Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – June 14, 2016


Marvin Newman

Today I answered a question from super fan, @cu8sfan

I look back and give the award to a few familiar names and others no so familiar.

It is a better late than never episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Khris Davis, Martin Prado, Edinson Volquez, Max Scherzer, Johnny Giavotella and Freddie Freeman all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports


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NIPPY JONES – Sully Baseball Unsung Post Season Hero of October 6

AP Photo

AP Photo

OCTOBER 6, 1957 – World Series Game 4

The New York Yankees were on the verge of adding another victim to their list of vanquished teams in the World Series. Since 1950, the Yankees had beaten the Phillies, Giants and Dodgers and looked poised to take their 7 World Series title in the 9 seasons that Casey Stengel managed the team.

With the Yankees on the verge of a devastating victory that would give them a 3-1 lead over the Milwaukee Braves, a pinch hitter who began the season playing for an independent team in Sacramento would change the momentum of the series. He did not use his bat, glove, speed nor batters eye. Pinch hitter Nippy Jones used his foot.

After the 1952 season, the Braves left Boston and set up in Milwaukee where they played to record sized crowds. In 1957, with the former powerhouses Dodgers and Giants playing their final games in New York, the Braves coasted into the World Series.

They would face the Yankees, who built up a 2 game to 1 lead going into Game 4. The Braves sent 21 game winner and future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn to the hill to tie the series at 2.

Spahn took a 4-1 lead into the 9th inning with 2 outs and nobody on. Then Yogi Berra and Gil McDougald both singled. Then Elston Howard hit a dramatic 3 run homer to tie the game.

In the 10th, again the Yankees rallied with 2 outs and nobody on and took a 5-4 lead. Now 3 outs from a 3-1 series lead, New York manager Casey Stengel let Tommy Byrne pitch to pinch hitter Nippy Jones.

A decade earlier, the California native was a reserve player on the Cardinals, getting an at bat in the 1946 World Series. Over the next bunch of years, Jones would bounce between the Cardinals, the Phillies and the Sacramento Solons of the Pacific Coast League.

During the 1957 season, he was acquired by Milwaukee from Sacramento to give them some depth at first for the injured Joe Adcock.

Now as a pinch hitter leading off in the 10th, Jones needed to spark a rally.

Byrne threw low at Jones and umpire Augie Donatelli called it a ball. But Jones insisted he was hit by a pitch and needed to be awarded first base. After pleading his case, Jones showed Donatelli that the ball had a little black smudge on it, claiming it was his shoe polish.

Donatelli relented and Jones was the lead off man on base.

Yankees manager Casey Stengel could not believe the call and counter argued. But the call on the field stood.

Jones was pinch run for. Felix Mantilla moved to second on a Red Schoendienst bunt and score on Johnny Logam’s double.

Eddie Mathews was the next batter and he clubbed a 2 run walk off shot to tie the series and 2 games a piece. The Braves, behind starting pitcher Lew Burdette, would capture the World Series in 7.

But the momentum of the game and in a way the series, started when Jones reached base to start the bottom of the 10th. It would be Jones’ final appearance in a big league game. It is safe to say his last game left a mark in Braves history.

That is why Nippy Jones is the Unsung Post Season hero for October 6.


Hall of Fame voters in 2014 are on notice

In the past two days, the Hall of Fame ballot of 2014 just got very interesting.

On Thursday Tom Glavine officially retired, joining the Braves front office. His last game was indeed with the Rome Braves!

On Friday Frank Thomas hung up his spikes and began the process of mending any hard feelings with the White Sox. He’ll have his number retired in Chicago and probably have his image painted on the outfield wall.

Neither Glavine nor Thomas played in the bigs in 2009 so their clock to Cooperstown started when the 2008 season ended… which means they will be eligible to be elected in 2014, along with Glavine’s former teammate Greg Maddux (who retired at the end of 2008.)

So if you have a Hall of Fame vote in the year 2014, know that Sully Baseball is watching you.

I want to see Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas to get 100% of the vote on the first ballot.

They are all no brainers.

Glavine won 2 Cy Young Awards. (He would have won more if not for Maddux. Four other times he finished in the top 3 in the Cy Young vote. ) He won 305 games and won 20 games 5 times in an age of bullpen specialists. He pitched for 21+ seasons. And he was the MVP of the 1995 World Series, throwing 8 innings of 1 hit ball as the Braves won their only World Series in Atlanta.

There is no argument against that resume. He’s got the stats. He has the longevity. He’s got the dominance. He’s got the post season honors. And his Cy Young winning season in 1991 helped transform the laughable Braves franchise into a powerhouse.

He’s a Hall of Famer. We all know it.

Maddux also has an eye popping resume.

In an age when winning 300 games is supposed to be impossible, he won 355. He won 4 Cy Youngs in a row. From 1989 to 2000 he was in the top 5 of the Cy Young vote nine times.

No matter what stats you use to judge a pitcher, Maddux dominated. He consistently led the league in wins, ERA, innings pitched and won 18 Gold Gloves. When batters were juicing up, he’d post ERAs under 2.00. He had the best walks to innings pitched percentage in the league nine times. He would consistently have the best adjusted ERA+ in the league. I don’t even know what that means, but it impresses me.

Who can vote against him?

And who would DARE vote against Thomas?

The Big Hurt was a top 5 MVP candidate in 1991… and he was a top 5 MVP candidate in 2006. And he picked up a pair of MVPs along the way.

If you like traditional stats, he was consistently a 30-40 home run guy, driving in 100+ runs 11 times and winning a batting title. If you are more of a sabermetrics guy, then he was a big slugger who drew 100 walks 10 times. Four times he finished the season with the highest OPS and four other times finished in the top 5.

He arrived in 1990 when the White Sox were beyond irrelevant and only a few years removed from a proposed move to Tampa. In Thomas’ 17 years with the White Sox, he played on 12 teams with winning records including 3 division champs. Ironically the Big Hurt was too hurt to play in the 2005 World Series, but the White Sox progression from also rans to champs began with Thomas.

And oh yeah, he also helped lead Oakland to the ALCS in 2006. And along with Griffey seems to be the only big slugger from this era who wasn’t linked to PEDs, which makes his 521 homers seem even more impressive.

What possible argument could ANYONE have against these guys?

What, Maddux didn’t get enough saves?
Glavine wasn’t a good enough hockey player?
Thomas appeared in the movie Mr. Baseball, and you didn’t like it?

No excuses.

These are three guys who put up the numbers, can be identified with a team and did it over the long haul and without major scandals.

And don’t pull the whole “Hey, if Babe Ruth didn’t get 100% of the vote than nobody can” nonsense.

Not to go all Susan Powter on you, but we need to stop the insanity.

The craziness that had Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn not make it on the first ballot has to stop.

The madness that got some people to NOT vote for Rickey Henderson has to end now!

If you have a vote in 2014, you WILL put these three on your ballot.

And if you left anyone of them off your ballot, your Hall of Fame voting privileges will be revoked.

By whom? BY ME!

I’ve got 4 years to get the power. I am working on it. I already have a blog. I already know people who work in baseball.

In four years I will have enough power to examine your ballots and say “You left Maddux off. I am taking your vote away.”

Four years is enough time to to gain a lot of power.

Don’t believe me? When 2004 started, did you know who Barack Obama and Sarah Palin were?

Didn’t think so.

And my aim for power isn’t quite as high as theirs.

So can we get Glavine, Maddux and Thomas in the Hall with 100% of the vote. YES WE CAN!

And is Sully watching you?
You betcha.

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