Meet the German God of Walks

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: “The Walking Man”
Eddie Yost had a very good eye. Over 18 seasons, Yost would take four balls earning a free trip to first base 1,614 times. He led the American League in bases on balls six times. When he retired at the end of the 1962 season, Yost would be fourth all-time in walks; today he’s eleventh. His propensity for earning the free pass would also give him his nickname, “The Walking Man.”
Unfortunately for Yost, getting on base did not lead often to scoring since he played a majority of his career with the Washington Senators (“First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League”). Joining the team as an eighteen-year old rookie in 1944, Yost would play with the organization for 14 seasons, finishing with a winning record only twice (1945 and 1952) and finishing above fifth place in the eight-team league only once (also in ‘45).
After the 1958 season, the popular Yost was traded to the Detroit Tigers spending two seasons in Michigan before being dealt to the expansion Los Angeles Angels. Eddie would make history as the first batter in the history of the Angels franchise, leading off on the road against the Baltimore Orioles on April 11, 1961. (Yost would go 0-4, with a walk - of course.)
Following his playing career, Yost would become a coach for the new Washington Senators franchise*, the Mets (including as a member of the 1969 World Series champions), and the Red Sox. The one-time All-Star (1952) would pass away on October 16, 2012 - three days after his 86th birthday.
*The first Senators franchise, where Yost starred, moved to Minnesota before 1961 to become the Twins. The next Senators team would play until 1971 in D.C. then move to Arlington, Texas and renaming themselves the Rangers.
Sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, baseball-reference.com, retrosheet.org
(Image of Yost’s 1955 Topps card is copyright of Topps, Inc. and courtesy of baseball simulator.com)
Here’s a link to another great piece on Yost, via The Hall of Very Good.

Meet the German God of Walks

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: “The Walking Man”

Eddie Yost had a very good eye. Over 18 seasons, Yost would take four balls earning a free trip to first base 1,614 times. He led the American League in bases on balls six times. When he retired at the end of the 1962 season, Yost would be fourth all-time in walks; today he’s eleventh. His propensity for earning the free pass would also give him his nickname, “The Walking Man.”

Unfortunately for Yost, getting on base did not lead often to scoring since he played a majority of his career with the Washington Senators (“First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League”). Joining the team as an eighteen-year old rookie in 1944, Yost would play with the organization for 14 seasons, finishing with a winning record only twice (1945 and 1952) and finishing above fifth place in the eight-team league only once (also in ‘45).

After the 1958 season, the popular Yost was traded to the Detroit Tigers spending two seasons in Michigan before being dealt to the expansion Los Angeles Angels. Eddie would make history as the first batter in the history of the Angels franchise, leading off on the road against the Baltimore Orioles on April 11, 1961. (Yost would go 0-4, with a walk - of course.)

Following his playing career, Yost would become a coach for the new Washington Senators franchise*, the Mets (including as a member of the 1969 World Series champions), and the Red Sox. The one-time All-Star (1952) would pass away on October 16, 2012 - three days after his 86th birthday.

*The first Senators franchise, where Yost starred, moved to Minnesota before 1961 to become the Twins. The next Senators team would play until 1971 in D.C. then move to Arlington, Texas and renaming themselves the Rangers.

Sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, baseball-reference.com, retrosheet.org

(Image of Yost’s 1955 Topps card is copyright of Topps, Inc. and courtesy of baseball simulator.com)

Here’s a link to another great piece on Yost, via The Hall of Very Good.

Obit of the Day: On the Radar
It’s always fun to find the scouts at Spring Training. They’re the ones with a stopwatch in one hand and a radar gun in the other. Throw in some gut instinct - or a hefty dose of sabrmetrics - and you have someone armed and ready to find top pitching talent.
The radar gun wasn’t part of baseball scouting until Hal Keller, who worked for both incarnations of the Washington Senators as well as the Texas Rangers. Keller, who got the idea from Michigan State baseball coach Danny Litwhiler, realized that an accurate measurement of pitch speed would make the lives of scouts much easier. Before Keller, determining pitch speed involved a lot of math. Dividing the distance from the mound to home plate - 60’ 6” - by the time the pitch took to arrive in the catcher’s mitt would get you an approximate speed. (For those with an affinity for physics and formulas - v=d/t.) With the radar gun you simply write down the numbers you see.
Keller’s work as a scout earned him a reputation that led him to the general manager’s office of the Seattle Mariners for the 1984 and 1985 seasons. During his time the Mariners would win 148 games versus 176 losses for an unimpressive .457 winning percentage but he also helped sign some of the team’s earliest stars including Alvin Davis, Harold Reynolds, and Mark Langston.
Keller who received the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in scouting from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation in 2010 was also the brother of Yankee outfielder and five-time All Star Charlie “King Kong” Keller. Hal Keller died at the age of 84.
Additional source: seattletimes.com
An version of this post is also found at www.obitoftheday.com.
(Image is copyright of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images and courtesy of latino.foxsports.com. The photo was cropped.)

Obit of the Day: On the Radar

It’s always fun to find the scouts at Spring Training. They’re the ones with a stopwatch in one hand and a radar gun in the other. Throw in some gut instinct - or a hefty dose of sabrmetrics - and you have someone armed and ready to find top pitching talent.

The radar gun wasn’t part of baseball scouting until Hal Keller, who worked for both incarnations of the Washington Senators as well as the Texas Rangers. Keller, who got the idea from Michigan State baseball coach Danny Litwhiler, realized that an accurate measurement of pitch speed would make the lives of scouts much easier. Before Keller, determining pitch speed involved a lot of math. Dividing the distance from the mound to home plate - 60’ 6” - by the time the pitch took to arrive in the catcher’s mitt would get you an approximate speed. (For those with an affinity for physics and formulas - v=d/t.) With the radar gun you simply write down the numbers you see.

Keller’s work as a scout earned him a reputation that led him to the general manager’s office of the Seattle Mariners for the 1984 and 1985 seasons. During his time the Mariners would win 148 games versus 176 losses for an unimpressive .457 winning percentage but he also helped sign some of the team’s earliest stars including Alvin Davis, Harold Reynolds, and Mark Langston.

Keller who received the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in scouting from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation in 2010 was also the brother of Yankee outfielder and five-time All Star Charlie “King Kong” Keller. Hal Keller died at the age of 84.

Additional source: seattletimes.com

An version of this post is also found at www.obitoftheday.com.

(Image is copyright of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images and courtesy of latino.foxsports.com. The photo was cropped.)

(Source: suntimes.com)

On May 10, 2012, both the Cleveland Indians and Washington Nationals are in first place in their respective divisions.
In honor of that moment, here’s Walter Johnson, pitching hero of the Washington Senators from 1907-1927, as manager of the Cleveland Indians, 1934.
You can find his jaw-dropping pitching stats here and his above average (.550 career winning %) managerial stats here.
(Image of Johnson on a 1934 Butterfinger card is from Ebay. The item auction has ended, sorry.)

On May 10, 2012, both the Cleveland Indians and Washington Nationals are in first place in their respective divisions.

In honor of that moment, here’s Walter Johnson, pitching hero of the Washington Senators from 1907-1927, as manager of the Cleveland Indians, 1934.

You can find his jaw-dropping pitching stats here and his above average (.550 career winning %) managerial stats here.

(Image of Johnson on a 1934 Butterfinger card is from Ebay. The item auction has ended, sorry.)