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MLB: The Best Designated Hitters in Baseball History, Part 1 of 2

David Ortiz Has More Edgar Martinez Awards Than Edgar Martinez

David Ortiz Has More Edgar Martinez Awards Than Edgar Martinez

After over 100 years of professional baseball, and 72 years after the unification of the National and American Leagues into the Major Leagues we know today, an extra “position” was added to a baseball team in 1973 – the Designated Hitter.

For the first time, at least in the American League, a pitcher would no longer bat (at the team’s discretion. The pitcher is still allowed to bat). The DH would take his place at the plate.

Each year since, either the Associated Press (1973-1999) or the Baseball  Writers Association of America (2000-present) has given the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award to the best DH that season. It was renamed (perhaps prematurely) to the Edgar Martinez Award.

Martinez won it five times, but David Ortiz sits at the top with seven honors.

OUTSTANDING DESIGNATED HITTER AWARD WINNER TEAM(S) SEASON(S)
1. David Ortiz 7 Boston Red Sox 2003-2007, 2011, 2013
2. Edgar Martinez 5 Seattle Mariners 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001
3. Hal McRae 3 Kansas City Royals 1976, 1980, 1982
4. Dave Parker 2 Milwaukee Brewers 1990
Oakland A’s 1989
4. Don Baylor 2 Boston Red Sox 1986
New York Yankees 1985
4. Greg Luzinski 2 Chicago White Sox 1981, 1983
4. Harold Baines 2 Chicago White Sox 1987, 1988
4. Paul Molitor 2 Minnesota Twins 1996
Toronto Blue Jays 1993
4. Willie Horton 2 Seattle Mariners 1979
Detroit Tigers 1975
10. Adam Lind 1 Toronto Blue Jays 2009
10. Aubrey Huff 1 Baltimore Orioles 2008
10. Billy Butler 1 Kansas City Royals 2012
10. Chili Davis 1 Minnesota Twins 1991
10. Dave Kingman 1 Oakland A’s 1984
10. Dave Winfield 1 Toronto Blue Jays 1992
10. Ellis Burks 1 Cleveland Indians 2002
10. Jim Rice 1 Boston Red Sox 1977
10. Orlando Cepeda 1 Boston Red Sox 1973
10. Rafael Palmeiro 1 Texas Rangers 1999
10. Rusty Staub 1 Detroit Tigers 1978
10. Tommy Davis 1 Baltimore Orioles 1974
10. Vladimir Guerrero 1 Texas Rangers 2010

Photo: atlantablackstar.com

Super Bowl Champions with the Worst Records the Season Before

The St. Louis Rams Went From 4-12 Under Tony Banks To Super Bowl Champions Under Kurt Warner In One Season

The St. Louis Rams Went From 4-12 Under Tony Banks To Super Bowl Champions Under Kurt Warner In One Season

Getting psyched up for football? Oh hell yeah!

Here’s a good one for you – and maybe even one that provides a little hope for your team this upcoming season no matter what is expected of them…or, I’m sorry, maybe not, as you will see.

Today’s list ranks every Super Bowl winner by their record the season before – from worst to best. I’m sorting by W-L percentage, from lowest to highest, but have also provided each team’s prior season’s playoff result.

And look at the 1999 St. Louis Rams who found a miracle in Kurt Warner. The Rams went from 4-12  (.250) under QB Tony Banks in 1998 to winning it all under MVP Warner in his first full season in 1999. Warner played in one game in 1998 for the Rams after playing several seasons in the AFL (Arena Football League).

Not far off the pace – and a similar situation, at least in terms of a quarterback who came from nowhere – were the 2001 Champion New England Patriots, who were 5-11 (.313) the season before under Drew Bledsoe. Tom Brady squeezed himself into his first (and only) pro game that season, but came back in 2001 after Bledsoe was injured in Game 2. Brady started the next 14 games and the rest is history (legendary, really), as five Super Bowls and three rings can attest.

After backing up Steve DeBerg all of 1979 and taking over the San Francisco 49er offense halfway through a 6-10 (.375) season in 1980, Joe Montana led the Niners to their first of five Super Bowl titles in 1981.

Every single other team – 45 other winners – had W-L percentages of .500 (four) or more (the other 41) the season before.

So, if your team was under .500 last season – and that means you, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons and St. Louis Rams, that you have a little more than a six percent chance of winning the Big Game this go-round. Hey, though, it’s happened, and that means it can happen again.

What about Super Bowl champs with the worst records THAT season – the year they won. Well, check it out. That might yield a little hope in the midst of 2014.

