Earle Combs

Earle CombsThe rap against Combs as a Hall of Famer is that he was only a regular player for nine seasons, but he was a very good leadoff man when he was in the lineup. He hit .325, which ranked 17th in baseball from 1924 to 1935, and 12 of the 16 players in front of him were outfielders. It was an era of high-average outfielders. Most of the outfielders in that group are in the Hall of Fame, except Lefty O’Doul, Babe Herman, Riggs Stephenson, and Fatty Fothergill. Only 14 players had a higher on-base percentage during Combs’ playing career, nine of them are in the Hall of Fame. Among leadoff hitters in the 1920s and 1930s, Combs was at or near the top. Only Max Bishop and Lu Blue had higher OBP as leadoff batters.

Someone could probably figure out how many times Combs was driven in by either Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig. I bet it accounts for 40 percent of his runs scored. …. Look at a photo of Earle and tell me he doesn’t look like Greg Evigan of B.J. and The Bear fame.

Longest Hitting Streaks by a Yankee
1. Joe DiMaggio… 56 games (1941)
2. Hal Chase… 33 games (1907)
3. Roger Peckinpaugh… 29 games (1919)
3. Earle Combs… 29 games (1931)
3. Joe Gordon… 29 games (1942)
6. Hal Chase… 27 games (1907)
7. Babe Ruth… 26 games (1921)
8. Derek Jeter… 25 games (2006)
9. Don Mattingly… 24 games (1986)