Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Early Season News

Ok - trying to get some occasional content back up.  So what's newsworthy in the Second City early season?

Bacon Explosion  Edge Bulldogs in 23 innings
Kansas City won a marathon affair on June 29.  After Sammy Pineda tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the 8th with a solo HR, the teams managed to play 14 scoreless innings before Albert Encarnacion who entered the game in the 11th as a pinch hitter, managed his only hit of the night in SIX ABs, a HR that would win the game.  This dude didn't play the first 10 innings, and still managed to get 6 at bats.

Fun facts - KC won despite getting only 4 hits in the 14 extra innings.
Rolando Espinosa managed to go 0-10 for KC, though he did draw a walk
KC used 8 pitchers for 328 total pitches, Burlington used 9 for 336 pitches.
Every Burlington starting position player had a hit, 5 of the 8 had 3 or 4 hits.  Burlington's 9 spot, occupied by all 8 pitchers + 7 different pinch hitters, went 0-8 with 6 strike outs.  The most productive at bat was by staring pitcher David DeLeon, who laid down a sac bunt in the 2nd.

 Javier Nicasio hit the 60 DL with an elbow strain.
Javier Nicasio
Age: 25B/T: R/R
Born: Duncan, SC
Position(s): P (P)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Standings Check
Only 4 NL teams are under .500 through 14 games, none in the North or West
The Austin LongHorns are off to a 12-2 start to pace the AL
  Robin King 12 HR's lead the league through 14 games
 Victor James is hitting .370 with 4 homers and is the early Rookie of the Year favorite.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hall of Fame - Season 28

Well, it's been a long time, but it's Friday, so I'm putting together something for the Hall of Fame.

Each year we argue and vote and then 1 or 2 guys gets in.  So, let's break it down a bit.

First - all data is available in a good doc -->  Feel free to check it out.

Each owner gets only 5 votes each season.  Players need 17 votes from the 32 owners to earn induction.  No submissions are made for owners that don't vote.  We've never inducted more than 3 in a season, and have had no inductees on several occasions.

I've also included a crude Award metric that places a relative value on awards won (AS, MVP, SS, GG, FIR, etc.).  I think this is a great way to get a starting point.

I'm breaking the nominees into 4 categories.  Starters, Relievers, Position Players, and Hitters.

There's been a ton of debate on the closers, so I'll lay those guys our separately with the relievers.  I think that makes it easier for everyone to break the ties in their own mind.

For the position players, I'm separating guys that played a real position from the DH/1B/LF types.  This may be unfair, but I feel like the defensive value gets short changed so maybe this will help.


Al Moreno3.612731360.6676033688.13270110302.963170011
Brian Jung3.542491510.623723350931261364382.292970010
Winston Silvestri3.711761430.5524772857.1258791572.832250001
Phil Martin4.042541680.6025753571.12745117612.332050000
Pablo Saez3.832101580.5714953308.1222797322.291230000
Ozzie Myers3.922411690.5886233633.23024117002.58820000
Pedro DeRojas3.892492160.5356534159.12929127512.30410000

Moreno's 273 wins is an impressive #.  His DOM (K/BB) is also the most impressive of the bunch.  While none of these guys stand out, I think his 7 all star games and the huge win # makes him the best of the bunch.

Jung also makes a solid case across the board (7 AS) and Silvestri would be right there if he'd had a logner career, but he's 700 IP shy of any other nominee.

The sleeper candidate is Pedro DeRojas, who won 249 games despite being second all time with 385 quality starts.


