Doctor S chickendantz? Seriously? UPDATED

The update on Dirk Hayhurst’s surgery appears positive — fraying labrum, repaired, out most of the season but possibly not all of it. All in all, probably couldn’t have been better.

Now I’m not criticizing anybody’s name (I have never completely mastered pronouncing mine, although I have not misspelled it since about 1963), but the surgeon was Dr. Mark Schickendantz? I mean, how could you not go into orthopedic surgery at least with a weak smile on your face contemplating the fact that your surgeon’s last name includes the words “chicken dantz”?

The fella who took out my appendix two and a half years ago was named Kimmelstiel, complete with the “steel” pronounciation. A guy allowed to use scalpels, named Kimmelstiel. Heckuva surgeon, by the way.

Dr. Schickendantz. 

UPDATE: The author-pitcher quickly regained typing ability (one-handed) and reports himself feeling pretty good, all things considered, but with control of the remote ceded to the Mrs., he says he did briefly consider trying to get a hold of the anesthesiologist for a booster.

FROM A RESEARCHER’S NOTEBOOK: Just stumbled across this in the Fall 2009 edition of   The Society for American Research Journal: a law student at the University of North Carolina named Trent McCotter busted his research hump to analyze the official scoresheets from all of Ty Cobb’s games, to generate his splits. It is startling to consider that Cobb, in 2,109 games in which he faced righthanded starters, batted .375 lifetime (.347 versus lefties). Perhaps more impressive, Cobb’s numbers in games started by the pitching legends he faced:

Cobb Versus:           Games              Average

Walter Johnson            92                    .380

Rube Waddell               21                    .354

Cy Young                     25                    .354

Babe  Ruth                    21                    .338

Eddie  Plank                 54                    .333

Remember, Cobb hit .367 lifetime. He did better than that against Johnson, whom he always claimed he could hit because he knew Johnson wouldn’t pitch him inside because he was mortified at the thought of hitting batters in the pre-helmet days – and killing one of them. He actually managed a .454 on base percentage against The Big Train.

The pitchers McCotter’s research shows were most successful (and again it’s rendered slightly imprecise because the scoresheets don’t pinpoint when relievers might have faced him) were Addie Joss (.264), Red Faber (.277), Waite Hoyt (.299), and, remarkably, Red Ruffing (.229, albeit in ten games). Ruffing became an underrated Hall of Famer with the Yankees. But when Cobb faced him in the first four years of Ruffing’s career (and the last five years of Cobb’s), Ruffing was one of the majors’ worst for the then-dead end Red Sox. His career record on the day of Cobb’s retirement was 30 wins… and 71 losses!



    @brendanr – too funny!! Hi Keith! Schickendantz? Really? That is amazing… and rather funny as well. My real name is slightly unusual (not really funny, just unusual) but if you Google it, you get the Unabomber. Or at least you used to. As odd as my name is, there was a woman who worked on that case who had the same name, with the same odd spelling. Love the historical bits – sounds like Ty Cobb was an amazing hitter, and perhaps he psyched himself up even more if the pitcher was known to be good – or maybe he just did a lot of homework on them. Fascinating, either way. Two last notes…. first of all, would you please update us someday on how your father is doing? It would be greatly appreciated. 🙂 Last, but definitely not least, I love the new picture! Best one yet, to my mind. Have a great Superbowl Sunday! Thanks!


    So is it your first name that gives you trouble, or your last?

    Sorry, sorry–just kidding, really. Couldn’t resist that low-hanging fruit.

    Not as clever as yours, brendanr: hats off.


    I read the Ty Cobb piece too (in the latest issue of SABR’s Baseball Research Journal). Mr. McCotter broke down Cobb’s career hitting stats by American League ballpark, but conspicuously left Washington’s Griffith Stadium off the list…

    Am glad to hear your father’s okay!

  4. 1948braves

    It has been such a busy winter for me work wise, especially this past month – so much so that I had to put baseball on the back burner for a bit. (I was finally able to see your Special Comment from last night a few minutes ago).

    I’m just now catching up on your baseball articles here and it is really fascinatinig sitting here on a late snowy winter evening, reading them all. You have put a great deal of work into this blog and I wish all baseball fans would stop here for a while and enjoy all the stories you share with us.

    Jose Santiago. I don’t think I have heard his name mentioned in over 40 years. Doesn’t seem possible it’s been that long. I remember him like it was yesterday. I am at that time of year where I’ll be shopping for a few new baseball books to read between Spring Training and Opening Day. You have mentioned quite a few books here in the past year which I intend to purchase. For me there’s nothing quite like going back in time and revisiting these baseball players from generations ago.

    I was given a beautiful book to read a few months ago about the Baseball Hall of Fame. Looks like I’m finally going to get there this spring. Thanks for the inspiration from your memorable trip there last summer. I can’t wait to finally get there.

    Baseball games are like snowflakes and fingerprints, no two are ever alike. – W. P. Kinsella

    Looking forward to another new season of baseball with you all.


    Love the historical bits – sounds like Ty Cobb was an amazing hitter, and perhaps he psyched himself up even more if the pitcher was known to be good – or maybe he just did a lot of homework on them. Fascinating, either way. Flour Mill

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