Bag of Randomness for Thursday, January 27, 2020

  • Since there’s Supreme Court justice news, here’s a little history of LBJ and Thurgood Marshall from Michael Beschloss’s Twitter account.
    • LBJ deliberately created a Supreme Court vacancy so he could appoint Thurgood Marshall as first Black Justice, 1967. Did so by asking Ramsey Clark to be his AG and telling Ramsey that his father, Tom, would have to thus quit SCOTUS in order to avoid conflicts of interest:
    • LBJ no doubt also enjoyed manipulating Ramsey Clark to reveal an aspect of his character by forcing his own father, Tom, to resign from SCOTUS, a job Tom loved, in order for Ramsey to achieve his ambition of becoming Attorney General.
    • Once Ramsey Clark became LBJ’s Attorney General in 1967, the President grew disenchanted with Clark and largely stopped speaking to him. He thenceforth communicated with Ramsey through Clark’s embarrassed deputy, Warren Christopher, so I was told by the latter.
    • Long after his adventures with Ramsey Clark and LBJ, Warren Christopher would become Bill Clinton’s first Secretary of State.
  • Yesterday I read about racist Supreme Court Justice James Clark McReynolds. He was so disliked by the other justices that none of them attended his funeral and he died alone in the hospital in 1946. In contrast, as the clerk noted, when McReynolds’s aged African-American messenger, Harry Parker, died in 1953, his funeral was attended by five or six Justices, including the Chief Justice. He is also one of five justices who never married.
  • The baseball Twitter accounts I follow seem to mention Tony Gwynn quite a bit as of late, and I don’t mind it one bit. The man was greatness. A few of the things I’ve read:
    • Tony Gwynn faced 885 different pitchers over the course of his career. Five of them struck him out more than 5 times and none of them struck him out more than 10 times.
    • Tony Gwynn averaged 21 K’s per year for his career. Last year, 152 players struck out at least 21 times before April was over. Legend among legends.
    • Tony Gwynn struck out just 19 times in 110 games in 1994, the year he hit .394 and led the league with a .454 OBP. Next year, in 135 games, he struck out 15 times.
    • 148 major league batters struck out 100+ times this year. Tony Gwynn struck out 434 times in 20 years.
    • Tony Gwynn batted .338 for his career. No other Padre has hit .338 during any one single season.
    • In a 731-game span of regular season games, Tony Gwynn had 1,002 hits and 99 strikeouts.
    • Tony Gwynn hit .302 with two strikes on him. In the 30-plus years that stat has been tracked, the next-best batting average with two strikes is .260 by Wade Boggs, more than 40 points below Gwynn’s mark.
    • Tony Gwynn hit .400 for a stretch as long as a season… from July 3, 1993 to May 9, 1995, he batted .403 over a 179-game stretch.
    • Tony Gwynn faced Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez a combined total of 143 times during his career. He batted .388 against the pair and never struck out.
    • Tony Gwynn was a freak athlete. This man got drafted by the Padres and the Clippers on the same day.

    • d
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2 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Thursday, January 27, 2020

  1. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    Something about Babe Ruth being a friend and role model to youth aspiring to be big leaguers is mildly unsettling to me. Just saying. Friend and mentor to liquor salesman, strippers, card sharks, etc – yea, I can see that for the Bambino. But not youth.

    Say what you may about LBJ, but he was unsurpassed as student of what levers to pull politically. He was a master in those skill areas. He was a Jedi of the Washington Good Old Boy network, and employed the Force freely.

  2. Bryan B. says:

    Replace the Mapquest printouts in the distracted driving video with a Jack in the Box taco or a Jumbo Jack and that’s me driving to work in high school. I even did it with a cast on my left wrist one summer.

    There’s not enough talk about Tony Gwynn’s greatness and I would chalk that up to him playing on a pretty middling team. 3 playoff appearances, 2 times in the World Series, maybe 3 other years that would have gotten them in under the expanded brackets.

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