC/G
1 Luis Aparicio 2599 10230 .262 .311 .343 3.80
2 Cal Ripken 2381 9217 .277 .345 .454 5.34
3 Alan Trammell 2293 8288 .285 .352 .415 5.27
4 Bert Campaneris 2213 8459 .258 .310 .342 3.84
5 Omar Vizquel 2138 7819 .275 .341 .358 4.38
6 Mark Belanger 1962 5734 .227 .300 .280 2.95
7 Ozzie Guillen 1818 6190 .264 .285 .338 3.15
8 Ed Brinkman 1812 5957 .224 .280 .300 2.63
9 Robin Yount 1549 6049 .286 .331 .427 4.99
10 Greg Gagne 1524 4730 .254 .299 .387 3.68
GAMES G AB AVG OBA SLG RC/G
1 Ozzie Smith 2573 9396 .262 .337 .328 4.16
2 Dave Concepcion 2300 8247 .267 .322 .359 3.90
3 Larry Bowa 2247 8418 .260 .300 .320 3.39
4 Barry Larkin 2180 7937 .295 .371 .444 6.22
5 Roy McMillan 2093 6752 .243 .314 .321 3.41
6 Garry Templeton 2047 7664 .272 .305 .369 3.72
7 Chris Speier 1960 6480 .246 .326 .345 3.79
8 Dick Groat 1929 7484 .286 .330 .366 4.10
9 Bill Russell 1911 6617 .266 .312 .337 3.50
10 Don Kessinger 1852 6991 .253 .315 .313 3.40

1500 appears to be the benchmark for extreme longevity at the SS position, with 2000 being the number achieved by the upper echelon.

In the AL you have 5 players with 2000 games started at shortstop, in the NL you have 6 players, the AL has 3 players who started at least 2000 of their games with one team. In the AL Ripken, Vizquel and Trammel hold that honor and in the NL Concepcion and Larkin can make claim to it as well. In modern MLB history there have been a total of 18 men who logged 2000 appearances at shortstop, 72% of them appeared after World War 2 and 3 of them were Reds. (Roy McMillan split his games amongst 3 teams, 1348 as a Red)

It was McMillan who began the string in 1951 when he appeared in 85 games for the Reds, from 1952-1958 he played in over 145 games a season at the shortstop position for the Reds.

In 1960 Leo Cardenas appeared in Cincinnati that season he shared the SS duties with Roy and his play must have convinced Bill DeWitt to move ahead with his first deal as the new Reds owner that winter when flipped McMillan to the Braves Jay and Pizarro in December of 1960.

1157 games later the Reds entered the 1969 season and experienced the first year in 18 seasons that McMillan or Cardenas didnít man the shortstop position.

In the last full season at Crosley and the first full season of division play, the Reds split the position amongst 2 players with Chico Ruiz getting some time there as well. Not the most stellar group they posted below average fielding numbers and did nothing to further solidified a position that was a noted weakness prior to the start of the season.


GAMES G A E PCT
1 Woody Woodward 93 248 14 .966
2 Darrel Chaney 91 191 17 .947
3 Chico Ruiz 29 58 1 .989
4 Tommy Helms 4 3 0 1.000
The position wasnít buoyed by the .233/.308/.277 line they produced as a group, and Chic Ruiz probably left the greatest impression that season when he ďplayĒ attacked Chief Noc-A-Homa in a mock Indian raid that found the Reds shortstop being flipped by the mascot, much to the amusement of all the Reds who revealed in his antics.

Two months later Chico was an Angel and the Reds were talking internally of counting on a youngster named Dave Concepcion. It took a couple of years for Davey to fully grab the job (a common SS occurrence is slow growth) and when he did grab it he held on tight and stayed long enough to watch both Pete and Tony leave and come back. Reagen was in his second term before the Reds worried about the shortstop position again.

I'll be where the eagles flying higher and higher.
Gonna be your man in motion
All I need is a pair of wheels.
Take me where the future's lying; St. Elmo's fire.

In June 1985 the world was hit in the face with The Brat Pack ensemble St Elmos Fire. In memory the whole she-bang was a monumental waste of time that I'd rather forget about. But that month also brought some good news, it was in June of 1985, the Reds used their 1st round pick on a college position player for the first time ever.

The prior year pitcher Pat Pacillo had been the first college player ever chosen by the Reds in the 1st round. The fact that this occurred in the 20th year of the drafts existence was not lost on Bill James who addressed the Reds drafting strategy in his 1984 Baseball Abstract.

The position player?

Barry Larkin, shortstop, University of Michigan.

1985 also is the last year that Dave Concepcion ever played over 100 games at shortstop in a season

Like Roy McMillan Davey was able to share his spot with his eventual successor and that alone avoided a gap in the SS legacy since the earlier one in 1969.

