"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: ken singleton

Stubborn Calm


There’s a nice interview with Ken Singleton over at Fangraphs today (David Laurila asks the questions):

DL: Was on-base percentage underrated in your era?

KS: Most definitely. I think that nowadays — with the attention paid to OBP and OPS — people would have seen me in a different light. That said, I was fortunate enough to play for Earl Weaver, who, maybe before his time, knew what on-base percentage meant.

My first year in Baltimore, there really weren’t a lot of guys stealing bases. He called me into his office in spring training. I thought that maybe I was in trouble, but what he wanted to tell me was that I was going to lead off. I told him that I wasn’t capable of stealing many bases, and he said, “That’s not the idea. The whole idea is that you walk a lot, and Bobby Grich walks a lot, so you’ll bat first and he’ll bat second.” I set the Orioles record for walks that season [118] and it still stands. Bobby Grich walked 107 times that season.

My first at bat in the American League came in Tiger Stadium on a cold day. I drew a walk. I went to third on a base hit and scored on a three-run home run [by Lee May]. I scored our first run of the season. When I got back to the dugout, Earl Weaver looked at me and said, “That’s what I was talking about. Get on base.”

[Featured image via Corbis]

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver