Monday, April 29, 2019

The All-time Leading Triples Hitters

The Volume 15, Number 1 issue of the American Association Almanac was published last week and after production was mailed to subscribers. The topic: The all-time leading triples hitters in the American Association from 1902 to 1962. The cover:



Leading off with an introduction, the report's methodology section describes the process by which more than 1,000 player records were evaluated in order to determine two things:

1. The league's all-time Top 20 triples leaderboard, and
2. The Team Top 20 triples leaderboard for each club

Data collection began mid-fall of 2018 and proceeded through mid-February 2019.

The narrative is statistically dense with smattering of anecdotal information to describe the players who made it onto the all-time triples leaderboards. In addition to production totals, special emphasis is given to the statistical category of at-bats per triple, or ABT. This measurement device, created especially for the analysis presented here, is intended to provide a more statistically balanced view of a player's triples production by offering an average based on the number of at-bats. For example, the lower the ABT, the more efficient the production. Another measurement tool used here is "player share" which expresses the player's percentage of the team's total number of triples. This device is intended to compensate for season-to-season variations in triples production which occurred in league-wide while at the same time offering a comparative value for assessing performance.

Twelve categories were devised for expressing each team's triples leaders, including high total, high average ABT, high percentage player share and high average triples per season. Each team's triples leaders were analyzed for age, experience and handedness.

Numerous tables complement the contents of this issue, such as the one below.

This table, found on page 29, lists the league's Top 20 all-time triples leaders, along with their teams, first season active in the American Association, and career ABT.

 Team abbreviations for the above: COL-Columbus; IND-Indianapolis; KC-Kansas City;
LOU-Louisville; MIL-Milwaukee; MIN-Minneapolis; STP-St. Paul; TOL-Toledo.

Here is a selection of sample pages from Volume 15, No. 1, beginning with the table of contents.

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Page 13


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Page 30 and 31



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Vital Statistics

Publication Date: April 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 60
Number of Words: 32,000

Subscription Information

1 copy: $15.00 (inc. postage)
1 year subscription: $24.00
2-year subscription: $42.00
1-year Institutional Rate: $60

Copies of Vol. 15, No. 1 are available.
Please contact the Almanac at:
pureout@msn.com




Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Data Development: the Spreadsheet

As I move toward the start of the writing process in roughly one week for the spring issue (Vol. 15, No. 1) of the American Association Almanac, I'm wrapping up the work on the eight principal databases I've been constructing since the end of November. They concern the leading triples hitters for each team of the original American Association from 1902 to 1962. Each spreadsheet is designed to make automatic calculations for the percentages I'm most interested easier to perform. My intention in posting this blog was to post an example of one whole file. At this point I'm not sure I'll be able to do that, however, I will offer a sample at the very least. Each spreadsheet covers the career record for each team's top triple hitters. This could include those who led over time or who was among the team's top three producers during a given season. No less than 110 players are listed in any one team's spreadsheet. The totals for each player are derived and sorted so each category can be ranked for the leading players. What is especially valuable is the data for multi-team players; a multi-team player, also known as a split-season player, spent his time with more than one team. In this record the data has been gleaned from the box scores in order to produce the record for just the team he's listed with as being a leading producer. The time it takes to perform such an exercise can be excessive; while at other times it can take only an hour or two. Regardless, the records for the American Association's leading triples hitters has never been published. It serves the baseball research community as a testament to thorough and creative research while offering fans of regional baseball history a fundamental look a the leading players from a bygone era.

Sample 1: The Indianapolis Indians, page 1


While this blogsite does not permit me to publish whole files, anyone who is interested in obtaining a copy of a particular data file can write me with their request. Send an email to
pureout@msn.com
with your request. Thank you!

The American Association Playoffs, 1942-1946

This issue of the American Association Almanac (Vol. 14, No. 2) was published in October 2018. Its primary focus is game-by-game descriptions of the American Association postseason which took place on two levels: a four-team playoff followed by a match-up between the winners of those series. Having originated with the Fall 2017 issue covering the seasons 1932-1941, this series will culminate with the playoffs of the 1962 season. The American Association Almanac is published twice annually and distributed to paid subscribers; more info below.

