Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Post 385: Remembering Arky Vaughan aka How the Game has changed

Today is my 385th post on the blog.  The blog was started in early 2011 and and has had several periods where nothing was posted.  It's also had periods where I posted every day.  My posting habits are kinda similar to the Pirates actually.  Short periods of success and long periods of sucking.

One player that didn't suck was HOF shortstop Arky Vaughan.  Arky holds the Pirates All-Time single season batting average with a .385 record that he accomplished in 1935 during his age 23 season.
2012 Prime Cuts Biography Arky Vaughan BAT RELIC 62/99
Replacing a HOF shortstop is tough.  Replacing quite possibly the greatest shortstop to ever play the game in the early 20th century is incredibly tough.  Arky Vaughan had that responsibility when he took over for the Steel City legend Honus Wagner in 1932.  Arky Vaughan had an incredible 14 year career as you can see on his Baseball reference page.  The 9 time allstar was eventually voted into the HOF by the Veterans Committee in 1985.  However, Vaughan wasn't able to be there as he had passed away at the early age of 40 after retiring in his age 36 season.  I grabbed my first bat relic of the HOF shortstop for $9.99 shipped.
The back of the card highlights Arky's 100th career triple.

What I found most incredible when looking over Vaughan's stats was that he finished 3rd in MVP voting back in that 1935 season.  If you thought that Matt Kemp was robbed in 2011 of the MVP to the recently suspended Ryan Braun, check out how much more Vaughan was deserving of the hardware than the actual winner Gabby Hartnett.

Even understanding that WAR wasn't used back then, it's clear who was the Most Valuable Player to the NL.  Vaughan beat Hartnett in every offensive (AVG, HR, RBI, SB, BB, R, OBP, SLG, H)  It should be worth noting that Dizzy Dean finished second in voting for the MVP when he posted a 28-12 record in 325 innings.  My, how the game has changed.

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