Sunday, December 6, 2009

Art Shamsky, 1966 Cincinnati Reds

How fitting to bookend this installment of Fun With Baseball Stats with another Jewish baseball icon. Before Art Shamsky became famous for being a marginally-important member of the '69 Miracle Mets, he was a marginally-successful outfielder on the Cincinnati Reds. Certainly, if he were never traded to the Mets for Bob Johnson, Shamsky's main claim to fame might have been his status as the 'sixties version of Eddie Robinson. In '66, Shamsky outdid Robinson's penthouse-or-outhouse performance in '55, becoming the only player to hit 20 or more home runs while collecting 125 or fewer total bases. Really, Shamsky's output just looks as if Robinson's season had been allowed to continue for another month, as Shamsky spanked 21 home runs and 47 ribbies in 271 at-bats, collecting just 122 total bases on 5 doubles and 0 triples. I'm guessing that, if you told Reds Manager Don Heffner in '66 that Shamsky would become an icon three years later on the World Champion Mets, he would have replied "There's no way! I know talent and he's a bum. By the way, did you see how I scored Milt Pappas for Frank Robinson? There's no way I'll come to regret that."

20+ home runs, 125- total bases

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