Friday, April 3, 2020

1975 Record Breakers

I don't know about you, but I'm struggling right now. It isn't so much the working from home. I did that for years on a previous job.  I think it is the non-stop grim news. I know logically that things are going to get worse before they get better. But, there is something about the situation that makes it hard to not live in the moment.

Though I hate the term, I am trying to exercise some level of self-care. I've stopped drinking alcohol as it degrades the quality of my sleep and, consequently, I tend to be distracted and more susceptible to negativity the next day.  I'm still not eating as healthy as I should, but I am trying.  The convenience store/gas station/bait shop across the street added a kitchen, so it is hard to not get junk for lunch a couple days a week. Though, to be fair, their Friday fried catfish special lunch is quite excellent.

Since I've cut out hobby spending, I am going to try to spend more time appreciating what is already in my collection. The other day, I just pulled a random binder off my shelf.  It was 1976 Topps and the first 6 cards of the set memorialized the record breakers from the previous season. It made me wonder how many of these records still stand. Someone else may have done this, but I am not going to look. I need something to do and this is as good as anything.

Hank Aaron is still the all-time career RBI leader, though he tacked another 35 on to the total in 1976, his final season.  I actually am surprised by this. I would have though Barry Bonds would have passed him, but he is actually 301 behind Hammerin' Hank. Speaking of the Bonds family...

It is hard to find statistics on lead off home runs. I am sure there is a way to figure it out in Baseball Reference, but I haven't figured it out.  All I can determine is that the all time leadoff homer hitter is Rickey Henderson with 81, followed by Alfonso Soriano with 54 and Craig Biggio with 53. Ian Kinsler is 4th with 48.  As near as I can tell, Bonds ended his career with 34.  Whether there is anyone between him and Kinsler is unknown to me.

Bobby Bonds is the all-time 30-30 Club co-champion, retiring with 5 such seasons. Who also has five 30-30 seasons? His son Barry Bonds. Keeping it in the family!

Mickey Lolich, currently 20th on the all-time strikeout leaders list, is now only 4th in that category amongst lefthanders.  He has been surpassed by Randy Johnson (4875), Steve Carlton (4136), and the recently retired CC Sabathia (3093.)

Lopes no long holds this record.  Vince Coleman had 50 in the 1988 and 1989 seasons, Ichiro had 45 between 2006 and 2007, Tim Raines swiped 40 in a row successfully over a three season span (1993-1995), and Jimmy Rollins had 39 successful steals in a row between 2007 and 2008.

Tom Terrific still holds this record.  He even managed to extend it to 9 seasons and came 4 strikeouts short of a tenth. Even Nolan Ryan, who had fifteen 200+ K seasons in his career, never managed to string together more than 5 in a row, though he did it twice including once between his age 40 and 44 seasons.

Stennett still holds this record, though he really is tied for it with Wilbert Robinson who did it on June 10, 1892.

What I am listening to: Dig a Hole by Marcel Botempi


  1. Good point. I bet I have a lot of stuff that would be entertaining to look through rather than spending money on new stuff. How often do we stop and read the backs of these cards? Heck I even have an Animated Batman set that would be cool to spend the afternoon looking through.

  2. I did a post on the '76 Record Breakers as I consider it the greatest Record Breaker set of all-time. But I don't think I figured out which records were still standings.

    I've been eating insanely healthy during this whole quarantine business, mostly because my body won't tolerate junk when I can't move out and about and work out outdoors. So, I really want junk, but I'll suffer for it.

  3. Awesome subset and some great records you don’t often hear about. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That Friday fried catfish sounds amazing. I haven't been eating that healthy either... but I did grab some bagged salad and some fruit yesterday on my bi-weekly run to the grocery store.

    As for the cards... I love the design. The Lopes is probably my favorite photo... but the Lolich record was the most interesting. Looks like I need to see if I own his autograph. If not... I'll need to add it to my left-handed athletes collection.

    1. Three pieces of fish, hush puppies, French fries, barracho beans, and cole slaw for $8.99

    2. Oh man. That's a great deal. I would have been all over that too.