Well, the year is almost over and so is the baseball season. As there are nine innings to a game and nine players to a side, it seemed reasonable to look back on the 2014 season in “nines”. So here’s nine reasons to remember in 2015 what happened in 2014.
1. Madison Bumgarner is one heck of a postseason pitcher. In World Series play he is 4-0 with an ERA of 0.25 in 36 innings with a save and a shutout. At 20 or more innings pitched, that’s number one. It’s also number one if you start with 25 innings, 30 innings, or 40 innings. To top that ERA you have to push the innings pitched total to over 50 innings (Sandy Koufax at 57 innings pitched).
2. Giants fans can take a breather in 2015. Since moving to San Francisco, the Giants have won six pennants. Five (1962, 2002, 2010, 2012, 2014) have been in even-numbered years. Only 1989 is an odd-numbered year.
3. Mike Trout finally won an MVP Award. It always looks strange to see a player win an MVP in a “down” year for them. Happened this year.
4. For the first time since Bob Gibson in 1968, a pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, won the National League MVP Award. How rare is it? The current NL award goes back to 1931 only Carl Hubbell (twice), Dizzy Dean, Bucky Walters, Jim Konstanty, and Don Newcombe won the award prior to the expansion era. Since expansion (1962 for the NL) only Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, and Kershaw have won. It’s somewhat more common in the American League. Add Newcombe to the expansion list and you have all of the NL pitchers who’ve won the MVP since the advent of the Cy Young Award.
5. Derek Jeter, the last of the “Core Four” retired.
6. It was year 69 of the Cubs rebuilding. The last time Chicago made it to the World Series was 1945. Harry Truman was President.
7. The Kansas City Royals won a pennant for the first time since 1985. Their rebuilding only took 29 years.
8. For my Dodgers, it’s up to 26 years.
9. The Hall of Fame class of 2014 included three managers, two pitchers, and a power hitter. It was the biggest class since the mass enrollment of Negro League personnel in 2006.
That’s my nine. I presume yours will be different. Have a great 2015 and say it with me “Go Dodgers.”