Today’s Sports Stat: February 24, 2018

Earlier this week the Indianapolis Colts signed their kicker, Adam Vinatieri, to a one-year contract. The 45-year-old Vinatieri will be playing in his 23rd NFL season in 2018.

The one-year deal gives Vinatieri a chance to break the all-time scoring record in the NFL. He is currently 57 points behind Morten Andersen; Andersen tallied 2,544 career points, Vinatieri has 2,487.

Vinatieri, who went to South Dakota State, is also within striking distance of breaking the record for most points scored by a player in his 40s. He is second behind George Blanda, who had 863 points at age 40 and beyond. Vinatieri has scored 735 points in his 40s.

Here is a look at the players who scored the most career points in their 20s, 30s and 40s. (Research courtesy of Pro Football Reference.com.)

Most points in their 20s
Stephen Gostkowski, 1,023

Mason Crosby, 903
Nate Kaeding, 862
Pete Stoyanovich, 859
Jason Hanson, 857

Most points in their 30s
David Akers, 1,225

Matt Stover, 1,141
Jason Elam, 1,137
Gary Anderson, 1,118
Matt Bryant, 1,082

Most points in their 40s
George Blanda, 863

Adam Vinatieri, 735
Morten Andersen, 704
John Carney, 629
Gary Anderson, 589

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Today’s Sports Stat: February 23, 2018

Last season in Major League Baseball 41 different players hit 30 or more home runs. Pretty impressive, right?

Look, however, at some of the other numbers in each player’s stat line from last season; specifically, look at how many strikeouts each of these 41 players had in 2017.

Of the 41 players with 30 or more home runs last season, 36 of them struck out 100 or more times, and 14 of them had 150 or more strikeouts for the season. It seems that we are seeing more and more of the “all-or-nothing” power hitter in today’s game, especially over the past 10 years or so.

Here are the five players last season who hit 30 or more home runs and had less than 100 strikeouts.

Joey Votto, 36 HRs, 83 strikeouts
Anthony Rizzo, 32 HRs, 90 strikeouts
Mike Trout, 33 HRs, 90 strikeouts
Francisco Lindor, 33 HRs, 93 strikeouts
Mike Moustakas, 38 HRs, 94 strikeouts

The fewest strikeouts of any player in MLB history who had 30 or more home runs in a season is 13… yes, only 13. In 1941, Joe DiMaggio hit 30 home runs and had only 13 strikeouts that season.

Since 1901, there have been only 76 times that a batter had 30 or more home runs and less than 50 strikeouts in the same season. It’s interesting to note, however, that only five of those times have come since 2000, and only once has it happened in the last decade. Those five:

Moises Alou, 2000, 30 HRs, 45 strikeouts
Barry Bonds, 2002, 46 HRs, 47 strikeouts
Barry Bonds, 2004, 45 HRs, 41 strikeouts
Vladimir Guerrero, 2005, 32 HRs, 48 strikeouts
Victor Martinez, 2014, 32 HRs, 42 strikeouts

One final note: Only once in MLB history has a player hit 50 or more home runs with less than 50 strikeouts that season. It happened in 1947 when Johnny Mize had 51 home runs and only 42 strikeouts.

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Today’s Sports Stat: February 22, 2018

Rudy Tomjanovich is one of 13 finalists for the 2018 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Tomjanovich is one of those unique candidates in that he not only had a stellar playing career (he was a five-time All-Star with the Houston Rockets), but he was also a very successful NBA head coach winning a pair of NBA championships with the Rockets.

There are 31 NBA coaches who have 500 or more career wins; Tomjanovich is one of those coaches with 527 career victories. Of those 31 coaches, 19 were also NBA players. Of those 19 players, only five of them had 500 or more career coaching wins and scored 10,000 or more points as an NBA player. Again, Tomjanovich is one of those five men.

Following are the five NBA coaches who had 500 or more wins and scored 10,000 or more points as an NBA player.