Thatís quite the legacy

From 1970-2004 the Reds had 10 players who appeared in at least 100 games at SS

GAMES G G
1 Dave Concepcion 2178 2178
2 Barry Larkin 2085 2085
T3 Pokey Reese 222 222
T3 Darrel Chaney 222 222
5 Juan Castro 183 183
6 Woody Woodward 162 162
7 Jeff Branson 149 149
8 Tom Foley 135 135
9 Kurt Stillwell 131 131
10 Felipe Lopez 101 101
Some interesting names in that list, Chaney shared some time with Concepcion early on as did Woodward, who became better known as a GM than he was a player. Former 1st round draft choice Stillwell gave Larkin a run for the job early on, but like Pokey he was not all that and a bag of chips and soon found his way out of town.

In the same time period that the Reds had 10 players with 100 appearances the Braves can claim 18 with 100 appearances.

In the same time period that The Reds had 4 players with 200 or more appearances at SS the Braves and Mets could claim 8 players and Montreal 9.

To really touch on the spoiled nature of the Reds fan and the shortstop position letís take a look at the Pre 1990ís expansion National League teams and see who holds their games played at SS and how they did.



1946-2004
Reds
G AB AVG OBA SLG RC/G
1 Dave Concepcion 2300 8247 .267 .322 .359 3.90
2 Barry Larkin 2180 7937 .295 .371 .444 6.22
3 Roy McMillan 1348 4319 .249 .326 .332 3.72
4 Leo Cardenas 1157 4047 .261 .313 .377 3.83
Braves
1 Johnny Logan 1351 4931 .270 .330 .384 4.37
2 Jeff Blauser 1024 3438 .268 .361 .416 5.38
Padres
1 Garry Templeton 1254 4455 .252 .294 .340 3.18
Giants
1 Rich Aurilia 993 3598 .278 .331 .444 5.05
Astros
1 Roger Metzger 1021 3678 .229 .291 .291 2.83
2 Craig Reynolds 1004 3131 .256 .288 .352 3.45
Dodgers
1 Bill Russell 1911 6617 .266 .312 .337 3.50
2 Pee Wee Reese 1676 6257 .277 .375 .396 5.46
3 Maury Wills 1593 6156 .281 .331 .332 4.11
Expos
1 Orlando Cabrera 904 3288 .267 .315 .405 4.31
Phillies
1 Larry Bowa 1739 6815 .264 .301 .324 3.44
Pirates
1 Dick Groat 1258 4950 .290 .329 .370 4.06
2 Jay Bell 1106 4179 .269 .339 .402 4.55
3 Gene Alley 1096 3591 .256 .312 .356 3.71
Mets
1 Bud Harrelson 1322 4390 .234 .324 .287 3.42
Cardinals
1 Ozzie Smith 1990 7160 .272 .350 .344 4.58
2 Dal Maxvill 1100 2972 .222 .299 .265 2.60
Cubs
1 Don Kessinger 1648 6355 .255 .315 .314 3.41
2 Shawon Dunston 1254 4570 .267 .295 .407 4.07
3 Ernie Banks 1216 4670 .290 .353 .552 6.77
The Reds are the only team a player with 2000 starts and they have 2 they also are the only team with 4 players with 1000 starts. An amazing sign of stability at a position that is very volatile.

Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous!

Since 1950 the Reds can also claim to have were the best hitting shortstops , plating a Ĺ a run better per 27 outs than all other NL shortstops.

RUNS CREATED/GAME DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE G
1 Reds 0.51 4.22 3.71 10455
2 Cubs 0.37 4.06 3.69 9958
3 Cardinals 0.30 4.00 3.70 10931
4 Rockies 0.27 4.46 4.19 2087
5 Diamondbacks 0.20 4.38 4.18 1394
6 Pilots/Brewers 0.11 4.31 4.20 1335
7 Dodgers 0.01 3.71 3.70 10441
8 Expos 0.01 3.64 3.64 6844
9 Braves -.07 3.63 3.70 10836
10 Pirates -.08 3.63 3.71 10270
11 Giants -.14 3.59 3.73 10817
12 Astros -.19 3.38 3.57 9015
13 Marlins -.20 4.00 4.19 2356
14 Phillies -.22 3.45 3.67 10254
15 Padres -.36 3.27 3.63 7017
16 Mets -.45 3.09 3.54 8207

This of course is all history and as of today Conceptionís first manager was getting his number retired tonight and Larkin works for a team that is only slightly newer than his job.

However the Reds "could" have the heir apparent to the linage in Lopez (if you thought Aurilia bite your tongue)

At 24 Lopez in 2005 appears to be a completely different ballplayer than Lopez in 2004 and before. This can be seen in his approach at the plate (from both sides) and his play on the field. He appears more into the game then I remember him being last season (and the prior ones as well) and most enjoyable has been the the fact that his at bats have been better than good almost daily and he has proven that he can use his bat speed to keep his plate apperances prolonged and this has helped him not only raise his batting average but has helped him improved his k rate from (1/3.2ab) in 2004 to (1/5.2 ab) in 2005.

Lopez's May numbers currently scream top of the order hitter his robust .323/.380/.594/.973 and his 18.5 VORP is second on the Reds and 2nd amongst all NL SS. Since the All Star break in 2004 Felipe Lopez is hitting .277 with a .351 OB% and a .503 slg%, compiling 167 Total Bases in 332 at bats.

That's so much more than I expected after his 2003 crash and burn.

