The Strangeglove Award

Dick “Dr. Strangeglove” Stuart was a slugging 1Bman in the 1950’s and 1960’s who had “the bad hands.”  Historically bad hands, in fact.

Between 1958 and 1964, Stuart led his league’s 1Bmen in errors committed seven consecutive seasons (NL five times, then AL twice).  His 29 errors for the 1963 Boston Red Sox is the most by a 1Bman in any season since 1919.

In honor of Dick Stuart, I thought it would be fun to award a “Strangeglove Award” to each active player who made the most errors in a season at his position at any time in his career.  Here is my list by position:

C Jason Kendall, 18 for the 1996 Pirates (I consider Kendall still active, as he is currently attempting a comeback with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Royals’ AA club; Brian McCann (2010), Russell Martin (2007) and Dioner Navarro (2007) all made 14 errors in a season.)

1B Ryan Howard, 19 for the 2008 Phillies.  Another slugging 1Bman who struggles on defense.

2B Alfonso Soriano, 23 for both the 2002 Yankees and 2004 Rangers.  Given the fact that Soriano is now a terrible left fielder, it’s now a little hard to believe he once played second at the major league level.  Of course, he did.  Among players, still playing 2B, Rickie Weeks‘ 22 errors for the 2006 Brewers leads the way.

3B Mark Reynolds, 34 for the 2008 Diamondbacks.  Reynolds’ career as a major league starter is in jeopardy, as he doesn’t field well enough to start at third (career .928 fielding percentage) and doesn’t hit well enough to start at first (career .806 OPS).

SS Ian Desmond, 34 for the 2010 Nationals.  Desmond made only 23 errors in 2011 and is a pace to make about 21 errors in 2012, so his 2010 total looks to be a rookie year one-off.

LF Adam Dunn, 12 for the 2006 Reds.  Adam Dunn is widely considered the worst defensive outfielder in baseball, given his poor range and high error rates (Dunn leads all active left fielders with 60 career errors).  Now that he has adjusted to the American League after his lost 2011 season, he has at last found his true position: designated hitter.

Alfonso Soriano merits note here.  He made 11 errors as the Nationals’ left fielder in 2006 and again as the Cubs’ left fielder in 2009.  Soriano is currently third among both active 2Bmen and active left fielders for most career errors made at each of these positions.  Alfonso gets the “Stone Hands” device on his Strangeglove Award for his unmeritorious service at two different positions.

CF Carlos Beltran, 12 for the 1999 Royals.  Another high rookie year total; young players don’t just improve at the plate.  Even so, Beltran leads all active center fielders by a wide margin with 60 careers errors.

RF Vladimir Guerrero, 19 for the 1999 Montreal Expos.  (I’m also considering Bad Vlad still active, because he is not officially retired, and he did play eight games this year for the Blue Jays’ AAA team, the Las Vegas 51s, before being released at his request on June 12th when the Jays had not promoted him to the major league team.  He’s waiting around for some team to give him a call.  Justin Upton made 13 errors for the 2011 Diamondbacks.)

Bad Vlad had a great right field arm but made almost as many errors as assists in his career (125 errors and 126 assists).  His 125 career errors is almost twice that of Bobby Abreu (69), second most among active right fielders.

P Rick Ankiel (2000), Ramon Ortiz (2005), A.J. Burnett (2008) and Matt Garza (2011) each made seven errors in a season.  The last pitcher to make 10 errors in a season was Joe Kennedy for the 2002 Devil Rays. Kennedy died of heart failure during the 2007 off-season at age 28.

Explore posts in the same categories: Anaheim Angels, Arizona Diamond Backs, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball History, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburg Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

One Comment on “The Strangeglove Award”

  1. Burly Says:

    Catcher Jason Kendall retired on July 24th, a day after this piece was posted.

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