Rod Perez3.1232520.381784816.26942055403.394490400
B.C. Juarez3.4758740.4399021046.27083155362.252860200
Jose Silva2.8928450.384834860.16352435222.613470300
Magglio Merced3.5259660.47210621200.27923574322.2248100400
Fergie Reagan2.74117720.6191269214215195641472.692050000
Rob Shields3.9246520.4698711032.18433502872.412650300

This is a "Who's Who" of closers in Second City.  For reference - the All-Time Career Saves Leaderboard:

Player Stat
Rod Perez 540
B.C. Juarez 536
Clarence Schoendienst 535
Jose Silva 522
Carl Brooks 447

And the All-Time Save % leaders

Player Stat
Alfredo Cruz 0.913
Rod Perez 0.888
Jose Silva 0.879
Dan Bell 0.874
J.R. Barber 0.871

Perez, Silva, and Juarez are really tightly packed.  For my money, I'll take Perez.  He has the highest DOM and holds the saves record, plus is 2nd all-time in save %.  Silva and Juarez are certainly considerations as well.


Bret Davis0.2912575100101896291565420952710.5496.5%54101603B, 5th All time HR's, 3rd in RBI
Perry Hernandez0.321207984901612272830214443310.5093.6%4871413B/2B
Angel Mercedes0.27325939550130826043011279850.4213.2%468520SS 5 gold gloves
Jalal Rivera0.28220477838130322115621567220.5507.2%3440412B - below av
Max Lima0.362990394787614291125981450.5512.8%324312B Played seasons 1-9
Cody Hall0.283227788001628249449615254490.5215.6%3052303B
Kevin Canseco0.30723348867148127224261543240.5154.8%302151CF/2B
Matthew Harris0.271181966671102180832910653370.4844.9%265120SS/3B/RF
Alan Pall0.290169768291289197931611373230.5044.6%204020CF
Sparky Dessens0.28017845823111216294641163750.5738.0%1830302B/3B/OF

Bret Davis is 5th all-time in HR's, 3rd in RBI and he was an above average 3B throughout his career.  He made 10 All-star teams.  He's a no-doubter.

Jalal Rivera has the 3rd best HR rate of all candidates this year.  He was a below-average 2B, but at least he played a real position.  He was a terror during the middle of his career, but his streak of dominance was a bit shorter than most.

Angel Mercedes won 5 gold gloves at short stop.  That's a remarkable WIS accomplishment when you consider how quickly defensive skills erode.  The fact that he also hit 300 career homers makes him a unique candidate this year.

Perry Hernandez 7 All-Star appearances and .321 BA are also note worthy.

Sleeper - Sparky Dessens hit a homer more frequently than any current nominee.


Jose Cordero0.285233691541618260954016043540.5395.9%403132LF
Glen Stovall0.3171963750612322380440138900.5505.9%2840111b
Steven Hutch0.332154663981388212532514443500.5765.1%284011LF
Pepper Henderson0.2851734677611041931323115690.4964.8%284011OF
Izzy Coomer0.3321917726713872411482158580.5896.6%102010DH
Mark Frederick0.3111290498599215512621040750.5525.3%610101B/OF
Derek Rhodes0.324193680681489261807715640.3580.0%20100OF
Yorvit Arias0.291127847138471373371106130.5857.9%00000DH
David Rivera0.32919177377117524252741227300.5003.7%000001B

None of these guys added much in the way of defense, but they did put up some impressive #'s.

Jose Cordero hit 540 HRs and stole 354 bases.  He's also the only 2-time MVP nominated.  Four others have won multiple MVPs.  They're all in the HOF already (3 won 5 times).

Hutch hit .332, stole 350 bags and hit 325 HRs.  All impressive, though it was done mostly in Colorado.

Derek Rhodes is remarkable in that he managed to have over 8000 ABs and never hit a HR.  He did steal 564 bases. 

Given all that, I'm voting for the following:
Bret Davis - Nobody else in this class comes close.
Al Moreno - He's the best pitcher out there and the HOF is short pitchers.
Angel Mercedes - The gold gloves are probably enough, but to also have 300 HRs.
Jalal Rivera - I'm biased, this guy killed me when he was a Badejo, but his prime was as good as anyone's, if a bit shorter.
Rob Perez - Closers aren't my favorite, but he appear to be the best of them and I can't justify voting for more than 1.