Vital Statistics for Vol. 14, No. 2:

Format: 5.5 x 8.5" paper; staple bound
Type: New Times Roman, 12 pt.
Number of Words: 31,897
Number of Pages: 56
Content inside back cover: Yes
Graphics: Multiple
Tables: 1
Organization: Chronological; each season includes two sections, one for game accounts and one entitled "New and Noteworthy" in which a statistical presentation is provided
Availability: By Subscription ($24/yr; $42 two yrs; or as single issue $15 ppd)
Publication Date: Sept. 27, 2018

Copies Available.


Front Cover




 Table of Contents



Sample Page 15



Sample Pages 28-29






Photo Sample

Pitcher Tom Sunkel celebrating his no-hitter with manager
Ray Blades (L) and catcher George Savino (R).
 
___________________________________


Subscription Information

Subscribing to the American Association Almanac is easy! Send a check payable to:

Rex Hamann
14201 Crosstown Blvd. NW
Andover, MN   55304-3311

You can also pay using Paypal.
Simply direct the payment to this email address:

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Rates

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Institutions (one year) -  $60.00

Lifetime Subscription (min. 10 years): $200.00

Please direct all questions, inquiries or comments to:

Rex Hamann, editor and publisher
14201 Crosstown Blvd. NW
Andover, MN   55304-3311

or by email at

pureout@msn.com

Copies of Vol. 14, No. 2 are available and make a great gift.

The content of the Almanac is produced entirely by Rex Hamann

There are no advertisements in the Almanac, with rare exception

Back issues are available as a complete set (terms to be discussed) or individually

Typical publication dates are April 1 and October 1

––––––––––––––––––––––––––
posted January 23, 2019



Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Chase for the "Triples Crown"

The Spring 2018 issue of the American Association Almanac was published a few weeks ago, the fiftieth edition of the publication which began as the American Association Newsletter in 2001. The subject for this hallmark issue revolves around the top triples hitting teams of the Association. Spanning the years of the "original" American Association, 1902 to 1962, this survey presents a detailed statistical view of the trends and highlights of triples production for the league as a whole. The content develops into a focus on the triples production for each team, highlighting the seasons during which each team led the circuit in three-baggers. Key player performances are illuminated allowing the reader to make connections between names both familiar and unfamiliar.

The cover for the Spring 2018 edition of the American Association Almanac features an interior view of Milwaukee's ancient Borchert Field, built in 1888, from a postcard originally published around 1950.


This 30,000-word issue contains a variety of highlights for fans of minor league baseball history. For example, three teams shared the spotlight as leaders of the league's "triples crown." These three teams led the league in triples production for 13 seasons, each with its own unique "footprint" which provides insight into the evolution of the team's offensive production. It was found that each of the league's eight clubs had its own phases, often distinct, which formed a pattern. These patterns are useful for historians to identify those "feast or famine" periods which can be studied. This Almanac breaks new ground with respect to the topic of triples production with respect to minor league history. The author is unaware of any previous such treatment covering the topic of triples production at the major league level.

The table of contents for the Spring 2018 edition of the American Association Almanac. The extensive use of graphics for this issue helps illuminate the statistical depth explored within its pages.


In order to get a better idea of the contents of this ground-breaking issue, a few sample pages are provided below. Each page shows a unique feature of the treatment for the subject matter and gives a sense of how the data are organized and presented. Most notable is the summary for each team's history as a triples hitter, shown in the final example of the team history for Columbus.

This sample provides an example of general content, allowing the reader to get a sense of how the layout is handled for the presentation of the subject matter. A total of 17 footnotes appear throughout this issue.





This sample provides examples of the numerous graphics, tables and charts, used for highlighting key information.


The sample shown here gives the reader an idea of how the subject matter introduces each team's triples-hitting history.

Notable here is the team history's summary of triples hitting employed for each team.

Keep your head in the game! Please consider subscribing to the American Association Almanac. 

In order to maintain this advertising-free baseball history journal, subscriptions supply the lifeline that ensures the best possible research and writing continues. If your interest lies in the regional minor leagues that formed the bedrock of the system of professional baseball we enjoy today, consider subscribing to this unique venue for historical research. Makes a great gift!

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The American Association Almanac is a one-man show. The entirety of its contents is written and researched by:

Rex Hamann
14201 Crosstown Blvd. NW
Andover, Minn.   55304

Please forward any payments or correspondences to him at the above address, or email him at

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The American Association Almanac
Bringing the best of baseball history from the bleachers to the box seats!

