Saturday, March 27, 2010

The ABC's of Baseball: R is for Rounding Third

1987 Topps #111 Alfredo Griffin

It's hard to say for sure which base Alfredo is rounding, but it's plainly apparent he's giving it his all. With his helmet long gone and his uniform a bright yellow, Alfredo remains immortalized for all time our Hester Prynne of 1987 Topps.

(Judging from the back of that card, Alfredo loved to suit up for every game possible. I have always been intrigued by stats that tell a story. In 1985 and 1986, Griffin played in 162 games but was not the league leader in games played. How can this be? A little research found that the 1986 leader was Tony Fernandez of the Blue Jays, who played in 163 games. The August 26 game at Cleveland went nine innings, but ended in a 6-6 tie due to rain. The game was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader the next day, adding an extra official game to both teams' schedules. In 1985, Griffin's 162 was only good enough for second place because Chicago's Greg Walker played in 163 games, probably due to similar circumstances. For those curious enough to ask the question, the Major League record for games played in a season is 165. Speedster Maury Wills holds this distinction for his efforts with the Dodgers in 1962. Now go and win a bar bet with this information tonight. You can thank me for the free beer later.)

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