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Unloved on both sides of The Pond?
2007-05-25 17:33
by Bob Timmermann

Gerard Baker, the US Editor for the Times of London, is not very interested in Barry Bonds's pursuit of Henry Aaron's alltime home run record. But Baker does have a list of records that he thinks American baseball fans are proud of:

Ichiro Suzuki's single season hit record (um, OK).

Cal Ripken's consecutive games played streak.

Joe DiMaggio's consecutive game hitting streak.

Under the description of DiMaggio's hitting streak info is this bit:

Wartime radio broadcasts were interrupted to report hits and the song Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio reached No 1 as the United States found the hero it craved in troubled times.

There is the problem that the U.S. wasn't at war during DiMaggio's hitting streak, so unless everyone was really worried about Edward R. Murrow and H.V. Kaltenborn's broadcasts being interrupted to find out if DiMaggio got a hit, then Baker should have consulted a calendar.

Baker also mentions a stat that very few people ever talk about:

No sport reveres its data more than baseball. The US’s national pastime lends itself to the accumulation of vast quantities of statistical facts and records. Some of these are magnificently obscure in their origination – “on-base percentage with runners in scoring positions” springs to mind.


Barry Bonds so far this year has an OBP of .732 with runners in scoring position thanks to 23 walks. But Jon Knott of the Orioles has come up to bat with runners in scoring position three times and has a walk, a single, and a three-run homer! Ben Broussard is 3 for 4 with 5 RBI.

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