Friday, January 12, 2018

The American Association Playoffs, 1933 to 1941

The American Association Almanac
Volume 13, No. 2
Fall 2017

The 49th issue of the American Association Almanac was released in early September, 2017. It provides a comprehensive look at the American Association playoffs which began in 1933 when the first-place Columbus Red Birds (101-51), led by Ray Blades, vied for the league championship against the second-place Minneapolis Millers (86-67) under the leadership of future Hall of Famer Dave Bancroft. As explained in the official league manual (pub. 1969), "Under the playoff plan whereby the highest standing Eastern team met the highest standing Western Club, Columbus beat Minneapolis four out of six games to win the official league championship..." There was no beef about the outcome with the possible exception of a handful of Columbus fans who thought their team, with its clearly superior record, shouldn't have to prove itself twice. The following year, Minneapolis fans had the beef as the same two teams met in the playoffs again, this time after the Millers claimed the top spot with a record of 85-64. Columbus finished second, just a sliver behind with 85 wins and 68 losses. After Columbus came away with the championship in a rugged seven-game battle, critics were all over the place. The system was scrapped for the 1935 season, and in 1936 a two-tier plan named after the originator of the playoff system employed in the East, Frank Shaughnessy, went into effect. It allowed allowed the first-place team to cop the championship while vying for the Governor's Cup and the honor of meeting the International League's top representative in the Junior World Series. This system proved itself over the next three decades.

This volume exceeds 30,000 words in a 56-page format. It includes a color cover (see below), a prominent back-cover reproduction of a 1939 Louisville Colonels team photo, a table of contents (see below), and a table summarizing the head-to-head play between each playoff contestant from 1933 to 1941, in addition to narratives for each game. Copies are available at $15.00 postpaid. For those interested in starting a subscription (one- or two-year options available; see below), this issue can be included at a discount.


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 _________________________________________________________


Content is organized by season. This sample page provides a look at how each section unfolds. Here is an excerpt of the content from this issue:

 ________________________________________________________


Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this issue is the clear delineation of playoff records. Each season's leader board is encapsulated within a listing of statistical achievements for the customary categories, such as which player claimed the most runs scored, the most hits, the most home runs, etc. But readers will also find statistics from more obscure categories which include averages, such as team batting average and runs per game. Here is a sample page:


  _________________________________________________________


A final sample page:


 _________________________________________________________


I've been editing and publishing the Almanac since Fall 2001 and have made it my life's work. If you are interested in comprehensive baseball history with a regional flavor, strong statistical backbone and a concise writing style, this may be your best option. Readers are encouraged to write to me, Rex Hamann, with questions about how to subscribe to the American Association Almanac. One-year subscription: $24.00 for two issues. Two-years: $42.00 for four issues. Lifetime subscriptions: $200.00 (non-refundable). Institutional subscriptions: $60.00/yr. Checks can be mailed to me at 14201 crosstown Blvd. NW, Andover, MN   55304, or sent to my Paypal account via my email address (pureout@msn.com).

Monday, April 3, 2017

Opening Day, 1902 to 1931

It's Opening Day!

The latest issue of the ad-free American Association Almanac was published last week. It contains a balanced look at the opening day statistics compiled from a 30-year period including the years from 1902 to 1931.

This 32,000 word article is organized into three sections, each one pertaining to a period of one decade, and each of which contain essentially the same topics. For example, in the first section for the period 1902 to 1911, the introduction contains a description of each of the first four contests (there were eight teams) which took place on April 23, 1902. An emphasis was placed on these games because of their historical importance as "firsts" and so they receive more attention than in the other sections. Here is an excerpt from this section:

Mike (Elmer) Smith, the Kansas City left fielder, took top honors
for providing Kansas City’s first home run of the American Association
era, making the score 16-4. The additional fireworks came off Dunkle in the
sixth after a triple by Nance, netting the Blues their final two runs.
Both clubs had 39 at-bats and yielded three errors.
The blood-letting was complete in two hours, 15 minutes,
quite lengthy for a nine-inning game of this period.

Next, a section on team records answers the most basic questions concerning which teams were the most successful during this decade, containing the following table entitled "Combined Opening Day Records, 1902-1911." The table below shows how each team performed at home (H) and on the road (R) in terms of its wins and losses.


A sub-section describing the results of contests involving Eastern vs. Western teams (defined in the text) wraps up this introductory portion of the section.