Here are the guys I'd consider and wouldn't argue against:
Jose Cordero  I cant argue 
Cody Hall 449 SB, that's impressive.
Pedro DeRojas - Don't sleep on that QS # - he's the best starter that isn't in the conversation.
Fergie Regan - If you think saves are overvalued - go with Fergie.  He 950 more innings than any other nominated reliever and won 58 more games.  He also has the best career ERA of current nominees.  He was a high-leverage guy.
B.C Juarez - He's sortof closer 1A for me right now.

Max Lima - His career was shortened because he was a major league player in season 1.  Yes, those early seasons inflated #'s, but he hit .362 for his career and played 2B.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let's Discuss the Hall of Fame Again

So I tried to make the Hall of Fame as objective as possible and created a formula to come up with each players HOF Score. As is the HOF Score can only be used to compare batters to batters and pitchers to pitchers. I am more than willing to tweak the formula if anyone wants to help but I just wanted to create something that might get everyone on the same page or at least closer to the same page when it comes to voting.

The formula uses a sliding scale of 1 to 10 points for different statistical categories and assigns points as well for awards. I looked at the Top 5 in career statistics to help target the upper bounds of the scale.

Hitting Scale

Pitching Scale


MVP/Cy Young/Fireman - 4 Pts 
Silver Slugger - 2 Pts
Gold Glove - 2 Pts
All-Star - 2 Pts
World Series Ring - 1 Pt
Rookie of the Year - 2 Pts

Based on the above scales here is how the Current Hall of Fame stacks up.

And here are the nominees:

Here are the HOF Pitchers:

And the nominees

So based on my formula, I would make the case that Rico Lecuona, Rod Perez, Tony Baez, and Tom Davidson are the most worthy. 

For the final spot, it is easy to make an argument for any of the following: Lenny Ohman, Bartolo Gonzalez, Phil Martin, Jose Cordero, Vin Guapo, David Padilla, Mac Ventura, Santos Julio, Steven Hutch, or Max Lima.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hall of Fame

It's Hall of Fame voting time again and that means input from the blog.  Standards are high for the Hall and we have never elected more than a couple in a year.

Please vote, and do so responsibly.  You can only vote for five and players become introduce if not elected st some point.  Voting for your guy if he's not qualified is a wasted vote. 

My ballot contains two pitchers and the hitters.  I'll also cover nine guys I didn't vote for and why.

position players (in)
Kelvim Roa (RF) - 665 HR, 401 Sb, .295 ave, 7 AS, 1 MVP.  Simply the best power hitter on the ballot

David Padilla (c) - hit.300 with 611 hr playing catcher.  Seven time all star, MVP, rookie of the year and six time silver slugger.

Tony Baez (2b) - this spot was the tightest call for me and you'll see why in a minute.  Baez gets the nod based on nine all star trips and right silver sluggers (3 positions).  Hit hit.320 with 419 hr and 858 sb.  He gets my view on all around skill

Position players (close, maybe next year)
Mac Ventura (Cf) - His hiring numbers are just shy of three big pourer hitters above, .282, 602 hr, 329 sb, but he did it playing a premium defensive position in center field.  This was three hardest cut for me.

Santos Julio (c) - his numbers are very close tho Roa minus the speed.  He should get in.  .296 661 hr, 6 all star.

Position players (not in  or close)
the guys below are great but stand no chance this year in my opinion.

Bernard Lieber (ss) - hit.305 and style a remarkable 1157 bases, but didn't bring the pop to compete with under others.

Tom Davidson (2b/lf) hit.346 with 404 hr.  Great balanced hitter who should be in,.but lacks the totals of the others.

