On April 14, 2009, then-Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed a bill into law declaring the second Saturday in May to be Negro League Baseball Day. So, in honor of the day, here are some stats on the Negro Leagues in Maryland:
Four Negro League teams played in Maryland: (1) Baltimore Lord Baltimores, National Colored Baseball League, 1887; (2) Baltimore Black Sox, 1922-1934 (independent league, 1916-22 and 1930-31; Eastern Colored League, 1923-28; American Negro League, 1929; East-West League, 1932; Negro National League, 1933-34); (3) Baltimore Stars (independent league, 1933); and (4) Baltimore Elite Giants (Negro National League, 1938-48; Negro American League, 1949-50). In addition, several semi-pro and sandlot teams played throughout the state, such as the Mitchellville Tigers and the Galesville Hot Sox.
At least 10 members of the Baltimore Black Sox were born in Maryland: Blainey Hall, Buddy Burbage, George Grayer, John Stanley, Malcolm Brown, Peter Johnson, Scrappy Brown, Stuart Jones, Tony Mahoney, and Wyman Smith.
The Black Sox and the Elite Giants each won two championships: 1929 and 1932 for the Black Sox and 1939 and 1949 for the Elite Giants.
Two of the most famous Negro League players in Baltimore were Satchel Paige and Leon Day. Paige, a right-handed pitcher, had an win-loss record of 100-50 in the Negro Leagues, and 28-31 in the Major Leagues. Day, also a RHP, had a 64-29 win-loss record of 64-29 in the Negro Leagues, with an ERA of 2.98.
As of May 1, who had hit the most home runs? Not Didi Gregorius, Mitch Haniger, or Mike Trout, all of whom had 10 home runs each. It was in fact Jeong Choi with 14 home runs. Jeong Choi is a third baseman with the SK Wyverns Baseball Club of the Korean League. In both 2016 and 2017, Choi lead the league in home runs, hitting 40 and 46, respectively. I can’t wait to see how many he hits this year.
In his seven years in the Major Leagues, Tony Solaita hit 50 home runs and amassed a career batting average of .255. Interestingly, in just four years in Japan, Solaita hit 155 home runs with a .268 batting average. In comparison, he hit 167 home runs with a batting average of .266 in nine years in the minors (all levels). Forty-nine of his minor league home runs came during the 1968 season, likely resulting in his brief 1968 call-up in September that year. Check out his career stats below, courtesy of Baseball Reference.
Yesterday I wondered how much the weather has really impacted attendance this season. Aside from postponing games, Mother Nature may be only partly be the cause of declines in attendance, which is about 10 percent less than last year. So, what has attendance been this year? ESPN.com reports the following attendance numbers:
A few weeks ago looked at the high schools and colleges attended by professional baseball players. But what are the odds of moving from high school to college to MLB? Fortunately, the NCAA provides those stats for us. Of the approximately 490,000 high school baseball players in the United States, about 7.1% end up playing in college, 2.1% go to Division I schools.
Of the 34,544 college baseball players in 2016, 7,679 were draft eligible, 1,206 were draft picks, and 695 were drafted by MLB. Thus, 9.1% of college baseball players ultimately ended up in professional baseball.
Stated another way, the odds of a high school baseball player making it to the Major Leagues is about 764 to 1.
Last week we looked at the stats for Major Leaguers who went to college. This week, we turn our attention to high school baseball. Baseball Reference has a state-by-state list of high schools with which you can find a high school and see who went there. You can also look at each school’s rankings and determine the school with the highest number of players or even Hall of Famers. For example, who attended North Pole High School in Alaska and went on to play professional baseball? (Hint: its not Santa Claus.) Christopher Aure went to NPHS and was drafted by the Pirates in 2008. He spent two seasons playing of the Gulf Coast League Pirates. LHP Aure had a 3-2 record with a 3.90 ERA in 2008 and went 0-0 in 3 games in 2009 with a 1.69 ERA.