SUPER BOWL WINNER SEASON SUPER BOWL DATE W L T W-L PCT PLAYOFFS
1. St. Louis Rams 1999 XXXIV Jan. 30, 2000 4 12 0 .250 No Playoffs
2. New England Patriots 2001 XXXVI Feb. 3, 2002 5 11 0 .313 No Playoffs
3. San Francisco 49ers 1981 XVI Jan. 24, 1982 6 10 0 .375 No Playoffs
4. Washington Redskins 1982 XVII Jan. 30, 1983 8 8 0 .500 No Playoffs
4. Baltimore Ravens 2000 XXXV Jan. 28, 2001 8 8 0 .500 No Playoffs
4. New York Giants 2007 XLII Feb. 3, 2008 8 8 0 .500 Lost NFC Wild Card
4. New Orleans Saints 2009 XLIV Feb. 7, 2010 8 8 0 .500 No Playoffs
8. Oakland Raiders 1980 XV Jan. 25, 1981 9 7 0 .563 No Playoffs
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2002 XXXVII Jan. 26, 2003 9 7 0 .563 Lost NFC Wild Card
8. New England Patriots 2003 XXXVIII Feb. 1, 2004 9 7 0 .563 No Playoffs
11. New York Jets 1968 III Jan. 12, 1969 8 5 1 .607 No Playoffs (AFL)
11. Baltimore Colts 1970 V Jan. 17, 1971 8 5 1 .607 No Playoffs
13. San Francisco 49ers 1984 XIX Jan. 20, 1985 10 6 0 .625 Lost NFC Championship
13. Chicago Bears 1985 XX Jan. 26, 1986 10 6 0 .625 Lost NFC Championship
13. New York Giants 1986 XXI Jan. 25, 1987 10 6 0 .625 Lost NFC Division Round
13. San Francisco 49ers 1989 XXIV Jan. 28, 1990 10 6 0 .625 Won Super Bowl
13. Washington Redskins 1991 XXVI Jan. 26, 1992 10 6 0 .625 Lost NFC Division Round
13. San Francisco 49ers 1994 XXIX Jan. 29, 1995 10 6 0 .625 Lost NFC Championship
13. Pittsburgh Steelers 2008 XLIII Feb. 1, 2009 10 6 0 .625 Lost AFC Wild Card
13. New York Giants 2011 XLVI Feb. 5, 2012 10 6 0 .625 No Playoffs
21. Pittsburgh Steelers 1978 XIII Jan. 21, 1979 9 5 0 .643 Lost AFC Division Round
22. Dallas Cowboys 1992 XXVII Jan. 31, 1993 11 5 0 .688 Lost NFC Division Round
22. Green Bay Packers 1996 XXXI Jan. 26, 1997 11 5 0 .688 Lost NFC Championship
22. Green Bay Packers 2010 XLV Feb. 6, 2011 11 5 0 .688 Lost NFC Wild Card
22. Seattle Seahawks 2013 XLVIII Feb. 2, 2014 11 5 0 .688 Lost NFC Division Round
26. Dallas Cowboys 1971 VI Jan. 16, 1972 10 4 0 .714 Lost Super Bowl
26. Pittsburgh Steelers 1974 IX Jan. 12, 1975 10 4 0 .714 Lost AFC Division Round
28. Washington Redskins 1987 XXII Jan. 31, 1988 12 4 0 .750 Lost NFC Championship
28. New York Giants 1990 XXV Jan. 27, 1991 12 4 0 .750 Lost NFC Division Round
28. Dallas Cowboys 1995 XXX Jan. 28, 1996 12 4 0 .750 Lost NFC Championship
28. Denver Broncos 1998 XXXIII Jan. 31, 1999 12 4 0 .750 Won Super Bowl
28. Baltimore Ravens 2012 XLVII Feb. 3, 2013 12 4 0 .750 Lost NFC Championship
28. Green Bay Packers 1966 I Jan. 15, 1967 10 3 1 .750 Won NFL Championship
28. Miami Dolphins 1972 VII Jan. 14, 1973 10 3 1 .750 Lost Super Bowl
28. Pittsburgh Steelers 1975 X Jan. 18, 1976 10 3 1 .750 Won Super Bowl
36. Oakland Raiders 1976 XI Jan. 9, 1977 11 3 0 .786 Lost AFC Championship
36. Dallas Cowboys 1977 XII Jan. 15, 1978 11 3 0 .786 Lost NFC Division Round
38. Dallas Cowboys 1993 XXVIII Jan. 30, 1994 13 3 0 .813 Won Super Bowl
38. Denver Broncos 1997 XXXII Jan. 25, 1998 13 3 0 .813 Lost AFC Division Round
40. Green Bay Packers 1967 II Jan. 14, 1968 12 2 0 .857 Won Super Bowl
40. Kansas City Chiefs 1969 IV Jan. 11, 1970 12 2 0 .857 Lost Division Tiebreaker (AFL)
42. San Francisco 49ers 1988 XXIII Jan. 22, 1989 13 2 0 .867 Lost NFC Division Round
43. Pittsburgh Steelers 1979 XIV Jan. 20, 1980 14 2 0 .875 Won Super Bowl
43. New England Patriots 2004 XXXIX Feb. 6, 2005 14 2 0 .875 Won Super Bowl
43. Indianapolis Colts 2006 XLI Feb. 4, 2007 14 2 0 .875 Lost AFC Division Round
46. Los Angeles Raiders 1983 XVIII Jan. 22, 1984 8 1 0 .889 Lost AFC Division Round
47. Pittsburgh Steelers 2005 XL Feb. 5, 2006 15 1 0 .938 Lost AFC Championship
48. Miami Dolphins 1973 VIII Jan. 13, 1974 14 0 0 1.000 Won Super Bowl