Tom Bollock (c) - maybe the best pure hitter in a second City history,.but he only played 75 games a year .367, give time world series champ

Pitchers (in)
Paul Rhodes - 262-116, 2.81, 2747 Ks. Played in eighteen post seasons,.
Going 18-15.  Nine time all star also saved 114 games.  Most wind, fewest losses, and best era of the candidates.

Phil Martin - the other pitching spot is a tough decision. 

Martin gets my vote on the strength of his 254 wins, 2745 K.  4.04 era was done mostly in the AL.

Pitchers (close)
Ozzie Myers - you can make a strong case for him over Martin.  He went 241-169 with a 3.92 & 3092 k.  Also had 3 championships.

Bartolo Gonzalez - 193-132  2489 K, work horse was a six time all star, but didn't win enough to chose him over these.

Pitchers (third tier)
Don't be offended,.these two were great,.but the others are clearly better.

Lenny Ohman - 181-67, 3.44.  He belongs above Gonzalez.  Judy not quite the totals for him yet.  Six all stars.

Marty Brantley - 227-150, 4.02, 4 ask star and a cy young.  Great, but not HOF.

Friday, May 13, 2011

HOF Pitchers

Hall of Fame Pitchers
With no player garnering the required votes last season, I thought we should take a closer look at some of the nominees, first up, the pitchers.

No pitcher has been elected to the HOF yet.  So, please, take the time to vote this year, and whatever you do, vote for at least one pitcher.  I’m recommending two make your ballot.
I’m going to totally ignore relievers for now.  There are very few in the MLB HOF and while I think there are 1-2 that deserve to be in, I think there are at least 5 starters that merit consideration first.  If you feel the need to vote for a closer, PICK ONE, and save a vote or three for some starters.
I’m focusing on 3 main areas when considering the pitchers.  First, awards; I think the Cy Young, All Star Teams, and Fireman awards are critical in determining who were the elite pitchers in any given season.  Next, I’m looking at the 3-4 best season a pitcher had.  In my opinion, dominance is the single most important factor qualifying someone for the HOF.  I’ll point out the top seasons for each of the featured candidates.  And finally, career totals.  While they have a lot to do with longevity and the team on which a pitcher played, I’m still looking for career wins (200 is a huge threshold), career Win %, ERA and WHIP.   

Now, on to the candidates:
Delino Fischer’s case rests first and foremost on his proven ability to win games.  His 225 career wins are tops among eligible players, with only a couple active pitchers ahead of him on the all-time list.  Of the 6 hurlers profiled here, Fischer threw the most innings and had the highest strikeout rate, both impressive numbers.  A quick look at his top seasons show a 21-3, 215 IP, 2.55 ERA, 1.13 WHIP season 8 (Cy Young) and an 18-6, 213 IP, 2.07 ERA, 1.00 season 10.  One negative, Fischer was just 5-6 in 16 career post-season starts.  It should be noted that his career numbers include a couple season in Texas, a very hitter-friendly park in the AL.

Among the 6 profile, only Moose Gates had a higher ERA, but Charles Kubinski won 3 Cy Young awards.  That cannot be overlooked.  His 5 20-win seasons are unprecedented in Second City.  Bear in mind that his career ended in season 13 and he only had 11 meaningful yeas.  He likely would have been a star in pre-season 1 if such a thing existed.  It’s not easy to pick a best, 20 win season (20-10, 21-10, 22-3, 22-4, 20-3), but Season 9, with the 2.55 ERA and 1.00 WHIP stands out.  17-11 in 46 career post season appearances (37 starts) is another feather in Kubinski’s cap. 
I believe that the 3 Cy Young’s make him THE pitcher to vote for if you only choose 1.

Lenny’s 73% winning percentage is the best of these  6 and in fact, the best of all-time.  His 23-1, 209 IP, 2.89 ERA, 1.03 WHIP in live-ball season 3 might be one of the top 2 or 3 seasons ever turned in.  He also threw up an 18-4, 2.34, 1.04 season 7.  His 6 All-Star appearances, 1 Cy Young and a Rookie of the Year are also were noting.  He won 3 World Series Rings while going 11-8 career in the post-season.  I think he is very deserving, but he rates 3rd, behind Kubinski and Fischer in my list.

