Two Of Tacoma’s Wildest Franchise Records

Thanks to those of you who tuned in for our replay of Anthony Misiewicz‘s no-hit bid last weekend. It was fun to re-watch the game and participate in the chat.

Looking forward, we are seeing more reports of optimism about the start of some form of a Major League Baseball season. Looks like late June or early July is being targeted for a to-be-determined shortened schedule of real games – details are all just speculation at this point, because the situation changes daily, but it’s nice to hear positive reports.

As for Minor League Baseball, including the Pacific Coast League, we can’t do anything until the major leagues figure out their plan, so it’s more wait wait wait. Are you guys tired of waiting yet? Sheesh.

OK, let’s get to some baseball dorkery. I was entertained by a recent ESPN article identifying one wild franchise record for each of the 30 major league teams. It caused me to think, what is the “wildest” franchise record for the Tacoma?

Tacoma has several franchise pitching records that fall into the category of “never going to be broken,” because the team has been around since 1960. Pitching was different then, when starters were expected to frequently complete games. The 17 complete games pitched by Ron Herbel for the 1963 Tacoma Giants is a record that is not going to be broken. Neither is the 239 innings pitched by Eddie Fisher in 1960.

How about sacrifice bunts? Gil Garrido had 18 of them for the 1961 Tacoma Giants. The entire 2019 Tacoma Rainiers team had 11 sacrifice bunts. Nobody really bunts any more – especially since we have the designated hitter, which the 1961 Giants did not have.

For “wildest” record, let’s ignore the unattainable records and look at ones that are feasible in today’s game. I like these two:

On August 17, 1971 Tacoma Cubs pitcher Burt Hooton struck out 19 batters against the Eugene Emeralds. That’s also the PCL record (done three times – last in 1974). Pitch counts are monitored these days, but strikeout rates are at an all-time high, so is this an impossible record? Maybe some day we’ll get a phenom who makes a run at it.

Here’s another one: it is currently the most home run friendly era in PCL history, yet Tacoma has only had a player hit two home runs in an inning twice in franchise history – and they both occurred within a two week period in 1978. Garry Smith did it on April 21 against Spokane, and Roy Staiger performed the trick on May 4 against San Jose. It’s wild that this was done twice in 13 days and hasn’t been done in 42 years since. It should happen again one of these days.

Two that aren’t records, but are fun oddities from the record book: Tacoma was involved in five no-hitters during the 2001 through 2003 seasons and has not seen one since, and the last triple play involving the Rainiers (turning one or hitting into one) occurred way back in 1995.

OK, putting the record book back on the shelf. Hopefully it won’t accumulate too much dust before we need it again.

Links:

  • With increasing hope that baseball will be played this summer, Seattle Times columnist Matt Calkins allowed himself to get excited.
  • Mariners catcher Tom Murphy verbalized the thoughts of many who work in baseball when he summed up the quarantine as “kind of like the start of a lousy retirement.”
  • Lauren Smith has a story on Mariners coach Jared Sandberg, checking in on what the Olympia native is doing during the shutdown.
  • Baseball America has a Mariners draft preview. There is still no date set for the 2020 draft, which will be the oddest ever, since the players being drafted haven’t been, um, playing.
  • Larry Stone remembered the day Roger Clemens struck out 20 Mariners, setting a new (at the time) MLB record.
  • If you have Mariners tickets, the team has figured out it’s refund plan.

One Response to Two Of Tacoma’s Wildest Franchise Records

  1. Patrick Hanratty says:

    Great stuff on wildest records Mike…All are incredible feats and fun to revisit..Thank you

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