Tuesday, May 5, 2009

1989 Topps Major League Debut #72: Greg Litton

Greg Litton

PHOTO: Nice power batting shot of Litton, although I'd like to see more of his face. I'd like to see a little less of the weirdos in the dugout. Seriously...look at those two people.

STAT: Litton had just 13 career homers, but he made them count with 6 either tying the game or putting his team ahead, including a grand slam in the top of the 13th of a game against the Reds.

ANAGRAM: Maybe this is why he didn't steal so many bases....Greg Litton = Rotting leg

CAREER: 3/10

Litton stuck around with the Giants for 5 seasons and gets a 3 thanks to his homer and 3 RBI in the 1989 World Series.


  1. Andy, you frequently mention the number of homers that tie the game or put the hitter's team ahead.

    Any idea on what % of all homers fit that description? Having a rough idea of the average score of any given game and the number of homers per game, I can probably come up with an estimate, but it would be based on probability with a whole lot of assumption. I'm curious if there's actually a number for it out there.

  2. Good question.

    I don't know the overall numbers, but we can look at, for example, the 1992 Giants, for whom Litton hit 4 homers.

    They hit 105 HR total, including 34 go-ahead and 12 tying. So that's 46 out of 105 HR that either tied the game or put them ahead (43%). So Litton at 46% (6/13) is fairly close to average, although since he wasn't much of a power hitter I'd say it's nice that his homers were meaningful.

    A bit more data:

    1991 Giants had 52/141 (37%)
    1990 Giants had 65/152 (40%)
    1989 Giants had 63/141 (45%)
    1993 Giants had 75/168 (45%)

    So the average over those 5 years is 42.6%

    For comparison, an average team from last year (81-81 Cleveland Indians) went 76/171 (44%.) Arizona was also almost .500 last year and did 59/159 (37%.)

    Looks like a reasonable average figure is 41-43%, so I'd say any guy who hits at least half of his homers for the tie or lead has done quite well. Litton doesn't really qualify as anything other than average, I suppose.

  3. I got the numbers for all teams last year.

    4878 total homers, 1567 go-ahead, 507 tying. That's 2074/4878 = 42.5%

    In 2007 it was 2043/4957 = 41.2%

    In 1993 it was 1702/4030 = 42.2%

    In 1984 it was 1386/3258 = 42.5%

    In 1975 it was 1174/2698 = 43.5%

    So it's pretty consistent.

  4. Wow, thanks! That's good to know next time I hear that particular stat about individual players. Speaking of which, Mr. Clutch is at it again. David Ortiz hasn't hit one homer that didn't put his team ahead this season. The guy is just amazing.

  5. Laugh...did you see my post on the B-R blog about Ortiz?

  6. I did, that's why I thought of it. I really don't know what to think yet. Aside from what a lot of people have said, I don't really see a noticable dip in bat speed. It seems more to me that some of the holes in his swing he had in Minnesota have resurfaced. That's typically more a sign of injury than reduced bat speed. I would think.

    The other thing is that he's just not driving the ball in the air. He seems to be turning the ball over and grounding out way more than in the past and although he has a bunch of doubles this year, most of them are of the line drive variety.

    What scares me about his production is that he's never really been a streaky guy from month to month or half to half. He could be done as big power threat.