Thursday, February 23, 2006
Errata: Non-Batting BattersPosted by Steve Treder
My article on Non-Batting Batters was posted on Baseball Think Factory for review and comment. Among the many interesting and informative comments it drew was one from a poster with the handle of Gerry, who gently pointed out that the article was in error in identifying the Giants' Freddie Maguire in 1923 as the very first non-batting batter. In fact, the non-batting pioneer appeared nine years earlier:
Year Player Team B Age G by POS PA/G G PA R H XBH RBI SB CS BB SO BA OPS+ 1914 Sandy Piez NY N R 25 OF5 0.22 37 8 9 3 1 3 4 ? 0 1 .375 199Well, at least I got the team correct ... it was still John McGraw's New York Giants. McGraw was indeed pushing the envelope with both pinch-hitting specialists and non-batting batters.
What's especially interesting about this fellow isn't just his extremely early appearance, but also the extreme manner in which he was deployed: Sandy Piez was used in a mode remarkably close to that of the pure pinch-running specialists of Charlie Finley's A's. Mr. Piez was just six decades ahead of his time.
Thanks so much to Gerry for bringing this to my attention!
Steve Treder can often be found spending way too much time talking baseball at Baseball Primer. He welcomes your questions and comments via e-mail.