Friday, January 30, 2009

#5T Tom Brunansky


Contrast this photo to the one on card #1, Jack Clark. Very similar, and yet this photo sucks by comparison. Can't see Brunansky's eyes at all, and that ruins it. The difference between this set and other sets from 1988, though, is that Score makes up for it by putting a headshot on the back. Then it's OK that we can't see all of Bruno's face, since it's right there on the back.


Brunansky is one of 7 players to have at least 20 HR and 10 SB every season from 1986 to 1988. How many of the other 6 can you name? 5 are pretty gettable, and one is tough. Post how many you got in the comments.


Brunansky got a lot of outfield assists in his career, 117 to be exact. That's an awful lot. I have no idea how good of an outfielder he was overall. But I guess he must have been pretty valuable just as a defensive presence. I think a lot of outfielders' value is in reputation. A first base or third base coach may decide that they will not try to run on a guy's arm based on his reputation (i.e. previous assist totals.) I think that's one reason why when an outfielder puts up a big year in assists, his assist totals often fall off dramatically in subsequent years--because there end up being fewer opportunities to nail runners.


  1. Hard to say re: the assists. I think it's pretty common for the league leaders to have relatively weak arms (I remember reading a Rob Neyer article about that a while back), and they get so many assists because teams are willing to test their arms. That said, I have no idea what Brunansky's relative defensive value was.

  2. Well it's definitely true, I think, that outfield assists are a confusing, misleading, and highly context-dependent stat.

  3. And tough question, for me at least. I only got Strawberry and Canseco.

  4. I post lots of these questions but unfortunately I never get to see how *I* would do on them since I always see the list of answers first.

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  6. Well, if you're interested, here's a couple:
    1) Since 1974, five pitchers have won at least 25 games in a season. The first two are Hall of Famers, the last three are more of a mixed bag.

    2) From 2000-2003 (there have been none since), three pitchers won 20 games in a season with an ERA above 4.00.

    Hopefully those aren't too easy/hard or anything. I don't have a lot of experience making up trivia questions.

  7. My stats knowledge pre mid-80s isn't good. Right off I've got Guidry and Welch as winning 25+. I think Steve Stone did it. After that, I had to cheat and see that Fergie and Catfish did it in 1974.

    For question #2, Zito comes to mind but I don't think that's right. If not him, then I would guess somebody else on the A's. And I feel like someone on the Yankees did it.

    I went back and checked and my guesses are good even though I didn't actually name anybody correct. Pettitte in 2003, David Wells (then on Toronto) in 2000, and Hudson in 2000 as well. before that, Rick Helling did it in 1998 and Jack Morris in 1992.