Napoleon Hairston, Hairston, Willie Calhoun discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast


In left field, not so much. I guess it's kind of the well, we gotta stick them somewhere and that's the least damage he could do unless we could teach him for space or something, which as we know for Moneyball is incredibly hard. So incredibly hard, Ben. Yes, it goes Chris Davis, wait a minute, Willie Calhoun? Christian Stewart? You're done Alvarez. Yeah. Dan Thomas, all of those guys, DH at some point. So the leader among people who only played left field and never D eighted is the immortal Napoleon hairston. Yeah, I guess of the famous hairstons. There are a lot of hair stints. I don't know if this hairston is related to the other hairston. It's actually, but Napoleon hairston, okay, Napoleon hairston was a Pittsburgh Crawford of the Negro leagues at the Negro national league. So if we wanted to keep it to only AL or NL, then it would be bunny roser who played a 1922, again, and these guys had fewer than 300 innings. So they're just aren't really a lot of left field lifers, which I guess is not that surprising, probably. Who do you think of when you think of left field defense, I guess I would think of Barry Bonds maybe and Barry Bonds, he played a 171 games in center, and he played one time in right fields. There are other great defensive left fielders, but they would have played something else at some point. All right, last position, then, is the other corner right field. And this goes to Harry lumley, who played, I think, in the turn of the 20th century, and he had 6029 innings in right field only. And then the gap is so big that the next highest total is say a Suzuki after one season, exclusively and right field for the cubs 905 and a third innings with a little DH ink. But Vince Barton, George Washington, Oscar Gonzalez, just notable that certain positions really have lifers and others do not. So really fun spreadsheet thanks to Ryan and Kenny for the help and we will put this on the show page. As always, and I will just read you the past blast. This is 1955. The episode and also the year that we are pulling this past blast from and it comes from Jacob Pam reki, who is sabers director of editorial content and chair of the black sex handle research committee. He writes 1955 head hugging hats. The idea that batters should wear some form of protective headwear has been around for more than a century, but it wasn't until 1955 that the major leagues finally got around to requiring hitters to wear a helmet at the plate. A series of high profile beatings, including Carl furillo of the Dodgers and Joe adcock of the braves, pushed nationally gunners to enact a rule requiring helmets after the 1955 season, but the rule was not without controversy, AL owners waited two and a half more years before finally making helmets mandatory in that league. Frank giannulli sports editor of the Arizona republic was one of many writers who tried to both sides, the question of helmets in this column from December 8th, 1955, quote the national league voted Tuesday to enforce batting helmets when men are at the plate. This could lead to the greatest session of mass nosediving in the history of baseball. Helmets are a great idea as skull insurance that give the batter a degree of safety and confidence. They also give the pitchers something to throw at. There's nothing so positive in loosening up a batter at the plate as a pitch zeroed in on his left nostril after a couple of belly flops trying to go for out of the way, a batter stands up there, shaky as Jell-O and three feet from the plate. Objectors to helmets have feared they would encourage pitchers to brush back hitters if they thought betters were fully protected. Joe adcock Milwaukee first baseman certainly is a disciple of safety. He still fondly displays a dented helmet. He credits with saving his life the day he was hit on the head in Brooklyn in 1954. I think Ricky had done some earlier helmet introduction and other people had experimented with it before it was adapted and required on a league wide level. Jacob concludes a few months later a batting helmet may have also saved the life of Don Zimmer. The Dodgers infielder who had already suffered a near fatal beaning in the minor leagues was hit in the head for a second time on June 23rd, 1956. He missed three months of the season with a concussion and fractured cheekbone, but Zimmer recovered and went on to a long career as a manager in coach over the next 50 years. And just it's one of those things that you figure how did they ever not do this? I mean, I guess everything has to be invented at some point and of course they didn't throw quite as hard in those days, but really should have had helmets probably required before 1955 people got hurt in some serious ways before that. But it was not, I think, an unreasonable caveat I think that the idea that pitchers would maybe be a little less wary of throwing in on guys if they felt they were more protected. There's something called the peltzman effect, which is, I think, specifically having to do with seat belts and cars, like if you have a seat belt, drivers will maybe be just riskier drivers because they feel more protected. So you'd like to have everyone think, okay, great, I'm safer now, but I will not actually take more risks. I'll just be safer, but people sort of subconsciously, people see the same thing with writers on bikes who have helmets, you know, might be more likely to have risky writing behavior because they figure my brains are a little less likely to get scrambled if something bad does happen here, which is sort of, I guess, but that is how the human psyche works. Yeah, although the human head also gets smacked around pretty good when it flies off a bicycle, so on balance. Probably. Oh yeah, definitely do. It's still absolutely worth

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