Sunday, October 4, 2015

The First Book of Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins has 40 career leadoff home runs.

The First Book of Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a home run on Thursday against the Braves. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)
Jimmy Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a home run on Thursday against the Braves. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

Jimmy Rollins took Tim Hudson deep on the first pitch he saw Wednesday night, connecting for the 40th leadoff home run of his career (right). That puts him fifth all-time, almost halfway to the record held by his boyhood baseball idol Rickey Henderson.

While hitting 40 home runs to start a game is nice, the staff here at BoopStats wishes Rollins had a little better on-base percentage when he steps to the plate to start a game. His .302 OBA is by far the worst among players with 33 or more leadoff homers. And we know Jimmy can reach base more often, because he does so in other situations (he has a career .345 OBA when he is not leading off an inning, for instance; see second chart).

Here are the top 10 players all-time in leadoff home runs and their on-base percentage when leading off the first inning:

 Player  HR    OBA  
 Rickey Henderson     81  .340
 Alfonso Soriano  54  .350
 Craig Biggio  53  .354
 Brady Anderson  44  .350
 Jimmy Rollins  40  .302
 Ichiro Suzuki  37  .340
 Bobby Bonds  35  .330
 Devon White  34  .325
 Ray Durham  34  .365
 Paul Molitor  33  .345


Overall  .328
Leading Off Game  .302
Not Leading Off Game  .333
Leading Off Any Inning  .298
Not Leading Off Any Inning     .345  
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About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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