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  • Besides Babe Ruth and Shohei Ohtani...

    With the grand success of Shohei Ohtani it got me thinking. In the last 120+ years there must have been other players who could have been successful two-way players. The first player who comes to mind is Dave Winfield who pitched and played the field at the University of Minnesota. In the 1973 College World Series Winfield pitched 17.1 innings, struck out 29, and pitched a complete game shutout. This is one of my favorite baseball photos.


    Winfield_Dave_04.0.jpg
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 09-22-2022, 01:23 PM.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  • #2
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    With the grand success of Shohei Ohtani it got me thinking. In the last 120+ years there must have been other players who could have been successful two-way players. The first player who comes to mind is Dave Winfield who pitched and played the field at the University of Minnesota. In the 1973 College World Series Winfield pitched 17.1 innings, struck out 29, and pitched a complete game shutout. This is none of my favorite baseball photos.
    \

    Winfield_Dave_04.0.jpg
    Possible, but many hitters/pitchers who stand out in college, MLB a whole new show
    Way easier in college for some great athletes to separate from the rest......................thats in college.
    ,

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    • #3
      Worth a mention, "Smoky" Joe Wood, pitched for Red Sox, finished with Cleveland, played some outfield late career, 417 games, 43 assists.

      MLB batting career 1952 at bats-----.283/.357/.411
      Pitching 11 seasons, 117-57.
      Walter Johnson...........No man alive can throw harder than Smoky Joe Wood.
      Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 09-22-2022, 10:27 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
        With the grand success of Shohei Ohtani it got me thinking. In the last 120+ years there must have been other players who could have been successful two-way players. The first player who comes to mind is Dave Winfield who pitched and played the field at the University of Minnesota. In the 1973 College World Series Winfield pitched 17.1 innings, struck out 29, and pitched a complete game shutout. This is none of my favorite baseball photos.
        \

        Winfield_Dave_04.0.jpg
        That bad, eh?




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        • #5
          Rocky Colavito was a slugger who was also a skilled pitcher, though he was not called on to do that very often

          image.png

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          • #6
            Don Larsen, Mickey Mantle had a great knuckle ball, Jimmie Foxx......

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            • #7
              I see some names here, they dabbled in pitching, Smoky Joe Wood was legit.
              His numbers show he could pitch and hit.

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              • #8
                Rick Ankiel was legit, dont know if at the same time.
                19th century guys abound w/ Monte Ward and Bob Caruthers. For me tho, its Guy Hecker, seated, 2nd from right
                1882_Louisville_Eclipse.jpg
                [Tony] Mullane moved on to St. Louis in 1883 and Hecker became Louisville’s top pitcher. He posted a 28-23 record while pitching 469 innings. As a hitter he continued to hit in the .270s. In 1884 he exploded as a pitcher and began to develop as a major-league hitter. He raised his batting average to .297 and slugged at a .430 clip. But in the pitcher’s box Hecker was the dominant pitcher in the American Association. He set the American Association single-season records for wins (52), innings pitched (670 2/3 in 1884), and complete games (72). He completed the pitcher’s triple crown by leading the Association in ERA (1.80), and strikeouts (385). Only two other pitchers in major league history have won as many as 50 games in a season. A year after Hecker’s 50-win season, John Clarkson won 53. But Hecker’s real misfortune was that the all-time single-season wins record was set the same season Hecker won 52, as Charley Radbourn won 59 for Providence in the National League. Hecker’s 52-20 record in 1884 included a game against Washington in June in which he struck out the first seven batters he faced, and a one-hitter against St. Louis in August.

                But records were not something players or fans thought much about in the 1800s, and Hecker opened the 1885 campaign ready to continue his mastery of the American Association. However, after a game on April 21 he complained of a sore arm. He tried to pitch though the arm trouble and had flashes of his old brilliance. There were various conjectures as to the cause of his troubles, including the enforcement of the rule requiring a pitcher to keep his delivery below his shoulder level. But no medical cause was ever announced, and Hecker compiled a 30-23 record in 480 innings pitched. His decline concerned the Louisville management enough that they purchased the contract of a young lefty from Chattanooga, Tom (Toad) Ramsey, late in the season. Hecker’s decline as a pitcher was matched in the batter’s box as his average dropped to .273 and his slugging average dropped nearly 100 points to .337.

                Over the winter Hecker did two things. He allowed his arm to rest, and he opened the Hecker Supply Company in Louisville. During the 1885 season he had indicated his dissatisfaction with his salary, and it had been rumored that he was seeking his release from Louisville. It is probable that, instead of a higher salary, someone in the Louisville management agreed to help finance Hecker’s sporting goods company to keep him in Louisville. By January he was on the road hawking sporting goods across the South. The combination of resting his arm and starting a new business allowed him to miss much of the team’s preseason training routine. He never liked playing in cold weather and blamed the 1885 preseason for some of his arm troubles.

                The 1886 season started well for Hecker as he was named team captain and won his Opening Day start with a three-hitter against Cincinnati. But within a week of that win he was diagnosed with an inflamed nerve in his right arm. Some on the Louisville team thought his pitching days were over. Through May he pitched about once a week and had compiled a 3-4 record. Most of the pitching load fell to Ramsey, who was 38-27 in 588 2/3 innings for the season. As Ramsey’s status with the team grew, he became more at odds with Hecker. Ramsey said that Hecker was jealous of Ramsey’s success and it would be good for the team if Hecker were released.2

                An anti-Hecker clique grew, and Guy was soon replaced as team captain. But the dissension on the club continued. Hecker’s reputation as a gentleman and Ramsey’s as a hard drinker got prominent play in the local press. In the midst of this turmoil, Hecker found himself off to the best hitting season of his career. Hitting .417 in June, he raised his season’s average to .341.

