Daily Archives: May 13th, 2012

Milwaukee Brewers all-time “stolen base” team… by position

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Milwaukee Brewers have 21 stolen bases this season which is right at the National League average. Carlos Gomez leads the team with five steals.

Over the course of the Brewers 43-plus year history, the team has not really been known as a base-stealing team. There were, however, pockets of time in their history when stolen bases were a major part of their offensive arsenal. They led the league in steals in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots and then did not lead the league in stolen bases until 1987. It was that period from 1987-92 where the Brewers led the league five out of six seasons in stolen bases.

Since their move to the National League in 1998, stolen bases have not been a significant focus for the team. They did lead the N.L. in steals in 2004 led by outfielder Scott Podsednik’s 70 swipes. That year and a third-place spot in steals in 2003 are the only times the Brewers have finished in the top three in the N.L. in steals since 1998.

Here’s a look at what an all-time Brewers stolen bases team might look like… by position.

First Base: Cecil Cooper (77 stolen bases). Cooper had only 12 stolen bases in his first six seasons with the Red Sox. As a Brewer, “Coop” stole 48 bases in his first four seasons with the team. His career-high was 17 steals in 1980. Reserve: George Scott (40 stolen bases)

Second Base: Jim Gantner (137 stolen bases). Gantner will likely be supplanted by Weeks in the next couple of years in this category. Gantner averaged nearly 15 steals per season from 1985-90. His year-high was 20 in both 1988 and ’89. Reserve: Rickie Weeks (102 stolen bases)

Shortstop: Pat Listach (112 stolen bases). A.L. Rookie of the Year in 1992 stole 54 bases in his award-winning season. Reserve: Jose Valentin (78 stolen bases)

Third Base: Paul Molitor (412 stolen bases). The Brewers career leader in stolen bases. He finished his career with 504 steals. He has four of the top 10 best single-seasons for steals in team history. Reserve: Don Money (66 stolen bases)

Outfield: Robin Yount (271 stolen bases). Had 10 or more steals in 16 of his 20 seasons with the Brewers. The only Brewers player in history to have over 200 career home runs and over 200 career steals.

Tommy Harper (136 stolen bases). More than half of his steals as a Brewer came in 1969 when he led the league with 73 bases with the Seattle Pilots. His 73 steals is the Brewers single-season record.

Scott Podsednik (113 stolen bases). Spent only two seasons with the Brewers. Had 70 steals in 2004 that led the National League. He and Harper are the only two Brewers to have 70-plus steals in a season.

Outfield Reserves: Darryl Hamilton (109 stolen bases); Mike Felder (108 stolen bases); Ryan Braun (100 stolen bases).

Catcher: B.J. Surhoff (102 stolen bases). Had a career-high 21 steals in 1988 with the Brewers. Reserve: Charlie Moore (51 stolen bases)

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Why LeBron James must win the NBA title this year!

Basketball player LeBron James during the game...

LeBron James (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

LeBron James was voted the NBA MVP for the 2011-12 season. He joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson as the players who have won the MVP award three or more times.

Take a look at the list above. What do you notice? All of those three-time plus MVPs have each won an NBA title except for James. If his Miami Heat do not win the NBA title this year, James would be the only three-time MVP without an NBA title.

Twelve different players won an MVP award in the same year their team won the NBA title. Both Michael Jordan and Bill Russell did it four times. The last player to win an MVP award and his team won the championship that year was in 2003 when the San Antonio Spurs won the title after Tim Duncan was voted league MVP.

Here are the 12 players who won the league MVP award in the same year their team won the NBA championship.

Player, Team, MVP/Championship Year

Bob Cousy, Boston, 1957

Bill Russell, Boston, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965

Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia, 1967

Willis Reed, N.Y. Knicks, 1970

Lew Alcindor, Milwaukee, 1971; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers, 1980

Moses Malone, Philadelphia, 1983

Larry Bird, Boston, 1984, 1986

Magic Johnson. L.A. Lakers, 1987

Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998

Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston, 1994

Shaquille O’Neal, L.A. Lakers, 2000

Tim Duncan, San Antonio, 2003

Eight times the league MVP’s team made it to the NBA Finals but was defeated. The eight times when a league MVP’s team lost in the championship series: Bill Russell, Boston, 1958; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee, 1974; Larry Bird, Boston, 1985; Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers, 1989; Charles Barkley, Phoenix, 1993; Karl Malone, Utah, 1997; Allen Iverson, Philadelphia, 2001; Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers, 2008.

Did you know? Twenty-eight of the 56 NBA MVPs played in the NBA Finals in the year they won their MVP award. Forty-four of the 56 MVPs saw their team advance to the final four in the playoffs in the year they won the MVP.

Did you know? Fifty-five of the 56 NBA MVPs played in the playoffs in the year they won their MVP award. Abdul-Jabbar was league MVP in 1976 but his Lakers did not make the playoffs that season.

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