Hemphill had one of the shorter careers of this list, essentially fading away after season 10.  He hung on as a reliever for parts of 3 more seasons but was no longer a key piece.  Still, he won just under 70% of his career decisions, and has the best career ERA and 2nd best WHIP of the seven pitchers on this list.  His 2 Cy Youngs and 4 All Star Appearances are impressive.  Hemp turned in 10 straight double-digit win seasons topping out with a 20-5 2.70 ERA in season 5 which came on the heels of 2.25 and 2.34 ERAs in season 3-4.  Still, he only topped 200 IP 3 times in 9 seasons as a full time starter.  A great pitcher that’s a couple seasons short of putting up the numbers of the others – he probably belongs, but not yet.

Bart made 32 or 33 starts in each of the world’s first 9 seasons.  A true horse, he worked 220 or more innings 7 times.  In season 8, he won 18 games for Sioux Falls and LA (mid-season trade) while posting a 2.17 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.  The 6-time all-star never won the Cy Young but did land 1 World Series Ring.  He’s a legitimate contender, but not at the level of Ohman or Fischer.

Moose’s 199 wins are the 2nd most in the group, but his 147 losses are the most.  He’s thrown tons of innings and win a lot of games but his overall numbers just aren’t in line with the rest of this group.  He did make 3 all-star teams and won 1 Cy Young.

Washington’s 123 wins are far and away the fewest of this group.  In his defense he was already mid-career by season 1, but he probably lacks the career-long track record of the others listed here.  

W L W% IP K K/9 ERA WHIP All Star Cy Young WS Ring
Fischer 225 138 62.0% 3342.67 2776           7.47           3.89           1.27                 4                 1                -  
Kubinski 194 90 68.3% 2470 1890           6.89           3.87           1.25                 4                 3                 2
Ohman 181 67 73.0% 2268 1873           7.43           3.44           1.21                 6                 1                 3
Hemphill 172 76 69.4% 1953.67 1521           7.01           3.28           1.20                 4                 2                 2
Gonzalez 193 132 59.4% 3096.67 2489           7.23           3.31           1.20                 6                -                   1
Gates 199 147 57.5% 3134 2483           7.13           4.09           1.34                 3                 1                -  
Washngiton 123 66 65.1% 1722 1170           6.11           3.42           1.34                 4                -                  -  

Sunday, April 25, 2010

NKOTB Part 1: The Salt Cith ShamWows

Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City ShamWows! (AL)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

History: Yoker70 is the 8th owner in 16 seasons of this woebegone franchise which has yet to make a playoff appearance.  But Yoker seems to be righting the ship, adding 21 victories to the previous regime's total in year 1 and another 6 in year 2.  The string of 7 straight last-place in the division finishes remains, but yoker has a plan.

First, 2 #1 overall picks, Abraham Young and  James Kelly are being handled carefully, stepping their way through the minors rather than being rushed to the show.  Former #2 overall pick Pete Miller illustrates the value of this strategy with is .353 and 40 HR last season.

The Story: Last year in Santa Cruz, yoker and the boys had the lowest payroll in the league and one of lowest in HBD history ($32 million).  The team had to skimp on payroll because they just couldn't pay the bills.  But this season, the team moved to Salt Lake City, UT where a city ordinance will require fans to join a club before purchasing beer at the game.  This is projected to add $14 million in revenue.  On top of that, ShamWow, the #1 infomercial of all time according to CNBC, purchased the TEAM's naming rights.  The club's jersey's will actually be made of this revolutionary material which holds 12 times its weight in liquid.  Come players worry about what that will mean to their speed near the end of those always muggy games in Mexico City, Las Vegas, and San Juan, but the $50 million yoker is pocketing in the deal means - WHO REALLY CARES?  Plus, if you join the ShamWow drinking club, you get these "game shorts" seen above.  CALL NOW!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Dandy Dozen: Dick Caruso - 1st ever 2nd City Hall of Famer

