Wednesday, January 13, 2010

GHT: Round 1 Matchups and Byes

Here are the players that receive a bye in the first round, along with their ranking. The year in parentheses represents the single season in which they were imported into the Out of the Park Baseball X (OOTP X) game:

#1 – Babe Ruth (1921)
#2 – Ted Williams (1941)
#3 – Lou Gehrig (1931)
#4 – Ty Cobb (1911)
#5 – Rogers Hornsby (1922)
#6 – Honus Wagner (1905)
#7 – Joe DiMaggio (1937)
#8 – Jackie Robinson (1949)
#9 – Stan Musial (1948)
#10 – Jimmie Foxx (1932)
#11 – Willie Mays (1955)
#12 – Mel Ott (1929)
#13 – Hank Aaron (1959)
#14 – Mickey Mantle (1956)
#15 – Hank Greenberg (1938)
#16 – Duke Snider (1953)
#17 – Eddie Mathews (1953)
#18 – Carl Yastrzemski (1967)
#19 – Ernie Banks (1959)
#20 – Al Kaline (1955)
#21 – Frank Robinson (1962)
#22 – Joe Morgan (1976)
#23 – Roberto Clemente (1967)
#24 – Pete Rose (1969)
#25 – Rod Carew (1977)
#26 – Cal Ripken, Jr. (1991)
#27 – Wade Boggs (1987)
#28 – George Brett (1980)
#29 – Mike Schmidt (1980)
#30 – Albert Pujols (2003)
#31 – Kirby Puckett (1986)
#32 – Tony Gwynn (1997)

The matchups for Round 1 of the 2010 Greatest Hitter Tournament are listed below. In parentheses, the single season in which they were imported into the OOTP X game is listed along with their playing style:
#33 George Sisler (1920, SPD/AVG) vs. #96 Andre Dawson (1987, PWR)
- Newly-minted Hall of Famer Andre Dawson takes on George Sisler, who was the single season hit king (257 hits) until Ichiro surpassed his record.

#34 Nap Lajoie (1901, AVG/PWR/SPD) vs. #95 Derek Jeter (1999, AVG)
- Nap Lajoie was the top player in the game at the turn of the century and Derek Jeter was at the top of his future Hall of Fame game at the end of last century.

#35 Joe Jackson (1911, AVG/SPD) vs. #94 Roberto Alomar (1999, SPD)
- “Shoeless Joe” was always a great hitter, but will always be remembered and possibly kept out of the Hall of Fame for the 1919 Black Sox scandal, while Roberto Alomar’s spitting incident has temporarily kept him out of the Hall.

#36 Tris Speaker (1920, AVG) vs. #93 Gary Carter (1982, PWR)
- Two players with different styles matchup here, as Tris Speaker and his .388 average takes on Gary Carter, who hit 29 HR as a catcher.

#37 Johnny Mize (1947, PWR) vs. #92 George Bell (1987, PWR)
- Johnny Mize and George Bell combined for 98 HR in these two seasons, 40 years apart. Both hitters also topped .300, 130 RBI, and 110 runs scored.

#38 Hack Wilson (1930, PWR/AVG) vs. #91 Keith Hernandez (1979, AVG)
- The all-time single season RBI king, Hack Wilson (191 RBI), plays one of the better clutch run producers of the 1980s in Keith Hernandez.

#39 Lefty O’Doul (1929, PWR/AVG) vs. #90 Willie McGee (1985, SPD/AVG)
- Lefty O’Doul had a great mix of power and average, but Willie McGee made the 1985 Cardinals go, mixing hitting (.353 AVG, 82 RBI) and speed (56 stolen bases).

#40 Eddie Collins (1914, AVG/SPD) vs. #89 Craig Biggio (1997, SPD)
- Eddie Collins and Craig Biggio were both fast second basemen, combining for 105 stolen bases, but played in completely different eras.

#41 Charlie Gehringer (1936, AVG) vs. #88 Rusty Staub (1969, PWR)
- Rusty Staub was the best player on an expansion team in frigid Montreal while Charlie Gehringer was at his best coming off a World Series victory in 1935.

#42 Ralph Kiner (1949, PWR) vs. #87 George Foster (1977, PWR)
- Ralph Kiner was in the middle of his run of seven straight years leading the National League in home runs (1946-52), while George Foster had the best single-season power year between 1965-1995 (52 HR).

#43 Ted Kluszewski (1954, PWR) vs. #86 Willie Stargell (1971, PWR)
- Both were big power hitters and though Stargell had more staying power, Kluszewski had the single best year. At least Stargell and his 1971 Pirates won the World Series.

