A huge Tigers feast
In the first few days of the season, there have been wins -- and only wins -- for the once lowly Tigers.
But that's the beauty of baseball: Every April, the whole sport seems to turn itself upside-down. And here's all the proof you need, in this first-week-of-the-season edition of the Useless Information Department:
Useless Tigers information
Happy useless New Year department
Americans in U.S.: Hank Aaron, 750 (hit five in Canada)
The three men in history with two March homers, according to the Sultan:
Posada (two-HR game on March 31, 2004)
He was the first man to hit a home run on the first pitch of his team's season since Dwight Evans did it in 1986.
He was the first man to hit a leadoff Opening-Day homer in his big-league debut since Emmet Mueller did it for the 1938 Phillies.
And he became the seventh active player who has led off the first game of the season with a home run. The others, according to the Sultan:
1988: Julio Franco (for Cleveland vs. Texas)
Thanks to technical Alex Gonzalez difficulties, the only other time two guys with the same name have ever homered in the same inning (or game), according to the Sultan, was Sept. 14, 1990, when Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr. homered back-to-back for the Mariners. So it's never been done (obviously) by opponents. (More on this spectacular and historic event in the next edition of Wild Pitches.)
Billy Conigliaro, Joe Lahoudm George Scott: Red Sox and Brewers
County Stadium, Milwaukee: Bill Bruton, April 14, 1953, 10th inning
More useless info
McKeon's 26 years, 363 days between Opening-Day wins set an all-time record, according to Elias. The top three:
26 years, 363 days: Jack McKeon (April 9, 1977-April 6, 2004)
17 years, 362 days: Billy Herman (April 15, 1947-April 12, 1965)
17 years, 7 days: Burt Shotton (April 12, 1932-April 19, 1949)
According to Elias, he joins Wilkin Ruan (2002 Dodgers), Greg North (1996 White Sox) and Chad Kreuter (1988 Rangers) as the only players in the last 16 years to get their first two hits in the same inning. But he's only the fourth guy in history (and first ever in the NL) to do that in his major-league debut. That list:
Billy Martin, Yankees: April 18, 1950
Russ Morman, White Sox: Aug. 3, 1986
Chad Kreuter, Rangers: Sept. 14, 1988
Adam LaRoche, Braves: April 7, 2004
Both Elias and loyal reader Fred Baum report that only one MVP in history has ever played the majority of his games the following year at a different position than in his MVP year. That was the Cubs' Phil Cavaretta, who was primarily a first baseman in 1945 but played more games in the outfield (86) the next year than he did at first (51).
But remember, A-Rod hasn't joined him on that list yet. He has to avoid playing half a season at shortstop to do that. He does earn a place in Opening-Day trivia history, though -- because Cavaretta was still at first in the 1946 opener, then began playing the outfield because of injuries to Andy Pafko and Bill Nicholson.
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