Dick Caruso
Age: 39B/T: L/L
Born: Du Bois, PA
Position(s): 1B/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

The Resume: Boy, where do  you start?  Dick Caruso is the Babe Ruth of Second City.  He won 2 AL MVPs and 3 AL MVPs.  He was a 9-time all-star.  He won 9 silver sluggers, 8 in LF and 1 at 1B. 

During the world's first 10 seasons, the FEWEST RBI he collected in any season was 133, never hit below .300 or scored fewer than 125 runs.  He posted more walks than strikeouts in 7 of his 12 seasons.  He played in EVERY GAME of the first 6 seasons of the world.

He was the first player to 500 HRs and finished his career with 600, tied for 4th all time.  His 1,747 RBI ranks 3rd all time.  His 1,579 runs are 5th all-time.  His slugging percentage of .654 is 3rd best of all-time.  Finally, he was intentionally walked a league-record, 211 times.

Caruso hit 60 or more HR's in 4 of his first 6 seasons.  In short, he is the most accomplished hitter in Second City History.

The Rest of the Story:  Despite all the accolades, Caruso left the game a bitter, jaded mercenary.  Despite being the most feared hitter in the game, he played in 6 different cities.  He was twice signed as a free agent and traded once.  All Caruso ever wanted was to be the star for one franchise, but he ended his career playing 80 games in AAA because he couldn't walk away.

When he was first a free agent, Caruso signed the most lucrative contract in Second City History, landing a 5 year, $110 million deal with the Charlotte Moon Knights.  Still, after all of that, Caruso has been rightfully added to the Hall of Fame ahead of ALL others.  And you can bet he'll cash in on the autograph circuit.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Friars Celebrate 1st Title!

The San Francisco Fightin Friars celebrated their first ever World Series title with a parade down the streets of the city yesterday.  Parades in San Francisco always bring out an interesting crew and this one was no exception.

While the fans were over-joyed at the title, many were equally concerned about the future.  The Fightin Friars have a number of difficult off-season decisions to make.  Two starting position players, 3B Michael Lee, RF Jose Escobar, and two key pitchers, staff ace Dude Wheeler, and 5th starter Terry Pressley are all eligible for free agency.  Eleven additional players are eligible for arbitration.  No matter what decisions the Friars, make, everyone expects the payroll to rise significantly from last seasons $83 million.

But today was about celebrations.  One  fan did appear at the parade dressed as a deranged bunny wielding a chain saw to demonstrate his belief that ownership intends to dismantle the championship team.  But this team was carefully built by duece112 and dspahlinger on the strength of the high draft picks that came with early tradition of losing.  Since duece arrive, that tradition has done a 180, with the squad winning 3 straight division titles.  Kevin Canseco (#1 overall, season 6), Dude Wheeler, (#3, S4), and Vinny Jameson (#16, S11) are all draft picks that contributed to the title.  Many others were used in deals to acquire key pieces.  This is not a franchise that was built for one season, but for the long haul, so expect to see them back competing for the AL pennant this season.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Say it ain't so Jalal

After years of deftly avoiding the issue, Commissioner Jwendt finally took on the steroid issue in Second City prior to the season. For the first time ever, random steroid testing was mandated for all imaginary players. While the commissioner handed down no suspensions, his zero tolerance policy clearly had an effect.

In Second City's 14 seasons, there have been 448 individual teams (32*14 seasons). This year's leading home run hitting team, the Texas Riders, hit just 265 home runs. While that sounds like a lot to the rest of us, it ranks as just the 78th best team performance in Second City History.