Lenny Wilkens, 1,332 coaching wins, 17,772 points scored

Jerry Sloan, 1,221 coaching wins, 10,571 points scored

Don Nelson, 1,335 coaching wins, 10,898 points scored

Gene Shue, 784 coaching wins, 10,068 points scored

Rudy Tomjanovich, 527 coaching wins, 13,383 points scored

(Note: Of the five men listed above, Wilkens, Sloan and Nelson are already in the Hall of Fame.)

It doesn’t look like we’ll be adding any men to the above list in the near future. Of the active coaches with 400 or more career wins, two (Erik Spoelstra and Alvin Gentry) did not play in the NBA, while the other coach, Scott Brooks, has 420 coaching wins, but scored only 3,317 points in his NBA career.

 

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Today’s Sports Stat: February 21, 2018

If you follow baseball, specifically, Major League Baseball, you know that complete games are a dying stat in the game. Consider this: Last year there were three teams, Atlanta, the White Sox and Tampa Bay, that did not have one single complete game by their pitching staff.

Since the 2010 season, there have been 13 teams that went a whole season without a complete game; there were three teams last season, four in 2016, three in 2015, two in 2012, and one team in 2011.

Since the 2010 campaign, the Philadelphia Phillies have the most complete games with 51 in those eight seasons. At the bottom end of this list are the Milwaukee Brewers with only 13 complete games since 2010.

Here are the six teams with 20 or fewer total complete games by their pitching staffs from 2010-17.

13-Milwaukee

14-Baltimore

17-San Diego

20-Atlanta, Colorado, Pittsburgh

 

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Today’s Sports Stat: February 20, 2018

With zero victories on the PGA Tour in 2017, there were some people who thought we had seen the best of Bubba Watson. A two-time Majors winner and winner of nine PGA events since his rookie season of 2006, Watson himself even admitted his golf and health struggles, especially last season, had forced him to seriously consider retirement. He added that he and his wife had conversations about the “R” word and he gave thoughts to spending more time overseeing his candy store, a car dealership and the minor league baseball team he owns. So much for retirement planning, huh?

On Sunday, February 18, almost exactly two years to the date of his last win, Watson for the third time in his career won the Genesis Open (formerly the Northern Trust Open), reigniting his career and giving his game relevance as the 2018 season gets a full head of steam towards the four Majors this year.

As one of the game’s more entertaining players, a win by Watson is great for the sport. Let’s take a look at six stats you may not know about Watson.

  1. With his victory at the Genesis Open, Watson has now won 10 PGA events. He becomes the 115th golfer to amass double-digit wins in the tour’s history. Of the 115 players on this list, Watson is the sixth youngest (Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia are the five players younger than Watson on this list).
  2. Watson has a pair of Masters’ wins to his credit, winning in 2012 and 2014. With 10 PGA Tour wins and a pair of major victories, Watson is one of only 49 players to have 10 PGA wins and two majorsto his credit.
  3. A left-hander, Watson became only the second lefty to win 10 or more PGA events. Topping this list is Phil Mickelson with 42 PGA Tour wins. After Watson on the list are #Mike Weir (eight wins), Bob Charles (six wins) and Steve Flesch (four wins).
  4. Mickelson tops the list with five Majors wins by a lefty followed by Watson’s two wins. In addition, lefty Mike Weir won the 2003 Masters and fellow southpaw Bob Charles won the 1963 British Open.
  5. Keeping with his recent pattern of winning the Northern Trust Open, now the Genesis Open, on even-numbered years, Watson became a three-time winner of the event, having won also in 2014 and 2016. He became the fifth golfer to win the event three times joining Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Lloyd Mangrum and Macdonald Smith.
  6. Watson has played in 40 majors events on the tour, winning two Masters. He finished second in the 2010 PGA Championship and had a tie for fifth finish at the 2007 U.S. Open… giving him four Top-10 finishes in majors he has played. He has missed the cut in 15 of the 40 events.

Welcome back, Bubba!

 

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