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Walking before midnight
2008-08-01 07:37
by Bob Timmermann

Back on this day in 1941, Lefty Gomez of the Yankees set a major league record by tossing a complete game shutout while walking 11. The Yankees beat the St. Louis Browns on a Ladies Day at Yankee Stadium by a 9-0 score.

The Browns also had give hits against Gomez and reached on a Phil Rizzuto error. But two double plays and an epic of day of not hitting with runners on base doomed the Browns. St. Louis left 15 runners on base in the game.

Joe DiMaggio's second long hitting streak of 1941 reached 15 games on this day. DiMaggio would get a single in the next game and his streak ended up being 72 out of 73 games.

Gomez was not exactly a control pitcher and he topped triple digits in walks in four seasons and was at 99 in another year.

The Ladies Day crowd drew a whopping 8730 fans to Yankee Stadium, 2872 identified in the box score as actual ladies.

2008-08-01 07:59:32
1.   fanerman
2008-08-01 08:28:44
2.   Travis08
The New York Times featured this letter to the editor that same day:

"... [B]atting average gives only the player's chances of hitting safely whenever he is at bat. While hits are important, they do not win ball games. The pay-off is still on runs. In consequence, then, a player's batting ability should be rated according to his ability to produce runs and not hits...."

The letter writer goes on to argue that the Times should publish the league leaders sorted by (Runs + RBI - HR)/At Bats.

2008-08-01 08:33:50
3.   Travis08
2 The writer actually meant (R+RBI-HR)/Plate Appearances, which makes more sense.
2008-08-01 10:03:31
4.   grandcosmo
The only complete game with at least 11 walks since 1957 that I could find is this game:

The circumstances of this game seem as far away as a game played in 1911 when you see that the starting pitcher was still in there in the bottom of the 13th and allowed to walk in the winning run.

A basic pitch count estimator estimates Rudy May's pitches thrown to be 220 in that game.

2008-08-01 10:09:29
5.   Bob Timmermann
J.R. Richard walked 10 in a 10-inning shutout in 1976

Jim Maloney walked 10 in a 10-inning no-hitter

Most recently, A.J. Burnett walked 9 in his 2001 no-hitter.

2008-08-01 10:24:25
6.   grandcosmo
Bud Harrelson going 2 for 2 with 3 BBs against Richard in that game is one of life's great mysteries.
2008-08-01 11:12:24
7.   Linkmeister
The box score actually reported attendance by gender? Wow.
2008-08-01 11:31:14
8.   Bob Timmermann
That's because the women didn't have to pay to get in. It was quite common back in the day when there were large numbers of free admissions (such as for kids or soldiers in uniform) to do that.
2008-08-01 15:00:39
9.   DXMachina
8 - The Yanks and Mets were still doing Ladies Day promotions well into the sixties.

I have always liked a story Gomez told about Dimaggio, about how one time early in his career, Joe was playing a very shallow center behind Gomez, and Gomez tried to get him to move back a bit. Joe refused, saying that he wanted to make people forget Tris Speaker someday. Lefty replied that if Joe kept playing that shallow, people were more likely to forget Lefty Gomez.

2008-08-01 23:26:29
10.   Vishal
2 but why would you subtract homers?
2008-08-02 08:34:04
11.   Travis08
10 Because the author was under the impression that only homers are double-counted.

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