#44 Al Simmons (1930, PWR/AVG) vs. #85 Lou Brock (1974, SPD)
- The best base-stealer in an era of base-stealers, Lou Brock set a Major League record with 118 stolen bases in 1974. Al Simmons was a different player, hitting for a sterling .381 average, smacked 36 HR and drove in 165 runs.

#45 Paul Waner (1927, AVG) vs. #84 Tim Raines (1983, SPD)
- Paul Waner, nicknamed “Big Poison”, only had 9 HR in 1927, but still won the MVP on the strength of a .380 average and 131 RBI. Tim Raines was good player, but his 90 stolen bases helped propel him to greatness.

#46 Joe Medwick (1937, PWR/AVG) vs. #83 Don Mattingly (1985, PWR)
- The most recent Triple Crown winner in the National League, Joe Medwick, goes up against a player who was as much of a triple threat in the 1980s as anyone, Don Mattingly, who was 3rd in average, 4th in HR, and 1st in RBI.

#47 Lou Boudreau (1948, AVG) vs. #82 Mike Greenwell (1988, PWR)
- Lou Boudreau and Mike Greenwell were similar players separated by 40 years, much like the Johnny Mize-George Bell matchup. Boudreau played and managed to a 1948 MVP while Greenwell was second to tarnished MVP Jose Canseco in 1988.

#48 Heinie Manush (1928, AVG) vs. #81 Dick Allen (1972, PWR)
- There are many differences between Heinie Manush (.378-13-108, 14 K) and Dick Allen (.308-37-113, 126 K), so this will be a study in cross-era and cross-discipline players and how the pitchers will handle each.

#49 Roy Campanella (1953, PWR) vs. #80 Reggie Jackson (1969, PWR)
- Two of the premier players at their positions of their era are matching up in this one. Roy Campanella was an eight-time All-Star as a catcher whose career was cut short by an automobile accident. Reggie Jackson was a 14-time All-Star and his 1969 season put him on the map.

#50 Tommy Davis (1962, PWR/AVG) vs. #79 Joe Torre (1971, AVG/PWR)
- Tommy Davis and Joe Torre put up amazing seasons for right-handed hitting players. Davis was MVP-worthy in 1962, leading the majors in average, hits, and RBI. Torre won the MVP in 1971, hitting 38 points higher than any other season and 66 points higher than his career average.

#51 Tony Oliva (1964, PWR) vs. #78 Gil Hodges (1954, PWR)
- Tony Oliva and Gil Hodges are not in the Hall of Fame and many think they both deserve to be. The winner of this matchup will add another achievement to his wonderful career, but will the Hall of Fame ever be in the cards for either of them?

#52 Harmon Killebrew (1969, PWR) vs. #77 Rocky Colavito (1961, PWR)
- In this matchup of similar players, Harmon Killebrew has the edge in ranking because of his career numbers. Rocky Colavito had his best season as a Tiger, though he is more synonymous with the Indians.

#53 Willie McCovey (1969, PWR) vs. #76 Zack Wheat (1925, AVG)
- Willie McCovey has the slugging advantage going into this series, but Zack Wheat hit for a much higher average points (.359 to .320) and produced 64 more hits (221-157).

#54 Billy Williams (1970, PWR) vs. #75 Norm Cash (1961, PWR/AVG)
- Billy Williams was a better player over his career, but Norm Cash’s unbelievable 1961 season (.361-41-132) despite his .271 career average. But, both players had very similar power seasons, as Williams was .322-42-129 in 1970.

#55 Jim Rice (1978, PWR) vs. #74 Roger Maris (1961, PWR)
- The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry continues, as two of the greatest single seasons by each franchise will be in action, as Jim Rice’s tour-de-force 1978 season (406 total bases) will face off against Roger Maris’s 61 home runs.

#56 Robin Yount (1982, AVG/PWR) vs. #73 Goose Goslin (1931, PWR)
- The career numbers of Robin Yount and Goose Goslin are not very different, with Yount amassing 3,142 hits and 251 HR over a 20-year career and Goslin putting together 2,735 hits and 248 HR over 17 years.

#57 Rickey Henderson (1990, SPD/PWR) vs. #72 Maury Wills (1962, SPD)
- Speed with be the name of the game between Rickey Henderson and Maury Wills. This matchup skips a generation, as Wills was the best runner in the 1960s and Henderson dominated the 1980s and 1990s.

