Tag Archive: baseball stats


Comics artist and illustrator Mark Chiarello (Batman, Hellboy, Star Wars) and non-fiction writer (National Geographic, The History Channel), former Marvel Comics senior editor, colorist and writer, and consultant for Major League Baseball Nel Yomtov have teamed up to join the ultimate baseball debate: Who are the greatest 100 players in hardball history?  Who holds the number one spot?  Is it Babe Ruth?  Willie Mays?  Jackie Robinson?  Shoeless Joe Jackson?  Baseball 100: A Celebration of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time is a new book offered as part of a crowdfunding campaign that began yesterday.  And it is already halfway funded.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Joe Cox’s new book, The Immaculate Inning: Unassisted Triple Plays, 40/40 Seasons, and the Stories Behind Baseball’s Rarest Feats, is a fun new sampling of the biggest, rare feats in baseball, as well as some of the strangest and more obscure baseball stats.  If there was ever a game full of trivia, it’s baseball.  After 150 year of organized gameplay, it’s no wonder.  As referenced in The Immaculate Inning, in 2003, USA Today ran a study of what was the hardest thing to do in sports.  The answer–hitting a baseball.  So for those pros who have done it in astronomical numbers (and sometimes unusual ways), you’re really talking about 150 years of the best athletes around.  Two grand slams in a single game?  It’s a big deal–it’s happened 13 times, but how about two grand slams in a single inning?  That was the case with Cardinals third basement Fernando Tatis in a 1999 game against the Dodgers.  Cox’s book, available in a hardcover now here at Amazon, is being released in paperback next month in time for the new season (opening day is March 28!) available for pre-order now here.

A pitcher striking out 20 batters in a single game (done only six times), completing an unassisted triple play, two baseball versions of the horse racing Triple Crown–one at bat, one on the mound, and records for hitting streaks, RBIs, hitting a homer in your first major league at-bat, stealing 100 bases in a season, hitting .400, striking out 300 batters in a season, pitching 50 consecutive scoreless innings–these are the Guinness Book-level feats of baseball that many a player has dreamed about that fill the pages of The Immaculate Inning (the title is the name for a trio of consecutive strikeouts in a single inning with no balls or balls otherwise getting into play).

Other inclusions are more bizarre and the beasts of rules that don’t follow logic more than anything else.  Like the four-strike inning, which has happened 87 times, most notably by Cubs pitcher Orval Overall in the 1908 World Series (Angels pitcher Chuck Finlay did it three times before anyone else had done it once).  All of the stats in this book, in fact, are exactly the kinds of “freaky things” Finlay predicted one day to “end up in one of those trivia machines in some bar somewhere.”  Or in Joe Cox’s book.

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