Photos: amazon.com / espn.com

The 20 Best Seasons for a Pitcher in History (Best W-L Percentages)

STARTING PITCHERS, MINIMUM 20 DECISIONS

PITCHER W L W-L PCT. ARM SEASON TEAM G GS IP
1. Greg Maddux 19 2 0.9048 R 1995 Atlanta Braves 28 28 209.2
2. Randy Johnson 18 2 0.9000 L 1995 Seattle Mariners 30 30 214.1
3. Ron Guidry 25 3 0.8929 L 1978 New York Yankees 35 35 273.2
4. Lefty Grove 31 4 0.8857 L 1931 Philadelphia Athletics 41 30 288.2
5. Cliff Lee 22 3 0.8800 L 2008 Cleveland Indians 31 31 223.1
5. Preacher Roe 22 3 0.8800 L 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers 34 33 257.2
7. Max Scherzer 21 3 0.8750 R 2013 Detroit Tigers 32 32 214.1
8. Smoky Joe Wood 34 5 0.8718 R 1912 Boston Red Sox 43 38 344.0
9. Roger Clemens 20 3 0.8696 R 2001 New York Yankees 33 33 220.1
9. David Cone 20 3 0.8696 R 1988 New York Mets 35 28 231.1
11. Orel Hershiser 19 3 0.8636 R 1985 Los Angeles Dodgers 36 34 239.2
12. Bill Donovan 25 4 0.8621 R 1907 Detroit Tigers 32 28 271.0
12. Whitey Ford 25 4 0.8621 L 1961 New York Yankees 39 39 283.0
14. Roger Clemens 24 4 0.8571 R 1986 Boston Red Sox 33 33 254.0
14. Dwight Gooden 24 4 0.8571 R 1985 New York Mets 35 35 276.2
14. Daisuke Matsuzaka 18 3 0.8571 R 2008 Boston Red Sox 29 29 167.2
17. Pedro Martinez 23 4 0.8519 R 1999 Boston Red Sox 31 29 213.1
18. Chief Bender 17 3 0.8500 R 1914 Philadelphia Athletics 28 23 179.0
18. John Smoltz 17 3 0.8500 R 1998 Atlanta Braves 26 26 167.2
20. Lefty Grove 28 5 0.8485 L 1930 Philadelphia Athletics 50 32 291.0

ALL-TIME

PITCHER W L W-L PCT. ARM SEASON TEAM G GS IP
1. Roy Face 18 1 0.9474 R 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates 57 0 93.1
2. Johnny Allen 15 1 0.9375 R 1937 Cleveland Indians 24 20 173.0
3. Chris Sale* 10 1 0.9091 L 2014 Chicago White Sox 16 16 110.0
4. Greg Maddux 19 2 0.9048 R 1995 Atlanta Braves 28 28 209.2
5. Randy Johnson 18 2 0.9000 L 1995 Seattle Mariners 30 30 214.1
6. Ron Guidry 25 3 0.8929 L 1978 New York Yankees 35 35 273.2
7. Freddie Fitzsimmons 16 2 0.8889 R 1940 Brooklyn Dodgers 20 18 134.1
8. Lefty Grove 31 4 0.8857 L 1931 Philadelphia Athletics 41 30 288.2
9. Bob Stanley 15 2 0.8824 R 1978 Boston Red Sox 52 3 141.2
10. Cliff Lee 22 3 0.8800 L 2008 Cleveland Indians 31 31 223.1
10. Preacher Roe 22 3 0.8800 L 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers 34 33 257.2
12. Ron Davis 14 2 0.8750 R 1979 New York Yankees 44 0 85.1
12. Deacon Phillippe 14 2 0.8750 R 1910 Pittsburgh Pirates 31 8 121.2
12. Max Scherzer 21 3 0.8750 R 2013 Detroit Tigers 32 32 214.1
12. Tom Seaver 14 2 0.8750 R 1981 Cincinnati Reds 23 23 166.1
16. Smoky Joe Wood 34 5 0.8718 R 1912 Boston Red Sox 43 38 344.0
17. Roger Clemens 20 3 0.8696 R 2001 New York Yankees 33 33 220.1
17. David Cone 20 3 0.8696 R 1988 New York Mets 35 28 231.1
19. Orel Hershiser 19 3 0.8636 R 1985 Los Angeles Dodgers 36 34 239.2
20. Bill Donovan 25 4 0.8621 R 1907 Detroit Tigers 32 28 271.0
20. Whitey Ford 25 4 0.8621 L 1961 New York Yankees 39 39 283.0

Photo:

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