#58 Tony Perez (1970, PWR) vs. #71 Harry Heilmann (1923, AVG)
- Two players who dominated their decade lock up in this matchup. Tony Perez was second in RBI in the 1970s with 954. Harry Heilmann won four American League batting crowns in the 1920s (1921, -23, -25, -27).

#59 Dave Winfield (1979, PWR) vs. #70 Bill Terry (1930, AVG/PWR)
- Dave Winfield may have the counting statistic of 3,110 hits, but Bill Terry is the only one of the two with 200 hits in a season and Terry had six seasons of 200 or more hits.

#60 Eddie Murray (1984, PWR) vs. #69 Frankie Frisch (1923, AVG/SPD)
- Two of the best switch-hitters of all-time are in this matchup. Eddie Murray reached 3,255 hits and 504 HR while Frankie Frisch had a .316 average and his 419 stolen bases was a record for switch-hitters until 1977.

#61 Ken Griffey, Jr. (1997, PWR) vs. #68 Al Rosen (1953, PWR/AVG)
- A tough draw for all-time great Ken Griffey, Jr, whose amazing 56 HR and 147 RBI season goes up against Al Rosen, who was a unanimous American League MVP in 1953, but retired three years later at the age of 32. Griffey has 630 HR and counting while Rosen finished with only 192.

#62 Paul Molitor (1993, AVG/PWR) vs. #67 Chuck Klein (1930, PWR/AVG)
- This matchup features players at opposite ends of their careers. Paul Molitor had 211 hits in a season in which he turned 37. Chuck Klein hit an other-worldly .386-40-170 at the age of 25.

#63 Ichiro Suzuki (2001, SPD/AVG) vs. #66 Earl Averill (1931, PWR/AVG)
- Ichiro was a “rookie” in 2001 and took home American League Rookie of the Year and MVP honors for the Seattle Mariners. Seattle-area native Earl Averill still has all-time Cleveland Indian records in total bases, RBI, runs scored, and triples.

#64 Frank Thomas (2000, PWR) vs. #65 Sam Crawford (1911, AVG/SPD)
- In this matchup, a 500 HR player goes up against a player who holds the all-time record for most inside-the-park HR in a season (12). Frank Thomas finished an 18-year career with 521 HR. Sam Crawford played in the dead-ball era but led the American League in RBI, extra base hits, slugging percentage, and total bases every year from 1905-1915.

Here are the pitchers that were selected to throw to this motley crew of hitters in Round 1:
Babe Ruth (1916) – 23-12, 1.75 ERA
- Ruth can only pitch in this round because this is the only round we know he will not face himself.

Wilbur Wood (1971) – 22-13, 1.91 ERA
- Wood had a great one-off season in 1971 for the White Sox. The knuckleballer might be a great reliever to provide a nice change-of-pace.

Dave McNally (1968) – 22-10, 1.95 ERA
- McNally was one of the four 20-game winners of the 1971 Orioles. But, the lefty had his best season three years earlier.

Dazzy Vance (1924) – 28-6, 2.16 ERA
- Home runs started flying out of the parks around baseball by 1924, but Vance’s numbers were better than anyone else, winning the pitcher’s Triple Crown and the MVP.

Sam McDowell (1965) – 17-11, 2.18 ERA
- 1965 was the only year McDowell lead the league in ERA and set a career-high with 325 strikeouts.

Frank Tanana (1976) – 19-10, 2.43 ERA
- Tanana set personal bests in the 1976 season in wins, ERA, and WHIP (0.988). His 1979 shoulder injury sapped him of his blazing fastball, but in his prime, he struck out almost a hitter an inning.

Curt Schilling (2001) – 22-6, 2.98 ERA
- Schilling was great in 2001, but his postseason showing (4-0, 1.12) directly led to a World Series victory and a co-MVP in the Series.

Randy Myers (1997) – 45 saves, 1.51 ERA
- One of the best left-handed closers in history, he scored his lowest ERA and second-highest save total in a career that netted 347 saves.

Joe Nathan (2006) – 36 saves, 1.58 ERA
- Nathan was 7-0 and finished fifth in the Cy Young Award voting in 2006 and the best season to-date for a player who has six straight 35-save seasons and counting.

Tom Henke (1995) – 36 saves, 1.82 ERA
- Henke was known as a Blue Jay, but his final Major League season, which was in a Cardinals uniform, was one of his best statistical seasons.

Duane Ward (1993) – 45 saves, 2.13 ERA
- Ward spent years in Tom Henke’s shadow, his one year as a true closer of the Blue Jays was a career signature.

Next post: Hopefully this weekend, the first pitch of Round 1.

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