Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hammerin' Hank

Born today, deceased pitcher Hank Aguirre; he of the .085 batting average compiled over 16 seasons.

Aguirre batted 447 times in his career and struck out 237 times or 52% of the time. He did leg out 7 doubles and 1 triple (did the center fielder break his leg on the play?). Don't even ask about home runs.

I assume the scouting report on his hitting abilities read something like, "Just throw it down the middle. DO NOT WALK HIM!(though it did happen 14 times)"

Apparently fans were known to give Hank a standing ovation after he would miraculously make contact with a pitch and foul it off. Maybe he saw it as encouragement. Who knows.

So today, we honor Hammerin' Hank Aguirre; he of the 52% k rate.* If he could import that to his pitching stats, well then.......but unfortunately that was his career batting average.

*Look, I know there are some other notable, even ARGUABLY better, players who were also born today like Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks and Nolan Ryan but those guys are no Hank Aguirre!

Hey! I didn't say Hank Aguirre was BETTER than those guys. I just said they are not him.




Matthew Glidden said...

June 4, 1967. Tigers middle reliever Hank Aguirre makes his only start of the season and bats twice.

In the top of the second, the Yankees internationally walk Roy Oyler (career .175 hitter) to load the bases for Aguirre. 36 year-old Hammering Hank makes them pay with a triple to center field, clearing the bases and spotting Detroit a 3-0 lead. (They eventually won 11-7 in extra innings on a Dick McAuliffe grand slam.)

That game featured Hank's only two plate appearances of 1967, his only hit, his only career triple, and his last extra-base hit.

SHOULDA PITCHED TO OYLER, YANKS! (Happy birthday, Hank.)

Contrary Guy said...

Thanks Matthew!

Probably the only time in history a team pitched around a career .175 hitter.

(I still think that center-fielder probably broke his leg on the play)

Matthew Glidden said...

You are almost certainly correct. :-)