This season has taken more than one or two ugly turns; at times itís been like being pummeled with socks full of marbles by a pack of 4 year olds, demeaning, insulting and ridiculous.

But the emergence of Lopez in the wake of Auriliaís injury (and constant lineup apperances) has proven that once again the baseball season always knows how to give a little back to the fan even in a flood of poor play and losses

wheels
05-29-2005, 12:02 PM
Great, great post.

Jaycint
05-29-2005, 12:02 PM
Good stuff Woy, thanks. We truly are blessed as Reds fans at the SS position. In this season of doom and gloom so far Felipe Lopez has been the one really bright spot for me. Here's to hoping he never sees the bench again and mans the SS position for us for the next 15 years. :beerme:

Larkin Fan
05-29-2005, 12:52 PM
Great stuff, WOY. Thanks for posting that. The Reds have always had a rich SS history and I believe that Lopez has a chance to carry on that tradition. We'll see.

Caveat Emperor
05-29-2005, 12:59 PM
This is why I come to RedsZone.

Amazing post, woy. I feel educated now, and I hate Rich Aurillia even more. :thumbup:

M2
05-29-2005, 01:13 PM
This season has taken more than one or two ugly turns; at times itís been like being pummeled with socks full of marbles by a pack of 4 year olds, demeaning, insulting and ridiculous.

But the emergence of Lopez in the wake of Auriliaís injury (and constant lineup apperances) has proven that once again the baseball season always knows how to give a little back to the fan even in a flood of poor play and losses

What, no mention of Virgil Stallcup?

Fantastic stuff and the part I quoted above perfectly captures why baseball is such a great game. If the Reds set a team record in losses this season, but Felipe Lopez establishes himself as the new torchbearer at SS then, far as I'm concerned, this season's a success. He could be a huge piece of the foundation.

Actually, as good as his bat's been, I'm far more impressed with his defense to date - and it has very little to do with his stingy error rate. He's not wrong-footing himself anymore. Previously he'd try to anticipate the play and he'd get caught leaning the wrong way when the ball got struck. To be kind, his range was awful. Now he's reacting to the ball, which is what good shortstops do. He's not a great defender, but he's been good and that's a huge step forward for him. Combine that with the bat and you've got a solid SS. Now if he can figure out how to be less of a knucklehead on the bases ...

SandyD
05-29-2005, 01:34 PM
great stuff as always, woy.

One thing about baseball, no matter how bad the record gets, there's always something to talk about. And generally something to look forward to.

Here's hoping we get the chance to see Felipe Lopez blossom into a steady ss for years to come.

Chip R
05-29-2005, 01:39 PM
Great stuff, WOY!

RosieRed
05-29-2005, 02:20 PM
Great post WOY. Pretty amazing how fortunate this organization has been, having Concepcion and Larkin.

TRF
05-29-2005, 06:42 PM
please. please write a book. fantastic work, and i don't just mean the research. you have a flair for writing, that keeps the reader's attention.

now write a book and get famous.

OldCat
05-30-2005, 02:12 PM
One note about Woody Woodward -

The Reds used to play him somewhere whenever they faced Tom Seaver. He used to hitTom Terriffic like a drum.

RedlegNation
05-30-2005, 02:34 PM
That is a great post (of course, I saw it over at Redleg Nation (http://www.redlegnation.com) , too).

Anyway, you've reminded me what a good read that was. After the game today, I think I'll bump it back up to the top at RN.

Keep up the great work.

princeton
05-30-2005, 02:36 PM
had the Reds signed Larkin the first time they drafted him, in 1982, they likely would have drafted Barry Bonds with that 1985 selection

OldRightHander
06-02-2005, 12:43 PM
Some folks were discussing on the live board about Felipe possibly being the heir to the shortstop throne, or something along those lines. I was wondering if any other team has had a similar run at any position, not just shortstop, for the last 50 years. If you think about it, it's pretty impressive how the Reds have had so few people play that position over the last half century. Does anyone think another team could equal that, given the state of the game today and how rare it is for a player to stay with one team for that many years?

RosieRed
06-02-2005, 01:43 PM
In case you or anyone else missed it, WOY made an excellent post (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35502) about the SS position.

Chip R
06-02-2005, 01:49 PM
Some folks were discussing on the live board about Felipe possibly being the heir to the shortstop throne, or something along those lines. I was wondering if any other team has had a similar run at any position, not just shortstop, for the last 50 years. If you think about it, it's pretty impressive how the Reds have had so few people play that position over the last half century. Does anyone think another team could equal that, given the state of the game today and how rare it is for a player to stay with one team for that many years?Boston had a pretty good run with left fielders from Williams to Yaz to Rice and if you want to skip a few years in between, Manny Ramirez. The Yankees had Bill Dickey as a catcher then Yogi then Elston Howard and then Thurman Munson.

OldRightHander
06-02-2005, 01:57 PM
In case you or anyone else missed it, WOY made an excellent post (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35502) about the SS position.

I just read that. Good stuff. I was out of town for the weekend and didn't get on here at all.

macro
06-02-2005, 03:31 PM
Let's go ahead and merge these two threads...