In fact, the leagues total of 5504 home runs is the fewest in world history by a long shot, as the chart below reveals.

That's right, this season saw 21% fewer home runs than the average Second City season.

But, not every player was juicing. Which players seem to have experienced the most dramatic drop offs?

Let's start with the guys everyone expects. The chart to the right shows the 10 players that led the league in HR's this year. Two spent all or part of last season at AAA (Clarke and Pascual). Their minor league (or combined) numbers are shown here.

It appears that nobody misses the juice more than Mexico City's Jalal Rivera.

In fact, WCM investigative reporter Geraldo Rivera uncovered even more damning evidence than that stats. When Rivera was drafted out of Spotsylvania, VA, he weighed just 168 pounds. Since moving full-time to Mexico City, a place known for shady pharmaceutical practices, Rivera has added almost 20 pounds. Moreover, his hat size has increased an alleged 1/2 inch.

But perhaps nothing is more damaging than a first-hand account. You see, while Jalal and Geraldo have never met, they share several 2nd cousins. One such cousin, Yuri, has long been known to work out with cousin Jalal in the off-season. They often meet in Nogales, Mexico, a nearly lawless border town south of Tucson. While Jalal has often referred to both the great food and frequent visits from University of Arizona undergrads as benefits to training in Nogales, Yuni admitted that is was also a great place to buy cheap steroids.

Jalal Rivera
Mexico City
Age: 30
B/T: L/R
Born: Spotsylvania, VA
Position(s): 2B/LF
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Since learning of the accusations, Jalal, Yuni, and Mexico City owner dyuen have all refused comment. This news couldn't come at a worse time for the Bandejos who trail San Francisco in the World Series, 2 games to 1. Rivera is 4-12 with 1 HR in the series, but has he peed in a cup yet?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Dandy Dozen: Jerrod Lawrence

The second to last player WCM's initial Hall of Fame class is a blast from the past.

Jerrod Lawrence
Age: 38B/T: S/R
Born: Fairdale, KY
Position(s): RF
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

The Resume: Jerrod Lawrence played in the first seven seasons of 2nd City, making him the oldest member of the original Hall of Fame class. Lawrence would win the AL MVP in each of the world's first 3 seasons, making him the first, and one of only 3 players ever to win the MVP 3 times. In fact, only Lawrence and Banjo White won three consecutive MVPs.

Season 1, Lawrence's best, included a .372 batting average, 53 HR's, 198 RBIs, 172 runs scored and 43 stolen bases. Lawrence posted 30+ HR's in each of the league's first 4 seasons and be named an All-Star each year. He also won the first three AL RF Silver Slugger awards.

His career marks of a .322 BA, .405 OBP, .621 SLG, 869 RBI, and 778 Runs are still franchise (Chicago Bartmans) records. His 39 game hitting streak in season 1, remains the world record. No other player has ever exceeded 33 games. His .380 batting average in season 2 is the 5th best mark of all time.

The Rest of the Story:
To this day, Second City old-timers marvel at Lawrence's athleticism. While pre-season 1 records don't exist, there is little doubt that the whole of Lawrence's career would have challenged some of the biggest all-time marks. Perhaps the most amazing of his physical gifts was his speed. While he was never a great base stealer (129 SB, 55 CS), Lawrence had PURE SPEED.

In fact, while growing up in Fairdale, KY, which is now a part of Louisville, local coaches pressed him to take up track. Rick Pitino, then the coach at Kentucky, actually recruited the 6'5 Lawrence to play for the Wildcats. But it was legendary University of Tennessee track coach Chuck Rohe that recruited Lawrence the hardest. "He had as much pure speed as ANYONE I ever saw. The day he was supposed to come to Knoxville, I had Ben Johnson willing to race him for 60 meters. I think Jerrod stood a chance, despite a lack of coaching, but he never showed."

Lawrence skipped the visit to sign his first professional contract with the Detroit Diesels and he never would get that coaching.