I never posted the (apparent) answer to the trivia question from last week about Hall of Famers who retired after World Series wins or losses, and I’ll get to what I have on that shortly.
Firstly, in the wake of the very disturbing Jay Bruce broken wrist last night, there was a quote from a few weeks previously from Reds’ GM Walt Jocketty about what the club would do if it felt it had to bench or perhaps demote Bruce, who had been steadily heading down to the Uecker Line. He had said Drew Stubbs – the former first-rounder who has hit like a dream at Louisville, gets on base nicely, steals bases, but has shown none of the power the Reds expected when they drafted him – would get the first opportunity. As I mentioned earlier, Reds management also likes Chris Haisley, who just got to AAA a month ago, and has considerably more power with very little experience above AA. A spot on the 40-man would have to be created for either player.
However, Reds’ manager Dusty Baker, sounding exactly like the kind of skippers in Atlanta who limited him to spot work for his first four years, seems totally unimpressed with the prospects of either Stubbs or Haisley, dismissing their performances as just numbers. While an outfield of Nix and Gomes in left, Willy Taveras in center, and Chris Dickerson (who left today’s game in New York with back spasms) may seem appealing to Dusty, it would probably assure the Reds of sinking into the basement in the NL Central. Dismissing Haisley, or the more likely candidate Stubbs, just isn’t rational – unless Baker is expecting the Reds to summon up a big-bat outfielder or shortstop before the trading deadline. Other than first baseman Yonder Alonso, there just aren’t big-ticket trade chips in the Reds’ system, and unless you’re talking Matt Holliday, I don’t think you’re talking about trading Alonso.
Face it, Dusty, you may have to put a kid out there. Even though that never works. Joey Votto, Bruce, even Dickerson – they were just lightning strikes. Not possible for that to ever happen again in the history of baseball.
Now that trivia question. If you include being on the active roster during the World Series, our lists of Hall-of-Famers who wrapped it up there, is as follows:
1930 Eddie Collins, Philadelphia A’s (though he was a player-coach who appeared in only three games during the season, both the Philly and St. Louis scorecards – our best research tool for early Series info – list him as an active player for the ’30 Series).
1951 Joe DiMaggio, Yankees
1953 Johnny Mize, Yankees
1968 Eddie Mathews, Tigers
(Note here: Johnny Ward, Hall of Fame player-manager of the 1894 New York Giants, led his team to victory in the closest thing to the World Series, The Temple Cup, then retired as an active player).
1922 Home Run Baker, Yankees
1936 Travis Jackson, Giants
1936 Bill Terry, Giants
1956 Jackie Robinson, Dodgers
1966 Sandy Koufax, Dodgers
1968 Roger Maris, Cardinals
1973 Willie Mays, Mets
Some notes here: Tom Seaver was on the disabled list of the ’86 Red Sox, but since he attempted a comeback mid-season with the ’87 Mets, he falls off the list for two reasons. Dave Winfield ended his career with the ’95 Indians but was not on the post-season roster, and Larry Doby finished up with the ’59 White Sox but was let go in July.
And as mentioned below, Don Sutton is in a category of his own. In the rotation of the ’88 Dodgers past the All-Star break, he was released, never pitched again – but went with the team the next year for a celebration at the White House.
Again, the lists are presumed to be incomplete and additional submissions are welcomed
Two years later, the Dodgers released Don Sutton two months before the Series