Saturday, August 18, 2012

Red Sox 1-36: 12 is for…

12 consecutive games with an RBI by Ted Williams in 1942

I’m not a fan of streaks. I couldn’t care less about them. Well, that’s not entirely true. I think they’re cool from a statistical anomaly sort of thing. But, they’re not a sign of great athletic achievement. Nothing bugs me more than to see a hitting streak listed as the greatest feat of all time. It’s not an accomplishment. It’s a fluke of chance.

Streaks do have some merit as an example or description of a greater accomplishment. For instance, in 1942 Ted Williams played in 150 games, and drove in 137 runs. So, if you wanted to say, “Ted had so many RBI that year, he even had one in 12 straight games.” That would be fine. What you can’t say is, “Ted had a great RBI year, because he got one in 12 straight games.”

But, let’s look at this streak. It’s pretty amazing, really. I don’t know the breakdown of the RBI. Were they all home runs? RBI groundouts? Suicide squeezes? Assuming they weren’t all home runs, that’s quite a streak. In 12 straight games, Ted came up to the plate with an RBI chance. That seems like a lot, right there. Naturally, Ted took advantage of those opportunities. To drive in 137 runs, I’m guessing he took advantage of a lot of opportunities that year.

It’s a streak that nobody on the Red Sox has matched since. That’s actually a little surprising. When you consider the number of runs the teams of the recent past have scored, you’d think there’d be a chance. Manny got to ten games once, but that’s as close as anyone’s gotten. Cool.

12 is for twelve consecutive games with an RBI by Ted Williams in 1942

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