Shutouts are covered next. Each the eight entries contains a summary of the game, as shown in the following excerpt:

6. John Halla, lhp. April 13, 1910: Louisville 6 at Columbus 0.
Giving up just four hits, John “Jack” Halla, 26, wins his third straight opener
(two are home openers) before a Neil Park assemblage of 9,900. Glenn Liebhardt, 27,
the Columbus starter, goes the distance, giving up 11 hits. Louisville scores three runs in the fourth. 
Suter “Scooter” Sullivan (3b) walks to lead off the frame, and moves up on shortstop Bill Moriarty’s sacrifice. 
Larry Quinlan (ss) boots keystone sacker Gus Soffel’s tough grounder to short, setting the table for Heinie Peitz (c/mgr.) whose hit-and-run scores Sullivan for the season’s first tally and the deciding run of the game. 
Halla contributes a single to load the bases before Joe Stanley (cf) drives in Soffel and Peitz. 
Halla strikes out three and walked two, aided by an error-free defense. 
Louisville bats .306 as only Peitz takes the collar. 
The fielding of Moriarty at short is a feature. 
The contest takes one hour, 58 minutes.
William J. Guthrie and Charles E. Van Syckle officiate.

A section entitled "Pitching Survey" is next in which a statistical breakdown of the entire sample of 77 pitchers to perform in a season opener is presented. Here, a comparison between left-handers and right-handers is offered. This is followed by the a section entitled "Advantage Pitcher" which discusses games in which one team had a sizeable early advantage.

The section "Season Opener Scoring Records: 1902 to 1911" follows. This includes run totals, in cluding averages, highs and lows, combined game totals, single-game totals and highlights of "per inning" scoring, including extra-inning games. Discussed as part of this section is the topic of scoring patterns. For example, lead changes is discussed in some depth, and the results for teams which scored first in each game is presented as a table. Finally, a survey of games which resulted in late decisions is presented. 

A substantial section on hitting records of the decade is laid out in great detail, including leader boards for teams and players. Here is an excerpt:

Hitting Records by Team: 1902-1911

    Hi Hits: 21 - St. Paul, April 18, 1906 at IND; score: STP 15, IND 5
    Lo Hits: 2 - Minneapolis, April 17, 1907 at IND
    
Hi Hits for Host Team: 18 - Louisville, April 18, 1906, defeating MIN, 11-7
    Lo Hits for Host Team: 3 - Columbus, April 23, 1902 hosting MIN
   
    Hi Batting Avg.: .467 - St. Paul, April 18, 1906 at IND (noted above)
    Hi Batting Avg./Host: .464 - Toledo, April 17, 1907 defeating STP, 8-0
    
Lo Batting Avg.: .071 - Minneapolis, April 17, 1907 losing to IND, 4-0
    Lo Batting Avg./Host: .088 - Louisville, April 22, 1903 losing to IND, 4-2

Eleven home runs were hit during this decade, and each one is documented in considerable detail, as shown in this excerpt: 

8. Barry McCormick (2b), Milwaukee (vs. STP), April 14, 1909.
The Brewers made it a 6-0 lead over the Saints in the seventh after 
McCormick’s three-run jolt off “Little Chief” Louis LeRoy  at Athletic Park. 
Some 6,000 fans craned their necks skyward as “the pill floated serenely over 
he 8th Street fence for a homer,” driving in Dan McGann (1b) and Pep Clark (3b). 
Batting sixth in the order, McCormick had himself a day at the plate,
with three hits and seven total bases in addition to scoring a pair of runs. 
Milwaukee won, 9-5.


The decade section wraps up with a comparison of attendance data showing which teams led the league in which years, cumulative totals, and rankings for season totals.

The same pattern for the presentation of the data for the next two decades is used.

Here is a look at the cover for this issue, showing the front cover (right) and the back cover (left).



For more information on this fascinating issue
and how you can subscribe to the
American Association Almanac,
please contact the editor
at this email address:

pureout@msn.com

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Just for fun: It stood for over 50 years as host to the American Association's Milwaukee Brewers. Built in 1888, Borchert Field, originally Milwaukee Athletic Park, had a storied past. This photographic image served as the basis for one of the most attractive ballpark postcards of the pre-War era. Here is the photo, followed by the postcard.



This little item can cost you big time if it's a seller's market. Just ask me. It appears on the back of my book, The American Association Milwaukee Brewers, published by Arcadia in 2004.



And always remember: The past did not take place in black and white....