                But Hecker’s immediate problem was his arm. He tried corn plasters and massages. He tried rest and a lighter pitching load. In July he finally found a treatment that helped. Twice daily he would soak his arm in “electric-baths” at the Courier-Journal press room. He was so convinced of the benefits of this early “electronic-stimulation” treatment that he carried a galvanic battery on road trips. Hecker was back and he began pitching as well as he hit. Starting in July he won 11 straight games en route to a 26-23 pitching record.

                During this period of rejuvenation, Hecker had the greatest hitting day any pitcher has ever experienced in the majors. In the second game of an August 15 doubleheader with Baltimore Hecker won the game as the starting pitcher while hitting three home runs and three singles with seven runs scored. His 15 total bases was a major-league record at the time, as was his three-homer game as a pitcher (matched by Jim Tobin in 1942). His seven runs scored remain the major-league single-game record by any player.

                As his contribution in the pitcher’s box resumed, his batting was the best of his career. In July he hit .379. He upped that to .500 in August and found himself on top of the batting leaders list with a .378 average starting September. With the temperatures turning cooler Hecker’s average began to drop, and he closed the season with a .342 average. It took several weeks for the American Association office to announce the final averages and crown the season’s batting champ. When they did in November, standing atop the league was New York’s Dave Orr with a .346 average followed by Hecker and Caruthers at .342 and Browning and Tip O’Neill of St. Louis at .339. But many decades later, as statisticians researched and corrected baseball records for the publication of the Baseball Encyclopedia, the revised averages put Hecker’s .342 at the top of the list followed by Browning (.340), Orr (.338), Caruthers (.334), and O’Neill (.328). So Guy Hecker did not win the American Association batting title in 1886 but, as it turns out, he did post the highest batting average. Subsequent research has found that Hecker’s league-leading average in 1886 was actually .341. In 1886 Guy Hecker appeared in 49 games with 378 plate appearances. Modern readers may question Hecker’s eligibility for a batting championship but during the 19th century no league had any rules for minimum games, plate appearances, or at-bats for eligibility for the batting title.
                Quotes from Sabr

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tribute View Post
                  Rocky Colavito was a slugger who was also a skilled pitcher, though he was not called on to do that very often

                  image.png
                  Where did you see/hear that, Colavito was a skilled pitcher???

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Calabasas View Post
                    Rick Ankiel was legit, dont know if at the same time.
                    19th century guys abound w/ Monte Ward and Bob Caruthers. For me tho, its Guy Hecker, seated, 2nd from right
                    1882_Louisville_Eclipse.jpg
                    Quotes from Sabr
                    Interesting but I don't put too much into 1880s baseball, not only different rules, rules changing from one year to the next.

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                    • #11
                      Still waiting, the only name here to be considered, hitter/pitcher, Smoky Joe Wood.
                      Any have any other legit hitter/pitcher with respectable numbers.

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                      • #12
                        Tim Hudson was like Shohei Ohtani in college. Always something for the broadcasters to talk about mid-game.

                        In 1994, his freshman year at CVCC, he earned First-team All American honors while leading his team to the AJCCC Division II championship. He also led the CVCC team in batting average (.385), home runs (9), RBI (42), wins (10–2), strikeouts (76), and was second on the team with a 2.76 ERA. As a sophomore, he was named Second-team All American and set a school and conference record with 117 strikeouts which also led the nation. As a hitter, Hudson batted .345 with 5 home runs, and 29 RBI. His sophomore season ERA of 1.95 was the team and conference best.

                        Hudson played two seasons as a collegiate player at Auburn University where he is still at or near the top of many school records. In 1997, he played all 65 games for the Tigers while both pitching and playing outfield. That season, he hit .396 with 18 home runs and 95 RBI. As a pitcher, he finished 15–2 with a 2.97 ERA to earn SEC Player of the Year and consensus All-American honors. Tim was the first player to be named First Team All-SEC at two positions (P,OF) in the same year. He was drafted by Oakland in the 6th round of the 1997 amateur draft.
                        Chop! Chop! Chop!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
                          Still waiting, the only name here to be considered, hitter/pitcher, Smoky Joe Wood.
                          Any have any other legit hitter/pitcher with respectable numbers.
                          Aside from Rick Ankiel, who had one productive season at both, there are four NeLeaguers. Martin DiHigo is the best known. But Bullet Joe Rogan, Double Duty Radcliffe and Leon Day were all pitcher-hitters too.
                          I always wonder if Leon day got the news of his HoF induction before he passed.

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                          • #14
                            Jacob deGrom was a hard hitting short stop converted to pitching. Last season, he slashed .364/.364/.758 with a 109 OPS+ as a hitter, so he is a great example.

                            Outside of him, there were a good number in the NeL. Martin DiHigo, Ted Radcliff, Bullet Joe Rogan just to name a few.

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                            • #15
                              Can’t imagine deGrom playing a full nine inning game. Is there evidence he’s ever done it, pitching or otherwise?
                              "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

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